Mac and Tis: A Still Life

…for both lovers, and for all pairs of lovers without exception, bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love.  – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

(About me looking at two statuettes that are dedicated to my grandma and grandpa – they aren’t hand-crafted, but mass-produced little statues that merely have their names painted on. Modest and humble.  And for some reason, this Lewis quote really resonated. The idea being that – in marriage, and barring freak accidents – one spouse will die before the other. That’s pretty depressing. But I didn’t think about that, so much as the risk, the jump, that such a decision entails. How much of a love is that, to understand this truth? C.S. married a woman with cancer, who he knew would die within a few years. And he never remarried. A Gried Observed tackles this situation and marital…issues, for lack of a better word.

As for the poem, it is a collage of memories, good ones, that seem to have metaphorically collected on a shelf, in my father’s house. After musing on the statuettes for a bit, the poem comes to an epiphany: that loved ones, at some time, must be “apart“. The epiphany is followed by a seemingly unimportant reminiscence. But its entirely important. Its a memory: a good one. And that is the stuff which I think we must survive on. Good memories. The poem is a battle between these good memories, and bad ones. The memory of debilitating arthritis doesn’t compare to seeing those statues side-by-side, there names together. Even if they aren’t one, or a whole, they are together now, via those statues. And that’s all we can hope for. We can’t hope for our loved ones to return to life. Would we not be asking them to die a second time? Thanks.)

Mac and Tis: A Still LIfe

This is a collage of objects
Framed by shelves. Model cars
And Toy cars. I no longer interest
In either. Two gas lamps
never used nor moved
Since I can remember.
At least fifteen years.
A stockpile of free hats
Stacked boxes of pocket knives
A road map rebound with duct tape.
In the epicenter stands two figurines:
A saluting soldier, doe-eyed  and duffle bag.
The other, a woman of the war,
Holds a map, anticipating some journey.
But all I know of her
Are curled arthritis toes and bed-ridden.
She made no journeys in my time.
What scares me the most, these are two
Figurines, apart, bought seperately.
They don’t even look
In the same
“Mac” and “Tis” on their bases, respectively.
In cursive, I smile.
A dear friend calls me Mac. Pure

I only saw my grandfather
Cry twice. The second time:
She journeyed enough.
Her funeral.
First came
The day
He talked about
The war


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The reason for all this is not reasonable. The reason, strictly art, Still makes no sense to me.

The Wheel

November 2009
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