A flock of outstretched arms
and none of them for you. You,
standing there with a whole life’s
worth of heavy shit and no one
to help you carry it.
— from “You Are Flying Home Today.”
Love is a finicky creature; it can be beautiful and wise and caring and sexy. And there are times when it stays that way; however, it can comfort us and then leave us needing comfort. It can be both the push and pull that keeps you moving through life – even if it’s more an I-could-probably-do-this-on-my-own-but-I’m-not-going-to-unless-you-force-me type of push. Other times it just fucking hurts. Because sometimes it’s an endless love that makes you want to ball up on the floor because it’s the only place that makes you feel.
Clementine von Radics’ In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive (Andrews McMeel Publishing) is William-Burroughs-blunt meets a pissy Virginia Woolf. It’s not kind to self, survivor, lover, past, present, or future. It is just honest. It is full of feelings that I didn’t want to remember I’d ever felt. It’s full of the notion that we can live in the present tense, but sometimes get caught pretending our past will simply become our future.
This collection is beauty and grace and betrayal. It’s a look in the mirror to acknowledge that:
Sometimes I am the girl.
Sometimes I am the dripping blood.
But most often
I am the one
some unwanted mess
of my self
and calling it a gift.
— from “For Vincent van Gogh, Patron Saint of Psychotic Manic Depressives.”