There was a poem tapping deep inside me tonight. It first appeared while I was washing the baby spinach. Later, when I was rinsing the overly ripe strawberries, six hours from molding. I’ve always had small epiphanies in shower streams and rainstorms.
The poem has dried up. It lost its viscosity, I realized, while loading a mishmash of overly worn clothing, including a torn black tank in which I cannot toss. The sing-song voice, that ‘coming home’ narrator whose operatic range soars under the stream of conscious spell, fell flat.
Words teased the eyes; not the ocular, but burned in deep grooves of grey matter. A charcoal grave stone rubbing; only the whole thing gets doused in chlorine.
Chlorine. A powerful word I ran across tonight and wondered why I’ve never us it as metaphor. It caused pause, there are so many words I don’t use. Why?
I’m so glad you don’t read me. That I kept this place a mystery so that I can rage you away. Wash us in chlorine. There is an awful taste that rises up when a street sign reflects off the dim-lit cracks at midnight. Sweat beads between white scapula bones despite zero humidity. A flood of electric pulsations sends an urge after ‘we’ pass, and I realize you are just ‘no parking’ bent sideways. Who knew that the discomfort of a hit and run cramped the uterus beyond a monthly shedding. Fear of the wrong chromosomes attaching is something Darwin never wrote about. (Just a man)
Well, that wasn’t the poem, but it started out with that line. Damn, I really hope it resurfaces soon.
One more thought, the reason to post at all tonight:
In our culture, we over-rely on the idea that we have a choice, and it’s incredibly frustrating to me. Sure, when people whine about what their parents did to them 30 years ago I also want them to shut the fuck up, but I dedicate the book to my cousin who lived there and lives there still. And there is no reason. I could find little reasons, but there is no real reason. She got great grades. She is beautiful. I don’t know.
This is an excerpt from The Rumpus interview with Tupelo Hassman that I just read online.
(Rather serendipitous since I just requested this book be purchased today. I do this so rarely in libraryland since my choices oft raise eye-brows in a collection of ordinary best sellers.)
The interview is good; give the link a visit. Tupelo Hassman’s life (every time I read her name, I think Tupelo Honey) seems not that different from the young girl, Rory, who tells the story.
What caught in my throat while reading, was Hassman’s frustration regarding why her cousin never escaped her life. I certainly don’t take it that Hassman looks down on her cousin, but I’m surprised she doesn’t ‘get it’. As a first generation college grad, I get it and I wasn’t even in an enviro that was that bad.
I believe many of us got lost. College was such a mystery to me. My parents encouraged, but couldn’t offer any advice. I was there, but I wasn’t THERE. I kept one foot firmly planted in what I knew, never exploring the avenues that could have helped me go further. Even the profs who encouraged me couldn’t beat down that little voice that said, “you’re not talented enough to do that.”
It’s ironic that this made me think of the relationship with my mother, so close to ‘her’ day. The yelling matches have been ugly and angry over the years. Yes, I’ve been a bitchy child who has blamed her, or them, for never spreading my wings beyond our four corners. You know, though, Hassman is right, eventually you have to shut the fuck up and just deal.
Going into Mother’s Day weekend, perhaps I should remember this and be grateful that she doesn’t slap me with the irony stick. Twenty years ago, I called her weak for staying in a job she hated to pay the bills. If she were a spiteful person, I’d never hunger again after the feast of crow she could serve me. ~