Category Archives: Nonfiction

Fearlessness

Be fearless.

That’s a good mantra. It’s inspiring. It makes you want to be a better person. And when it comes down to it, I feel like it’s fairly easy to be fearless about many things: exploring new cities, jumping off cliffs, running through the woods with wild abandon. For some people it’s abusing drugs and getting lost on a trip. Moving across the country by yourself and starting over. Fearlessness comes in different forms for different people. 

I’d like to think I’m fearless in the adventures I take, the way I educate myself through diving into and getting lost in literature that others don’t even know about, and even the way I so innocently and greatly dream. 

Why can’t I be fearless with love? Why is it so hard for me to love fearlessly?

That’s a question I can’t answer, or at least I’m not prepared to answer admitting it to myself, Kerouac, and everyone else. Maybe that’s a post for another day. It’s easy to love your family, love your friends, love God, love the beauty of Nature, cities, food, books, film, music, poetry. But it’s terrifying to fearlessly love someone and to give them your heart.

What made me thing of FEARLESSNESS was Chris McCandless. I’m watching Into the Wild and flipping back through the book by Jon Krakauer in remembrance of Chris McCandless, who’s body was found in the Alaskan wilderness twenty-two years ago today.

For some reason, many people don’t seem to understand why he did what he did- leaving society like that. Many people call him selfless, stupid, reckless, crazy… But I think he was brave, smarter than most people, and lived his life with fearlessness, and that’s admirable.

He wrote in his journal:

I have always been unsatisfied with life as most people live it. Always I want to live more intensely and richly.

I very much admire Chris’s fearlessness towards life. But he was young when he fled society to live off the land. He had just graduate from college. I don’t think he really ever experienced fearless love, at least his actions and his journals don’t reflect any love of another person. But Chris did fearlessly love life, his existence, nature, and exploration. 

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Cliffs

(Image from tumblr)

 
This distant memory replays in my mind
of cliff jumping into a golden blue cold lake
on a sweaty hot sunshine day.
The air glitters.
My fellow cliff jumping compatriots are laughing.
Happy noises
and splashing noises from bodies tumbling falling gracefully
into the water echoes back from the cliffs.
A lush green and abundant forest adorns the viewpoint.
There’s so much beauty, everywhere

You’d stand back from the edge – almost naked in your bathing suit –
run across the rock in bare innocent feet
let out a scream of joyexcitementfearforgiveness
and plunge your body out from the rock
fall fast long and down into the water
SPLASH.

We jumped for hours. Never got tired of that thrill that splash
that cool refreshing wetness.

This memory makes me smile and breaks my heart. I can’t
remember if it was real. Or it it’s just some dreamful resemblance
of an experience of my lustful youth that I’m holding onto
created in a dreamy afternoon of boredom or sleep.
I want it to be real so bad.

I want my life to feel like that jump. Every day: joyexcitementfearforgiveness.
Over and over again
in the late afternoon perfection
heavenly neverstop glow of the end of an innocent summer.

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Rocks and Stardust

Mozart played the piano not only because he was good at it, but because he could lose himself in the keys and the symphonies. Floating away as if there was nothing else in the world, nothing as of importance more important than what you’re currently engulfed in.

People do what they love, do what they’re passionate about,
do what makes their hearts expand and fill up and pour over on top of themselves,
because it makes us feel alive. It moves the dust. 

When people have someone to share their passions with (or passion itself.. or the idea of passion), people lose themselves in each other, tossing and turning and yearning for something that they feel they don’t have and need to find it in another human being.

Is it in their body or their soul? It should be in both. Together. At the same time. It’s the dust that makes us up.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, is what people say when one’s buried, when one has died. We are made of dust (some say we’re made of stardust) and when we die we’ll again become dust.

But while people are still here, if they don’t have anyone to share their passions with, some people lose themselves in themselves. Tossing and turning and yearning for something that they think they can create for themselves eyes closed breath held usually letting themselves down in some way or another.

That almost painful heartfelt feeling bursting at the seems like you’re a shirt that’s too small for your arm muscles, like you pour a glass of cold milk to the brim and a little bit flows over the side. It’s weird that it’s painful, that happiness (or is it emptiness…?) can make you feel that way. And maybe it’s just me, feeling like my heart breaks all over again.

