Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eight months since my last post.  Whoops.  I guess I was busy, I guess I didn't have anything to share.

Fresh home from the 2012 National Poetry Slam and have lots of ideas simmering.  I wrote this one before and during first rounds of a slam tonight, slammed with it, took second.  FUN.  ROUGH first draft, will tighten up...

i've been writing this poem my whole life.
it's mostly a poem about fear.
i heard a program on the radio today, a man with tools to solve every problem ever talked
about pain, about three simple steps
to get through it, step one:
to reach inside the quiet cave in your mind
     where your ancient animal ancestors still reside,
     wake them and together to cry:
i WANT this pain.  and believe it.
step two, to suffer through then allow the cave folk to convince you:
i LOVE this pain.  and believe it.
step three to revel in it, dance in it, look at all your wild beautiful animal selves and proclaim:
this pain sets me FREE.

it's just the same with fear, he said, and my
     shadow self sitting quietly in the backseat nodded like she knew.
she knows.
we've been doing this my whole life
starting with heights.
starting with roller coasters.
i still remember my first, we always cherish our firsts,
my dancing ancestors giving me my first taste of sparkling cinnamon bliss, step one:
i WANT this fear.
i graduated to rooftops.
the animals went up first leaving me
and my shadow fear alone below,
we'd watch them, raucous,
breathe deeply in unison, jump up
grasp the gutter, pull, pull self weight, hoist a leg, LOSE MY GRIP!, grab again, grit teeth,
pull, pull self weight, pull shadow self, pull pain, pull fear, get over, get up, stand up, arms up, crow!
ROO A OO A OOOO! step two!
i LOVE this fear.

and i did!
came to enjoy the time spent that detached from the rest of the world,
up there, in the clear quiet calm,
looking over, looking down at all those removed below, look--
stress.  rent.  bills.  exes.  jobs.  etcetera.
from up here, they look like little ants and i could just...
pain, fear, i could just... (pinch)

step three.
do you see where i'm going with this?
i'm afraid of public speaking so i sign up
     at every open mic, terrified of bugs in my house so i scoop them
     into teacups and out the front door
what i'm trying to say is my ancient animals, my shadow self and i
have been writing this poem for YOU our whole lives
it's mostly a poem about LOVE
coming vulnerable to the edge, jumping up, brave now, i WANT this pain,
your perfect bow of a mouth, pulling up your ripe plum cheeks i
LOVE this fear, climbing up into your living room eyes, letting go
with a crow now and from up here fear and pain
look SO far away
'cause this love
that we are going to write for the rest of our lives
sets me