Monthly Archives: December 2018

Sleeping With Macbeth

Just out, my latest book of poetry, Sleeping With Macbeth.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” There is a lot of blood in this book. There is blood from where we are as a society. There is blood from the courage we all need to get out of bed every morning. and the compromises we must make. And there is blood that has leaked out from our broken hearts.

I was never the kind of writer to cover up the pain with pretty phrases. I hope there is some eloquence here, but not at the expense of honesty. Subjects explored in Sleeping With Macbeth are life, love, writing, Ireland, holidays, and people. This book documents my struggle during a very dark period and the desire to begin again, not with another love, but with life.

Available at my website, http://www.afwinter.com, or on Amazon,

https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Macbeth-F-Winter/dp/1974316831/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1545597129&sr=1-2&keywords=sleeping+with+macbeth

 

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A Jar of Macadamia Nuts

“Things aren’t important.

Things are important.

Does that make sense?”

 

She stood before me

In the supermarket.

A friend, I haven’t seen in over a year.

A disease that is slowly melting her cartilage away.

She smiled joyfully at me,

In front of the shredded cheese.

Her happiness had nothing to do with the cheese.

I hope.

 

“I think so.” I replied.

“Big things aren’t important.

Small things are.”

 

Her smile continued.

“Yes last year I couldn’t stand.

I might have to have surgery to fuse my spine.

I won’t be able to move my head ever again.”

 

I said, “Like this?”

Slowly moving my back, neck, and head from side to side as one

Imagining what life would be like,

Like a naive child learning about homeless for the first time.

 

“Yes,” she said.

We stood, for a moment, in silence as the Friday shoppers passed us,

In a frenzied passion,

As if the three for two special

Held the meaning of life

Or the riches of Solomon.

 

“You look well,” I said and I meant it.

In fact, she looked beautiful,

With a knowledge and understanding

That few possess.

 

 

“Thanks,” she smiled again.

Her eyes closed as discomfort from her condition took hold of her.

“I can only get around now for small amounts of time

And I’m about done.”

 

I noticed a jar of Macadamia nuts in her hand

And looked around for her cart.

“Is you cart somewhere?”

 

No, this is all I came for.”

I looked confused

So she continued,

“Last year I couldn’t stand,

I couldn’t clean.

I couldn’t be the mother

I wanted to be.

Everything I thought I once was,

I wasn’t.

I couldn’t even bake.

I love baking.

For now,

At this moment,

I can do things,

Small things,

Simple things.

Today I can bake cookies.”

She looked at the jar in her hand

And smiled sadly.

“Today I can bake,

Silly really.”

 

Not silly at all.


My Sentence

I look at my picture

Taken just a few minutes ago

I don’t recognize myself

Who is this unhappy man?

 

My hair hurts.

I run my fingers

Through my scalp

Grasping and pulling

The tortured, graying strands

 

My eyelids heavy.

I lay down on my cot.

I can’t sleep.

But I can’t move.

Laying there for hours.

Until I feel the devil

Grasping and pulling

Me down where demons dwell.

 

Startled at the reality

Of this living hell.

Can’t escape the reality

Of this living hell.

Resolved to the reality

Locked in my prison cell.

Never again to hold

My sweet, sweet Annabelle.