Tuesday, September 6, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Regardless

razor blade the souls of your feet
and walk the salt flats, take a bat
to the knee or let a lineman lay on it,
just ask Joe Theismann

the night his leg snapped,
every muscle tight, hands clenched,
punching the cushion
pleading for them to stop
showing it in slow motion

forward-back, forward-back
snAP, SNap, SNAP

this
is a love poem, not for faint hearts
and if you find these images disturbing
i suggest you never fall in love
it is a slow dying

to self, Lazarus lain in the tomb, libérer and
boldly out the door, knob your posterior,
butterflies ain't born without
rending the caterpillar, yet
resurrection comes

as a cherry red fire engine,
the kind with a big brass bell,
toting 352 feet of hose
all around town, but only
one destination

clang, clang, clang

and no intention
of ever
putting the fire out
nor quench this arson-us
passion

a dalmatian, head out the passenger
seat window, flaps its tongue
in the breeze just happy
to feel alive.

and if you ask Joe and i imagine he would
rather play than live in has been memories,
regardless

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets Pub - Every Tuesday poets from around the world gather under one roof to raise the roof with verse. Tonight, will the Hedgewitch is stirring the pot, and it will surely be magical. Write something poetic, or just stop in to see what all the fuss is about. We open the doors at 3 pm EST.

108 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

Damn that had to hurt, just watched the video and it looked like it snapped in two.
You saying loves like that
I think I'll stay hidden under my mat..haha
Great spin digging in deep
Into taking the love leap

She Writes said...

Love is never for faint hearts, but those first 2 lines ouch.

Daniel said...

Nice rhythm to this one, pacing matched the theme and the narrative well. More than that, your words resonated with me. Yeah, I got this one.

Ruthiey said...

'butterflies ain't born without
rending the caterpillar, yet
resurrection comes'

painful, this life. good poem. :)

Pseudo said...

I like the dalmation imagery.

The bone snapping, Ack. An 8th grader did that to his arm a couple weeks ago at recess.

Slamdunk said...

Fitting you'd include the NFL reference with the start of the season this week.

Admitting my age, but I remember seeing Joe's break live and LT frantically waving to the team's training staff to hurry and help.

Reflections said...

Love and life are definitely like that, but your descriptors hold a place in peoples hearts long after... powerful read.

Brian Miller said...

yeah slam, this came out of going to the game last weekend....i saw the break live too so we are in the same boat there...can still see it plain as day

pat love is def not always painful, but it is at times, to deny that is to accept the fairy tale which is not always true, though possible...love is something you have to work at, at times....and the fairy tale def does not happen without work

Heaven said...

the opening lines hurt to the bones...

i like these lines:
i suggest you never fall in love
it is a slow dying

to breathe life in the present though painful, is the best way to go ~

see you later ~

theborgpoet said...

I did not see the video, but heard it clearly, and loudly enough in this tome.

A wonderful piece!

Magpie said...

Life is all about ups and downs, goods and bads, births and deaths, pain and pleasure...but that being said, I'd rather not have as many negatives as positives. Then as I say that, I wonder before we leave this world does there have to be a balance between the two? Hmmm...let me think. :)

Monkey Man said...

We should never allow the fires to be extinguished nor allow the twitch of gut muscle to stop rending the heart. Well felt, B.

Evelyn said...

love is the good pain...
and naughty joy.
:)

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Razor blade on feet rotfl!!!!I'm gonna try to remember next week. I have to try more poetry.

oceangirl said...

I'll stay with the dog image with Psuedo. Love hurts but don't think it snaps in two (I did not watch any video but just eavesdropping on Mr Pat). I love the poem though, it sings and rhymes!

David Allen Waters said...

love of anything, the game, passion, whatever...can be painful...

brilliant piece dude :)

Jen Chandler said...

Beautiful yet painful image of love. Yes, it hurts and, as another comment stated, love is never for the faint of heart. But it's definitely worth the risk!

I've missed reading your poems! This summer has been crazy but I'm back in blogland...finally.

Happy Tuesday!
Jen

ModernMom said...

Love can be painful, but all things great are worth the fight :)_

bajanpoet said...

