You flavor my memory with common tastes: Spam and corned beef hash.
You wanted to be the common man, but you were anything but.
The bold aggression and the subtle feminine sweep of what you formed— beautiful. Your hands never clumsy as they sculpted wood and stone. Metal bent and melted into beauty at your touch,
and colors lifted the wings you gave them.
I floated, also–– too independent to be formed by you, but still uplifted that a man like you could love me. It validated something in me—those hard choices I had made
because I listened to something vivid in myself I had not yet found a name for.
Dreams taught me. And synchronicity. I had always wanted to be a wanderer—to try to quench those yearnings that had haunted my daydreams since I was a child. I cut the ties that bound and wandered West to find you—stable man pinned by your wings to obligation all your life. Instead of pinning me down, you wandered with me. The gypsy life of making and selling art. The easy camaraderie of that circus life. The vans and wagons circling every weekend in a different convention center parking lot.
Nights pulled into the woods or by the ocean.
Short nights in transit, parked in neighborhoods where we’d be gone by six.
The song of tires on the road, Dan Bern and Chris Smither. Books on tape.
Pulling quickly off the road to lug a dead tree or a well-formed boulder into the van
or to engineer its route up to the roof,
so we returned home as heavily laden as we had departed—
bowed under by the fresh makings of art.
The texture of our home life was silver dust and wood curls. Its sounds were the stone saw and the drills and polisher. The heat of the kiln hours after it had lost its art. The fine storm spray of the sandblaster, the whine of drills and whirling dervish of the lathe. The smell of resin, redwood, stone dust, paint. The sharp bite of metal. The warm bread smell of cooling fired clay. Every bit of my life was flavored by what you loved––what I loved, too, our interests merging so completely that for awhile
we had no separate lives, but one life welded end-to-end. These remembraces are not organized or filed. They flutter into my mind like hidden lists blown off tall shelves. That life now a scrapbook of the past with certain photos plucked out to be tucked under bedroom mirror rims or carried in wallets.
Snap. You put yourself into my mind. Snap. Another memory follows, and I am an old woman replaying her life. Snap. The creak of the tortilla machine across the street in the early hours. The loud rush of the surf, the rattling startup of a motorcycle. The raspberry seed between my teeth, the scent of the dog’s bath still on my hands, sand gritting the sheets and art projects taking over every surface. Snap. I am me, looking for the next adventure.
Below photos snapped a few minutes ago. Proof of the tale. New projects. Click on first photo to enlarge and see all photos.
In the forest, wild and lush, hear the music of the thrush break the stillness of the brush. If else disturbs it, make it hush, for we have fled the world’s mad crush with all its craziness and rush that grinds sensation into mush, distilling it as mindless slush. The world flares up, the clouds are plush as we see all its bloodshed flush into the sunset’s subtle blush.
We are all filters of the world, taking the news in—the happy births and inane deaths, the charities and cruelties, the beauties and the gross ugliness of nature and of human nature. These things pass through us or get stuck, taking us with them into the poles of our own natures. Those ills of the world we choose to dwell on change us if we are not careful to let them go again or to act in a manner opposite— which causes us to seed new hope which just might, just might catch hold in the sieves
of others and bloom.
A concrete poem is one that takes the form of what it describes. I could find no photo of a rose in my photo library, so the form of the poem will have to do to illustrate its meaning.
Private lives and private dreams fill our world and burst its seams. Many wants and many wishes like an ocean full of fishes For one to live, one more must go to maintain the status quo. Each fish feeding on another: mother, sister, uncle, brother all competing for their lives One fails while another thrives. Thus it goes with private lives.
It’s hard for me to find the middle between hard labor and the fiddle. Work? I either overdo it or endeavor to eschew it. Work all day and then all night, being very erudite— putting words down on the page, imprisoned in my muse’s cage.
Perhaps I fear my distant past when good work habits didn’t last and days were spent in dreaming or novels read behind closed door— midnight radio a chance for fantasies to spin romance. Whole days stretched as though to catch an errant dream of true love’s match.
I feared such days were sloth, and yet perhaps they were just roads to get to the place where I would tell the stories that I knew so well because I’d lived them first in dreams or days just bursting at the seams with doing nothing but living life— its pleasures, problems, romance, strife.
First the doing at my leisure, then the writing, and the seizure of all the details of the past that, once down on paper, are made to last. Overworked or over-lived, life first collected, then finely sieved. Panned like gold to find the treasure— leisure and work in even measure.
Yesterday you masticated
until appetites were sated.
Then certain relatives orated,
argued, harangued and debated—
their monologues all unrelated.
Trapped, you were all educated
in what they sanctioned, what they hated.
Admit it, weren’t you elated,
when that last politician was rated,
and the last argument abated?
Once all your visitors were gated,
those final good-byes terminated,
and their ills excoriated,
you could prepare for what was fated.
Your choice was unequivocated.
Now that you’d heard and eaten all,
Tomorrow, you’d consume the mall.
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales.