Yeah, I write poetry too.

So here’s another geeky aspect to me.  Sometimes when I’ve got an emotion I need to find an expression for or need to pinpoint the source of, I’ll write poetry.  This one was written a year ago after a vile fight with one of my very closest friends, and written in the certainty that we’d never talk to each other again.  Took us over six months, but we did patch things up, and we’re closer than ever.  However, with events in the past couple weeks, suicides and deaths of dear friends in San Francisco, New York, and Paris, I’m posting this.  You’re under no obligation to read this; this post is more for me.

Ancora Ductila

His initial impression is of a distant sweetness,
Perhaps more tasted in the air than smelled,
Redolent of apricots, of heliotrope, of hashish;
He inhales deeply, imbuing his corpse
With the vapor wafting unseen on the breeze.

The aftermath is differently beautiful.
No birds sing, no animals prowl;
Not even ants creep among the dusty remnants of grass.
Trees stand leafless, their wood dry and white
Where the bark has eroded away.
No corpse is left; only bones,
Bleached grey in the unyeilding sun,
Lying in discontigous piles, fractured and splintered,
Twisted, and tinged black along dagger-sharp edges.
Knots of what was once hair and feather
Blow in the scentless wind. Decades hence,
When starving dogs first return to this dishallowed ground,
They will refuse these gnawings,
Preferring to chew the dessicated soil.

Those colorless, fragrant clouds
Pass over unseen, like a Pesach angel,
Mordant, bearing malaise across once-verdant lands,
Stripping, defoliating flower and tree,
Dropping both hawks and bees from the air,
Still in tormented guises of flight;
Turning horse as easily as vole aside,
Slavering at the mouth as to rid themselves of the taste.
They die as do insects, their twitching legs
Pawing at the air above, attempting to run, to burrow,
To flee the death they cannot see,
The angel’s flaming sword apparent only
In the line of life overtaken.

Centuries ago, in another dry blanched land
So ostentatiously given to our father’s fathers’ fathers,
The local harpist king once quipped at dinner,
“The number of our years are three score and ten;
And the fullness of those is labor and sorrow.”
When no guest cracked a smile, he harrumphed,
Realizing that only he would ever understand the joke.
His best friend, nay lover, was compelled to forsake him;
His wives conspired and played him for a fool;
His own much-loved son betrayed him, and was slain.
This tragedy played out on a stage only he could attend;
In generations since, most men fail to see the proscenium at all,
And hence never understand that, relatively,
His life was a comedy compared to theirs.
It matters not what to what means we resort;
All human interactions end:
All friendships, marriages, businesses, emnities, treaties.
Men grow distant, or are driven asunder; they quarrel;
Men die.
The gossamer threads, these ductile anchors,
So anxiously thrown in hope
Of securing an enduring bond,
Like a harpsichord string are so easily overtuned
And played too fiercely, they snap;
Or like an elastic band, they harden by exposure
Until in an unobserved moment they crack
And crumble away like unfired clay.
The only constant in our human experience
Is the ever-renewed disappointment
That no meaningful, worthwhile, or pleasurable connection
Proves permanent.

Thus, as all isthmi wash away,
Eroded by the unappeasable surge of the brine-heavy sea,
Does each man become an island.

The only things he sees:
The colorless, cloudless sky arching above him,
And the unsetting sun,
Scorching the unending dead plain stretching waterlessly ahead of him
As far as his myopic and cataracted vision can discern.

The only things he feels:
The crumble of the harsh dead grass under his calloused, gnarled toes,
Hardened by constant wandering beyond the ability to bleed,
And the sting of the wind-borne dust on his grisled, rosacea’d face.

The only things he hears:
The irregularity of his own slowly slowing heartbeat;
And the rasping exhalation of the rank vapor
Issuing from his grey, chapped, split lips,
Seeming faintly sweet to his own nose.

And the only thing he knows
Is that he bears a guttering, malodorous flaming sword
And thus he styles himself an angel.

June 2014

 

Value everyone around you.  Take time to say you love someone.  Don’t wait to find peace after an argument; do it now.  You just never know when all further opportunity will be taken away.  In the past four years I’ve lost over twenty friends, from people I just knew and liked to my nearest and dearest.  It doesn’t get easier, it doesn’t get any less painful.  And there’re always things left unsaid.

RIP William, James, Marcel, and Eric.  I love you guys.

 

Angel with a Flaming Sword

Edwin Howland Blashfield, 1893

24 comments

  1. melissa Mcentyre says:

    I think it is nice you write poetry & music– multi-layers are so much better
    than one layer lives–So sorry for the lose for so many from your life

  2. Jeremy says:

    This was an absolutely beautiful piece. I’m not sure I can even adequately comment on the depth and range of emotion present in it. Wow….

