Curative | The New Engagement
Curative art

Curative

By Karen V. Garrison

1.

antidote               

 

isn’t there an antidote

for life’s unfair illnesses

fatigue and blinding migraines 

an antidote

for back breaking stresses

future eating cancers

 

for life’s poisons

seeping from horse traders’ silver plated throats

for toxins

polluting ocean and farmland

or those you find

in the heads of deserting friends

 

isn’t there an antidote

for nature’s ruin

buried in melting arctic ice

pristine in every way but one

unprotected from penetrating sun

is there an antidote for broken hearts

 

when loss pierces the organ deeply

or a cure for losing hope

when the wind stops on the porch

dead still, with the worst of news

in a well worn cloak

where is the antidote

 

when ships leave safe harbors

for sands of blind violence 

delivering ignorance and mandates

where is the antidote for severed limbs

mass shootings, ramped up hate

where is the antidote for war with unsung hymns

 

or for a life long on living the nowhere blues

in skinny alleys and walk up flats

is there an antidote for the hunger

in a baby’s tiny belly

for fear in a prejudice man’s thunder

for glazed eyes escaping numbly

 

there has to be an antidote for 

unopened dreams

precious beneath the household dust

poetry coursing through electricians

behind responsibility, unseen

beaten by over-time resignation

 

surely there is an antidote

for accidental formulas of annihilation

exponential killing to keep the peace  

an antidote for fear mongering, political deceit

that creeps into your vulnerable soul 

suicidal nights loom longer and twist to bleak

 

is it my apology, my forgiveness, my permission

my knowing, my effort, god forbid -- my prison

my love, even deliberate, never seems enough

until we hear our own heart, can we mend the break. heal the world

she cries out to us in her ever quiet way

no message sounds until we say, i’m listening

 

“sit down with me. Replenish, renew

you are everything to me. i love you

have a cup of tea, wait in stillness, breathe

within you lies the antidote! i can tell you the formula...”

how many times will we interrupt -- too simplistic, we wail

how many times will we implore, it is hard to allow your love...

 

Until the Soul felt its worth

 

2.

Strum

 

You play me like a guitar

In the lap of a nude

Born of picasso’s syncopated zeal

Split and mixed

Serious laughing eyes

 

We used to

Make breakfast, make love

Make heaven rain words

For hours on sunday morn

You would drench me in aphrodisiac ideas 

Then a nap came on like a drug

Under slanted sun, dreams touching sophia

 

I’m glad we do not

Repeat the past

 

I play you like the guitar in the lap

Of a bearded gent

On a country picnic

Monet monet

Making love to the resplendent day

Of violet

 

We used to stroll the path

Painting with conversation

Silver mist befalling dancing ladies on far hills

Sipping lattes, cool pampass grass undulating

Infatuated by nature’s geometry

Consumed by jasmine courting silence

 

You sing love

And only sing it

 

I want every breath to be

Wet with juice from the mother womb

New life swaddled in ordinary moment

I want love fresh in discovery

 

Like the baby’s eyes

Quivering with the engine of mystery

From a rising tide through my thighs

Effortless sluice of energy

Into your arms

 

Now the song is a dance

The pattern is remembrance

 

I’m clumsy with grace

Yet she dresses me

Leads me to the dance floor

A rumble under ground with each step

In this late hour, I stumble

Mischievous eyes meet mine

 

Yield secrets

Keep secret

 

Momentum of Miro desire

Michelangelo chisel of fire

Sears the tip of our tongues

In our hip pockets:

bouquets, pies and full body orgasm

 

Who are you tonight

What would you have me do

i feel solicitous

Novel in confidence

Magellan to the soup of you

 

No reverse

In a cascading universe

 

Play me like your guitar

In the lap of

Mona lisa’s

Smile

 

3.

The Net

 

trapeze act

swing, dangle, laugh, reach

and be dropped

we miss the moment for holding

the hands outstretched

convolute our calculations

 

the fall has a certain sensation

name it what you choose 

freedom or terror

 

caught, looking up

from the safety net

a state of Love not designed for rest

from my ivy covered hiding place

i watch birds scrabble out of the nest

 

the whirl and mystery of flight

even in unsteadiness

must surpass all known delight

food and home

no one teaches the baby birds to fly

nor any artist

 

construct the guru from the inner junkyard

the heart, master architect

knows priceless salvage from discard

 

the ladder is always to the side

leading back to the platform

a magnet with rungs

ever within reach

for the hope in our lungs

its ladderness infinite

 

we suspect it a magic beanstalk

a dime, a fortune

for another try and another daring

leap into velocity and moving arms

higher and higher above the 

net of love

no longer visible to eyes 

our indentation, omnipresent relation

thrives in awareness

being held firm after the bounce

a drip of bliss on our lips

a powerful engine, a black hole

 

re-called by our soul

one day, one thousandth beginning

the absent limits of sky in aura bold

 

reveal intricacy 

a woven web above

a sheath of embrace

in all space

fear has no fall left in it

 

Join Us!

Mercy, ingenuity, nuance, complex truths, guts and honor still matter! Join us in proclaiming so by purchasing, or giving the gift of, a print subscription (2 issues per year) to The New Engagement.

Subscribe

Follow Us

"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
~ James Baldwin

Help us spread the ethos of compassion and understanding by joining our social media networks and sharing generously!

Contests & Prizes

Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

The New Engagement

The New Engagement endeavors a novel approach to discovering, introducing, and showcasing writers, artists, and filmmakers, by providing them digital and print platforms, while encouraging and supporting their social-consciousness.