“The Poet: Would rather eat a heart than a hambone.” – Theodore Rotheke
I’m trying out a new tumblr blog/site.
I’m going to see if this is easier to post with via my phone, Facebook, all that good social media crap *I mean amazing technology stuff*
Let me know if you hate it. It seems harder to comment on stuff. is it? I sort of have no idea about how it works….
Take your pen,
light it like a cigarette,
brace it between your fingertips
say: Writing is proof
I am not alone, proof
I am not standing outside so many closed doors
proof even my voice is a torch
sometimes, hope chimes on the porch
sometimes, even wind smells like home.
My parents’ house was 8 miles west of the tornado. 8 miles. And in between the super cell and our front door is the nursery where my mom got her oak trees, the sonic where she introduced me to their god-sent onion rings, the grocery store where she complained once (being the recent Californian transplant she was) that the checkers weren’t in any kind of hurry because they were on Okie time.
When I went to surprise her for her 60th birthday, we went to a movie theater to watch “Silver Linings Playbook.” It was the closest, nicest one. The kind where you could get dinner and drinks with waiters and red plush recliners. They just opened a new IMax theater not too long ago. I heard on the news that theater had its roof completely torn off.
Are certain people lucky in situations like this? Does luck have anything to do with it? Our house was unharmed. My parents, thank god, aren’t even in town right now. And everyone they know and love is safe. Yeah, I think that’s lucky.
They’ve seen a few tornados in the 8 years they’ve lived there, but none as large and close as this. They don’t even have a storm shelter, the people who built their house (who could have easily installed one, EASILY) decided not to put one in. And so they have a plan to either hide in a closet in the garage under the stairs or run to the neighbor’s shelter. Usually there’s enough warning. The last time that’s what my mom did, she ran across the yard with some valuables and knocked on their door; my step-dad works with the FAA and luckily has some sort of bomb shelter there.
But this one manifested so quickly. All those children stuck…
My mom keeps talking about the horses. How the tornado hit a farm and 75-100 horses were either killed or had to be put down. She asked if I’d seen the pictures of the ones that survived, shocked and bloodied from flying debris.
I saw a video this morning of an old woman who huddled in her bathroom with her dogs. The warnings said anyone above ground was in imminent danger, everyone needed to be underground to survive. But here she is , a woman who has seen it all, lived through it all and found her dog, too.
It seems so random. It’s heartbreaking to think about parents wandering through the night looking for their children or the kids who went into the basement of that building only to drown. Where else were they supposed to go? We haven’t lived there long, but this place is the closest thing I have to a home now. Our photographs are there, clothes from college, stuffed animals and toys from my childhood are all sitting in my mom’s attic. I told her when she moved from California that home was wherever she was. She’ll come back home to a city that looks like a war zone. But she can come back home. Yeah, I think that’s lucky.
This is my view from the library. The windows protect me like a ribcage, the books my spine. I am the organs inside, but not the heart. My heart has always been a kite floating unprotected from my body. I’m still un-centered. I think the notion of being centered is a cop-out. Like saying everything happens for a reason. I half believe it. I believe “everything happens.”
Planes fly over downtown. From this distance, I could pluck them like errant petals; scatter the people inside like seeds making more people and seeds; play God long enough to believe in him, then give back the gross responsibility.
Phoenix is not nearly as loud as I thought. When you left, I felt so invincible I would have put an entire pigeon in my mouth knowing full well whatever disease-infested shit it had gotten into – it couldn’t derail me.
There are no trains today. We never took the train, never noticed the people staring like broken watches. Some ride hoping the tracks will restore lost time. I ride for hours, every day. You never noticed my hands suspending, slowing.
Yesterday, a woman smiled at me like it was punched into her. And a man covered himself head to toe in armor made of pop-tops. We’re all in a war, but maybe the craziest people are the only ones brave enough to be heroes? I could use a soda.
Thank you for believing in me, even if it was a lie, even if I’m failing here. What’s more beautiful than watching someone burn in her own pyrotechnic life? Maybe that’s why so many people live in a city where 100 days out of the year it’s over 100 degrees? Phoenix is burning, rising. I pick feathers from my mouth.
A new exhibit at the MoMA in NYC lets you walk through the rain without getting wet. This is something I must do. Magic.