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With due diligence patience and learning it builds on itself geometrically and seemingly all of a sudden things fall into place; just the other day the extract from the prelude was "too hard". Today, it made sense and was as easy as I thought it should have been the other day.
Some days Iím organized, I practice related scales and learn the about and whereabouts of the notes Iím playing and remember the snatches of information you've tucked in everywhere.
Other times it still seems like a remote desert. Mostly, Iím in love and having the time of my life
Weíre making music together. Well weíre learning to make music together. Heís learning the bum-ditty strum and Iím noodling around with back-up free to range and roam and improfuckingvising!. And the mystery of it falls away. I mean itís all rudimentary like the learning of any new language is, but hell we boiled the cabbage down boys and marched the saints in pretty as you damn well pleased. Knowing the building blocks, the idiomatic phrases, is as important as knowing the tune.
Meanwhile the business of translating straight to notes on the banjo from musical notation instead of tab progresses.
ďI donít even remember your name, she said, as if that even meant anything.Ē
ďWhat do you mean?Ē
ďNot clear, is it? Just my point; she was always finding meaning, inserting meaning where there is none. All very California, she would say...Ē
ďAll very superstitious. The very basis of most religious beliefs.Ē
ďShe is definitely not religious.Ē
ďHow do you know that?Ē
ďSheís too iconoclastic to be boxed in by ordinance.Ē
ďYou seem to be rather taken by her.Ē
He laughed. ďIn a manner of speaking, you could say that.Ē
ďThat would be several manners of speaking then, I gather!Ē
Joy Brown and conventional heterosexual convention notwithstanding Iíve asked my former husband for an audience when I swing out his way for my 40th highschool reunion.
some twenty years have gone by since i last was out your way, and here i am it is again...my 40th is being celebrated on the weekend of july 5th...any possibility of hooking up for a coke or any version thereof, with you guys or any version thereof, before during or after?
Why? Because for many of the same reasons one goes to a reunion; I want to see him.
Iím torn. And having said that I already have come up with a solution. Itís the and thing instead of or. And the wisdom of one step at a time. Which is fine and dandy but. So itís a question then of hats. Writer or editor. Writing still or editing and rewriting and itís just this that I donít know. On the one hand the storyĖthe particular event, set of events that take place in the pieceĖis complete. On the other hand it goes on and on. Which begs the question of whether I should or not. Oh dear god.
Fine but sighing was how I was. Huge sighs. As if I were overwrought. I was overwrought. Feeling delicate. For no readily apparent reason. Not able to shake it, and as if I were mightily tired, I well, having no choice, I went with overwrought. With the overwrought flow. And graciously, I did, if I may say so, a damned fine job of it. So good it actually made me laugh too. And then, keeping him posted on my daily banjo regimen it came to me; all of this excitement is exhausting...wondrous but exhausting just the same. Oh yes.
You donít understand.
I knew. What I didnít know was that Iíve actually been waiting for this. I did not imagine...
You knew what, exactly.
That Seiglinda was pregnant. And that she had a son.
Thatís nifty. Immaculate in fact! she giggled, what about Solomon?
What about him?
Jesus! Maggie. Listen to yourself. He
the father, right?
But he didnít know?
You didnít tell him? How did you know anyway?
The shortest version is I ran into her...with her son. And she asked me not to.
Just like that?
Not exactly like that, no.
I agreed not to bring it up. Not to broach it, that was it. But if he in any way brought it up I would answer truthfully or at that point tell him.
You didnít feel he had a right to know?
The whole thing, at the end, was he didnít want to have children.
They broke up.
Was she already pregnant?
I never asked. It was close. Could have been either way.
You didnít think heíd be furious with you once he found out? Feel betrayed by you too?
I never thought about that.
It didnít bother you?
Thatís just it. Take your pick. That he was a father and didnít know. That you knew and didnít tell him. That for all the truth telling you espoused...this rather huge truth that belonged to him wasnít shared. Why did you agree?
In part, it got me off the hook. I suppose I didnít want to tell him.
Didnít want him to know?
No. I mean...well I donít ít think I didnít want him to know...I donít remember caring if he knew. I just didnít want to be the one to tell him. It wasnít fair...
What wasnít fair?
Why is this all about him and not me?
Whatís so funny?
Youíre not getting any of this are you?
That feels like my line.
Maggie dear, exactly what part is about you?
...couldnít have said it better!
