Usual Early Morning Stuff

It is 5am. I fight with the alarm. I fight with the cat. It is hard to leave the bed soft, fresh sheet, downy blanket hugging me back to slumber. He won’t let me sleep in and the 10-minute snooze won’t either. My choice. I set the alarm. I keep feeding him.

I sit up. I strap on the robe and sandals. I set about the usual early morning stuff. The cats weave around my legs as I pee. There are two cats, but she is much quieter, so I don’t complain about her in the morning. The gurgling coffee pot calls to me from the kitchen. I set about feeding us.

Shredded fish and gravy for them, OJ and coffee and ink for me. He eats, and naps curled in the chair next to me. She disappears again. The coffee has been poured into a weekday cup of average size. I put on a blanket against the chill from the degrading kitchen windows.

I begin to empty my mind of anger or poems or scene sketches for a novel I am months from completing. It is slow at first, unsure of my characters. What if I make bad choices for them? These are someone else’s kids in my care- no? They’re mine? Even worse. The white space fills with black ink, mostly legible, with circular patterns of character self-discovery and bad descriptions.

The paper and ink raw messy dirty dish reality of my kitchen conjures the best times of my life- food and wine and people I love. The space I write and create, the space of warm ovens and cold drinks, of turning spice into curry and flour into bread. It is fertile ground. It soothes my aching soul when the pen digs too deep into the flesh of all that is hidden.

Later the computer will sterilize this but not too much. Only enough to make it appear I am not completely uneducated though my reading list is long and impossible. Writing my flesh then clothing it in gauze. My living room editor life of electronic square blinking screen, cold and efficient, symbol of productivity and work.

The alarm on the stove beeps. The pen and paper are closed. Night clothes come off, day clothes come on, different. Hair different, hot and pasted into place. Breakfast, commuter bag, lunch bag, journal, calendar, coat, hat, boots, mittens… power off, locks on, out into the ally to the street to the bus to the bumper car traffic to the place I spend most of my days, not writing, in a cube farm.

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, February 2018

Drifting in at Night

Day ends in
Hot water bubbles

Lavender scents
Body, I am calm

There is no fighting
Neighbors for hot water

No fighting
Cats over mealtime

No telephone or internet or music
Just my peace of mind

Day complete, time spent
What I accomplished, over

Clean sheets
Smell of soap

My downy cocoon
Speak quietly to God

About all that I did
Ask for help with things

Painful and confusing
Know no answer will come

Until at least morning
Might as well sleep

Often, I do not finish
Fade away with my prayers

Next to cats who snuggle,
Groom each other in darkness

Hum from the fan blocks
Noise of the city

I release into the next
A peaceful life

For one who has known
So little peace

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, March 2018

Movement

Survey material goods
Next door assessed by developers

Rummage to donate or pack
Memories sold to highest bidder

Take down shelves, curtains, waste
Flower pattern wallpaper, carpet demolition

Hired men take it away
Trucks with wood, bricks, drywall

Sweep floor
Sweep neighborhood

Move on, move in
No trespassing

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, April 2003 (revised April 2018)

Across Water

Currents move you
When you don’t know
Where to move yourself

In childhood,
Moments of crisis,
At the end of one chapter,
Beginning of the next

Familiar in their pain
Longing that returns
Over and over
Like waves, the tide

Trying to ‘be good’
Meet expectations
Of your parents
You can never meet them

They are the shore
Currents constantly
Pull you away from,
Where you started

These people
Began your life
They are not the end

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, May 2016

High Water

When the flood comes into the house it leaves mud and mold. You try to clean up. It’s a bad day when you must throw the refrigerator and the flooring out- but what can you do? You have your life with you, the stuff of what remains- your mind, your experience, your willingness to move on or not.

Maybe that’s the real tragedy of it all. That the tragedy derails you for years. That passersby look on at the unfinished roof and are annoyed at your laziness. They don’t know that dad fell off the ladder, hit his head, and died trying to fix it.

And you can’t face it.

You can’t face the pain. Bills must still be paid and the collector doesn’t give a shit that your heart is in pieces. That you can’t think clearly enough not to pour spoiled milk on the last of the cereal in the box.

No one remembers your trauma and you are never over it fast enough for their taste. They’ve moved on to the next episode, the next season. As if life is a television series and they are sick of watching you.

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, January 2018

Boil

It starts out okay
Nice

Until the dissatisfaction
Creeps in
The boredom
The blame

You love so you try to fix it
There is no fixing it
They came broken

Only they can make
An unbroken self
Only personal healing

That takes time
Hard work
It is quicker,
Easier to blame others

So, the water felt fine
You got in
Not noticing the fire
Lit underneath

And slowly, slowly
What is abnormal
Becomes normal

Your definition of abuse
Becomes extreme
To support your denial
Denial of the abuse

You cannot face it
You cannot look
Look into the mirror

There is shame in
Tolerating it
Receiving it
Admitting it

So, as the world boils
Around you
When an old friend asks
“How are you?”

You respond
“I’m fine.”

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, October 2017

Magic

Magic in the moon
Early morning
Sub-zero walk
No one is about

Ground crunches
Snow
Sky is clear
Nothing blocks
View of space

People are home
Snuggle each other
Snuggle the cat
Snuggle in blankets

But I am out
Walk to breakfast
Hot coffee

A tramp outside
Between
One warm inside
To another

Winter in small doses
Reminder of childhood
Play, romance
Simpler times in my life

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, January 2018