*expletives deleted*

*shock and awe*

The imagery in this poem is ... disturbing... even tho I've never seen the video of the guy whose bone was broken *shiver*

From the first line I was hooked...

And then to find out it was a LOVE POEM ... Oh *expletive deleted*

Damn ... this is awesome.

Love this piece.

PS - when I grow up I wanna write like you.... *grin*

Brian Miller said...

MM..true that...but how many at the first sign of tough times cut and run and act like they never expected it...

bajan...cracking me up...smiles.

Betsy said...

With love, you experience all possible emotions...good and bad....from giddiness to rage. ha.

Sue said...

Love hurts. (Remember the song by Nazareth?)
Life hurts worse, though.

And the love is what mends it.

Nice one, Brian.

=)

farmlady said...

I just took a bat to the knee this weekend and ...
This is a killer poem, Brian.
Amazing!
I deal with life, too often, like..
"a dalmatian, head out the passenger
seat window, flaps its tongue
in the breeze just happy
to feel alive."
I think...

LadyCat said...

Like they say...no pain, no gain.
This is unfortunately true sometimes. You have to put yourself out there and risk being hurt every day. Hopefully the gain outweighs the pain.

Fred said...

Really well done Brian, merging Love, poetry and a horrifying injury all in one. Love how you put it together here. But that injury changed the game of football. LT became a superhuman, and his ID claimed control of his EGO, all hell broke less for him soon after, personally and professionally. JT had a very good career cut short, and questions have been abound to what would've, could've been if not for that play. So in response LT's value shot up tremendously, to the need of having one, to the strategy around what can be accomplished with a really good one. This incident alone shot the income potential for LT's and lineman as a group through the roof. Then, to expand further, which the Blindside does, is show how this incident played a role in forever changing a young man's life, and it's not just him if you take everything out there into account. There are obviously the negatives, but with so many positives, I love how you used this play. Perhaps I read in too deeply, but it worked so, so well. Sorry for the hijacking, but had to finish my point:) Great piece

Louise said...

Wonderful write, Brian! Love is like torture sometime, and you've captured it in a fresh, unique way. I enjoyed very much,(esp. the dalmation!) thanks!

Lolamouse said...

Ouch! Event though I'm not a football fan, I remember that bone break! It's an image that's seared into the mind. So true, love is not for the weak.

Barbara said...

Ouch. Been there, done that. And yes, love is a big risk.....but worth it.

Missed you this last month!

Claudia said...

think this is the most off-beat and down-to-earth love poem i ever read...strong images and some smart additions that underline the message...and yes..if we'd ask joe he'd say it's painful and dangerous and hard and exhausting but he wouldn't want to have it any other way...and i guess he's right..

Daydreamertoo said...

It sounds like a huge ouch!
In Jan 2007 I broke my ankle on the ice right in my own driveway. It was one step on ice to get from the car to the snow bank and that one step was all it took. Broke both tib and fib and had to have an op and permanent metal plate and screws left in. It was a huge ouch and, still gives me probs. so, I feel this if this guy broke something. Ouch.
Yes, love is hard work, it's all part of the roller coaster ride, not for the faint hearted at all. Takes hard work, talking, and compromise all the time and nothing is ever solved by not talking.
Great piece from you again Brian.

chromapoesy.com said...

Bone crushingly good poem Brian. Shocking, fascinating, and real love poetry, like a comminuted fracture the heart breaks wide open.

Heather said...

broken legs - broken arms...broken hearts - we all have to face it...when we are passionate about someone or something....I like this one -

Jannie Funster said...

One of my favorites of yours, Brian!

And don't worry -- you saw that photo of Kelly last year with her forearm in the shape of a coat hook - so I can take a LOT as far as broken bone imagery goes!

xo

mrs mediocrity said...

love the metaphorical comparisons to love, such a tricky, complex emotion...

especially loved this:
"but only
one destination

clang, clang, clang

and no intention
of ever
putting the fire out"

real love makes it through those fires, a little scarred, some callouses built up, and yes, still wanting to play, regardless

Anthony Desmond said...

strong stuff my man... the dark side of love. my kinda poem :) ha

hedgewitch said...

brian this is one of your best poems ever--I'm amazed at how far your gift has taken you in the short time I've been reading your work. This is truly fine writing--and I remember that slo-mo of Theisman being agonizing to watch--the greed of the eye to watch it both nauseating and impossible to resist. I can't say how good this is. It just is.

