Thursday, September 18, 2008

Poem Interlude

"Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of. I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times but never once into it." Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"And yet and still, while she lived, she was often such a wonder to me! All these things I knew: that she had painted the nose cones of bombs during the second World War; that she smoked cigarettes and bowled and had a Canadian lover before she met my father; that she gave birth to three children in three different cities in the span of six years; that she traveled across America with my father, seated on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorycle!; that she was once so angry at my father (in Jackson, Michigan, on Walker Street) that she threw her wedding band into the flames of the coal furnace that she stoked on winter mornings; that she loved books and songs by Chet Atkins and the Sons of the Pioneers; that she adored the New York Yankees when they were golden in the 1950s; that she walked through woods near three Great Lakes; that she outlived two sons and a husband - all these things I knew. I never knew her, though." my mom, a letter

They've torn down the south wall on the exterior of the Pool, and all the south-facing trees have little scaffolds around them. I wish I had taken some photographs of the wall beforehand, because it seemed enchanted, with the green all climbing up the brick and stray cats taking advantage of the shadows. Now you can see the condos on the other side.

I think too much, like my mom. I run obstinately and love garlic and try to keep things simple, like her mom. Every thought and love I have has its own genealogy, and it can be exhausting.

Where I've Gone

I am not
clicking down the street
toward a girl running toward
me, clothes the color
of planetree leaves
still cleaving
to branch. I am not
shouldering a rake and grinning
at a girl whose ears are filled
with song, I am not tipping
the hat of my smile
to her day. You think I am,
but I am not the girl. I am
also not a flock of doves
scared up from the ball field
near the garden
where Hasidim and Dominicans
don caps and forget everything
but well packed earth
and the clarion
of wood to hide.

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