Friday, July 27, 2018

Poems By Richard Holleman

Richard Holleman is one of two poets we will feature today writing about how it feels to battle depression.

A Terrible Thing

It is a terrible thing
to be caught
under love
like under a rock
in Death Valley
where thirst sucks
your very breath.

It is a terrible thing
to worship the same photo
while waiting for that one day
different from all others
like that one rock
when struck gushes water
for this terrible thirst.

It is fortunate
for me I am only stirring
around in cognitive distortions.

What a relief
to be brimming
at the esophagus
with brown sickness
than to be in…

(Don’t you say it)


Newport in Times of Many

A dog, a stray won’t make a neighborhood.
Some coral, wood, some drift are not a beach.
Are things not missing down the oldish town?
The fish won’t vend themselves with none to buy.

I remember the town had salt to it:
purchase, haggle, each walk an obstacle
through teeming crowds, bubbling over noise of birds.
For each merchant there popped ten ready smiles.

I recall families fishing on the pier,
the rusted, green tackles, the sweating box,
tuna inside. Locals are gone today,
inland the boys with dads and girls with moms.

Proximity Alert

A cigarette, a rum and coke,
strange refreshments
while nature stitches
tissue to tissue
shunning threat of
tobacco burns
or alcoholism.

I once thought
we were the same
tissue until
I was grafted
into an olive tree
wild but adopted
by a new root.

You and I thought
we tingled with the same blood.
We were simply breathing
in the same place
at the same time.
We mistook the fragrance
of tomatoes on the vine
for the fresh bond of love.
Yes, a happy mistake
corrected by the taste
of too many taboos
rubbing the tongue raw.


We must store these things
in a strongbox separate
from chest, skin, pulse.

Funny, the size of things.
The world will not fit in a box
but my tattooed world is small
enough to fit inside you;
when you move my world
moves in your femurs
like marrow in your bones.

Was it a mistake leaving
something as large as
my world in your body?

but even so, I say
keep this world in you.
It stores the best of me
and maybe it will bring
out the best in you.

Things That Cannot Stand The Light Of Day

I have crumpled
my last apology letter
you will never read.
I would mail it to you
in its wrinkled imperfections
but I do not trust you
with my return address.

Our soggy sand castle in Carlsbad
is now back to its original form.
It is just wet, white sand.
What a day that was!
We were arrogant enough
to believe we had built something
worthy on a shifting foundation
on this temporal side of heaven.

Forgiveness will have to come
from another place, foreign to you.
Closure will have to come
from another place, foreign to me.
And healing will come
from a place we have yet to discover.

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