Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

Angling for New Beginnings – Recovering Time, Faith, Memory

more than a survivor’s tale – a story recalled by those in everlasting recovery

by Paul Haeder / December 11th, 2020

Timeincown Art Print featuring the photograph The Walk To Paradise Garden by W. Eugene Smith
W. Eugene Smith — The Walk to Paradise Garden

prefiguring Dante’s circles
this father squeezed gravity
hateful and alcoholic parents
models of daily pugilism
he turned into teen
warped by progenitors

predator, mean as cuss
finds bullshit Navy
place to repress
until fathering child
madam boom-boom

the second child, or maybe third
daughter is my friend:
imagine juvenile bruises,
older sister of bro’ standing
between another hematoma
for baby, sacrificing safety

these are not eulogies of cracker
redneck, rather sickness
the seed of his parents
boy-to-man, hateful
the bubbling acid
narcissism, sociopathy

daughter tells me
predator father tricked
her out, California style
the boy brother
flung like ragdoll
every ounce of old man’s
incompetence, failings
each, an uppercut to boy’s gut
multiple head crashes

today is fifty years from
her birth: she paints
therapy images, collages
eyes of mother and chin
of grandmother
Frida Kahlo roses
the Christ figure
in supplication
she puts in a rib cage
sews it with red
yarn, the heart of
Dolores Mexicana
dangles, blade
deep into heart

this life is more than
one or two lamentations
formative years
pure war zone
until separation from
evil paternal sociopathy
brings youth into
struggling adulthood
always some thing
hooked to wicked
father, crusted hard
like a web, crystalized
reaching a thousand miles away
as old man hovers over
model radio planes
lives his life
old man moldering in basement
apartment, his eyes
who knows, scans
porn hubs
his heart
a disembodied belly
of codfish
bloated, bloodless
giant bladder of evil
air from the depths
of Dante’s imagination
bellowing outward, inward
inward, outward

as boy and girl
recover five decades
walk drunk with nightmares
darkness shards turn
to light, golden
new shapes, vibrant
the taste of life
sweet and full
acridity of the assaulter
peeled away
from tongues

until a collage of life
is multiplicity of images
pasted over and over
rearranged each year
the image lifting like
a thousand scabs
healed over
as brother
and sister
breathe air
no longer sucking
in exhalations
of a human devil
they still call
dad …
but rather oxygen
from a warm
blue sirocco
until “dad”
turns to ashes
the white-hot baptism
of surviving
brother and sister’s
eulogy to their past
floats away

New photographs of an empty old farmhouse - Shadows and Light

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