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Monday, May 14, 2012

5-14-12 Pictures of Tommy - a memoirist’s blog #15


(Right now, I’m focusing on my memoirist work that I’ll call, simply, “Pictures of Tommy” -- all about my psychotic brother and his legacy. If so inclined, please share, and tell me what you think. . . )

I will always love this quote about writing, best:  “There’s nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”  Red Smith (1905 – 1982)

This is certainly true of my late brother and of me, writing about him – albeit on a computer rather than a typewriter.

(this is my little portable typewriter from England circa 1925)


EULOGY  for Thomas Agnelli, R.I.P.

Our brother, Tom – or Tommy – had a thing for being understood.  He was a talented guy, with words and music, being the product of a writer, Bernard, and a musician, Barbara.  But he also struggled his whole life with chemical imbalances that resulted in Schizo-Affective Disorder.  He craved love, then pushed it away.  He couldn’t help himself.

At any rate, because or in spite of this, Tom had a burning desire to be UNDERSTOOD.

Just after our mother, Barbara, passed away in 1997, we noticed Tommy started writing poetry.  In addition to jamming on the electric guitar (playing the blues and rock), this new verbal form of expression, poetry, was planted in Tom and just blossomed.

More than anything, these poems are so expressive, so eloquent, so revealing.  (AND they’re compact – like all good poetry.)  Our brother was a multifaceted talent in so many ways – and as changeable as a summer’s day: sunny, suddenly cloudy, chance of showers, frequent thunderstorms. . . . then sunny again.

Tom’s faith is his God was touching and complete:

(Tom Agnelli’s poem, BELIEF)

He is God when you don’t believe,
Bright as the sun and hard to be,
Do you shout to one who isn’t there
Call me anew when you’re back again.

Finding the edge off during wonder
And pain,
Thought it might come back as rain again,
My heart raised on a cross of word,
He wanted to express himself as
Understood.

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