I am slowly working my way through editing my poetry manuscript. Some
of these poems I have not seen in a year or two, some are more recent.
But it is an interesting thing to go back and go through. Not a one
escapes change, but some only have one word or a comma changed.
I am deep in my cave, it is almost put back together and the Mad Kitten
is just…happy happy. And I am starting to feel happy happy too. It is
an amazing thing to make a choice and then act on it to return oneself
So I went back and took a look at a poem that I am reading tonight locally, no promo with that, I am just showing up a
certain place and opening my mouth. I didn’t put the title as the
heading of this post as it is the title of a larger collection of mine
and used often, but this is where it all stems from.
And btw, no chapter today in the book – tomorrow I will start reading and recording again.
This is the final edit I believe of:
The Madness of Desire
Sew me a robe
made from skeins of history,
wield your golden needle
and make the stitches true.
Dress me in mourning
and douse the room
–there will be no feast tonight.
Seize the revelers that gather at the gate.
Press them to service as mourners.
shall begin with a shroud.
Away with all advisors!
Away with couriers of news!
Away with all this youth,
–for I have need of experience tonight.
Bring me torch and flame
and before mourner’s wail
I will undo the record of my shame.
To ash distraction shall crumble.
Stables of gilded bone become coal,
and all I have allowed chance near
shall away on wind blow.
I shall step in traveler’s kit,
a stranger from my own ruin,
and begin my pilgrim’s trek
fair free from all
but what remains within.
You think me mad,
such a high compliment
I take that to be,
for I want no more
of this callous death you have named
I want no more of darkness
you call ‘light’
or love that is not freedom
For I have remembered
the desire that guides me.
A love that I do not now know,
but rested with once,
only to take my leave.
Not realizing what I sought
lay with that company.
The gods being gods
like to play first
before offering sympathy,
besotted on promise,
forgot my longing.
They let me stumble and drift,
entertaining in my hollow excess.
Till now reminded
my willingness to spend a lifetime
waiting for what may never come.
Relying on chance
rather than step.
You think this is sacrifice,
this leaving walled gardens and warmth?
It is not.
For I know that even if my desire is not met,
I will have lived a better life.
then any kind I found here,
where there is no difference
between grave and bloom.
My anger is wed to my grief,
the fine lines that drape my eyes.
My heart beats equal now,
knowing not the difference
between love or riot,
a distinction thought easy by the young.
It is not my heart anymore
I leave to make such choices,
but my soul,
that is governed by all,
not just froze moments.
My soul who is guiding me now,
away from comfort I mistook for judgment,
indecision and fear
I celebrated as choice.
For though my heart once freed me,
it was too frail to prevent this sickening of senses,
my steady weakness for safety.
All these years past,
in my ever bigger and ever brighter and more crowded halls,
I have dressed my sorrow in laughter
and chased it from the room,
never wanting to hear its’ question
for fear of gathering gloom.
Better a clown.
Better some shining false jewel,
then for me to face the pain
of having missed you.
What madness possessed me
to think that love could be subdued,
barricaded behind cold walls
and silenced with good food,
ordered and controlled by
season and holiday.
It was madness I tell you,
madness to imagine that.
And here now late,
late I am to have awaken
and only by accident fate
to have found the strength
to stand before all I have known,
as it burns to the ground.
By dying flame shall my first miles be shown.
My madness now is not the thought,
that by retracing my steps
I would find you again at rest,
but that perhaps,
in the few years I have left,
I can once again find
you believed me to be.
And if I find nothing more nor less,
would at last
give my soul
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