Tag Archives: time

Now A Symphony

That One Note played over and over,

longing, mournful, angry, desperate–

once or twice joyous.

 

War could whisper through.

And career, family, art, music.

But fleeting and peripheral because

One Note Banging

blinding

SOUND SOUND SOUND.

 

Now little laughters, the sun rising, our skins softly aging.

The edges of things!

where before blurry, if not imagined.

Thank you…time?

for lifting that monotonous veil of Self

to reveal the symphony beyond.

 

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Chickadee

I hung the bird feeder on a post outside the kitchen window
where I could stand, washing dishes, and see it.
Thought happily of the blue jays, cardinals and chickadees I would
admire.
A year later the birds came.

I had almost forgotten,
sitting having cereal, staring at nothing out the back door–
a chickadee.
I yelled.

How many of these things have I missed
because I could never wait that long?
A decade ago, especially two,
that feeder would have been removed,
or more likely,
I wouldn’t live at this house anymore,
and would have left it hanging,
forgotten.
Someone else would have seen the birds.

Maybe other people enjoyed the things I
couldn’t wait around for.
New women washing dishes.
Chickadees will sing for anybody.

Mortal

Maybe it was David Bowie or Alan Rickman or my friend’s beloved dad. Or maybe my forty-year-old brain is just beginning to grasp those words I’ve been hearing for years. Words I thought I understood—but now that I do understand them, realize I never before have.

Today is my life. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. And it doesn’t matter if I get all the things done I want to accomplish, or “become” the person I want to be. It doesn’t matter if I say sorry to the people I should apologize to, or forgive those who need forgiving.

My death will come sometime, unplanned. In a moment, my life will be over and I will be gone. I can’t plan it, can’t foresee it. It doesn’t live by my calendar. Death does not abide by my rules. The names I keep seeing in the news begin to cut deeper and deeper, as celebrities I’ve grown up with and lived as an adult on this planet with, begin to get off the bus. Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Corey Haim. I want to say to them—“Wait, the ride’s not over, why are you getting off here? We’re not done yet.” But they are done. That was their story.

People I partied with when I was younger are getting cancer. One had his cigarette-ruined front teeth pulled out and replaced with white, plastic ones. Double mastectomies. Friends on their second husbands. My mother is having cataracts removed on Monday, and my father now eats foods with a low glycemic index. My sister’s three kids spend  weekends at their dad’s. I think of myself as the twenty-year-old girl who packed up her Corolla and drove to Colorado one summer day at 90 miles per hour with her left foot sticking out the window. Who rented a hotel room by herself for the first time somewhere in Nebraska and sat out back on the train tracks smoking a cigarette and anticipating the rest of her life.

It goes so fast. I’ll miss you folks I’ve been sharing the planet with. It’s scary to keep driving on ahead without you. I was so used to you being here.

From My Heart

I tried to write to you, customly, on the world’s largest social media platform.
Something short and clever about missing you.
But that felt vague.
Distant and wrong.

I hear our voices when I watch
Die Hard every year
wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.
“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs.”

My mother remarried the next town over,
sister at college one hour away,
father away on business left us.

Left us eating Jimmie Johns at 6 a.m. after tripping all night,
trying not to appear weird to the electrician who decided to stop by right then to fix something in that shitty apartment.

Left us to drive our cars fast through dark starry cornfields,
windows down,
blasting REM, Queen, U2, Led Zeppelin,
or park them behind old barns,
in alleys,
softly playing Simon and Garfunkel,
Cat Stevens.

Left us to climb trees so fucked up we couldn’t get back down,
scramble on top of Krannert and stare down at the town.
Smoke in the mall,
smoke in the kitchen doing shots of Boones Farm
smoke in our cars,
smoke on our porches.
Smoke in our closets which were also our bedrooms,
watch the smoke lazily twist and contort.
Ashtrays overflowing at tables of Euchre, Spades,
Hearts every night that one summer while waiting for Twin Peaks to come on.

I could go on and on and on.
We were stupid and young and had way too much sex.
We hurt each other in ways that should never have happened.
But you were my family.

And the lights and the Santas,
all those crappy carols,
always make me want to be with you–
all of you.
Us together again.
Not now,
but then.

Way back then.

My Small Reminder

All those almonds and lack of sleep
got me wondering
What was it exactly that I wanted?

And then you asked me
what is “dead?”
what is “alive?”
and I saw
my house
my clothes
my kitchen
my view
my hair
all eclipsed by the rising sun innocence
of you.

over and over

I fall in love
over and over again.

Years in between
and then a bus
a smell
some sunlight in the late afternoon

Is it them I miss
or the girl who loved them?

the curly black-haired drinker
the Australian
the married one
the motorcyclist

My heart breaks apart
over and over again

Is it love or nostalgia
for my own stories?

I don’t want to go back
but I am here
and they are empty spaces.

How is it a circle?
Is it a line?
Where are they?

I don’t mean Wisconsin or
Washington DC or
Minneapolis.

I mean

How can my heart hold them all
in there?
It must be huge,
with files stored in some
non-alphabetical
way–

by bee pollen
or rainbow,
by the sound of a fiddle at dusk.

Where am I?

I wanted to grow up into the world
where I lived.
Why would I think otherwise?
When my legs were longer
they would look awesome in
legwarmers and a leotard
just like that woman from Flashdance.
When I was old enough to wear
nail polish,
I would paint them red
and push the buttons on the telephone
with style and efficiency
while cocking my head slightly to the left
holding the receiver to my ear with no hands.
How could I have known
that the world would be so different?
That when I got grown,
the world I knew would be gone
and replaced by a completely foreign one?
This must happen
in every generation?
As the world reinvents itself
moment after moment.
As my atoms rearrange.
As life twists up
over and over
like little tornados
or a bubbling soup
falling back down
in entirely new patterns.