Tuesday, November 16, 2010

one shot: asphalt dreams

orange eye cherry
lit cigarette
pressed to the flesh, tip,
sweet char scent spilling
hair burning, skin shriveling,
puckering scar on my arm

a remainder of days
& ways of life
in the OC, MD
on hot summer daze
(better than a t-shirt,
only cause it lasts longer
& the slogan stays relevant)
but numb, i felt nothing
as she left her mark
stoned, drunk
not giving a...

i tell you this
not to impress
with my past wickedness
but so that you know
i once thought i was
immortal too
& yours will not be
the last grave i confess
my sins to

S. J. W.
1994 - 2010

party over
before it had a chance
to begin, wheels up,
spinning, soul spilling
out of you, life
dreams pooling crimson
across the asphalt.

One Shot Wednesday - A celebration of poetry. Write a poem, come join us. The fun begins at 5pm EST.

108 comments:

TALON said...

Live hard and die young...that's what flashed through my mind reading this. As always, stark and real imagery, Brian.

Dianne said...

Hey, it is Susan at Stony River's birthday, wish her happiness.
this is a painful tribute to someone you knew....sorry for your loss.

or if not, you've felt it before,

btw, think "morro" at my site.
Di

Myrna R. said...

Sad and real - indistructible youth.

Daniel said...

Yeah, I know this one too. Better to feel pain than to feel nothing. Powerful and deep on raw on this one.

Hilary said...

One of my biggest fears as a parent. I hope S.J.W. is fictional?

Austin said...

"The slogan stays relevant" Love the line. Well written Brian

Hope said...

I like what Daniel said. If you don't feel anything then you are not living. Even if it's pain you must feel.

this reminds me of the drinking/driving combination that unfortunately leads to a tragedy of pain and loss.

imagery is vivid
written very well

David Waters said...

this one makes me think of Rebel without a cause....great as always ;)

Sophia said...

Whoah...digesting the words...powerful. Oh so powerful. Who will listen and who will just read and walk away?....

Lori said...

Is this about a young person that you know that has passed away recently? If so, I am very sorry.

When I read this the first time, the first thing I thought about was back in the day when I lived as if I was immortal...I lost a lot of friends that lived the same way I did. Sad.

JStar said...

What breaks my heart is this kid is younger than my oldest...SAD....This brought tears to my eyes Brian...But it happens every day...Shot there are things we did that we shouldnt have made it out of alive...Because we thought we were indestructable...You dont realize...Until its too late

Monkey Man said...

We are invincible for a time until the hormones ebb and the mind catches up.

Kat_RN said...

Sad,,,,
Kat

Brian Miller said...

is this real? yes.

you know somewhere along the line about the time when we are 15-16 i think we lose touch with reality a bit...in that tension between child and adult...and make decisions that will have ramifications we can not yet fathom. and we don't give much thought to it....now luckily most of us survive this period...unfortunately too many don't...

if you have kids talk to them... and dont buy into letting kids just be kids and let them deal with stuff on their own...they need you...

5thsister said...

when I think back to all the crazy and stupid things I did at that age, all I can say is that God must have had other plans. I could very well have been that person you remember.

ed pilolla said...

and all she was really looking for was peace, like we are all looking for. and when the conventional world doesn't seem to offer it, some of us fish in the dustbin of society. too many of our children are lost this way, one way or another.

nance marie said...

this is a hard one to read
but you say it well

Blondie said...

This is great Brian...definitely good life lessons, especially for the teenagers I teach. Make sure to check out my Christmas giveaway if you haven't already!

www.blondeepisodes.com

Kori xoxo

Bernie said...

WOW, so glad that these things are talked about now, so much was hidded for so long, parents lived in denial. This is full of pain but so very, very real......:-)Hugs

Gabriela Abalo said...

thanks you for sharing this poem.
I totally agree with you, we should talk to our children and listen to them, they need us.

great one shot!

:)

Claudia said...

when i was this age, one criteria when choosing a boy friend was, if he had a motorcycle. so when i was this age, it were drugs and fast motorcycles..and i could've ended easily like this...soul spilling
out of you, life
dreams pooling crimson
across the asphalt..
really touched my heart brian!

sage said...

strong stuff... we're not immortal, are we.

Titanium said...

This child is not much older than my own; your words hit home, loud and clear.

Unknown Mami said...

So not worth it.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Oh this story is so painful and too real far too often. I remember two friends in high school who didn't survive a story like that.

Tabor said...

You always do it sad but sweet.

anthonynorth said...

We learn by experience - as long as we survive it.
Excellently expressed.

sheri said...

brian...this is ELECTRIC...leaving it's powerful images emblazoned on my heart...16 is not nearly long enough...and i find myself right there with you at that gravesite...humbly grateful just to be alive...

poemblaze said...

Powerful and brilliantly written poem. The cigarette image at the beginning is perfect.

Condolences on your tragic loss.

repressedsoul said...

Very sad Brian, a heart wrenching tribute I'm sure it was difficult to write

blueviolet said...

What a sad moment in the past...

Kate Hanley said...

