Our poet today is Erica W. Jamieson
written by Erica W. Jamieson
Things we saw in procession: One pimp, at least two, but I’m thinking three, hookers that my father may have helped once. Four freeways, a slew of plywood boarded store fronts. No less than ten tattoo makers. One black very old Caddie missing the front fender. A ghost town harboring magnificent burnt out mansions on weeded lawns planted with broken bits of fence, a dead cat, three boys shaded by low riding hats, a market flanked by large leather coated security dudes. An old woman pushing an empty grocery cart, two small children without shoes. An Asian woman running. A large well kept catholic cemetery, a winged angel crying on stone, three obelisks with beautifully carved crosses. An open grave, earth to sky, an estranged daughter, a tearful second wife. An imported Rabbi. And we say:
O’ She Shalom, bi ma tov hu ya a she shalom.
I enjoyed the images you gave us combined with words that have such deep meaning. Erica, I peeked at the comments after reading “Graveyard II” twice. It seemed to me even before I read your note that this beautiful poem was special to you beyond the love an author has for his/her words.
You tell us much but not all. Great descriptions and contrasts – it’s riveting.
The way the details pile up, creating an image of a father who was not a regular part of his daughter’s life, was really outstanding. I loved this poem!
Erica, this is amazing! As others have said, so powerful, so visceral. I too would like a translation of the last line, but also not having it adds so much to the final good-by.
The last line is a line from the mourner’s pray. I actually don’t know what it translates to word for word but for me when we stand during any ceremony to say the mourner’s kaddish that first line also transport me to a place of sadness. I also wanted it to really signify in the poem the contrast of the religions, or I guess the existence of the two religions separate and yet together. Thanks for all the kudos. This one had meaning to me!
The counting carries me through the powerful images, Erica.
Erica! Wow. Powerful images and words. So vivid and haunting. Well done!
Ah Erica: This is the best! I wish we might have a translation of your final line. I go back and re-read it like I might have forgotten my favorite ingredient. What a picture you paint. Maybe we should have a collection of “Father poems,” of course my heart stopped at the d. daughter. A wind chime of sights & issues.
How would he ever guess you would write memorable poems about him? This poems sounds like a tour through my house after the divorce. Everything but the dead cat. Brava, dearest Erica, a unique vision. MRB