Category Archives: Poetry

you are not erased

I remember you like a woman who comes up and out of the subway like a flower opening in the spring. Quite unsuspectingly. Brushed by the crowd. Thinking of nothing in particular but the sun on your face, the clarity of sound of your shoes on the pavement. And the girl you passed three minutes ago who reminds you of a doll that you once had as a child. I remember the lightness of your thoughts and the strangeness you always felt knowing that something else more important was about to happen. That your shoes and the doll and the passing girl is nothing compared to the face in the crowd you are about to see that will bring you to a place of unpredictable gracelessness.

I remember your face and your swirling hair when he appeared as if starting from a pinpoint in the distance in that slow, steady, irreversible manner in which dreams occur or a movie in slow motion is played out. And at each step, I remember your face, seemingly locked into a pattern of recognition—yours for his— forming the ability to block out stimuli, tunnel vision, drawing yourself closer in no other manner more appropriate than the way an average business woman walking down a crowded street at rush hour would. Only, for a moment, you and he share the same tempo in your walk. A pace that is not only yours but his. And the brain and the eyes like the magic that is synchronicity form from the shared memory that is reborn and says, “There is my old lover.”

Dorothy Moore tunes go through your head. Roy Orbison’s In Dreams goes through his. And an “I heart you,” written on a chalkboard that was erased many years ago comes back in dust to reshape those same words, like the glittery bang of a dying star. The passing is nothing less than a miracle— the work of a god that believes in reminding us that this felt good once. But it’s gone. Just like a cruel trick. Erased. I remember you like a woman who smiles a cordial smile. Briefcase in hand. Flustered and hurried and harried. Passing close enough to rub shoulders with a stranger. Your mind always elsewhere. I remember the very faint smell of a cologne and a perfume that once, when mixed, made its own smell and lingered much longer than we had expected.

 

 

 

 

 

Bubble House

When I was twenty I was supposed to be in college- like everyone else. But instead, I was trailing artist and sculptors over at what was then known as PCA (UArts now). Drinking cheap beer and singing Patsy Cline songs at Franks. Crashing at Debi’s on 9th and Pine. Throwing cigarette butts out eleventh-story windows from the Illustration Floor. This, of course, was right before I flew off to Paris to drop out of the Alliance Francaise and quit my job as an au pair. Needless to say, I was a reckless twentysomething. I didn’t believe in higher learning. I didn’t believe in conformity. And from those beliefs I gained two things: a love of adventure and low self-esteem for not following the herd when it came time for graduation. 

Why I mention that is because I started working with PBQ again, which means being back on a college campus at age forty, socializing with twentysomethings and idealist professors, constantly reminded of my own failed youth and/or how late in the game I got started. 

Lisa Grunberger, a professor of Comparative Religion and Writing at Temple read some of her poetry last night at Bubble House. I didn’t know what to make of her. I didn’t know if I liked the idea of associating myself with her or not. On the one hand, she was dressed well (ok, that’s pretty superficial), on the other all I kept thinking was, am I like that? Is that me up there, but without the great job? Am I this old, single woman who dresses all vogue and city and reads mediocre poetry to young students about the men I fucked? God. That’s ugly. No, please, no. I don’t want to go certain places. I don’t want to be certain things. 

And then there was Christy Schneider, the homely-looking, thirtysomething “museum educator” who also read about being single, being accused of being “too excited” once when getting laid and a string of dates that went no where. At least that’s what I was able to fish from her. Most of what she read left me staring off into space. My brain felt like a tic tac box when it only has one tic tac in it, and you shake it and it makes that one-tic-tac-in-a-plastic-box sound. Like only one thought is rattling around in there and it’s not making much sense on its own. 

But I was so far removed from associating with her that she didn’t quite bother me as much as Grunberger did. 

So my issue is, do I stay with PBQ and work out these growing pains? Or do I seize this feeling of discomfort and say, this just isn’t me anymore. 

Food for thought.

Sinner

 

 

Forgive me Father,

for I have sinned.

It’s been 7 years since my last confession.

I don’t love my husband anymore

he apostatized himself from me,

and so I have fallen,

temporarily in comfort,

under the agency of a false prophet.

 

Priest:

Twenty Hail Marys, my girl,

Twenty Our Fathers

And if you fuck him, you sleep on a bed of nails.