Adolescent dream

Adolescent dream
by jamh

Anytime but now.
Anywhere but here.
Give me the red soaked floor
of the coloseum.
A night at the palace
with a drunk Baudelaire.
A model
or Munch's dying sister.
A muse of pure malice
or simple radiance.
Merilyn in thought
caught by Bresson.
The smoke of hashish
circling around Rumi.
Liv Ullman, biting
into a strand of hair.
An envoy from Mars,
or not even Greek,
or distant, stars.

Instead of this.

This strap that I fasten
from my bony tights.
This painted wallpaper
that I peel
with my fingernails.
These lies, injected
so good-naturely
by my own TV.

I won't ask for liberty,
or death, which is the same.
Change me into someone
with something.
Anyone but me.



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Very familiar intensity

by Monda on

I appreciate your reply. Your style of connecting with the adolescent in your poem, at that dark moment, speaks of your care for and understanding of her pain. Having raised three teenagers, and remembering myself at that age, I know about that intense sense of low self esteem.  Yes I agree, it is part of growing up and time puts it into proper perspective, often.  Being a mother who has worked professionally with many abused and neglected children, I could only offer my hope in that process. 

Now you got me curious about that Bresson documentary.  I have one of his photographs (smiling proud boy walking away with a big bottle of wine, with girls applauding him) on my kitchen wall.


Dear Monda

by jamh on

Dear Monda,

Thank you for your kind words. I rarely write about myself, being rather content in almost everything. This is a poem I wrote for a very young person, on the verge of life. It only captures an instant of a personality, caught in bad light, if you will.

Perhaps you remember how those times were? For me, being in a foreign environment myself, and being overly proud, I had the same thoughts of worth. We both know that time teaches its lessons. Each person has to find their own path, tortuous or straight. It's easy to see, now, that each and every person is a gem of intense light. But this is easy to say and difficult to prove to a young person.

That picture of Marilyn, there was an incredible documentary on Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in one segment Henry Miller, holding Bresson's book, said, and I don't remember the words exactly: "There is my favorite picture of Marilyn, she is not posing here or anything, she is simply in thought, very fragile and personal, just before the shooting of The Misfits." He had a faint smile on his face, something like melancholy, even regret.

I must add that this is not a particularly good poem. I did it very quickly, like a Bresson snap-shot, to capture the feeling. Its construction is very crude. And perhaps the last line should be removed. It only states the obvious.



Clarity in your search for the different

by Monda on

That my dear is a huge thing you're asking!  Each major transition in life can throw one right back in that very Lost space, no matter at what age. The trick I think, is to see if you can stay with clarity, moment to moment, allowing useful, healthy choices just pop into your view.  When we're clear of self-judgment yet honoring and accepting of our needs, we may be ready to catch them. In the meantime, write and share more of yourself, with anyone loving to hear your thoughts. You do have a knack for self- expression.  Cherish and cultivate that resource - your ability to self-express is another huge thing you got going for you. Does this sound reasonable to you? 

BTW that is a beautiful photo of Marilyn you chose. I wonder if you share my fascination with celebrity images. Marilyn symbolizes so much of the fragility that we all may feel at some point in life.



In case you are curious

by jamh on

In case you are curious:


and a bit more info about this picture (Henry Miller's favorite photo):