They’ve come to take me home

For Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads, How does it end? Write a last line. Build your poem around it. Use it as the title, a line to be repeated, use it. She read an article with five suggestions to use a last line. I picked option number four, use the last line for a title. warning: graphic suicide verbiage in poem

They’ve come to take me home
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s OK. The journey changes you; it should change you… You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain

No one knew his thoughts
as he stepped off the edge of the tub
and fell into infinity,
the tie around his neck,
his legs kicking,
the breath being cut off from his heart and brain,
his last thought as his heart lurched and stopped –
*you can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home.
It had been building through the years –
Depression deepening,
The spaces between pure laughter
and love of life widening.
One day, he did it.
He ripped off a tie from the hanger in his closet.
He tied it around his neck
And then to the shower rod –
you can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home.

* line from Solsbury Hill

WE CAN ALL HELP PREVENT SUICIDE. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255

Haibun: Things I learned in the CIA

Posted for Mish’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub – finding beauty in the ugly.

Haibun: Things I learned in the CIA
“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” Anthony Bourdain
Many years ago, I attended and graduated from the CIA – The Culinary Institute of America that is. I was paired up with a tall lanky homely young man with curly hair and large deft hands. Unlike the rest of us, he always had a piece of rotting fruit or vegetable on his work station. Out of reach of the knives and other items, but always there. I remember once one of the instructors yelling at him to get rid of that damned piece of rotten fruit. He would but the next day, another one took its place. I think the others felt sorry for me because I was paired with him but I liked him a lot. He was dryly funny and open to everything. We became lovers after a fashion and finally I asked him the question: Why the rotting fruit? He smiled and said, “in its own way, it is so beautiful. And we all come to this you know.” I would sometimes see him lift a pear, an orange, a bell pepper and look at it from all angles before carefully replacing it on the table. After graduation and working under some excellent chefs, he went his way and I mine. I never forgot him. And no, it was not Tony Bourdain.
rotting fruit
in its season –
so must we all

The Omelet

For De’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub.  Today is the Quadrille – a poem of exactly 44 words sans title and using the prompted word.  Today it is rainy and cool. A good day for sitting in Waffle House and drinking coffee and watching the cook do his job.  De’s prompted word is “quick”. One of my “real” poems about “real” life.

The Omelet
“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” Anthony Bourdain
The omelet was cooked quickly,
slightly burned on the outside –
brown and tough.
I ate it anyway because I was hungry.
I left a nice tip because I was grateful..
The cook showed up for his job.
more than I did that rainy Monday.

You Don’t Know Me

I will be posting this on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

You don’t know me
As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”Anthony Bourdain

You don’t know me.
I have listened to men making crude comments
about women in the kitchens I have cooked.
I have been beaten, stabbed, raped and robbed.
I have lost people I love due to
Illness, murder, and suicide.
I have been in the depths of despair,
I have danced on rainbows of joy.
I have loved deeply and been loved in return.
I have eaten the food from a James Beard Award winner,
I have eaten beans and beans,
I have starved.
I watched my mother dying
and identified the body of a friend dead by suicide.
I walked out on being a chef after having won an award
and almost hung myself that same day
but was saved by my little needy cat.
A year later I watched that cat being stomped to death
after my home was invaded and she hissed at the invaders.
I have seen lonely days and nights
And I have been alone by choice
And I have chosen my few friends wisely.
I learned the languages of water, trees and stones
and the language of the French and Japanese kitchens,
the language of the heart,
the language of cicadas at night.
I have dwelt in darkness of spirit
and darkness of the sweet night.
I have scars on my body and soul.
I have wept and laughed.
You don’t know me.

copyright kanzensakura
Kanzen in the snow 1957

Cafe Royal 06/08/2018

For Kerry’s Prompt today at Real Toads, Spec Fic (speculative fiction). We are to write a poem that is based on Spec Fic, dystopian, furturistic, horror, gothic. I am adding a new poem to my Dorian Grey series (character by Oscar Wilde).  The picture of the young Tony Bourdain is one of my favorites.  We were cheffing at the same time. I burned out and left the professional world, he stayed and became an icon.  He suicided, I am still here.  There is a lot of sadness about his suicide; we are of an age, had similar beginnings of our careers, we were at one point high all the time (it was a way of kitchen life in the 70’s and early 80’s), we both travelled extensively tasting food and experiences.  I miss him a lot.

Anthony Bourdain 1979


Cafe Royal 06/08/2018

“…your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Oscar Wilde

The third cafe mocha of the morning,
The young man with the antique face
put down his cup and stared at the handsome waiters.
The Café Royal always had the most…delicious waiters.
His eye was arrested by one of the waiters
taking an absinthe to someone –
It was 11:00 am in the morning.
Surely too early for absinthe.
He spotted her.
At the table alone, grief in every inch of her body.
She put down the newspaper –
Lowered it down slowly as if,
as if it were a baby or a
mortally ill cat.
The waiter flamed the absinthe for her.
He said something to her.
She raised her eyes to him and then lowered them.
Picking up the absinthe,
Picking up the newspaper.
The young man with the antique face
continued to stare at her until
she looked up.
She saw him.
For once he was ashamed of his actions.
He stood and walked to her table.
She looked at him from head to toe
and said
Nothing.
She lowered her face again and
one of the gorgeous waiters came
with another absinthe.
Don’t, he spoke. Please don’t.
He put his hand lightly on her wrist.
I know grief he said. I know pain of loss
and heartbreak. I’ve watched my friends dying
One.
By.
One.
She put her head down and began to read the paper again.
Upside down he read:
“Anthony Bourdain, 61, found dead by suicide”
For once he was almost human.
For once he almost paid for her drinks and walked away.
Dorian Gray sighed. What the hell,
One only lives forever.
He sat down at the table
and looked into her eyes.

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray – public domain photo

After

For Marian’s challenge at Real Toads. We are to write a tetractys poem – 1-2-3-4-10 Syllable count per line.  I am deeply saddened by the suicide of Anthony Bourdain.

“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain

After
I.
An
empty
place setting
at the table.
Pour the wine. Free spirit drinks with a smile.

II.
Knives
are still.
Dust settles.
Pans are empty.
The kitchen is silent and still, waiting

Suicide happens when a person’s emotional pain exceeds their ability to cope with that pain. But there is help. If you are in trouble, pick up that ten ton phone–tomorrow can be better, even if you don’t believe it right now. National Suicide Prevention Help Line: 1-800-273-TALK.

 

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