Laura’s Poems: Inspired by Twin Peaks

All of my poetry books, so far, have been a pretty good snapshot of a period in my life. “Couch to Couch” was written when I’d first moved out on my own, met my wife, and started taking writing courses in college. “That Which Gets in the Way” is going to be a ride along through a time in 2015/16 when I battled depression. Even “Four” was somewhat personal because it was so spur of the moment. The collection I’m working on now isn’t really an inward exploration like my past works. My ship, she’s been sailing calm for a while now, and I feel like that’s freed up my creativity.

For the time being, I’m done focusing on me. Things are moving in a different direction, where I’m treating my poems like sort of micro dreams. My goal is to experience a thought or feeling in another person’s shoes for the duration of a single poem. If a corner office, cocaine-sniffing financial broker looked out his massive windows and had a moment of disorientation, what poem would he right in that moment? A couple are driving down a desert highway at night, the radio cuts out, headlights skip across the median from the other lane, heading straight for them and the man doesn’t swerve an inch. What is the woman in the passenger seat thinking right before they all die? I’m searching for random prompts whose stories may never be told.

So, I was looking at my wife’s Laura Palmer cigarette holder and had an idea. One poem for each year she was alive. Here’s 1972-79. The rest of the set will be in next year’s release “In Your Gourd, Off the Dime”. To me, they’re more like little paintings than my previous stuff. Tidbits of imagination that can make sense individually, or as a whole. This collection will be more about theme and feel than the actual words. Anyway, that’s enough rambling. As always, hope you enjoy!

 

1972

I’m not going to talk about
myself

I’m new, fresh, reborn

you talk about yourself

you can

i sit here knowing everything you’d
ever want to know and more

you

you should write it down too
because that’s not what anyone
wants to hear

1973

there’s a hand
there’s pills
there’s a bowl

the hand takes the pills from the bowl
and feeds them to the wife

this isn’t the night that she wants to be awake

maybe later
maybe when they’re all gone
all safe

she’ll want to hear again

but right now
no one is safe
and it isn’t going to sound
like a circus.

1974

oh how beauty grows
how it stumbles around
on the carpet
looking for you
hold her up

oh how golden hair grow
she looks like a cherub
sleeping on her side
facing heaven

let’s take her out
show her off to the world
take her to the pictures

honey,
i think you’ve
had enough
to drink
those
martinis
aren’t getting
any
weaker

1975

i don’t remember the last two
of her birthdays
what were they like?
was i there?
who else?

i don’t remember the poor thing
what did we get her?

was that when her cousin
pushed her down the stairs
was that her last birthday?

sweetie
can you hear me?
open up your eyes for me
can you hear me?
it’s your birthday
your cousin should be here

watch out for those stairs

1976

my father took me into the woods
for the first time
when i was four

the trees were the tallest
things i’d ever seen
when i was four

we had his old brown car
a green radio
and a basket of food

the walked me away from our blanket
and a minute later
on the radio
a man began screaming

he was being hurt
he was calling out
he was asking for me by name

we never found the green radio
and some say he
still screams today

1977

my cousin and i were playing down the street
this was the year i started to think
there was a man dressed in blue
and his boy playing tag

his mother said she knew mine
but i’d never seen my mother
outside

another family drove by
laughing at the man dressed in blue

two more families today
is this how fast
the world always
grew

the laughing family threw greasy
burger bags on the street
where the boys played tag

they were people who didn’t care about others
not unlike my mom and dad

1978

i wonder if the people
i saw today
keep thinking
and talking
when
they go away

1979

today is the day we grow
it is the day we turn into real people
because we can’t do it
on a day that doesn’t exist
and today
is it

do you think you’ll
turn into a real person tomorrow??
i love someone
when do they become real??

do you both have to be real
to love one another??
and if i love someone else

tomorrow
how real is my love
yesterday

Author: A. M. Langston

Poet and Novelist

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