Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Libra in abeyance"

Here, now, I will be as real as Maighread's Wings.
Fellow lonely Libra, 
drowning in anticipation, 
suffocated by expectations, 
seeking comfort in words and balance,
always balance,
in the concrete reassurance of written emotion, murky-thick.
Like me.
I ask you, what could be worse than tipped scales?
Empty ones, perhaps.
But no.
On the left are heavy realities--
dense, gray and ugly; shifty and unnerving.
Compensating on the right are bubble dreams and paper plans;
snowflake memories of complex, fleeting beauty;
whispers of conversations almost had and perfect words almost spoken;
mirages of strange and busy streets and the echoes of exploding energy; 
the aftertaste of self-expression--
subtle, lingering, unidentifiable yet impossible to ignore,
and in the only way that matters, a final impression.

What is it in the aligning specks of light that cranks my wheels so predictably?  

When God punched out the holes in the black construction paper sky, 
His great cosmic Light Brite,
his design must have been so intricate so refined,
far surpassing my neon trees and electric clouds,
to have included all of us in the plan.
He anticipated me. 
And now I anticipate me.
The undiscovered me.  
There are no guarantees and only foggy predictions,
but it will be beautiful.
I am a Libra after all--
I wouldn't couldn't have it any other way.

Friday, July 25, 2008

When the words go away

Where do the words go when they leave?
How can I convince them to return?
Don't they know how much I need them?
It's all the anticipation for inspiration keeping them away--
they must be hibernating, storing up to burst loose in a million tiny explosions of color and sound and life.
The words must have their own makeshift bedroom with a mattress on the floor
in an unfamiliar house in a stranger-filled city
that still manages to feel like home,
at least enough to re-charge before the next great adventure.
But I want them now!
I will force them out however I can:
into neatly divided lists and reminders on post-its--
they really hate it when I confine them so, but it's their own fault for being so useful--
I will torture them with ABABC rhyme schemes of love I haven't felt,
and then I will copy down lyrics to the beautiful old songs my mother sang--
those songs have been everywhere lately, but it's my own fault for being so nostalgic--
I will cover my journal pages with doodles to make the words jealous,
to make them return to reclaim their territory.
And now what do you know,
the only way to make the words come back is to write about them in the quiet of a sleeping house, 
such self-satisfied, nocturnal little creatures--
no wonder we get along so well.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thank You

Are you still wearing flowers in your hair
in your invisible home?
Do you still teach Shakespeare to sixth graders 
and cast the outcast as the lead?
How long has it been since you have closed your eyes
to listen to the hum hum thud of the heater
and then written about it? 
Invisible homes must have invisible heaters--
hopefully they still make noise for you.
Are you still fighting juvenile vandalism 
with Sherlock Holmes skills 
and a little healthy intimidation?
It worked so well.
Are you still changing lives and directing paths,
fanning sparks and inspiring young minds?
Have you run out of the tube of ruby red lipstick
you wore on the first snow of each year?
You colored the cold world with your smile.
Did you know that I loved him with my whole 11 year old heart
when you arranged the seating chart
to give me a perfect view of the back of his perfect curly head,
the only thing that could distract me from those magical words.  
Do you know that I think about you every time I use a semi-colon;
do you know that I use them a lot?
What you should know, without a doubt,
is that there is a letter for you waiting in my memory box
until the day I find the address to your invisible house 
when it will be promptly mailed to your invisible mailbox,
and you will open it and read it and clearly remember me,
Jessica Drake, your student. 
And then you will know, without a doubt,
that you have made a difference in at least one life
and no matter how much (or how little) they pay you, 
it will not be enough.
Thank you.