My youngest brother committed suicide not too long ago, and I’m still trying to absorb what happened. Sometimes I feel sad. Sometimes I feel angry (please reference the poem I posted earlier “Now That It Has Seeped Into Us,”) although I find my anger dissipating. Sometimes I feel lonely (please reference the next posting). Sometimes I feel as if I need bitter humor:
After Your Sudden Departure…
I dreamed you drove your hot-fast Fiat into Hades,
blasted past the toll booth over the new bridge,
where boat-keeper Charon shook his bony fists
as your turbos howled over the River Styx,
then you stomped the gas when spotting Cereberus
the gate-keeper, its three dog-monster heads
snapping too late as you sped beneath its gut,
to where the damned suicides drift, in Hell’s seventh ring.
Then you just had to disturb the shades’ self-pity
Last night my wife and I saw a woman lecturing on TV about how women simply have so many more words than men. Evidently, it’s another of our many failings. And she’s right. Part of what I attempt in the next poem is show the sorts of fears we men try to hide, and how much we lose because of our inability to say what is to happening us.
After our visit to Alsace we stayed a week in Paris. It’s a beautiful city, for the most part, but we noticed again the tensions between cultures and religions. The 2015 attack on Paris revealed a complicated history with tensions still unresolved.
A few years ago my wife and I visited the Alsace region in France, a beautiful area with small towns and charming villages. One day we drove to Siglosheim and up the hill above the town to find a big cemetery containing the remains of 1,400 allied troops that died in the Battle of the Colmar Pocket, one of the bloodiest in World War II. Even though it was a sparkling, bright autumn day, we felt the tragedy the place represents. I went away struck by how the French had organized the graves according to religion. I thought of this cemetery after hearing about the attacks on Paris earlier this year.