Sunday, January 11, 2009

If Not for Veace, Where Would I Be?

Or really, any of us, or beyond that, the English language. Some day check out the poems we wrote for one another that take place in Cincinnati and on a subway platform in NY where V waited down the stairs as I farewelled a saxophonist (because I sound so hip if I say it that way--not really--but it's either this post or more about soup or my apartment or I resort to the cats) and I met her late, late, and we waited--had had enough to drink to sit down on that disgusting concrete and watch rats zoom in and around the tracks and Veace wrote a gorgeous telling of the night and held it like living butterfly landed on a book and minus the pins and death. (We keep those in our collective soul: me and V, some straight pins in a cloth tomato and a death-thread, plus those little tin coin threaders with the lady-profile and some of those crane old-fashioned scissors for the snipping that sentimental versey-chicks are prone to).

Each doctor performs
the same dance,
moves across my lungs
and makes me hum

the lyrics. Let me
explain. The body
heals itself, but lately
it's grown bored.

Even now, the throat
can't be coaxed:
each breath assumes
a voice, every

swallow a sentence
to smoke. You see,
the world expects
a circus before a cure.

Kerri French

A random product endorsement for that crazily-seductive vanilla plum lotion made in Greece. I don't trust myself with myself when I use it. It's like no lotion or oil I've ever smelled before and the little pot of lipgloss to match it is that smell plus a plum-color and if I could kiss me in it, I am afraid to say that I might. I told Teenee (the sister) that it was so beloved a present (plus the pop-up lighthouse book!) but I thought of other people who didn't maybe know what impact they had and I know that there are many as I tell the wrong people (the ones who don't care to know) again and again what they mean/have meant to me but did I ever tell Laurel from Cincy that a few those c.ds she used to review for the indie-newspaper and that she left in the grad. office for our perusal found home with me? And does a band called Olive Trees or Bryan Hurst and the Lollygaggers or Mark Erelli and his Memorial Hall Recordings know that they were packed and transported from Kentucky to Cincinnati to Columbus, Ohio and tonight, stopped dead-cold in its tracks, some woman is listening to them years after they were sent out with that tiny glimmer of hope that all art goes out with, that someone would? To the lot of you--you mattered to a stranger that didn't have to care. And to Laurel with the great voice and beautiful mouth: thank you, too.

"It was the first night she felt on-the-mend from so much of the horror house that Cincy had been up until then. Then it was the light-of-well-being on the bricks and she wouldn't even know about last year when Vincent's elbowed-grace would move her like a thing that is going to shake you to the basement of yourself, but you won't know that yet.
'You weren't that into him,' Aram said as they walked down to the coffeeshop and Annie held her tongue and then stopped.
'I watched him from the window, he was wearing this odd-forest green and it made his eyes so warm. I was trusting him--against the rules for this sort of thing--but he had gone out to my car and was checking the tires, the windshield wipers. I watched from around the corner of his front door. As he turned to walk back, I ran back towards the kitchen before he could catch me watching. But not before I caught the look on his face--something as deep as concern to it, something that made me feel too much. He made me a stack of cds for the journey home. I kept them separate from everything--didn't want them lost in the shuffle. No, it wasn't that, it was that I wanted to keep everything from him, separate, savor it when he couldn't see.'
'A, it was just fun, light. You've got to get that.'
'You don't ever know, you know? Like the night I made him dinner with all those frozen vegetables. It was my quick casserole, the one I make with fresh vegetables about once a month. Later he made fun of the frozen ones and I never told him that I chose the frozen because my time with him felt so little, so precious that I didn't want to waste it cutting vegetables. I wonder now if it Sam's death made everything feel so frightening and fragile. Or if it was all Vincent and if I was starting to...'
She looked over and Aram was fiddling with his cell phone and Annie realized she must have looked as near-tears as she felt.
'Don't bring me down.....' she sang out brightly and then simultaneously, they shouted: "BRUCE!' in that high-pitched voice that they scream-sang out in the car and A could visibly see the relief in Aram's shoulders as they sighed-down into the ease that such an emotionally-loaded moment had passed-over like a storm."


Steph R said...

Ah yes, I often ask myself where the world would be without Veace.

a-smk said...

It's too horrifying to contemplate. So, let's don't.

I am the weary waterbug tonight. I am struck by how much of the stuff I'm doing these days is actually even more veacely. We should be duo-cooking and ambulating. I went to the dentist somewhere out in Reynoldsburg today. There is so much Columbus and yet things (vets, dentists, etc.) sprawl away. I will lose the vet (a zillion dollars a visit) and keep the dentist. I'll post a descrip. of his office when I can lift my head again. So wiped-out.