I think of T.S. Eliot and where my life is that I’ve lost in living… Or is it Life. A capital L makes all the difference doesn’t it? It creates the perspective (… or allusion) of a Life holier, mightier, more powerful and mysterious than mine own.

“O perpetual revolution of configured stars…
…All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death”!
 

I’d pray for wisdom and knowledge, understanding of why hearts hurt, why hearts break, how can an internal organ that sustains our existence feel like it can contain so much physical pain? I’d pray for these things, but I don’t honestly thing they’ll ever come.

“The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and neared to the Dust.”

What is My Rock?

To find something that holds you in place, say, that grounds you, that prevents you from flying off into the universe (oh, but may we ever impact the Universe?) and swirling around into sparkles and dust, to find something like that is so rare, so unique, it’s never spoken of. For some people it’s vices like drugs and alcohol, and I guess for others it’s love, or marriage, or occasionally both. For many it’s their career, their family, their education. Still, I think these are all temporary, nonconcrete rocks.

“The Rock. The Watcher. The Stranger”

Maybe it’s not a thing (or things) we should be searching for, but rather a someone, a who. Maybe it is God. Maybe it is the Universe. MAYBE IT’S OURSELVES. Perhaps we’re not meant to be grounded but we are meant to be dust (the good kind, the holy and innocent kind), poured out from our burnt and charred insides to be picked up again by the winds of the worlds and thrown and strewn about, sometimes rapidly, sometimes gently, sprinkling stars (LIGHT) among the universe. 

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Return to writing

Why is it that I consider myself “a writer”? What does it mean to be one? Does it mean writing daily, writing drunk and editing sober, being published, having writing credentials and a master of fine arts? 

I’ve been published. I don’t write daily. I dropped out of the only creative writing class I’ve ever taken. And I could write drunk if someone made me a cocktail or a strong punch. 

Two writing milestone happened in the past few days, and made me realize that YES! I am a writer. And I should never have abandoned this endeavor. I always do this, I start something, I let it slip, and then I don’t continue on with it and pick it back up because I get scared. I get scared that it’s been too long, that I’ve failed, and that if I start it again I may just fail again. Why are we afraid of personal failure, especially if we’re the only one that knows we’ve failed? Isn’t it failure only if you don’t try again?

I was published, again. (I’m going to go ahead and brag here for just a little bit, so I apologize in advance for that.. but I do also strongly believe that everyone should brag about themselves once or twice a year) I wrote this silly little City Report on the bicycle scene in DC and it was published on Urban Velo and is even in the print version of the magazine. 

When I first saw it online and then realized it was in the print version, I got giddy with excitement. I thought to myself, which am I more excited about, this or that time I was published as a “contributing travel writer” in the Philadelphia Inquirer… I guess a few more people have heard of the Inquirer…

The second big thing is that I was asked to be a main contributing writer for a new blog starting in my city. It’s still in the very beginning stages, but we’re having a first meeting of the writers in a few weeks and I’ll be there, scared ideas and all. 

So. I am a writer because it makes me happy. It makes me feel strong. It’s something I feel I am good at… I don’t know if it will ever become a career for me, or if I will ever publish a book and do readings in bookshops across the country. But, for now, I am going to return to writing. I’m going to meet with Jack again, and go hang out with Allan. I’m going to get swept up and lost in the books that I once knew and read stories that will greet my thoughts for the first time. 

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These stories are pieces of your mind

IN JANUARY, I FINISHED READING JACK KEROUAC’S Lonesome Traveler and got swept up with life things and haven’t had the chance to sit down and write something since. I also finished another book last night, as I previously admitted to you that I was cheating on Kerouac but alas I’m so glad that I did. I’ll tell you about John Williams’ unbelievable novel Stoner soon.

As I was walking home today, strolling down H St NE from the bus stop to my little brick DC row house, one of the mini homes with the elongated living rooms that stretch from the front door to the kitchen sink, I thought something neat. I was passing by the row of hip and up and coming spots, mostly bars with a few restaurants, speckled in between the run down and shelved forgotten store fronts that have been deserted and lonely and falling apart for years, all with FOR LEASE signs on them that are wearing thin. And I thought: “Everything’s always becoming something.” And isn’t that true? Whether it’s a storefront in a soon to be gentrified neighborhood of DC where I admit that I felt a little awkward getting looks from people on the bus as the only little white girl in sight, with the crazy man talking to himself sitting across from me, or whether it’s your own life and your own personality moving and shaking and every day becoming a little bit of something else and losing a little bit if what you were. It’s pretty spectacular.

