Ever After

Feb. 14th, 2010 02:08 pm
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Something my friend [livejournal.com profile] drippedonpaper said today reminded me of this poem. I wrote it as a 10-year (dating) annivery gift for Jeff, and handed it out at our wedding the next year. It's a love poem about long-term love as opposed to the short term fluff you get in movies and novels.

So here it is, for Valentine's Day. Whatever stage your love is at, I hope you have a great day. If your love is at the "still searching" stage, no problem. Have a nice day anyway.

Love Poem: read at your own risk )
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Last of all, I am posting the kind of poem I am loath to admit that I write. It's a poem about writing poems. I don't think they are a good idea. But this one is kind of fun, to me at least. It's tongue in cheek. It's a poem about how the creative process doesn't work if I am distracted or everything around me is not conductive to it.

Shortbread For The Muse )
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It's been a long time since I've posted a weekend poem. Heck, there are new people here who have no idea that I do this. Since poetry is such a public nuisance, I try to limit it to the weekends when fewer people are likely to step it it. My mother taught me to be considerate like that.

I found a poem from 2005 in my old notebook, about Patty's housemate Amanda and her funeral. I tend to write several pieces about a subject, and I must have written this one about the times I wrote The Funeral, the other poem I posted about her. I almost left it to rot in that notebook because I already had a poem about that day. Then, I found I kind of like it, on second glance. It refers to some of the same things that The Funeral does, but has a very different tone. The Funeral was a little angrier and focused more on the socio-economic class of the subjects. This one is more sadly sweet; it's about Amanda's youth and the youth of the people who mourned her.

Fair-well Party )
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I've always hated that poets sic poems on the public that nobody can relate to unless they walked in the poet's own shoes. It seems - I don't know - self indulgent.

That's exactly the type of poem I'm posting here. Maybe I'm hoping that I describe the situation well enough that you can imagine wearing the shoes the narrative describes. More likely, I'm just being a self-indulgent poet. What other kind is there?

A few post back I wrote about how I sometimes wake up with a low glucose level and the effect this has on Jeff if it happens too often (that is, it scares the piss out of him). I don't write about my diabetes too much; living with it is a routine thing for me and there's not much to write about. I wrote this poem after a particularly annoying episode that made me late for work one day. Jeff wasn't home, so I dealt with it myself. In the first draft of this poem, I didn't say what it was about, so I added a reference to the insulin to give the reader a hint. I'm hoping that reference makes the whole thing less self indulgent. Probably not.

I wrote this poem in a fit of frustration. I had to get a doctor's note explaining to my personnel department how this sort of thing could make me late if and when it happened, and doing so made me feel freakish and vulnerable. When you have a difference, a legal disability, passing for normal is a big deal. Alas, it's not always possible.

FYI, a severe hypoglycemic episode feels like being very intoxicated and incoherent, but with a rush of adrenaline on top. I imagine it's like drinking a large bottle of Jim Beam through a funnel and then snorting a few lines of cocain to compliment it. I've never done either of these things, but it's as close as I can get to an analogy.


Waking Up Low )
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I've been trying to get poems out of my notebooks and into electronic format, typing up a few each weekend. Once all of the poems in the notebooks have a line drawn across each page, I will stash the notebooks away and probably never look at them again. The notebooks have poems in their embryonic state; not until I rewrite them and see them typed up are they viable.

I found a little stanza that I started and abandoned when my son was a few months old. I confess that I didn't fall in love at first sight with my baby like some people do. I fell in love suddenly one morning when he was 3 months old. I loved him before that, but it took awhile for me fall head over heals the way everyone said I would. It took me by surprise one morning when I looked down in his crib and he smiled at me - suddenly, I couldn't breath. I was smitten.

When I typed up the baby stanza yesterday, it grew into a full poem, as unexpectedly as the heady love I wrote about. Even more unexpectedly, it took on a rhyme scheme, albeit an irregular one. Knowing me, it will probably undergo a few more rewrites before I'm done, but I kind of like it in it's current state.

Unexpected )
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Since the last one wasn't very fun, I'll post one that is.

This is about my mother and her use of curse words. For a poem about swearing, there aren't very many swear words in this poem. Just one, and it's mild. The rest are alluded to but not said. My mom was funny about swearing, and this is about the one four letter word that she used.

My mother's clean potty mouth )
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I only post poems on the weekends when I think that everyone is off living their lives and not hanging around on LJ, so they will bother fewer people. Look, I warned you, so you can avoid this one by not clicking on the cut.

This is one of the few pieces of mine that has actually been published, though it was back when I was in college and probably less than 100 people read that publication. Still, it's one of my favorite things that I've written.

When I wrote this I was trying to imagine what it would be like to be one of the women who had stolen my boyfriends and what she would think of my pathetic blubbering if she heard it. I figured she wouldn't be very sympathetic, but that there must be a certain rush and feeling of power to be the one who winds up the winner in that game. I wrote this from that viewpoint - as I imagined it, at least.

