Friday, July 5, 2013

a writer's definition of madness

Click my heels down the hallway. You hear me?

You hear me girl my grandpa used to
drawl he was Southern
like all of us are in this family here

 bless your heart

Irish and Southern
like white pioneers of crazy magic
some days or long stretches of years there was no magic
-tell me the past isn't what it is-
only fear

that's the way i was raised up
in fear. drawn up
pure and violent blue from the well
curled in the bucket with skunkweed and snograss
ugly baby duck

Clicking down every hallway of every house
we lived in
afraid of
my father's bristle stache
and intellect cut sharp as a used jackknife
 across my face

 a stripe of tiger, a stripe of tiger
his favorite poem:
'tyger, tyger burning bright'
his eyes. madness burns bright.

fear taught me love
 was my first fairy tale

 now i live 
as if i was doomed all along
to tell the selfsame story no matter
i write a hundred words
i write a thousand words,

the story stays the same.
this is my definition of madness.

maggie may ethridge

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