Sunflower Meditations I want to be like a sunflower: to be young and to follow the sun’s glow, to be old and continue growing tall even as death knocks on its door, to keep its head up even as it witnesses the loss of the other life, keep climbing high as if attempting to reach the sun’s sacred salvation. Birthright My father is the fly that circles around dead and already digested things, drinking his diet of decay, dreaming of nothing grander than this fly-by dive, thriving on destruction. Eventually, he developed into what he consumes: a diminished fraction of what he once was, a dim decaying shell of a bug buzzing circles around his deformed body’s demolition. I am a product of reproduction. I am a fly because my father was but I have a fondness for the sweeter things. I find fulfillment on ripened fruit. The pulpy pit of a peach pulls me away from the puzzling predicament of my fly-status birthright. I may be from the Diptera order but I will paint these wings – hope for a butterfly’s beauty or a dragonfly’s grace. Bio: Charles K. Carter is a queer poet and educator from Iowa. He shares his home with his artist husband and his spoiled pets. He enjoys film, yoga, and live music. Melissa Etheridge is his ultimate obsession. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. His poems have appeared in several literary journals. He is the author of Chasing Sunshine (Lazy Adventurer Publishing), Splinters (Kelsay Books), and Safety-Pinned Hearts (Alien Buddha Press).
Tag: Fevers of the Mind 5 Overcome
Poem “Watch” by HLR in Fevers of the Mind 5: Overcome
1. Minutes these relentless finite minutes of mine he says we have to make ours count but I just count the hours down down down down more concerned with surviving them than living them, with tolerating them than filling them, watching the spokes skip around the Death Counter’s dial, studying the perfect face of my bedside clock, knowing that the meaning of life is that it stops: it stops, but not soon enough for me (too soon for most though, apparently) 2. Our love died when I lost track of time: we thought we had so much of it. But while I’ve been writing this the clock has stayed in my eye line and you’ve crept a minute closer to your death while I’ve leapt a minute closer to mine. Oh, we had the time of our lives, for all that time, all of the time. (It’s really nice knowing that neither of us will make it out of this alive) 3 In the hours when I cannot bear to be alive I just sit and watch my watch, watch my past growing, watch my future decreasing, knowing that I can always find comfort in the movement of the metal hands that live on my left wrist, and in the glow of those digital green lines, shape-shifting in the corner of the darkened room, watching you sleep away your minutes while I think/worry/wish away mine. Every minute propels us forwards toward a good thing, or great things, a tragedy, an opportunity, a nightmare, a breakthrough, a love, a loss, a success, our deaths. (It’s only a matter of time) 4. I stand outside the jeweller’s shop and stop and watch the clocks: High Street Hypnotherapy. I light a cigarette and press my forehead to the glass and watch the watches, trying to catch one out for being too slow, or maybe all the others are fast? But they move like, well, they move like fucking clockwork and so I remain with my head against the pane, killing time in the rain, in pain, killing time, literally watching time disappear. - You’d call this a waste of a time but it’s not, it’s progress, it’s necessary progress: staying alive until the time comes to die. Now that I’ve written this, I’m three minutes closer to that time and now that you’ve read this, so are you: closer to your demise as well as mine. (don’t worry, I’ll go first: watch)
Bio: HLR (she/her) writes poetry and short prose about living with chronic mental illness, trauma, and grief. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming with Misery Tourism, SCAB Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, and Emerge Literary Journal. She is the winner of the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Prize 2021. She is the author of History of Present Complaint (Close to the Bone) and Portrait of the Poet as a Hot Mess (Ghost City Press). HLR lives in north London where she was born and raised. Twitter: @HLRwriter