Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Out To Lunch

It was a mistake to go home for lunch
But, isn’t it always?
There is so much expectation built into
that hour. On the drive
the radio will not play the
song you hoped and the chairs at the
yard sale you saw will have been sold
since the morning commute.
Then there is home
with all of its expectations too—
how, how incredibly heavy, the density
of that word!
The dog will run to greet you, that is customary,
not an expectation because you no longer
think about it-- so second nature
that it’s almost surprising.
But even the pup is not enough to make
lunch a good idea. There is more at home
than a pup. There are words left unsaid from
the night before, or from weeks. There are
things too big for lunch break waiting there.
If you had stayed at
your desk and trolled the internet, or
sat and listened to public radio in your
car you would be much more content now.
This kind of introspection
will not follow you back from the sub-shop
or the Break room. Only from home. Another
hour that did not go as planned. Silently, or
with all the wrong words, eating a raw tortilla
while you pull socks off the hardwood floor
sorting them into the piles of laundry you will
scoop up later. When you come home
from work, when you can deal with them--
after that less weighty drive, little riding on it—
when there is time.
It was mistake to go home for lunch.
You always return hungry.

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July

I am not a particularly patriotic person. There are some major qualms that I have with the American ethic and the way we view our position in the world as well as our personal positions in the universe. Gorging ourselves and invading places, dictating rules onto others, etc. etc. But there is something about the 4th of July that really gets me.

The sticky-hot long summer days that lead up to this holiday are the stuff of Midwestern childhood memories. They're colored like intsagrams and filled with lightening bugs and sweet fresh fruit. Cousins and siblings and more cousins. My grandfather pulling up in his big red dump truck from a long day of asphalt laying. A motherless child from Jackson Michigan who built his own company, fell in love deeply once and forever, and worked double jobs to feed his seven daughters. I guess it doesn't get more 'American' than that.

He was a relic of a time when men signed up to fight in wars that they believed in-- before that could mean being militant, blood thirsty, or irretrievably right-wing. He loved the 4th of July, because he loved simple things. Cold busch light. Hot dogs. And this country. The quintessential and cliche trappings of American summer holidays. It seems strange that I should find any of it charming now.

But this holiday, unlike others, just gets me. Maybe its the idea that for one moment, across this divided country, everybody turns to the sky to watch something beautiful. There is some basic understanding that, for just this little while, we're not so awful. And we made those red hot sparks in the sky.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We sit on the cement arms of the front porch
legs curled like cats, camels in hand
our smoke drifts out from the overhang to
the rain thats been dripping steadily for hours.
She says something about how rain always reminds
her of a Gluck poem, which she proceeds to recite.
Rain as her metronome, the words
they take no effort to remember, emit from
her, fluid and independent things.

I don't need to say a word. She knows just
how rain aches. How it makes
Gluck want to take off her wedding ring.
To be naked and alone.

She reaches up and jingles the chimes I made
from forks and beads, rusting a little now from the spring.
And just the touch
means that they are loved. I love them more now

Her father sold his sailboat to buy her mother's
engagment ring. Gave up bouyancy in favor of love.
They still hold hands.
She is a product of that.
Everything she does a little more valuable and valid
because of it.

She drips over everything in my life, slow and subtle
plasma-like, a vital part of the blood stream
and we've talked
about, nearly, everything
noting occasionally that if we could
we would be everything. I would be everything
anything for her.

She tells me that her new office is lonely
the pictures that I drew for her, wink from their
frames and remind her that life is outside
those walls.

She sees the look on my face and
puts her left hand to my cheek-- leaning her
right-hand cigarette over the porch and past
the safety of the awning--
gives me a look of acceptance

I want to be naked and alone too. Ringless.
But that the rain, the change in pressure,
is not the same for me. That my knuckles
swell with the humidity
and none of my rings will come off
in this kind of weather.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Little Dog, Big Shunts: Save Fred

My dog Fred was recently diagnosed with Liver Shunts.
This condition is extremely expensive to treat and requires surgery.
I got Fred last year after my granny died (if you read the blog, you should be very familiar with her and the closeness of our relationship). This little dog means so much to me.

Liver Shunts are essentially a condition in which blood vessels by-pass the liver, allowing un-filtered toxic blood to continually pump through the body. University of Tennessee has a very comprehensive explanation of the condition and its ramifications.
Fred has already begun to suffer seizures from the condition, as well as lethargy and loss of muscle mass.

Fred has made me a better person every day since I met him. He has been an excersize in patience and unconditional love.
If you are able to help, I appreciate it more than I can explain.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Red Cross ramblings

Found this today, wrote it my first week at work.

My year starts with an existential question of sorts, how many ways can you tell a beautiful story?
This, like most rhetorical queries, comes down to the optimists and pessimists. The optimists say: there are an infinite number of ways to say one thing. The pessimists: there is nothing original on earth, there are a finite number of permutations and once you’ve maxed out those options—your story will inevitably become repetitive.
I don’t know the answer, dear readers, but I do know that my supervisor here in the communications and marketing office came to me this morning and said “Drum up some new and interesting story ideas, the blog is your baby now. We’ve got media and hiring and tracking to deal with.” (Lynn isn’t nearly that cut-throat, but it sounded good right?)
So here I sit, 22, freshly graduated, and faced with telling the newest chapter in the story of an organization over 125 years old. Daunting? Maybe. Do-able? Well, you’re reading this blog, so somebody was doing it before I got here.
Really, there are a lot of directions I could go with this.
The serious devastating truth of disaster and the importance of preparedness. The raw face of human tragedy, aided by the harrowing figures in mesh-vest and red marking. But that seems a little heavy… especially for 250 word blog post on a Monday afternoon.
I could take my childhood fascination with Harriet the Spy and delve deep into the infrastructure of the American Red Cross. Find out who and what keeps us moving trucks out at a moments notice to middle-of-the-night DAT fire runs all around the city. Or whose life we are sustaining with free rides to doctors’ appointments through the community transportation program.

These stories have been told before. I know that.
But look back on your favorite book, play, movie, even television show. You can trace their basic plot lines back to The Bard and the pre-raphealites, the epic poets, the writers of the parables, Aesop’s fables, Grimm’s Fairytales… everything’s been done.
Does that make them any less enjoyable?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snow Angel

Two cars swing wide in the snowy parking lot
forming a perfect arc, in tandem
leaving lovely equidistant tracks in the
new fallen snow
temporarily renewing my faith in
beauty and coincidence.

But I am in the sub-zero hospital garage
returned from a brief break from her bedside,
during a winter where I will lose
much more than foliage.

She is suspended above me on the 5th floor,
some angel frozen in an ugly rapture
high above the streets of this town
in the hospital where I was born
struggling hard for every breath

a ventilator obstructing more than it seems to aid
barring her from speaking, so that our
only communication is the kiss she blew
through the window as I left an hour ago
and some hand signals pleading for me
to recite the rosary to her

I count the beads down
one by one, ten and one
and hope that she will
forgive my trespasses

praying mostly that the 5th floor
of this sterile skyscraper is
not the highest she will ascend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whats good for you

Check out Big States blog for some excellent music.
If you know whats good for you, you'll head straight for the Mississippi Record Mix Tapes.

I know whats good for you.