Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Arrived, Seeing Straight

Here is a poem about posing, pretending, believing my own bullshit. My time stamp says I wrote this on December 14. I would like to believe I have outgrown this but I know the reality is otherwise. When I get a hold on the simpler stuff and resolve it, my self centered crap simply gets more subtle, complex, Oh well. What do I expect? I am not engaging in the full blown discipline that might get me real results. I don't have time :o<

So I went to an AA meeting after writing this and before posting. Who should I see there but some kid I've never seen before who was busy telling me almost exactly the attitude behind this poem. So I KNOW I'm not the only one able to write this from experience.

I've Arrived

I am so restrained
I try not to speak of it.
It's humility
That holds me at rest.
I do not lie about this-
Not even right now.

I notice that I don't need
To bathe anymore, too pure.

Fifteen minutes later on December 14 I had this one written too. I guess it's another take on the same thing but it is written with a different attitude. So often it just doesn't turn out my way. I bet I'm not the only one.

Seeing Straight

I need my eyes checked.
Seeing crooked, red shifted,
All odd sharp angles.
I was in the snow
That falls at my house today
And then here is fire
Frozen in sharp shapes.
I want to make sense of it,
Want to go that way,
The way the fire points,
The way my old heart begins
To know is my own.

First: get my eyes checked.


  1. I am SO having a giggle here :0D

  2. and when you find out that your eyes are ok, what then ?

    brilliant, as always dear friendxx

  3. Well, Lisa, we have a pithy saying about such a state of affairs, somewhat salty if you will,

    Eff em if they can't take a joke.

    Write a poem, weave a rune spell, set the fire and dance around it, call Coyote, stop worrying what I look like doing all these things.

    Set down at the keyboard and play my fat ass off until I can't anymore.



    You weren't really serious.

    Were you?

    I know, Michelle. I know.

  4. Looking in
    Looking out
    I don't see a thing
    without my glasses
    I understand nothing
    Nothing. :D

  5. Both poems are awesome. Too pure to bathe had me laughing, too. That stanza is a winner.

    When I read "I've Arrived," I kept thinking of the biblical advice about looking for sin in others. I shouldn't dwell on the splinter in my neighbors' eye when I have a beam in our own. Yep, I've got a great big beam. But I may have thought of that because I read "Seeing Straight" first. I don't know why I did. My eyes just fell on it. Hmmmm...

    These lines are so crisp:

    "Seeing crooked, red shifted,
    All odd sharp angles."

    Actually, the whole poem is crisp and sharp. I love that contrast with the subject. Great poems!

  6. Thank you Julie. We were clowning around in college, saying we were of pure essence, while living a scraggly outlaw life and obviously far from pure essence, rather smelly some days. The first poem is a take off on having that clown attitude.

    The second poem about insides and outsides and trust.

    Jozien, I speak no Dutch at all. Often poetry uses words in ways that would be hard to get because they are really understood as we say between the lines, but I bet the same thing could be said, in some similar way in Dutch and then you would see right away what these poems were doing. And it is true you can't translate poetry easily. It is hard to do because you can't just go word for word but have to find the ways the metaphors work for native speakers of each language.

  7. I love it. I don't need to bathe anymore, I'm so pure. Yes, I know that place. :)

  8. Not so funny, but this is where you took me.

    Meeting hall

    I’m here in the room
    but you can see it in the stiffness
    in the back of my head
    if you’re smart enough,
    there’s places I’d rather be.
    Why do you keep looking at me
    that way, like jesus
    made you holy, and I’m just
    the source of the stink
    coming from the back hallway?
    Once I’ve washed your shit off me,
    there’ll be no trouble.

  9. God Rachel. Ouch. Remind me not to step on your toes. That felt like a warning shot across the bow. Can I apologize now? Please?

  10. Haha, I'm not in that place now, Christopher. At least not often. I've seen it more often in various young men I've known, rougher sorts.

  11. Good poems, both. You're so right about the attitude in "I've Arrived". It's easy to spot in others, but in ourselves, it's painful.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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