There was a moment, several years ago now– late in November when my hand held the hand of a loved one in such agony; with her eyes she told me everything; she was unable to speak, but with our eyes alone we had a conversation of greater depth than we ever had before. I told her that I was there for her, but my words were meaningless by comparison, as we looked into one another’s eyes. There was something so inherently profound within this brief and poignant, but beautiful occurrence– which I feel will never escape my consciousness; it is embedded within the palm of my hand, within my inner eyes. With time, this moment would unfold perpetually, ultimately altering my perception completely– I would begin to turn all of my attention inward, to better understand– and then again toward the observance of the subtle nuances surrounding me.
It made me tremendously sad for a long time– the complexities of our thoughts and emotions, which we may never fully understand, those of which we are often incapable of expressing. As my grandmother’s condition worsened, the thought of losing her– that her perspective would one day be lost pushed me toward a world of sentiment… and my mind lingered on the timeless notion that our time here is very brief; that all of us will one day leave and we can only ever do our best. We can only hope that we may one day be remembered.
Heirlooms takes place amidst all of this, amongst other things– putting pen to paper in the early hours of morning after long and numbing winter walks around Providence, as I tried to gather myself– doing what I could to contend with the anxiety and depression I had been suffering from within a place of social isolation; trying to better understand how all of us are somehow here together, constantly growing and reshaping ourselves by our experiences– whether it be by consequence or coincidence– as we are all here, in a way, searching for something to hold onto.
Heirlooms is essentially one long-form poem pulled into segments of interrelating scenes, overheard dialogue, subconscious thoughts, and memories interspersed with imagery; arranged in such a way to engage… illuminating the pages as a painting– reaching out to whomever may be willing to listen, in hopes that they too may feel less alone.
W. Keller is a Providence, Rhode Island based poet and musician. He works as a life drawing model at Rhode Island School of Design. He is originally from New York, but lived in Colorado before settling in Rhode Island– for the time being. His life has been one of movement, defined by the instability associated with change.
William has been published and interviewed by Drunken Boat regarding his piece entitled, “At Times
.” Additionally, he is the author of several self-published titles including, “Are They Beautiful: Human.” – “Autumnal Beasts” and most recently, Roommate Missed Connections, co-written with his roommate Mark Baumer.
Paperback, 169 pages