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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/30/21

The story goes

Message Gary Lindorff
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My father's father played his violin in the attic

Where no one could see his tears.

My aunt (his mother's sister) kept nubian goats

And two squirrel monkeys in her sunroom

That she would diaper and release when we visited.

There is nothing like the sensation

Of those tiny fingers searching your hair

For lice to eat and occasionally finding one.

And my grandmother was a believer in ghosts

Like me. When she died she became a ghost

For a while. When I fell out of a tree at 6

She was the one who found me. The story goes

That she thought I was dead because my eyes were closed

But I was not dead. The story goes that I didn't open my eyes

Because I was afraid I would see angels.

The story goes that my grandmother couldn't have found me

Because she wasn't there. She was on Cape Cod

Where she lived with her sister, Margery.

My uncle Bill played blind-folded chess

And he played the Rustle of Spring by heart

With a zillion mistakes, so the rustle

Was more like a hustle to get through it.

His look was always anguished.

I think he was hoping that one day

All the notes would be miraculously perfect.

My father was a good man but sad.

He was a sad electrical engineer.

He lost us during the late sixties and early seventies,

My brother and me, because we were against the war

And he was too but didn't know it

Until we were all grown up. Then he became a Jungian analyst

And was moderately happy analyzing his dreams.

I hope no one includes me in a glib poem like this

When I am dead. But, in fact, my father's side of the family

Is where all the creativity lay hidden.

You can't have creativity without a little craziness

And sorrow. The magic is in the ratio.

Now I am going to send this to my son.

(Article changed on Jul 30, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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