This is the “darker” draft I wrote of Solicitude before rewriting it. This version I wrote with my great uncle in mind, and I have had many feelings toward him both borderline to love and hate. Thought I would share since I lost the shame. Am I happy with this version? No, I’m honestly not. I struggled for awhile putting my grief into words, not about him anymore, but about my paternal grandfather; it just ended up making more sense that way within my final draft since my grandfather had mental issues from the Vietnam War and it fucked him up, along with his mother’s abuse, for the rest of his life.
Now about my great uncle: Visits with gruncle always ended up feeling lackluster in my childhood; it turned into arguments, and he wasn’t the kindest to certain members of my family which fueled my subsequent anger. As a child, I would lie my head down on the festival flea-market lunch table (where we would meet him not even once a year, despite him living not only 45 minutes away) hoping the argument would dissolve. That’s how visits happened and always ended. I don’t feel anger anymore now, I understand he been through a lot; and that he was a good man with a good heart. I only regret not being able to see him more later in his life and that’s something that saddens me a lot. I didn’t feel much initially when I heard he died, but it hit maybe a year or two later after processing and bottling up feelings, I guess. It just feels odd knowing his voice at one point, then losing it; knowing what he looked like, to some extent, then losing it.
Hope you could enjoy.
for the man in tremendum
fully mad in autumn
the sea-winds grew
I’ve changed; it was not your real death or last death
that shattered the mask
it gave me the cardboard picture
of your voice and your name
I waited for you in the overslept cherub;
disencumbrance of the rain, your apartment as imagined in my mind, you weren’t in my heart then,
but lately now you are;
stood alone upon my labor
in a cement box; it wasn’t an act of love
as it was an act of god,
no, I outlived you and I always would;
I wish I could have hated you
like if you could have drank yourself to death
I could hate you easier; it’s selfish death,
I am selfish. You died naturally,
and now again, and again
the orange groves
war over your body, and anger
a baby you never had
a baby I’ve had for years,
drilling into earth
into the earth like the Pixies’ extinction,
your arms mark the stone
of your dead wife; to terrorize language
like abandoned memories, recalled by my mother
like when my grandfather said
“I’m going to kill you” while counting money
and now I see the dead potatoes
of our graves.
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