Back to Kerouac.

Let me tell you what I learned from his collection of stories, almost like diary entries, moments and occasions reminisced from his dreamy mind, that he put together in Lonesome Traveler and published in 1960.

The stories that I remember, several weeks now after throwing the book to my bedside are the tales about his travels in Mexico and California and the beautiful women he saw and the drugs he smoked. I liked that story and I recall distinctly underlining a paragraph he wrote describing a couple of field hands making love in the field. It was magnificent in how innocently and secretly it was written. I remember his story of working on the ship and washing dishes or something like that, but I found that pretty boring. My two favorite stories were the one about Kerouac traipsing around Times Square in New York City and about his time spent working at the fire outlook on top of a mountain and how it brought him so close to God.

Going back through Lonesome Traveler now, the last story, “The Vanishing American Hobo” about his rambles with hobo friends, I had forgotten all about that, but that’s what inspired my writing Hobo Dreams.

It was Kerouac’s story “The Railroad Earth” that wrote that unforgettable scene of sex and the powerful railroad:

“Along comes the tired field hand Jose Camero and he see her in the vast sun red in the fruit field moving queen majesty to the well, the tower, he runs for her, the railroad crashed by he pays no attention…Switches rush up and melt into the rail, sidings part from it like lips, return like lover arms.—My mind is on the brown knees of Carmelity, the dark spltot between her thighs where creation hides its majesty and all the boys with eager head do rush suffering and want the whole the hole the works the hair the seekme membrane the lovey sucky ducky workjohn, the equaled you, she never able and down goes the sun and it’s dark and they’re layin in a grape row, nobody can see, or hear, on the dog hears OOO slowly against the dust of that railroad earth…”

Oh and it goes on and Kerouac tells some even more dirty details, but I’ll leave that for you to explore.

“New York Scenes” made me want to get up right then and take the next bus to New York City and a find a bum on the streets or an old crippled half deaf gentleman in an up-city nursing home who actually remembered what Times Square was like in the 40’s and 50’s. Probably wouldn’t have known Kerouac or any of the beatniks the original beats, but he would have known THE TIMES.

I loved Kearouac’s line “Men do love bars and good bars should be loved.” That’s the kind of man for me. Kerouac buzzed from place to place in this story, dramy places like Grants, the Automat, Bickfords… So many places famous of their time that they frequented, loved, lived in practically. And what is it all now? Some sleezy bright light pigeon hopping Broadway lurking tourist attraction that does nothing for humanity. I want to go there and find what those places… Grants, the Automat, Bickfords… what they really used to be like, what happened to them, and find old photographs of what they used to be like and side them next to the monstrosity of what stands there today.

The Garden Bar. The Cedar Bar. I bet those were bars to be loved by men. “Jazz belongs to the open joyful ten-cent beer joints, as in the beginning,” Kerouac said. And when he ended that story with the words, “This is the beat night life of New York ,” I had to write down just below it in my copy of the book, “Is there any beat left in New York City?”

And then what shocked me when I started reading “Alone on a Mountaintop” was that Jack Kerouac, THE Jack Kerouac, was writing with sentence structure! He was using periods and ending sentences in appropriate places!… for a bout half a page. And then it was back to his normal self. It was surprising and a little funny. I bet he had added that or his editor advised he throw in some introductory sentences to frame his experience. Funny though.

This story is where the name of the collection comes from. As Kerouac is en route to his mountain top, he asks his guides where it is.

“ ‘Where’s Desolation Peak?’ I asked, meaning my own mountain (A mountain to be kept forever, I’d dreamed all that spring) (O lonesome traveler!)”

O lonesome traveler! It was a proclamation he felt of excitement and exuberance in the life of adventure and going somewhere he didn’t know. He wasn’t afraid of it. And he surely wasn’t scared of being alone. He greeted the solitude with a strong embrace and probably something like a grinning smile.

O lonesome traveler! I say, if only we all felt that passion and lust when we were alone in any circumstance for we’re all travelers through our own lives.

This here is one of my favorite things he wrote in the whole collection:

“The stars are words and all the innumerable worlds in the Milky Way are words, and so is this world too. And I realize that no matter where I am, whether in a little room full of thought, or in this endless universe of stars and mountains, it’s all in my mind. There’s no need for solitude. So love life for what it is, and form no preconceptions whatever in your mind.”

