Category: Poems

A Long Sentence

Today, on my Sweet 16 sobriety date, I am reflecting on a poem I wrote during the throws of my addictions 20 years ago. I had a dream last night that showed me it doesn’t matter how much time you have. Six days, 6 years, 16 years are all call for total celebration. But the further away you move, the more abstract the early struggle becomes, until it can almost dissolve completely. Therefore, I treasure having this tiny piece of writing to remind me what I’ve left so far behind. And believe me, it wants me to forget. It wants me back…

I returned it to its original name, after friends encouraged me to change the title to “The Elephant of Wisdom,” because I like the play on words, like being sentenced to prison, that most people probably won’t get but I recall really worked for me at the time that I wrote it.

A Long Sentence

(c)1996 Nance Broderzen

Living in the blockage of her own true, stuck being, she tries hard to change, rearrange, let go, flow to the new horizon that promises love and joy and freedom, beckoning with an eerie call of peace and laughter to her deeper innermost soul of strength and beauty calling, calling from the deep dark depth of her being for light, pure light and laughter as she hesitates and resists the power within and hangs on to the tears and germs and stiff control of her body, her personality, her ego who has the power now and refuses to relinquish it, feigning protection in his smug, hard core of false promises and immediate impulsive gratification and addictive desires of the flesh and quick fix mentality, all for his own sake and sense of control, seducing and making false promises which she lets herself believe again and again, even though the truth screams out in its soft, sensual voice of gut instincts all to easily ignored or confused or mistaken for deadly dishonest madness by the one in control who loves his power above everything else, loves his true madness, his monotony, his unconsciousness and automatic movement from extreme to extreme to extreme of false glory and psychic sleep, spirit resting in a blur of resentment at the failure to act, failure to move to a life of real experience untouched by fear, as the fear always takes hold with both hands and strangles all efforts outward into relief and nurture, damming the thoughts of alternative action and keeping the self contained, locked up behind the bars of awesome fear-filled warnings to stay put and escape only by means of mind dams, sucking in quick and easy substance to quiet the rage and anger of imprisonment and keep everything nice and tidy, soothing the pain of physical abuse with ideas of another and yet another indulgence into escapism as the ego trap revolves around his own little self and he feels his power, gloating as the true self is gagged and tied up, incapacitated to move out into the fresh air and jungle of rich growth and possibilities, opportunities, tigers of fear and elephants of wisdom, rainfall of tears and mountain springs of cleansing and rejuvenation out of focus and out of reach, so it seems, for ego knows and warns and presages the pain of going there, reminding her that it’s hard to transform, hard to undo the damage done, hard to detoxify and demand a new way of life, hard to be empty and breathe simple air, drink simple water, eat simple fruits and vegetables and grains with no jolt to the system, no escape from that empty well that can never be filled, he coaxes as she tries and loses it again, unable to pull herself out of his well when she’s bombarded by his passionate warnings and longings to hold her in his arms, hold her in his grasp she finally sees and takes a stand, listening ever so deeply to her heart and gut and groin and soul, allowing the jungle to be what it is, allowing herself to be what she is, who she is, hearing finally and believing the empty well is not a well at all, but a spring of joy and laughter, real and tangible, artfully glowing, ready to fill her in ways never felt, fill her with true energy and creative practice, spontaneity and love, sweet, sweet love of the richness of her soul ready to be freed, ready to be human, ready to move her through the jungle safely as it leads her to the fruits and fulfillment, towering playfully over tigers, in the elephant of wisdom.

Madly Releasing

Bubbles of madness
rising out of the brain
make her feel sane
bubbles of sadness
rising out of her heart
into her brain
they rise and pop
into the night
into the light
but when she pours them
into things
she’s crazy happy

The Whisper of Deeper Neurons

Her spirit talks softly
Sends electric vibrations through
the heart
the solar plexus
but the brain’s myriad neurons
rattle with blood and every organ
drowning deeper neurons out
cravings shout over them
rationalizations multiply
contradictions — stress crescendo
into high volume, like phones ringing
she feeds what she can
forgetting to stop
and listen
to heartbeats
to breath


She went back
to the culture that defeated all others
the baddest, meanest, cruelest culture
that killed, castrated and enslaved the rest
She went back
and found them
looked at you and saw how they
made you one of them
made her one of them
She went forward
without them
without you

Another Flight

In the dark night
under a new moon
the pendulum clock ticks steady
cars whoosh by when lights change
the battery operated clock clicks off beat
her heart beats soundless
alone in her apartment
she tried again to find love
after work
a blind date
at a juice bar
where he thought they clicked
as she planned her escape
to here
surrounded by books that
have beginnings and endings
open to discussion and interpretation
intellectual banter
of which he had none
with him
she heard his drama
saw herself in it
felt a beginning
that would never end
unless she fled
into the moonless night