Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘What About Mrs. God?’

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 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

For reasons I don’t know, I’ve been dreaming about my high school days lately, and this has put me in mind of all the wonderful discussions only teenagers nearing their twenties can acceptably have. Which in turn reminds me of two elements pretty much missing from my life these days – my mother and God. Which of course leads to the probably-not-anywhere-near-immortal question:


What About Mrs. God?

When I was in high school, in the days before
Anything was P.C., Tiersky the tenor sax man
And I would throw around our ideas about God.

One day, Tiersky said, “What about Mrs. God?
What’s the story on her? I mean, if we’re made
In God’s image, and marriage is part of our lives,
Shouldn’t God be married too? And what’s
She like? Our fathers’ wives? Our mothers?
My Aunt Dorothy? Well? What do you think?”

At the time, I didn’t think much. I was too busy
Feeling God’s new teenage chemistry surging
Inside. I was too busy suffering the slings and
Arrows of adults, too busy wondering not about
Women but girls, and why I had to chase
Them when in the Beach Party movies they were
Always throwing themselves at the guys. So Mrs. God
Meant no more to me than, say, Mrs. S. Claus, living in a
Heaven no nearer—and no father—than the
North Pole.

Recently, though, while counting my misfortunes
(It took a math co-processor, an equation editor,
And an Intel Inside with a Pentium chip)
I found myself considering not only God,
But the whole God family: God’s Son, of whom
We all know; His daughter, of whom we do not;
God’s dog, and cat, and maybe His turtle or
Goldfish. (God’s goldfish, what a life!)

And, of course, God’s wife. If she is like the
Wives of our fathers, then I understand Him a
Pretty well and assume He is constantly assailed
Not by unbelievers but by homey talk, and that
To keep the peace he pretends to listen now and again.

If she is like the wives of our fathers, then God
Makes no decisions (perhaps never did)
Once he leaves His Tabernacle, and in all
Likelihood harbors strange, indecent urges and
Needs. Hey, let’s face it: If God’s wife is the
Inspiration for the wives of our fathers,
Then God probably is thinking
Divorce.

Hmm, the more I consider, the more
I understand. And the more I understand, the more
I too can forgive.

Nevertheless, if there is a Mrs. God,
And she is like all the Mrs. of my parents’ generation,
Why isn’t she doing her job? We’ve all
Seen God’s handiwork lately, right?

So why isn’t she being a good little woman
And secretly saving the world, screwing new bulbs

In the Old Man’s
Burned-out Logos of a Light?


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Don’t Know My Father’

Couldn’t find a pic of my father and me, so here’s one of my furry son Decker and his late biological father, The Big Red Chow Dude.

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

Speaking of Fathers Day, and fathers, this poem was written when my father was alive. My mother was upset because “you’ve written about other people’s fathers, why not your own?” I don’t think she or my father ever saw this. If one of them had, I would have heard about it. Wouldn’t ?


I Don’t Know My Father

I don’t know my father, never did.

In fact, my earliest memory of him

Is wondering who he was. I was four,

And my mother was talking to a

Neighbor. When she mentioned my father,

I tried to picture him, and couldn’t. I tried

To think of a time he and I had been together,

Had played, or talked, or had a snack.

Nothing. Yet I was no child of divorce. My

Father came home from work every evening,

And we were part of a family together—somehow.

My second memory of my father has me all of five,

Lying in bed beside him, proudly spelling “Y-E-S,”

And “N-O,” and “Cat” and “Dog” for good measure.

What did he say? I don’t know.

I can see him, young, dark,

Muscular, and I can feel his body against mine,

And smell his breath, but there’s nothing to hear. He didn’t

Speak much, and still doesn’t. It’s as though

He’s all tied up inside himself, a man who has found

The effort of coming out into the world simply

Too much. So he holds back, keeps who he is

Private, snug, and safe. No gain, but no

Pain either, I suppose you could say.