Natasha said...

Crack that bat, poet....you've just hit this one way out of the park. I won't bore you with my own thoughts on love, but I will sing in the loudest of voices, Swing Away Brian, Swing Away! Crunch!

ayala said...

Strong images here, Brian. A wonderful write. :)

beckykilsby said...

Smashed bone.. white red inside out.. yes, that's love.

Snap snap snap.

I'm not going to forget this one.

Christi Moon said...

Brian—

You certainly scored big with this one! Searing and vivid images you have created. felt myself wincing a couple of times. Your opening line brilliantly hooks the audience...then you turn the whole thing on its head by shifting into love poetry. This is stunning all through Brian…a delight to read, definitely one of my favorites of yours so far.

Joanne Elliott said...

Ouch! Part of the pain of love is the dying of our smaller self...helped along by the mirror the other provides. I say ouch! Thanks for reminding us of that. Great sounds in this poem...made me cringe, but only because they were effective. :-)

Ed Pilolla said...

you were at that game? no way.

in a cute way, this read a little like a magic trick. i like the way you introduce it as a love poem at what seems like a leisurely place and every little jog of this merry path.

you held my attention and pulled up the curtain on a beautiful insight i didn't see coming.

lori said...

"razor blade the souls of your feet
and walk the salt flats" - Um, yes. You definitely have to be willing to go all in. Love is not for the faint of heart, and it is certainly all about dying to self, continually.

Oh, and those sports injuries can be awful, stomach-turning :(

Really enjoyed this one, Brian :)

Beachanny said...

A fire that quenches and resurrects for sure - pain that comes and goes. Fulfilling oaths is no easy deed. I think I know that now. Powerful write, one of your best to my way of thinking Brian. Thanks, G.

Elizabeth Young said...

Captured in this poem appears to be the gist of life, love, and having children; the best of times and the worst of times.

LauraX said...

brilliant Brian...life is painful sometimes, but here we are...hopefully choosing to live with as much passion as we can...falling down-getting up-falling down-getting up...enjoying the ability to keep going and the sweetness thrown in between.

johnallenrichter said...

Hey Brian, ow ow ow ow ow....... razor blades on the feet and salt flats? Theismann's knee... ow ow ow ow ow...... love the fire truck reference... The world rings when you are in love, Clang Clang! Everything so crisp, so beautiful... You get there and then what? Nothing. The dog is happy. You just want to be happy. But you don't put the fire out. Love "...is a slow dying." At least for Theismann. Agreed.....

Arron Shilling said...

i have seen and heard some bones break up close and it aint pretty - your poem aint pretty either

its hard ass boy!

shit just checked vid eeewww

nice write Brian - i think you really deliver a sweet piece of americana man with hard lines

Cheryl said...

Powerful piece. Love and all of life are choices: live in today or wallow in yesterday. Some days my choices are self-inflicted masochism.

California Ink in Motion said...

I really like the twists and turns in this poem. Agreeing with the other comments, love can be quite interesting at times, yet so rewarding. I had to look up the video to get the total feel of this poem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHCXNt4P8Xg
Holy molly! Point taken!

Tara Miller said...

You really did beautifully with this one, love. I think it's one of my favorites as well. Good comparison with love and sports. Love is definitely something we all have to work at...I like your line "love is not for the faint of heart" This is sooo true. Just as in sports (or ballet) ;) when it's something you love and are passionate about the pain is always worth it. I also think that sometimes working through the pain ignites the flame even stronger as we go....

Laurie Kolp said...

I'm speechless... This has to be one of my favorites of yours, Brian!

anglachel27 said...

You had me at the proclamation, "This is a love poem"...I always marvel at those who only love the soft things, the easy things. But what about pain, transformation, blood and sharp edges? Masterful images here.
Gene

Joe Hesch said...

Love doesn't always require pain, but it always leaves its permanent mark, a scar if you will. I saw the Taylor/Theismann bone-breaking on live TV and remember Taylor's reaction to his hit on Joe T as much as the gruesome nature of the act itself.
Love's like that, too. It affects both members of the connection, sometimes even the one who goes all LT on the other's heart.
Brilliant job, Brian.