  3. Tony Greer says:

    Wow…i absolutely loved it!!!!!

  4. valynda says:

    You Dirk Caber are a very talented man. I felt the loneliness, the sadness. I am sorry for your loss

  5. Tifa says:

    That is incredibly deep. I’m going to reread it tomorrow and then share it with my other half. Certainly feels raw. Also, my condolences on your recent losses.

  6. Marvin Fogel says:

    The picture is of the Angel of Death whose sword takes the life out of the dying. The tip of the sword is soaked in blood, or is it burning? We’ve sensed this as the dying person takes his/her final breath. The Afterlife, is it heaven or is it as bleak as is painted in your the poem. Will we learn our final place wherever it is that we shall rest?

    Fights with family members and friends and death of dear ones take a devastating toll on one’s health. Healing is fragile, at first, but it is a given because we are human.

    Always be nice to people you know is my motto.

    The poem is a expression of a grieving heart. It is also appreciated.

    Thank you for sharing it with the readers of your blog.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. As a poet myself, I appreciate the words laid down. Beautiful imagery. Tragic and lovely.

  8. Jez Dennis says:

    Thought provoking beautifully written, and well worth re-reading and re-reading.

  9. Helena Stone says:

    That is absolutely stunning. Your words took my breath away. The depth, the feelings, layers beneath layers. You’re right of course, nobody HAS to read it but I feel people would deprive themselves of a beautiful and thought provoking piece of writing if they didn’t. No complaints from me should you decide to share more of your poetry.

  10. Berlinhunkhunter says:

    Hey Dirk!

    Thanks for sharing that. It is a great work. If you find the time… Check out that very small site I’ve been creating with my poetry. Would love to hear what you think.

    Best
    Andi from berlin

    http://www.shakespearean-sonnet.org

  11. Wow. Just… wow. Dude, is there anything you can’t do? This is an absolutely stunning piece of writing.

    • Ha! And I just now read the other comments and see my co-writer (Helena Stone) also commented and used the word stunning, only further convincing me we share one brain.

  12. Terri says:

    So beautiful. You are a very artistic man.

  13. Danielle says:

    Beautiful!!! I loved it.. Please share more ❤️

  14. Thank you for sharing a piece that is filled with such emotional energy. Condolences on the loss of your friends.

  15. John G. says:

    I’m so glad you reconciled with your friends – life’s too short not to do so. You are always stronger than you think.

  16. Phillip Cooke says:

    This deserves a more careful read. Reading it during a break at work does it very little justice. It is a well-written piece, and the images it creates are beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  17. Chrystal says:

    An absolutely stunning piece. Dirk, you are a man of many talents. I hope you will share more of your brilliant writings.

  18. Henk says:

    Wow! What a powerful piece? After suffering loss too, one tends to forget that emotion, of ‘loss’ is mutli layerd, the crying, the emptiness, the silence etc, going through the “other” layers of emotion, there is a realignment of feelings and then there is healing. Congratulation Dirk!

  19. Jakkree Kaewkoad says:

    This taken my breathless away…Love it beautiful…spread lovely words to the world…Stunning piece and powerful…Love you…

  20. Steve Sloane says:

    Does anybody wonder why this man we know as Dirk Caber is so loved? If he never did anything after that video with Marcus Ruhl (Worked Over from TitanMen) when I first saw him I would worship the ground he walks on until the day that I die.
    He writes beautiful music and poetry, he makes many public appearances for all kinds of reasons and causes, he does film and stage work and he’s a devoted husband and obviously a devoted friend.
    And all this he gives to anyone and everyone!
    Does anybody wonder why I say Dirk & Jesse are the hottest men on the planet?
    I hope like fuck they come to MAL next year!

  21. S. Scott Nixon says:

    Beautiful poem, Dirk; you bring such a powerful imagery to each line. I can appreciate your sentiments – my best friend just lost a good friend & co-worker to cancer and it’s affected him deeply. He phoned late that night to let me know what had happened & also wanted me to know how much I meant to him thru our many years of friendship & reminded me that we can never take one another for granted.
    Thanks, Dirk 🙂 🙂

  22. Daniel says:

    Wow Dirk, what strong poem, the most powerful one that I’ve read in a long time. I write poetry too you know, it comes from my heart and my own life experiences. I’m deeply moved by your writing, as I’m sure everyone else who commented is too. Thank you very much for sharing.

    Your fan/fellow poet,
    Daniel

  23. Daniel says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, know that you are in my prayers.

Leave a Reply to Danielle Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *