Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


my mother had an incessant compulsive screech
like a chainsaw in a horror movie,
my father a bull-like bellow – a get out of here
& leave me alone kind of thing – like a dog stuck
inside his own lust
I was a quiet skinny little meerkat – always watching,
afraid of anyone who might discover my existence
& push me back into the gaping black hole of myself
I fell into my own voice,
railed at God & my parents until I was hoarse,
ran off & fell in love with the strangest men
terrified of anyone who wasn’t commitment-phobic,
discovered Greenwich Village & the Haight/Ashbury
beatniks, hippies, grass, LSD, mushrooms, speed
uppers, downers, mescaline, hashish,
opium, THC, Quaaludes & poetry,
folk, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues,
good trips & bad trips & friends & enemies
the world opened up for me and showed
its beating heart – I thought I was magic
I screamed & woke up & had a baby girl
who grew up to hate me almost as much
as I hated my own memory of a mother
I ran away & when we found each other again
she tried not to ignore me – I tried not to scream
I tried to meditate – my back on the mattress,
my legs braced – up against the wall
my cat curled up beside me & purred
my daughter stood in the doorway – nonplussed
Nancy Gauquier lives in central coastal California with her two cats. Her writing has appeared in some anthologies and many literary magazines, including Nerve Cowboy, The Stray Branch and Liquid Imagination.

Categories: Poetry

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4 replies

  1. Nancy,I don”t believe you’ve ever opened up about yourself so much. Wish I had known you back in the sixties,but glad I met you in the eighties.

  2. great poem Nancy. I miss being your neighbor and sharing creativity with you.

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