Thinking (Months Later or Even Before) of James Brady On His Death


Thinking (Months Later or Even Before) of James Brady On His  Death  (Unfinished Poem)

We ski when there’s no snow
in most of the valley, back at the far edges, and hear
after we start–having walked our skis in through mud
and rock–shouts
and I yell ‘hello,’ and you say
not to call them over to us and my spine fills
with cold iron as if it were itself a wielded barrel
and I wonder what we might do if someone
were to find us, and wish I hadn’t
and what cover is there, leafless,
and ski faster though the pine-needled snow sticks
and catches, and later, after climbing to the shaded tips
of freeze where we’re able to slip and glide and forget everything but the sun
just coming out, silvering brown, we hear,
near the road, gun shots and
again gain’gain’gain, and
we stop and I tell you I’d throw you down
and lay on top of you, and you chuckle slightly,
as if
in echo,
and I wonder why
we have to even think about such things
in this country–


The wonderful and ever creative Izy Gruye has a prompt on With Real Toads requesting  unfinished poems.  I consider almost all the poems I post drafts, but here’s one I did not post for some reason–did not feel quite right–maybe the end, maybe too long in the middle–my husband did not like it much perhaps because he’d never let me throw him down to shield him from gunshot–

Thinking especially of James Brady’s death in posting now for this prompt. 

I am sorry to be so absent–am hoping to get a little more time soon.

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13 Comments on “Thinking (Months Later or Even Before) of James Brady On His Death”

  1. brian miller Says:

    i have little day dreams where i am called upon to make that sacrifice to take the bullet…and perhaps i will never have to…maybe i will…its a crazy world…the menace of it all does not come through in your words…the throwing down to me is almost more playful…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, that may be what is wrong with the poem! Honestly, I wasn’t all that fearful up where I am–it is very isolated, but also quite safe. Thanks. k.

      On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 6:48 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  2. Marian Says:

    wow, wow Karin, this is intense! tell me not to call them over… wow. i love the entire thing till the last 3 lines, which seem almost to try to sum it up in a way that the bigness of this shouldn’t be summed (or at least in my view), especially i would lose “in this country–” as what you describe here is bigger than all that. this is wonderful/visceral and really great, keep working on this! i’m so glad you shared it.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Marian. I will definitely think about your comment–I have not looked at the poem for ages, but may try to re-work now. Thanks again for your kind words. k.

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    The sort of paranoia here that makes me sleep with a hatchet by my bed(I don;t like guns.) We can’t trust the society we live in, and we really can’t trust that the crazies it produces don’t have guns, the great equalizer–it doesn’t take much to kill with a gun, just fear, greed, or some form of mania. This does have an unfinished or unresolved feel, but it also covers a lot of territory. (Your line about throwing your companion down reminds me of the old hippie slight on Yoko Ono–“Lennon was hit by six bullets and she didn’t even take one.”)

  4. Your story is really well told and you leave enough to the reader’s imagination and give enough of a description for him/her to draw the natural conclusion. I think this stands as a highly effective protest poem – and I didn’t know who James Brady was.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Kerry. He is a rather sad figure in politics although he really did a huge amount of good work despite his terrible injuries. Thanks as always for your feedback. k.

  5. This has the pain of a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay about slaying a deer in the snow. Sorry I don’t remember the name but you may already know it.

  6. Isadora Gruye Says:

    cal me crazy, but me thinks this is perfect if you ended it after echo. I think that would leave alot of delicious unknowns and questions that you are trying to raise? Well done and viva la K!

  7. grapeling Says:

    I like it, but some of the single-line and enjambments are a bit jarring to the flow? ~

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