kuroi akumu: black nightmare

Today Claudia, one of the founding members of the dVerse community, is prompting us to write about our emotions, about how we feel – not the feelings of the world, other people – but how we feel and to avoid using generalities. Metaphors might also be used. Come visit us at d’Verse Poetics. I have a feeling you may be amazed.  Linked to:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/11/24/poetry-as-a-vehicle-to-transport-emotions/

kuroi akumu
I move through the days like our local
weather report. Sunny and cold
and on the inside a storm is raging
threatening to obliterate me and
like many of those storms in dreams it
cannot be escaped – it rears on the horizon and
then it is there on top of you sucking the breath
from your lungs.

A restaurant.
They specialize in rare natural foods.
A friend and I go – we have been friends
since 1975 –
in the middle of the room dividing the eating areas
a huge fish tank with
fish like flashing jewels.
and then,
and then…
there are creatures in the water
like hairless black cats or small dogs
being held in the water with wires
as they shake and jerk
trying to escape and
waiters stand on ladders and with long tongs
extract long sprouts growing from seeds
embedded in their flesh – and the animals are
almost but not quite dead because they continue
to jerk and jerk and jerk and the water
slops over the side of the tank
wetting the tiled floor with water
stained with black and red.
In horror I scream why is this?
Why doesn’t someone care?
Why doesn’t someone stop this?
How can we eat this food pulled from
the flesh of dead and dying animals?
I turn to my friend – an animal rights activist
and I grab her and scream into her face
and she says but it is delicacy here.
And I stand and scream and no one cares
and the animals on their wires jerk and jerk
like tortured puppets and no.one.cares.

My husband awakens me and holds me but
still I shudder – no.one.cares.

Letter From J.D. Salinger

One of my treasured possessions is a letter from J. D. Salinger. On our fifth anniversary, my husband had it archived in a sealed frame. During my movings and travelings, somehow, it always stayed safe. Now it hangs on our wall.

When I was a teenager, I discovered Salinger. Immediately, I felt a connection. I avidly read all of his books – sometimes immediately beginning all over after the last word of the book. Because of Salinger, I looked at literature, life, everything in a different way. His books were well thumbed and full of underlined passages. Zen and its nuances opened my mind to yet another way of perception.

In 1976, I found my interest in disco and partying palling. An intense relationship ended. I plunged into a deep depression, my life one of empty sorrow. One night, I sat down and poured out my heart in a letter to Salinger. I felt, he would understand. He would understand how people scarred our hearts, how strange the world felt. With no hope, I mailed the letter to his publisher.

Several months later, I opened my mailbox and pulled out an envelope with handwriting I did not know. I opened it and began to read. How my spirit lifted. How amazed and grateful was my heart. Mr. Salinger had not only received my letter, but had read it and….miracle! Responded. He had no idea how he would affect me. To this day, I can feel that flutter as I read his words. Brief, but he knew. He knew how I felt and reached across miles, years, culture, fame…..

Below is the letter. A poor photograph but I think you all can read it. We never know how our responses will touch someone. His response has triggered in me a gratitude and sensitivity to those who comment or speak to me. My words will touch them. Today, Mr. Salinger’s words touch you all as well, just because of how he responded to me.



%d bloggers like this: