Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: Appearing Aimless


Timing’s everything. The vapor rises
high in the sky, tossing to and fro,
then freezes, suddenly, and crystalizes
into a perfect flake of miraculous snow.
For countless miles, drifting east above
the world, whirling about in a swirling free-
for-all, appearing aimless, just like love,
but sensing, seeking out, its destiny.
Falling to where the two young skaters stand,
hand in hand, then flips and dips and whips
itself about to ever-so-gently land,
a miracle, across her unkissed lips:
as he blocks the wind raging from the south,
leaning forward to kiss her lovely mouth.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All Signs Point There, But You Won't Find It

meet me at Pont Neuf / I'll be the American with braids in her hair

La Confusion Exquise

see? it is all there.
pieces of it, if i could just see them.
but i can’t, so i feel them out,
my mother’s green blanket wrapped
around my shoulders like armor.

this is how i write best.
i hope you get that right now if you speak
it might be spanish and it might be english
but i don’t speak either because i am stuck

here in this in between of guessing
and almost knowing
but feeling it so exquisitely

like this movie (see?)
it’s better with the subtitles off
i might actually understand it more
like when you speak to your mother
and i get it but don’t know a word.
comme ça?
remember, j'ai étudié le français

i was supposed to habla español by this point
i had so many plans
i was supposed to go to the landmark alone
and watch that woody allen film
i was going to take the train
to do something, i forget
i was going to paint my lips red
and wear the right things
instead i wore that sweater i shrunk
to my new job with a pair of nikes
and pulled my hair in a braid

and then i came home
and it was just like this
it was just like this
it was nothing like that

oui, c'est tout

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: "Your Have to Have"

by Anne Sexton
She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission --

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound --
for the burying of her small red wound alive --

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call --

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular.
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Mix Tapes: Splitting at the Seams

Talk about a Monday morning. Sprinted up the stairs to catch the train, only to make it to the platform right in time to get the doors closed in my face. Survived the train ride, got on the bus, then was so thrown off by the teenage girls saying they would "push a bitch" who wouldn't get out of their way (who may or may not have been me) that I walked in the wrong direction when I got off. Not that I was scared of 14-year-olds or anything...

It wasn't until I was approaching my building that I realized I'd forgotten my security key. Ten minutes later, feeling like that kid whose mom forgot to pick her up from school, I was finally at my desk. I looked down. My fly was undone.


Do you think it all happened because I listened to this as I got ready for work?

"Things start splitting at the seams"/ (I'm forgetting to zip my jeans) ...

At least it wasn't as bad as this historic, awesomely awkward Monday morning commute.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FINALLY! Someone Hired Me!

So, if you follow my life via the Interwebs at all, you already know my big news. And by the Interwebs of course I mean Facebook updates, tweets and twoots, and LinkedIn. And of course, if you're following my tweets, you know by now it's all a blatant ploy to bring you back to the Rainbow chronicles. That, and to quote Seinfeld, apparently.


Oh, right. My big news!

This Tuesday, I started a job. A job that does not require I ask: "chips, fries, or veggies?" A job that is not, in fact, really just an unpaid internship. (For more on that dreadful experience, revisit this post, I implore you.) I am officially an associate writer for Groupon, which, go figure, is apparently the fastest growing company, ever. (Forbes said it, so it's gotta be true.)

You can get a really good sense of the company from the Forbes article, so I'll just fill you in on a couple other highlights not mentioned in said article:

1. The number of computers/humans on the 6th floor is both terrifying and awesome. And that's comparing it to the editorial department, where I am, which is home to at least a couple hundred.
2. There is a never-ending supply of coffee, tea, and cocoa (fuck yeah! cocoa!) everywhere you turn. And Keurig coffee makers, which I'd never actually used, or in fact seen, in real life. Plus, today, I discovered free Diet Dr. Pepper and Gatorade. FREE. I'm going to be so fucking productive! (I might still be on a caffeine high.)
3. Everyone I've met so far is talented, smart, and friendly. And most of them are funny. No joke. It's like Wonderland for a geek like me.
I'll leave you with that. It's awesome. I've only been there three days, and I've already been writing, a lot.