That Bitch Venus )
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Last night, besides being April Fools Day, was the first Open Mic of the month at my small town coffee shop, meaning that my favorite host was running the show.

Tom thinks I'm brilliant, and I adore him for that. Poets get so little respect, it's nice to have someone tell the audience that they are "in for a treat" before you take the microphone. I like to have my ego stroked as much as the next person, maybe even a little bit more. When the only thing in your whole life that you are any good at is something as useless as poetry, one little compliment goes a long way.

My Open Mic Redemption )
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It's been awhile since I posted one. I went to my open mic last night and read for the first time in ages, despite the light crowd. My only stipulation is that I have to see at least one unfamiliar face if I'm going to read, and there was one woman there that I didn't know, so I put my name on the list.

Poet Laureate of Nowhere in Particular )
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After talking about Amanda a couple of days this week, I figured today that I would post the poem that I wrote about her funeral. It was one of the more interesting funerals that I've attended in my life, and I wrote the first draft of this poem shortly after it. It was almost a year before I type it up and cleaned it up to perform at a reading; I needed to put some distance between me and the event in order to be objective about that part of the writing process.

The Funeral )
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One of the things I'm known for when I read poetry is that it's not all serious and doom and gloom. Poetry, after all, is about life, and life can be pretty funny. I tell jokes between poems (so half my act is poetry and the rest is stand-up comedy).

This poem is one I wrote about reaching my 30's and it not being what I thought it would be, and me not being who I thought I would be either. On the surface, it's not deep, but I think I hit on some deeper issues; they are just disguised by the tongue in cheek delivery.

Look back in Angst )
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I wrote this one about a conversation I had with a friend almost a year ago. She was going through something very scary, and I suddenly realized how helpless I was and that there was nothing brilliant to say at a time like that, no magic words to make everything better (at least none that I know of). If anyone does knows some, could you please pass them on to me?

Biopsy )
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I think I write poetry because I want to tell stories, but I'm too lazy to write a book.

This one, like the poem from last Saturday, is a true story. This time it is about my mother-in-law's first cousin, Janie. I heard the last part first, shortly before Janie died a few years ago. Then, last May my mother in law told us about the day her aunt brought Janie home as a baby. It occurred to me that this was too good of a story not to write down.

The people in this poem are Northwestern Louisiana people. My husband's aunt in the beginning of this poem went by both her first and middle name, in that fine Southern tradition. You will see her name, Exie Mae, and want to pronounce it as two words; that would be wrong. Her family pronounced it "Examay." I think the poem flows smoother when it is pronounced that way.

For the record, when I met her Janie was a fun-loving grandmother who loved riding Harleys and speaking her mind. The closing line of the poem is a direct quote from her. If you had gotten the chance to meet her yourself, you probably would have liked her.

Here is her story.

Homecomings )
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It's Saturday. I do poetry readings on Saturdays. My poetry is not as surreal as the rest of my week.

This is one that I wrote about my mom. I had heard the story of her birth as a child, and as I grew older the story ticked me off. I never saw the need for them to tell my mother that the doctor called her a monster and that her father fainted the first time he saw her (true story), but knowing these things may be what made her such a tough, spunky woman.

When I was a child and I asked her what happened to her right hand, she told me that the angels were careless when they put her together as a baby in Heaven and they forgot to finish her. That sounded like a serious mistake to me and I wondered then if those particular angels got in trouble for it.

Now that I'm older, I don't think that she was an accident or that Heaven has a QC problem. I wrote this one to tell my mother's story and to take the blame off of those poor angels, who I don't think had anything to do it.

My Mother's Right Hand )

Poetry Post

Jan. 7th, 2006 12:42 pm
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But sometimes I do like to post it. I know most people hate poetry, and with good reason. My feeling won't be hurt if you skip this; no one hates poetry more than I do. )

New Orleans

Dec. 3rd, 2005 11:45 am
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When I read at the open mic on Saturdays, there is one piece that currently gets requested every time of late.

"Do the one about the French Quarter. I love that one."

I'm kind of getting bored reading it. I wrote it after the flood, but I couldn't write about the tragedy that was happening. It was too much like watching a good friend drown, live on TV, and not being able to do anything about it. New Orleans was a flawed city, but you fell in love with her anyway if you spent any amount of time in her company. So I wrote about that, about loving the Big Easy even though you know she's no good for you.

It may suck just reading it on a screen. I worry that part of the appeal of my work is that I know how to read it, how to perform it, and that this is why people like me. I have no idea how my poems work as literary works without me there to interpret them for people.

But let's give it a go, anyway.

Love Poem for New Orleans )
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I've been surrounded by a lot of grieving people of late. Since Grief and I are old acquaintances, if not exactly friends, I've written my share on the subject.

Grief is not a single emotion, it's a whole package of experiences. Until you've been through it, reached out to touch a person and only touched an empty spot where that person used to be, there is no explaining it.

This is an old piece that I was reworking today. I like it better now, it's more polished than the version I found in a notebook this afternoon. It's about the aspect of grief that is frustration.

Warning: Hack Alert )

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