Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Who Knew

Who knew? It was the night
before the world ended,
and we sat up for no real
reason, just talking.
Before I knew it, you were
sitting on the front steps smoking
all the cigarettes I had smuggled in
from Seattle. Rain dripped off
the rotting soffit edge and filled
the ashtray with water;
it was disgusting but we kept
smoking. There was little else
to say, so we smoked.
Is memory just a trick,
a dog-licked host, a slick
little biscuit, hairy and lost,
absent from its good golden box?
Is the litany I repeat
repeated more for its
resplendent sound than
for any appeal to your grace?
I doubt, Lora, doubt
that you have thought of
me even once in the last
ten years: in the last twenty,
even. Though I have
thought about you
every single day.
Your name is always the first
word I form–always the last
word I form. I stand in
the Burger King and
ask for Lora. I answer
the phone wondering
if it is you. I write
Lora on my students’ papers,
sometimes meaning
A, sometimes F.
I find your name tattooed
in blood across my knuckles
and written in Sharpie on
the tops of my sneakers.
Who knew?
Carl James Grindley grew up on an island on Canada’s pacific coast but now lives and works in the south Bronx. His last book of poetry, Lora and The Dark Lady, was published in 2013 by Ravenna Press.

*Photo by Amber Luckey, acquired from Flickr.

Categories: Poetry

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62 replies

  1. This is beautiful!

  2. Lora must be pretty special to deserve this.

  3. Interesting. I like it πŸ™‚

  4. To be simple, I like this a lot. Glad I found it!

  5. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  6. I read this while listening to mix of Kanye West’s American Boy while sitting on a train. It was an awesome experience.

  7. Whoa, this just made me feel some type of way.

  8. Reblogged this on brionchloei and commented:
    what a poem

  9. Beautiful! The rhythm, images, language…great piece. Thank you.

  10. Fantastic!!!!

  11. Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. I just want to read and re-read this.

  12. Exquisite. There are so many dangling threads here that I want to pull on to unravel more of the story…

  13. This reminded me of being a teenager. It’s good.

  14. Amazing…. Short but catchy. I really like those little pieces of article and embedded imagery, which tend to speak a lot.

  15. This is how I feel about my first love… Thanks.

  16. I loved this post. Thanks for sharing!

  17. A piece of art .. loved it ..

  18. Beautiful and interesting.
    Its good to know that poetry is not dead πŸ™‚

  19. Awesome. Raw, real, I feel it. Great writing!

  20. this is fantastic. gripped my insides. I still feel them their in my throat. going now to read this again!

  21. Beautiful flow and resonance. Thank you for sharing this

  22. Your feelings are expressed well in this poem. I get it!

  23. Sir, commendable work. I must say, an absolutely different way of writing a poem yet having a unique defination of writing a poem. Real good work

  24. Reblogged this on The Basically and commented:
    This is why I love poetry.

  25. Was Gary Snyder an influence? Heard shades of him, sloshing across a stream, thinking of where a loved one may be beside his thoughts.. enjoyed the poem, thanks.

  26. Beautiful!!! I love this. Powerful. It is hard when you have someone that still resonates so strongly with you, but you have no idea where they are or what they are doing. Or if they think about you. It’s like being haunted. Thank you for sharing.

  27. wonderful imagery….breathtaking

  28. Wow, this is really beautiful and powerful!

  29. This is so beautiful. Kudos on being freshly pressed

  30. Wow, very intriguing poem. I want to read more.

  31. One word Awsome

  32. Reblogged this on lifeofsarcasticme and commented:
    this is just too good

  33. it really made me gasp and took me …brilliant work !

  34. Wow, you have such talent. Great job!

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