When I found out I'd been hired last week, I was so overwhelmed and thrilled, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was the middle of the day, and I was alone, cause, you know, most other adults were at work. I couldn't stop grinning. I may or may not have told my cats the news.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: The Hottest One for Years

Aren't the dream songs just ... dreamy? I don't think you need to know about Henry or Mr. Bones to pick up on the dreaminess. Or maybe that's why I like them so much. Cause I don't actually get it at all.

"What wonders is she sitting on, over there? The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars."

I guess Berryman didn't get the memo. Women are like, from Venus. "Where did it all go wrong?"


Dream Song 4

Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken páprika, she glanced at me
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband & four other people
kept me from springing on her

or falling at her little feet and crying
'You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry's dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.' I advanced upon
(despairing) my spumoni.--Sir Bones: is stuffed,
de world, wif feeding girls.

--Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes
downcast . . . The slob beside her feasts . . . What wonders is
she sitting on, over there?
The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars.
Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry.
--Mr. Bones: there is.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Mix Tapes: A Little Ray (LaMontagne)

This love is not over, Ray. I promise.

I'm so mad I was in Indiana when he was in Chicago with David Gray this summer!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Conversations in Dreams

Usually, I try to avoid digging into my old journals, because the content tends to scare and embarrass me. Good Lord, I used to write about boys (and booze) a lot. It is downright terrifying how often the subject matter was about a boy. What also scares me: Sometimes, looking back, I don’t quite remember what person I was even writing about. Sheesh. But, considering my love life was always kind of chaotic, it makes sense that I was constantly writing about it.

In the midst of all that boy talk, I also over the years have documented my consistent and frequent dreams about my mother. These dreams are so vivid, and so poignant, that I seriously considered—and still do—writing a book about it all. I have recounted all of these dreams by starting with the same sentence:

In my dreams my mother is still alive.

I wish that I had a written account of each time she’s visited me in my dreams, but even those I haven’t written down, I still remember rather vividly. However, until I read this one tonight (from January 2009), I had completely forgotten about it. To me, now, it is kind of hilarious and makes me happy. At the time, it was really telling, and I felt as though my mom was trying to scold me about something. I can't tell you what, exactly—that's between me and her.

This is what happened.

In my dreams my mother is still alive. Sometimes she is kind; sometimes she is harsh. Last night she was harsh.

“Alison,” she said, looking at me over her reading glasses, “I don’t approve of this place. I don’t like it one bit.”

She was sitting at a table drinking a glass of Merlot, eating a salad with enormous strips of bacon on top of it. She looked lovely.

I was waiting tables, and for some reason, there was an incredibly high rooftop where many people were sitting and drinking. My mom was sitting on the ground level below. I looked up, and my boss was leaning over the edge of the roof, yelling at me. Before I could reply, she tripped, and toppled over the edge, landing directly next to my mom’s table. Although the fall should have killed her, she simply stood back up and walked over to the bar.

My mom looked at her, looked at me, took a big bite of her salad, and said, “I don’t like this place one bit.”

I woke up that morning and immediately thought: “Did Mom drink Merlot? I hate Merlot.” Then I felt kind of evil for dreaming my boss fell off a rooftop.

But that doesn't really matter. Mostly, I like to think of my mom looking at me over her reading glasses, telling it to me like it is. It's a wonderful thought.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: It's Funny, But It's True

All summer, I kept wishing I had my Frank O'Hara collection with me, and not locked in a storage unit. Now it's back where it belongs, on my bookshelf. Here is a poem from it.

Sometimes I know I love you better
than all the others I kiss it's funny

but it's true and I wouldn't roll
from one to the next so fast if you

hadn't knocked them all down like
ninepins when you roared by my bed

I keep trying to race ahead and catch
you at the newest station or whistle

stop but you are flighty about
schedules and always soar away just

as leaning from my taxicab my breath
reaches for the back of your neck

Job Interviews

If today's job interview doesn't work out, in the future, I'm just gonna follow Loc Dogg's lead.

"I see your hobbies are drinking, smoking weed, and all types of ill shit."

At least he got hired.