Guest poem submitted by Anne McGrath:
(Poem #1790) Broken Hearts
There should be heart-shaped rooms in which we sit as a collective to repair the damage done by love, and half the night we'd exchange stories, share a common pain that's always different, but never less in how the ruin's total, like a house slipped off a cliff edge to the sea or like a turtle that has lost its shell but keeps on going, making tracks on sand to find a refuge up beyond the surf. We're all suddenly disinherited from little ways, familiar dialogue, security of someone there to share bad news, rejection, a red letter day, a downmood's tumble of blue dice, or someone there to celebrate a quiet in which the meaning is in being two without a need to speak. But out of love we seem to be falling down stairs that never terminate. He left or she took off with someone else, it's like the blow will never stop arriving in the heart as an impacted fist. We'd call the place Heartbreak Hotel, and hope to patch the scars of unrequited love and leave a little less in tatters, disrepair. I'll find the place one day, and book a room and talk amongst the losers of a face I can't forget, and of a special hurt bleeding like footprints scattered over snow.
Jeremy Reed is one of my favourite contemporary poets. As a commentator and guide to contemporary life there is none more penetrating and in matters of the heart none more sensitive. There is always such incisiveness and balance in his poems, and always such striking and apt imagery - '...but never less, in how the ruin's total, like a house slipped off a cliff edge to the sea.' Yes! Isn't that exactly what its like? - and, as in this one, there is often consolation in his pointing up shared experience. In reading this one I always run in my own head my own experiences, remembering that one 'special hurt' above the rest - that we all have - and so, as is often the case with him, the silence at the end of his poems becomes more like a space in which your own poems are whispered back to him, and as in any sharing of pain there is a lessening. His output is quite phenomenal, and there is no 'typical' Reed poem, but this is a good one to start with. As a poetic guide on the journey he is worth taking along. Anne McGrath.