Wires and Rhyme

I wrote a lot of poetry in my younger days. Like, a lot. It was my jam. Sometimes there was meter, sometimes there was rhyme, but I considered myself more of a free-verse poet. And most of it was terrible (bad poetry, oh noetry!). But I kept writing — so much so that my friend Pam called me a “closet English major”, which made me gush that she thought as much about me.

Here I am at 50 thinking back on the stanzas of my 20’s, and I wonder why I — why people in their 20’s — ended up writing so much poetry.

Best as I can figure, it’s that my fore-brain was still wiring itself together. The connections were still wet. And the intersection between words and ideas was where poetry happened. It’s how I tried to describe the indescribable. It’s how I made sense of the insensible. As my world expanded, out on the edges of the growing campfire light, where smoky shadows moved without proof, that’s where I tried to draw the shapes and forms with the big words and multi-line phrases.

And still, after years of the muted silence of not writing, I still think in rhythm and rhyme, in patterns, in ripples. It’s an important skill, even in writing prose, jokes, comments, posts. It’s in the cadence, in the flow. It’s not always the words that can rhyme; sometimes it’s the concepts.

I recognize that most of what I wrote was shit, and that’s fine. Michelangelo’s sketchbooks were filled with unusable scribbles and creative abortions, interesting only to historians and scholars, but that was where he tried his ideas, practiced his strokes, and perfected his craft. And so I find myself trying very hard to keep to that lesson.

I was young, and poetry was how I tried to grasp the dragon Life by the tail. It had value then, and I’m thankful for it now. I must not feel shame.

Return to Source

I survived COVID-19. But I have this anger. Muted rage. All that worry, all that preparation, all that precaution, all the vaccinations, all the epidemiological learnings, all the discussions and warnings and avoidance. And I still got COVID.

Still.

I just don’t understand. I tried. Honestly tried. But I got it from a place of trust.

It burns me. And I need to discharge this anger. Ground it out. Dissipate it so it doesn’t hurt anyone I love. I just have this muffled resignation sitting on top of it, this sense of maturity, of keeping mum and taking it in and internalizing it and doing nothing until it eats me up. I just gotta let it go.

Go touch grass. Let it go. Acknowledge that those precautions kept me from getting it earlier, when I wasn’t in a space to handle it with grace. Let it go.

Get back to myself. Back to where I left off. Let it go. Find the lost threads of my life and pick them back up. Let it go. Return to source.

Sue Smells T Cells

Dear Diary:

I hope you’re sitting down on the toilet, because you’re gonna shit yourself laughing.

Guess what I got last week! OMG guess!

Hahahaha. Haaaaahaahahaha. Hahahaa. Hahahahahahaha. Haha. Hah. Ha. Oh god I’m out of breath.

So yeah, that’s right, after 2 some-odd of the worst years of everybody’s lives, it finally came around to me. I have COVID-19. I’m down with it. I’m up with it. I’m hanging around with it. I’m avoiding the town with it.

It’s the first positive thing to happen to me in weeks.

At least I have my vaccinations, or this would be a death sentence.

Eeyore in the Field

Eeyore’s Birthday. That yearly event with all the hippies in the park. It’s like Austin’s version of the Hajj: every resident has to go at least once in their life.

It was really nice to get out and be an anonymous face in a large crowd. I miss that. So many beautiful people. I felt out of place, cringe, like a creeper — but everyone else was gawking too.

And that’s the point. Quorum. By being in a crowd, you see your place. You learn about yourself when you learn about others. You learn about how you stack up. About how you carry yourself. About how you present yourself.

Anything to free us from our accumulated dysphoria.

While walking around, I saw 3 faces that I recognized but didn’t want to acknowledge, and 10,000 faces I wanted to acknowledge and didn’t recognize. My circle of friends and acquaintances could use a little growth.

But yeah. After several hours wandering, people-watching, drinking, breathing dust, smoke, and all the great smells, I meandered home on the bus, blitzed and tired, but feeling good about things.

Humanity is healing.