it’s a real world//with real people//out there

after i read the mail about his death,
i close it//close the window, browser, turn around,
work through three visitor requests,
a meeting room (in amsterdam)//two guided tours,
(russian&chinese), a rental car in barcelona,
various airport pick ups//speakers

cause denial works for me//shutting blinds, pretending
no one’s in when life’s fragility crawls like a poisonous snake
under my skin, leaving lesions i can’t heal,

she was 15, in the afternoons
turned up at my house,
playing with the kids, we went for walks, grocery shopping,
cooking or just sitting on a bench in fall,
she told me about the trouble with her parents //teachers,
& i listened, tried to offer different glasses
how to look at things &

when i heard about her death a few years later,
fell / i didn’t even ask for details as the snake drives
sharp teeth through the thin parts of my limbs//heart,

&it’s getting dark already,
a group of kids plays soccer in the floodlight
as i bike back home from work, blood sugar
dangerously low, i’m dizzy//shaky knees (forgot lunchbreak)
cold wind bites my cheeks &life’s fragility
spins cirClesCiRCLes with each push of the pedals

he used to roll into the pub, linking his poems
sundays when i just got home from church,
almost clockwork & it’s strange, that once you’re used
to certain things, you think they never change–
or you don’t realize, caught up in your own world//own fears,
leaning against midnite as i browse through his
last posts//words, & my tears driP soundless
on the keyboard

.

David King, a fellow poet and blog friend has passed away and we want to honor him with our poems at dVerse, 3pm EST today, either expressing our loss or writing about friends and friendship

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52 responses to “it’s a real world//with real people//out there

  1. And that is how it is. But the relics we find left on park benches, pubs, blogs and poetry books do not replace the living experience inside, do not make up for the silence. The End, or not. Your poem strangely calms me.

  2. Immersing myself into work has worked for me too when I needed to make sure the reality of a close death did not overwhelm me. Your poem is very moving Claudia and the image of the poisonous snake is quite striking.

  3. this about sums up how i was yesterday….just kinda walking around in a fog…my denial wasnt working…i like how you blended in another death in your life that touched you as much…i did that in my write up for this afternoon as it brought back memories of other deaths too….i love too that you knew exactly when he would come in each day…smiles…its true…life is fragile, live it cherish it while you can

  4. You express the real life of sorrow so good. The snake under the skin, no lunch,, I know you knew him so much longer… but I miss him too. How he came in and commented on various poem I had written…. A great tribute I think… and now my tears are starting to burn too.

  5. Hi Claudia…death is hard and hurts, and one cannot say (I don’t think) that the internet is impersonal……as we do get to know the persons behind the poems and expect certain routines (like you knowing when Dave posted). It shakes up our world when things change, when someone becomes ill, when someone dies. And though none of us are stranger to death (I certainly am not) each time it hits us anew, I think, which is perhaps as it should be. We need to be reminded to savor each day, to appreciate each person we interact with, as we never know when their book (or our own) will be closed for the last time. I hear you about the fifteen-year-old as well. I don’t know how old she was when she died, but certainly way too early. Dave led a rich life…a full life..and THAT was a good thing.

  6. Oh Claudia–I am so sad. He was someone I really enjoyed–and the 15 year old–my friend’s 19 year old son died last week–so much heartache–tears dripping on the keyboards, with you.

  7. What an incredible tribute poem, Claudia; & long for you, but each word, line, & stanza building richly upon themselves. I did not really get to know Dave on-line, but through you & Brian, I feel the loss; that even midst the crowded crashing din of cacophony that crowds create, even those in cyber space, every voice has a value, and when a poet’s voice is silenced, we can all grieve, yes, but celebrate too, each of his poems, all of his spirit rendered richly into poetics. I liked your serpent analogy & the lines /i didn’t ask for details as the snake drives sharp teeth through the thin parts of my limbs/heart / Thanks for being there, for caring.

  8. I sometimes forget to celebrate life…getting caught up in the routine of existence…but events like yours reminds us to hold fast to its beauty.

  9. How beautiful, Claudia…and how easy to identify with your reaction. I did the same, kept busy, but then last night with nothing to do reality confronts. I woke so often and the image of his picture on his blog just came to life.

  10. A touching poem, Claudia. We get so close to our poet friends, ones that we haven’t met in real life yet we have been there listening to their hearts all along.

  11. Ouch, Claudia, that sounds like a real layer of skin coming off, certainly recognised it in myself:
    ’cause denial works for me//shutting blinds, pretending
    no one’s in when life’s fragility crawls like a poisonous snake
    under my skin, leaving lesions i can’t heal,’
    A beautiful tribute and a reminder of how we never know when… and always regret and wonder…

  12. I did not know Dave King but have become aware, through the words and sentiments of those who did, that his loss is mine as well. He must have been a wonderful man and poet. Lovely tribute, Claudia.

  13. Sad and very immediate, full of the grief that comes with a loss that just can’t ever be prepared for. Denial is a helpful place, sometimes. I am terrible about names, but as soon as I saw his face today at the pub, my heart just contracted.

  14. Oh Claudia, your last stanza speaks to me:

    “.it’s strange, that once you’re used
    to certain things, you think they never change–
    or you don’t realize, caught up in your own world//own fears,
    leaning against midnite as i browse through his
    last posts//words, & my tears driP soundless
    on the keyboard”

    That is how it was for me and I feel so guilty.

    Sorry Dave.

    Love you loads Claudia.

    Anna

  15. … this is so “in the moment” an immediate poem written when emotions are ripe, or so it seems to me. I love how this poem also recalls another’s death – another who have touched your life. I adore the term “leaning against midnight”. I like to think Dave is hearing/reading/internalizing these poems tonight –

  16. I am of the denial clan, myself. So hard to face what seems permanent…yet suspicious illusion. With you, tonight. Feeling like I’ve missed out a bit on a neat person. How we wish hings would never change…we so lean on the consistency of those who come into our lives…I guess the illusion is that nothing will change. Sigh…So sorry, Claudia.

  17. Claudia – beautiful – the last stanza I think is everyone’s reaction to his passing. How much we need to tell the people how much we care and love them while they are on earths coil, before it’s too late.

  18. Death never easy…from human side….specially, when you knew person…in this event you see your own life from different point of view, and grateful for every day…blessings!

  19. This is so beautifully written and I have to say, is one of my favorites from you. The death of a fellow poet reminds us all how precious and fleeting life is.

  20. A beautiful tribute Claudia! Life is, indeed, so very fragile. Perhaps as we reflect on his passing and the others who have touched our lives, we can make an effort to be kinder to those who cross our paths and to celebrate life and friendship while we can. The French have mastered the art of celebrating life.

  21. Beautiful writing, heavy emotions captured in the actions of closing the browser and the blinds. Very touching poem, well done in every way.

  22. Claudia, you made me cry. So beautiful. Dave’s passing makes us, inevitably, think of other losses, and our own lives, precariously held in the cosmos. We must write write write in all the time we have! Blessings, kiddo.

  23. That title is so true. Love your journal style, Claudia. And I wouldn’t miss this chance to say goodbye to a fellow poet blogger either.

  24. All truth it is. And the snake: very well played, I could feel it, definitely, crawling under skin. ‘Course that’s what I’ve always loved best about your poetry, the sensuality, the under-one’s-skin part. 🙂

  25. I was shocked and saddened. I have been away. I did not know him well – just a bit, enough to know that he was a good and kind man, a fine poet. I was saddened. Now writing yet. Hugs

  26. When that snake bites, we often don’t know how to treat it. This is beautiful, Claudia. Thank you. (I always looked for him on Sundays too)