So sad and true and very well written. I agree with you, talk with your kids but what I always worry about are the kids who take other kids down with them.

hedgewitch said...

Only the young seek scars and know the immortality of not believing life is real. Excellent images, excellent all the way.

Whitesnake said...

Live hard die younger or spend ya money sit and wonder!

Glass House Dandy said...

You must not have been lonely in your day.

Awesome post. You capture an atmosphere brilliantly. It resonated through the last twenty years of my life.

Wooderson: "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

"Dazed & Confused"
1993

Deidra said...

This is the real stuff of life, isn't it? You open up the tough and the raw and the grit here, and we are all the better for it. Thank you.

gospelwriter said...

S. J. W.
1994 - 2010

oh god, such a waste, a tragedy... and your storytelling - once again, you make me feel, and feel

Heather said...

i always think parenting is the hardest job in the world...i love what you said here in your comments, too...we made it through the hard times as teens ....some don't ...it's so sad. those words you wrote are incredible!

Belinda said...

Crushing reality that someone so young is gone so soon. A lesson coming too late to learn.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

wow brian...you swung for the fences
this is hard stuff.

Beachanny said...

I can hardly add anything more than the praise already written here. The tale so tellin of the horrors we survive as youths and live to laugh about yet the burden of carrying the tales of the ones who didn't make the journey with us. They're still missed. Well written.
Gay @beachanny

Caty said...

so sad and happens all too often.

Me said...

I too have been that crazy 16 year old. Scares the crap out of me now that I'm a parent myself ... worried for the foolishness my own offspring might get into.

So sorry for this loss, for your pain and for all who knew and loved this child...
-C

secret agent woman said...

You have captured my great nightmare.

mel said...

wow - vivid and powerful...

i love the way you string together words...:)

River said...

The time of life we think we are invincible. :( So sad all the ones that don't make it past those years. You capture parts of life so well and remind us of reality. Thank you

Fireblossom said...

As Talon reminded me, the song goes live fast, love hard, die young and leave a beautiful memory. But in real life it's never beautiful when someone young dies. I love the way you wrote this, understanding and remembering what it was like when we thought we couldn't die.

Teresa said...

Such a painful reality. It never gets easier to say good-bye to someone young and full of potential. Blessings.

gautami tripathy said...

Another gem from you...!!

forgone and forgotten

emily wierenga said...

oh, sad... crimson spilling... how you make poetry out of pain... this is true redemption. thank you.

Jill said...

A sixteen year old dead...it hurts my heart...what a mess.

The cigarette burn...I think I would treasure it. A constant reminder of the past and to live for TODAY.

Christina said...

Strong and powerful. A harsh look at the reality of those tough teen years.

signed...bkm said...

all to real...all to painful...agree with your words...talk to kids, when they do not want to talk, talk anyway...somehow....sorry for the loss, way to young ....bkm

Slamdunk said...

I think each of us is reminded of someone who died too young like this. Thanks for sharing your sadness.

kkrige said...

hugs Bri. We cannot parent the world, can we? all have purpose and some's lives are just shorter. tragedies give pause though; sad, but excellent write. be well

Mona said...

The last stanza is heart wrenching... I love your expertise at condensation and compression. It is almost like staccato Donne poetry!

shewriting said...

as usually, you have a way of describing a scene that makes me feel like I am right there witnessing it in person (more so than even watching a movie.) This write is no exception...powerful one shot.

Teri said...

I'm sorry that you had to go through this but writing this enables me to know that you survived and you learned something very important from it. Not all do, like you say. Not all survive. Communication is the answer, to everything!

June_Butterfly said...

Such a waste of youth and life.But this one is true in almost anywhere you turn your head to!

Great write ,Brian.

Pseudo said...

Well done Brian.

Kay said...

this one makes me sad... memories...

budh.aaah said...

Beautiful (as usual) and yet sad/depressing

Zuzana said...

Oh, how sad but a distressing reality for so many young people...
Is this fact or fiction...?
Have a lovely day dear Brian,
xoxo

Bing (PinkLady) said...

what a powerful message! gone too soon... i'm not sure if it's the cigarette part that shook me or the fact that the victim is so young. maybe both. i smoke and i have a 16 year old son. in fact i have 3 teens in the house. they drive me crazy sometimes but what i love about it is that i have 3 BFFs who make me feel young. "we're all in this together" is our theme song. it would really break ME if i lose any of them. (God forbid!) i was able to handle one loss in the family, i can't handle another one. this post of yours made me reassess my lifestyle as well as my relationship with my kids. thanks for sharing, brian.

Birdie said...

powerful, powerful message! happy day Brian!

tuberider said...

I thought these lines were just great:

"& yours will not be
the last grave i confess
my sins to"

sheila said...

:o(
Seeing the young pass so soon is so difficult. Beautifully written.

Nessa said...

The simplicity and matter-of-fact tone of this poem makes it all the more sad. 16 is just too young.

Friko said...

How hard is it for you to write such poetry?
It always speaks to me. I love poetry, all kinds, but not all of it touches me inside.

I have been given the task to write a sonnet; I can't even think of a subject!

