Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Have I Been Lately?

The obvious answer is Shawnee Hills or New Home or Revising My Life. But that last one is apt enough to move me into today's post about not posting, not engaging, listening more, talking less, and the quiet of the new place I live that makes every sound significant. This, in striking opposition to the narcissism-dial to which our American radios are too often set.

I think I wanted this quiet for my novel, my poems, for the kind of serenity that me and mine can enjoy over our shared love of great music, books and the decor and wardrobe that were stuffing the draughty holes of me up, much in the shabby way that my old apartment's ticky-tack winterizing functioned (or didn't) so that I could stand in my bathroom, put on my lipstick on a windy day and look as if I were posing for a magazine with my hair blowing back slightly in mid-December, with closed windows. The people I really admire, really want to be like when/if I grow up, have things to say that are related to something beyond themselves and the world's perceptions of them. An old boyfriend of mine once said that people often grossly overestimated their looks--believing every good, inflated thing that they heard or tried to pull from people, and too, their sense of how interesting they were. He didn't say, but I went on to consider, that this often takes place in inverse proportion to the amount of chatter of the self or rather prattle about oneself in which a person engages or indulges him/her/self. I read for a time, the journals and poems of May Sarton, and from her I learned about looking outward, keeping the internal internal and watching birds and plants to deal with some of life's more intimate griefs. It isn't that she doesn't tell, it's that she doesn't make it the point of things.

I have been trying to keep what's mine inside and leave some room for steeping things up for the page. I guess I'm saying that it keeps me from this blog where I had the sense that one or two people that I might know in some way read me and that others might swing by and read something that would help to make them or me feel better understood. I had little life in Columbus outside of school and work and this was a way to have holidays with, if not friends, then company of some sort.

Now there are birds whose names I don't know that flicker in and out of branches and a new all black cat that I think I'll call Loretta after my favorite Cher character in one of my favorite movies of all time or Marlo or Ann Marie for That Girl and how I love her or maybe Romany because I don't know where she comes from and I love that word. And there are streets I haven't wandered and neighbors I haven't met and there is the real time to consider and how fast it is flying by.

This Is Not My Story

cereal boxes in the kitchen

cupboard nibbled through
the sudden appearance of

droppings, a mouse in
the house, her lover says
it has a very tiny heart,

you need only chase
it until it tires; he knows
the hearts of small creatures

having chased down a few
chickens in his youth, accustomed
to how birds wear out

easily — the human heart is
a wholly different animal,
we must sense when to give in

before the other gives up

Shin Yu Pai

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