Finale in minor a

With scraps of food from dumpster-diving
sewer-salvaged in her rat-tailed hair
she crosses barefoot her deserted streets.

Scavenger on acid, she was
once a flower child, blessed before she
met the bearded man, who
saw her eyes in acid dreams, confirmed
her being one selected for
subterranean bliss.

Afterwards she cannot comprehend
how helter-skeltered knives
could end their dreams in what’s spilled
and drawn on floors
and walls in Cielo Drive.

She seeks a thicket-place to hide and
listens to the mocking-bird above
retelling that the death and life are
just the same. And she
watches as the rise of sun draws
slips of tangerine; it paws
across her thighs, on scars of past;
finales in minor a;
tripped on psychedelic last.

Closer to God by Peter Max

Closer to God by Peter Max

Today Kelly wants us to write Narrative poetry, at dVerse. With the death of Harper Lee we are once again reminded of “How to Kill a Mockingbird”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

If you can use a theme from the book and the mockingbird it’s a plus but not required. I have lately been listening to a long Podcast series about Charles Manson’s Hollywood. The story I’m telling is an imagined story of a less known (and unnamed) Manson Girl who was left to take care of herself after her “family” was broken up.
—-

February 23, 2016

44 responses to “Finale in minor a

  1. I felt spooked when I first read your poem, Bjorn which, by the way is superb. I have just finished reading a new novel by Emma Cline called The Girls, about a woman who looks back to when she was involved with a cult around a charismatic man who got some of his followers to murder people in the home of a a well-known musician who wouldn’t help him get a record deal. It had strong echoes of the Manson family. I was reminded of the night when I read Helter Skelter in one sitting, completely shocked but unable to put the book down. Coincidence?

  2. Oh my, I think you hit it out of the park with this one, what a story! I love the imagery of scavenger on acid, and the closing lines are brilliant… this is my new favorite of yours (and not just because it was my prompt 😉 )

  3. Incredible poem, brother. a fascinating narrative woven out of superb poem; rife with fine lines & wonderful word-smithing. A hit for sure.

  4. Björn! I haven’t visited lately as much as I should but when I saw the dVerse prompt related to TKAM, I had to pop over and see your take. This piece is so haunting. I love how you’ve contrasted the beauty and the pain of life and experience. If ever there was a line that said it all, it is this: “She seeks a thicket-place to hide and listen to the mocking bird above retelling that death and life are just the same.”

  5. Though your character is imaginary, her plight is so real, and not just for the Manson girls left alone. So many young girls who get sucked into lifestyles like the Manson family, where drugs and violence are the norm, are left alone to fend for themselves on the streets. So sad. Peace, Linda

  6. I was small during the manson murders, but I remember the trial, probably from my folks talking about it. I was so spooked about this guy who was evil in my eyes, and even when you saw pictures of him, his eyes and his face, so scary. Yet others were following him. I still wonder what they saw that made them do everything he said.

    Well written….

  7. Reading the lines of your poem. Bjorn, I found myself, being transport back to the late 1960s, and Charlie’s hold over, the greater LA area, with his reign of terror. A time, before my birth, I might add.

  8. ODing on acid and the thigh-kiss(es) of a tangerine-sun would pretty much be the absolute bliss I’ve been looking for all my life. To tell you the truth, the ending had me longing to tan. Alas, it’s raining.

  9. Wow! I really like this one. Yes, for the story, but for me mainly for the way you’ve written this. I like how the story unfolds down the lines, and the reader is pushed along… all the way to the grisly end. Nice attention to structure.

  10. This chilling poem gob-smacked me, Bjorn. The whole Manson story that emerges frequently here as various members of the “family” come up for parole, has such an effect on me. I think your use of A-Minor was brilliant. Incorporating music as metaphor seems to work so well.

  11. Yes, the A-Minor is a great touch to the already 60’s infused narrative. You took me right back to the news coverage of that day and the girls who followed him blindly. Beautifully written, Bjorn.

  12. You are such a natural with storytelling via poetry! Dark, challenging, grim and yet you even managed to incorporate the mockingbird… and tangerine! I used to like Tangerine Dream when I was younger, so it reminds me of their rather psychedelic music.

  13. “…once a flower child, blessed before she
    met the bearded man”

    I knew it was Manson related the moment I read this.

    Dark, moody, cold as the man himself. Your words are as riveting as the world you write of is tragic. The hints at music, color, the whole “tangerine” stanza – wow, just wow.

  14. The Manson story is a chilling and upsetting one. You’ve created a fictional character here — with words that absolutely place her there — and describe her as one who has seen that scene, and can only live with it continuing to be addicted — and the scene still plays in her acid doped head. So very well done — I feel she is real.

  15. “watches as the rise of sun draws
    slips of tangerine; it paws
    across her thighs, on scars of past” – such a haunting line: the sun rising on scars of past. That image, I think, wound resonate with many souls.

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