Wednesday, April 10, 2013

poemcrazy: listening to ourselves

"We have to start with ourselves before we can reach beyond ourselves." Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, poemcrazy

i am a waterfall

     pummeling the cool pool rocks
     that await below

     disturbing your slumber with
     a bolt of lightning liquid

you cower and crave me in synchrony

     resisting the weight of
     my current
     strengthening in the
     isometry of our

I am afraid to be exposed, but here it is right on the page. The exercise Woolridge offers is to listen to myself, by answering a list of questions with the first word that comes to mind. After all the words and questions answered, the poem that emerges is not really about me at all but myself in relationship to something or someone. This is where it is easy for me, to see myself in light of other people. But these words are my ticket to go deeper and keep writing...who is just me?

In another section of the book, the exercise is to write about "where do you come from".  I am left-handed so I decided to write using my right hand (another suggestion from the book)and these words emerged:

"i come from a land that is foreign to my soul, chaos erupting
from rage overflowed my half-filled cup like a cheap soda from a shook up can. what should have been a satisfying delight a sip of sweet fizzle was instead an ambush of sticky liquid and uncontainable foam. and the responsibility to clean it all up.  my soul was made of gossamer, at least it started out that way.  over time and exposure the silken threads hardened and wore away until they resembled more of a potato sack burlap. itchy and porous and dull to the senses."

Maybe my shadow is awaiting in my right hand?  I am not sure who she is but I will listening more to what she has to say.  Her voice, though unfamiliar to me, is sure of what she knows to be true. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

artist's date: soho walk

I love to walk SoHo streets and soak in the urban artwork: random postings and graffiti that slap themselves irreverently across walls, poles, doors and windows, entertaining me, the slowly passer-by. After some uptown morning business last Saturday I drove downtown and parked...and walked... 

peering into holes in a fence;

gifting my sight with the texture of inconsistent order;

receiving a reminder for my frequent rumination...

on my way to lunch at a cafe I've never been to before.  I paused on the street to read the menu and the server who was standing outside smoking his cigarette told me that this was where I needed to eat.  Not long after speaking my order, the waitress places my garden salad on the chrome-topped table in front of me and as I take a slow, deep breath I can smell the sweet aroma of the cucumber quarters.  They taste like spring that is hoofing at the gate in our atmosphere (sun shining brightly but air too chilly to let it break through).  My coffee mug has a faint lipstick stain on the rim but today I am bold and  unfussy so I just wipe it away and turn the mug around. A Coldplay tune is on the radio overhead and now the waitress is sitting at a table perpendicular to mine with a basket of silverware and a pile of fresh white paper napkins  expertly wrapping the place settings while she awaits the completion of the next brunch order on the line. I bask in the light filtered from the skylight above and look at each object edge illuminated:  frosted plastic water tumbler, stainless steel fork and knife, green glass water bottle, the stainless caps to the salt and pepper shakers.  I turn my head millimeter by millimeter to the left and to the right and invite the refractions to feed my brain with their dimension. A sulky kid from across the room wonders what it is I am seeing and if he can see some too.

It's time to walk again and this I see and my heart screams YES.  I am laughing after I take this shot because a sweaty boy ran so fast right in front of me as I was focusing that he did miss being in the picture but startled me so I flailed on my feet.  Another man on the curb saw me jump and we laughed at how stupid people can be(me or him?) and he stooped to pick up my lens cap when it popped off and clankled on the sidewalk.

I saw him later walking down the sidewalk across another street.

And this, the last message of the day.  In my brain, after poked is giggled...and this giggle is what I have been lacking for many months. This word giggle has shown up in a few pieces recently and I know it is my spirit demanding that my mind lighten up.