Sunday, November 11, 2007

everybody's doing it

I had this whole long post that I was working on, and midway through, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to finish it in the time I have this evening (I hear Lilah crying for Mommy right now) and also have it conform to my stylistic trifecta of eloquence, wisdom, and wit.

And so, because she did it, and she did it, and she did it too, I'm posting something that I've uncovered from my writing vault.

I went through this period when I was in my twenties where I would get woken up at 5:30 by my dog, Moxie, and have to take her on an emergency-multiple-dump walk around the block. She was on this special high-fiber diet that was supposed to help manage some intestinal issues that I later ended up ignoring because I grew weary of waking up at 5:30 and cleaning up three rounds of shit on any given stroll, and look, it's 12 years later and she's still alive.

So I'd walk her and then return to my apartment, brew a pot of caffeinated coffee, and drink it and smoke cigarettes and write poetry. (Go ahead, roll your eyes. But hey, at least I didn't wear a beret!)

During this same period of time, I was also dating here and there, meaning I would meet a guy and immediately go to bed with him and then, immediately following that, fall madly in love. (Yes, I know, it's just one cliche after another with me.)

So there was this one guy, okay--and let me just say, no matter what follows, please remember that he was the one who asked me out--who worked at the video store down the street, and we had a thing for a while. He was absolutely adorable and really fucking funny, and that was enough for me. He had also just graduated from college three months earlier and was six years younger than I, but that's neither here nor there.

He had had a serious girlfriend in college, but the relationship didn't survive the graduation. Nonetheless, because I was even more neurotic and jealous then than I am now, I found the ghost of her presence problematic. She was a photography major, and in his tiny room in the apartment he shared with two of his college buddies, there were a few beautiful black-and-white photographs of him, the circumstances of which I felt the need to grill him endlessly about, and also, just wondering, was he really over her for sure? And did he like me more than he had liked her? And wasn't I way more satisfying in the sack than that frigid bitch?

So there was this one picture, and I wrote a poem about it after we broke up. (By the way, can you believe we broke up? Who wouldn't want to be my boyfriend forever? He obviously had some issues he needed to work through.)

I printed out the poem and gave it to him all folded up at the video store one day, just as an FYI, you know, because he knew I was trying to be a writer, and he had his own literary aspirations, and he, like, totally took it the wrong way and thought I was stalking him. As if.

The thing is, I kind of like it:

Eye for an Eye

For the crime of stealing your hands
so beautifully right off the table
at a diner in Maine, among
plates and ketchup, sun streaming in,
I was jealous of the camera.

How freely your fingers accompliced themselves,
poised over crumbs like waves licking sand,
the affronting intimacy
with which your rings shone, as if
polished. And though love brings on
a certain flatness, the forms appeared
fully nevertheless, seduced out of
shadow by an expert eye.

The crime of returning to the scene
I’d never entered, seating myself
opposite, I was forced to commit, guilty of
knowing eggs scrambled, dry white,
recognizing the ragged cuffs
from which your hands emerged,
driven to find and steal back what I could.

No comments: