Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tracing Fissures

In my line of work, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of cool people. Some are just SM acquaintances that I follow because they have interesting things to say, but others I will actually get to physically meet, like Rachel and Chris. They are my absolute favorite couple. I love reading their Tweets and Rachel's blog because they give me hope. Their relationship is a shining example of what all marriages should be and what I dream of having, again. When I was in Birmingham last October, we made it a point to meet-up, and I absolutely loved being able to witness love they have for each other.

This week, I was able to connect with a fellow writer, Rebecca, who was kind enough to share some of her work with me. This is often a hazardous situation because you never really know what you are going to get. Most of the time, sadly, writers are not as good as they think they are, and they are looking to me for validation. Not wanting to destroy anyone's dreams, I'll respond with comments like, "Oh, that was nice" or "interesting." But Rebecca is getting her Master's in Writing, so I figured the risk was worth the reward, and it was. What she sent me were these amazing vignettes of Creative Non-Fiction. I was entranced, hanging on each word in anticipation of the next. It left me wanting more and my mind dreaming its deep poet dream.

What Rebecca is great at, like my friend Rob Woerther, is painting her past. I was able to share those moments with her, see them, hear them, smell them, feel them. This is an area that I struggle with. I always write in the now or in dreams of what I want my now to be, but I want to write my past, want to celebrate the parents that helped me become the man that I am today, the friends, the lovers who have left their stamps on my personality.

Heading home from a Valentine's Day Sucks party at Vinnie and Julie's, these words started building. When I got home I jotted down some themes on my phone and then I flushed them out this morning. The title comes from my process. Unlike my dad who is a great Crafter or words, I trace the fissures, meaning where I start I may not end, but rather than fight the words to stay within the lines, ensure the trees are brown trunked and green leaved, I let them be what they are because what I love about my poetry is it is the purest look into my mind.

Tracing Fissures

More auditory than visual
My father’s lecture tone like verbal Tia Chi
And with furrowed brow and eyes tracking left
Trying to scrape sounds out of parietal lobe fissures
I am exhausted
I cannot hear his laughter
My mother’s laughter like sunshine breaking through morning fog
The first thing I hear when I think of her
Followed by the way she ends judgment with “well”
Slight pitch elevation towards the end
Spoken ellipses
There is more
She doesn’t say it
The moment left unresolved
Tell me I made a bad decision
Tell me my actions are unhealthy
Tell me I am screwing up my life
Tell me how to be a better person
Just pass the final judgment
Because when I am left to judge myself
I am a murderer
Able to look past any redeeming quality I may have
Find myself in the pit
Deliver blows like Spartacus delivered to the dregs of society as he fought to save her
And I remember the tongues of lost lovers
The way one phrase
With varied inflection
Could mean 4 things
And in the larval stage
The months spent cocooned by sheets
Between interruptions of hot kisses and fingernails in flesh
I would try to learn these tonal differences
Like learning a new dialect
Each one adorning me with a new name
A bitch marking her territory
As if the one my mother had provided for me was not good enough
Sometimes many names
With each one comes a new set of meanings
Sweetie far different than Baby
Sweetie reserved for tender moments like Valentine’s Day morning
When the sacrificial Teddy Bear has been delivered

“Oh, thank you sweetie”

But he is not allowed in bed when aromatics are flickering
Still controlled by a Victorian ideal blurring the lines between love and sex
It is Baby that reaps the benefits of the sacrifice

“Ooh Baby, yeah right there...yes Baby”

Whispered softy with a lobe nibble
As the conversation grows deeper Baby becomes Beast
At the climactic close
With the 3rd $15 Target lamp laying broken bedside
It comes full circle

“Yes Eric!”

“Yes Eric!”


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