Lately it seems as if every poem I read is about fingers trailing on skin, how that said skin is a map, how stars come down to kiss eyes at night, how limbs are support beams, etc. This never dawned on me until I saw this:
As poets, have we become lazy in our analogies? Is there nothing more to compare love, loss & incensed emotion to besides the body? And before you go on a say something, I am guilty of this myself. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. Being close, skin to skin with someone, is a delicate state. One that is often clouded in a hazy, musical moment. Unless of course, it’s Saturday morning and you’re both in pajamas with wild hair and disgusting breath and you race to the bathroom to take a piss first.
Or rather, life as it becomes.
So, I’m going to challenge myself. To not overuse rogue words. To not compare how I feel to limbs. To stars. To not forcefully pull a poem from my cold mouth before it’s ready.
As for that picture, I’m not quite sure what love written on my arms would look like.
Literal or figuratively.
Unless of course, I wrap my arms around love. Right as I crawl over him on a Saturday morning to make it to the bathroom first.
Currently listening to: All of This and Nothing, The Psychedelic Furs
Here it is folks, the last week of October.
Is your Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Tumblr feed full of pumpkins, costumes, candy, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin rolls and exasperated exclamations of how Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away? Because you know it is. YOU KNOW IT IS.
This week will be intensely busy for me. Aside from my duty as Mom and the upkeep on the house while my husband travels, I’m also trying to prep myself for Nano and my Post of the Day- which start FRIDAY. I’ve dug through my closet for a back pack that will house my purse, my books, my sketches and my laptop. I’ve mapped out times for when I can sneak away and write. I’ve told myself a million times over that I’ll finish this beast through.
Every year I tell myself it’ll be different.
This year, I think I got it though. I have a game plan in my noggin. I have outlines and story ideas. That’s better than what I had previously (a chopped up story about a Chef and a gas station attendant). Gotta start somewhere, right? Right. Besides all that, my muse seems to be playing nice and I’ve been able to jot down quite a bit. Let’s hope she sticks around.
Also, I had to put down my book, A Literate Passion. Holy hell, it’s getting intense.
I’m the type of person who is moved by words. I am consumed by them. But these two, these two make my whole body ache. I often take on the mood of what I’m reading (I think a majority of people do that, right?). Then combine the art of writing letters and love… and well, it’s like my entire chest will implode. I had to give it a break, because I found myself sighing heavily and becoming too melancholy. Head far up in the darkened clouds I suppose.
While this week may be entirely crazy fun, I’m still trying to brace myself for November.
And reminding myself that…
This afternoon, while sitting in traffic and brooding, I began to think about how I used to be spontaneous. Weekend trips, camping, improvised parties and what not. I’d pick up and go. I’d go and see. I’d see and learn. Lately, that hasn’t really been happening and I think it has quite a bit to do with my foul mood (trust me on this one). There’s something very terminal about the mundane. I hate that feeling, I really do. Factor in my dreamy nature and need to move around in hazy waves and well… eh.
Today I drove a total of 84 miles: home, school, work. Work, school, tutor, home.
Only, I didn’t make it to the tutor, because it took me an hour and a half to go NINETEEN miles. From point B, I had to get to point C, which was maybe 9 miles. Didn’t happen. So instead of going to the tutor, I took MD and we went to the coffee shop. He studied, I worked on my doodle and on our way out, I grabbed the latest copy of Creative Loafing.
I tossed the newspaper in my bag.
When I got out of my car in the garage, it fell on the floor and I kicked it, picked it back up and tucked it under my arm.
After climbing the steps into the kitchen, I flung it on the counter.
It wasn’t until after supper, that my brother in law picked it up and mentioned something about the cover. Food, how to shop like a chef, local local, blah blah blah.
I carried it off into the living room and while taking a break from reading J.Edgar Hoover’s book Masters of Deceit (an original copy I picked up for a buck), I opened the newspaper. Thumbed through a couple pages, put my glasses back on, thumbed to the back to see if any cool bands were playing.
Instead I saw under the BOOK section that Billy Collins is coming to Atlanta.
Well, son of a bitch.
Tomorrow?! How could this be? America’s best known/loved poet, here? TOMORROW?
I took a couple deep breaths.
Then I ran into the kitchen, paper in hand and said, “Not to get all fangirl on yall, but BILLY COLLINS is going to be downtown tomorrow! BILLY FUCKING COLLINS!”
My husband did play along, bless him. He tried to be excited, I know. When he asked who Billy Collins was, I said, “Don’t you remember that time we went to the bookstore and when you said you wanted to read some poems and I pulled his book off the shelf and I asked you to read Dharma?And you did? And then you said, ‘I just don’t get poetry. What’s the point?” That’s Billy Collins!
He didn’t remember, but I did.
Because there really isn’t a point, is there?
Poets write for themselves. We don’t write for you, for them, for us, for anyone. Those words and sentences come into our minds so fast, so feverishly, that at times, there is no recollection of it happening at all. It’s like confession. I once asked my priest how he handled hearing everyone’s sins minute after minute, hour after hour, day by day. How could he carry that? He simply said that just as God gives him the ability to forgive sins, so he also gives the ability to wipe his mind clean. Like it happened, but he won’t remember.
That’s how poetry works for me. Like confession. I know it happened, but I don’t recall. Even when I go back and read something that I wrote six months ago, I can’t quite recall what was so painful or magnificent. I can, but I can’t.
Billy Collins is coming tomorrow.
This is one of those HOLY SHIT moments in life. The kind where you think, ‘If I go, I’ll be sitting in traffic, lost in the city, $38 poorer and I probably won’t get home till late…’ and within a blink of an eye, you say, “What the hell. I’m going for it.”
This heart, mine, the one residing
in between bones and flesh
slightly off center,
is far from being a warrior
and the only time I’d call him a hero
is when he keeps me breathing,
and what a feat that is, no?
Instead of a warrior
instead of a hero
I’d like you to know
that this heart, my heart,
is really a foreigner in its own land.
Lost and deaf to words
Unpatriotic to its land