Thursday, September 11, 2014

Poem Fragment

One day you say,
Well, I guess I don’t need this anymore,
and you let go of the bracelets,
umbrellas, songs, the bright argument
of family and friends.

Your clothes hang, an idea,
an outline of the body you wore
and now shed — the ultimate
simplification! Subtraction.

Nylon stockings still hold
the shape of your legs.
From the fragranced drawer
they whisper,
All her steps were forward,
even her last.

I was writing to a friend recently about how my brain has been on some sort of extended summer vacation. Body has taken over and Brain just rides the Tilt-a-Whirl and Scrambler endlessly, shouting and whooping nonsense into the air. Brain likes all the swirly rides, and avoids anything with an extreme drop because it scares Heart. Brain has a crush on Heart. Heart keeps Brain at a safe distance because she thinks he's being a total rube. Body thinks she can think for herself. She trips a lot and skins her knees. Brain laughs a hearty boy laugh. Heart rolls her eyes.

Spring and summer were a blur of performances, a promotion to Mentor Artist through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the completion of training with the Center for Creative Aging, a play produced, a father-in-law moved to a new home, some teaching of hoop and poetry. The fall offers a list of work in writing, some stage performances, hoop classes.  These jobs pay some bills. A few jobs are solidified, and others not - they are just up in the air. It's frustrating.

I have a collection of books with titles like "Wishcraft" and "344 Questions - the Creative Person's DIY Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment." The pages have folded corners and margin scribblings. Tucked into them are receipts for a wig or something frivolous for Body with a note written on the back of it. They offer comfort when I need time to focus. Which is now. Fall is a good time for answering a question like, "What is your Best Case Scenario?" and then pulling the lever on the Tilt-a-Whirl of summer so you can better hear what you really need.