What, You Missed It?

Waiting for the night bus

…Of course I didn’t announce it on this blog, which is why you should sign on to the Crow Tree mailing list, something you can do at the link conveniently repeated here, though it is at the top of every page of this website.

I read for a few minutes live on stage (but fully clothed) at Jenny Funkmeyer’s “Read to Me” open mic night, which takes place at uncertain intervals in downtown LA’s The Last Bookstore. It was a success, at least in that no one ran out screaming when I got on stage. Some even seemed pleased, but fear not: we arranged for immediate psychiatric counseling. The rest were at least unperturbed and appeared even to listen. (The chains and padlocks helped….)

To show off my marketing genius, I read a couple of dark existentialist ditties, though I am actually supposed to be trying to market my novels. (At least I threw in that link here, though it too is repeated at the top of every page of this website.)

And now, to compound my errors, I am going to repost the darker of the poems here. (Though you must know that I don’t consider it dark, nor will anyone of a certain philosophical cast of mind…I leave it to you to figure out how that works.) This poem, along with several others and a vast clutter of short stories, is available on my Medium page. That link, at least, is not at the top of every page of this website.

So here it is:

How Else Can You Live?

yes, yes, we know, we know all that
how at a level deep beyond seeing
all is nothing, or nothing more nor less
than vibration, space, congealing
emptiness, how these beating hearts
muffled within skin and strength, the cat
on the lap, the lap on the chair,
will all, all dissolve, hearts, skin,
and chair all alike, and be forgotten

how all love is forgotten when
the last echoes of its words dissolve…
we know, we know all that…. we know
that ocean eats away at the land,
that land shatters waves, that suns
flare, die, sink
into their own dark hearts
we know all that

yet these hearts, that chair, those four walls
painted a chosen shade of seafoam green,
the sun in the window, patterning the floor,
the smile above the chair, the vase
with its chipped edge and paper flowers,
these are our only eternity, which lasts
forever for this moment only

we know that too, because
how else can you live? how else can you live?
how else
can you live?

Rick Risemberg