Friday, January 27, 2012

Three Parts

(Pre-Script: This poem should be read as the song, "The Chain," #23 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...)


It doesn't make much sense that it's only after you've already lost

that you suddenly fear losing.

Only those who have experienced perfection and recognized it

can understand what I am saying.

Friday night, each one of us was feeling

our own thing,

or not feeling it but it was there

weighing us down or lifting us up, depending.


You are not the dead hope I buried 32 years ago, almost 33

but you rub against it sometimes,

that lump where my chest has grown an extra cavity

like a bruise you resemble for some reason I don't know why-

you've only ever been kind.

It's my mind that plays tricks with my heart,
my hands that reach to grasp for a memory that does not know how to put the atoms back together to form the person who once was there,

who thinks she still is,

who forgets you're a much bigger he than she ever was a she.


Valley of Laughter

Pre-Script: This post to be read as the song, "Shadowfeet," #12 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...)

with my hands I have dug up the remains that remained long after us

just beneath the soil of a perfect place-

the decaying flesh I buried so long ago

(I couldn't bear the stench)

had all been eaten away to bone white

and it sat there,

in the middle of a hole in the soil that was once only good

for growing laughter no one else could hear

(I couldn't hear from so much laughter in that place, do you remember that?)

I started digging from a memory in the middle

of the perfect place

where we once lived--

all that remained were the sparkling bones.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Own Private Boulder

(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song "Somewhere only we know," #16 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...)

OK so here's how it happened: I was walking on the beach again, because that is one of the things I do routinely, and I looked down and saw a white quartz. It looked about the size of my fist, but it was partially covered in sand. I went to pick it up and realized it wasn't budging and was obviously bigger than it looked. I had to use a stick to dislodge it, but when I did, lo and behold: a boulder. It was huge. So I did what any girl on the beach would do. Because that is how I do everything in my entire life. I carried (holy cow, have mercy, it was pure solid heaviness) it down to the water and rinsed it off in the waves. Then I wrapped it in my hoodie and carried it like a baby-like a huge gigantic baby-the entire two miles back up to my car.
When I was almost to my car, I saw two police-state park-looking gentlemen apprehending a civilian who was sitting on his knees with his hands behind his back. The problem was that this was happening RIGHT by my car. I drive to this particular beach often, and how often do I see these police officer/state park type of guys? Never. WHY did they have to show up the one day I was carrying huge beach contraband? They already had one guy on his knees; who knew what extreme measures they were willing to take to preserve their state beach and keep it as pristine and beatific as possible?? I have no idea if it's illegal to remove 20 lb quartz from the beach or not; it's not something I ever thought about before, and I don't think it's anything that anyone attempts very often. I had no choice but to walk by as nonchalantly as possible; like no officer, there is nothing huge and heavy and beach-belonging under this hoodie I am holding. No I am not slightly panting and sweaty from carrying it up all of those stairs after walking two miles with it in my arms. I guess it worked, because they did not say a word to me as I put my newly acquired boulder in my car.

So now I own a boulder, my first ever. I am proud of the effort I put into getting and keeping it, including the part where I was nearly incarcerated.*

And no, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it now.


*You can accuse me of exaggerating the almost incarceration, but then again, you weren't there, were you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Morning Moon

(Pre-Script: This poem best read as the song, "Closer" by Joshua Radin, #30 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 did not expect to see the moon this morning
as I got in the car and started driving, 7am
the sky was lightening, still in between asleep and awake
but when I looked up it was hanging there,
full and huge like a soap bubble rising
not 3 feet above the McDonald's by the car wash.


