At residency Jackson introduced me to a band. It’s not a new band, they’ve been around, but they are new to me. That’s how my life goes. That’s how everyone’s life goes, you know. You don’t know something until you know it. That’s why we need people. Other people. To know things and show us things we might otherwise miss. I digress (from the start, good grief!).
I woke up sometime after 4. I think the Fitbit on my wrist read “4:46”. Whatever. I laid there a while and let the thoughts in my head roll around like stones. It was something about stones, and rocks and cobbles and pavers. Something I was thinking and writing about just before I went to bed. It was something that wants to be something but can’t find the shape of itself yet.
It’s something about addiction or maybe just doing drugs and getting stoned and quite honestly I don’t know enough about the subject matter to put the right language into it. It’s just another daydream that emerged as the story of a witch who was being ushered to the stake. Burning in the Fire was the trial that had been used to determine guilt or innocence. But of course as the story goes, if you are innocent. It’s too late to save you anyway. The deed would already have been done. Damn those Putnam girls. (I digress again… damn!).
So this witch is walking toward the stake and lifting her hands and reciting incantations and her words are turning into miasma and evaporating from the air leaving a trail of copper dust behind her on the cobble stone path.
She’s dooming the village and it’s inhabitants to drown under a field of ash. But I fell asleep before the volcano could erupt. See, the language was just all wrong. It wasn’t what I was wanting to say and I let it go.
As I lay in my bed at 5:29am I was trying again to conjure the words I wanted about rocks and stones and this semi-charmed life, this hotel in California place I’m in and again, it turned into a different daydream (it’s technically almost day, right?). I was driving in a car on the highway. I was waking up behind the wheel. It wasn’t what I wanted either but I went with it.
At this point, I got out of my bed and went up to the room where my notebook is so I could write it all down. I began in a familiar phrase, language that’s so me it’s muscle memory. I wrote and wrote and came to the end of the poem and when I came to it, I knew it was the end. That’s how you know sometimes, when you are so sure about that last line you just put your pen down and say out loud “that’s it”.
Then I began to cry. The tears came out of nowhere, literally, and I had one of those feels-so-good-to-cry-and-let-it-out moments. Such a release. I looked at my Fitbit and it said “6:01”. I was crying at 6am. That’s something!!
6:01am and I had just finished writing what I am sure is my best poem yet. Damn this is a good life.
It’s 8:16am now and I’m on the treadmill and recounting all these minutes and listening to “the best of Arcade Fire” playlist on Amazon Music. Every single song is about my life RIGHT NOW and it’s amazing to me that it’s all just coming to me now. It’s “Everything Now”.
Keep the Car Running
We Used to Wait
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
No Cars Go
City With No Children
I’m so damn grateful. I just want you to know.