Magi Loucks


Magi Loucks headshot

Sixteen years ago today my brother David was brutally, senselessly murdered. No, the pain doesn’t decrease with time. That’s a bunch of crap. You have two options: you allow it to overcome you – which it will – or you incorporate it into who you are.

David and Me
David and Me

I am different because of this. Not just because he was murdered, or because he was tortured. Not only because of the loss of him in my life, still stumbling around here.

I am different because of the relationships in my life that changed as my parents and brothers and sisters changed; because of the interactions that occurred as we all struggled to deal with this in our different ways; because of the way friends responded inadequately, or with such tenderness.

I am different because of the insidious ways fear crept into my life, in places I am still discovering and attempting to eradicate. I am different in the material I choose to read, movies I choose to watch and stories I can even listen to without feeling my stomach tighten, my throat close, and my eyes start to glaze over. I am different because he was an artist, and I am an artist, and he is dead and I am here.

I have been forever changed by this event, but that does not mean that I have to live in the moment of this event. This, I refuse to do. There was much more to him and to his life than that last hour. There was more to him than the trials and defendants and witnesses and evidence. There is more to him than a headstone marking his remains. He is not stuck there, and I’ll be damned if I will be either.

LetterstoDGL: shock

Magi Loucks headshot

I think that I am still in shock. Nothing seems to make sense to me. I have seen the grave, yet it all eludes me. I think of my own death almost constantly, now unsure of my previous belief that I would die before __. Perhaps, after, that did come true.

Even my life’s present turmoil seems tiny. It can’t be David – my mind and heart cry – David, David, David! No, that’s too close.

I think of those that did this, that took him, and feel at most, pity. 1 or 2 brief spasms of rage have passed, but mostly pity. Perhaps that, too, is a stage.

A torrent fills my soul; a storm occupies the space where my heart once was; a blistering migraine has replaced my brain. I feel nothing. A sickness coming over me that needs to be expelled, exorcised – an anger, a grief I don’t dare feel for by god I’ll supernova.

His songs are in my ears and on my lips – ones I wanted to record – we – but now couldn’t possibly.

I’m stuck in a re-run I can’t turn off.


LetterstoDGL: beach

Magi Loucks headshot

How strange that at this picture*, I am actually at a beach. I’ve missed sunset, but the sky is still blushing over the Olympics.

People are out here, living: frisbee, volleyball, even two children playing tag with a dog. And I sit here alone, and wonder when the pain will end.

The once soothing waves now seem to be repeating a mantra of “death, death, death.” I’m half waiting for them to engulf me.  Hoping.  Did I use that word? Yes.  Hope only makes sense when the situation is hopeless, to paraphrase Greeley. And what is it exactly I’m hoping for?  It’s too late now.

A boy just threw a chunk of wood into the water. It bobbed, was tossed, then repeated the process.  It’s slowly working its way up the beach. Why does that make me cry?




*the opposing page of the journal is a photograph of a beach, the tide in.

LetterstoDGL: beach…

Magi Loucks headshot

There are many small children here at this late hour, running barefoot in the sand, jumping in the waves, shrieking with glee at the cold. I think of all the years I missed, could never have, and my vision blurs. He would’ve been quite a terror then.

The sky continues to turn red, and I think of his face as the last grasps, gasps for breath racked his body. God, let him sleep it all away.

The sun over the mountains is like a lure, showing me a path, red, but stopping on top of the waves. To where?

The sun hasn’t set yet, it’s just been hiding behind these dark clouds. Can’t you let me have grief? A Pepsi mixed with roughly 6 shots of Jamesons, and nothing. Can’t I sleep, please? It doesn’t even take the edge off. Stupid, immature, but God, I need a break from all this. Please let me sleep!

The sky is now even more beautiful. Damn it, the loss.

I look at the mountains and the kiss of red fading behind them and feel forever. The abyss of the sky seems so engulfing, not the flat blue of my childhood.


LetterstoDGL: lines

Magi Loucks headshot

I keep remember one line from “All’s Well”
“There is no living, none”
Not even a line, really, just a phrase
Still, it repeats throughout my consciousness
surprising me throughout the day
like the hail from the once blue sky
in April.
All is so different now.


LetterstoDGL: small

Magi Loucks headshot

The word disgust now carries new meaning
the guttural sound
of a shovel hitting a rock
of my heart wrenching itself away
trying to find a different, peaceful reality in which to settle
with the inner knowledge that its restlessness is permanent

Oh David
How your very name has changed to me
the sum of all grief and pain in the world
the bitterness of good memories and respect
and dependence

I have no room in my heart for any more pain or otherwise
it’s shrunk in a futile effort to protect itself
from the future it knows with certainty will come
bursting, pushing out
breaking the seams that barely represent it now
so sad
a wasted effort
what a small word


LetterstoDGL: cry

Magi Loucks headshot

I find myself crying just to cry
the pain too strong to feel
I need the physical release that its
constant presence demands

Mom found a picture from ________
You were the New David then
calm, self possessed, a grown up.
I stare at your hands clasped together
marveling that you weren’t screwing around

The sickness of those that
tied those hands
the depravity of those that
beat you

I feel sick
the atrocity  the horror
the incompetence