Archive for writing

Dogs with Mohawks

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by 1writegirl

My love and I
With nothing better to do
One rainy winter day
Took a look at my shaggy canine
And decided he needed a trim

We started slow
With a pair of shears
Behind the ears
Under the chin

And as we trimmed
We talked as always
About whatever came to mind

And the conversation turned
To the subject of what we’d imagined,
In the glory of dewy youth,
Our lives would look like today

I thought I’d be married, I said
As I swiped at Mugsy’s tail
Be grateful you didn’t go there
He grimaced
Believe me, it’s misery ad infinitum
Compounded by devastation

I should be teaching poetry,
He mused
At some prestigious, west coast college
Off came the left side of Mugsy’s beard

With co-eds hanging on my every word
Gone was his moustache too

I expected to be a famous writer
I exclaimed with an air of whimsy
As the clippers zoomed over Mugsy’s back
And flew up under his stomach
With at least one bestseller, I added
He nodded, I know, huh? he said
Then shaking his head in a daze of wonder
Started in with the scissors in earnest

I’d have a mansion by the sea
He explained with a faraway look
With servants to do my bidding
And an agent, an editor,
Stupendous advances

Fur was flying in all directions
Frenetic buzzing filled the air

And so it went for quite some time
With every word, another cut
For every lost dream
Another lock shorn
Until at last we were out of shouldve’s
And before us quaking in forlorn regret
Stood the product of our mutual despair

There was nothing left of him to speak of
He was half the size he’d started
And the only hair remaining
Was a strip from head to toe
A Mohawk of black and white
From his forehead straight up and spiking
Down his back to the tip of his tail

We put down the scissors, dropped the shears
And swept up the pile of fur
Thinking perhaps we’d made a mistake
Gotten too carried away
Until Mugsy stood up and shook himself
Then pranced up and down the room

Showing off his brand new do

Unencumbered, with nothing to block his view
Of cats and cars, food and chew-toys
And laps to settle into

I think he likes it, I gasped in amazement
He seems to feel freer, he agreed
Go figure, we said in unison
Then sighed and settled back down
To the one thing we both can’t not do for long

The process of writing our hearts out
To the tune of the pouring rain

I dig my new Do!

A Writer’s Lament

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , on December 27, 2009 by 1writegirl

I only want to write
And get paid for my words

My words all strung together
In unique, inimitable style

With their own quirky bent
And their peculiar rush to mind

Of memories old
Possibilities new
And another distinct life

Apart from what you know
Separate from your beliefs
Foreign to your system
Alien to your code

Yet resonant
Charming
Intriguing
Entrancing
Enthralling
Engaging
Piercing
Provocative
Profound

And just
Downright

Well-written

Yass, I want to get paid
For this life inside of me
For this life that is what I have to give
For what I do best
For what I know
For what I understand

For the chance to make you
Smile
Cringe
Cry
Laugh
Scream
Plead
Celebrate
Grieve

Then when all is said and done

Pass it on

Baring Down

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2009 by 1writegirl

I seem to want
Less and less
Each day

Fewer possessions
To tie me down
Fewer thoughts
Of what if

Fewer hopes
Fewer dreams
Tired truisms
Unquestioned
Ideas

Less guidance
From
Without

I want to meet
My fears
Expose them
To the light
Relieve them
Of their power

I want
Good coffee
Something
Sweet to eat
I want
A warm bed
A good book

A worthy conversation
With someone
I respect

I want
To pay the bills

I want to write raw
Down to the bone
From the soul
The truth
No matter what
Without caring to
Please anyone

I want to shadow dance
In his kitchen
With a snake
On my arm
In an amber light

Wearing only a hat

Just a Job

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by 1writegirl

Cleaning houses
Not what I saw
Myself doing

In college…
Ten years ago…
Six months ago

But the need for
Money
Is ever-present
And sometimes
You can’t be picky

It was a mobile home
2 bedroom 2 bath
Shag carpet
Greasy stove
Stained floor
Brown toilets

