Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Somewhere Over The Time Space Continuum

(Pre-Script: The Earth will spin 2.6% faster if you read this post as the song, "Everybody's Changing," #37 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)
(...still waiting...)
So I've been thinking a lot about physics in the physical realm in which we live. I think about it as I observe my firstborn child's rapidly approaching adolescence. How did that happen when she was just born, and was a newborn, and I was holding her? She was sleeping on my chest, and people would say to me how soon she would no longer be a baby anymore, and I would look at them funny because I knew that she would be a baby for a long time, at least an entire year. But that was yesterday, and now she's THIS tall. And on top of that, I wonder how she keeps getting older, while I don't.
And it's confusing to me, when I ask her to take out the recycling for instance, and she says, "Okay" and takes it out. There should not be a person in this world who never used to exist who now exists and is old enough to do things like take out the recycling. My brain cannot figure this out. Did I mention that she used to have hiccups every day, when she still lived in my belly? And now she is the one who fixes my household technology?
So you see that the time space continuum is all wrong, and someone really should write a letter to Einstein's people about that. He may have been a genius, but there was a lot he didn't know. Obviously. Like there was one hot afternoon last week that lasted an entire 7 days, or so It felt. Then I went out for gelato and coffee that night, and that lasted 3 seconds. I am not making this up, people. Like I could be so creative as to disrupt the time space continuum in my own life. Like I would ever try to mess with my own brain in such a way. But I swear that's how it goes. You blink and BAM! The scenery has all changed. But then sometimes you blink, and BAM! You are frozen some place you'd do anything to escape. Where are Dorothy's Ruby Slippers when you need them?
You know, I always wondered what that girl's problem was. She was finally OVER THE RAINBOW in a magical, colorful land, and she wanted to go back to Kansas. Did she not notice that when she was in Kansas, everything was brown? And not just brown as a nice accent color, but that EVERYTHING in her home and the surrounding landscape was just plain brown, including herself and her relatives and the evil neighbor lady who threatened to have her dog killed? In the rainbow land, Dorothy had already destroyed the Wicked Witch, so Oz was completely safe and happy now, and she had become a national hero. Why would she ever want to leave that place? Most of the people she loved were already there, just in varied forms; all she needed to do was send a memo for Auntie Em and Uncle (who knows what his name was) to catch the nearest flying house and join the rest of the gang in Rainbow Land. Add a line about the ruby slippers. Ruby slippers, people!! I dare you to find a pair of those in Kansas, Dorothy! But alas, pre adolescent and adolescent girls are not always convincable of anything logical that they have not come up with themselves. I am going to have to keep this in mind in the next few years of my firstborn's life, as I blink blink blink, and the next thing I know,
she's, like, 42.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swamp Water

(Pre-Script: This poem best paired with the song, "The First Cut Is The Deepest," #63 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The alligators are not sleeping
or maybe they are now-
that's the thing, I cannot always tell
but their teeth are a little too large, too sharp
for me to willingly risk it again,
my neck, my leg a little too precious.
Trust me,
they may look sluggish, bored, and harmless as logs,
but I have been in front of the open yawning
or snapping mouth of more than one of those alligators
to know that I will not stand so close again.
Yet he keeps beckoning me to the water,
"The water is calm," he says,
but it's not the water I fear,
it's what lies beneath-
(Something like, Once bitten, twice shy-)
It is one of the first lessons I would teach a small child-
"Children, stay away from water in which there are alligators
no matter how calm the water surface,
no matter how strong you think you swim,
for they will wake up instantly when you do not know,
they smell what they want to smell, and it smells delicious to them,
deliciously like you, Child."
He says to me, "You are not trying"
But I am trying-I am trying to stay intact.
And well, you know,
now that I think about it,
wisdom says that either you do or you do not do,
that there is no "try-"
so maybe he is right to tell me that I do not try
to step into his murky pond.
Instead, I stay far away.
Instead, I stay alive.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mulberry Tree

(Pre-Script: This poem is best read as the song, "The First Cut Is The Deepest" #65 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I used to believe I would be pulled out of
whatever predicament in which I found myself.
I used to believe I could climb the mulberry tree in my backyard
to the highest branch I could reach
and free fly.
I would eat the berries on the way up.
I remember the sweetness.
There really is such a thing as a mulberry,
it's just that most of the mulberry trees around here
are fruitless
so I would say that most people
have stopped believing in such a thing as a mulberry
most people
have stopped believing in free flight.
but in my backyard, we had a mulberry tree
with sweet fruit,
and a lot of it,
and you could climb it as high as you could climb,
eating the berries all the way up,
then look over the fence into the yard of the guy
who kept homing pigeons
and raised rabbits
I think to skin, then eat, then who knows what he did with the skins-
such a peculiarity in the middle of a modern city
in the middle of the '80's.
On the other side of the fence you could look over and see
the backyard of the neighbors who's children tormented me,
or were my playmates,
one or the other,
from one day to the next,
and their yard was full of weeds
but then when they moved out, the new owners
fixed up the backyard and put in a back patio.
The new owners did not have children,
so there were no new tormentors or playmates living next door,
one or the other from one day to the next,
and if you didn't want to look over any more fences,
you could poise yourself just right,
and jump out straight, and feel,
for a split second,
like you were flying
as you free fell
right before you landed in front of where we sometimes grew a vegetable garden
where we sometimes grew the beans and carrots-
I used to believe I could fly or at least
I enjoyed the thrill of a very high fearless jump
because I was 6 and did not know what things I needed to fear in life
and that this fear could keep me alive
and unharmed
could keep me at least
from biting through my tongue and bleeding all over myself,
so bad I scared the neighborhood cat who was just taking a stroll across the backyard fence,
on the side of the yard
that faced no other backyards, just the street
since it was a corner house and lots of cats liked to congregate there-
I remember the face of that cat as I cried from the pain
and the shock
of realizing my teeth were through tongue
a place the teeth were never meant to belong
much like homing pigeons and skinning rabbits
in the middle of suburbia
in the middle of the '80's.