Monday, August 18, 2014

The Year Of Lithium

I was born in the year of lithium
and "let the sunshine in."
It was 1970, and the scorecard read
National Guard -4
Kent State - 0.

The Beatles broke up, and Yoko got the blame.
For the bargain price of a 6 cent stamp,
you could Dear John your sweetheart soldier
dry humping his hand and killing Commies
on the other side of the world.

The earth shuddered and shook
and took 50,000 lives in Peru.
Manson testified that it was Helter Skelter time
(do you, don't you . . . )
and X'ed himself out.

Jimmy died.
Janis died.
The blues contracted,
quiet, on a November night,
and I was born

in the year of lithium.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

23 comments:

Sioux said...

This just spewed the passion and confusion of the era.

I'm glad you went "a little long" this time. The extra lines continued the whallop a little longer...

Well done, as always.

Karen S. said...

To tell the tale of how it was, by lithium's light..... it was indeed a Helter Skelter time, and yet I recall something bright, that I begged and begged but never got...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soFXG2FaONw

Sylvia K said...

Sioux has said it all and I do so agree!! Passion and confusion that I do remember so well!! Hope your week is off to a great start, MZ!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow! you bring that time back so vividly. Loved this, Kelli.

Susan said...

I shed a few tears. As I was losing innocence and avoiding lithium, an innocent was born stronger than the decade, stronger than depression, an iron rod of poetry. You.

Arushi Ahuja said...

beautiful~!! im not sure about 1970 that much... wasnt born yet!! but it does sound like a sad year.. however like E.b.White said-
“After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”

colleen said...

Love this retrospective and it gave me a chill because I remember it all so well. This is my kind of poem/folk song. Janis and Jimi maybe needed some lithium.

Bridge2vision said...

There's powerful emotional energy commanded by an expert hand! They needed to bottle your talent and replace Lithium with it.

Timoteo said...

You missed all the fun--ha ha!

Kerry O'Connor said...

1970! What a time of change it was! What an era to be born into! I love every bold word of your summation.

georgeplaceblog said...

I was eighteen years old in 1970 and well remember these things, turbulent, crazy, tragic, wonderful years.

Björn Rudberg said...

1970.. what an interesting year to capture.. and I realize how much a 9 year boy in Sweden failed to even grasp... My first grasp that there was a world out there was 73.. a year when everything seemed to happen.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I think I just heard the universe say, "Well child, of course you had to be born then. All that madness needed a poet to write things right."

I must say that I will probably steal your idea... I mean, let myself be inspired by this lovely thing you've crafted. Hm, I wonder what happened in 1977...

Kim Nelson said...

1970 has never before been so rightly remembered.

Fireblossom said...

You had me at that title. You are on a roll lately, MZ, and this one rocks hard.

Did you see Rachel Maddow the other night, when she talked about Kent State as compared with Ferguson, Missouri?

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

history has never sounded so good

Jazzbumpa said...

I did a quick internet search and found this.

In 1970, the United States became the 50th country to admit lithium to the marketplace. Meanwhile, interest in lithium for the prophylaxis of depression was growing apace and today the agent is widely prescribed for that indication, even though it has not been accepted by the Food and Drug Administration.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712976/

So here in the U.S it literally was the year of lithium.

The year a son was born to me and my bi-polar first wife.

You captured it well. Through the distant lens of my memory, I didn't connect all of those things to that schizoid year.

Cheers!
JzB

Susie Clevenger said...

I got married in 1970..It was a chaotic time..you have captured that well.

blueoran said...

Great to see you widen the voice to take in History, accounting well the year of your birth (your trademark precision hammers fast all the nails of 1970) and then giving the year a name, the way the Chinese do: the year of lithium, the balm of the time's bane that became its own fire, a psychotropic octane spilled onto a burning mind. I started puberty in 1970, was initiated into personhood in the Ragnarok you describe. Yippee. What do we say of a poet born under a bad sign, except that her verses somehow manage to reverse courses and curses?

Marian said...

the blues contracted. yes they did.

grapeling said...

I love this, MZ ~

manicddaily said...

It was certainly a hard year, up and down, but mainly down. You have captured very succinctly--like leafing through a Life magazine summation, but in a good way--many moments. Thanks. k.

Gail said...

One of my favorites! Strong condensation of the times in one scary bundle of happening...and you were born. The icing.