First the wonderful poem by Janet Harvey that has helped me to produce the chord below it.
The exit just inches from her nose
She’s dancing now;
Having been to hell and back.
Lashes singed from sweltering journey.
She’s travelled the darkest tunnels-
Had been embedded in forbidden furnaces carted over treacherous hills,
Beyond purple dawns of overdose.
Megadoses of chemo- tangle that whole eternity,
that same painful path her father had travelled to the promise land
when it was time to say, no more;
no more poking, or burning my internal demons.
Let go, I am tired
of that same tunnel her brother visualized, could almost taste.
And so it looms:
The family fear.
So many dried roses hanging bat-like in the basement,
So the cards and gift baskets
seem to unfold.
Uttering now the words
As if a stream
Climbing a tower, to be as strong as ocean
Wings lame yet she flies.
Higher than ever ;
What frigid winter lay dormant
in the stream of words
They all ask same question.
Who can fix all those
broken dolls facing upward.
on abandoned fields everywhere.
Why can't scientist save the world-
From boiling rain, and poison beams
--Just band-aids to halt it .
When the exit light is red and cannot hide
It is just inches from your nose.
The exit light, red, and just inches from our nose.
How many times have we been there, this sudden intimation of death, but you too young to notice.
I am in Corpus Christi, Texas. With me is a gorgeous woman, not my wife. The movie we are seeing is the worst remake of King Kong ever; you can see the zippers on the suit, the paper mache towers, the Stearman pursuit planes, the peppering machine guns. All is phoney. You are phoney. The ape is phoney. He is not holding Fay Wray up there high on his tower. He is holding some starlet.
He crumples a Stearman.
There is this exreme fidgetiness . You can't watch the movie any more. The woman senses your restlessness, but she is trying to calm down too. After all, it is you who is constantly trying to get at a telephone--then her restraining hand. You can not phone your wife. Not here. Not in this situation. Not while she can listen. But you should not be in this situation.
There is the red EXIT sign, actually three of them. Which one will lead out, which one will lead to a blank wall, and which one will lead to a cell or pit.
You don't really know what the EXIT signs mean.. You are, after all, only 38, old to some, but actually very young.
You do not yet know the mysteries of relationship, one of these mysteries being EXIT, death itself as a kind of doppelganger. It is Easter.
Fast-forward into time:
You are on a subway. You have your mistress and children with you, the kids have been picked up. Your mistress wants to go shopping. You are totally drained of energy after the confrontation at the house. Damn near killed the live-in. And how pathetic was that, with your mistress waiting in the car.
The innocent children are happy to be with you. They like the mistress. She is beautiful.
She maps out the things we will all do together. "You should marry her, Daddy."
But there is a sudden immobilization. Only staring at the red EXIT sign seems to keep you breathing, which is really all you have to do. "We are at the Yorkdale stop. Let's go shopping!"
Shopping? Here am I, split into a thousand pieces, like Rumpelstiltskin, an Israeli at a pizza parlor, and she wants to go shopping.
Death seems to be in HIDE mode at the next stop. Dundas and Ossington, where suddenly there are fleecy clouds, and some kind of affirmation.
You are a skeet shooter. There will indeed be EXIT, but you're coming in like a Typhoon pilot,
you have to concentrate your fire and wait.