Today's poet is Cal Wensley, the self-described 'loudmouthed host of two Bristol poetry nights, Satellite of Love, and Tonic'. OL Recently saw him perform at a Verve Poetry Press event and was struck by his personal and poignant words.
Cal explained: 'I write on the death of my dad with all of the intensity of someone who doesn’t want to admit that their dad is dead even though they went to the funeral. To some, it might sound like I treat death as a joke and they’re right.' He continued: 'I tackle sensitive issues with a lack of sensitivity and a whole lot of humanity. My poetry might make you cry but just remember that it’s my dad that’s dead so try not to be more upset about it than me'.
We have included links to Cal's social media profiles below. Here's today's moving poem:
I AM WOKEN BY THE SOUND OF SCREAMING
1. I am woken up by the sound of screaming. My bedroom door opens and my sister, who I now know to be the one who is screaming, collapses on my bed. She lands on my glasses, the only pair I have at home right now with my correct prescription, and I think for a moment that there had better be a good reason for her barging in like this.
2. Mum, who has always known what to do when something breaks, who has always known where the missing piece was, who has always known how to make us smile, says she does not know what to do.
3. My sister screams two words
4. I want to cut away to a scene that makes sense
4. I want to make light of this.
4. I want to tell you this is a story.
4. I want to tell you anything but the truth.
4. My sister screams out dad’s dead and our home is still
5. I hope my glasses are broken. I hope she broke my bed in the fall. I hope she ripped the door from its hinges on the way in. I want to be mad at her for something else. – Later today I will find my sister smoking in the garden. This is important because she offers me one and I say no which means I am a better griever than my sister.
6. Dad, who was always been alive when something breaks, who has always been alive where the missing piece was, who has always been alive to make us smile, is dead.
© 2024, Cal Wensely
Cal Wensley can be found at @CalThePoet on most social media platforms.
Satellite and Tonic can be found at www.solpoetry.org.uk and @BristolTonic on social media respectively.