Helena White said...

You give new meaning to Love Hurts ~
Amazing, as always Brian ~

Kavita said...

Love is indeed a double edged sword..

"arson-us" - I totally loved how you made that sound! Had the desired effect alright... love does always involve (at least 2, and is (more often than not) poisonous too...

A very neatly worded poem, Brian...

Casey Freeland said...

If floors me sometimes how long a comment can be in relation to the poem. You really bring it out of people. Well done.
Cheers,
Casey

Jacqueline Dick said...

Oh, hey, I wanna put a bandaid on your soul and kiss the booboo, Brian. Dang! Didn't see the video and the snapped bone. But boy, I felt it here. As for love, yeah, sometimes that hurts too and it could be a slow dying. But if you don't have it, you're a dead man before you live. This is a great piece, you..you..poet you! Thanks for sharing this!

colleen said...

You covered a lot of ground. I felt like I was at a car chase, lots of turns. I like that you let us know the context is love.

I fractured my arm last week!

Mama Zen said...

I love "butterflies ain't born without rending the caterpillar." What a fantastic image!

Ann LeFlore said...

I love butterflies, such a nice rhythm on this one. What a plunge into love does it stay under the mat or are you digging deeper
http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/08/29/unsuspecting-creatures-of-the-night/

Mark Kerstetter said...

I had to google Joe Theismann. OUCH!!

You're so right, love (at least some kinds of love and some of the time) is the deepest agony.

CatGem said...

Yikes!!

CatGem said...

Yikes!

Margaret said...

Love is like Joe Theismann's leg snap... LOL

Geoff M. Pope said...

Much to celebrate here (including now how many comments?!). I played college football, so ya had me off the first snap despite my offside with that lacerating/flagellating kick-off. Especially enjoyed the line breaks between “dying” and “self” and “resurrection comes” and “as a cherry…” (surprising, sensational simile); and I really like “but only / one destination”.

Shawna said...

I love your style, Brian. :) Every line, every word, is so strong. This is one of my favorites: "nor quench this arson-us passion."

siggiofmaine said...

This is a wonderful poem.
Enjoyed it very much despite
the memory revived of Joe
and the "snap".

Thank you very much.
☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

Anna @ waysidewordgarden said...

"i suggest you never fall in love
it is a slow dying

to self"

True, that, it is, yes... and yet, rather live life than the pains of has-been. Nice write! (and poor guy, that Joe! ouch!) :)

manicddaily said...

A really lovely poem. The different types of love and passion and violence in loss of self and risk invoked are wonderful. Very vivid imagery. K.

yellowhousecafe said...

Nice write...for love of the game, indeed. 'Regardless', you can't win if you don't play, no matter what the outcome. ~

Randy Behavior said...

Loved the first two lines so much I read them twice then read them to my neighbor. She smiled and said "Damn read those first two again."

Amy Miller said...

Such energy and originality, Brian! This poem is a thrill ride from start to finish.

Ginny Brannan said...

Hi Brian,
Great poem, especially liked following lines:
'...it is a slow dying'
'...and no intention
of ever
putting the fire out
nor quench this arson-us>(loved the play on words)
passion'

Quite a mix abiding love is, so true, Really liked the use of football metaphor as a backdrop for a love poem. Best of both worlds, hubby would say! (BTW, I remember watching that Theismann break over and over an over again on instant replay *cringe* Can't even imagine that pain!!)
Really enjoyed this, guess I'm not too "faint of heart!"

lindakruschke said...

This is very different from anything I would or could ever write, but I liked it a lot. Love can be quite painful, but I wouldn't want to live without it. Peace, Linda

PattiKen said...

Love hurts, but life without love would be intolerable. Like JT's knee, snapping over and over in slow-mo.

Packed with feeling for the reader, Brian.

Henry Clemmons said...

A luv poem and football ... genious!! Raw and to the point. Very nice!!

Shadow said...

this is a painful love. but dare i say, you're onto something... something we in all likelihood have all felt before...

♥ Braja said...

Halle-frikkin-lujah....

Absolutely.

Beth said...

