"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Somewhere in The Chorus


"To write a blues song is to regiment riots and pluck gems from graves."
     ~ Etheridge Knight


She’s pouring pain into blue notes
and bleeding it through a microphone.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when we’re crying.

She’s pulling diamonds from bones,
digging her heels into survival.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when the valley
gets shorter.

She’s singing to the choir
and collecting amens.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when the blues
writes us into the chorus.

©Susie Clevenger 2018


I'm sorry I disappeared for a while. I started out strong with a commitment to write 30 poems in 30 days, but life hit hard and I just couldn't write. My favorite uncle died April 5th. It's a long story, but basically because of the failure of the medical community to diagnosis his illness soon enough, he starved to death. The week of his death he was finally diagnosed with Achalasia. It was too late. What part of a man can't eat, can't even get water through his esophagus makes it imperative you find a reason for it?  I have been plagued with "if only." The biggest one being, if only I had lived closer.  



14 comments :

Sherry Marr said...

Susie, I am so sorry about your uncle. So many stories about the diagnosis coming too late - nearly every story of a death. It is unacceptable. But thank you for posting this video. I had not heaerd of Beth, but only a few notes in she became my new favourite. A change gonna come....we live in hope. We have never needed it so badly.

Gillena Cox said...

Nice images, happy Earth Day

Much love...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is such a powerful poem, Susie! Once again I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could do something to lessen the pain .. please know that i m thinking of you and that you're in my prayers. *Hugs*

Especially like; "She’s pulling diamonds from bones, digging her heels into survival."

Ellecee said...

Susie, I, too, am sorry to hear about your uncle.
Love your poem, it truly “doesn’t matter a out a name” “she is singing to the choir and collecting amens” and so are we :-)

Jim said...

Been missing you, Susie, really have. Blues singers are specially gifted. I'm glad your prompt was to write a blues song. I did get in t g e right mood for that.
Sorry about your uncle, most of have or have had a favorite uncle.
..

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Sad indeed to read the story of your uncle. "What if you'd lived closer" is self-torture. You didn't: fact. There may well be others who deserve blame – but meanwhile, his suffering is over now. (I said that to myself often after my husband died, when I went into "if only..." Eventually started reminding myself: "That doesn't matter to him now. That doesn't hurt him any more.")

Blues is my favourite music and your poem is wonderful. And oh, that singer!!! And song.

Toni Spencer said...

Such a powerful poem. I am sorry about your uncle. If only is one of the biggest givers of guilt. You didn't live closer. I am hoping he had a wife or children who should/could have been more proactive in his care. Take care of yourself. Thanks for this wonderful prompt.

Kim Russell said...

I love those blue notes, Susie, that bleed through a microphone and the leitmotif of 'we all look alike...'

Cressida de Nova said...

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when the blues
writes us into the chorus.

Amen to that !

Terrible news about your uncle and the way he died. Great poem and music. Take it further. I know it's hard work but your uncle deserves someone to speak up for him.
I did it for my mother...it was a terrible ordeal but I won.That may not mean you will...but you gave it your best shot and that's what counts!Take care !

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Fireblossom said...

Sometimes some unvarnished blues is the only thing. I'm very sorry about your relative. You mustn't make it your fault though, because it isn't.

I received your package today and am thrilled silly, Susie. One item is in my window and the others keep getting picked up and looked at. THANK YOU.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I'm sorry about your loss, but this poem is absolutely perfectly done. Yes, the universal tragedy of loss makes for easily recognizable art. Try not to torture yourself.
Love, Mosk

willow_switches said...

I've been thinking about you since you mentioned your uncle's passing soon after the fact, and felt uncomfortable "intruding" in a more direct manner. I'm so terribly sorry that it came to the end, by the ways and means that it did. And as others have mentioned, you really shouldn't blame yourself for "if only" - easier said than done, yes, especially when mourning and being, rightfully upset and angered that so much went unaccounted for during this. As others have mentioned too, perhaps, it will help to re-direct your thoughts to allowing him to rest, and know his pain is over. Sometimes, in life, we sing the blues, simply because it is the only reasonable choice, and yes, change will come .... one step at a time.

Sara McNulty said...

I am sorry about your uncle. we hear these stories a great deal.

I loved "She’s singing to the choir
and collecting amens."

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