It’s nothing exceptional that I’ve experienced a broken heart. Multiple times. Not only over failed relationships, but that is the circumstance that we most commonly think of when we think of a broken heart. We all have different ways that we deal with the garbage that life throws at us (or, more appropriately stated, that we get ourselves into), some healthy and some… not so much.
So, a few years ago, trying to put myself back together after the most recent heartbreak, I turned to the two things that any literature-loving crazy person would turn to – poetry and vodka. I like to call this summer my “out of control” summer, because, well, I was a little out of control. When you reach a certain depth in your sadness, your ability to think long-term gets trumped by the need to find instantaneous comfort, understand, and, sometimes, oblivion.
Not everything that came out of that summer was positive, but I did come to fully appreciate Charles Bukowski, a writer that my brother admired way before I was old enough to “get it”. The above photo is a picture that my brother sent to me via text while he was in California one year. Possibly even during my “out of control” summer.
I was specifically drawn to Love is a Dog From Hell, because it is, isn’t it? I tore through the poems one, two, three, dozens of times, savoring each word as though it were the most honest word that anyone ever wrote. I didn’t have anyone else to cuddle, so I cuddled this book. I wrapped myself around its spine, allowing the pages to know me in the vulnerability, the purity, of the fetal position. In many ways, this collection of poems were the significant other that I was lacking – hating, but wanting.
the beautiful young girl
walking past the graveyard–
I stop my car at the signal
I see her walking past the graveyard –
as she walks past the iron fence
I can see the iron fence
and I see the headstones
and the green lawn.
her body moves in front of the iron fence
the headstones do not move.
doesn’t anybody else see this?
does she see those headstones?
if she does
she has wisdom that I don’t have
for she appears to ignore them.
her body moving in its
and her long hair is lighted
by the 3 p.m. sun.
the signal changes
she crosses the street to the west
I drive west.
I drive my car down to the ocean
and run up and down
in front of the sea for 35 minutes.
seeing people here and there
and eyes and ears and toes
and various other parts.
nobody seems to care.