Archive for the Aleathia Drehmer Category

Aleathia Drehmer

Posted in Aleathia Drehmer with tags on June 15, 2022 by Scot



Liminal Definition of Love

Growing up, love was a screaming,
knock out, vindictive fight; a flurry of arms.

In the dark, my young heart
always stood stock still, listening
for the sound of bones breaking,
then silence.

When it was my turn to love, I went mute
to keep from fighting, never standing up
for myself or letting the others take any blame.

I lived a lie
rather than remember
a child’s
version of together.


Stone Fences

We weren’t in the truck more than five minutes
before he revealed his mother’s cancer to me
and spoke about the possibility of following
in her footsteps. He was firm about her not having
chemo at age 82, but pleaded with his eyes to ask
if his position on the matter was the right one.
He told me he’d be ready if the doc told him
his time had come. Yes, he’d be ready now.

I made him stop for coffee and I snuck in the bathroom
to call you, crying on your invisible shoulder
about impending deaths. I had longed for my father’s
candor and now, I couldn’t run fast enough
from its blackened face. You calmed me enough
to allow me to strengthen the mortar in my emotional
stone fence back to its usual haphazard state.

The door creaked when I opened it and S-hooks
jangled under my sandals, breaking our silence,
reminding us we were here—together—at this moment.
We reconnected to my youth with tales of the present,
avoiding the tender spots of our failed relationship,
that we had planned to broach. Those things moot
in cancer’s claw and death’s smiling face.

In the end, I felt guilty that I wasn’t more assertive,
that there were years spent avoiding each other
over pride and unchecked disappointment.
They were years that would never return.
I tucked my book under the dirty armrest
as I hugged you goodbye, the poems wedged
inside now seemed much less important than the day before.



Hurricanes of Snow

I stand outside the door of the funeral home
watching the winds carry loose snow
across the back lot like an icy hurricane
that no one takes notice of as it twists
and cuts into the beginning of winter,
into my daughter’s eighth birthday.

When I look closer, through my frozen,
stalled breath, I realize that as a child
I would cut through this lot
from my grandmother’s house.

In summer, I’d run through the maze
of underbrush, stop to pick blackberries
and tiger lilies, hope beyond hope
I didn’t misstep and end up in the swamp
full of skunk cabbage and green slime.
I carefully triangulated the stones
I’d use to cross the crick if it were low enough.

It was always cooler here
next to the high concrete wall
and I could smell the donuts frying
next to the funeral home and never thought
it was a scary place because of that.

But now it’s different after seeing her lie
in an open casket for two hours,
waiting for her to say my name
and slap my arm and laugh.

This place is cold and circular and filled
with darkened hearts and though I’ll never
cross that crick again, it somehow
changes the thrill of that adventure.

Aleathia Drehmer

Posted in Aleathia Drehmer with tags on September 26, 2021 by Scot

Track Three: His Eyes Raised to Heaven

As the oldest son, my father
felt the wrath of his drunken
father’s fists. He was a stand-in
for the younger boys and his mother.

His life was full of holy dreams,
a bible in his hand with eyes raised
to heaven, to the place that would lead him
from abuse into the arms of the church.

Instead, at 17, he took a walk
into the jungle, gun strapped
to his back, learning to be a man
in a war that had no solid meaning.

He lost God there.
Lost him a hail of bullets that ended
the lives of children and men
who he knew nothing about
but swore to his country, to kill.

He came home a ghost,
filled with rage and disappointment.
Setting out to walk mountains
and paddle rivers, smoked peyote with shamans,
saw the land, and knew it was the only God he’d ever find.

All these years later, after he is gone,
I stand naked in the bathroom reading lines
of this genetic trauma and listen to the light trill
of evening birds and scattered crickets
through the open window.

Here, we are redeemed together.
Father and daughter and spirit
less holy than we’d expected,
still fighting wars we never waged.


Track Twelve: The Trouble with Demons

The trouble with demons
is I never know which corners
they lurk around, or how I’ll address them
with my tongue tied around my teeth.

Or when they grip my ankles so tight
that I fall flat on my face, the pavement
rearranging my features into something unholy.

Or if it is the cold breeze
sliding in my ear like a plague,
building novels from all the bitter words
I’ve ever heard spoken after my name.

Or if it’s that taste I can’t get
off my tongue like a gifted poison apple
I fed myself out of spite.

Or if the silence behind my eyes
just waits to stone me
with my own reflection, me,
a self-made Medusa.

The trouble with demons
is how easily they tempt me
into winning the fight
against being loved.


Track Seventeen: Maddog 20/20

I listen to poets reading on zoom
and someone says it’s the new normal.
I can’t help but feel sad remembering
the Beat poets fest in Hartford,
or the merging of coasts in Kansas City,
or too many beers in Cambridge.
Each room was full of wild minds
and hard fought nights.

Tonight, I revisit the river of words
I swam in a lifetime ago,
though it was really just a decade,
and smile at how free these people are,
how much they draw the world
into themselves and spit it back out
like well-crafted masterpieces.

Most days I can only find smooth rocks
and wanton feathers left by blue jays
or forlorn crows, tops of acorns, dried worms,
and the way the fog strangles the hills
behind the river like a handsome serial killer.

Their poems feel like entangled lovers
who don’t know when to stop drinking,
like all the cool people I’ve never belonged to,
like every failed love poem I’ve ever heard.

But I have the river, with its cold dark water
waiting to pull time from beneath my feet
and give it all away to the next person
willing to drown in its shallows.


Aleathia Drehmer was once the editor of Durable Goods and In Between Altered States, but now spends most of her time writing novels. She has recently published poems in Spillwords, Piker Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Cajun Mutt Press. Aleathia has upcoming work in M 58 Poetry. Her first full-length collection Looking for Wild Things (Impspired) is due out later this year.

Standing amongst the recycling…by Aleathia Drehmer

Posted in Aleathia Drehmer on February 15, 2009 by Scot

In tendrils of cigarette smoke, listening to night sounds–
crickets and moon birds, we hear the rustling leaves moved by winds
in far off storms, the candle flickering as you leave it.

Sweet, delicate memories wan in the youth you somehow
try to dispel under the guise of advancing age
and a fortitude we cannot be sure we really have.

You talk about love that never takes its grace, how the waiting over
a decade for its return to soften heartbreak’s edges doesn’t come.
You understand he can never be the man to make us whole.

And in this silence, we face each other briefly,
drunk and with the knowledge that the tragedies witnessed
in our collective lives could have never been, that we might not

have had to spend them dreaming or wanting or waiting
for an easiness to find its way to the lines on our faces,
into the creases of our quiet, longing moments.

The pans clank in the kitchen with familiar sounds,
you mumbling to yourself like the old days, trying to busy notions
from your mind; to strike out those sad remembrances you know

need putting back in the cabinet. I stand here small and alone,
watch the light dance off the Windex bottle, wishing I could
wipe away the past without leaving evident streaks of knowing.