Archive for the ‘ poetry ’ Category

Two Minute Soul

Hello, my dear readers.

Today, instead of writing, I’d like to share two minutes of soul with you.  Using lovely iPhone voice memo technology, I’ve recorded my improvisation on the piano, expressing my thoughts.  It is necessarily gritty—but it occupies my space.  It is necessarily brief—but it is contemporaneous with my own experience.  May you enjoy, and perhaps, even dialog.

\”10-10-11_8-19-21pm\” by Jessica Reis

reflections of life : my piano

reflections of life : my piano

My Linen Should Be Laundered

How high are we?

I was bound to run into the glass ceiling.

Or maybe it’s a box.

Well, whatever shape it is, there are planes and angles involved.  It’s a structure that encases my thoughts, and, if you are the one standing on the other side, you may see me yelling and hear nothing.

You may see me yelling and hear nothing because I haven’t opened the window.  Yes, there is a window my in box.  But it’s currently only open for business once a week.  Lucy is going to crowd me out of the market.

The past month or two, I’ve only been blogging every seven days.

Although it may come as a shock, however, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been saying things.  Like I said, I just haven’t been open for business.

Lucy, will you help me?

Lucy, will you help me?

There are so many thoughts that shuffle between my ears every day.  Well, actually, my thoughts feel less like they shuffle between my ears and more like I can still hear them screaming at me across the room–from under five pillows, a set of headphones, and two squishy ear plugs.  They pound away at my head all day long, intertwining and running over themselves in their eagerness to command my poor little Self’s attention.  They jostle for affection and tenderness, and my poor Creativity has run away.  I think He is hiding in a corner until all the yelling stops.

But what’s funny about blogging is that I can’t let you in on that conversation.  I can’t let you in on that conversation because it’s not politically correct—or even polite, for that matter.  You would be offended, and then I would be offended at you, mostly for interrupting my eloquence with a *gasp*

I can’t let you in because you don’t care as much as I do.  My screaming voices are only a whisper among your screaming voices.  And we really all simply want peace and quiet.  The only reason my little window is comforting to you or to me is because it channels the energy; everything has to mush into a square to pop out the window and onto the other side of my glass box, or triangle, or quadrangle, or hexagon, or parralleogram, or rhombus.   (I think I secretly always liked the rhombus best.)  That little window of “a blog post” can do wonders to solidify the thoughts swirling around.

Perhaps it’s like those hurricane machines at the shoe stores from the nineties where the really loud salesman with the obnoxious and oversized company polo shoves you in to make a spectacle for the other innocent shoppers; you flail your arms about trying to catch on to something you can walk away with.  My thoughts aren’t like single paper dollars, though; it’s the whole roll of linen tromping around in gale-force wind.  They’re all connected; that’s why, if I eventually throw one end out of my glass window, the other end will eventually catch up and go sailing out into the great Beyond.

What if I am the Woman in White---does that make me crazy?

What if I am the Woman in White---does that make me crazy?

And that’s why it’s hard to blog.  I don’t want all my dirty linen out in the great Beyond.  I want it safely at home, where it’s regularly laundered, cut and dried.

So, accept my deep regrets: you may not hear from me for another week.

Creeper

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

oh the tragic beauty of a creeper parking lot

I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’re walking down the parking lot and there’s someone following you.  At first you don’t think of it because lots of cars roll slowly through a lot looking for the next available space.  But then you realize that they aren’t passing you.  They are just idling behind you—creeping along at an unnaturally slow pace for a metal vehicle with hundreds of horses under the hood.

So you begin to speed up slightly—mind you, this is all happening within a split second, maybe two.  Your pace is now unnaturally faster than the ordinary person returning to their parked car, but you want to keep it just shy of utter panic.  The driver of the creeping vehicle must never know that you’re onto them.  Somehow you think your ignorance will be a shield in the time of distress.  Drawing attention to their distress-causing behavior may incite them to increase escalate said behavior.  God forbid.

Now you’re slightly jogging and even going so far as to attempt the whimsical “glance over the shoulder.”  Oh, boy.  That was risky.  And, of course, for all your stealthiness, you didn’t get a single impression of the driver.  There’s no way the perpetrator would ever be identifiable by the kind of picture the sketch artist would produce when you recounted the story under great duress at the local precinct.  Oh, no.  It’s over.

Then, suddenly, as you pass the last despicably dim, outrageously lofty street lamp on your row you realize—with great relief and slight pressure of apprehension lest your hope prove false—that your car is parked two rows over.  Two whole rows, though which your tiny human body can maneuver on a dime but the large bootlegger motorcar with its bulky sideboards cannot.  It must proceed to the end of the aisle.

You dart through, sure to find your vehicle right where you left it, far away from creeping drivers and glances askance, safely under the tree that’s—

Wait, no!  You didn’t park under the tree today because it was raining!  And when it’s raining—not 100 degrees and sunny—outside, you never park at the back of the lot like usual, you always park up never the front so you can dart with your shiny galoshes across the shorter, straightest path to the awning and arrive semi-presentatlbe for your big quarterly meeting!

And now, the Creeper is turning the corner of your aisle, you’re about to be discovered, not only in your idiocy, but in your total vulnerability.  There’s not even a fuckin’ call box out this far for God’s sake!

So you abandon all veneer of propriety and grip on reality and break out in a dead run for the front of the lot, praying and hoping the whole way that when your body is discovered by the morning news the next day that it’ll be so obliterated by the shot that they could never tell that you were assaulted from behind—running—running away—running—

“Hey, pal, you need a lift?”

