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Junk Poetry

Mood: Almost Free
Drinking: a.m. Caffeine

In a case of truth being stranger, these four lovely bits of nonsense arrived in my work inbox this morning.

They are just too weird to send to oblivion with a push of “Delete”. Maybe they carry a hidden message. Or a bit of inspiration for later…

wrong speak use
The allow draw
someone believe fit
i watch start
them take draw
Of cough dance
can ask close
Go travel wakeup
of need count
true study borrow
him open cough

Be ask watch
Is believe hurt
from fit fit
Have fly worry
To play stand
sleep stand sing
not rain listen
My swim forget
to speak eat
the take say
so change can

Of say smoke
but change give
sleep translate comb
To take stand
she teach hear
Of hurt dance
on turnon leave
those fit sign
somewhere organise smoke
by type translate
Have try sing

Be swim rain
then listen fall
With cut believe
active begin rain
not comb send
in worry know
wrong shut fix
eat translate read
Is draw spend
active count allow
wrong change wakeup

-Lo, who is familiar with the “hurt dance”, but not so much with the “open cough”.

Fits and Starts

Mood: Tolerable
Drinking: Diet coke with melty ice

For the last few days, I’ve had bits and pieces of this little poem wearing a circle around my brain:

you live so many hours when
no one is watching…

and you break the feeling in, you
wear it out until the loneliness fits
as soft as an old gym shoe
loosened by hours of sweat
in phys ed

it’s ugly and sour but
you know it. know how to tie it
and just how to wiggle your toes
so they miss all the holes and
somehow you love it. familiar
misery. beloved depression.
predictable solitude.

then one day you turn and
someone is sharing your space
watching you walk through
your everyday hours.

and the new fit feels strange so
you save the old one. stash it
in the back of the closet. hide
it with dust and excuses. you know
you might need it again.

I wrote “fits” back in the days when Boy had just started hanging around. I had a passionate love/hate relationship with my singlehood, and though I didn’t always enjoy it, I was very used to being alone.

Boy has been away a lot lately for work so I’ve been on my own with the Loo, and my sister’s year-and-a-half of solitude just ended with the return of her husband from Iraq. Which explains why I keep thinking about the hours you live when no one is watching.

Even though I’m now quite used to being watched, the solitude, when it returns, retains that old gym shoe comfort — but without the sour smell.

I love my nights alone. True, I’d love them less if I weren’t greeted by an intricate Boxer dance of wiggles and spins when I walk through the door.

But with couplehood came the discovery that I am a person who craves solitude. I love being two. I love being with Boy. But I love being alone, as well.

I like to wallow in the silence. Perhaps it’s because the rush of words in my head isn’t as furious as it used to be. Perhaps because the silence is no longer accompanied by the quiet press of desperation. Perhaps because I’m no longer afraid of it. Or because now I know he’s coming back.

I never knew that before.

-Lo, who has found a lot of undeniable crap whilst searching through old piles of poetry.

I’m It

Mood: Busywork
Drinking: Schnapple

It’s time for a lazy post. It’s rainy outside. It’s boring inside. And my sister-in-law tagged me to do this little survey-questionnaire-trivia-thingie and I’m feeling the Mondays (even though it’s a Wednesday), so I’m all over it.

Fun and meaningless trivia for you…

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Horse Wrangler. Although it sounds more sexy than it actually was. A lot of my wrangling time was spent coralling my riding instructor’s daughter, who was fond of dancing on the coffee table while wearing cowboy boots and singing “Leader of the Pack” at the highest volume setting.
2. Dairy Queen Chick. Just doin’ the cones… make sundaes, make blizzards an’ put stuff on ’em. Sometimes people just came by for a Coke…*
(*name that movie!)
3. Newspaper Reporter. A la Lois Lane. Only there was no Clark to my Lois, and it turns out that I was lacking in my Nancy Drew abilities. (Which is to say, I wasn’t nosy enough.) And also, the pay sucked.
4. Cookie Namer. “Hob Nob” oatmeal cookies and “Dark Chocolate Imperials” are among my favorites.

Four Movies to Watch Repeatedly
1. Serenity. Joss Whedon’s space western is out on DVD now and I’m wearing a groove in it.
2. Donnie Darko. “Smurfs are asexual. They don’t even have reproductive organs under those little white pants.”
3. Run Lola Run. I have the soundtrack, too.
4. The Fifth Element. LeeLoo Dallas Multipass!

Four Cities of Residence
1. Dixon, Illinois. Hometown of Ronald Reagan. No, seriously.
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia. The beachfront McDonalds-es don’t make you wear a shirt OR shoes to get your cheeseburger.
3. Indianapolis, Indiana. Three months only, for a fellowship at The Indianapolis Star. I’ve never seen so many rednecks in pickup trucks. I still have nightmares.
4. San Francisco, California. And I’m not leaving.

