Monday, December 19, 2011
One of my professors is willing to help me revamp a research paper for presentation at the Elizabethtown Scholarship and Creative Arts Day this year, so I've decided I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity. Rebecca Skloot will be there this year (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - such a good read), so presenting is on the top of my list. My project concerns developmental psychology through the life cycle pertaining to literary characters. I should have taken a developmental psychology course before writing it; it would have cut down on a lot of research, but it was such an interesting topic, I couldn't give it up.
I wouldn't mind traveling a bit this break either...we'll see what happens :)
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
our home away from home,
lifting the aging pages to our noses
to inhale the hands which have held and cradled
these delicate spines which bind this world together.
Our world, where I am me,
laughing at your book collection
with unmarred pages and beautiful covers,
until I came along
and discovered your stash of Melville, Steinbeck, and Plath.
Now lines of life run down the spines
and occasional coffee stains spot the corners
(respect for your obsession for pristineness
was the only barrier keeping me from penciling the pages).
But we both would never want the nights to end
where my lips are to your ear,
only the words on the page separating you and me,
the twilight blending into rosy shades of dawn.
In this world where so much is wrong,
we find our niche, where we can be us:
nestled cozy and warm in the leaves of a book,
love written between the lines.
Here, I forget all of the reasons
why we should not be
and cling to the one why we should:
the Book of Love is hard to find
on the shelves of ages and time,
but with you, I have it locked in my heart
and read from it at night
when all the world is asleep
but for you and me.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Tree of Life
My life is a solitary tree.
A dead one.
One with massive, white branches
nude all over
like a newborn child but filled with wisdom.
My skin peels away, baring my core,
but I do not feel it.
My life is a solitary dead tree.
Lightening may strike
the wind may blow,
yet standing here in an empty cornfield
I am anything but alone.
In my branches, inside my core
is the beauty you seek:
Nesting cardinals in the crook of my arm,
A sleeping owl perched on my shoulder,
cicadas seeking shelter in my hair,
badgers nestling inside my trunk,
the field snake at peace among my roots.
My leaves have long since abandoned me
as well as life
but here I stand.
My life is a solitary, dead tree.
But beauty lurks within me.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
you'd be his or her number-one fan.
I can see you front and center in the crowd,
holding your sign aloft,
your Abercrombie jeans smothering your thighs
like you painted them on, just like you did your face.
Maybe for once in your life, you'd do something,
like become the candidate's PR go-to,
considering you already spend 9.72 hours per day
on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.
You'd be perfect:
taking promo picture's of your favorite politician,
interacting with her people - taking shot for shot together at the local bar,
your favorite snapshot being the one
with her head buried in the trashcan before 11 PM.
I'm sorry, am I offending you? Well, you offend me.
While your fellow students are being pepper sprayed,
your professors being ripped from the lines of a peaceful protest
by their hair,
you skip over the news coverage,
citing the fact, "it makes you sad",
as if it wore a legitimate excuse for ignorance.
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth,
you fear nothing of the world,
of your future,
because you believe your destiny has been paid in advance.
But what will you do when that spoon
goes sour in your mouth,
turning out to be nothing but pewter?
At least your puckered, twisted face will match that of the beaten and the broken for once in your life.
When will the week end, they say,
asking, praying while seated at round tables
for relief, from the work, the rush of college life –
ticking off the days to the weekend,
to drunken stupor and land of non-memory.
The irony of youth wishing away the days
while the old lay in bed, dreaming of more:
more time with family, more time to learn,
more time to breathe, and for that one more
Ginsbergian poet to rekindle their flame.
Bitterness and reason has burned low in their hearts,
The faded embers and charred masses of the heat of passion,
of rights, or equality and cause passed on to the next generation
where it becomes shriveled down
to internet arguments over the reign of JoePa,
to bitching and complaints of parents, of professors,
of paying colleges to make them do work,
and the very last coal of passion now turned to this:
a grocery list of ‘eyelashes’ and ‘alcohol’
cradled between two lacquered fingernails
while Coltraine plays in the background
and Ginsberg is on the lips.
