Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poem in Progress

This is the efforts of today's vacation. Although, nothing is ever finished till you're dead. I read another new(ish) poem at The Poet's Loft tonight. Even though it was only an open mic, there were - at the most - fifteen people in the room, and I was standing behind a podium, my knees still shook. Weening myself off propanolol may take longer than I had hoped. Luckily, I have plenty for Saturday's slam, so no shake-n-bake here. Memorization is another story.


I have decided
I don’t like things with definitive beginnings and endings.
Final destinations and points of embarkment
Should be as difficult to distinguish
As finding the edge of a globe.
Clocks should become antiquated and rust
While calendar pages should track only dust.
And I should never be able to measure a heartache
From the moment he told me it wasn’t love till today.

But the days close like books on my ability to say that
After the end,
When I deleted his number even though he said
we could still be friends,
I weighed the value of each event spent together
and decided none are worth the rent
They pay to occupy space in my memory.
One an entrance clattering open like doors in a storm
And then the exit orchestrated like twenty cellos playing the wrong chord.
I have been jarred from my seat and shaken –
It wasn’t my heart he had taken
but the fluidity of my days.

Now, I like my fits and starts to blend smoothly and seamlessly
Into the next occurrence,
Like the edges of sheets overlapped in the laundry,
One long unfolding of days without birthdays,
Christenings, funerals or break ups,
Or any disturbance that corrupts with the abruptness of the unexpected.
I want one kiss to last until the next and
To not divide life into eras.
I do not want a fossil record of characters to collect and categorize.
I’d fail the test that required me to memorize
Where each face fits in.

If there were no endings,
there would be no date on a calendar
By which I can measure the length of his leaving.
When the screen door slammed behind him
And broke summer in half,
I heard the months of the calendar laugh at my attempts to
Divide the year into seasons,
To supply his absence with a reason.

Today, I will mark it on my calendar for something amazing to happen,
For a firework to hang stranded and suspended above my roof.
I’ll tether it to a string and present it as proof
That things don’t have to fade or end.
Linear time is a concept philosophy can’t defend.

I have classified my existence by landmarks,
Phases I label by the names of people I loved,
Our meetings and partings are commemorated like holidays.
But today I resolve to denounce anything that
Detracts from the sanctity of now.
Forever trails behind this second
Like a parent straitening a bicycle,
It grips the seat and promises to “not let go.”
I pedal the minute forward and keep eternity in tow.

I’m turning a new corner
Where anniversaries don’t exist.
There is only what is and always was.
Thus, if I love you now you may assume that
I always have and always will.
I will swallow eternity like a pill and
Insure that if I loved you before, then I do, still.
I refuse the exorbitant cost of an ending,
To watch something that soared descending.

Without a then or a now,
I already know all of the people I will ever meet.
Shaking hands will become a mere formality and
I shall refuse to accept absolutes as acceptable rationality.

I crumple the table of contents of life,
Erase the index and chronology,
And bend the time line into a revolving circle.
The only death I accept is that of definitives.
I close their door,
And welcome the infinite
.

2 comments:

Michael Sullivan said...

You aren't exactly "on" propanolol. Either way, I'm proud of you for getting up there! It was a fun night. I love you!

Amanda said...

true... then eliminate its necessity. How about that?

now where are your tips for improvement?

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