Love might well be as destructive an emotion as hate, pulling in victims without prejudice or compassion then twisting their lives around an intangible emotion, tempting with that trance-like focus then decapitating hope along the way. You had me with the first line and reeled me in when you said it was a love poem. This is bookmarked as a favorite of all time.

Exceptional poetry, Brian

Valerie said...

Love is akin to hate... and then it's the relationships that need working on. I'm kinda glad I don't get to see bone breaking videos.

Belinda said...

Oy! So much pain in love and life, no? This had a visceral effect on me.

Patricia said...

Never saw that video, will not go looking for it now... same way I never look at road kill... ugh...I'm such a wimp.

I like the way you rounded the bases, moving to new places each time from baseball to love and death, to fire trucks and destruction... fantasy vs. reality. Seemingly random images that you wove together as only you can Brian ... wonderful.

Kerry O'Connor said...

this
is a love poem, not for faint hearts
and if you find these images disturbing
i suggest you never fall in love
it is a slow dying..

These words have a timelessness about them - they should be carved on stone!

tracy said...

What an interesting parallel you have drawn here, Brian. I remember I was in bed when my husband came in and said "Joe Theisman's career just ended." I've never been able to watch the video. *cringe* And, yes, love can be like that.

Old Raven said...

Oh my! There seems to be such tension here that you have created the "love" and all f these images playing to that love. This is really good ... now I need a massage!

CM said...

Better than to have lived... Nice write.

We had someone break his leg in our academy. The snap was so loud, I too can still hear it to this day. Not good.

C Rose said...

I was just talking about that incident with poor Joe the other day! Oh the replays...you couldn't turn away either! To your words...enjoyed the bite this week, your wordplay flawless, enjoyed:

"and no intention
of ever
putting the fire out
nor quench this arson-us
passion"

Always enjoy you Brian, thanks for always reading and supporting my words. ~ Rose

Chris G. said...

No worries bri, I'll be at the pub for a goodly while. smiles. Oof - and this, now that's a rhythmic tale, but bloody is there pain inside...

flaubert said...

Brian, my husband is a huge football fan, and your opening lines remind of the injuries he talks about (yes, I listen :)), but as I read on the pain you describe of the heart is incomparable. Wonderful jaunt through your imagery.

Pamela

Leslie said...

yes, death to self, and resurrection, if we allow it...

Sheila Moore said...

nice play on words as always - you are so good at that ! Also, thanks for this much needed reminder: butterflies ain't born without
rending the caterpillar, yet
resurrection comes

Steve King said...

Your words don't rest for a second. "Resurrection comes...only one destination." Train of thought there. Powerful phrasing and imagery throughout.

william said...

ah the pain of love, superb poem mate :)

Dulce said...

...no intention
of ever
putting the fire out
nor quench this arson-us
passion'.

You have a perspective of things which differ so well from the others...

haikulovesongs said...

the "snAP, SNap, SNAP" really creeped me out because that's about how my ankle sounded when it broke when i was 12.

"razor blade the souls of your feet and walk the salt flats" ouch!

a brilliant poem {it's impossible for you to write anything less}

signed...bkm said...

you have to put your whole heart into the game...the pain of feeling is as great as the ecstasy of loving....bkm

mairmusic said...

Love the persona in this tale-- great storytelling!

Chris said...

Once again, I'm amazed by your imagery. I can't pick out any one verse, or line, or image; they're all so well chosen. Tight writing, as always.

cajunsioux said...

Life is painful. Sometimes I just don't want to open my eyes. Thanks, Brian. ;)
Great imagery, even if it was a bit horrifying. You rawk.

Lorraine said...

oh get that, breaks me...

Glynn said...

"resurrection comes / as a cherry red fire engine..." The images just swirl int his one, Brian. Well done.

adeeyoyo said...

I can vouch for the endorphins! But love is certainly not for cowards - heart break is another story! It can take a lifetime to get over.

kcoliver said...

Bring on the dark side of love - makes for great poetry. Kudos!

Titanium said...

Rather feel pain then nothing at all...

The Amy E said...

very powerful this is amazing. Great iamgery

Pat said...

This is some good stuff. Wow!

Jeff said...

Joe was only a moment away from the two-minute warning.

Nice poem . . . message delivered on time.

Cheers!