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



Monday, July 30, 2012

The Unpublished Heart

Hidden beneath the predictable veneer of the expected
and a sincere desire
to have televised and authored emotions,
the kind that resonate with masses, win awards,
sell books...

beyond the frontier, behind the curtain,
above the strings of the marionette
pulses the unpublished heart.
It would not gain popularity,
nor would it be asked to prom,
or even marry.

By God, it is a heart though!
There is a universe sized hole through it,
and yet....
inconceivably...
it still labors with every agonizing beat
to feel something
within the bell curve.
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("10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel different from other people. The feelings of isolation you had as a child make connection with other people extremely difficult. You longed for the connection but could not effect it. As an adult you find that these same feelings persist. I'm not sure one ever completely loses the sense of isolation. I'm not sure anyone with this kind of history ever feels wholly connected." - Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed. D.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Super Cell



It was just energy
with the impetus to move you
from where you were, to where you needed to go.
It had form,
an almost human shape,
so much was blamed on its birth name
thereafter spat out with such vehemence
that it no longer rolled off the tongue,
but burned.

People, 
flesh and blood people in particular,
like to have someone to blame
for course changes that bleed
outside their lines.

"You let her out of your sight!
She drown! She DROWN!"

It is not satisfying to yell at the ocean.
It does not defend itself, cry, or apologize.
But it was the tide that took her,
and moreover....
the energy that drew her to the sea.

You cannot capture the ocean,
jail it, or remand it to therapy.
Funny though...
if you sit alongside it long enough
secrets are revealed.
The energy does concede some ground, 
though long after you desire it
and way before you're ready.
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(Mmmmm, yes, I hear you. "What the hell is she talking about?" Well it is really a psychoanalysis discussion about events in our lives...how everything happens for a reason. If we need to be so moved, so healed, so cleansed, so informed....the perfect storm somehow manifests. I believe it is God. You may differ and call it something else. But I am learning to lean into the storm. It has many painful swells and at times I wish to succumb. At times I wear a life jacket of denial or numbness. At times I let the waves take me and that is where teaching begins. Do not hold to an emotion. Do not reject it. FEEL.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pot of Bastards

Michael and Marie met in the middle of their names
as unexpected as any surprise ending,
especially for a beginning.

She, there then
when someone loosed the ties of their lips
and let slip the cat
which ran straight for his legs and stretched languidly
like a tired truth
      "you were a mistake"
which she also was
and understood how the 's'
hisssssses out
like a deflating balloon.

And she was there
when her void
pulled the truth from him, hand over hand
reeling the marlin in...
only it wasn't that difficult,
from an observers point of view,
he gave it.

He owned up to the boy,
baby hand in a mothers fist
hearing the words reverberate through a cavernous bank
of marble, wood, expanse, huge word
BASTARD
the oh so tiny plea...
       "please mommy! never say it again!"
and her arterial apology spraying across his sweet
fallen face...

      "Never again love. Never again!"

He already knew...
the deep down knew
that gets hooked with a word now
hauled to consciousness, gasping, half dead
and brave heart...
he faked it.

I think we spiraled from there,
the pot of us bastards
and some un-named spoon
stirring.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Note To Self



Wake as if you have somewhere to be. Curl your hair and paint your face as if you might meet someone famous, or better yet infamous. On second thought, you might meet a nobody who's a somebody and will bump into your grocery cart with their uncurled hair and sheet creased face. You will laugh, knowing she woke with nowhere to be, and she will know you made up a schedule when you had no errand. You might be new best friends.

Say something between the walls of your rooms. It is strange to go five hours without a spoken word. How do you even know your voice still makes sound? How will the couch know that you are still of an opinion? Say to the guitar, "Do you miss my fingers?" It will reply from it's dusty orifice and cobwebbed strings, "What do you think?" You will scowl in reprimand for such a sarcastic and sassy reply. Apologize to the withered plant, your words like a snake charmer coaxing something out of nothing. Realize the plant and the guitar have every right to feel neglected and pissy. Apologize to the guitar also.

Clean up your spaces as if a guest might arrive, a surprise guest, a surprise guest who may be a brother, or a stranger, and each will need the same care and feeding. Where will they sit if you leave your laundry unfolded on the chairs? Play Adagio For Strings, Op 11 because it is long, and you have the time, and it cuts through silence like mourning. Hug the lost parts of you, watch them wandering through the score, alternately sweet and sad. Change the music before a guest is greeted at the door with your wailing.

String together beautiful beads to rid yourself of the collection. A collection is just the accumulation of things that once had homes elsewhere. They grow along your emptiness and feel important. This is how hoarding begins. It begins with emptiness. Wear eight of your bracelets on your wrists and walk through the streets with your gifts brushing against your hips. Seek out recipients as if you are a philanthropist wearing your charitable foundation just above the hands that shake it loose. Know it is not charitable. It is just you not being a hoarder. Perfect motive is elusive.

Say a prayer. Speak it while laying on your back and playing with your curls. Feel small so you know your place. Grow wings because you know you're loved. Grab your shoes. God himself may send you on an errand. Be ready. Round up your purse, your keys, a sweater, and set them next to the screen door while giving thanks for the breeze. It cools. It makes sound between the blinds. It rushes through the room, from south to north, on a mission it seems, having woken with somewhere to be.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Stroller




The women all have sundresses and strollers. A stroller comes with a husband and a baby. If you have a stroller, then the husband it came with has a steady job and affords you holidays. If you have a stroller, then you have a sun hat that matches the print on the baby's onesie, and the baby has little baby sunglasses and little baby shoes and everything is small and manageable.

You walk your stroller, with baby and husband in tow...your straight back saying "Look, look! I am really a writer, but just now I am managing my stroller!" There is no time to think outside this managerial occupation. Doing so creates a perilous environment where the wheel might come off the stroller. You might lean down to fix it and your sun hat would disengage itself from your head, and the wind would take it into another life where it will sit atop the head of a woman you never became. You will hardly notice its absence as your hands fidget apologetically with a broken stroller you do not know how to fix.

The baby cries because you have been still too long and the sun is beating down like the sun always does. Looking up, you beseech the sky, but it is what it is and there is no powerlessness like you against the sun. You reach to pull the canopy down, provide shade for him and obscurity for you, but he is wearing a suit and tie, and was actually just requesting a little help with this months rent.

"Ask your father! Can't you see I am busy with the stroller?"

He gives you a quizzical look that lets you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your husband is dead, and you are old, and the stroller should have gone out of focus a hundred years ago. The canopy down, you drape a blanket over that. It is freezing, and seasons have passed behind your sidewalk workshop like freeway cars. Woosh! Woosh!

Somehow the stroller is fixed and you are not, and nothing is small or manageable. You straighten your back and push forward with your hatless head advertising silver hair. Your grandchild stops crying and begins to coo. "Look, look!" you tell her. "I was once a mother, but just now, I am managing my stroller."
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