And one more story to tell you from Kerouac’s stories, in “Big Trip to Europe,” Kerouac is in England and visits a museum to look up his family history and stumbled upon his family description. The “Keroack” family motto was written out as: “ Love, work, and suffer” He wrote, “I could have known.”

Jack, these stories are pieces of your mind, and have become shambles of my imagination of what you were like. You lived such a free and adventurous life, and that I envy. I wish you were still travelling and adventuring and loving and could still write about it today. You old lonesome traveler.

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Symphony

In between and among
hard things and hard places,
when its dark under the covers
and cold,
you strive so hard,
ivy leaves growing up and down
against scratchy brick walls,
to feel the light and see the light
and still be the light.
Red lipstick falling down my face.
Eyes turned blue.
Freckles burned on my skin
and plumb blush stained.
A symphony of sadness.

City walls being torn down
are nothing to these walls.
Concrete so thick
an air raid wouldn’t even
cause all souls
to hide in basements.
There’s no light there.
The wailing warning
simply an instrument
in the back of the orchestra.

Still sounds
rumbling sounds
quiet sounds
sounds that rattle your bed frame
and rattle you
right out of bed.
All part of this greater symphony.

The conductor.
Now that’s a story.
Who may he be…
Some pain loving demon
charged with drawing blood?
A God who can bear to see us
hurt so greatly?
A friendly prankster
pawning us out in this game?

A cacophonous symphony.
Wailing and churning
and rattling and yearning
for the light.
We play our instruments
for this light,
to bring the sun
to shine.

IMG_3253

Took this a few years back while walking the streets of New Orleans and stumbling among interesting folk and beautiful sights.

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Hobo dreams

 IMG_3276

I’VE NEVER HITCHHIKED BUT once when I was driving home from Washington, DC to Oak Ridge, North Carolina I took the back way and pulled off the highway in Buena Vista, Virginia to look for a gas station, a bathroom and a bite to eat.

IMG_3274Two or three miles down a two lane windy road beside a creek I found a Shell gas station with a Burger King. I filled up the jeep and got a vegie burger, yes, Burger King is the only fast food joint on the east coast that carries vegie burgers, and I walked across the street to this swinging bridge. I think it may have been an old railroad pass, or maybe if I remember it correctly, when I walked across those wooden boards suspended high above the creek, it lead to a railway.

It was all so green. Evergreen trees. Other trees. Bright green trees with bright green leaves. That’s how I remember it. That spot has become one of my favorites. I’ve gone back there a few times.

When I finished my meal and headed back to the jeep, a gang of four or five kids, some folks my age, actually called over to me and asked where I was headed. Said they were camping a few miles up the road just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. They had walked down here to the gas station to pick a 24 pack of cheap beer and now heading back to their campsite. They wanted a ride.

I turned them away, blaming my full car. Which was true. My back seat and trunk area was full. I probably could have moved it around, or even taken them two at a time, someone sitting on another’s lap in the front seat next to me. But they were strangers. I should have done it though. I’ve always regretted that.

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Next time, if I’m ever asked for a ride and the person or persons look reputable and unharming, I’ll surely say yes. That would make for a great story.

Footwalking freedom. These kids were reviving the hobo dream. Kerouac talked about “footwalking freedom” in “the Vanishing American Hobo” from Lonesome Traveler.

“There’s nothing nobler than to put up with a few inconveniences like snakes and dust for the sake of absolute freedom.”

photo 3

When I was maybe 11 or 12 years old, I dressed up as a hobo for Halloween. I wore muddy old baggy pants. A torn flannel shirt. I had the classic hobo stick with a bandanna full of stuff slung over my shoulder. I think I may have even rubbed mud on my face or drawn on a scruffy beard with my mother’s eyeliner. I know, a bit weird, right. But HEY! That’s because the American Hobo, in all his glory, is still to this day idolized by kids, young and old, who dream about traveling the country, road trips with friendly strangers, this sense of complete freedom and extraction from worldly desires. This footwalking freedom.

 

“Benjamin Franklin was like a hobo in Pennsylvania; he walked through Philly with three big rolls under hi arms and a Massachusetts halfpenny on his hat. John Muir was a hobo who went off into the mountains with a pocketful of dried bread, which he soaked in creeks.”

