Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my love

The following poem is titled "My Love, A Partial Explanation" and is written by Shaindel Beers. I just discovered it tonight.

You ask what was different this time,
and I answer that it was the combination of rocks and water
and make some obscene joke about the sexual escapades
which would have ensued had we been in Maine or Oregon,

but this is because I don’t know how to tell you about your eyes,
which you think are brown, but which I know are gold-flecked
in different lights, and the way they smiled
when we talked our odd talk about relationships
and the stars; not really astrology,
more astrodynamics and Eagles’ lyrics with a bit
of quantum theory thrown in for good measure,

and I don’t know what you see in me,
but I knew you were closer to the truth than anyone else
when you said that my body reminded you
of South Dakota, because I always knew I was a plains
state—only the colors of sand and wheat and
eyes as grey as storm clouds, which used to anger my mother
because she thought if only I’d had more color,
I could be beautiful—

The other day when we watched the geese,
and you said, wistfully, Soon there will be goslings,
I didn’t mean to be a bitch and say Poor, monogamous bastards,
but sometimes life is so structured, and I’m always
on the outside, never quite able to figure out the rules
that everyone seems to take for granted.

I’ve been told that loving me is like loving a guard dog,
you’re never sure if it’s love, or if you’re just grateful
that you’re the one thing it won’t kill;
and I don’t know how to stop this,
it just seems to be my way. The way that giraffes
are my favorite animal, not only because they’re so gentle,
but because a mother giraffe can decapitate a lion
with a single kick if it threatens her calf.


Man, I love clearing stuff out. I love the fragments I find. Things scribbled on tattered scraps of paper that at some point I'd found intensely amusing or important. At the very least, these were things that it felt useful to write down, as though they may one day have a good home somewhere. Well, I guess this is it.

(Disclaimer: some family members may find the following a bit too personal. Personally, I found it hilarious and not such a big deal, but I also find that to be the same about my lack of understanding of what constitutes inappropriate dinner conversation, and I've made more than one of you squirm with that...)

This is in keeping with previous efforts to capture and record some of my dream imagery. I don't even remember when the hell I wrote this... Here we go. What I found on a purple sticky note, word for word:

Dream - in house - group house - more like a hotel-type situation but in a house. Old Marine (now security?) says to me, "I love you." And I ask, "What? Why?" He explains that they're moving my stuff out of my room temporarily and one of the little kids of the people helping with the move found my vibrator under the bed and the kid thinks it's the best toy ever. I turn the corner to see the kid switching it on and off and squealing with delight. Hilarity and embarrassment ensue.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I am working my way through a stack of boxes that I have been ignoring for months. Where the hell does all this stuff come from? Truly, it's rather overwhelming...

I have boxes full of manuscripts, teaching materials, evaluations, old photographs, pages torn from magazines, pdf files of obscure texts, articles of interest. I have boxes full of old art supplies in various stages of use and decay. I have an obscene number of paper clips and, I can't believe I'm going to write this, I think perhaps I have too many shoes.

I ignore these things because it is easier than dealing with them (or that's what I tell myself, despite the evidence to the contrary). But lately, I can't ignore this stuff any longer. It's all making me feel crazy. I feel anxious and on the verge of tears just looking at it all, though paper shredding has proved to be surprisingly cathartic.

What's interesting, though, is that my anxiety and such is not produced by nostalgia, or even any memories attached to these objects. They are just objects in space, most of which have been boxed up long enough to prove they hold no special significance. But they exert control over me somehow and I find it hard to decide what to keep, recycle, throw away, give away. I overthink everything.

I find I construct scenarios in which said object might be useful (one day I might want to show someone the array of flyers and postcards I produced during my bookselling and event planning days, right? no? oh...) or hang onto things I might at some point wish to consider using in class. Even the desktop of my computer is littered with icons for websites I found interesting and might want to return to... I open seventeen tabs at a time, because, you know, there are all kinds of things I don't want to forget might be cool, or useful, or odd, or lovely.

It's madness! And this madness must be brought to its end. My work, possibly over the next several weeks, is to unburden myself of everything that really doesn't matter. I don't truly care about this stuff. I sometimes fantasize about having a Fire Sale. As in, please buy my shit before I set fire to it, because, frankly, I could use the money and I have to get out from under all these objects. Suffice to say that my work is cut out for me.