Poems for Freud

Sharon Venezio


-----1. Poem of Denial

I am not my young mother in her apron,
blazed with anticipation. I am not half shadow
not waiting, unanchored in the shifting.

I am not bird song, not feeder, not seed,
not sun rising on unripe blueberries. I am
not a deer head mounted on the hunter’s wall,

not the tiny body lifted onto her uncle’s
shoulders to caress the carcass,
finger the wildly dead black eyes.


-----2. Poem of Ego
-----     after Evie Shockley

Self-portrait with cat, with books
organized by genre and size,
with Rothko, with earth tones,
with coffee and no cigarettes.

Self-portrait with light and shadow,
with paroxetine, with butternut squash
and Napa red, with half-read,
with hipster friends too young to know.

Self-portrait with defense mechanisms,
with wild delphinium, with flophouse
hybrid bleeding heart, with howling mouth
and listening moon. Self-portrait as you.


-----3. Poem of Eros & Thanatos
-----    after Kevin Prufer

Photographing the world
from the driver’s seat
of an air conditioned car
is not the best way to fall in love.

A good way to fall in love
is to drive ten miles over the limit
with no seatbelt,

or ride in a hot air balloon
over Temecula shouting poems
to the vineyards below,

or plant words like seeds,
watch them rise.

A good way to fall in love
is to have nothing left to say,
to let fog envelop the day
like diazepam,

or swallow a bottle of quiet
white pills and wait
for the bright hush of night.


-----4. Poem of Undoing

How many kinds of undoing are there?
The word love in the back of the throat,
mouth ajar, as I don’t say your name.

Is unhappiness a kind of undoing?
The heart’s fault line, a fracture
in the space between bodies.

My heart is a thirsty artichoke,
each petal a different version of undoing.

If I knock three times, will you reappear?