Category: Poetry - The View From Here
The View From Here
 
My life is filled with books that need to be put away, movies to be reshelved, CDS to be interfiled, but mostly books. 
Adult: fiction and nonfiction. 
Juvenile: biography and easy books.
At least the unshelved books stay at the library; they don't follow me home like school does.  I always have pending homework: math problems due Tuesday, memorize this new sign language vocabulary, and papers.  A flood of essays inhabit my waking life. 
My words have dried up. 
They no longer pour onto the page as they did this summer, but bounce around in my brain.  I'm thinking in poems; I see crumbles of beautiful wherever I go, but I cannot muster the energy to reach for even this tiny Moleskin notebook;
the only one my words fill up now. 
***
When I die,
do not lay me in a mausoleum so that the living are troubled by the grimness of death and must always be reminded of that first awful wrench of a best friend's suicide
or a young brother's funeral. 
Instead, plant me in the ground like you would a seed,
in the hopes that it will sprout and grow again. 

And don't erect an imposing monument so that the sun is blocked out
and people only wonder
what sort of person would want to be glorified amongst tomb stones. 
No, please give me a very small headstone, so it does not obscure too much of the grass, and lay it out flat like the common dead,
all those graves that are walked past.  Allow the weather to set the mood, sometimes gray and cloudy like the despair in death, but sometimes blue and sun-salty,
like the hope behind it. 
***
The music is a room and I am safe inside of the notes and letters you have built into something greater than the sum of it's parts.  I am here; in between the piano and the bass line, with the lyrics spread out before me.  The paper that is due tomorrow and the budget I need balance are knocking at the door, but the music pulls closer and they stay outside.
***
I am in the second half of my life, yet I am living as if I were in the first half, belonging solely to myself, doing as I please.  I cannot even remember the date of my rebirth, which makes me feel sad.  I want to be able to celebrate both of my birthdays.  I was, in my defense, only four at the time.  Or was I five?  I cannot even remember the year.  All I remember is the scene.  I was still wearing my pajamas and my parents were sitting beside me on my bed.  I don't remember the words that passed between us: I suspect I had a Big Question.  I do remember that I did not fully understand what I was committing to, Who I was committing to; that I could not understand.  I am too small to understand, I will never understand, and I still live as if I were only two years old: selfishly. 
***
Now I feel like Harriet the Spy, with my  ear pressed to the outside of the emergency exit doors, listening to the diners' chatting.  I'm glad my parents don't see my profusion of notebooks as evidence of the need for a shrink.
***
I reach for my pen and notebook, because this moment feels like poetry, like it shouldn't be wasted, like I should be pressing it in between the pages as one would a flower head.  I reach for the notebook more for the feeling of writing than because I have something that needs to be written. 
***

 
(Hey kids, this is me trying to do fictitious slam poetry about a relationship gone a muck seen through the lens of mathematics.   It's meant to be read aloud, so go ahead and read this outloud with some rhythm [so long as you're not in a public place and you won't embarrass yourself.])

You and I are a negative association,
(Where I'm X and you're Y)
and I don't just mean that when we associate it's a negative experience,
I'm talking mathematics. 
Because no matter how much positive input I give you,
you just keep giving me more and more negative output. 

But actually, that suggests too strong a relationship,
when in reality,
we have no line of best fit. 
If someone tried to graph our data,
our correlation would be zero. 

Snow

1/20/2011

1 Comment

 
Snow makes everything soft.  The earth looks like a body laying under a blanket; sharp elbow and knees are smoothed into bell curves.  The headlights of an oncoming car are gently diffused out amongst the falling snowflakes and the fallen snowflakes. 
***
The colder it gets, the closer the smokers creep towards the building, as if it were a dragon whose heat would reach them only if they were closer to the doors. 
***
Snow turns the ground into the endless pages of a new notebook,
waiting to be written upon. 
First, the snow plows and the salt trucks trace out the big lines: the roads. 
Then people shovel their driveways and sidewalks, saying "This is where I walk." 
And everywhere we go footprints tell the tale of where we have been. 
So we've written across the pages of the world, before the white paper disappears with the gaze of the sun.