Friday, May 8, 2015

Noel Negele- Two Poems

Tough December.

When I was younger
I had just turned eighteen
I lived for a couple of weeks with my grandmother
(Since I didn’t talk to my father then
And my mom was in Greece)
In that gloomy dark house, made of wood and red bricks
With its leaking roof
And the rain drops oozed and leaked left and right

      -Being December and all-

And we had positioned buckets
In all the areas of seepage
And we would empty them every three or four hours
Even at night, I’d regulate the alarm clock and in the absolute darkness
I’d empty them holding a candle whose flame trembled
Much like my patience

We didn’t have electricity most of the time
The state sold the electricity
And as with most things
On the expense of the poor

My grandfather had recently died,
He was a good man and funny
Died in his sleep one morning
Had a disease that didn’t hurt him
Life was kind to him on that
Like a proper lady

But my grandmother
Married to him since the age of sixteen
Hadn’t gotten used to living by herself yet
And she had become a pathetic and whining old woman
And when she was alone and wasn’t aware that I was watching
She talked to her self –
A really miserable sight
To see a crooked short little human
Ignored by life and forgotten by death
Having murmuring conversations with herself
While knitting and bleeding her fingers in the process
Because her eyesight was terrible

She also had this extreme phobia
Of thunders
And it was their time too
She would cover the mirrors
With blankets
For some reason
And slumped in bed and tremble
Even though I tried to comfort her
By saying its nothing
And even attempted to explain to her
That thunders come from the electricity
That passes through and shakes the air particles
And that the noise is mere vibrations
But things like these have no effect to the uneducated
And anyway it was too late for her to unlearn
Her habits and fears
Even if that resulted in her benefit

She also had insomnia the poor thing
And that’s why I’d buy two bottles of wine
Cheap of course
And we’d drink each night in the kitchen
And then she’d finally fall asleep
And I’d go to my room
And get hammered with the solid conviction
That I would never allow myself to get old-
Also  to endure the day passed and the one that would follow-
Life began each morning and had new torments and boredoms
To donate

The next days my grandmother would still whine about her insomnia
Even though I’d listen to her snoring till 5 in the morning
When I’d fall asleep,
Another habit of hers it was too late to take away from

One night I asked her about grandfather
And she told me stories
And told me of his final night

She said he sat in the kitchen
And crooned a poem he had written about his mother
And that he would meet her really soon

My grandmother
Yelled at him to come to bed
But my grandfather responded that she should not wait for him
Because tomorrow he would die
He was sure of it

He didn’t sleep at all that night
And at dawn he went out
And bought fruits
And a lot of strawberries that my grandmother liked so much
And he laid at 7 in the morning
And never woke again.

The worst thing was that no one ate
The fruits
Everybody was too sad to eat

I guess in an old couple
The one that dies first
Is the luckiest.

Ushtray Note

And you lean the bottle
over the empty glass
trying to fill something
but the bottle is done for.
You are more sober than drunk
and you are alone
typing away
searching companionship 
in a world with people
that are already there.
And you're left 
scratching your beard
under a sky
as empty
as everything else.

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