Your beauty hits me sometimes in unexpected ways. Your artist painted in you a golden value of selflessness that breaks my heart in all the very best ways, resolving every hue into the shape and form of a friend I can love so very much.
"The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. "
That should make me want to put down my pen forever, Mr. Eliot. Instead, I am inspired to keep writing. You are my hero. 'Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' is an old friend I never tire visiting. I see new images and new connections each time I read and re-read. It is exquisite writing. It is the kind of writing to which I aspire.
I am so grateful that I read this poem when I was 18 and already fancying myself a poet. I remember thinking that the top of my head had come right off. I had never read anything like it. It is as visual to me as my beloved Caravaggio' s canvases. The foggy lines I cited sometimes make me cry, not because that is their intent, but because of the utter perfection I see and feel when I experience them. Tonight is one of those times.
I feel that I've been inside this poem and walked around. I've seen the women and the world passing by Prufrock while he simpers behind his indecisions and loses himself from even himself.
I have looked out of his window at the feline fog and marveled. Brilliant. Brilliant. Never cease to haunt me, Mr. Eliot. I am your forever fan.
I want to lick your voice, golden boy.
Today I made a soldier smile. How can a day start off much better than that, I ask you?!
And I'm following it up with a tour of shopping duty, so I'm off to a peachy day, just doing my part as an American Girl, SIR! :)
Drink to her!
Friend, Advisor, and Restraint
Intelligent calm amidst a storm of stupid
So down with champagne, that delicious bubbly
For a fellow Roman, none other equal
Violenta, my sweet Joli
Thank you, Cowboy
*(Violenta is a name I use on irc)
You must be a metaphor for me. One that I am disinclined to look at too closely, so that must mean you will teach me something I probably don't want to learn. Probably something personal. How can you not be a metaphor? You are a blinking neon light that cannot be ignored, so unique, sad, infuriating, and gorgeously hopeful that if I dwell on you too long, I am sure to lose my composure and become the puddle I really am, not so very deep down.
He entered 3 weeks ago. I thought he looked a bit like Matthew Broderick - a hale and smiling boyish man of about 30 who measured 5'10" or so on the crutches he used with expertise.
I am the accomplished professional, eyes firmly under my control, not wandering to the left knee where more than just his jeans were cut off, the empty air beneath trying to distract me from my purpose - learning who this man was and what my role was to be.
Today, he reappeared, still irresistibly charming despite circumstance. He can laugh at himself, rolling down his sock to show me the "new" prosthetic he has duct taped together. He has a new lead on work shucking oysters for a local restaurant.
I found a backpack, but couldn't get the tubes he needed after his tires were slashed. We loaded his backpack with boxes and cans of food and joked for a few minutes in the air conditioning. His laughter is genuine and unselfconscious.
The backpack had two elastic closures on either side for carrying water bottles. He tucked a can of soup in one and a large can of juice in the other. I asked if he'd ever played "Where's Waldo." He had. I teased that He could get a gig as "Where's the Homeless Guy?" He cracked up and said it wouldn't even be challenging. It has to be the guy with canned goods tied to his backpack.
He strapped on the pack, and loaded down, we walked to his bike. That's right, his bicycle - the pedal-driven, unmodified non-handicapped mountain bike kind. I reached for the door, but he insisted on holding it open for me.
As he hung plastic grocery bags from the bars, I bent to squeeze his tires. Both flat as pancakes, his rims looking munched. He decided to walk the bike, good-naturedly declining my offer to deliver the groceries. I teased about his square wheels and he walked off, grinning.
I helped a one-legged homeless man on a bicycle with two flat tires today.
He was the most level-headed human being I have met in a long time. How can I not see him over and over again in my mind? Where does he go and how does his story continue?
The girl who knows so well how to let go... she watches as he slips back into the world. She then carries him around in her heart and mind and soul, unwilling to slip back into the world.
OK, time for one more. I'm being uncharacteristically responsive, I think.
"Do you want to know if I don't like what you've written or will you be offended?"
I graciously and sincerely invite you to not like my work, to not like me. If at least a third of you don't walk away shaking your head and thinking I'm adequate at best, or penning out misguided crap, then I'm not risking enough as a writer.
I have to be frank; I'm no Picasso fan. There is a world of adoration for his genius in which I cannot participate. Picasso and I have worked it out and we're both cool with it. I still invite him to the parties. He's a little creepy, standing near the bar and doodling with his finger in the ham juice on his paper plate, but all in all, not a bad guy.
In alternate realities, I am the frolicking wife and consort to T.S. Eliot, Sappho, Poe, and Emily Dickinson. I have a stormy relationship with Thoreau because he's a self-absorbed idealist bastard who won't mow his grass, but the neighbors are used to him, so he keeps making it onto the guest list. I frequently catch him stuffing his pockets with hors d'ouvres. Emerson keeps an eye on him, but will chew your ear off if you let him corner you; he always brings a nice casserole, though. I do wish he'd stop flirting with all the male servers. Mark Twain is my best friend and we love to mock the dadaists who pose along the buffet tables, wearing last year's throw-aways and a smugness stolen from radio shock jocks.
Invite me to your parties, that's all I ask. We'll debate why you think Bukowski is readable and that I wouldn't let him use my toaster. I'll whisper to you how a well-placed pleat in a fabric bolt in the background of a Caravaggio can make me weep. Point at me and be insulted that I don't understand the nuances of your sherbet punch and giggled at your jello on toothpicks, but invite me. I do think your Hawaaian weenie dip is creative, and that's something, isn't it?
Not all journal contributers feel this way. I don't recommend you tell Stabb that he's full of crap, though I know in my heart of hearts that he'd probably love you more for it. He certainly is on the invitation list. I'll seat him next to Whitman...that should be entertaining.
"Why aren't the sections of your journal named for what they contain?"
This question was followed by the observation that it's difficult to navigate through my journal because of the section titles. I have to begin by saying this is not a rant. The question amused me. It's a perfectly valid and sensible thing to ask. I'm actually flattered that you WANT to have a better map to walk through my stilted little musings.
I thought about my response and was concerned that it may come across as arrogant. I named my sections after segments of the process of breathing. That's a meaningful metaphor to me that includes but isn't limited to how I feel about writing. I find that I don't really want to explain why. But I do want to explain why I don't want to explain why.
It's because I care about you, the person who stumbles in or the one who comes pointedly here to read my words. I respect you and will never dumb down what I have to say. I know that I only do half of the job. You do the rest. This is as good a place as any to talk about what I think I do when I write. What is my work to me?
I'm not a poet who wishes to be "gotten." I do not hide meanings about how I feel in my work. Am I in there if you choose to look for me? Of course. I paint the pictures in my head, sometimes more successfully than others. But that is really and truly how I see myself. I put down an image, usually a singular moment in time...a vignette for you to see, too.
I don't, however, want my little pictures to be overly rendered. I try to find a balance that allows you to pick up the brush and help me tell the tale. I want most what YOU see. There really are no wrong answers. I will never say to you that you've missed what I intended. In fact, it's rare that I will tell what it means to me. If you see something, or feel something, I have done my part...but most preciously, you have done yours. That means my little words have found a life of their own. I love that process. It is a small communication between author and reader that is to me...sublime.
So why is this going into a section called "hiccups?" What an excellent question.
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