“Escape” – a Haibun

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Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

 

Escape

It will happen in the stillness and cover of night, when all are asleep. I will grab the bag I keep packed under my bed, grab my few prized possessions and put them in a satchel, and just leave. No sad goodbye notes, no see-ya-soons, not even a sorry-I-had-to-go. You won’t even know I am missing for the biggest part of the day. You will just think I am sleeping. By then, I’ve hit the bank for a withdraw and then off to the Amtrak station. You will probably think I’ve gone off on holiday to the beach, but no. I am headed to Maine. After a few days, you will assume I am still coming back, but no. I will be staying there. I won’t call, nor write, not even an email. When I do get there, I will change my name and start a new life. My life. Not the life you want me to live, not the life I should live, not even the life you thought I wanted all of these years. Did you even know me at all?

in darkness, shadowed
raven whispers her retreat
life’s wisdom, her prize

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.


Note: Haibun is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. Wikipedia

The Mourning of Us

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Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

The Mourning of Us

How I wish I had known you
before the coma came
and then the awakening —
they all said you were a happy child
full of laughter and joy
but I’ve only known the sad
melancholy child — eyes cast downward
a permanent frown creased upon her face

If only your memory hadn’t been erased
perhaps I would recognize you
and you, me —
I’ve never known the person
who stares at me in the mirror
all these long and lonely decades
just as I didn’t recognize
mother, father or sister back then

Mother said it was nonsense
that I couldn’t remember
and I believed, I believed her
wanting desperately to fit in
but I never did —
I had no refuge from my plight
no one to hold me and tell me
everything will be alright

I carved my own path through life
a windy, twisted road of darkened forests
seeking shelter in caves so deep and dank
and although I longed for the light
I found no solace there —
I hid from the sun, from laughter
and the people I should have embraced
but trust was an enemy; doubt, my friend

Even now I want to enfold you in my arms
heal you and heal me too —
I’d give up lifetimes to erase
what that illness stole from us
to know love and laughter
and the peace that comes with wholeness —
How long should I mourn for you, for me
and the life we should have lived?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

A Little Poetic Teaser

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Photo credit: wilhelm Donkor Pinterest

See if you can figure out WHY I wrote this poem…. Hint is in the title!

Nonagon

Odd numbers are no good for parties
(so the experts say)
but we nine always did just fine
We had no desire to couple-up
just dance & drink
chat & get high
Then one
by
one
we drifted apart
’til none but I
reside

©March 2020, Lori Carlson

The 2018 WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest

This Year’s Judge:

Susanna Lang, Poet, Travel Notes from the River Styx

This is a great opportunity—exclusively for poets! Submit your entry before the deadline!

The winner of the WaterSedge Poetry Contest will receive:

$500 cash prize

Publication of the poetry chapbook in both print and e-book formats

Amazon distribution for Kindle and print

25 free print copies

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Entry Fee: $20

Page Count Limit: 24-48 pages

Watch the video for more details!

CLICK HERE TO READ GUIDELINES AND TO SUBMIT

http://writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/

We’re thrilled and honored to have Susanna Lang as this year’s judge!

Susanna Lang has taught literacy and literature and led numerous adult poetry workshops. She has published original poems and translations in such journals as Poetry East, Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, The Baltimore Review, Prime Number Magazine, Jubilat, Comstock Review, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. She has won numerous awards, including a 1999 Illinois Arts Council Award, the Inkwell Poetry Competition in 2009, the Prime Number Poetry Prize in 2015, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She was a 2010 and 2015 Hambidge Fellow and received a 2011 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.

Susanna Lang’s newest collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in summer 2017 from Terrapin Books. Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language.

http://writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/

The Aftermath of Your Betrayal — Poetry

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art credit: unknown (if anyone knows the artist of this piece, please comment below so I can credit them. Thanks!)

The Aftermath of Your Betrayal

Cupid has judged me
Found me unworthy–
not enough, again

So I bind these breasts
this clitoris and vagina
tight-fisted in steel

Unbreakable
Impenetrable

No one shall pleasure me now
Not even myself

© 2018 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming Poetry Contest Deadlines!

It’s Poetry month and as such, Poets & Writers has some poetry contest deadlines for you to check out. Have a peek here. Everything from single poems, groups of poems, short fiction, flash fiction, and even one press looking for a second book of poems by African American poets. Check it out! Grand prizes for all of these is $1000 and publication! There are entry fees ranging from $3 to $20.

Announcement & Update

Hello friends

First, I would like to make an announcement. Two of my poems, Seeking Balance and Unripen, have just been published in In-flight Literary Magazine, Issue #8. You can view them here:

http://inflightlitmag.com/issues/issue8/

And now I would like to give you all an update. I am still not at 100%. Still working through some personal issues and making some life-changing decisions. I am still not sure when I will be back and writing on a regular basis. In fact, because of these issues that I am dealing with, I’ve had no desire to write. I am hoping this is not permanent.

I miss you all and I miss interacting with everyone. Thank you all for your comments and well-wishes in my absence. I hope you are all enjoying your summer or winter, wherever you are in the world.

Much love and blessings

Lori

Suicide and Coffee – Poetry

Suicide and Coffee

My friend tells me that each morning
she awakens with suicide and coffee
on her mind, and then she has a smoke

I want to tell her how my mind
entirely bypasses the coffee
how suicide is the first thought
second thought, all day and night thought

I want to tell her that if I must stay
a simple razor blade will do
crisscrossing over old scars, gashes
just deep enough to bleed out the pain
or awaken the senses and escape numbness

How I want to see my blood trickling
down, down, down
my thighs or arms like red rivers
creating their own pathway
through my white valleys of flesh

But instead, I sit silently, coffee in hand
swallowing her pain as I stifle my own.

©2011 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

An Illusion of Song – Poetry

An Illusion of Song

I am not a melody of the heart nor sweet
I am the rain that cascades down
a black umbrella at a funeral procession
A reminder that what is and what was
can no longer be

I am the whipping of wind
against an abandoned screen door
No cheerful voices resound
through these desolate walls
nor footsteps upon barren floors

I am the howling of a deranged mind
bound to self and room
My screams heard but misunderstood
You will not find any beautiful tones here
no timbre so fine
only the crashing of waves against a beaten shore

© 2011 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.