Monday, February 21, 2011

Undertow



Bottle slung against my parched lips,
deep-throated swallow, there’s a hollow
space behind my blood-shot vision.

I’m on my knees, worshipping
a toilet where my liquid guts
get flushed like yesterday
or last month. I can’t remember.

In the hallway, I stumble, fall hard
knock my teeth against floorboards.

My naked legs splayed, my naked arms splayed,
my belly wrenches and heaves spit.

Even the gods have abandoned me
lost among the half-thoughts, littering my brain.

How to unfurl this aching fist, how to quit
punching the brick-face of this tomb.

The lid closes like my eyes,
slides slowly shut, light receding
to a single slit, then darkness.

The gods say we are powerless to the pull,
the wet undertow that churns
the brown, brackish sea where open-mouthed
we gulp and swallow and gulp and swallow
until we are spat out with seaweed
and other drowned things.

A storm breaks upon my face.

Remorse is wet
and I am soaked in it.

Later, I will sleep it off again,
and wake to the liquid pull and drift,
shelled shard of a bottle
poised against my wrist.

© Ami Mattison

Flicker photo courtesy of Sister72

For Jingle Poetry Potluck

10 comments:

  1. That's a great read. Rather depressing but it really holds your attention. Well written!

    http://jessicasjapes.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/home/

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  2. Ohhhh *gasp* stoppittttttt

    *falls over with hilarity*

    You posted this for the relentlessly cheerful anime bunny crowd?

    *staggers away, weak with mirth*

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  3. haha shay...i got an award for you at my place...it glitters...lol. sorry to hijack your comments ami...

    as far as the verse...ahem...i like it, great imagery. i like how you come around to the bottle again...they may say we are slaves to the tides but i would argue otherwise...only way i am drowning is if they hold me under...vivid..i have been in front of the procelin worship center though...ugh

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  4. I've tried this method but learned to abstain. Teflon can be more impervious than stone.

    Purely on it's own merits, I like this piece a lot for it's directness and depth. It's describing all the burned out rubble and polluted landmarks of that easy place to get to that can be so hard to leave. A fine poem.

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  5. ". . spat out with seaweed and other drowned things." this is beautifully terrible. Well done!

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  6. so brilliant...
    you take my breath away.
    A++

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  7. Thanks, y'all! I appreciate the thoughtful comments and the...um, humor. ;)

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  8. This is one strong poem! I'd like to hear it read in rehab. centres, street centre's and hospitals where the spoken poem could truly resonnate with those still in the clutches of addiction. My daughter was part of a dramatic dance team who danced before Government officials in Brazil amongst others. I took them to the local street centre for a performance and saw hardened men moved as I'd never seen them moved. Go Ami!!

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  9. great.. my potluck's here: http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/metamorphosis/

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  10. Greetings, Happy Firday! Blessings…

    Friendship Awards, Enjoy!
    Thanks for the support, You Rock!
    xxx

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