"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Willfully Placed

("Foggy Night")

He lay prostrate
like a leaf
to it's end
having no further
to float

and seeming thus
felt adornment
too lofty
for so low

to reassemble
at hands breadth
he rose
listening to the breeze
whistling through holes

(The morning was dark and foggy, but the streetlamp caught metal and blinked off the surface. I saw two large silver stud earrings side by side on the cement. They had not fallen from ears, as the backs were on. They had not fallen from pockets, as they were both facing southeast, parallel and close...like parentheses around abandoned words. They had no dew. They were recent. I picked them up and placed them closer together on a cafe table, risen, to find new ears.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Acts of Giving

Two years ago, I started giving my stuff away. It began on a Christmas Eve, when someone said they really liked my earrings. I took them out of my ears and placed them in her hands. "They are now yours."  Maybe it was the look on her face. Maybe it was the way my anger went soft and I carried it lighter for awhile. But make no mistake about it....since then it has been for me, not for the recipients, that I hand over my jewelry when complimented on it. It has nothing to do with generosity. Perhaps it has more to do with fate.

Yesterday I saw a co-worker in the lunch room. She works a different department but is always kind. She calls me by name. I do not know hers. She asks about my day. I say "okay" and wonder if I ever ask back. She is hard to understand...her accent. And on this day, she says "Good afternoon Annie", and "I love your earrings". 

"Are your ears pierced?" I ask her, for I have never seen jewelry on her. She nods. I take them out of my ears and hand them to her. I dismiss her thanks. "I can make another pair" I say. She asks me of this, my hobby, my other hobbies. She draws me out, but I wish to leave. I am uncomfortable with her gratitude. I make my answers short and turn away as she puts the earrings in her ears, says she wants to go look in the mirror. "They look beautiful on you" I tell her, and it's true. They are perfect. I think nothing of this again until she comes into my office with a card. The right side is a thank you note. On the left, an anniversary, a story....sixteen words.

Her name is Rita. She is from Lebanon.

Lebanon 1979: "As various other groups took sides, the fighting spread to other areas of the country, forcing residents in towns with mixed sectarian populations to seek safety in regions where their sect was dominant. Even so, the militias became embroiled in a pattern of attack followed by retaliation, including acts against uninvolved civilians."


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taking A Break

I'll be back after the bridge, right before the third chorus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cowards and Fools

A game of chicken
cannot be won
if neither of us
the coward

we face off
twitch to twitch
in witness of the sun
as she lowers her head
refusing to participate
in tomfoolery

but engines have gunned
dollars cast sides
and we sure as hell
wouldn't want
to disappoint

(Snapped this picture on the way home from work....iPhone balancing on the steering wheel. The clouds reminded me of a cock-fight, or cars playing chicken. Even clouds can be stupid. Taking pictures in rush hour traffic, equally so.)