Then one morning she’d begun to feel her sorrow easing, like something jagged that had cut into her so long it had finally dulled its edges, worn itself down. That same day Rachel couldn’t remember which side her father had parted his hair on, and she’d realized again what she’d learned at five when her mother left – that what made losing someone you loved bearable was not remembering but forgetting. Forgetting the small things first, the smell of the soap her mother had bathed with, the color of the dress she’d worn to church, then after a while the sound of her mother’s voice, the color of her hair. It amazed Rachel how much you could forget, and everything you forgot made that person less alive inside you until you could finally endure it. After more time passed you could let yourself remember, even want to remember. But even then what you felt those first days could return and remind you the grief that was still there, like old barbed wire embedded in a tree’s heartwood.
—Serena, Ron Rash
I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.
With summer winding down and the year starting up, I’m getting anxious at my loss of academic endeavors. The school year has started, friends are studying and I am about to start working. My job as an after-school Americorps worker for Camp Fire will no doubt be a fulfilling one, keeping me engaged in the educational community. This will not, however, encourage me to write, something I really should be doing. So, expect creative writing exercises here, anecdotes from my day, proof that I am staying engaged. This is my plan. Ciao.
This is another first-world poem
annoying in all its presumption
its feckless tourism presupposing a home
and its hubris misregarding itself as gumption.
Freaks on the fringes, performing daring acts for the masses, gathering up the penny profits of curious on-lookers. These people were a circus. It’d always occurred to him, down in Mississippi when the circus came through, big tents and big animals, setting up a whole new world amidst the tepid, humid Southern breeze, that it was a sad place. There’d always been a melancholy that overcame the wonder. Ferris wheel medleys hiding deeper, darker prejudice and gypsy poverty for those who never belonged (whether they’d chosen that stool and hall of mirrors or not). Onlookers and his wide-eyed blue-eyed just a little bit slow little brother scared to throw a peanut to a midget, joyous once he did. He saw his neighbors file each of these people under interesting, not relevant, not necessary, and not even real. Just interesting. Hell, they weren’t even threatening. They’d be gone next week.
In long whispers of the soutwesth, he chased a canine
confusion west, then north, before following his nose
to Arizona. Dusty dry shoes and a motor
caked in the snow of the west
(dust dust dust
and more dust),
The car wouldn’t start.
Nights cold. Afternoons blinding and blazing.
Red, red sunsets. And he realized this:
He’d never be a cowboy
in a Mazda. He’d never be a cowboy at all.
Now he sells sports equipment
and swells with yuppie know how,
yuppie cowboy pride. You’ve got to be born
My life is small
and getting smaller. The world is green.
Nothing is all.