Friday, June 17, 2005

I bet you didn't know

Tonight some friends and I drove out to the lake for a short, late evening cookout. We made a fire in a grill and cooked hot dogs and sat around at picnic tables and talked. Two of my friends are married and have six-month-old twin girls, with another baby due around Halloween. The other is just entering her mid-twenties and has every expectation of being a wife & mother someday. When we got there a young couple was just finishing up dinner at a nearby table, a single rose in a vase between them; they left after the sun set.

It was a catalog of roads not taken.

Moonlight on the lake, a big messy splat of a bug on the windshield of the van on the way back.

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I haven't written much lately but when I let myself sit with it for a while I think it will all come out in an enormous splort of poetry. Maybe it will happen in Provincetown.

Then I can put together a new chapbook: Splorting in P-town.

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Ten things you didn't know you knew about me:
[fill in the blank]

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To make lists or not to make lists; TMI or not TMI; po-blogging or pub-blogging or describing your own left shoe. I don't care. Sometimes I like reading the most mundane and silly things about people whether I know them or not. Sometimes I love finding out that I'm not the only one who cares about [fill in the blank]. Anything that can make a person feel less alone in this world, any small connection ... that is a gift and a blessing.

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I bet you didn't know that sometimes I can't imagine speaking to another living human being, and sometimes I wake from a dream in which there was someone else in my house and for just that flicker of a moment it seems completely inconceivable, unreal, and wrong that the other person isn't really here.

I bet you didn't know that sometimes I sleep when I shouldn't and sometimes I stay up all night.

I bet you didn't know that the half moon over Lake Monroe was laughing at me tonight, and so was a six-month-old girl.

I bet you didn't know that the rabbit never hears the owl that swoops up behind it and gathers its bones and its blood into darkness.

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For real: ten years ago this summer I was healing from a broken engagement. Or wasn't healing, really. When I look back on it now I don't remember how it felt -- either the crazy in love part or the crazy after. I don't remember, meaning how it felt is no longer available to me and I can't even imagine how it must have been. Once I decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I have every intention of writing about it. I do. I think it will be fiction.

I still think of her sometimes but I don't miss her. But sometimes I miss whoever it was that I was then.

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Today I took my 18-pound fluffball of a cat to the vet to have the fur underneath his tail shaved so that it doesn't collect stinky things. He sat on my lap in the waiting room and purred and purred. Cats are the best. I am well on my way to becoming the crazy cat lady librarian in comfortable shoes. And I say that with a smile.

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Sometimes there are things I don't know how to say. Sometimes there are things I know perfectly well how to say, but I don't say them. These are the times when I should be writing poems, though a lot of times I don't.

I have ten days to bring myself to the edge of something, and then I'll be out there on that very end of land and words will meet me there -- my own or someone else's.

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My own. Or someone else's.

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Outside, there are fireflies on all the trees. And mostly I do like my life.

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I bet you didn't know how much I love to fly. It's because of the light up there, all that blue and striking light.

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Ten things you don't know about your own self. Go.

11 comments:

Pamela said...

Everytime I think your blog cannot possibly be any better, you write something as wonderful as this. Thanks and best wishes to the furball!

I'm off to get a google poem.

Pamela

Ginger Heatter said...

Your list sounds like a poem-in-the-making, Anne. And a very interesting one at that!

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

Please--PLEASE--tell me you were serious about Splorting in P-town.

I want to read that book. I must read that book.

Write that book! ; )

Anne said...

Hee. Thanks, folks -- your comments made me smile.

As for splorting ... no promises. There may be other bloggers better-qualified than I to write about splorting, you know! Hehehehe.

early hours of sky said...

Anne, I'd make 18 copies of this and bring it to the workshop and I am not kidding. This is beautiful and wonderful poetry. The owl and the rabbit are stunning.

LKD said...

What an engaging post. Your P-Town title caused me to wonder if you've read Skillings. And your casual mention of your cat's weight made me laugh out loud. I thought my cat was a doozy at 13.5 lbs. Good lord, Anne. 18???

Thanks for this post. I've been wandering around out here in blog land looking for something to feed me. I think I can push away from the table now feeling sated.

Diane K. Martin said...

Anne, I really enjoyed your post. Enjoy is perhaps not the right word. I was right there with you.

Only for me, dogs are the best.

Anne said...

Teresa, what a funny idea! But there might be some usable stuff in here. Hmmmm. (The owl kind of creeps me out. I know I wrote it. But it kind of creeps me out.)

Laurel, I haven't read Skillings -- maybe I should! And yes, my Honey Bear is 18 lbs -- he was 20 at one point, but he's slimmed down. :) He's a bit pudgy, but honestly not that overweight -- he's just a BIG boy, with paws almost half the size of my palm. I think he's part Maine Coon (or maybe part heffalump; my sister calls him a kittypotamus). 13.5 sounds like a nice medium sized cat to me. *grin*

Diane, I like dogs too! Someday I do plan to have a dog or two -- but not right now, as I have a nearly 18 year old diabetic cat (not the 18-pounder, the other one) who just doesn't need that kind of stress in his life.

C. Dale said...

This is beautiful writing. Just beautiful. Who needs a poem "in there"? It is just beautiful the way it is.

Emily Lloyd said...

Anne, I'm only just now reading this. Thank you. Beautiful.

Anne said...

C. Dale, Emily, thanks.

I always feel like writing is supposed to *make* something -- a poem, a story, a tangible artifact somehow. Maybe blogging is what I'm doing to try to break myself of that habit. And heck, more people read this blog than will ever read most of my actual published poems (if "being read" is a goal, which I'm not sure about).

Anyway. Thanks.