For once in this cinderblock box of Hell,
I have found that coal of passion, burnt down to a grain of sand
but still smoking,
and just as the sax solo enters, I see her mascara-ed eyes fly open wide,
and I think “My God, she feels it too!”…
Tampons, she adds in a scribble
as if the world depended on it.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
leads me to your grave.
Grass has grown; oaks and birches
gather around your grave like mourners,
yet there is only one today.
My feet lead me to you,
my mind wandering among dust-covered memories:
A kitchen sink full of dishes
vanishes in a flash of soap suds and giggles,
while weeding the garden fades
into carrying the salt & pepper shakers
to the shade tree to eat ripened tomatoes in the sunshine...
As I stand over your grave,
these memories bring me to my knees,
and while my humbled form quakes
with suppressed tears of grief,
I realize I am grateful for the hurt,
for these painful memories,
for they are proof I knew you.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Apologies for the roughness... wrote this in a few mins and tweaked it....
Oops, I did it again.
Lights up on:
[Messy apartment; loft bedroom in medium-sized city, bustle of street outside the window. Clothes strewn haphazardly over the chair in the corner; two people, man and a woman lay in bed, both asleep] Queen - sized bed
[Woman stirs, groggy, clutches at head giving the impression she is hungover, doesn’t even look at man]
Woman – What time is it?
[Alarm Clock reads early afternoon]
Woman – Oh my God! How didn’t I hear my alarm? Shit… Rick is going to kill me. I am so fired, so fired…
[Lunges out of bed, causing the man to moan in sleep]
[Woman stifles scream]
Woman – Who the fuck are you?
[No response from the man other than snores; grabs her robe off the chair to cover herself (she’s in bra and underwear)]
Woman - Not again. I swore never again. I knew I shouldn’t have gone out with Tif last night. It’s always one more drink, one more drink with her. God forgive my sins; I’m so going to Hell. How at any point in my life was I Catholic? At least I don’t have to explain to my mother like last time.
[Lifts the covers to see the man’s face]
Woman - At least your cute…the last one was a bit lacking…
[Lifting the covers further to look underneath]
Woman - My God!
Woman - And well endowed… Of course I wouldn’t remember it. This is karma.
[Sighs, bites her lip]
Woman - But you gotta go. I have to get ready for work! I’m already twenty minutes late. Hello? You have to go… Tristan? No, that’s not right. Troy? Tanner? Does it even start with a T?
[Seeing his clothes, she starts rummaging through them]
Woman - Ah, drivers license. Perfect… Oh… Gregory Rantor. Hell, what did I drink last night? Greg! Gregggg! You gotta leave! I’ve already been late to work once this week; Rick will totally fire me.
[sees his unresponsive face] Woman - What did YOU drink last night?
[Leans over him, places fingers on neck: Checking for Pulse. Look of worry]
Woman - Thank God. That’s good, pulse is good.
[Looks at door, then back to bed: repeats]
Woman - You can’t stay here, Greg. Harley always says, “The bigger the dick, the bigger the prick.” I’m not leaving this apartment with you still here. I’ll come back and all of my shit will be gone.
[Goes to bed, kneels on side, pondering him.]
[Man begins to stir, his eyes fluttering, then opening slowly; he looks at her. She remains on the bed in kneeling position.] [He reaches out to her; she smiles, and begins to crawl under the blankets, her head disappearing.]
Woman – I know what you need. [Giggle] You just need some good morning…
[Man rolls over, throws up]
[From under the covers]
Woman - OUT!
[Couple at a rest stop; woman is in the phone booth, not visible to the audience through the swirled glass; husband is pacing outside; he is middle-aged]
Man - Grace? Grace, come on, honey. How many times do I have to say I’m sorry?
