Vox Populi

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Michelle Bitting: Now at Holiday Time I Think About the Moment I Heard You Passed On

~ Joan Didion (December 5, 1934 – December 23, 2021)

How I felt a cold shadow creak through me—klieg
lights suddenly flipped, a few mercury vapors streaking
noir memories, growing up in L.A. where I’d read
you, run into you at the tucked-away girls’ school
your daughter attended, a stone’s throw from lots
where talented Sharon Tate expired and Jim Morrison
fluttered psychedelic, fiery birds rising from the boulevard
of broken wings. Sometimes the calendar opens too early,
the advent candy, its hidden splendor, spoiling like
chocolate in the sun of disbelief, our soft mugs stamped
with bad news behind each sprung paper door parceled
down a page, each bittersweet morsel we’ve fed ourselves
to live, the un-swaddled mirror swallowed—darkly—
embraced. Each death, like yours, we’re summoned to face.

Copyright 2022 Michelle Bitting

Michelle Bitting’s books include Nightmares & Miracles (Two Sylvias Press, 2022). She lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

Note: Joan Didion was an American writer, considered one of the pioneers of New Journalism. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture and the Hollywood lifestyle. Didion’s writing in the 1980s and 1990s often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric.

Joan Didion, Malibu 1972. Henry Clarke / Getty Images

7 comments on “Michelle Bitting: Now at Holiday Time I Think About the Moment I Heard You Passed On

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    December 25, 2022

    That first line–and “fiery birds rising from the boulevard
    of broken wings”–beautiful poem.


  2. Laure-Anne
    December 23, 2022

    The heart, sounds, cadence, images in this poem: I love Michelle Bitting’ poems. This one in particular.


  3. Wesley Staples
    December 23, 2022

    Wonderful ode, by one great talent for another.


    • Vox Populi
      December 23, 2022

      Thank you, Wesley. I agree!


    • Michelle Bitting
      December 23, 2022

      Thank you, Wesley, that is so kind and means a lot to me.


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This entry was posted on December 23, 2022 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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