Tag Archives: grief

The Death of My Mother as a Movie in Post-Production

The camera pans slowly, no
more quick cuts because
by now the
director’s used to
directing, the producer’s
used to producing, the dead
are used to being
shoved into a little porcelain
cup in the dirt, coupled with
those little porcelain
pythos at the back of our
mental shelving units.

The take is edited so that good
parts come first, and bad
parts are hidden behind
them. The take is edited so that
we aren’t looking at the camera (by
accident) or drowned in
the British Columbian
rain-showers. The take is edited so
that the year is summed up in a
neat little montage, played against
a backdrop of David Guetta:
Titanium and Nine Inch Nails:
La Mer.

Can we please get a mic over
here to catch this important
moment before it degenerates into
something so profoundly unscripted
that we can’t use it in the
finished film? Thanks
very much.

The cast is set, with
lines memorized
and makeup applied, which is
kinda funny because the audience
won’t see the reality of
weeks spent rehearsing dance
numbers and musical
arrangements. Instead, all they
see is the finished product, sparkling
and a little too perfect, a full
year after the actual
event has occurred.

Post-production is always like a
unicycle trying to tap
dance: the question lies in how
to balance budget and performance
quality while trying to make a lot
of noise in time to the music and
also not fall down. They do get it right
eventually (it’s all about finding the
right person to head the team) and
there’s a few thousand dollars left
for graveyard flowers and college
tuition deposits.

I imagine it
now. The premiere. The theater
fills with anticipatory
remarks. The hush falls suddenly with
the rising curtain, and legal
guardians quiet their adoptive children:
the show has begun.

The fateful year of
production, now condensed
into two hours of select highlights
and all the important bits, plays
out in front of a sold-out
crowd. The end is
heartbreaking. The screen turns
black like six p.m. The credits roll
to thundering applause. A standing
ovation.

M.
April 25/17

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Soulcrushing

Close your eyes
and think

Does it almost feel
like nothing
changed at all?

Try to let that
sink in
and open those
little eyes again

Go soulcrushing
with the best of them
Like when I’m
crying on the floor
at midnight,
wishing I had muscles
strong enough
to heave up dinner

Holding my own
fingers, cause
no one’s there to
hold my hand
as if it mattered

Screaming dead-aired
screams
Weeping without tears
as I –
Or as you, rather –
wait for the melancholy
to pass

Snot dripping down
your chin and into
your eyes
Mingling with your
shaking breath
and shaking limbs

Close your eyes
and think

Think about anything
but think about it
before you die

M.
Feb 20/17

I Break

It took me three long days
to break your necklace
just like I break
everything here
Like that time when
twenty-four hours with you
cost me 500 bucks
And then it turns out that
it was good to see you
but those twenty-four hours
may have been
the shittiest of my life
’cause we were
saying goodbye

Then I broke my house when
I was working a forty-hour shift
one day and
everybody else was
picking up boxes
and then putting them down again
in a meaningless cycle
for clarity
As if planning a funeral
takes any time
– or family – at all these days
And the most important
thing in the world
wasn’t my insurance
or the money

I broke my mind when
I was counting fifty-dollar bills
in my pocket
and I couldn’t make them
add up to my mother
like they do in 1984
when four plus four
somehow ends up as five
And they just tell me
meaningless ecclesiastes
over and over
and over again
While I was still thinking
that grief is an okay thing
like the blog-posts
all tell me
When IRL grief is just
a word you use to
please your therapist
before you go out
to burn some gasoline
with friends who know only
how to distract you
from your long-term problems

It took a little longer to
break my feelings ’cause
they’re not quite
broken in yet
Trained to wait for
the most imperfect moment
before they erupt into tears
And I’ve known
for a little while
that emotions might even
be real
but I break them anyways

I break them when
my favorite people
turn out to be really good
at things that aren’t very
helpful right now
Like sitting down and
talking about
a video game that relies
solely on the principle
of meaningless distraction
which is one of
the few things I don’t need
because maybe talking
about this impossibility
will make it seem more real
and prove that you
mean whatever words
you text me when
I’m sobbing in bed
at three AM

At the same time
I break superfluous connections
when people who I’ve known
for somewhere around
the last five minutes
ask me how I’m doing
And I just answer “good”
and “fine”
since I can’t explain how
there are still a few things
in my life that make
the mess seem bearable
for a few hours
each day
Yet even they aren’t ever enough
to fill the gaping hole
that’s been forming
in my chest lately

So when these people ask
if I really mean it when
I say I’m okay
I think of laughing hysterically
right before I cry
as if they both aren’t exactly
the same thing
right at this moment
I wish my friends would be
the ones to hug me
or the ones to listen to
my two-hour long rant about
freaking everything
Except I know that
my friends are the people
willing to give me space
when I need it
even if they misjudge me
and give me too much space
inside my head

The last thing I break
is that thing inside somewhere
that doesn’t really have
any words connected to it
except that it probably
writes my poetry for me
I don’t remember how
but I break it when
everything goes grey
and it rips the words from that space
until I’m all bloody inside
and the garbled sentences
flicker out

M.
May 7/16