About to speak Maggie thought better of it. She took a deep breath. Wove her hands together, watched as she wiggled her fingers. Then she pulled them apart. Itís like that, she said. Together so long. In a life we liked and now itís...carpe diem...everything is going to change, you know, and I...
So he wanted to know about being close, would it be ok to be close and intimate and I said yes of course, I counted on it, otherwise what is the point and-but I wouldnít sleep with him and he heard no. Itís the strangest damn thing. I suppose this is why people think opposite sexes canít be friends. Thing is I believe the same choices exist in close relationships with women, so what the fuck over! And there it is in a nutshell, the story of my life. No wonder, in a manner of speaking, I never had friends!
Which is in fact a bit of hyperbole but not untrue in the sense that before I had the language and self consciousness and the tools to master that conundrum it made friends no easy task...first of all, like people who hear voices until they find out not everyone does, I at first thought everyone faced the same choices about the nature and extent of intimacy as I did in the context of friendships--
That said my bonny ex-husband has accepted my invitation for lunch or some version thereof, speaking to spoken or not there are still shared truths.
there was a smile that ran across his face starting to one side of middle expanding in both directions that was the surprise, the rest, the sound of his voice, his presence, his wife and daughter, his at home in my house our house was familiar though knowing each other for 7 years weíve never met face to face and have for a time now called ourselves friends not a thing having crossed our minds we havenít discussed but there was a smile that ran across his face that illuminated a fundamental boy innocence I would have never known; veritas
My dreams are full of turmoil as opposed to chickenshit anxiety and sadness as opposed to melancholy and full of new people as opposed to the familiar stand-ins... I was going to say loss but in the spirit of exploring change loss is only one facet. So it seems more honest to say, I miss, am in an ongoing state of missing, my mother. I miss the way she flanked me. Upheld me. And how she involved herself. Now, sheís involved in herself. The joke's on us. Somehow, we often thought she was self absorbed before; not exactly true.
So, offhandedly I figured out that the pitch, the elevator pitch, the ten minute pitch the speed pitch the back cover pitch needs to be at least as good as gossipĖat least as good as whatever it is that hooks us into listening, with bated breath, to gossip about people we never knew or met and has us coming back for more. It also needs to be as unassuming or assuming depending on how you look at it...
I dreamt my brother not so much left as was done with his wife.
Tired; some part of me is wearing down.
Iím not sure what made it special. I mean yes we hadnít met before but itís not that we didnít know one another. So itís not exactly that we hadnít met before, just that we hadnít met in the flesh. Which is not so say we hadnít shared intimacies, told secrets formed allegiances argued politics race told dirty jokes and been through and done a lot together, which is to say I did know him well. Just the same it felt akin to a blind date whereas in fact it was more a homecoming. And we stepped into grace.
Iím beginning to think, the reason youíre not acting like the bottom of your world has just fallen away is because it hasnít. Tiffany called, you know.
Of course not, I just listened. He thought, well as he said, it taking one to know one there was something rather theatrical and...um...rather high drag the way you called in a missing person report, but he thought your acting was not up to it.
What do you mean?!
Well, for someone whose husband has disappeared, you seem decidedly unconcerned...well, except about the overwhelming expectation that you should be.
What is becoming as chilling as the murderous rampage is the vicarious frenzy we would be whipped into and the incredible lack of understanding of mental illness and the attendant bureaucracy. Not to mention that it is harder to get booze than guns and that any madman can get his hands on guns which it doesnít go without saying have no other purpose than killing people and that Virginiaís gun laws are the leanest in the country. Ironically though its commitment laws, requiring Ďimminentí danger, are the most restrictive. I bet ploughshares to swords that changes before the gun laws.
Clara is the only one with a damned name. One doesnít immediately notice the narrator doesnít have a name and as is, she didnít need a name. Nor was it an issue. But as I pursue it further and think of them all as separate from me it becomes clearer they need names. After all naming is a question of identifying and a step toward differentiating not to mention self sufficiency and legitimacy, ha authenticity genuineness...in any case no names is not working any longer. He needs to speak up. For himself. Could be the story is his. Too
ď...funny thing is, itís not that she didnít remember my name. She never knew it. Never got around to it.Ē He grinned, looked away. Rubbed his face. ďShe interrupted me, giving me a song and dance about why I wasnít wearing a name tag.Ē He laughed. He shook his head.
ď...you got it wrong. Sorry, I never told you my name. You interrupted me before I got around to it, giving me a song and dance about why I didnít wear a name tag,Ē he looked away. Rubbed his face. ďUnlike you,Ē he laughed, laying back on the bed.
