National Poetry Month

It’s that time of year when the U.S. recognizes poetry and poets. I’ll try to post a poem every day this month. Most of them are reprints of poems from my Bram Stoker Award(r)-nominated poetry collection At Louche Ends, Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned, and the Absinthe-minded (the featured image in this post is from the cover by Katelan Foisy). Others are from my first collection, Biting Midnight: A Feast of Darksome Verse. But a few will be new. Since T.S. Eliot named April the cruelest month in his famous poem “The Wasteland,” that’s where we’ll start. With cruelty.

Without further ado, one of my first poems.

Pain is God’s Love

Pain is God’s love
he said
legs folded lotus
on the bed
of imported pillows
as he spoke to us
his spiritual students
Pain is God’s love  
I said
as the needle slipped into my wrist
into the nerve
and I called out
his name
the license plate
of his Mercedes
and the colors
of his silk paintings
in the third-floor hallway
he responded
by telling me
I was too self-absorbed…

God-absorbed and
nag champa blind
my mind went white
the nurse stroked my brow
as I shuddered
you’re doing very well
the doctor said
I smiled
I have a high pain threshold
I replied
tears in my eyes 
and I remembered 
I have eighty dollars
until the next disability check arrives.
And when the doctor left
the nurse and I talked
about Karma and fate
how nothing’s safe
and she said
spiritual security
is your only good bet
what a hard lesson that is
I whispered 
and she cried…

Here in my bliss
in my handless
I say
Pain is God’s love
and I wish he knew
how much
God hated him.

(c) 2002 Maria Alexander in Biting Midnight: A Feast of Darksome Verse