Roadtrip Artifact #1

Bathroom Posting

Bathroom Posting

Given the obvious intense creativity put into this work of art, there ought to be an author credit.

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Words for Wednesday 12/11

The robins We notice them in the yard / our first spring / a couple searching to build / mud and snarls of straw / over the back door / sacred blue eggs inside

The robins
We notice them in the yard / our first spring / a couple searching to build / mud and snarls of straw / over the back door / sacred blue eggs inside

 

I will now attempt to temporarily suspend my fear of birds…

 

For a week now, it has not been above zero degrees out.  (Ok, ok, I think it got up to 5 one day.  Fine.)  Robins are something I had mostly forgotten existed.  As is spring.  And mud.  Everything is gross street slush and frigid and silent.  The silence can be sacred, but it is no blue egg.  It strikes me how easily we can be distracted from looking forward, from knowing there is more than the current undertaking.

 

And yet, at the same time, it can be so important to be fully invested in the present.  No soul survives this kind of winter without smiling and remembering they love it.  Knowing it gets better is so important, but so is knowing it is good.  No matter how many times your eyelashes freeze, your lip splits with they dryness, or you thank modern technology for anti-lock brakes.

 

 

Words for Wednesday 12/4

Advice for Gardeners Accept brevity. / Celebrate decay. / Emancipate failed growth, hope / it'll just keep living.  Mulch / near odd places. / Quit raking. / Sleep. / Tend unlimited variegated words. / Xerox your zucchini.

Advice for Gardeners
Accept brevity. / Celebrate decay. / Emancipate failed growth, hope / it’ll just keep living. Mulch / near odd places. / Quit raking. / Sleep. / Tend unlimited variegated words. / Xerox your zucchini.

 

Advice for gardeners.  Advice for everybody.  Down to the last line.  What?  Yes, the last line: “Xerox your zucchini.”  Why?  Let’s see.  It’s starts out all poetic and polite and generally goes along with all this “the world is big and beautiful and fleeting” advice.  But where do we end up?  Plain nonsense.

 

Sounds like a pretty good life advice piece to me.  If you need me, I’ll be at Kinkos with my produce.

 

 

Words for Wednesday 11/27

Tonight / in the dark kitchen / only the stainless steel sink / holds the moon

Tonight / in the dark kitchen / only the stainless steel sink / holds the moon

 

If I taught middle or high school English, this is a poem I would use to demonstrate imagery.  Even though I have never had a stainless steel sink and spend a very limited amount of time in the unlit kitchen at night, I can see this image and it is striking.  It reminds me of the sort of image they put in the opening scene of a movie, in the types of movies where they just show pictures of things with music for a few minutes before there are any people introduced.

 

How does one hold the moon?  Especially those of us who are far less shiny than stainless steel?

 

The other thing I like about this poem is that you can hear it.  Or rather, you can hear that you can’t hear it.  The dark kitchen is not only dark, but silent.  It just is.  You can feel it.  I generally have a hard time hearing silence.  In bands and orchestras and instrumental music in general, conductors and instructors will talk about lengthening space between notes rather than shortening the length of notes, but I find it incredibly difficult to hear these small gaps of quiet.  This poem, however, presents no problems with hearing the silence.  It reminds me of my mother reading Good Night, Moon, which is something I distinctly remember because of the quiet of the book, and because I cannot recreate it when reading the book myself.  Maybe I just have a thing for literary representations of the moon.

Words for Wednesday 8/28

A puddle, / where a moth / can shake the sky.

A puddle, / where a moth / can shake the sky.

 

I did try to rotate this, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

 

I think this poem is punctuated wrong.  I’m pretty sure this is an improper use of a comma.  It should be:

A puddle:

where a moth

can shake the sky.

 

But aside from that, this one’s pretty cool.  I feel like a moth a lot.  Short-lived, insignificant, kind of annoying.  I imagine I’m not the only one.  But unlike the average moth, us human-moths are driven to find our puddles, those places where we can shake the sky.

 

And in the meantime, we beat our wings furiously in the search.

 

 

Words for Wednesday 6/26

When the door claps its frame / the goat runs as if I were / bringing the world instead / of rotting squash.  His / strong teeth search / me for more - gently / as if he couldn't bear to know / that one world is all I have / to feed him - / and one is not enough.

When the door claps its frame / the goat runs as if I were / bringing the world instead / of rotting squash. His / strong teeth search / me for more – gently / as if he couldn’t bear to know / that one world is all I have / to feed him – / and one is not enough.

This may be my favorite sidewalk poem of those I’ve found.  It makes my insides ache.
I love the tone.  I read it aloud, in a whisper.  I love the feeling you’re left with.  I love that it makes me think of pets and goofy things, and then still has this “the sky is so big” type sting to it.
So first, the funny things:

This is a “Tina you fat lard” “Eat the food!” situation.  I mean, ok, the goat seems a lot more into being fed than Napoleon Dynamite’s llama.  Most animals are.  My cat is still pretty sure that my having fed him a handful of times at 5 am means he should get to eat every morning at 5 am.

Also, goats are pretty funny on their own.  Especially fainting goats.

So animals, and feeding them — pretty funny.
…Is one world ever enough?  One world feels simultaenously not enough and far too much.  We, in many belief systems, hold tight to the idea that there might be more than one world in some format.  Like the goat, we cannot bear to know if this is the only world, for fear it is really rotted squash or that we might be goats.

If only we were goats, treating facing every experience, even the rotted squash, as if it were the world.  Then, maybe, like the goat, we would always hunger for more, and one world would be more than enough.

Words for Wednesday 6/19

Origami bird / You have great long wings to fly / Why do you sit still?

Origami bird / You have great long wings to fly / Why do you sit still?

 

In seventh grade, the father of one of my classmates attacked his family and shot himself over Christmas break.  As it was completely disorienting at the time, I’m no longer sure of all the details.  I do know my classmate, although shot, survived, and went to live on the East coast with her uncle’s family.  I believe her mom died.

 

Following this, my class folded and strung 1,000 paper cranes for her, and any mention of origami always makes me think of this, even though I now only make cranes as a form of amusement.

 

This is a haiku.  I knew somebody once who really treasured haiku because she believed that anybody could write one, which is probably true.  Especially when you consider that traditional haiku is not so solidly 5-7-5 as we usually act like it is.

 

Origami birds can’t fly until somebody picks them up, or they’re set in a pond, or the wind blows them, etc — until they are touched by some larger, external force.  Sometimes we require an outside push to reach our potential.  But our wings were always there.