Saturday, October 18, 2014


I bought the book "Gabriel" the slim volume of poetry by Edward Hirsch written in reaction to the death of his son at age 22 of a drug overdose.  Tremendously evocative portrait of trying to parent an acting out mentally ill son.  The story starts with a private adoption, the birthfamily exits from the story.  But the child is difficult from the start.  Won't sleep, thrown out of many schools, full of rage, never can think clearly.  I've seen that story many many times.

So much of the description reminds me of L, another troubled young man who died a violent death at age 16.   His mother talks about emotional disequilibrium.  Like Gabriel, no expert, no therapist could handle him.

An excerpt:

The population of his feelings
Could not be governed
By the authorities

He had reasons why
Reason disobeyed him
and voted him out of office

His constant companion
Made it difficult to rest

Unruly part of one
Forget about truces or compromises
The barricades will be stormed

Every day was an emergency
Every day called for another emergency
Meeting of the cabinet

In his country
There were scenes
Of spectacular carnage

Hurricanes welcomes him
He adored typhoons and tornadoes
Furies unleashed

Houses lifted up
And carried to the sea
Uncontained uncontainable

Unbolt the doors
Fling open the gates
Here he comes

Chaotic wind of the gods
He was trouble
But he was our trouble

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