Januaries Ago


Things hadn’t added up

in the past and they

weren’t adding up again,

when I did those

shamefully invasive things

I’d never done during

nine years of lies.  


Opening the laptop screen

like a grave-robber afraid

of waking the dead,

I read what I feared the most

in resentfully etched

black and white.  


No more speculation –

no more fabrication.

There were the words alive

and here they live

branded into the fabric

of nightmare and memory:  


“I’m not in love with my wife …

I can’t stop thinking of her.”  


A July Past


Revolutionary lusty love,

midnight moonlight passion,

post-apocalyptic, syncretistic,

fortuitously gracious,

sea-soaked cosmic balance,

post-daiquiri Guinness

total darkness –

it all swims through

my elatedly weary mind

helplessly riding

the wild waves

of the wax and

wane of change.  


“It’s over and

I’m going under,

but not I’m giving up,

I’m just giving in,”

sings the lithe gazelle

in sea-foam green.


(In false fates I’ve

nearly drowned

again and again –

never forgetting

the familiar burn

of empty lungs

and panic;

never strong

enough to

just give in.)


Sometime Near Now


A dragon in fear

and phoenix in fire,

these salted lips

kiss faded bruises,

clinging to old gods

in hopes of conjuring

something new

from the flames of

recycled prayer.    


Eternally the

hunted witch

and restless

Viennese whore,

parts of me  

walk a familiar path

through the thick

emotions of a

muddled mind

and recounting heart,

searching for an

idea of peace

in faded times

of sickly love

and consuming woe.  


And there it was,

the peace,

quietly alive


beneath miles

of tumultuously

conflicting currents –

without lover in mind

or fortune in heart,

beckoning for

the emptiness

of certainty to

pour from lungs

aching for the

powerful peace

of uncertainty,

finally convincing me

after lifetimes

of fruitless fight

to just give in.    



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

12 thoughts on “Florence.

  1. Think it was Nancy Friday who explained the difference between jealousy and envy: going after your husband’s lover with a baseball bat would qualify as jealousy–she encroaches on what is yours. The baseball bat landing on your husband, however, denotes envy–resentment at the power he wields over you.
    I don’t recall her saying anything about turning the bat on yourself. For what it’s worth, your personal turmoil seems a springboard to another, greater place: your eloquent description of life transitioning is breathtaking.

    1. As always, your relevant comments hit home hard. Thankfully the metaphorical beatings are in the past, as difficult as those aging bruises are to face. ❤

      1. Oh, sweet René, I didn’t mean for my words to come across as brusque. I’ve bruises myself and in the end I had to ask myself, do I love the other more than myself. It took ages, but in the end I did choose. For myself. In my case the hurt was masking the immense anger I’d felt. Apologies. Really.

  2. I’ve read those same secret lines in my life. Twenty-five years…poof! But oh………the best part of my life has come after that point.Now, I just truly want to celebrate finding ME in the aftermath of that volcanic eruption. Love, love, love this poem.

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