at half-mast

I will take my life published in I am not a silent poet (January 17, 2016). Thank you Reuben Woolley!

Click here to read the poem : I will take my life

The recent passing of Samantha Hunt, a poet from Birmingham, UK, made me write this piece. I knew her only across her poems that had appeared on I am not a silent poet. Her words are now hanging “from a beautifully grotesque hook” to paraphrase her own words:

I was pulled in by strings.
Everything was blue, bitter blue.
The kind of blue that made me glad to
be alive.

Alive, she was piling words for us who think poetry is all about craftsmanship, word clouds, colonization of imaginative territory, etc. We did not realize alive, she was piling questions for herself and building her own death for the world. How can we just believe in poetry?

That blue was a/
brutal caress.
It’s not going to stop/
it’s not going to stop/
Skin. Skin was all that I had
A sugar paper quilt,
A translucent defence against the light/
Oh, the light. The light.

(From Drawing with light by Samantha Hunt  )

Who is at peace with the world when we say RIP? For us, mourning is the right time to pile questions and words to serve the moment, not before!

Here’s an extract from a poem called Letting go posted on her Facebook page on December 10, 2015:

It’s all over now, Baby Blue on repeat.
It’s the gentle hum of the nurse’s pen
as it grazes her notebook:
Zoplicone. Sertraline. Quetiapine. Duolextine.
One milligram. Two milligrams. Three
One of these snaps the synapses
back into shape, deadens the music;
fleshes the tree’s bones.

And here’s her New year post. She thought it summed things up nicely:

‘‘The so-calledpsychotically depressedperson who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quotehopelessnessor any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yellingDon’t!’ andHang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” – David Foster Wallace

Thank you.

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Published by

debasis

Debasis Mukhopadhyay is a poet from Montreal, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals & anthologies, including Posit, The Curly Mind (UK), Erbacce (UK), Manneqüin.Haüs, Yellow Chair Review, I Am Not A Silent Poet (UK), The New Verse News, Writers Against Prejudice (UK), Rat’s Ass Review : Love & Ensuing Madness, Algebra of Owls, Of/With, Walking Is Still Honest, Leaving My Shadow : A Tribute to Anna Akhmatova, Thirteen Myna Birds, Whale Road Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Silver Birch Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Revolution John, Down in the Dirt, With Painted Words (UK), The Wagon Magazine, Apple Fruits of an Old Oak, Voice of Monarch Butterflies, etc. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. He can be contacted at debmukhop@yahoo.ca or @dbasis_m on Twitter.

8 thoughts on “at half-mast”

  1. That was a nice tribute and showing of appreciation. I have read some of her work an admit myself to be challenged day to day with some of the content quoted
    It is a horrible thing and unless you have been stroked by flames as said people can’t know what it is all about, and nor should those that have have to hide it, or it swept aside as it is still today.

    Again, nice to see respect paid where it is due.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know her personally, but her death was a brutal blow for me, another one in life. Going through her work, I somehow felt I know this flame. Might sound bizarre but i can’t still forget her passing away. Thanks for your words.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew Samantha from many years ago as she was my first love. I have only found out about her passing today and it has made me terribly sad.

    She was a very beautiful woman, who found great solace in poetry and the arts. I couldn’t appreciate her poetry at the time. I was 20 years old (now 31) and struggling with the fact that I am autistic and had a lot of difficulties. Now that I have read a few different pieces it is clear that I didn’t understand it because her writing was on a different level to anything else that I had seen written.

    It is very dark but elegant. Beautiful words intertwined with a lot of pain. I have no idea how she died, I really hope that it wasn’t suicide but I am preparing myself that that may be the case. But whatever it was, make no mistake that I can see now that she has touched an awful lot of people with her words.

    I really hope that her family are okay and that if there is a God that she is being looked after because she was a good person. I am very proud of her and while I may have moved on, I still wanted her to have all the success in the world because she did deserve it.

    RIP Sammy Joe
    B

    Liked by 1 person

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