[he approaches the phone booth, gazing into it through the marbled, swirled glass; speaks to the glass]
Man - Grace, just listen to me. I’ve tried telling you this before, but you just don’t get it. Work has been terrible. I don’t know how much more I can take it. The administration…they hire people, and I have no idea why. They are complete idiots; the way they stare at me when I ask them to do something, I can tell they have no brain. I’m just so stressed, Grace. I know it’s not an excuse. I’ve been a shitty husband for the past few months and I know that I don’t give you the attention you deserve. I know we have to work this out; it’s just when you say you want to go to counseling, I don’t have time, not with all the overtime they shove on me. I have to do my work plus all of the work the screw offs don’t get done. Grace, come out of the phone booth.
Man - Grace, come out of the phone booth. Please.
[Man leans his head exasperatedly against the glass.]
Man - Grace, I swear if you come out of this phone booth, I’ll talk civilly. I won’t yell this time. Hell, I shouldn’t have yelled in the first place. I shouldn’t have snapped like that back at the hotel when you told me we’d be late to pick up the kids. But with work… It’s like I can’t separate my life.
[shuffles his feet in the dirt.]
Man - You know, we should probably get some ice for your cheek… It’s probably going to swell. I have some aspirin in the car if you want some, too. That would probably help with the swelling, but you have to come out of the phone booth, Grace.
[glances back at the three people conversing behind him; leans in close to the phone booth and whispers audibly through the crack]
Man - Grace, I promise I’ll never hit you again. I know I’ve said it before, but this time I mean it. We’ll get through this just like we always have. Maybe I will go to counseling like you’ve asked. You just have to realize I’m stressed at work; you can’t expect so much of me, Grace.
Man - You know, I remember when we first met. I saw you across the room at McManus Gallery in town. We were both there for our friends who were doing a co-showing together. You reached out to touch one of Milly’s ceramic pieces, and your hands: God, they were beautiful. I knew at that moment I had to have you, had to feel your milky skin and hold those beautiful hands.
[pauses again, waiting for a response]
Man - Grace, are you even listening? Open the damn door. Come on, this is childish. We have to get home to pick up the kids from your Mom’s house. We told her we’d be there at noon, and it’s already half past. Come out of the phone booth.
Man - Christ, Grace! All you ever tell me is that you want attention; here I am, wanting to talk to you, you’re too busy hiding in some stupid phone booth at a rest stop! I just took you on the day trip you’ve been begging me for months to take you on. I even took off of work for you! And you pull this over some petty argument, ask me to find a bathroom, and then I have to go searching for you all over because I have no idea where you went. For God’s sake you could have been kidnapped! You’re so stupid! You never think about the repercussions of anything; you just go ahead and do whatever you want, you selfish bitch.
[he’s become unconscious of how loud his voice has become; strangers start to stare]
Man - Grace! Come out of the phone booth! Now!
[the small section of clear class on the door becomes fogged with the woman’s breath; she writes backwards so the audience can see clearly: NO]
[whir of approaching sirens in the background]
I wrote this the other day in a few minutes...It's rough, and will need some work. But I thought I'd post it for now....
No covers to be found, a body of white
Lying beside me with dew-dampened skin
Reflecting moonlight. No sound to be heard but your breaths.
Radiant breaths that dampen your lips, and I long to kiss,
But I hesitate for want of not waking you.
You sigh in your wonderland, rhythm of two loves:
Yours and mine, mingling in the dark;
What I wouldn’t give to freeze us in this moment.
As your mind drifts off into dreams unknown to me,
I watch your fluttering eyelashes:
Crows on the tinted horizon, silhouetted in motion,
Sliver of white, the moon breaking through the dark
Like God’s eternal thumbnail gracing the sky.
I know when you open those eyes in the morning,
I will see the green of the grass in which we have lain,
The tint of the water of the lake we’ve swam,
The cool blue night in your ocean-eyes…
But for now, now it’s time to fade out like stars,
Our flames burning to their extinction
Into sleep, into eternity, forever.