The Bandit and the Poet: Crack-up Poems from Long Ago

As told in Chapter 5 of The Online Other Woman, it was through my sister the Sierra Bandit that I first met Ransom Paid, and it was through Paid at TV Dinner that I first met Dan who would be my husband until his head changed his heart.

Sierra was once friends with a poet. He titled a group of his poems “Bandit Poems,” and yes, they were about her. These old poems tell a crack-up tale of their own, so I place them here where the Muse sings the dry and cracking song of how love dies because, of course, the poet never kept his final promises.

BANDIT POEMS

“And with that I ascend into the regions of the ice mountains and am lost there forever.”
— Kafka

One.

August.
An extinct organ
is loose somewhere
in my body.

Indecision
haunts my tables
like a suicide note.

I dream of your hair
crawling through wet roots.

All the addresses
are avoiding me.

Two.

(I am a cloud
watch for me
in the sky – from a letter to me late
July from the Bandit)

Every time I remember
the music you never played
on my piano of hands and feet,
eyelids and lashes,
it breaks my spine of hearts.

I suffer a disease
common among gold prospectors:
enlargement of the expectations.

(I am a stone;
watch for me in your shoe.)

Three.

December.
It is raining
in all the photographs.

I keep falling into my body
like a cave falling through the ground.

Your white dress is rooted
like a tent in my brain.

I feel from the borderlands
of your dark forehead and cheeks
the weather that turns nomads south.

Four.

I have put all my thumbs
in one basket,

counted my bridges
before they collapsed.

I won’t hold your breath.

Five.

Your hair passes my face
like a bird
leaving nothing behind.

I wanted to be
as close to you
as the light
to the surface of the moon,

but I feel like a planet
that no one will ever set foot on.

Six.

(“At dusk you appear, a schoolgirl still,
a school girl …
At dusk you appear, still taking exams.”
— Boris Pasternak)

You must be sitting now
in a wooden desk.

I think of your legs
crossed under the darkness
of your dress.

Does your teacher know
that outside of his school
the clouds carry your name
through the sky?

That in his classroom
you are as subversive as a tree?

You carry your books home
like cages.

Seven.

Your mind has left us behind
roaming the hills like an animal
we were trained to fear in childhood.

When I see you in your wooden clothes
when you look back at me, even
the first-aid kit of my heart fails.

I don’t want yours to be the body
found in spring when the snow begins
to creep back up the mountains.

Eight.

I will come
to all your birthdays
all your weddings
all your funerals.

I love you for my life;
you are a friend of mine.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s