Fond of ghosts


I am thankful

that I am not


you are what I could not be and partly remain

If I hadn’t fled and turned my back to

the inevitable crush of destiny, spinning on roulette table

the soft nape of cloth worn by dice


For years I regretted leaving myself behind

and those few memories not slicing

at my veins

but your life

engenders mindfulness

and I am

so relieved


This feels good

the city of our frying was so hungry

It wanted to devour youth

to sake itself on the fervor of the anointed needy

how anyone has the endurance?

how you do?

I have no idea


As I scaled my escape with trapeze skin shoes

the Harlequin came back from her exile in the countryside

the sequined one didn’t see how the city ate us up in little spoonful

she whose cheeks were red with fresh air, wanted so badly to return, throw her hunger at the crowd in fistfuls

and that’s why we crossed wires, finally hanging-up our respective ends


But you

puzzle me like the last page of a much creased book

I relate to your merciless sober tilt

a shared connection that runs the length of our separation

how the rest of your life will bid


you are when we’re not talking

how the world sounds through your ears or looks through your eyes


I feel you must have





you must be a new

in a large loud give

and that frightens me more than it should

considering once

I almost walked in the same buckled shoes


What made you stay?

and I leave?

what helps you imprint this life and nourishes the void I feel

imagining I had never left and still to turn the page

such terrors seem to separate us

beyond what could reconnect

proof perhaps

of the strength of the heart

to defy



grow fond of


33 thoughts on “Fond of ghosts

  1. I feel sorry for them too — be the wildest most untamed you and regret nothing
    You are amazing

  2. ” like the last page of a much creased book” The entire work is wonderful in so many ways! “This much creased book” is so awesome…..what is the book, who is in it, why have you read it so many time? A puzzle of one and for one! Reminds me of one of my favorite movies,” leaving Las Vegas”, which is also a puzzle of itself. I like how the pic fits in for the one who somehow managed to escape!

  3. So many incredible phrases here…really the whole piece is an amazing narrative, feels like quite a personal share of a closeness lost.
    Gayle ~

  4. I think that’s a terrific poem, with its endless, obsessive curiosity about the beloved, and with the whole addictive lifestyle. The sense that you escaped only just in time, and the memories ‘slice at your veins’. Your final conclusion that life in the city is lived by – ghosts. Well done!

  5. Some 25 years after I left working for an insurance company in The City eventually to take up Social Work, I met one of my former colleagues on Waterloo Station. He told me that all but one of my workmates were still with the firm. The only difference was that he was now the manager.

  6. So true. Have you read Paul Auster’s latest? (4321) It is about one person but four outcomes four lives that converge. It’s his usual style of almost phantasmagoric and really very clever though a hefty read at around 800 pages. I do recommend it though. xo Agreed. I think of this often. If just ONE thing were or had been different then what? And yet maybe if we believe in parallel universes, this does occur, simultaneously instead of linear, circular, coming back on itself. Or maybe even if we had made another choice our ‘fate’ or destiny would take us much the same course. Who knows? I don’t but I like to ponder it! (thank you for reading this)

  7. The past is a ghost that haunts with it’s terror or it is a sweet remembrance of what use to be
    You’ve written this so well hot stuff ( laughing)

  8. Good grief! I think this is why it’s good you left! I always thought you made the right decision though a hard one to be sure, you were not afraid to face things and I admire that.

  9. Thank you! I like your description of ‘endless obsessive curiosity’ that’s a great way of putting it and I think that’s exactly what I was trying to do. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know and describe your feelings reading this it helps me a lot and I’m very appreciative. I definitely was conveying a sense of just escaping in time, – thank you so much for your thoughtful and extremely observant comments thank you Penny xo

  10. Thank you so much dear Gayle I am very, very grateful to you for reading my work as I respect yours very much and it’s always so helpful and appreciated to read someone’s take on what I have written, thank you!

  11. Many thanks for your trust, Candy. After Vivien’s death and single parenthood, there was no way I could stay in such an emotionally unsatisfying environment.

  12. I recall us talking of this long ago and I felt exactly that you did what you MUST to survive and be authentic which you continue to be in so many ways maybe you don’t even know. I could not have endured what you did, the fact that you turned that pain into helping others, was one reason I felt such an attachment of spirit and faith in you as a person – it isn’t what everyone does and if you do it says a lot about your heart and your soul. Basically that’s what I like most about you, how you turned your pain into ways of actually helping others.

  13. Well it’s a tome and considered his magnus opus (fair warning) only worth delving into if you’re fond of his style. I’m currently reading another book on Mormons after reading The 19th Wife *you MUST read that* this is all inspired by your book of course. Today I was talking about a fast-rape-kit-test that could resolve the back-up of rape-kit-testing I would love to be a part of something like this to actually HELP people. Goes without saying if you need a gofer for any of your superb work relating to the subject you don’t even need to ask I’m at your door ringing the bell as we speak 😉 xo

  14. It’s a poem that deserves close attention, and a poem that gives great enjoyment on reading over and over again. There are some lovely phrases, like “trapeze skin shoes”, “The last page of a much creased book”, and “I almost walked in the same buckled shoes”. Buckled shoes; the description works brilliantly, and I can’t quite fathom out why!

  15. A lot of poetry is how it sounds and someone also pointed out if you read poetry without emotion it’s just words jumbled together, I thought that so true, so maybe it’s sounds and our own rhythm in tangent? (thank you!)

  16. You’re very welcome. No writer could wish for anything more than to be respected and I don’t take your compliment for me lightly. I’m also very pleased if I can give to others through my comments. You’re very kind. xo

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