What We Ache For
Editors: Ricki Mandeville, Michael Miller
I have watched Eric study, write, perform, re-write, perform and perfect until poems now emerge which are as meticulous, original and effective on the page as they are mesmerizing at the microphone. When he wants them to be, they are sexy. They are sometimes comic, sometimes sad. And in a poem such as 'Smear,' he challenges our resistance to the hard truths of human nature. The variety of his inspirations and structures assures that the font of his imagination will not run dry. He has every right to be immensely proud of this collection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric Morago's poetry has appeared in various print and online publications and can be found in such anthologies as Carving in Bone (Moon Tide Press) and Beside the City of Angels (World Parade Books). He is the California Workforce Association's Poet in Residence and actively teaches poetry workshops to at-risk youth. Eric holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach. He currently lives in Whittier, California.
Thor Loses His Hammer
He staggers into my home tear-drunk,
gold locks reeking of booze and puke,
snot dangling from his perfect nose.
I ask, What happened?
It’s gone, he says. I can’t find it.
He sits, sinks into the cushions,
cries more than any god should.
Loki? I suggest, quick to help.
First place I tried—beat him to a pulp
then ransacked the underworld
Hela told me to check with the frost giants.
No luck there, either.
As he speaks, his voice shakes
with so much loss I ache for him—
helplessly, like having to see a child
break, bawling over a popped balloon.
I brew us coffee.
He takes his mug in his large god hands,
thanks me and asks what he should do.
Can’t the dwarves just make another?
He says I don’t understand.
Tells me it was a gift from Odin—
the only hard proof of his father’s love.
But I do—years before my father left,
he gave me a watch I’d never wear,
but made promise to always keep.
Now it rests in a sleek black box,
tucked away in my bedside drawer.
Often I forget it is there, except
on nights I can’t sleep, when I’ll hear
its faint ticking, and think to take it
from its grave, to feel the weight
of my father’s heart in my palm.
I want to tell Thor I understand,
but he has passed out on my couch,
curled into a muscular ball, snoring—
and I wonder,
if Thor cannot find his hammer,
how long before we all feel his loss,
how long before we miss the thunder
from our skies.