And finally you turn around to face your doom: the mall security cop.

18 Augusts R.I.P.

Should I be surprised that after 18 years of resuming classes in August (or September, if you count the post-Labor Day glory of elementary school) I am going through withdrawals?

Long live classic Lisa Frank!

Long live classic Lisa Frank!

No more trips to Walmart, Office Depot, Staples, or Target for coordinating folders, fresh college-ruled notebook paper, or superfluous protractors.  No more nervous filling out of agendas, mapping of the hallways, practicing of the lock combination, or ironing of the uniform.  Actually, I’m not sure if I ever ironed my high school uniform… No more midnight run to Walmart (well, 10 p.m. run for the first few semesters until the 24/7 one opened up the road) for plastic martini glasses, lined / un-lined index cards, or polka-dotted set of rain boots and umbrella.  No more calculating the commute (car + bus + walk), downloading the pre-class iPod playlist, impulsively purchasing of the overpriced wall poster, or stalking professors online profiles at ratemyprofessors.com.  Actually, I’ve never done preliminary research on a professor… In homage to my years of education, may 1992 – 2010 rest in peace, I offer an unusual reminiscence: my scholastic pet peeves.  Anyone can write about what everyone else does during school; so I will regale you with what nobody did…but me.

  • All the pages in a coloring book must be finished before a new coloring book can begin; this goes for to-do lists as well.
  • Pencils without erasers are not permitted.
  • Even if I know the teacher will never get to the part where the compass and protractor are required, you must faithfully carry them within easy reach in the pencil pouch at the front of the binder.
  • My book bag must be able to stand on its own four feet.  Literally: no slouching.
  • Gum is ABSOLUTELY required at all times—-no fruity flavors, only mint.
  • Take the prettiest, not shortest, route along the road, bus, or sidewalk.
  • Swing your umbrella in circles as you walk back from class, paying no attention until *SMACK* it hits you in the face.  Repeat.
  • Wear jeans as often as possible so you don’t have to shave your legs.
  • (1) August – September: full make-up and accessories (2) October – November: no make-up, one bracelet (3) December: please shower!
  • All doodling must be worthy of display in the High Museum of Art.  If it’s not, throw it away; stop doodling and pay attention.
  • Take notes—even if you already know the content.
  • Talk to the teacher and answer questions: always.
  • Stay after class to discuss the deeper implications and your own experiences and reactions: always.
  • Stop by whether it’s office hours or not: always.
  • Sleep in class: never.
  • Keep all textbooks—even if you already have a copy of that novel.
O! Education, long may you live on in the hearts of your Students, never ceasing to say: get a life! =)
And now, Ladies & Gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure:
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Anger: Digression

Quietly the change comes upon me.  Soft and stealthy at first and then with roaring, hide and sinew exploding everywhere.  Anger is a rough handler.  He pounds you down into the ground, through the tunnel to China—expectorated out the other side of the green orb.  If you’re already in China, you tear apart Butte, Montana on your way out into the chasm-pocked deep.  (I say “Butte, Montana” only because it seems appropriate not because I know it to be geographically across from the vast provinces of “China”—-poetry should never be technically accurate about the insubstantial realities of life.)  Anger is like the Red Bull in The Last Unicorn, God help us all.  I feel like the last unicorn sometimes—the geeky leftover of a glorious mythology.  Not enough like the harpy or the pegasus to really be myth but not enough like your pet pony to be led into your foyer and fed apples and sugar during a tap routine.  Its hard to be stuck between myth and fact, poor unicorn.  People only believe what they can see in front of them or what is so far removed that it shimmers ever before the mind’s eye. Magic is stuffed.  Anger is stuffed.  Real feelings are stuffed under the ice, let out through a little whole, baited by wicked hooks that sting and rip and exorcise the darkness of Below.  No body wants to go down to the Deeps, all by themselves rummaging around the insides.  People tend to get lost in the dark, and above all—thank GPS—we forbid ourselves to get lost.  Its too stressful, not knowing what’s next; so we make up games, the rules whereby we predict outcomes, generate patterns and expectations.  Most expectations get met, of course.  And if they are disappointed, you could have expected that.  Anger knows.  Anger sees.  Anger doesn’t feel and so mocks you for feeling.  Maybe anger is a big red bull, charging through the forest, hunting down the last of your weak glories.  (This, of course, is the kind of anger that petty people feel for themselves and each other—not the rich, dazzling anger of a righteous lord, wreaking havoc on behalf of the trammeled.  I feel that’s an important point to bring up.  Pardon the digression.)  Anger.  Anger.  Anger.

There.

the many faces of anger

the many faces of anger

Soft Lays the Night

Soft lays the night on my beating heart.

Not one, but two things have I spoken.

Don’t forget to turn in your key

when you pack up your things and sashay  away with a crisp apple between your teeth

the last fruit of a weary yoke.

 

I remembered you at the dawn.

When the mists rolled in through the asphalt cracks and the brakes tore through the treads.

I was there.

I was there when you cried and shuffled to the three-step dirge.

Don’t look away now, in the soft of the night,

in the pillow of the patterned fall.

 

I will be there again in the blazing 1 p.m. sliding the card in the slot.

Quiet laps the evening on the memories of my mind,

On the tired places that cannot pull together but lie naked, beating at the surface.

 

Sleep in peace, and pass on to the Time, my wild-hearted friend.

 

Soft Lays the Night