When I was a teenager, my father took me

To ballgames. We watched the Cubs, and

The White Sox, and the Bears. He rooted

Silently, smiling, perfectly comfortable with

His continuing retreat. Often, I would watch him

Instead of the game, and wonder what he was

Thinking. I wondered what he expected from

Life, if he had gotten it, if he thought it still could be,

And one day, as we drove home from Wrigley Field,

I asked. Surprisingly, my father didn’t hesitate.

I never expected anything,” he said. “Then what,”

I asked, “did you want?” Again, the answer was

Swift. “A job,” my father said. “All I ever wanted

Was a job.”

When I think of my father now, I think about hopes,

Aspirations, and dreams. I think of a dark,

Muscular man who never speaks, and wonder

Why he never reached, why he didn’t try.

Dad,” I want to say to him, “it’s not so bad

Here. Why haven’t you ever come outside?

Dad,” I want to say, “you have a beautiful voice.”


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Have Lived Many Lives’

image via pixabay.com

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

The past is always prolog. I believe that what I love most about existence is the wonderful inefficiency of the eternal recurrence so many of us do our best to ignore. What am I talking about? Well, the last time I wrote about it, I said this:


I Have Lived Many Lives

I have lived many lives.

My past is a glorious array.

 

Bang the drum,

Hit it hard,

Kick the big bass!

 

Once I was a child, reading and dreaming,

Alone and afraid.

 

Bang the drum!

 

Once I was a young man, struggling and striving,

Fearlessly foolish, and paying the price.

 

Hit it hard!

 

Once a lover, forever lusting,

Loved more by others than I could return.

 

 

Kick that big bass

 

Once I was a fighter, a leader of men.

Once a dead man, cold and unaware,

And a victim, crying out to God in my pain.

Then a teacher, a master from the

School of lies.

A cowboy,

A killer,

A high flying hawk,

A rover,

A pirate,

A bear that could talk!

 

Ah, go ahead now,

Bang the drum,

Hit it hard,

Kick that big bass!

Celebrate each costume,

Cheer the form and the figure,

Applaud the apparel,

Admire my fine show!

Come on, come on, where’s that drum?

Why can’t I hear the big bass?

 

I have lived many lives,

A wonderful and glorious array,

Filled with mystery and pleasure,

And Horror and shame.

Chosen they were, bought and

Paid for, the highest of style.

Wanted they were, and needed,

For how else was my soul to survive?

Now I am a poet, living with my feelings,

And my words,

The feelings and words of a child,

Alone and afraid.

 

So come on now,

Bang the drum,

Hit it hard,

Kick the big bass!

Now, more than ever, I need the acclaim!


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘The Poet Beseeches His Lord’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

No better demonstration of how history repeats itself than this poem, written at a turning point in my life long ago. The specifics are different, but at this turning point in world history, on this particular holiday, the need and the question remain the same.


The Poet Beseeches His Lord

I speak to God now,

As I never have before.

I speak straight, no jokes or

Snide comments, Only a heart that still

Cries for more. “Our Father,

Who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name…”

Are you listening, Lord?

Can you feel my ache, my despair?

Once I demanded significant answers, seeking

Truth, and the knowledge of why life was unfair.

Now I move to more immediate things,

No heavenly meanings, not one cosmic concern.

I beg you not for the basis of

Universal injustice, but simply—

Christ!—simply, oh mighty Elohim,

Can’t you stop what you are doing to us now?


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘A Will Of Its Own’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

The following poem, which I just reread for the first time in almost as many years as I’d lived when I wrote it, surprises me. I don’t want to do spoilers (God forbid!), but when these words first came poring out of me I read them as meaning something completely different from what they mean to me now. Wondering – Who was I then? Who am I now?


A Will Of Its Own

Having read Don Quixote, and the works of Nietzsche,

And Sartre, having seen Long Day’s Journey Into Night,

And the paintings of Picasso and Miro,

I became convinced at eighteen that my

Purpose was the search. It wasn’t the

Discovery of life’s meaning that meant a

Damn thing, but rather the hunt. This was my

Credo, my beacon, my purpose, and for

Thirty years I kept it before my dimming eyes.

