Of Absence by Linda Gregg

You’re not good with humans. It was close to midnight. I was nursing a bottle. I may or may not have been part of the conversation. You don’t know how to be with them. You don’t even like them, do you.

I felt someone nudge my shoulder, and I realized they were talking about me. To me. But if that is the case, another argued, why do you have your heart on your sleeve? Is it some kind of a trick?

Snatches of conversation, now. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I wanted to say: maybe I am not really good at this—being human. But who is?

These days: my moods are ever volatile. I confess that I have never taken the initiative to observe them until this year. Euphoric for months, and then—emptiness. Elation, followed by loathing. The heart—my heart, it seems—is carnivorous. It devours, is voracious, is merciless.

Deeply exhausted. Maybe even shattered. I think this is enough for now. I think I have done as much as I could with this.

Of Absence
Linda Gregg

I climb the mountain.
Up steps the moon has already taken.
Of Absence. Of things broken.
To see if the moon is a mouth.
To see if I am what it wants.

This is from The Sacraments of Desire by Linda Gregg, published by Graywolf Press, 1995.



  1. Your “set-up” prose poem (or so it seems to me) for the Gregg poem resonates so keenly. What you wrote utterly informed how I read the Gregg poem, and the two, playing off one another, sent sparks out into the night. I am so pleased to get to know you and, as Al Filreis would put it, to get to see THIS!

  2. I have some sort of mood disorder and I love reading your stuff. I feel so un-lost. Be poetic for yourself. And thank you for showing me myself.

  3. hi t. i have been reading your blog for sometime now and im not sure if you will welcome this. i am bipolar, and i can recognize the signs. i think you might be suffering from this too? i know i might just be talking shite…but i urge you to think about it. you are happy for sometime and then all of a sudden you are so down in the dumps. and sometimes you cant explain it, cant explain why. who am I kidding…maybe you already know. maybe this is even therapy for you. in that case i hope you dont stop writing because it helps. this feels like a goodbye post but i hope it isnt. i read back, your older posts seem like you are in very high spirits but later this year it looks like you have been depressed. if you need someone to talk to, i am leaving my email here. take care mate.

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