Bloodline by Michael A. Griffith

By g emil reutter
Poet Michael A. Griffith writes in the opening poem of this collection, Polyglot:
To know true meanings and speak plain
as whales tell no lies in their arias
and bees are never false in their dance
To whisper a word to the wind
and make the hurricane stop.
In this 26 poem collection released by The Blue Nib, Griffith brings the commonplace to life through the use of stark, truthful language blended at times with extraordinary metaphor in settings of the ordinary, never false in his dance with words.
He writes of a strained relationship in the poem The Old Dingy. Griffith captures the divide between father and son, a stubbornness on both parts he equates to the quiet dark cold lake:
The distance between us in not so great,
but the space…
it stretches out like darkness,
like the lake his dinghy is on.
Dark, even at noon, wide, can’t see the other shore,
Quiet and cold, this space between father and son.
In the poem, Satan’s Toy Car, Griffith writes of the salesman who comes to visit his mother, capturing the sleazy nature of the man in the description of his car. his long red car./ A big city car./Shiny, real shiny in the sun./ New. The poem tells us how the salesman attempts to get rid of the child by presenting him with a toy car so that he can hit on the mother. After several attempts the mother slaps the salesmans face who departs. The child also departs later in the day with the toy car. Day later I fetched Satan’s toy car,/ buried it up at the church/ where it ain’t done no harm/ or no good ever since.
In the first four stanzas of Noona, he captures the hopelessness with imagery that brings you into life existence in a nursing home:
You called me “honey” amid your clutterspeak
You will forget what you said to me
or that we spoke once you turn and leave.
You will roam the halls,
look into darkened rooms
for someone you might see.
You will moan and wail and cry.
Wet will drip from your nose.
And the next time I see you, you could be calm.
You might be laughing,
Yet your eyes never seem dry.
Only remembering patches of a life before,
thoughts so full of holes,
like the ivory doily
on your cluttered night stand,
brought here with your family pictures and more.
Griffith covers a large swath of life in this short collection. Of birth and death, of politicians and creeps, of love and loss. An observer, his poems bring you into the real world he has lived and loved.
You can find the book here:
g emil reutter is a writer of stories and poems. He can be found at:

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