Possible title; “Catharsis”?


My friend Matt Murphy is a great guy with a cute little baby daughter. That’s part of his description, to which I would add an emotional, intense, talented, hard-working poet. And he’s not doing it to make coin (though it’d be nice to make a little off it someday) or to impress folks, but just to work out life, so he throws it out on his myspace blog as if to say, “Here I am. Take it or leave it. This is my life,” and most of the time it’s not emotional dumping, but life in all its beautiful, raw messiness. He wrote a poem the other day that rendered me speechless. I won’t try to introduce it with thoughts, because good poetry has an ability to leave the author’s original context and crawl right into the reader’s context (sometimes taking on a completely different meaning and shape) to touch them.

Good poetry’s like that.

Read it silently the first time, then out loud and catch the rhythm of it. This poem’s got life and meaning to it.

It’s as if stress has
built an igloo in my chest and
stops my heart and internal organs
no longer sound pleasant – just dischordant.
Food and drink taste like ashes,so I’m fasting and
I don’t know why or how long it plans on lasting.
I have only two retreats it seems
and neither of them are my chasing dreams.
Just a smiling child I’m afraid I’ll ruin
and a wife as scared as me but
who supports what we are doing.
It’s as if stress has
been an epicenter in my throat
and the shaking earthquake has
left vocal cords limp against the bone.
Oh, coffee does not provide
the nutrition or fluids I need to revive,
and dry eyes stare bleakly
forward since tears won’t precipitate
from Maxwell House today.
It’s as if anxiety has
carved a cave in my brain
and carried all the limestone
stability away.
It’s as if I am afraid
I’ve made too many mistakes.


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