Excerpts From Cloudy With a Fire in the Basement

by ronna bloom // Peddlar Press, 2012

Cloudy with a fire in the basement.jpg

Grief Without Fantasy

What I lost
was not going to happen.

I had
what happened.

There was no more.

Use These Poems

Use these poems as breaks in meetings that become tense
and threaten. Use them to alter
the wind in the room, the sail in the boat can fill
and go a different direction. Use them to stop the action
at customs, but be prepared to be detained
by Officer Deare. Resist calling him dear.
Use these poems as crutches for your eyes, splints
for the invisible bones.
Adrienne Rich says, Tonight no poetry will serve.
In the wider world, who has heard her voice.
Or fallen in love with a will that was understanding
and ferocious. Yoko Ono was not for everyone.
Use these poems to keep you warm any way you can. Burn them.
Their smoke won’t smell of incense. But they will go up
and you will forget.
Memory isn’t necessary.

It is late summer and the grief is in the field. If the husks
come off these poems and there’s nothing there,
where will we go for food? All I really wanted
was to eat a little, rest, move my body,
love with and without fear, and lie down after work.
Hafiz says, Here’s a pillow of words for comfort.
Take it, if it works, use these poems. Or leave them
on a plane, in someone else’s bed, in an envelope
on the table, across the sentient grid.

Someone looks at the menu

says to her friend
what do you feel like? And it fills you with longing
for the one who says: would you like a delicious
chicken sandwich, dear? for the one who says
would you like to take a bath in the afternoon?
I have towels. Have a rest. For the one who
says, go, make the call. I’ll be right here, watching.
For the one who says, I have faith in you
does not stand apart. Or stands apart but
does not leave you.