But for me, now, that hobo dream is far gone. Hobos are only out in the wilderness, because that’s where the freedom is.

Here in the city, it’s all bums. Instead of dreaming about walking and sleeping for days among the red wood trees, it traipsing around city streets, face craned up to the sky. It’s still beautiful though, for me. Sunshine, rain, snowflakes, dust. City parks, city blocks, bums on stoops shaking cups at you outside your store. I guess it’s hard to see the beauty in that though. These city bums don’t have it well off at all. In these cold winter months the government opens up extra homeless shelters and something called warming buses to try to keep them freezing. I don’t like calling them bums; it’s offensive. Just homeless folks who are down on their luck.

These folks are nothing like the cherished, honored hobos that Kerouac spoke of. Einstein and Beethoven. Johnny Appleseed.

Those are more like folks such as Chris McCandless, West Virginia hicks, even some salty mountain bikers. The kids that had asked me for a ride with them and their beer just back up the mountain road. Wandering spirits. Dreamers just passing through.

Both these hobo dreamers and the city bums. As Kerouac wrote: Le passant. “He who passes through.”

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Flowers

Flower petals falling fast
where do they go when they tumble down
to decompose in the earth’s dust
and become once again
flowers that grow toward the sun…

photo 5

I’VE ONLY EVER GOTTEN FLOWERS THREE TIMES IN MY LIFE.

Once they were from my father.

It was back in Pennsylvania, right outside of Philly with our backyard growing into a wooded mountain with birdwatching trails, the brick farmhouse with dark blue faded shutters and that large wooden picnic table. My father must have been out of town on a business trip and because of that was missing my first day of school. I was starting kindergarten. Daddy’s little girl, all grown up.

I wore a denim skirt, high white socks with ruffles at the end, and brand new Keds. My mother had curled my hair (yes, at age five my mom would curl my soft brown shoulder length hair) and it was gathered at the crown of my head in a pink bow. I looked adorable.

A big white basket arrived with a dozen or so white daisies and a little white stuffed bear with a cute bear face and cute bear ears. I was thrilled. We left it on the kitchenette table in front of the window for days so the daisies could soak in the sun. I carried that bear with me to school as a token of having a daddy who cared.

The second time was from a man, but back then we we’re still just kids, for my 16th birthday.

I had a crush on this kid for a good while. I remember him being strong. Dark hair, darker eyes, but had such a sweet spark and life to them. And that smile. It just made me giggle.

We had been friends for years, since 6th grade at least. We started talking online, as all kids did back in those days. Hello. You’ve got mail. We talked. We flirted. It was all in good fun. Back then I don’t think I had even kissed a boy before. Maybe I had that summer. I forget how old I was when that first happened.

It was my birthday and I think my family was leaving in a day or two for my Uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. My birthday is November 27th so it always falls close to Thanksgiving. Birthday presents and a big turkey leg. I think he stopped by my house one evening and dropped off a card and a bundle of red roses. They were beautiful. And it was so so sweet. Why a few days later when he asked me out I said no, I have no idea. Maybe if they had been daises…

And the third time.

It makes me cringe a little. Makes the back of my neck tense up and puts anger in my face muscles. I think it was a single flower in a vase. A red rose. Just one.

It had been Christmas Day and the doorbell rings and it was a florist lady that my mother knew from church and she had a delivery for me. A flower with a card with my name on it. I wish I remembered what that card said. I’d laugh at its bitter insincerity now. I did not appreciate his gesture at the time either, because that was after it had all gone down, for the first time.

It was a surprise though. And flowers that are a surprise still make you tingly inside, even if you don’t love the person. It is fascinating how flowers can make you feel a certain way.

Now with a smile on my face I wonder why is it that woman so love to receive flowers? Maybe every father gets his little girl flowers and a teddy bear once in her life when she’s little and innocent, before broken hearts and trying to please, and from then on it’s something she always desired because to her it means she is loved.

My favorite flowers
lined the light sunwashed side of a
coffee shop at the shore,
Black Eyed Susan’s with a few
daises scattered among them.

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Over the FM dial

radio show

KEROUAC WAS INTO JAZZ. HE DUG IT HARD and I bet he loved that good ol’ southern blues beat as well. Seems like in On the Road whenever Kerouac mentioned drinking in bars, there was always music. He always mentioned the music.

“Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who had paraded on official days and broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime. Then there was swing, and Roy Eldridge, vigorous and virile, blasting the horn for everything it had in waves of power and logic and subtlety – leaning to it with glittering eyes and a lovely smile and sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world. Then had come Charlie Parker, a kid in his mother’s woodshed in Kansas City, blowing his taped-up alto among the logs, practicing on rainy days… Charlie Parker leaving home and coming to Harlem, and meeting mad Thelonious Monk and madder Gillespie … Here were the children of the American bop night.” – On the Road

Now I don’t know much about this jazz bebop stuff, I can sure appreciate it and I love to hear those horns wail, I just don’t know squat about it. But I do know something about bluegrass and folk. The way the fiddles melt in with the banjo and get picked up by the bass drum drum drumming in the background to set the beat, toes tapping, legs tapping, next thing you know your up on your feet hoppin’ around and wiggling your hips and throwing up your arms like a crazy person. And there’s the simple quiet folk that seems to be the heart of the matter. And the swayin’ blues that started it all of.

We got Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan and Waylon Jennings. Woody Guthrie of course. Peter, Paul & Mary, Simon & Garfunkle, guys like Peete Seeger and the Foggy Mountain Boys. New stuff too. The Milk Carton Kids, Old Crow, David Wax. It’s all good stuff.

I’ve had the pleasure over the past few years to host a radio show and share these tunes with the world over the FM dial. A little local college station just outside of DC. College Park radio WFMU 88.1FM. Inside of a worn down dining hall up the stairs and in a smelly little radio room with bookshelves 14 feet high full of outlandish and bizarre records. My co-host and I taglined our show “Folk, bluegrass and worthwhile country” because we all know how bad country can be. And we prided ourselves on our expansive flannel shirt collection, so we always came wearing flannel.

The sound boards are big and crowded with buttons and numbers and dials. Never knew how to properly work the thing. The transmitter switch was my favorite thing in that little musty studio room. It was on the right side on some big tall box and it lit up a blue light when it was switched up to the on position. Below it someone had written and taped up instructions and no lie they said “I am getting old and cranky. If the blue light does NOT come one, give me a stern tap. – Switch”.

My second favorite part of the radio show experience was the big soft microphones that hung down on these silver crane-like mechanism. I felt so professional and important talking in to them. I never knew about such thing as a radio voice until the last time I did the show. I definitely talk different and sound different when on the air. My voice gets deeper and more serious and I crack ironic jokes like it’s my job.

Music. I should listen to more jazz.

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Harmonica things

Broken bread. Bookshelves lined.
Cracked brick wall beside the stair.
What are the things that make up a home,
make up a life. Egg beaters
and a painted pot.

My grandmother’s things
have made a place in my kitchen,
in my life. Her blue and white teacups.
Her handwritten recipes
neatly tucked behind plastic pages
in a white book that simply says RECIPES
on the bind.
I keep it in my bedroom
to keep it safe,
rather than the kitchen.

Just under the RECIPE book
there’s an old harmonica
speckled with rust
still shiny on the brim
and it reads MARINE BAND
with an engraving of a man.
It goes from 1 to 10, ten notes, ten keys…
know nothing about harmonicas.
Maybe that man knows something.
My grandfather must have.
It also reads M. Hohner in fancy pretty script.
Made in Germany, on the back, and
the dates 1873, 1871, 1881, and 1876…
wonder what those mean.
I think this was my grandfather’s,
the one I never met.
I haven’t met any of my grandfathers.
Can’t touch my lips to the steel
because of the rust
and the dust and there’s little cobwebs inside.

My father’s old globe
on its wooden stand
with its golden spindle,
it spins southeast.
Only southeast.
It sits now
next to my desk.
Makes my room look wise
and traveled.
My room has been nowhere.
When I was a kid
we’d play that game where you spin
the globe reeeeeeeaaallll fast
and then touch your finger tip
to the bridge of the equator
the Tropic of Capricorn,
the bumps and valleys and dips of mountainous
ranges from sea to sea.
And you’d stop it. Wherever.
Wherever it landed that was where
you had to move. It was part of that fairytale
of moving
and growing up
and falling in love.
Wonder why it ended with falling in love.
What ever came next?

And where is my mother, missing me
from a train ride away.
Her dark brown hair
dark deep eyes.
So much of her in me.
Where will I place all of her things…

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