Sometimes I lost my way, and several times

My self, but the search continued

Regardless, as though with a will of

Its own.

A will of its own.

A will of its own.

Now Don Quixote has lost its power over me,

And Nietzsche and Sartre appear far away.

Eugene O’Neil’s dramatic voice seems both

Stilted and shrill, and I can’t separate the

Imitators from Picasso and Miro. Yet the search

Goes on, even without strong conviction, my

Will having become my

Must.

Few lessons are as painful as those that

Teach that freedom has been not true.

For years I roamed under the illusion

Of wanting, but with the desire gone still I have

The need.

Credo, beacon, and purpose have left me,

But the act continues, and my legs grow

As weak as my belief. The search

For something I no longer believe in

Continues, with

A will of its own.

A will of its own.

It continues with a will of its own.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Two by LB’

 

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

If not proof at least evidence that sometimes people really do change. Short poems (the first probably could have been a tweet but we don’t have them back in the 1990s), yet oh-so insightful. Maybe. I hope.

Anyway:


Relative Values
(by Kid Hollywood)

To Indian People an eagle feather means manhood.

My bar mitzvah symbolized the same thing,

And I netted three grand.


It’s The Bells That Have All The Magic
(by No Longer Kid Hollywood)

It’s the bells that have all the magic.

They announce the coming of the gods.

Indian dancers wear them around their

Ankles, and every jingle brings the gift of past

Glory closer to the dust of today.
When I watch the fancy dancers in their

Feathers and beads, I long to join them,

And be taken over by some greater force.

To give yourself up to the bells’ jingling

Is to feel a power beyond any on earth.
It’s the bells that have all the magic.

My soul vibrates with their call.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘A Recurring Dream’

Found on the interwebs

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

The Navajo Dog is sitting this one out, and my subconscious has replaced magic this time around. Or has it? (Warning: This sucker looks longer than it really is.


A Recurring Dream

A Recurring Dream

I have a recurring dream. I’m a scout

For a tribe of primitives seeking a

New home. Sometimes we’re Celts, sometimes

Native Americans, sometimes even aliens on

Another planet. Always, I’m ahead of the group,

Walking across flat land. Sometimes I reach the

Sea, where a huge rock rears up just offshore.

Sometimes I reach a rocky mesa, or

A grassy plateau. Always, I know that

This tall formation with almost vertical sides

And a smooth, flat top is the place my people

Need. Always, I know that at the top (where

I can’t see) is a stretch of land perfect for our

Crops and our homes.

Always, though, I have to make sure. I start

Climbing, looking for handholds, struggling and

Scraping, tearing my clothing (if I wear any)

And my skin. Always, the top is farther than

It appeared, and I have to climb, and climb,

Growing more and more tired. My cuts throb,

And my muscles ache, but never do I stop,

Or even slow, because I know, by the time

I’m halfway up, that the one I love waits—

Somehow—

Up above. I can’t see her, or hear her,

But I’m certain she’s there, and I know

She’s waiting,

Waiting for me.

I grow weaker, and lose my grip, almost

Falling, then catch myself just in time.

I call out to the one I love,

But she doesn’t reply.

Sometimes at this point in the dream

I turn and look back where I came

From, and when I do, invariably—

Always!—

I fall! I roll head over heels, and

Plummet downward, my stomach

Knotting with fear, and the knowledge of

Certain death. Whenever I fall—

Always!—

I hit the sea, or the ground, with

Enough force to feel my spine snap,

My head crack, and I die.

Above me waits the salvation of my people,

Above me waits my love…but I die.

Sometimes, though, at this point in the dream,

I keep my eyes forward, going onward,

Only onward,

And I stay on the side of the rock.

But even then, no matter how long I keep

Climbing, eventually I wake before

Reaching the top.

Above me waits the salvation of my people,

Above me waits my love… but I wake.

That’s it. That’s my dream. I’ve

Had it for years. Dream books and therapists

Probably can tell me its meaning. All

I need do, I’m sure, is ask.

But to me interpretation is only sometimes,

While—always!—I must climb.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.