sometimes they surprise me

December 29, 2012

the tenth: mexican food. dinner with the fam. the chat with my dad about whether i would write what i wanted as opposed to what the world wanted.

the eleventh: i ranted about it.

the twelfth: i awoke and padded into the bathroom to find this taped to the mirror with a note in my mother's handwriting that maybe i should look into it.

i went downstairs and asked my mother about it. she told me i should talk to my father and have him help me get a plan for getting a master of fine arts degree in creative writing. 

and when i thanked her for cutting out the ad, she said she hadn't done it.

that my father had.

reading emily

December 13, 2012

the town celebrated emily dickinson's life tonight at a small pub on the square. the room was filled with scholarly types, girls and boys young and old. i clapped as each approached the stage. i clapped after they read another poet's work. i clapped after they read their own, even though i didn't think much of it. of the dozens of poems i heard, i only liked one.

i sat there, silently. waiting for it to be over. patiently. staring at the floor.

the godawful floor. and suddenly i wanted a pen and paper. thankfully, my mother always packs one in her bag. and someone left a paper napkin on the table.

slabs of concrete, colored like dried vomit
crossed, counted off, divided by thin, dirty, red lines
like fresh cuts or scabs touched too often
glass--frosted or clear
framed by tiny white lights
and big, velvety red bows
thin plastic, red like cherry popsicles
melting on cheap, wood tables
topped with red, green and white balloons
too much christmas
too much cheer
in too small a room
too many words
and yet not enough to keep my attention here

thankfully, when it was over, i picked up a battered, gray hardcover of dickinson's poetry someone had left on a table, flipped it open and found something new to me:

number four ninety-one

while it is alive
until death touches it
while it and i lap one air
dwell in one blood
under one sacrament
show me division can split or pare--

love is like life--merely longer
love is like death--during the grave
love is the fellow of the resurrection
scooping up the dust and chanting--"live"!