imagination

This is a brain on jalapeno

Wow!  What was in that Veggiburger from the snack bar on the train ?  It was a jalapeno delight reminiscent of Homer Simpson’s night in the desert , the episode where he makes his chili and hallucinates .

It led to the ocean

An old dirt path

Geographically impossible

The Atlantic Ocean could not exist in that place

But no mistaking it

Even in that space

Gray, cold with an undertow

Salty waves

Sand sucked right under the toes

And sand crabs

Tiny toe nippers scurrying around

Excavating the ground

So I sat and sniffed

The pungent saline scent

Willing my left brain to explain,  using logic

Then realized the only explanation

From that hemisphere

Would be psychotic break

No thanks

I’ll try next-door

Right brain will know

And it creatively tossed out

Multiple reasons for an ocean in the city:

“Stumbling through to a parallel universe”

” Dreaming a lucid scenario”

On and on the reasons formed

Until I begged the mind to cease

Because who really knew?

Why not just enjoy the vision

And see where it led

And yes,  I now know …

 

(c) 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMOIR: WHEN MY SONS DISCOVERED POE

 

(part of a personal history for my granddaughter)

 

Many years ago

My DNA finally kicked in

I’ll tell you about it:

Separated, living in an

Affordable apartment complex

Unknown to me

A drug street

This was a time

When my aura was white

Encompassing me

After being scrubbed in the

Painted Desert and

Petrified Forest

Pure and still I was

Moved in, owning only

Card table and chairs

Cot and a Salvation Army

Chest of drawers

That I painted blue

Fridge from the years

Before the birth of my boys

Knock on the door

Five tall men—neighbors

All walked in, inhaling weed

One said,

“Damn! You poorer than we are!”

Missing my true wealth scattered through the rooms:

Jars of herbs and brass dishes of crystals

They nodded and left

But my aura affected them

They became my guardian angels

Worked two jobs: 9 to 5 at the university

Entering strings of T’s and other letters

Into a MAC for a cancer researcher

6 to 10 at a real estate

Typing long contracts using

An old Brother typewriter

Inevitably making a typo in the last few words

Had to redo so I did

On the Elevated each night

Then a bus

There were my five angels

Smoking weed on my steps

Nodding good night, they left

 

So Poe, what’s with the title of the poem

If it doesn’t include the tortured genius?

The apartments were 4 to a building

Lining both sides of a city street

One day everyone moved out

Except me

Rats!

I mean, that’s not an expletive

Like the “Peanuts” characters say

Rats for real

They never came in my space, though

That white aura protecting me

My sons, living with me some days

Or several blocks away with their father on others

Squatted in an apartment above mine

One night, climbed the stairs

They were cross-legged on their sleeping bags

Surrounded by candles

Fourteen-year-old autistic son

Eleven-year-old younger one

Sweet voices, trying to growl and sound scary

Taking turns reading from my old book

Together, in unison:

“Quoth the raven, nevermore…”

My heart, a shooting star of pride

Watching from the shadows

The joy on their faces from century-old words

Making the best of their poorness

Perhaps not realizing the true horror

Surrounding them

As they reveled in the beauty

Blossoming from rampant imagination

Thanks, Poe, you kept us all sane…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: with my sons, about 1991