It had clearly
NEVER
Been cleaned

I toiled away for hours
Till everything
Sparkled and shone

No cobwebs
No dust
No grime
No spots
Splatter or
Splooge

Every muscle hurt
Every bone ached
My finger tips
Were blistered
My knees bruised
A knuckle bleeding
Mindlessly cut as I labored

Yet I still had
The front porch to do
Christ! Where the seven
Cats lived…

I’ll come back tomorrow
I whispered
And thought
If I’m still alive

I’ll finish the job
Bright and early
I didn’t realize
How long it would take

The next morning
I was there at eight
Finished up in
Two hours and ten

Alice paid me in full
Plus twenty-five tip
You did such a good job
She smiled

Pressing the money into
My hand
She said
And you came back!

As if I would leave it
Undone

I loaded my supplies
Into my car
Then headed to
Another
Smaller job

Helping Lola
Clean out her garage
And put together a bed

As I prepared to leave
She turned to me
Have you got a card?
She asked

I’ve got lots of friends
Like myself
Who could use
A hard worker
Like you

I thanked her and told her
I’d get some made
Then drove home
Thinking
If I did this often
My hands would toughen up
My muscles wouldn’t hurt
I’d be in fit shape
And my bank account…

A fast calculation said
6 houses a month
Would pay my rent
And then some

In the end, of course
Sprawled prostrate
On my bed
It felt the same
As any job
I might do
Or have already done

They all leave me
Moaning
Cursing
Pulling my hair
Telling myself

I’m too old for this
I’m not cut out for this
What’s the point of this
Oh god, why this?

It’s how I feel about all
Work for pay
And I’ve tried
My fair share
To be sure

It’s just a job
If it isn’t
Writing

Fuck, man
I’ve gotta
Sell that book…

Rambling Revelations I

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by 1writegirl

The office manager in the urologist’s office where I work doesn’t like me. I haven’t yet been able to ascertain whether it’s personal or not. I suspect she wouldn’t like anyone who is currently doing the work she formerly did before she informed the doctor she needed help with her workload. I suspect she’s of the opinion, “Nobody does it better.” Or as well. Or if things continue on as they are, at all. Does that make sense? Not to me, either. But I’m waiting for her to corner me behind the water cooler and say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but you just aren’t working out here. It’s not a good fit. The doctor would have spoken to you personally but he’s extremely busy, well, doctoring, so he asked me to let you know. Go ahead and leave right now…”

Sensing the inevitable, I actually tried to quit last week, in an effort to save everyone the unsavory consequences of being stuck with an employee who “isn’t a good fit.” I came into the office, announced to OM that clearly I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of things, so much for that extensive college education, and why didn’t we all just cut our losses right now and I’d be on my merry way. After all, 72 other applicants applied for this job, surely one of them is still willing and available. She said she’d been too hard on me, would I please forgive her, and doctor would like to see me. I marched into his office where I presented the same speech, then added for good measure a bit about how I’d gotten spoiled from living off my savings after selling my house a few years ago, which allowed me to simply write and not have to worry about mundane and annoying little distractions like making a living. I told him, in a burst of bare naked honesty, that I realized after working in his office for two weeks, “how much I really detest office work.” He seemed surprised to hear this. “It’s not rocket science,” he told me. “Precisely,” I said. I waited for my dismissal. Instead, he announced he’d chastised OM for what he referred to as picking on me, and asked me if I’d give them another chance.