(Pre-Script: Chew on this post while listening to the song "Big Yellow Taxi," #33 on the playlist, in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
When I saw all the people getting their cars washed on the first weekend in January, I hoped it meant rain was coming. While my tank filled, I walked into the mini mart to buy gum. This gas station/car wash is one of two places I can think of that carries my favorite gum. It used to be all over the grocery stores and Target had it in the bulk gum section, but then for some reason I am still scratching my head about, it was discontinued. Now I go out of my way to find the places that sell this particular gum so that I can hand it out to my friends and say "this is the best gum in the world, but you can't find it anywhere anymore, so I want you to have this." A few of my friends say things like "I don't really chew gum." And I think why would you not choose to live a life full of delicious gum chewing if it was in your power to live a life full of gum and gum and gum? Sugar free, of course, and you still have to brush and floss religiously. But I think saying "I don't chew gum" is about the same as saying "I don't sing in the car or in the shower." Why are people so stodgy about enhancing the simple harm free pleasures of their lives? Simple happiness rules. Here's a super fun thing to do the next time you are driving by yourself. Turn on the radio and sing along loudly. Chew gum and pop it, and blow big obnoxious bubbles while you are chewing and singing. I don't think it's possible to not be happy and endorphin rich while doing that.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Kicks (A sort of love story)

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song "That Year," #39 on the playlist, plays in the background, preferably directly into your ears via earbuds. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I am standing in line at the coffee bar on my lunch break. The guy in front of me is wearing brand new sneakers. I know they are brand new because even from back here I can smell them. Even though my nose is 6 inches higher than usual due to my own (fantastic) shoes. He probably liked the shoes so much, he wanted wear them right out of the store. Or he got them for Christmas, and this is the first time they have been out of the box. They are florescent red Nike's with a dark blue swoosh. I turn my head to the side and try not to breathe too deeply. I normally enjoy new shoe smell, but these don't smell quite right. To determine why would require a bit more detective work than I feel like putting in right now; I only have an hour for lunch, and I'm hungry. All I know is that this guy was most definitely determined to be wearing these particular shoes.
When I was four years old, I had a favorite pair of shoes. They were brown lace ups. They were probably boy shoes. They had been worn before. I don't know by who. I found them in my closet one day, in the side of my closet that my parent's used for storing whatnots that didn't fit anywhere else in the house. As the only girl, I was the only kid with my own room, so one half of my closet was a catchall. You would think I would have found this annoying, but it fascinated me. After being tucked into bed at night, I would pilfer through that side of the closet in all of it's never ending glory, sure that no one would notice I was still awake with the light on as long as I kept the door shut. When I found the brown shoes during one of my pilferations, I can only explain what happened to me as pure stroke of treasure finding genius. Or maybe an angel left them there for me, his favorite young freckle faced charge. All I knew was that instantly, I loved how they looked on my four year old feet. I wanted to wear them every day. I only took them off at night when I had to take a bath or go to bed. But the problem with four year old feet is that they keep growing. Still, I wore those shoes until I could no longer squeeze my feet into them, and it was with much sorrow that I had to give them up.
I recently found a picture of my four year old self wearing the mysterious brown shoes. On the top half, I look like a typical girl child, in pigtails, a dress, and a smile. On the bottom half, I look ridiculous. Big brown feet sticking out all over. As this was a time before grunge had been discovered in Seattle and adapted by the brooding youth of California, My poor parents must have been embarrassed to take me places. I would have been, if I were my kid. But then again, I was a third child, and by that point, maybe they were just glad I had clothes on. Who can say. All I know for sure is that I think I remember the moment of this picture, or a moment identical to it. My little brother (I'm not little!" he would protest, and would eventually grow taller than me, as if to prove his own point.) and I are swinging on a bench swing. We are swinging and pretending that we are flying someplace high up in the air, above the trees, way up in the clouds, and I am completely blissed out in my childhood; I've got a swing, my imagination, and the world's greatest shoes on my very own feet; nothing could be better than this feeling in this moment right now.
Maybe this is why people trust me to style their wardrobes now; because I remember what the wearing feels like. The advice that I give every day: wear what makes you happy. I remember what it's like to feel what you are wearing to the core of your tippy little ever hopeful heart.