Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Tried To Write Another Lie’

Mmm, sugar coating. Good for whose soul?

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

Time now for a writing tip you don’t usually get in Screenwriting 101. Oh, wait. It’s not a tip at all. It’s a confession. Hmm….


I Tried To Write Another Lie

I tried to write another lie.

I’d written them all my life.

“I’ll just give them what they want,”

I said. “Write about the veneer.

Take out the heart.

Forget the soul.”

But my new muse said, “No. You can’t

Do that to yourself.”

“It isn’t to myself,” I protested. “It’s for

Them. The readers. They’ll

Like everything better this way.

Always have,” I said. “Always will.”

“Let me get this straight,” my muse said.

“You’re going to write a lie because

Your readers want lies. Not because just maybe

You’re the one afraid of the truth?”

I saw myself as a child, head down

Before God, resenting His waving finger

Only because I already knew right from

Wrong. I shook my head.

“No,” I admitted. “I want to lie

Because it hurts too much to

Be true.” I tore up my pages,

And went back to work, starting over

As I already was starting over in life.

My love smiled the smile that

Has earned her my heart.

“Welcome back to the world, kid,” Gwen said.


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: ‘My Emptiness States Its Purpose’

It’s 3 a.m. Do you know where your mind is wandering?

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

From time to time – well, okay, constantly – I engage in what I believe is a kind of self-analysis common to writers. In my case, it invariably goes like this:


My Emptiness States Its Purpose

So what’s this search all about?

What’s the point?

Do I seek truth? Beauty? Love? Life?

Is it a hunt for reality? For self?

And where do I look? Where do I go to find

What I need?

Am I in control? Or driven by demons? Compulsions?

Desires?

Is it the end that’s important, the solution, the

Attainment of the goal? Or is it the search

That everything is about? Am I blessed to

Hunt forever, or damned?

I tire, I know that. I tire of the restlessness,

The constant prodding, the emptiness within my

Soul. If I long for anything, it’s for an end,

For a chance to accept whatever is,

A chance to be.

A search for the end of searching?

Too simple.

Too paradoxical.

Ironic in the extreme.

Another word game between my spirit

And my heart.

An end to this sport!

If victory is out of the question,

Attainment an impossibility,

Then all that’s left is relief.

Feel it, see what happens. Say it:

“I want relief,

An easing of this restlessness,

The loss of this urge.

I want to stop dreaming.”

I lie.

 

 


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 Met My Friend The Wild Indian At Dawn’

The Last Picture of the Navajo Dog

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

D’neh, the Navajo Dog, is back in this remembrance of days far more glorious than any I’ve experienced that are part of showbiz. Who knew real life could be so shiny and bright?


I Met My Friend The Wild Indian At Dawn

I met my friend the wild Indian at dawn,

On a walk with the Navajo dog. She saw

Him first, moving toward us in the vanishing dark,

And for an instant she stood still and stiff,

Then ran ahead. The Navajo dog is a herder, though,

Not a warrior, and her way of defending me

Is to lead any possible enemies away. She has

Missed a few here and there, but on this morning

She was in fine form. She growled at the

Intruder, then started running obliquely,

Across a field, hoping to lure him after her,

Then cut back to me. The stranger stood his ground,

Spoke quietly. “Well, well, what’s your name?”

The Navajo dog was brought up short.

“You first,” she finally said,

And the two of them laughed as I reached them,

Each familiar with the other’s game.

The wild Indian held out his hand to me.

“Your dog,” he said, “is not your dog,

But you indeed are her man.”

I looked to the dog, but she said nothing

As he sat down on the still cold ground.

Told me the story of my own life, he did.

Missed not a thing. All of me was right there

In his tale. I was used to miracles by now,

Living with magic as I was, so I never thought of

“How—?” Or “What—?” Or “Huh—?”

I just nodded, and accepted, and looked again

To the Navajo dog. “It’s okay,” she said.

“I’ve always liked the Sioux. Tough people.

Killed Custer, you know.” I sat down beside

My new friend the wild Indian, and we watched

The night finish its fade. “Tomorrow we find some

Red willow,” he said, and when he spoke

I heard the jangling of bells. “After

We’ve gathered enough we start building

The sweat lodge.” The jangling grew louder,

Bringing with it the rhythm of the dance,

And every word he said seemed a prayer.

“You need to sweat,” said my new friend. “You need to

Meet your God face to face, and hold Him to account,

Even as He holds you. The lodge will take time, and

Care, and when it’s done, the fire will be hot, at first

More than you can bear. But in the end, He will speak.

He will show Himself, and you’ll know

What of your life has been your doing,

And what was simply God’s will. Maybe you’ll be off

The hook for some big stuff. More likely, not.”

Before I could speak, the Navajo dog shook her

Head. “Call Him the Great Spirit,” she said,

“And I’ll agree. Oh, and no flesh offerings. The Kid

Isn’t ready for that.” She nosed the wild Indian’s

Shoulder, which was covered with small scars.

Each one, I learned later, had been made with a

Quick scrape of the knife during a sweat. His God

Wanted meat more than tobacco for the pipe.

The negotiation continued, two Indians negotiating

How best to save my soul,

And because it was a new day,

In a new world,

I ran dirt through my fingers, and felt a hope

That has filled me with strength

And purpose I never will lose,

A hope that I really could become a

New man.

 

 


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 Wish I Had Loved As I Was Loved’

The man in the velcro shirt!

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

Short and bittersweet, or so many people may say. But if “art” means being totally honest in one’s work, then this is my acme of artistry. (Or maybe just my bad imitation of wisdom gained by reaching an unexpectedly old age?)


I Wish I Had Loved As I Was Loved

I wish I had loved as I was loved.
I wish I had returned all the fire.
But I was desperate for ten thousand wrong things,
And they were all that could feed my desire.


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: ‘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.