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Archive for November, 2010

Grandma Poet

My boyfriend brought me home coffee from Seattle. Colombia El Jordan from Stumptown Coffee. A little brown bag with a tongue card you can pull in and out of its skin. You  have to drink the WHOLE cup he said to me. You have to. This little bag of coffee cost $13.75 and I tend to only drink half, let it sit and get cold. The flavor – the little card says: warm aromatics of nutmeg and cinnamon (that) segue into mouth-watering flavors of satsuma orange and ripe blackberry which finish with notes of honey and brown sugar.

Sounds a lot like wine. How much can be packed into such a little bean? But I will drink carefully, with  my whole tongue. He’s right – it’s time I finish the things I make.

I dreamt of an old woman poet. She knew my name, but not my face. When I introduced myself to her she lit up, took my hand, hers was warm. She said she loved my poems, she saw great things in them, but that I wasn’t being open enough.

I wasn’t sure what she meant. Not open enough? c’mon lady! Perhaps not honest enough? I don’t know. I wasn’t sure how I could get underneath the next layer and of course she didn’t explain.

I’ve had dreams of old women before – prophets in a way. They seem to guide me to and through. They give me questions and no answers, they force me to find them myself, which of course is the only way.

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“Go literally and figuratively to that huge boulder field, that mouth in the forest … stand literally and figuratively and lift your arms and your heart to the sky and know your infinite balance.”

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My friend and her family and I were talking about Keats last night. Dead at 24 how could one man have so much work and be so young? I could tell you I have hundreds of poems around, in the electronic bed in which they lay, but would be mortified if all except for about 20-30 were published.
I also read an introduction to Dylan Thomas’ poems a while ago and he said there was so much about his past work that he wants to change, but he’s publishing them all together and he won’t change them because it won’t give him any time to work on new poems. He’d be revising his entire life.
It makes me curious to know if Keats had seen all that work published – if he did see most of that work published, what did he would think of it in print? People all over the world say they love it, but did he?

As artists I think we are always looking to the next, the unwritten poem, the new place our art is going to take us – I think if we aren’t there’s no possible way to expand ourselves and to grow our art and to make it better.
But what of the things already created? Do we collect them like old eggs and let them chill in the back of the fridge? Do we not publish out of fear we will always be chasing something better? Do we not care about publishing and carry on as is?
Rebecca Loudon has said we must love our work with everything we have. And I think she’s right. I would hate to enter into the world something backed with hatred or disgust or distaste. So I think perhaps the answer for me may be to write to love and write until I am so completely in love with each poem that even as I grow into the world (which I should) I can always look back on them in a place of love. I can part with my poems amiably without the fighting and the cheating and the ‘look how broken we are’.  You go your way and I’ll go mine. I’ll be able to say: I’ve gotten all I can from you, but someone somewhere will love you new and just the same.

Perhaps writing from this new place will enable me to put things into the world I can be proud of. No matter where I end up, they will always show me where I’ve been. No regrets.

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Here Here Here

Intrigued by the people most who give me no attention. See. See how great I am. You didn’t even know. Like it’s a conquest to feed them all my sweetest fish. See I have all these toys. You won’t regret that you know me. I give you my best to make you stay. I give you my best until I have nothing left. I give you my best.

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I’m watching Billy Elliot and drinking winter beers and thinking about a city by the water a city someday I may come to. They say in the movie when he’s learning to spin to stare at a spot and you spin and you spin and you spin and you come back to that spot. It’s like I’m coming home. I’ve been spinning and spinning and spinning and you come back to that same spot. But I wonder now how different I am. Because I am. I wonder now if I’m ready to be me anywhere in the world. And I think I am.
what’s held me here is something I can’t take with me. However desperately I want to. I piece of a chunk of me I don’t want to leave behind. Why is so much of the world split into pieces? Why do we leave so many of our parts like bread crumbs?

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I picked up the guitar this morning for what’s seemed like a year. years keep popping up today. I tuned it poorly to itself because it is a solo instrument in my house and has only to answer to itself and me and my fingers that have no calluses on them and my cat who hates the noise, but likes when I sing to her. She’s my biggest fan today. Running up to me when i start belting Judy Garland songs at the top of my lungs. I sang all the way to the salvation army where I was going to look for ugly Christmas sweaters for the ugly christmas sweater party I’ve been invited to. I like dress-up parties where the point is to look hideous and weird. I was coming the racks for hours. I popped a button on a really beautiful jacket that I was going to buy for myself, truly buy for my wardrobe, but it was too big anyway and I stuck the newly decapitated button platewise through the eyehole. My apologies to whoever picks it up next. I hope the button is not lost on the floor. But there were no pockets.
Anyway, I found a few ugly(fantastic) vests with snowmen and buttons and holy and things barfed on with lace and plastic pearls and it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I wrote a poem this morning that I love. I’m writing more and more to love. About water and nests and skin and animals.

The other day I became a big girl, with my big-girl shoes and credit card on and bought a washer and dryer. Good bye moldy, toothless, mixed in baby socks, old man undies, seats that the heaviest asses have pushed the life out of. Good bye, good bye cleanest of the dirties Laundromat.

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Sylvia was hiding under the couch. I’ve been looking for her. More like wondering where she’s been. I wasn’t surprised. But now I mean to finish the few poems of Ariel she has left to present me.
I woke up a half and hour ago and am already tired. The radiators are power washing the walls, the little men that I believe live in there. They seem to never sleep. they are always working and banging and washing and hammering. But their work makes me warm, so I touch my hand to the metal ribs and say thank you.

I have grand plans today. My day alone and I haven’t been alone alone in over a year. How shriveled I felt all those years ago without my family or many friends. I would hear car doors closing and pray it meant someone was coming for me. In the span of time it wasn’t so long ago. The feeling is an imprint upon me and inner scar the me with pointy teeth might rip back open. I wonder if we were all opened up if we’d look like ski mountains cut and carved and iced over and thawed? The scars on the sides of a hill.

There was a space I left this morning in zigzags, covering my tracks, turning around and around on myself because I was being watched by no one but myself.

I feel I should ride something – a wave, a high.
The thing about noticing so much is you can’t be offended when people don’t eat your pie.

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