Four Favorite TV Shows
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Dearly departed.
2. Dead Like Me. Oh, to be a Grim Reaper.
3. The Daily Show. Who doesn’t love Jon Stewart?
4. Veronica Mars. My substitute Buffy. With 09ers instead of vampires.

Four Vacation Destinations
1. West Virginia. We drove there in a camper when I was 10 to visit family friends, including the woman who gave me my middle name. She had twin sons, Garrett and Jared. We had a little love triangle, where I was crushing on Garrett, but Jared was crushing on me. (And no, they were NOT identical. That would have made things much easier!)
2. The 4-H Fair. Every summer for 10 years, my dad took a week off work and we camped out at the fair, rushing between the horse show (where I never did very well because my horse, Fantasia, was psychotic), the goat show (all our goats were named after flowers), the dog show (my beagle, Mitzi, won obedience trophies and my cocker spaniel, Biskit, totally cleaned up in the showmanship department), and the sheep barn (NOT the smartest animals).
3. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Honeymooning!
4. Italy. As you well know, if you read this thing at all.

Four Web Sites I Visit Daily
1. Overheard in New York. Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s funnier.
2. Go Fug Yourself. A couple of wicked bitches after my own twisted little heart.
3. The Wicker Chronicles. My friend G is fucking brilliant. I keep trying to tell the world.
4. My Space. Stop looking at me that way.

Four Favorite Foods
1. Thai. Especially red curry.
2. Bagels. An everything toasted, with cream cheese.
3. Berries. Specifically strawberries and red raspberries.
4. Pickles. I’m really into bread and butter pickles right now. And by “into”, I mean I can eat an entire jar in 1 day. (No, Tater, I am NOT pregnant!)

Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now
1. At home. On the couch. Curled up with the Loo. Watching a movie. With Boy in the kitchen, cooking up something scandalous for dinner.
2. Venice, Italy. Again and again.
3. Shopping on Melrose in Hollywood with my sister.
4. Wandering New York with the Boy. I know I just did that last month, but it never gets old.

Four Bloggers Who Have to Answer These Same Questions, or Kittens Will Die. Or Something.
1. Trin will totally do this. Right, sweets?
2. SnickySnackity. Save the kittens! Save them!
3. Ms. Crafty. I know you want to.
4. Homoheretic. Giiiirl, I know you need another update to make up for those long months of internet silence!

And I’m spent.

-Lo, who totally has ants in the pants today. Time to play hooky!

Never, Ever

Mood: Cloudy with chances of rain
Drinking: Yes

How much is enough?

Really. When does the resting come, with accompanying laurels? When do the questions cease? The nagging needle-teeth of doubt. When does silence finally reign supreme in heads, in beating hearts?

Never. I think that is the answer. Never, ever.

The rule is that you’re only as good as your Last Big Thing. And if your Thing happened in, say, 2005, and the calendar has rolled over to 2006, well, you are old news. You are yesterday’s leftover. You are a rerun.

And if all your work and sweat and toil is cloaked in obscurity, if your fan club numbers in the single digits, if you have no agent, no studio, no publisher and no papparazzi, who then is there to look over your shoulder? Who sends the has-been alert? Who pushes you to go faster, swim further, climb higher?

I do not think I’m alone when I say that I am my harshest critic, worst enemy, loudest heckler, creepiest stalker, fiercest competitor. Everyone who attempts art does so with the fear of failure breathing down their neck. Even though said “failure” is all in your own head. Even if you are the only one to pronounce all your efforts null.

So no matter what my word count is, no matter how many cinepoems created or poems recited, the answer is never. Never enough.

There is always the next one, the next line, the next project, the next concept, the next shoot. And before that’s even over, start planning for the next one. Because the next one will be better.

There are just some of us who will never be satisfied with what we create. With what we have. With what we know. Because you find the answer to a question, you find the line that finally rhymes, you find the stick to scratch the itch, and in the next breath you wonder why. Questions lead to more questions. And, really, that’s the way we like it.

To quote my friend G’s Wicker Chronicles: “Sweet spot? Comfort zone? Boring. Where’s the sour spot? The salty spot? What happens if I set the spot on fire?”

What happens, indeed. The fire burns and your skin sizzles and inspiration flies, phoenix-like, from the flames, and for one brief moment, for one tiny second, your breath comes easy and you watch it all gloriously burn.

But the moment passes and it’s on to the next one. Time to set another fire.

-Lo, whose next “fire” involves following a white rabbit.