Posts tagged: poetry
I may have mentioned this before, but I was the kind of indoor-books loving kid who gave herself homework assignments. I sat at the family computer using Publisher to create brochures on various topics, using the information I gleaned from our World Encyclopedia CDs. I also really liked algebra.
I was… what did my brother call it?
Oh yeah. A nerd.
When I got to college, I loved the research…
SLC Alum Ross Gay reads “The Opera Singer”
Ni Pena, Ni Miedo
(no shame, nor fear)
written in the sands of the Atacama Desert
So here we are, with a year of graduate school under my belt. In addition to my dual introspection, I’ve been considering the past year quite a bit- surveys for the school, notes for incoming students (I’m a mentor for next year’s class, which is… interesting), answering the ubiquitous “how did you like your first year?”
The answer is… complicated.
Were there disappointments? Moments…
Guys! I did this thing where I picked back up the blog I have that I haven’t updated in almost 7 months! Pretend to look at it? I used a gif and everything!
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
I got a letter from the government.
It said let there be night.
I went through your trash.
There was night, all right.
I consider how your light is spent.
I have butterflies a little bit.
I have some pills I take for it.
I’ve been up since four the day before.
Agony’s a cinch to sham.
Don’t worry about the environment.
Let it kill us if it can.
I give a tiny tinker’s damn.
I put the ox behind the cart.
Consume away my snow-blind heart.
Fastened to a service animal
it is waiting for the beep.
It is waiting for the right to change.
Hello, I know you’re there, pick up.
Seriously amazing things happen to Student Readers. Not convinced? Some of our past Student Readers include Rilke, Rumi and Shakespeare. And those were just the guys who stood next to each other in line.
Guys. This is what I’m doing with my fancy background in marketing.
Thoughts on Teaching
When I was looking at grad school, I specifically stayed away from schools that seemed to emphasize…
There come times - perhaps this is one of them -
when we have to take ourselves more seriously or die
when we have to pull back from the incantations,
rhythms we’ve moved to thoughtlessly,
and disenthrall ourselves, bestow
ourselves to silence, or a severer listening, cleansed
of oratory, formulas, choruses, laments, static
crowding the wires.
You did say, need me less and I’ll want you more.
I’m still shellshocked at needing anyone,
used to being used to it on my own.
It won’t be me out on the tiles till four-
thirty, while you’re in bed, willing the door
open with your need. You wanted her then,
more. Because you need to, I woke alone
in what’s not yet our room, strewn, though, with your
guitar, shoes, notebook, socks, trousers enjambed
with mine. Half the world was sleeping it off
in every other bed under my roof.
I wish I had a roof over my bed
to pull down on my head when I feel damned
by wanting you so much it looks like need.
Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?
Late afternoon light slices through the dormer window
to your place on the floor next to a stack of comics.
Across from you is a boy who at eleven is three years
older. He is telling you to pull down your pants.
You tell him you don’t want to. His mother is out
and you are alone in the house. He has given you a Coke,
let you smoke two of his mother’s non-filter Pall Malls,
and years later you can still picture the red packet
on the dark finish of the phonograph. You stand up
and say you have to go home. You live across the street
and only see him in summer when he returns from school.
As you step around the comics toward the stairs,
the boy gives you a shove, sends you stumbling back.
Wait, he says, I want to show you something.
He goes to a drawer and when he turns around
You see he is holding a small gun by the barrel.
You feel you are breathing glass. You ask if it is
loaded and he says, Sure it is, and you say: Show me.
He removes the clip, takes a bullet from his pocket.
See this, he says, then puts the bullet into the clip,
slides the clip into the butt of the gun with a snap.
The boy sits on the bed and pretends to study the gun.
He has a round fat face and black hair, Take off
your pants, he says. Again you say you have to go home.
He stands up and points the gun at your legs. Slowly,
you unhook your cowboy belt, undo the metal buttons
of your jeans. They slide down past your knees.
Pull down your underwear, he tells you. You tell him
you don’t want to. He points the gun at your head.
You crouch on the floor, cover your head with your hands.
You don’t want him to see you cry. You feel you are
pulling yourself into yourself and soon you will be
no bigger than a pebble. You think back to the time
you saw a friend’s cocker spaniel hit by a car and you
remember how its stomach was split open and you imagine
your face split open and blood and gray stuff escaping.
You have hardly ever though of dying, seriously dying,
and as you grow more scared you have to go to the bathroom
more and more badly. Before you can stop yourself,
you feel yourself pissing into your underwar.
The boy with the gun sees the spreading pool of urine.
You baby, he shouts, you baby, you’re disgusting.
You want to apologize, but the words jumble and
choke in your throat. Get out, the boy shouts.
You drag your pants up over your wet underwear and
run down the stairs. As you slam out of his house,
you know you died up there among the comic books
and football pennants, died as sure as your friend’s
cocker spaniel, as sure as if the boy had shot your
face off, shot the very piss out of you. Standing in
the street with urine soaking your pants, you watch
your neighbors pursuing the orderly occupations of
a summer afternoon: mowing a lawn, trimming a hedge.
Where is that sense of the world you woke with
this morning? Now it is smaller. Now it has gone away.