And Now, Still

Front Cover ANS v10. 13.15 cs 1 bw with testimonial


Publication Date: January 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0962782879

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015908187

Trade Paper 6″ x 9″

From the Heart Press

Selected poems from And Now Still will appear below the contents in November and December 2015.


Holiday Death Math                                       1

                    He Could Spin a Yarn
Worth a Shit                                                   5
Day of Hearts                                                 7         
A Goddamn Leg                                            11
Nursing Home Goodbyes                              12
The Hall Closet in Winter                               13
The Other Side                                              14
Selected Journal Entries                                15

                  She Rarely Let Him Finish       

New Tricks                                                      41
Sanitize Your Pores                                        43
Dialysis Days                                                  45
November 16, 1999                                        47

November 19, 1999                                        49
November 22, 1999                                        51
What Else?                                                     53
December 2, 1999                                          55
We All Want Her                                             57
What Do You Want to Do?                             58
4:32 PM                                                          60
The Ingredients                                              63
Christmas Spirit                                              65
The Dance We Always Share                        67
“Tidied”                                                           69
Resurrection                                                   71

                      She Created Beauty

Bump                                                              77
(Some of) Her Own Words                             80
Creation Continues                                         81
Remembering Is Preferable                            83
Please Don’t Abandon Me                              84
Still on the Bed                                               85
The Sniper                                                      88
Awaiting the Judges                                        90
13 Ways of Looking at Wells Fargo                92
Five Years Later                                             108

                      And Now, Still

And Now, Still                                                113

Nuclear Family                                               117
Writing Again                                                 119
Surprised by Grief                                          122
Nursing Home Return                                    124
The Rickety Bridge                                        125     
The Wound                                                    127
When I Make Myself Small                            129     
                        First Family

Fillet of Soul With a Dark Night Glaze             133     
Freedom                                                          140
You Stood Up                                                  142
Knowing                                                           144
The Old Lesson Again (and Again)                 146

Afterwordledgements                                      149
About the Author                                             151



My father left a leg-and-a-half along
with the rest of his 88-year-old body
on Valentine’s Day 1996. My mother
dropped her 83-year-old multiple-
bypassed heart, dialysized kidney and
early colon cancer between the turkey
and the tree on December 15, 1999,

30 days before my January 15, 2000
wedding and 10 years and 9 months
before my sister slowed, then
brought her heart to zero on St. Patrick’s
Day, 2009, three-quarters through her 55th
year, leaving 9,000 Cardizem nanograms
in her still tired blood. And me, my hips

are only 12 years old in my 61st year and
I’ve got long-term plans for them and some
200-plus bones and assorted organs, but I
can’t help notice that February 14, December
15, and March 17 scream for January 16 and
they’re screaming directly at me, albeit
without a specific year. And while the day
after my anniversary means less now that
I’m no longer married, with not quite 13
years of marriage and the continuing education
of divorce, I feel I’m beginning to understand
some things, and in no hurry to go anywhere
without this body, especially to fulfill a

coincidental family death sequence or
arbitrary arithmetic progression.  Of course,
their 75-year average age of death is just six
tenths of a year lower than statistical U.S. males,
and I could bump that to 80 with a sex change or
deeper embrace of my feminine side, or to 79 by

becoming Japanese. These trajectories land somewhere
between 2029 and 2034, but my father smoked for 70
years and made it to 88, albeit minus half-a-leg but
with original hips, and I’ve never smoked, have a
resting pulse of 58, total cholesterol 169, triglycerides
56, and I’ve been laughing more than 50 years – long
before Norman Cousins prescribed it. Shit. I might live
forever. The Grim Reaper will be a Grin Reaper when
I’m done with her.  I eat fillet of soul with a dark night
glaze and midnight chocolate cake, I know I’m vast
emptiness, eternal presence and original face, and that

infamous Buddhist hot dog vendor can’t make me one
with everything because I always, already am.
And with relish.
To boot.

For additional poems from And Now, Still, click here. 

Copyright © 2016 by Reggie Marra