Film of water on sidewalks
this morning was still
though drops are falling
in the heat thickend air.
You are a poem I wanted
to write without the word I.
I couldn’t do it, so now
I am running, feet falling
in puddles to break this
silence; with each shoe fall,
the world hears our name, you
and I, and you. It’s always
full circle. I start at my front
door, and even the cars passing
are silent, the sun rises silently as I run
away from home, into the circus
that is you circling in my mind.
I think about the trees, rocks,
water falling in fat crystal droplets
from powerlines, but the poem of you
without an I keeps coming back
into focus. When I run, I run away
from my house and to a trail full
of other people and ducks, rabbits and mud.
I run away and it feels like I’ll never
come back, I’ll never be done, until I turn around
and return. Coming back is just like leaving
in reverse. And I am coming back
to the poem of I with no you in it.
She worked in the archives of a small college university for a year. At first, she used a little vacuum to clean the dust from the delicate pages of ancient, crumbling books for eight hours a day. She loved teh work, carefully, slowly hovering over a wealth of knowledge, having the power to destroy it all. For hours on end, she would stand in the little ladder and wave the wand over those closed pages, holding information and history so beautiful that they books could never be opened again. When she finished the very last shelf it was time to vacuum the first one again.
This lasted for weeks and becams a meditation. And then a geology professor died. Box upon box of letters, notes, and maps were delivered. Specimens of limestone, quartz, igneous formations from the American north.
She put it all in order, reading his carbon copies of letters sent out, reading the calls and answers of old students, women he had slept with, fellow esteemed rock hounds. She finished the last box and was ready to vacuum again, to go back to where there were no words.
But then came the poet’s death. Even more boxes, more letters. She sorted and sorted, until his life became hers. She read and was nourished, findign victory in cronographically sorting the drafts of famous poems, book proofs. Suddenly, all of this became her voice, and she quit longing for the drone of the vacuum, the repetition of the wand.
I love the image of a cheap plywood altar railing, I must do more with that, don’t you think?
Last night, I arrived late to the party at Larry’s Poetry Forum, as per usual. there was no featured reader going thru his or her words, standing underneath the spotlight, in front of the very nice mic, though. I was confused. I ordered my wine (1.50) tipped the poetry-reading bar tender. I sat down, and over heard the new crop of college kids. The featured reader had cancelled. It would all be open mic. three to four poems each. I signed up. I read three.
There are always good readers for the short open mic portion of this reading. Last night was very nice. A lot of people read a lot of passionate poetry. There was also a lot of political poetry. I tend to be more subversive than the other readers with political poetry. While they might read something that is directly about “fuck Bush”, I might read my letter to an ex-lover who is stationed in Iraq, or letter to my friend Alison in Italy, which opens at a protest. I don’t do this because I find the direct poetry artless. I do it because I am not skilled enough to write that poetry myself and make it as artful as many of my contemporaries can. They have ways with rythm and meter that I just don’t have.
I got an interesting compliment, though. I was told after wards that I, “have a wicked sense of humor, but it’s dark at the same time.” So, yeagh, I think that’s what I usually go for.
I read “what I learned from zombie porn,” which people were unsure of at first and then warmed up to. (the cringes at the line about severed limbs were phenominal) Also, “The Cardiologist” and “Anxiety”. I love reading, but I shake the whole time. Grrr.
I need a little more rythm, a little more of a schedule to my writing. I’m working on mapping it all out, balancing social life, work, and insanity. Here’s where I want to be
Poetry readings at Larry’s Bar
a little revision time, if I want it
two new poems
revise those fuckers
Work on poetry over breakfast
9-noon, all poetry, all the time…
But this is my current schedule
work on a little poetry at the office when I shouldn’t be
guilty office poetisizing
get drunk and listen to bad bands
plan on writing tomorrow. Go for a long walk with puppy and think about poetry
clean and pretend I will write next week.
Oh, me, Oh, my.
PS. look up Agent Ribbons on Myspace. They rock my world. They were and actual GOOD band I went to see a while ago.
It’s summer. It’s nice and hot outside. I’ve been tired lately, looking for a new begenning. I’ve been pooling thoughts for new poems. This usually happens to me. Winter is very productive, summer is slow. There’s too much going on, and I can’t focus to write about things.
I’ve been pooling ideas for a poem:
a woman gives birth to a crystal ball
a marble heart in an actual chest cavity
vortexes, whirlpools, black holes
in other words, I’m getting nothing done. I have been applying for new jobs, though. Jobs working in grants. We’ll see…
Last night, a co-worker of mine collapsed in a class that she takes after work every day. She had had a brain annurism and is now in the hospital on life support. She is bleeding into her brain and they can’t figure out where it is coming from. My thoughts are with her today, and I am asking all 20 or so of you to think about her and wish for her and her family in what ever way that you do, as well.
This woman has been in social services for a lot of her career, and has worked hard to make the lives of others better. Stress hit her hard, but she never let it stop her from doing her best provide services to people who really needed them. I am praying today that I will be able to continue learning from her for years to come.