Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Overload

Walking through
the supermarket,
hidden speakers insinuate
Christmas music,
and in different parts of the store
it’s different music,
purposely disorienting,
and it seems there are
so many different types
of everything
and I can’t remember
why I came here
and did I want it
strawberry, Buffalo wing,
or teriyaki flavored,

wending through the throng,
I smell perfume,
nauseating aftershave
and the need for
smaller doses of both,
and I look to see
where I’m walking
but do not hold the gaze
a second longer
than we’ve wordlessly agreed,

my skull is stretched
as details from a news report,
simultaneously
horrific and banal,
echo like a sadistic
drum loop,

and none of these stimuli
respect the other,
as they fight for pre-eminence
it’s more than I can
stand,
so I leave without my purchases
and drive silently,
out where the roads are unpaved
and even though
being apart
from other people
usually scares me,
I don’t feel afraid
as I calmly look to the sky
searching for that star
that led them to the baby,

but I can’t find it,
so I content myself
with the quiet,
save for the wind
blowing past me
as I stand in
the silver moonlight

exhaling and emptying
my overloaded head

to my invisible lord,

until the faint thud
of hip hop kick drums
from a distant
passing car
pound a beat
that my body picks up

and
from somewhere
inside,
I hear singing
“all is calm
all is bright”.

[Posted for #OpenLinkNight at www.dversepoets.com - the best site for poets on the internet.]

49 comments:

  1. There is a lookout I frequent, right where the pavement ends... It overlooks the tidal river that brings a wall of water you can hear before you see. I call it my place, because even alone, in the middle of the night, when the real world is about to finish me...I know no fear here. I suspect, over the next few days...I will be visiting often...I've yet to smell Ax bodyspray there either ;) Oh holy night...the stars are brightly shining...

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments. Enjoy your peace where you find it.

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  2. i love how you build this...the smells, every stimuli assaulting you on all fronts, layer upon layer...and the news ugh...this is def the feeling of the days this week....and i love the peace you find...and even when the bass drops from the car i dont mind as much in that moment having offloaded a bit standing there in the wind....

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    1. Yes, my friend, I am overwhelmed by the stimuli. Thanks for the comments on the structure - I was trying to make the tension build. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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  3. I hear you about all of the stimuli fighting for the forefront. So hard to be in stores this time of year, crowds of people, the jingling of bells, the carols played too loud for sure. I have spent a lot of time at my house this year in silence....except for playing Christmas carols which remind me of what the season really IS about despite the sadness and the distractions and just plain noise out there.

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    1. Thanks. Yes, I drove around a bit the other day with some gentle classical music playing and it helped. Enjoyed the peace of the season.

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  4. oh i can feel this...you brought this christmas overload perfectly to life..and then the stillness..the peace..the stopping for gathering the breath...and it just changes everything...

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  5. Wow, this is really good Buddah, I love the way you weave all those elements together as you wind through the poem/story.

    It's always interesting where a poem will end but you made the journey truly remarkable.

    Excellent, simply excellent.

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    1. Thanks, AJ. That's not just at Christmas, but most of the time. Yes, I didn't know where this was going, but glad I followed it.

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  6. Wow, this took me right on the journey with you. I exhaled at the end...sighed. Going from the noise both outward and inward to that place of peace was a pleasure. Thank you

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    1. Thank you Michele. I tried to make it one long sentence - which is what I feel this is like sometimes. Thank *you*! Merry Xmas!

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  7. I hear and agree with you all the way on this Mosk.
    Was in the superstore yesterday. I try and get there 8am or soon after to avoid the crush but, the music they were playing was so loud. I did my groceries and at the checkout said to the cashier the music seems to be so loud sometimes, she replied "Yes, it does"
    So, I'm with you all the way on noise and (perfume) sensory overload and such. Glad you went for a drive and found a bit of peace and quiet for a while. Yes, you do build up the tension through all of this.
    Great writing.

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    1. Thank you - May all your Christmas dreams come true. Many blessings to you, Mosk

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  8. We look for peace everywhere and sometimes, if we are lucky, we find a sliver of it--great write Mosk--touched me--

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    1. Thanks, and prayers to you for your daughter's healing.

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  9. Wonderful! I especially liked "insinuating" music and "wending through the throng"!

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    1. Thanks Jenny - and Merry Christmas to you.

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  10. This poem resonates with me so much, once again you wrote a poem I wished I had written. But thinking about it, I would not have been able to get it just right.

    Also Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas to you my fellow crafter of words!!

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    1. Saying this is something you wished you'd written is the highest of praise! Happy Christmas to you!

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  11. This time of year is always a fetid mixture of Phil Spector carols, bad sopranos singing "O Holy Night," and the excrement that passes for colognes from every counter. I avoid these malls at all cost and just give to charity now...

