Submitted Date 10/04/2019

Stories Not Told
The poem's photo is of James Hampton's naive masterpiece, The Throne.

-- This is one poem, from my autobiographical series of poems, that I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my Stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

A cross-section is the intersection of a 3-dimensional body with a plane.
~ Wikipedia ~

"Stain is the name of the game."
~ Dr. Jacob Hanker, research micro-biologist, UNC-Chapel Hill ~
I worked with Dr. Hanker in 1980; he stained blood cells
to reveal aspects that could not be seen under normal microscopic conditions.

I could have told
a hundred more stories
but in this case
more would be less

those I have told
are the highs and lows,
the outline
of my life & my emotions,
any more would
blur the clarity of
what I have sketched

stories such as:

my father remarried
and his new wife turned out
to be an alcoholic
who hit his hand with the sharp point
of a high heeled shoe
sending him to the emergency room

or when
I bought old Dodge Darts
that I learned to fix and cannibalize
so I could afford to go to graduate school -
which spawned my other career as a frugal guru
leading to 3 books plus
national TV and radio interviews

or when
my careless first wife
left candles burning
where they could easily catch fire
so I woke up choking with smoke

or when a close friend
committed suicide
and my other close friend
became an alcoholic

or when
I exposed myself to a wide range of art:

-- from a Rubinstein Chopin concert
to Jimi Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled banner
-- from a Flamenco concert in Spain
with the Gypsies in third balcony seats
to a night of rave at Ziggy's By The Sea in North Carolina

and I've walked inside
the curved Gaudi buildings in Barcelona
- where there are no right angles -
and through Coral Castle in Florida
where a Latvian man cut and moved
2-ton slabs of coral by himself

and I've seen a retrospective of Calder's mobiles
floating in the Guggenheim museum
as though Frank Lloyd Wright's space
was built to show them -
along with James Hampton's
naive masterpiece, The Throne,
made of light bulbs
and aluminum foil
peeled from gum wrappers

and quietly
in rain-like mist
I've wandered the Lake District
thinking of Wordsworth,
then later looked out to sea
from a high room
in Key West
where Hemingway wrote
A Farewell To Arms

yet I believe the stories
that I did chose to detail
are like staining organic matter
to reveal the structure of my path

I think of them
as two dimensional cross-sections
of my three dimensional life
as crystals
or crystallizations
that refract and also reflect
my feelings at that point

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