Feb 24, 2008

Looking for Narnia

In my hometown of Westerville, we frequented a thrift store run by “old” ladies in a beautiful, magical and—to my child eyes—gigantic house. Every time we went there, I would go into the crowded closets and touch the back walls. Over and over again, I hoped that this time my fingertips would find pine needles instead of solid wood. That my sneakers would be crunching cold snow instead of worn hats and the hems of discarded prom dresses. That I would return from the closet with the memory of hot tea and an eerie, entrancing melody instead of the smell of mothballs and a pair of dusty, cowboy boots. The backs of closets are still enticing. I know that I won’t find my Narnia. What I will find are old journals and letters, memories forgotten, a few trinkets of who I used to be.

A few years ago, much of my childhood paraphernalia was stolen. Due to bizarre circumstances, my treasured stories (which I wrote in manic frenzy, for as fast as I could write them, more pushed their way into my imagination), my carefully maintained and beloved doll collection, and my childhood diaries and letters were tossed out like garbage. (I still hold to the hope that someone rescued those dolls and that some little girl loves them as I did.)

Loss is one of the saddest things a human being can feel. As one who truly believes in redemption, I wonder if this too can be reincarnated. Can loss be reborn into something beautiful?

Feb 23, 2008

to one of my heroes...

"you will never wear your trousers rolled.
there isn't time.
you have prophesied under bridges
with no one around.
at the sun's rise, you were walking
west to face the night.
while they raised their hands,
beneath the crystal steeple,
you colored train cars with hardcore love
in a can."

Feb 11, 2008

e.e. cummings

let it go--the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise--let it go it
was sworn to

let them go--the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers--you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go--the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things--let all go
so comes love

Feb 10, 2008

San Francisco (for the first time)

city lights and downtown heights. just
between you and me, i think this may
be close to home. (is it me or is this
city intoxicating?) i felt a twinge of hope
and desperation like pigeons' wings
(taking off.) when he called to me. to
anyone. (please.) i never saw so many
sinking into cement like the open jaws
of a desert monster. (crunch.) gaping
holes. no one pauses. "ignore-ance is
bliss," they say. but i would rather be

green apples. orange peels. daisies
in the night. between you and me is a
little thin air and a lot of weighted time.
silence is heavy like silver bullets hitting
the ground.

all around us is buying and selling and
eating and shitting and then what?

here comes the old question of "why?"
the duct-taped cardboard signs and
the good ol' red, white, and blue burning
in our ears. war breaks and clatters to
the pavement like an old alarm clock with
all the bells and whistles. i can't see
straight. the rain is soaking my prejudices
(and best-laid plans). i'm sighing of relief
when i smell the salty ocean. (what flavor
am i?) they say it's the only way but i only
know of oneand it doesn't taste like this.

falling in love is like this. i'm skidding
and sliding down a skid-marked, slippery
slope (stopping on a grassy knoll to read)
but the drum beats on and on and on.
("dance for us, won't ya, sistah?") i can't
dance. maybe, someday, i will. but for
now i'm going to bed. (after a cup of tea.)
good nite.

Feb 8, 2008

A Shout Out To...

I wanted to recommend a fantastic, British, lesbian writer. Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was a real inspiration for Cast the First Stone. I recommend it to anyone who loves unique, coming-of-age stories.

Her website is http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/

Feb 7, 2008

this is

this is the way i dance:
with flirting eyes
and swimming arms,
with eyes that taunt
and smiles that warm-

i'm sorry.

this is the path i walk:
in the dew grass
and around the ant hill;
see how they scurry around!
i like the sweet smell of dirt-

i know.

this is how i worship:
with closed lips
and open eyes,
with tears burning,
i sing like that-

i hear.

this is how i love:
with one thigh over
and the intoxication
shattering reality-

i see.

this is how i write my poem:
with silver drops
sliding down the banister,
singing songs of heroes
in the puddles of tales
and my toes get muddy,
wet hair hanging in my eyes-

may i...

here is how i sleep:
when and if i do,
between the sheets
of yesterday and tomorrow,
i lie-

...touch you?

Feb 6, 2008

The Writing Life

The prospective writer is never told how painful it is to revise one's story. The questions are seemingly endless: is this the right adjective? Is there a better one? Would this character actually say this? Would she say it in a different way? This paragraph is really slow and boring. do i need it? How is this or that moving the plot along? How is this or that revealing more of the characters?

But, no one ever mentions how absolutely wonderful it is either. How after an endless day of running around like a headless chicken, trying to meet every petty demand of one's customers, it is the most amazing feeling to walk three blocks over, order a cup of pomegranite green tea, and start writing. The tension is leaving the tight shoulders. David Gray croons from the CD player behind the coffee counter. An hour flies by. And before you know it, it's time to go home and heat up some leftovers for dinner.

Ah, the writing life.

Feb 3, 2008

Down Sheridan Drive.

snow banks, tall and awkward--
alive, unknowingly cold

and too tempting
clunky feet go first,
then legs,
obviously to cold wetness
(until much later,
when peeling off shoes, plastic bag-covered-socks...
too broke to buy snowboots)

plop down, butt first, then
back, arms out and whoosh. whoosh. whoosh.
a powder marble angel appears.

another, then another and off!
running, laughing,
falling, sliding, kissing

the lake.

overwhelmed by the crystal emense foreverness until...
the apartments buildings leering up
the abandened playgrounds whispering, come
swing higher and jump

into the soft--not a blanket, but more like
a pile of icy, mashed potatoes--snow