Crazy Real

the official blog of author and poet Jennifer Wilson

Caught

The fox with foot
within a snare
will thrash and cry
til bone lies bare

Then gnaw it off
the limb entwined
limp far and fast
leave it behind

For foxes know
with basal brains
that liberty
means blood and pain

And so it is
that such as I
must chew upon
the hows and whys

This gnawing, though,
brings no relief
the cords, they tighten
to my grief

How cursed am I
to have this head!
This ceaseless
existential dread!

I wish I was
a small brave thing
that wanted naught
of wish or dream

But only cared
for mate and meat
for spring and sun
and burrow sweet

Make me a fox
with legs of three
no more ensnared
forever free.

Beauty

Beauty in the hollow places
wise and weary
timeworn faces

Echoing with voices cast
lovelorn souls with
questions vast

Pillars we from turning round
looking back on
blackened ground

Beauty in the toughest races
beaten paths and
fruitless chases

Tripping, stumbling, ever last
still we rise and
stagger past

Sometimes lost but always found
in the fury
in the sound

Beauty in the gaping spaces
lunatics and
hopeless cases

Grains of sand all falling fast
heaps of crystals
all amassed

Treasures and debris abound
with the mixture
we are crowned

Beauty in what time erases
finding peace
in endless graces

Lying down no more harassed
by musts and shoulds
demanded, asked

Soul-ship finally run aground
resigned, refined,
at last unbound.

Respite

My brother
is like a green tree I know
upon an open
rolling
Oklahoma hill

nothing near but
prairie grass and wind
a cerulean cloche
stretching overhead

no cottonwood, this
no straggling, bent redbud
or fruitless pear

but straight and sturdy
umbrella of shade
promise of shelter
from the remorseless sun

and when I traverse
that unrelenting sameness
from Bartlesville to Tulsa

I watch for it
every time
encouraged

by its stalwart grace
heroism
tenacity
generosity
and singular beauty

I am grateful for it
it reminds me of him
an oasis in my life
where I never fail
to find peace
and rest.

Edge

Sometimes
the razor-sharp edge of grief
caresses my pericardium
tracing that fragile membrane
like a whisper
every touch electric
raising goosebumps
along my flesh
and I ask

is this love?

exciting and dangerous
titillating and violent
embracing and manipulative

are they two sides of the same coin or
some alien currency whose exchange rate
I have never grasped?

why do I love these torn, bloody places?

who am I without these various wounds?
who am I without the pain, the fear, the
unfettered
savage

fury?

without them there is nothing but wind and foam and
hollow spaces

a shell
carved of flesh
full of echoes.

Wishes

I’d like to be an instrument
of tenderness and peace
a simple little daisy that
brings joy to those that grieve

A flower that administers
a taste of hope hereafter
a tiny bud of gracefulness
that mitigates disaster

I’d like to be a small device
that lifts another’s burden
a voice that whispers all is well
when nothing else is certain

If I could live just long enough
to see this mission through
then I would be well satisfied
to watch that dream come true

For each of us is put right here
to do the good we can
and if we’re truly honest now
it’s time that we began.

?

Am I a fraud?
I am not
fashionable
enough
to be mad

nor beautiful
enough
to be forgiven

nor famous
enough
to be indulged

Am I a fraud?
I am woman
so perhaps
my uterus is to blame
or
are the irregularities
of temper
just symptoms of
a depraved heart?

I have seen
the mental hospital
from the inside
more than once
poked
prodded
scrutinized
analyzed
diagnosed
given the papers
sent to therapy
and yet at times
I still wonder

Am I a fraud?

Literary

The Pevensies
started it all
and James with his
phalanx of arthropod friends

And then along came
Margaret and Fiver
and Taran Wanderer and
Ralph the Mouse

And Alice in her land of wonder
Anne (don’t forget the E)
Ponyboy and Johnny
Jo and her sisters
Jane and Mr. Rochester
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

I grew, and discovered
Henry and Catherine
And faithful butler Stevens and
The Boatwright sisters who
made my heart bleed
dark realization of what
used to be and is now

There are works
of fiction that
made me weep
hot tears of longing

But none more so than
Scout and her beloved
brother when he
comes into his own

Jem knew something
that I never could, that
Atticus would be there
arms ready
heart open
welcoming his questions
accepting his doubts
applying generous grace
To all the empty places
where words are meaningless
and reason takes flight
And only love
will suffice

Books.
They are only books.
And yet, so much more.
Without them, I would be
half the person I am now
and who can say how important
that half would

Be?

Hobo

There once was a time
I carried a bag
tied up on a stick
held aloft like a flag

and into this pouch
my heart was compelled
imprisoned by doctrine
and forced there to dwell

I thought it was safer
to keep it secured
within my worldview
so I was assured

a vagrant was I
with bindle-beliefs
traversing the road
ignoring my grief

but then the bag tore
its seams all asunder
and out spilled my heart
with all of its plunder:

the tears left unwept
from failures and blows
the bitter defeats
the anger and woe

the conflict within
that could not be hid
the struggle long-fought
with vigorous id

I long to march on
in dumb innocence
continue to stuff
my nascent conscience

but there lays my heart
and I cannot leave
it foundering here
in dust while I grieve

the night long endures
with no end in sight
and darkness derides
the concept of light

yet there is a whisper
that bids me be strong
portends after all
a spectacular dawn

and so I sit patient
and wait for release
from this vigil beside
my tattered beliefs.

Rodeo

My brain doesn’t

think

it leaps
out of the gate
bucking furiously
over normality’s head

racing

from one extreme to the other:

adoration
repulsion

elation
despair

bravado
terror

scattering rationality
with its horns
as it hurtles
back and forth
across the arena

and I

can only stand and watch
clown-clothed and
equipped with a
butterfly net
when a lasso
is what I need

diving
into barrels
to escape

its rampage.

Ingredients

Our hearts are made
of earth and clay
of cells and blood
and DNA

a tree is made
of cellulose
of branch and leaf
and breeze that blows

the stars are made
of fire and light
of wishes made
on summer nights

and oceans come
from storms and rain
from ancient tears
no one can name

but mostly I
am empty space
and dismal thoughts
I can’t erase

I wish to be
an unnamed star
a tree, a raindrop
yet here we are

a soulless thing
I cannot be
and so I sit
myself and me

and try to hope
and strive to stay
this human thing
for one more day.

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