Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kristen de Kline #116 The best scars (thanks R.S.)

The best scars you'll never see.

The broken brained.
We use the same four digit pin for every transaction.
Never get the hang of phone banking.
Can't remember verbal passwords.
Prefer poetry because it's shorter and we don't get lost.
Poetry prefers us because it    weaves and winds
all over the place    like a rhizome   teases us     plays games
keeps us     alive and     kicking

Broken brained.

The black and white dead people.
I sit in the hotel room     leaf through the photo albums
Lots of black and white photos of dead people
Five or six overdoses
The end of a rope     a cell
Hanging     finger nail marks etched on her neck
she tried to stop but it was too     late, the coroner said
Car crashes
Pills & wine
A bullet or two     he didn't dodge
Survivor guilt     they call it    I sit in the hotel room
touch the dead people     smother them in kisses, black and white
and fading     fast

You don't like me talking to them.
Say it makes me     melancholy
catatonic     zoned out     numb.

I don't want to join them     today.  That's progress.

I still talk to them     most days they talk back.

At 2am 3 am 4am you find me in my Chelsea Hotel room, blackened  
looking out that window     at what

Neat stitches cut across my neck.
You didn't know someone slit my throat     once      did you.

Walking out.
She walked out on us when we were     young
Turned up the volume     Dvořák New World Symphony    wailed
walked     out
kept walking
did   not   come   back

Turn up the volume.   That hurt.   Hurt that.

When we were     young    things turned a little
stranger     without warning     silence grew, crazier
by the minute  

The best scars you'll never see.


  1. Dear Kristen, That was glorious. Crazier by the minute. Kept walking. That's progress. :)

  2. Thanks Rob for listening to another poem in the Dictionary of Scars:)

  3. poetry prefers us
    flash lure
    we squirm a little on the hook
    then poetry must find a good rock
    to bash out the living daylights

    1. And how those living daylights are bashed out- ouch!


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