So here I am, filing charts and sending faxes and making appointments and dodging phone calls having to do with patients wanting tomorrow’s laboratory results today and nursing home facilities wanting to speak to doctor about the prescription for Mrs. Smith’s increasingly bothersome incontinence, and thinking what a relief it would be if OM really did fire me. Which is crazy stupid, because I need the money, and this is the only job, albeit part-time, I’ve got at present. Yet the fact is, I hold onto this position for that reason alone, and have to drag my sorry ass in to work it filled with compunction and reluctance every time. The fact is, I detest living in a world where your worth is based on what you do to acquire money, and acquiring money is the primary motivating force for your existence once you reach the age of “independence.” This world is so wrapped up in the exchange of performing some duty for receipt of an intangible which we endow with power and sustenance that those who reject the logic and benefit of such a system are shunned outright as slackers, bums, worthless leaches and downright losers. Creativity for its own sake is given no value whatsoever, and there is no such thing as the inherent worth of a human being. You are tolerated at best, and made to feel ashamed and inferior for your lack of “contribution to society” if you don’t throw yourself wholeheartedly into the pursuit of work for remuneration. That’s just how it is and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Still, I think I’ll secretly continue to fantasize about OM giving me a pink slip. Somehow the idea that it’s right around the corner makes it just a tad easier to bear when she sighs deeply and takes a chart from my hands, muttering under her breath, “I’ll just do it myself, that way I know it’ll be done right. Go and make 100 copies of that form, will you?”

And if I don’t ever get the hang of it? So much the better. As Bindo says, doing stuff is overrated. I mean really, what I long to do, what my heart cries out for – shit, gotta run. OM is coming and I still haven’t collected those urine samples…

Dignity

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by 1writegirl

In a square cracked mirror
Of a motel bathroom
Mere yards from the highway
And speeding 18 wheelers

Where whores and drug addicts
Pay by the hour
And homeless indigents hang by corners
Holding signs of ragged cardboard

Where desperation lives
Despair thrives
And jesus is something you say under your breath
Or the lack of a reason to wake up tomorrow

While god is alive in the static of airwaves
And billboards that stare you down
He died for your sins
They tell you

And you wonder what you got
For his effort

And how many sins will be

Enough

Where death the Great Equalizer of us all
Hovers in wait,
Ready to pounce
And your days are numbered

You just don’t know how high

Blood red lipstick
Streaked across silver
Scrawled in a shaky hand
Bleeding at an angle

Denouncing, declaring, decoding, defiant

The only thing that is yours alone,
The only thing that’s yours to keep
The one thing no one can take from you
Without your explicit or implied consent

D
I
G
N
I
T
Y

Unexpected Bonuses of Being Apart from the One You Love, And, What I Miss Most

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2009 by 1writegirl

On the Plus Side: Beneficial Byproducts of Separation

You get to lose weight, without even trying.

You have sudden bursts of energy, especially after you’ve just heard from him, which make you very productive indeed.

You now have time to do all those little mundane chores you put off doing while he was here, like defrosting the freezer, clipping your toenails, and organizing your car’s maintenance and repair records.

You remember that you had a life of your own before he came along, and you’ve got one still. I’ve always, without exception, taken care of myself, and I am not dependent on someone else for my happiness (this kind of self-talk, which I picked up through many fruitful visits to therapists over the years, can be very useful.)

You are forced to make a choice between falling victim to your insecurities, or trusting that voice inside of you which tells you that sometimes you have to let go of that which means the most to you. That doesn’t mean pretending your feelings don’t exist, it means not allowing them to be demanding. This is the same voice that popped up out of nowhere the first day we met, took one look at him and in bewildered awe, said, It’s Him. Yass, I do believe it’s really Him. You remind yourself he’s got a voice too, and from time to time it inspires him to write poems about you, poems that speak of hope. You trust yourself because you have to. You trust him, because your love isn’t worth much if you don’t.

On the Down Side: What I Miss Most

Cooking, shopping, and writing together.

Going for a walk, particularly after dark.

Going and getting lattés and cappuccinos in the morning, afternoon, whenever, just because it feels like a good time for coffee.

Sex.

Hearing him say, “How come you’re so hot?”, “What do you see in me?” and “God, I love you.”

Just hanging out together.

Touching him.

His fingers in my hair.

Conversations with your best friend. About anything & everything. While eating breakfast or at two in the morning, with no barriers, walls, or secrets.

His kisses. Like manna from heaven, life-affirming. They are a language unto themselves.

I miss these two things from the deepest places within me.