and post notes and photos about your poem like Gregory R Barden.
* For a very special friend *
please tell me ...
what dire damage have i wrought?
what did i do to ruin it, that friendship, rare?
you once knew me better than most ...
my darkness didn't frighten you, didn't rattle,
you sighted those demons ... i think they danced with yours, times,
imbibed from the same bleeding cup, cackling ... spitting.
but you were always keener, always perceived their pretense ...
you shook their power dry like a doll in a wet wind,
never raising your voice ... or your distaste.
i think, like me, you found the bleak as warm -
the oily blackness wrapping like a coverlet,
and what others found terrifying, brought you peace ... safety,
a parochial refuge from intimacy and vulnerability.
we shared that blanket, though we'd different reasons ...
oh, decidedly scarce, that kind of amiable bond ...
it sparked an almost insane compulsion for spirit-diving -
spelunking in the wild wonder of ids and idioms,
each other's, most of all ... everyone else's with amusing sarcasm,
the absurdities of 'normal' life our private joke ...
proud oddity and chaos, fuming like our (menthol) cigs.
yet ... and i mean this specifically ... it all FLOWED,
with a manic and monstrous fluidity,
the ordered universe, being what it ... IS.
two more foolhardy dreamers, placing dominoes artfully, thus,
just to make the chain-reaction wreckage more painful,
like the visceral 'fun' of biting down hard on toothaches,
or hiding, purposely, to be left (achingly) behind.
the few things we couldn't talk about, hung between us -
a diaphanous veil that we knew the other knew the other knew,
poking at it with annoyance and diverted apathy,
what, in this millennial age, would be phrased 'it is what it IS' ...
and just as horridly and apathetically reviled.
but, oh, how indefinably special and precious it ALL was,
in all its freaking fatuous, puerile fashions,
as attenuate and extraordinary as friendship can be.
for many reasons, one of my toughest periods,
but you helped me through ...
every silly, sad, insane, and oddly rebellious moment
was so importantly unimportant ... steam blown, emotions channeled ...
confusing maelstrom of hormones and hopes and hindrances
given their due eulogy, childhood's effigy charred to cinder.
now, and i'm not blaming, here i am, typing ...
about one of my best friends, EVER,
yet she and i don't speak ... are far away doing this 'life' thing,
a rare message on facebook every-few months.
this priceless gem of friendship, now dulled and nearly forgotten,
and it confounds me, though i'm sure it's my doing,
the steel of my changes and motivations and issues and loves,
a rusted but deadly blade of division,
with a distance far more formidable than miles.
i want to ASK what it was ... which stupid mistake among many
did the worst damage, sent the patience packing?
but i can't, cuz it would mean admitting that i want it all back,
admitting that i am still a child waiting for santa claus.
i want to ask, too, why you disregard my timid cryptology ...
why the person whose artistic insight and opinion i admire most -
the best sculptor of word and phrase and poetic acumen i've ever known,
is never moved to say a single word about my writing,
or take the eighth-of-a-second to click on that inane "like" button?
is it because i poisoned amity to a gagging wretch, beyond hope?
is it because i'm not remotely as accomplished a word-smith as i pretend?
is it a not-so-subtle stab at that deepest part of me ...
the part that you, of very few, know will feel the deepest incision?
i fear it's the latter, and i'm troubled beyond the obvious,
because that's the reason that requires intent,
and means that the carnage i've wrought,
is far more sadistic and lasting
than i thought possible,
and all that wonder -
all that dearness,
is now worth ...
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2019