October 3: Fatigue and poetry

October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

My actual five creative minutes happened this morning, in the bright light of the kids’ room, finally learning how to use my camera properly, and with the help of an excellent manual I got from the library, called Beyond snapshots : how to take that fancy DSLR camera off “auto” and photograph your life like a pro. I am tired of making excuses for my bad photography. I didn’t do anything fancy today, just practiced with ISO, shutter speed and aperture, using O. as my model. Nothing spectacular came out of it, though it certainly was fun. I always like to take a blurred photo or two, so here is one:

Since nothing worth sharing came out of the photo lesson, I was going to make more birthday cards today. But I got very little sleep last night, as a certain little baby is learning to roll over and wakes up every two hours, and I am very tired.

On tired evenings, I always like to reread and post an old poem. The one below is a bigger poem that contains the one I posted last week. I think it could use some editing, as it’s not as tight as it could be, but it is what it is. I am going to bed.



We used to be famous, glorious sixteen, barefoot, wrapped in royal blankets, at outdoor plays in late summer (smelling: moisture, wine, night), shedding our mossy crowns, feeling twirly, apt to skip ten steps at a time when climbing stairs, and not even only when dreaming.


I pay homage to flat-chested, narrow-hipped, wispy-haired girls, their wombs the setting for a vigorous territorial pixie battle (rainbow flags marking conquered land).


I have donated most of my body to an oak tree. Its roots tear at my flesh but this pain I like —
I wake up alive in the morning and ask for branches to grow through my bones. Squirrels live in the root of my nose and deposit acorns behind my eyes for the next uncertain winter. I have lent what remains to microorganisms, English ivy, tree-of-heaven, thistles, and even kudzu is making its way West, having been spotted in Oregon in 2000 (nobody knew where it came from, but it felt right at home).  I am the battleground for the grand experiment: will kudzu take over the Earth or will the sacred tree of Serbian people prevail? Next year I may bloom, be eradicated along with Scotch broom, or be harboring heirloom seeds. I am all soft nature now, a full pillow for dreamless sleeping, but I used to be branded and once had railroad tracks across my body; I bent them with my teeth and wrapped them around myself, like this: click-clack-cluck – I bound myself.


All girls used to be famous, homes to pixies of all dispositions, every walk down Main Street immortal and in slow motion like on film.


My body was tied to a hill. It grew hundredfold to accommodate the earth’s curves. From the distance grass was velvet, but up close it was as prickly as any Arizona cactus. My spread body became a starfish, the fifth phantom limb not what you think, creeping to find clammy feed that will satisfy my protein needs for the next thousand years so I can just concentrate on growth. All was large, limbs, numbers, and desires.


They are a flat-chested, flat-bellied, narrow-hipped marching band with no instruments, whistling a wistful tune, walking out of beat behind a crew cut brass band; people wave patriotic flags, squint at the sun, eat hot dogs with relish, recall better days of parades; the girls shrug the way they always do, maybe carry a sign or two urging the Forest Service to save that one particular cedar tree, but otherwise slouch and don’t pay attention, staring at their boots.


A woman opens her crown and ivy spouts out, first in a spiral and up, lifting her dainty feet in white sandals and painted toenails from the ground, but soon it takes over the trees –

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