Poncy Poetry Thursday: Homage to a Tumor

Well, I’m all out of excuses. It’s been such a ridiculously, inexcusably long time since I updated my blog. But, alas, for the two of you that actually keep up with this thing, I did warn you.

I’ve been quite busy with my latest piece of writing, a novel that I’ll just call Monarchs for short. I wrapped up writing around February, then spent the entirety of March editing it into oblivion. I revised and re-wrote and finished the second draft a few weeks ago. Now it’s in the hands of test readers, and I’ve already started sending out a handful of pitches. The book takes place in the late 1920s/early 1930s, and focuses on two people: O.T. Lawrence, a poor cotton farmer whose sparse but idyllic family life is suddenly, tragically cut short; and Sivvy Hargrove, a touring tent revival singer who ends up in the Milledgeville Asylum with no hope of being released. That’s all I have to say about them right now. *winky face emoji*

A couple of people have asked when it’ll be “out”, and the short answer is I don’t know. This one is different. With Aroha, I decided to self-publish after a very small window of pitching (nine months or so) and Ka Kite was always intended to be self-published, as it’s a sequel to the former. Monarchs, however, I intend to pitch and try to publish the traditional route. I’ve had offers from a couple of vanity presses, but I’ve never understood those. Educate me if I’m ignorant on this, but it seems to me that if you’re going to sink your own money into the publishing of a novel, that’s essentially self-publishing. So you might as well do it yourself, and omit the costly middle man. But that’s just me.


So yeah, “Monarchs” is floating through the wires of the interwebs, hoping to find its home with a literary agent who has a taste for a southern gothic/historical fiction hybrid. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

As for this post, I’d considered writing a think-piece of sorts about the state of things at the moment, my frustrations with the current political climate, and my thoughts on poverty and health. I have a lot to say on the subject, a lot of what I hope is wisdom and insight. I started and stopped a couple of times, but ultimately I abandoned the idea (and not just because Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was on and that’s my favorite book/movie of the series). Do we really need another think-piece? Probably not. We’re all distraught, we’re all stressed, we’re all thinking enough for the lot of us. What can I say that hasn’t been thought, felt, said already?

So let there be poetry.

I recently stumbled upon a treasure trove of old, angsty poetry from many years ago. This was one of the more recent of that lot, but it’s still a good eight years old. I always liked it, though please know that I never take myself too seriously when it comes to my prose. It’s as self-deprecating as I am.

As you might guess, it’s an ode to a shitty former lover. As you do.


Homage to a Tumor 

A malignant
of the heart.

It’s the spring of my life, the winter of yours. It isn’t for me to decide, it isn’t for me to abide the very callousness of your nature, your reverence for the bleak, the dark, the damaged light. The scales tip, we all fall down sometimes. We have our crosses to bear, and those of us who do it trying to creak out a grin don’t do this out of weakness. We do it out of strength. It isn’t always easy being

cheerful, amazingly upbeat
and optimistic,
but ‘whatever gets you through the night’
is quite alright,

So long farewell auf weidersehen goodnight it’s not alright the way you curse and moan and fight, the way you suck out all the light, the way you never can decipher wrong from right. I take a leave of absence, a hiatus, from your stream of conciousness, so heinous,

so cruel and cold
You think it’s being bold.
It’s really just casual infrequent
slaughter of a character.

My character.

My myth, my legend, I came across a sea to find you, or so you’d like to think, your mind being on the blink, you can’t see for your eyes, the danger lying within just out of arms reach you try to grasp, I’m out of reach, because you push with the tips of your fingers, you push as you clench, you push away as you draw in. You draw

circles of omnipresent procrastination
the ever present sheet of paper with lines too wide
the pen too narrow
your heart too soiled and solidified in it’s rage
against the dying, dying of the light
to quote again

You never quote
For thoughts that aren’t your own
Have no resonance

No voice.

No voice like your own,
no hands like your own,
no heart quite like your own.

Closing time, farewell goodnight
to all the little things that creak about the night
(it’s dark inside your chest,
the beats play out a tune)

© Lillah Lawson 2017

By lillahlawson

Author of Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree (Regal House, 2019), and the Dead Rockstar Trilogy (Parliament House, 2020). Georgia Author of the Year Nominee. Poet, Essayist, Genealogist.

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