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I’d forgotten how hard blogs are. There’s a story to tell and I keep thinking it’s about Nepal. I should be writing about Nepal. I am supposed to be writing The Nepal Story, after all. So, why can I not write about Nepal?

Dramatic sigh.

I was once told by my mentor to trust my instincts when piecing a narrative together, meaning I shouldn’t be so arrogant as to think I can manhandle an experience if I don’t let it unfold. My story hasn’t even unfolded yet. I want to write a redemption story that hasn’t happened, so it’s no wonder I can’t write about it. Truth be told, mine is probably not a redemption story anyway. Deep down, I know Nepal as a requisite transformative experience will be dark because, when reduced to its smallest divisible parts, Nepal is all in my head.

And there’s a writer in there, too, who refuses to shut the hell up.

From a distance, a shadowed mirage is waving at me like a summer heat reflection on hot pavement and this passage comes back to me:

         Despite our best intentions, we forget the dead.
         Do they forget us?                                  Jane Summer, “Erebus”

So. Leigh “Bindo” Binder*, if you refuse to die, I’ll just have to kill you off in a mediocre poem that’s an apology as much as a lament.

Sleeping Beauty
When the stem drooped and the petals died,
I slept
Sleeping beauty sleep

I awoke to gold
Light too bright
You offered me a dim corner

You and I shared caramelized melancholy
Like cotton candy
Adolescent sweetness, the things that grew in our heads

Restless dreams like your cigarette smoke
From a few thousand miles away
Choke me awake

Weighed together like stone
Bound and pull down like some English great, we weren’t built for this life
But mostly: Have we lived our eternity?

 

*Leigh Binder was a friend and fellow writer, who died two years ago leaving only his writing and YouTube videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-43KL2khFHhJ-LmRqA-y2A) to haunt me.

Fall, I did today
saw the Inbox, one message
from a name of a person who’s no longer a person
hasn’t been for years
because he’s gone on, on
Billy
Billy who died of an aneurism or a catastrophic stroke
I can’t remember which
brain stem is a bad place for a bleed

Fell, he did
died instantly there in my grandmother’s living room
died instantly but was still breathing
9 siblings and child-like mother as next-of-kin
and none of them wanted to be the one to authorize the unplugging of the plug
so he didn’t die when it would have been an intimate family affair
when they were ready
he died when it was convenient
for the medical staff

silly him,
he died when it was convenient for them.

My mother gave me pictures of her
and her son
both dead

We all die sooner or later

No one comes into the world
thinking she will suffer a lingering, painful death
or that he will die of a ruptured ulcer

We all die quickly or slowly

We all die of trivial things
which is not supposed to happen
or so our rebellious minds wail

She gave me pictures
of a dead woman and her dead son
They are still in the envelope
what’s left of a dead woman and her son

Where to bury the bodies
Where to put the ashes

SOB with me

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