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Theresa Griffin Kennedy – The Brilliances

Theresa Griffin Kennedy LE P&W May 2019

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The Brilliances, poems by Theresa Griffin Kennedy

Theresa Griffin Kennedy is an author, poet and writer of creative nonfiction, and fiction. She is an activist who fights for social change through writing as a social act. Kennedy paints abstract with mixed media and is educated as a creative writing instructor and writing coach. She is the author of three books, Murder and Scandal in Prohibition Portland, 2016, Blue Reverie in Smoke: Poetry 2001-2016, and a book of fiction Burnside Field Lizard and Selected Stories, 2018. She works as chief editor of the Indie Publishing Company, Oregon Greystone Press, and publishes other Portland authors including her husband writer and author, Don DuPay. Her next book, her first novel, Talionic Night in Portland will be published in 2019, and her fifth book The Lost Restaurants of Portland will be published by The History Press in 2020. She resides in Portland Oregon where she continues to write and be published.


The brilliances

Debussy is in my ear buds, the black coffee at my grasp, my daughter on her way,
the Portland sky outside, while I contemplate the time that led me here, silver haired
still breathing, though not as well, not as much, with less force, less conviction
of certain tomorrow.

She, (the daughter I no longer tell her name) is the precious one who will,
stamp into her future, with my cells still inside her, coaxing her, comforting her
Telling her which way to walk, to wait for the walk sign, to listen for that thing…
to walk away when the only option is to flee.

As the silver drifts across my face, the blue of the iris changes, marbles, decays,
I am fully invisible now, though that invisibility is now a comfort, a welcome respite
to when I was young and the eyes were upon me, searching me out, wanting
asking me to call, to wait, to meet, to submit beneath them.

Warm tea glimmers in the sunlight of a clear glass cup, the gold tone shadow
flat across the white table reminds me that time will never not be there for us
doing what it does, taking what it takes, giving back so little
but promising, forever promising the unpromisable.


This House of the Never Enough

My ear is never profaned—I will not allow it, silence is my preference,
my throat is never closed except when I sleep and the choice remains mine
this house is green, and I am clever enough to repair my own broken doorknob.

Gunmetal blue above me, I am searching for math in petals, in blades of grass,
in music, and the silent predator who covers reason with needed gloss wanders
near me, his Gimples around, abound, and surround me.

The lump in my flesh, in this old girl flesh, the surgeon’s mucosal punch made history,
shiny ooze flowed like golden shades of moonlight, innocent lipids with no voice
no consequence, no dismay to offer up.

As one memory melds within another, like lifetimes, the lovers, the children, the dead ones,
years billow, reveal their giant stones, and the lone trapeze artist’s long strides echo
silently next to me.

Where the lump was, a hollowness remains,
I clear my throat, asking to be noticed, and see the good doctor has not prevailed
he tries, but still I am unconvinced.


Erasures, Riddles & Shimmer

Silver hairs flicker beside my eyes, drifting,
The trees outside the café window have blood like we
The antiquity of a joined flesh, existing in timeless night
It’s not red though, but clear and sweet like Maple grapes
As it sifts beneath the soil nourishing the others

Leaves fall, obscure the sky, the sun darkened by flurry
I sip coffee; lined fingers grasp the red mug akin-
To the shimmer of opalescent pond water, undulating in movement

The crocuses wither and turn
Their bodies lying in state in the meadow beyond the parking lot
They are countesses in blue silk, becoming erasures
Riddles in the dark, disappearing with the set of dawn, whispering
And nodding to me, voiceless, vacant, gone.


© Theresa Griffin Kennedy