The undead heart

b7e9260585815d324f4850ebd699eaf3In my head

there’s a record on a turn table glossy and black

when it gets to certain grooves I recognize the play of needle over vinyl and each crackle is a familiar passage through well-worn emotion

I turn everything on to create loudness

to expunge what I hear by drowning out

the washing machine, the dish washer, the blender, the coffee grinder, the lawn mower, the radio, the alarm clock, the hair dryer

I run the bath, I run the shower, I run the sprinkler, I run the garbage disposal, I run away from the song

It has one word going round and round

one face, one memory, two memories, a thousand

a wrist with a silver bracelet on, flung in sleep against burgundy sheet

every time you brushed the hair away from my eye, every squeeze of our fingers captured, every kiss, every smile, every year I see the wave of loss it is not so far beyond turbulence

today the clouds will not clear, I get in the car, I tune to the loudest song, I scream as I drive, years burning my eyes, straining to see through my own download

If I had a name for it that name would be wreckage, ruin, destruction, destroyed, unplug  me, burn it out, scold,  defeat, disintegrate, desolate, muted, drowning and burning at once

I would be a legion of black horses sweating sorrow

I would be a night never turning into tomorrow

I would be a shroud worse than death for the one glimmer

that hurts the worst and makes you hold your breath ever deeper

a chain, a spike, a hammer, a knife

and all I felt was love

and all I wanted was you

and all I am is nothing

It plays round and round

like two hands cupping sound

no amount of running or noise can disturb

the undead heart

66 thoughts on “The undead heart

  1. “It plays round and round

    like two hands cupping sound

    no amount of running or noise can disturb

    the undead heart” – Your poetry always lingers after reading because you create images like this one. Truly amazing.

  2. Candice, I love the metaphor of her agony of lost love playing round and round. You need to get off and move on, but you just can’t as you replay what happened again and again. Keith

  3. “play of needle over vinyl and each crackle is a familiar passage”, for some reason, I thought of that movie “Paper Moon”, not for the story, but for the music playing in the background. Don’t know why, but there was a certain sound back then in that era, and it was appealing to me. Loved this poem, as I always with others you write.

  4. The undead heart is real for me as on certain occasions, I will make an attempt to reach her with what is left of my undead heart. With every attempt of unreply, I realize I might not exist in her world anymore and my undead heart will die the same moment I do. I miss her. Thank you!

  5. This poem and its power have stayed in my head, and to the crackling sound of old vinyl I still hear repeated, “I would be a legion of black horses sweating sorrow” – a line I especially love – and also, “a chain, a spike, a hammer, a knife” because of its perfect hammering rhythm, driving your angst home. There be something Shakespearean in thy words, methinks.

  6. What’s so funny though is if it’s true you live a routine and uneventful life, how well you are the very opposite as a writer. I truly find that a talent because it means you actually rely upon creativity alone as your muse and you use it in ways, that others who maybe have interesting stories in their lives, do not. I cannot imagine you being uneventful in any respect – the world beyond the veil you own

  7. The events are very small ones. Not that I think you have to go on world cruises, visit Disneyland or join an NGO to have an eventful life. The events are small but I’d rather watch a nest full of blackbird chicks hatch than shake paws with Mickey Mouse 🙂

  8. If we took Facebook as a representation of everyone’s lives I would think that’s all we did (Disneyland, world cruises) funnily enough I think today in this era it is harder than ever to do those things, because we don’t get pay increases and everything gets more and more expensive so basically every year we have less and so many artist types work for free and even those not in the arts aren’t paid what they are worth. So the days when my grandparents could really do incredible things, those are not as accessible as I would say the media suggests of course with social media especially it’s all about illusion isn’t it? I used to see this girls page she looked like she was having the best life, then I find out she was hospitalized for a suicide attempt, that’s when I really knew it’s all a facade and probably the pressure to be happy isn’t helping much. Better to be authentic and just real – like I say, honesty, try is some time 😉 I believe like you that ‘eventful’ comes from our experience of it, which for some may well be Disneyland but for others like you and I it’s as likely a bushful of berries or the wonder of the first robin of the year. xo

  9. I think you’re right, on every point. My grandparents, nor my parents could ever afford any of those things either, so I don’t feel badly done to by not being able to participate in the Philistine frenzy. I have a cousin who does all that stuff though. He, his wife and each of their three children has their own car (we don’t have one between the seven of us), the eldest (23) even owns her own home. They look happy and so they should, I hear you say. They have everything money can buy. I feel a certain amount of jealousy because they don’t have to worry about money, bills etc. They have holidays and the house is warm in the winter. They spend days when they don’t change out of their pyjamas and eat cake and drink champagne. But I also know if I had to live that kind of a life I’d shrivel up inside.

  10. I would wish not to suffer worrying about money but aside that, I am not convinced money buys anything more than peace of mind as far as bills are concerned. There seems to be no advantage when you really examine those who have versus those who have not, other than bills and perhaps, healthcare (in some countries) I would imagine those with money would be obviously happier yet they are not. It could be as we get more, we want more, and thus, lose the wonder of wishing for things as we did as children. Plus as you say, you have a certain expectation levied upon you, a lack of freedom just to exist, you have to wear the right clothes, go to the right things, it just steps up the ante more and more. No, not for me thank you, people do not believe me when I say I would not wish for that, and yet it is true. Then again quite like the idea of eating cake now that you mention it 😉 I did always think the ‘wrong’ people had money in that if someone else did, they may actually do some good with it. Though for the most part there is no good comes of it.

  11. It’s true that people who have money always complain about how poor they are, or how much they pay in taxes, or how expensive their kids’ schools are etc etc. If you have money you spend it, and when you’ve spent it you long for the things you didn’t spend it on. No, having money doesn’t make you happier, but not having it certainly makes life difficult.

  12. Yes exactly. I find that those with moderate amounts of money have the least because they don’t darn things as we may, only those at the extreme end, with pots of money seem impervious to any concerns and they’re frankly impossible to imagine. I definitely think the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is worse than it ever was, with less opportunties because there are too many damn people in this world but that is not sufficient to ever give up doing what you do – and I know you know that – because sometimes it really takes longer than it ought but if you plug away I think in time the old adage about hard work getting you somewhere does still apply.

  13. I hope you’re right. But frankly, I would rather live on fresh air and never have the money for spectacles (don’t need them yet, but couldn’t afford them if I did) or for dental work as long as I can do what I enjoy doing.

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