In my teens, I gushed poetry. (Perhaps no surprise there) As I matured, I didn’t indulge as often, thinking that the art form had become a bit too muddled, overdone in some ways, and it had lost its originality and certainly its audience. Virtually no one, then, read my poems... not even a most beloved boyfriend to whom I penned tender line after line.
When I went to college, I tried to stop writing fiction altogether. It was a profession (among many others) that had been forbidden, and I knew that pursuing my art halfway would seem torturous. So, for two years, I refused to pick up a pen. I had been raised an atheist, but I got down on my knees many times during undergraduate school, begging for the creative drive and the instinct to write to be taken from me.
It didn’t work. My third year of college -my senior year- I felt myself slipping. It’s hard to explain... I’m naturally a very even-keeled person, but after two years of artistic abstinence, I felt like I was going crazy. I had extra credits built up and was able, finally, to take an elective, so I indulged in a creative writing class. It wasn’t my favorite, because the assignments were a little too structured and seemed somewhat contrived; nonetheless, it was an outlet and it nourished me. That sense of inner health began to return; I was myself again.
And Poetry became a part of that ongoing revitalization. Poems are short; they’re a quick way to dig in deep and touch the creative oasis in a relatively short time. I can slip into that sacred artistic space within just a few minutes, when I settle in -pen in hand- to write a poem. Poems are also mirrored gatekeepers: once unlocked, a poem can take you to the heights and the depths in seconds. Reading intense poetry is only for the intensely courageous.
Today, Poetry continues to bring me incredible inspiration, solace, clarity and insight. I adore its lyricism... and the backdrop of meaning that can be created in the rhythm of syllables, as well as hidden in the words themselves. Poetry is an old friend of mine; reassuring, infinitely faceted; comfortable. We know each other, and that in and of itself, sets my mind at ease.
I think Poetry is an amazing and unique way to connect, much like Music. I think it can tie us together at a very core level. I suppose that’s the emotionality of it, breathing life.
I left the diner, rounded
A dead man stood there
at the corner,
Our eyes met.
I knew he couldn’t speak
otherwise I’d have
What did it matter,
to a dead man?...
To My Child Growing
(October 17, 2003) / M. Puechl
tho I’ve never seen your face
I know who you are
tho I’ve never held your hand
I know what it is to touch you
I miss hearing your voice
-from your coos to your tantrums
yet I know how the beat of your heart goes
and I know your songs
one day you’ll arrive and it will be
like you were never missing
yet I miss you now, yes I miss you now
-the way that your heart goes and your lullaby songs.
Betimes my heart aches with the artist that is inside of me...
not the one out here,
not the visible one.
Not the one of light and color.
But the voice, the caller, the visionary one...
the one who pumps my heart
and pinches it hard sometimes;
just to let me know.
-Just to let me know.
The artist inside me has killed before,
a murderer too besides all other things...
With a strangle hold is the preference...
with the pinched clamp of auricle against ventricle...
with the very pulse of life at fingertips~
a delicate way to go...
a romance, really.
The artist holds me so,
Whispering black words between dry crimson lips, right into my brain,
so too is the artist inside of me.
Seductive words... ones that make me cringe and shine.
I want to gallop when the words come;
I want to fly.
I want to merge with the shadows.
I want to jump off barren cliffs and feel my body ripped in two.
I want to sob and let all things to go.
I want to pull the heat of my lover right from her bones and make it mine;
make her understand.
I want to eat of blood and screech past moonless nights.
I want to live, when the words come.
I want to triumph.
I want to pulse with hungry life;
I want to hold hearts.
And let them all to go.
“The Jekyll and Hyde in Me”
Coming to tomorrow,
I chanced upon today,
And quickly grasping presence,
I whispered it away.
-February 28, 1984 / M. Puechl
anchor me not to the wind
her mighty brutality burns me through
anchor me not to the stars
their silent demands leave me aching
anchor me not to your heart
for it is but dust in the making
anchor me, yes, to the warmth here
to the warmth of the moments between us
that is where all-constancy resides
that is where Time ebbs
that is where Time is born
that is where my ship will sail for an ever
and for an ever besides
(January 26, 1984) / M. Puechl
my breath is the sweet summer wind
flowing poems over your sky,
the swift journeying silence
preceding dawn, and the peace
of tender dusk.
I slip among the whispers of your dreams
and the warm air of your silken thoughts,
and catch all beauty from your realm
and make it life.
Slowly I embrace you, as a liquid cloud,
as a wave of sunshine,
and I carry you away...
to the field of your memory,
to the edge of your dreams.
And when before you, interwoven,
lay your loves gone and yet to come,
I softly set you free,