Monday, August 17, 2015

mikhal poem straight up one day post death


yesterday you drowned,
  a victim of a malady
     not of your own making,
         yesterday gone.
so glad i was your friend.
    wish i had been better.

          where are you?

             i don't want to just feel you,
               i want you here.

i want to see you smile
   i want to hear your music
     want to float on the melancholy
         melody of your river-like flute,
             play along upon a skiff,
               drift with you to the sea.
i don't want you
   to just be a memory.
i remember all the way back to mike
  (later you would change your name to mikhal
       in honor of your polish grandfather)
          mike, rocking out to jane's addiction. you were cock sure,
            scrappy, a business school tycoon,
              a european fashion model wanna be,
               a ladies man in the making, all
                sinewy muscles and hair gel.
this was some previous you, though.
  he left to make room for who you became
       (an unlikely hero, as alex put it)
           via what catalyst?
                dr. lee's eastern philosophy class?
                 (he was a true buddhist and you began to wake up)
did i help? yes, i'm sure i must of,
   all of my mother's love for other
    and all of my father's love for self
      channeled through me
          and into you:
so, though i was uncooked, unrefined,
    still i could offer you something.
(i failed you more often than i was there.
      forgive me.)
and what is it that you became?
  a poet, a mind so attuned to magic
   that linear thinking would not contain you.
      your prose was ripped through with errors
        of syntax, incomplete argument.
           your professors all failed you.
              none (save lee) could see
               that you were merely
in this way, too, i was there for you.
i could see that the truth you were after,
the truth you often found, was deeper
than the shallow rules, more round
than the square pegs you were trying
to fit into. only poetry could contain
all that color, all that light. but there
was shadow too, demons i could never
fathom. when they came to the surface
it was too terrible and awesome to face.
where did they come from? your mother's
suppression of her depression? your father's
anger? your intolerance for intolerance?
and who knows what chemical concoctions
arose from your dna, from the epilepsy.
perhaps there was even some real demon
attached to you, haunting you, a metaphysical
disease tenaciously holding onto your soul,
perhaps even the spector of pure evil, if such
thing exists. i always refused to believe it did,
despite my superstitious intuition. i always refused to
accept the fear if i noticed a bias influencing
my love for you. still, i often failed.
though these monstrous, terrible forces
working in you were more than i could handle,
i refused to accept them. this enabled me
to stick around for the long run, allowed me
to stay objective. still, there were walls.

your epilepsy, too, changed you.
you became obsessed with finding
a natural cure, disdaining western medicine,
even, it seemed to us, if it would kill you.
we hated this stupidity in you, but could not
help but admire your courage in the face of death.
your philosophies slowly changed as the methods did,
but since nothing seemed to work you adopted a stoic optimism.
you began to view the seizures as a blessing. you were grateful
(as long as no asshole cops were arresting you upon recovery,
as long as there was no sirens in your face) for the chance to be reborn.
for you did become a child again after the electrical storm in your brain
scrambled all of your memory. everything was glorious in the natural
state to which you awakened. this constant reminder of the true
beauty of the world was part of your wisdom, your simple
love of an apple, the mountains, your friends.
you once told me, pre-epilepsy, that you wished
the mind could be better organized, that memory
should be more effectively indexed. in this way you
could reference the information you needed by, say,
pushing the correct button. as if the countless desiderata
of each moment could be labelled!
the irony is that with each successive seizure
you would lose more and more memory. and then,
truly, you had to turn to a more organized memory aid,
a pen and paper, or to me, keeper of many of your
most strange and beautiful memories.
(i have no memory more intense, for instance, than your
melt down in the mountains of ecuador.)
you fought hard to maintain mental coherence
(you were eating high octane brain food,
twelve bucks a can, on the last day i saw you.
and though you were less hazy than normal,
nearly clear, still, you were trying to sell
the nuts and berries to me as some sort
of multi-marketing pyramid scheme. i
wasn't buying. you even made the mistake
of quoting bible passages that seemed to tout
the miracle mix. i had to gently tell you why not.)
and, perhaps to counter the failing of your mind,
you kept your body in maximum condition.
you were the only person i ever knew who
could spend hours running up and down mountains.
you were physically beautiful, had a stunning feline grace.
you had a beautiful style, too, in which form always followed function
and yet still managed to keep ahead of fashion, otherworldly, future primitive.
there were strange experimentations with your facial hair, usually
with striking results (though shaving your eyebrows
was probably a bad idea. i applaude your
courage, though, in trying it. you had that...edge.)
your aquiline, angular face was a perfect setting for
your piercing blue eyes. the icy blue of your eyes
seemed to match the burning intensity of your gaze.
your gaze was more than polite folk
could take. as brice put it,
you wanted to establish
an immediate relationship
with others in the real.
you would want to immediately
be true and naked. polite society
could never understand this. they
were too invested in their invisible armor.
so you were ostracized, too much to bear.
sometimes you even became aggressively antagonistic.
this was sincere for you, as was almost everything else.
you were nothing, if not rigorously honest.
what caused that love for truth?
it was one of the things i most loved about you.
i try to stand back and see your death as the natural processes
of life, try to be objective. but your very uniqueness won't allow
for it. i cannot accept the loss. who else, but you, will so fully
appreciate how beautiful she is? i'm losing it. my thoughts
are becoming a jumble. why is it i never missed you
a tenth as much as i miss you right now?
as if all my love were condensed
in the heartbreak of this moment.
is it because i always thought
i had tomorrow to appreciate you?
ah, well, i'll imortalize you in poetry
(if in the illusions of my mind only)

     i'll write you as you,
     a living poem, wrote me.

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