Since walking around the block is patently about not minding ones own business I canít in good conscience minding my own business walking around the block though of course the neighborhood is everyoneís business the caveat being unless Iím pacing out a story in which case Iím in a manner of speaking minding my own business but there we were minding our own business walking around the block only to discover that j would lose his house and that john had been killed in The City when a fleeing burglar rammed the getaway car into johnís truck, shit.
I finally, some thirty years later, got it! What Tom Rubus was trying to tell me when he said I was like a freight train. Wow. It came to me when I was trying to figure out what it , is, about Her that most people, many people, find so damned irritating about her.
I tend to excuse her. Which may or may not be the same as making excuses for herĖitís two edged though, coming under the rubric of not taking her so seriously.
But what is the distance between so seriously and seriously. A sense of humor, certainly
Still new at it, though **rolling eyeballs** sheís old enough to know better, she breaks the cardinal rules of princessness, giving us all a bad name: Above all, one must be Gracious. The adoring public must be adored. All entitlements are earned; there are no free points. It has nothing to do with power. It is a huge responsibility. It is not (all) about You (the given Me); it is after all womanís work. You need a soft touch.
You get the picture. Right? I mean, itís pretty basic shit, isnít it?
Being right all the time is an oxymoron.
Pacing out the story. Itís about stepping up. To the risk. Taking responsibility for the extent of onself. Clara is the risk of intimacy I want to say but what the hell does that mean...Sheís the risk of quickening and illumination woman to woman that is the same as and totally different from woman to man. A truth that needs to be examined. The man without a name is the risk of kindness, of extending oneself, (ha!) The risk of going out of oneís way, of selflessness, oh.my.god. No one (man) measures up to, is good enough for that
Iíve not done this before I was about to say. She put her fingers up to my lips. Following the curve of my face she rested her fingertips on my cheeks. And on my temples, thinking now of heaven, she grinned too. I watched her watch me. The night was warm. Damp. I unbuttoned my blouse. Lay out on her bed. She sat up. Facing me. Her hands flat on my belly. She told of telling the stories. Of the women whose portraits were surely not on the wall. Of the quilt of truths. We illuminated the valley of darkness.
Iím glad youíve come.
I almost didnít, somehow.
Not nearly almost as you think. She shook her head from side to side. Jumped my mouth with her lips. Hung there. Nibbled. Fell back. It was meant to be, she said.
Not the same as ordained. Or fate. Or magic. But tangled in the mix-up of thinking time moves from now to then. I held her hand between mine. It was thick. It was a working hand, full of certainty and comfort.
We have before, now. So you can come again, again.
She was gone when I watched the moon disappear.
As it stands, it seems the metaphor doesnít transmit my experienceĖwhat metaphor does, necessarilyĖso there it is, thereís no certainty that to each it marks the same spot on the map, so the question is does it evoke? And if at that spot, she went to the danger of wolves, then that is the melody that sings through her, is that ok? Yes, even though...I was going to say that is, was not, my central experience there, but Iím not sure that is true since they showed up, didnít they.
But, it was meant to undo and it didnít.
Iím wanting him to beĖto have beenĖsomeone he wasnít. The someone I keep thinking he could have been (with me). Instead he is as shallow as he seemed. Highschool shallow. Which retrospectively, looking forward to my 40th highschool reunion, is not a bad skill to have had, but it doesn'tĖseem to haveĖserved him well, and now heís old enough to know better. Then again he did not choose me. Thank god and goddess. So, why would I see him anymore than I would see her no evident truths being in each the otherís keeping. And nothing to come of it.
under a blue sky, brooks bare feet, wolf cubs, brides, (kittens and children of course) nearer, my god, to thee, bach beethoven wood fire, garden, lying abreast, eye to eye, breaking bread, plenty daydreaming, napping, dress up, accomplishment courting, writing, planting, watering, tending end of the climb, juicy melon on a hot day
Could be the little divertimento that represents the melody of the particular place is unnecessary and that I will have said all I need to in the body of the poem. Could be the lines are Ďpleased as punchí lines and are meant only to cue me...
Still a hard question, the how is your mother question. Not murderous, but begging, yes it begs the question it asks. Fine thanks is true and not at all. Not herself is a lie and not at all. Unable to care for herself and well cared for. Content which is good and bad, no? In a nursing home. Eating better than she had for months. Buckled in a chair, a top of the line chair. Without a worry. Loved. Alone, which is a lie and of course a fundamental truth. Not so much around the bend as around the corner
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