Friday, July 6, 2018

feats of strength

Today I wrote a new bio. This probably doesn't sound very monumental to you, unless you are a person who frequently has to do a thing like write a brief paragraph about themselves in third person. I'm not a fan of doing it. I never know the correct things to mention, and facts alone do not feel like me. I want something about me to feel like me, a reasonable thing. I used to skirt around it in my 20's by listing songs I loved in the back of my chapbooks. For more about the author, listen to the following songs. It's a tricky thing to tow the line between a creative telling and admitting accolades/achievements. There's got to be a way to do both.


In the meantime, the world continues to feel like chaos and I keep plucking bits of joy and solace where I can. Strong coffee can correct a morning on its own sometimes. Other days require more--a breeze kicking my hair around or lifting something heavy, or reading Patricia Smith poems and dabbing strawberry oil on the wrists. Pleasure is universal, pleasure is personal.


I participated in an act of self-care last weekend. I went with my love a handful of miles north to see the Mr. Rogers documentary. The film played in a small independent theater, and I managed to hold it together until the very end. My tears rolled right with the credits. I believe in the amazing that people can be. I love the simplicity of being able to truly converse with children, to meet them on their level, to fight to explain the difficult when no one else seems to want to do so. I needed that. Watching clips of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood reminded me of being a little kid, eating a bologna sandwich made by my dad before heading to afternoon kindergarten. It is an old, old memory, the bones of my bones.


Before the movie something was on fire in the city. At first it seemed as if we were the only two to notice it. The smoke was thick and dark and rolled out endlessly. According to the news, it could be seen 8 miles away. Two young folks set an abandoned building on fire. Slowly, others started to notice. Everyone had a phone, stopping mid-crosswalk to capture this rip in the evening sky.




It felt fairly good to be in that part of town again--for the most part I've avoided it for many years. I'd go there to see a friend briefly or go to a gig, but otherwise I abstained. Too many ghosts, time told me. But that's a funny thing about time--things can heal without display, without fanfare. It's important to remember but there's no need to be stuck. It may have taken close to 17 years, but that place no longer feels like a scar. Recently I went on google maps and looked up one of the houses I used to live in from that long ago, and I was shocked to see it was a different color. The paint had been stripped and was still peeling, windows were boarded up or busted. It's not that I expected it to look as it did nearly two decades ago, but the dilapidation presented brief shock followed by a brand new finality. I liked how it felt. Surreal and removed yet still so very certain. Does it change the story shut the book?

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