Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just a poem today folks. Go figure, this one started out being titled, "I Can't Write."



I remember the last time I had a good pretzel,
it was at a hockey game. I’d brought Great Expectations
in my purse and I was reading the part about
Pip in the cemetery staring down through the fog
at the grave of his parents
when he’s suddenly snatched up by an escaped convict
and somebody scored the first goal and the horn blaring
scared me so bad I had hiccups the rest of the game.
The guy next to me kept shouting
send ‘im to the sin bin! send ‘im, send ‘im!
and it sounded like a church song the way he sang out send ‘im!
like he was waiting for God to come down out of the domed ceiling
dressed in striped white and black
saying, My Good Son, Ye Must Go To The Sin Bin
and what was really sad was that I didn’t know at first
what the “sin bin” was, and I had to ask, and the shouting guy
had already been looking at me funny for reading
and you can imagine how he looked at me then,
but I learned “sin bin” is, of course, another name for the penalty box.
I bought myself and that man a five dollar pretzel and
a five dollar bottle of water
and for all it’s worth ten dollars worth
of hockey food isn’t enough to cure hiccups at all
but the shouting guy liked me a lot more after that
and a good pretzel is a good pretzel and this pretzel was like eating
salt from heaven over a yellow tablecloth it was that good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This morning it's a whopping 38 degrees in Atlanta, making for a chilly commute. Good thing I'm not commuting. I'm off work today and tomorrow, spending my time relaxing whenever I'm not cleaning the house or playing Slave to the Gym. I'm also trying to write. Go figure. :)

I love it when it gets cold here. It tricks my memory, makes me think I'm home in Washington. How is Washington these days? How is my favorite little state? (Oregon, you're a close second.) Let's see. There's a house for rent on Pioneer...and Pierce College is on an ongoing search for English faculty. *sigh* The possibilities.

Tom and I might be moving soon. (And by "soon" I mean 8 more months in Atlanta.) This is the first time I'm saying it to anyone but family (and where can you publicize if not the internet??) and I'm a bit nervous. (Amy and Tara are right. It does suck to watch your mouth. And one must do that online.) Anyway. Tom's going to the Captain's Career Course in Columbus, GA, in July of next year. We'll live there for about 6 months (or so), until he somehow works his magic to get stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Let's hope he doesn't get sucked into a speedy deployment, okay?

We're both homesick here and are getting tired of being away from family. I'm sick of being depressed, though I know I pack that wherever I go. But I think a drastic improvement could be made if we were able to move back to the west coast. We want to start a family and can't do it while we feel so scattered, like there's no solid ground under our feet. Plus I'm sick of most local passersby looking at me like they want to hurt me. (What did I do??)

I wrote a poem this morning. I hope you guys like it. Don't work too hard to "get it," just let your imagination open and think whatever thoughts it lets come. You know? Here it is. Until next time?

(in response to Joanne Kyger’s poem)

How could I not agree? I like to
agree, especially with women.

I see the black butterflies you saw.
I hear the crickets and frogs

reminding me: I don’t live here.
It makes me want a drink.

Do you sense the magpie waiting
at the end of the drive? A truly ugly bird.

A couple pretty blue feathers
and the reputation of a buzzard.

You know what makes things
easier? Never let your winter clothes

get dusty. Move every six months.
Follow the cold as it swings

around our marble globe,
a perfect wave of white.

Above all, never put anything in storage.
Never tuck letters away.

Live your life in piles around the
house you never owned.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've decided to start blogging, mostly because Amy and Tara are so much more sophisticated and tech-savvy than I am that I'm starting to feel behind the times. I also enjoy run-on sentences.
Thank you for reading if you're anyone else, family or friends! Please leave comments! I usually post poems on my myspace page, but lately I've begun to wonder if this isn't a better network for getting your feedback. (Yes, I said yours. I want to know what you think!)
I'm hoping my blog will be mostly poems. But then again, I need a place to vent as well. To talk about what I heard on NPR (to make me look smart), what I think about shopping and sizes (to make me fit in with the Jennsylvania crowd), and what kind of day I had at work (to make me appear normal). Can I give you a little bit of my background? Yes? Great!
Let's start off by saying that my poems are almost always fictitious, and, regarding my first post, my parents are neither stones nor fallen leaves. I'm human. My name is Abby, and I studied English at Seattle University from 2001-2005. I enjoy teaching violin and writing lessons (yes, separately.) Poetry's my forte, I suppose, but, as a writer, I'm supposed to doubt your judgment just as often as I doubt my own.
My best friends are scattered across the country right now. (Or, perhaps it's me that's scattered.) I spend free minutes cruising craigslist, looking for apartments and homes for rent in areas I wish I lived in, mostly not in the south, mostly closer to Portland. My family is enormous and, like everyone says, I love them. (They're my family.) Now I'll just spout off facts!
I'm a vegetarian that likes to go vegan when she can. I'm married to a man who makes no sense, he's in the military, he reads American history books on purpose, and I can't wait to see him dance (oh yes. He dances.) at our daughter's homecoming ceremony (I know he'll be a chaperone). I listen to opera, much to Amy's chagrin, though I don't understand a lot of it. I also listen to Christmas music every year from September 1st until...well, maybe February. I used to be a substitute teacher when I lived in Alaska. I loved it. I worked most often in high school and middle school English classrooms as well as the intensive needs schools. I speak broken German and I've played the violin for fifteen years (anyone need lessons?). I hope I keep up with this blog. I work today at a veterinary clinic in East Atlanta as a technician (though I have yet to get my degree as veterinary tech) and spend my evenings studying for my MFA in Writing. I'm a low-residency student at Pacific University and I'll graduate in June 2009. I'm excited. (Really.)
And I'm about to eat some chocolate. (Anyone want to join me?)
I've just started this blog today and wanted to post a poem to kick things off!


This is why you have so little to say. Your mother
was a simple stone. Your father a fallen
birch leaf. You were born on the bed of a river
under a pumpkin sun and a hot pink
sky. God owns a cabin close by. You were tucked in
every night with the sand fleas and frogs.
Your forehead is a trap door. Your eyes are teabags
soaking in mugs of steam. When you asked
for your first pair of shoes you were given a handful
of fish bones instead. This is why you have
so little to say. If only your mother were a camel.
If only your father were a hummingbird.
If only God had been a bedtime story and the sheets
you slept in had been clean as cotton. If only
your ankles had been your weakness, if only your
soul had been a sword at your side. Your
mother was a simple stone. Your father a fallen
birch leaf. Who could’ve said whether you’d
be short or tall? You have so little to say!

Thanks for reading! -Abby