Archive for the Poetry Category

Okay, Samantha

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Rebellion on June 24, 2009 by melissa merin

Okay Samantha, strap yourself into me.

I sit to write about you and forget my words.  20 billion miles above the planet in a ship that simply should not be, my body moves along at a slightly unfathomable arc over clouds (which, even here, can’t be pure.)  Sitting perfunctorily still, I can only utter something that ends with ‘each other’.

When I start to write, there is you and your hands on me when you got back in the car; or your hand on my knee when we were crammed onto that beer and piss soaked couch…then there’s me and there’s Grady, his head shaking like a pendulum regardless of time or tears.  His hand on my head and my head on his shoulder, shaking.  My hand on his head and the tender way we touch each others faces and necks and hair wondering, is this what it takes to love each other?

And I feel guilty Samantha.  Like I might have betrayed you.  How many times have you told me you love me?  How many times did I truly listen?  Was it very often that I figured you’d pull through this or that fight and then I’d find you again?

When I shuddered, when I recognized that I’d have to call our mutual friends, tell them that you left for good, I broke.  How to tell your story?  I refuse to talk about you in terms of people who’ve died before you.  I’ll not only tell your punk rock stories.  Be prepared world!  The stories about bottles breaking on our backs on Bartlett street, or the timid way you announced your triumphs in Jimmy’s basement will ring out with the bath water.

You’re not a punk statistic, not a friend I met in a bar once a lifetime ago.  You’re a person.  Real.  You love me and you told me so.  And I love you.  Ivy says, Let us not forget!  We radiate!  You do.

I’m writing these words from an airplane, a little before the wing.  The first time I was ever in the air this high, every snippit of afterlife moshed through my brain when I realized I was above the clouds.  Now, they look like the aftermath of millions of micro-explosions- they are everything at once;  the debris of life, people, our thoughts, our lives.  They’re vapor now.  Are you?

Careening just below the atmosphere, I would imagine this is what your head must have always felt like flying above your body, but what do I know?  I’m the one who can’t take comfort in your peace right now.


My Grandparents

Posted in Poetry on June 1, 2009 by melissa merin
The picture up there announcing this blog was taken in my Uncle Ed’s backyard right before my grandfather passed away in 2006.  I dug up a poem and a blog I wrote after he died and they inspired me to repost them both here, and to also write a poem for my Grandmother, Lotte Merin.


It’s not that I wouldn’t
have written
for you,
as well a

the pen stroke
was meant to be
than the words
that appeared      in my heart
on paper

After all,
paper is
and love has never been able to

e  x  p  l  o  d  e

My Grampa’s On Morphine

“The timer went off in the back of my mind
-and mine
is a terrible thing to waste,”
Every moment
every breath
stale and stagnant as a nest
of bees left abandoned in  an oak
whithering and falling and bent
When the garbage truck drives the wrong way
down a one way, then back,
again I can only laugh and wish I
told you sooner
about the time I was lost
and found first the hostel,
then the pay phone,
then the steps of the B’hai church temple.
I was really going
in the right direction,
wasn’t I?
“And How I Wish the Wind
(or the world)
would stop
Or the birds – I come here
for them
then wish they would leave
-so I can hear the rest
of the city,
I guess only nine year olds
wait for presents
and get excited
while their bones are aching.
VII.  Expanding and collapsing
his lungs – like the universe -took oxygen and when
it was over,
he smiled
I hope

no title

Posted in Poetry on May 30, 2009 by melissa merin

If I could make sense

of the brook’s babble

I might learn to swim through currents

using bubbles

to fill the pockets in my lungs

instead of reaching dryly

for a cigarette

Salt Marsh T-shirt

Posted in Poetry, Prose on May 30, 2009 by melissa merin

Salt marsh miniatures

on red cotton blend

habitats for song birds

with shallow chests that refuse to breathe

One hand wipes away the low current

before tilting the next glass