    I adored this ode to the gross standards by which we measure our celebration of the birth of a baby in a freaking BARN whose parents had not a penny, a baby who was wrapped in rags while America wraps Chinese crap in Chinese shiny paper...

    You are my kind of cynic, telling it like it is, and yet still looking for the star. I love you, Bruddah. The menorah is all candled out but I keep it out for Riley tonight. Love, Ameleh
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/12/18/marian-merlin-and-me/

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    1. Actually, it started off as a meditation on the Newtown tragedy, but this is what came out. Merry Christmas, Ameleh!

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  12. I am overloaded too with these Christmas images....your words resonate with me ~

    I love though the ending, it is hopeful and sometimes we need the quiet and silence to search for the light and the peace ~

    Merry Christmas to you ~

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    1. Thanks, yes normally, I'm a sucker for Christmas, but this year, not so much. Looking for a little peace, I guess. Have a happy holiday, my friend, Mosk

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  13. it is hard to focus on the real reason for Christmas amidst all the hooplah, I agree. You brought the overstimulating atmosphere alive for me in this. Happy Holidays to you. Sheila

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    1. Thanks, Sheila, may we all find a little needed silence this Christmas.

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  14. You captured the sensory overloaded ness of this season well. There is just so much noise. Yes, getting away some place quiet seems to be the best solution. Thanks for your comments over at another facet. I appreciate you stopping by.

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    1. Thanks, Jody, Merry Christmas!

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  15. Anonymous6:41 PM

    This was really beautiful , to me. Thank you poet friend. My youngest always thinks that the first and brightest star she sees , is the "Jesus star". So, we just go with that. :) Blessings and peace for you and yours! - deb

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    1. Good idea, Happy Christmas to you and yours, Mosk

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  16. Oh, this is fabulous.... one of my favorite lines from Amadeus: " too many notes"... Yes, very often it is all too much. More and more, I hermit myself away to quiet those notes, feel the wind on my face. I ink this is my new favorite of yours.

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate your kind words, Happy Christmas!

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  17. I felt the need for quiet in this, Mosk. I stay away from commercial goings on, I just can't tolerate it. May you have a peaceful holiday.

    Pamela

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    1. And the same to you, Merry Christmas!

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  18. I find myself wandering through stores a lot these days, not really sure what I want. I'm glad you left when you heard the news and went to a quiet place for reflection. We will never forget that day.

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    1. May your memories of Christmas be beautiful this year, Much happiness to you and Merry Christmas!

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  19. I love this part:

    "and in different parts of the store
    it’s different music,
    purposely disorienting"

    And these:

    "wending through the throng"

    "horrific and banal,
    echo like a sadistic
    drum loop"

    Great poem, Mosk!

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    1. Thanks, Jasmine, sometimes I like the way the words sound and it's even better when they fit the poem! Happy Holidays!

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  20. "exhaling and emptying
    my overloaded head"

    This moment for me usually arrives on Christmas eve, fire burning in fireplace, everyone else asleep and I finally can shake the stress of preparations and just breath and reflect on the deeper meaning of the season. Well captured, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, my Pop used to usually sit on the coach Christmas Eve, when everything was done, and listen to his Christmas music - it's one of my favorite memories of him. Merry Christmas!

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  21. What a true and vivid picture you word paint of seasonal overload Mosk! Too much scent, far too much tinsel..a twisted cornucopia of sweet stickiness...but u do after all find your moment of solace and rediscover some meaning in this Holiday season. Fine piece...Merry everything to you and yours!

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    1. Thanks so much, and merry everything to you and yours as well. - Mosk

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  22. This could be re-named "Modern Mall Scenes"! Your words conjure it all so accurately!

    http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2012/12/17/moses-like/

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    1. Thanks, and this was how I just felt at a supermarket! Merry Christmas!

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  23. having MS is like Christmas shopping at the mall all year round...I avoid parties and crowds...sometimes even the grocery store can overstimulate my senses and cause nervous system overload... but it is even more exhausting when I go out this time of year...I try to stay in as much as possible!!!

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  24. It is a maddenning time, especially if you're still shopping, but you are right. If we take the time to sit still and listen, we can hear the happy sounds of the holidays too.

    Merry Christmas!

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  25. whassup mosk....merry christmas....i hope your day is filled with love and magic man...thanks for sharing the journey man..

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  26. Nothing annoys me more than stores at xmas time. I hate the crowds, i hate the music, I hate it all and have refused to do it for years now, ever since my son has been grown.

    Okay, I hate one thing more...haiku!

    (but i love me some Mosky)

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  27. Happy New Year, Mosk... miss ya!

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