Lorraine said...

that hurts...My God! I hope Love never lets go of your heart but also protects it

slommler said...

"the last grave I confess my sins too"...how sad it that. Rushing through life...not thinking...barely feeling...only experience and self gratification. It eats you from within.
Well said!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

CM said...

So sad. Reminded me of my brother that died in a car accident at 19.

I read your comment...so true.

Aquarius63 said...

Profound heartfelt words Brian. Well penned.

Anita.

Syd said...

A really tough one Brian. I am sorry those dreams didn't get a chance to become realized over a long life. Cut way too short.

Jerry said...

Wow, sorry for your loss. Sounds like the writing was your couselor. Someone here ended his own life...with the last facebook status being "up, up, and away".
It is so easy to get bummed when crazy stuff like this happens daily. Brian...thanks

Scott said...

whew... stark, real, brutally honest... I was on that same strech of asphalt way back when. Thankfully, my life took a different turn, thanks to God and AA.

natalee said...

This was powerful!!! I used to live on the wild side... I hope that it all happen so I can teach my kids to be careful with their precious life... HUGS!!

AmyLK said...

so many young kids loose the battle against drugs and alcohol and living hard. I hope this wasn't one of your clients. I know how hard that can be.

Anonymous said...

this one is scary and true brian. sometimes we realize these truths too late.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

adeeyoyo said...

Those invincible teens... I bet a lot of us thank out lucky stars we survived them! Thanks, Brian.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh well done -- I suspect many of us have had the experience of looking back and realizing how incredibly fortunate we were to have escaped our own stupidity. Such a strong piece!

Magpie said...

This one burns to the heart of the matter, Brian. Sad.

Eric Alder said...

How tragic it would be to be immortal, to have life mean so little.

Some deep-dredging here, Brian... that made for a great One Shot!

The Exception said...

Kids - They want so much to grow up and be adults and yet they want to be kids. They want so much to be seen and recognized for who they are and yet, how often do we give them that seeing only... their youth, their bravato, their masks?

Powerful poem Brian.

Tina said...

Immensely powerful write. Stark, real, and has me grateful to have survived my own stupidity and choices when young. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

TechnoBabe said...

We didn't burn with cigarettes, we used knives. Every generation goes through their initiation into life, some harsher requirements than others.

tim said...

wow, well i was hit by this word.. gosh... thanks for the great visit at my blog..

Stranger said...

Beautiful,Brian. That crazy, uncontrollable world of seemingly never-ending youth is numbing. And yes, too many don't survive it.

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Yes, better to of lived then not at all.

Shashi said...

Dear Brian

You are a story teller... through verses...so beautifully you lead the reader through the scene and then ending it perfectly to the message, the thought that you wanted to convey, with the reader even realising that is where this is going.. just like in India we have jatak Katha's (Stories) and Sotries of Panchtantra...
I loved your last lines...
Perfect verse.. learned a lot.


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

PattiKen said...

This is a sad reality. It's hard not to know someone who died before they lived, rushing so fast to "know" life that it kills them.

I will never forget my day at the grave.

liv2write2day said...

Brian, this wrenches my gut. So graphic, well-detailed. Victoria

SuziCate said...

This made me think of a few friends I lost in high school due to teenage antics/driving accidents.

deb said...

exquisite, Brian.
I echo what many of those above me have said.

there is a grace in getting through these years, not just our parenting , our rules, our tears.

I know for a face that is why I find summers so exhausting and draining and aging and redemptive.
With five , 12 -21, it's grace a lot of the time.

( and you are right, lots of conversation , which is about listening, not just talking as you know )

Doubtfulpoet said...

:( I have some of these scars too. Compelling Bri *hugs*

Pat said...

Scary yet powerful stuff. How'd we ever survive our teenage years, huh?

Suz said...

a sad tale repeated way too much
good one Brian

Pete Marshall said...

a wonderful read.....again..you really can write...great one shot..pete

Mighty M said...

Kids think they are infallible....so many have made that quick choice that turned into a bad one. :(

kavisionz said...

Extremely moving, painful and scary! But it screams out - COMMUNICATE! This sure goes out to every parent, well wisher and friend out there! Which means, all of us!!
It's never too late before it's too late..

Thanks for this beautiful (albeit sad) One shot, Bri...

The Brightly Colored Misfit said...

Powerful and sad. You are an artist.

Carrie Burtt said...

What a powerful piece Brian...really makes you think....life is so fragile...the young never seem to grasp this.

Goofball said...

ooh those dates give me a chill....too many dreams stopped too soon

California Girl said...

this is good.

ladynimue said...

your posts always make me stop and think of things in my life .. wonderful write again :)

Candie Bracci said...

Those scars never leave..I live with your "double" here and many friends ended up that way too..still dream of them.

Helena Malheur said...

I liked the pace of the first stanza - fast, flashes of images rolling down with the words... was like watching the flickering images on my screen as I read. Too many clever lines to list but I adored "& the slogan stays relevant" and "once thought i was
immortal too" And finally, the last stanza, wow! Very nicely done.

Marla said...

If only we knew then.