Monday, May 31, 2010

In Celebration of My Uterus

Everyone in me is a bird.
I am beating all my wings.
They wanted to cut you out
but they will not.
They said you were immeasurably empty
but you are not.
They said you were sick unto dying
but they were wrong.
You are singing like a school girl.
You are not torn.
Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
and of the soul of the woman I am
and of the central creature and its delight
I sing for you. I dare to live.
Hello, spirit. Hello, cup.
Fasten, cover. Cover that does contain.
Hello to the soil of the fields.
Welcome, roots.
Each cell has a life.
There is enough here to please a nation.
It is enough that the populace own these goods.
Any person, any commonwealth would say of it,
“It is good this year that we may plant again
and think forward to a harvest.
A blight had been forecast and has been cast out.”
Many women are singing together of this:
one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine,
one is at the aquarium tending a seal,
one is dull at the wheel of her Ford,
one is at the toll gate collecting,
one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona,
one is straddling a cello in Russia,
one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt,
one is painting her bedroom walls moon color,
one is dying but remembering a breakfast,
one is stretching on her mat in Thailand,
one is wiping the ass of her child,
one is staring out the window of a train
in the middle of Wyoming and one is
anywhere and some are everywhere and all
seem to be singing, although some can not
sing a note.
Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
let me carry a ten-foot scarf,
let me drum for the nineteen-year-olds,
let me carry bowls for the offering
(if that is my part).
Let me study the cardiovascular tissue,
let me examine the angular distance of meteors,
let me suck on the stems of flowers
(if that is my part).
Let me make certain tribal figures
(if that is my part).
For this thing the body needs
let me sing
for the supper,
for the kissing,
for the correct

-- Anne Sexton

Porch View

Fog in the mornings, hunger for clarity,
coffee and bread with sour plum jam.
Numbness of soul in placid neighborhoods.
Lives ticking on as if.
-- Adrienne Rich

I walk into my kitchen as soon as I wake up. Where else would I go? Coffee.

The sun reaches through the colored glass bottles in my window, telling me to open my patio door.

It is amazing how quickly plants can recover themselves after a few days in the sun.
My Jade plant stands tall, fat, and green. The hanging flowers grow wildly away from the brick wall, reaching towards the open air. Cardinals, bluejays, and little sparrows fly from tree to tree each morning, singing about the day to come.

Empty cans of PBR litter the parking lot below the Virginian.

Six old black men sit on the front patio holding cigarettes, newspapers, loose change.

A tall dark man walks across the downtown bridge. It is too hot for him to be wearing a maroon suit. His voice quivers loudly, and from far away I can hear him singing Leadbelly.

I don't mind living right next to the bridge. The sun rises over it each morning along with the mist from the fountain. The sunbeams, watery fog, and the sound of traffic greet me with bustling energy (encouragement).


Sunday, May 30, 2010


A brown woven basket - old and cracked -

held soft, furry peaches:

(a shy fruit, each piece snuggling its beard into the next).

Take one, she said. Take two.
Alone at the laundromat,
I put the yellow peaches
in the dark green seat beside me (to hold -- your place).
I brought them home
and saw they were beginning to bruise.
I stood at the cutting board without any pants on
and cut them into slices,
watching the juice seep into the worn wood,
carefully examining each piece with fingers and mouth.

M. Robinson on the discernment of beauty

"I really can't tell what's beautiful anymore. I passed two young fellows on the street the other day. I know who they are, they work at the garage. They're not churchgoing, either one of them, just decent rascally young fellows who have to be joking all the time, and there they were, propped against the garage wall in the sunshine, lighting up their cigarettes. They're always so black with grease and so strong with gasoline I don't know why they don't catch fire themselves. They were passing remarks back and forth the way they do and laughing that wicked way they have. And it seemed beautiful to me. It is an amazing thing to watch people laugh, the way it sort of takes them over. Sometimes they really do struggle with it. I see that in church often enough. So I wonder what it is and where... it comes from, and I wonder what it expends out of your system, so that you have to do it till you're done, like crying in a way, I suppose, except that laughter is much more easily spent."

--[from Gilead]


Everyone suffers; few learn to embrace it. I have known close friends and family who, encountering pain, have gone a little crazy. Some drink too much alcohol (there is such a thing), some take pills or various kinds of drugs. Some slash tires and throw shit around. Or - and I consider this the worst - some repress their sorrow completely. I want to try something different. Marilynne Robinson says that there are a thousand thousand reasons to live each day, each one being sufficient. Whether I find that reason, or create it, I would like to record as much as I can.

The past two weeks have been particularly heartbreaking in an extremely personal way. The pain we cause ourselves hurts more than when we are hurt by others. I know I want to protect myself, and when I fail to do so, the heartache is coupled with a sense of shame.
The first smile I was able to genuinely put my whole body behind was the result of seeing a cardinal. I was walking at Blackwater Creek, halfway down the damp green trail, when the flash of red dropped out of the tree and crossed my path, unexpectedly.
Beauty. A reason to smile. A reason to live. A reason to move foward with my day, to refuse to retreat back into myself.
I believe each day holds significance and meaning. Furthermore, as a female, I believe I have been created with a unique sense of perception that allows me to pay attention to the details of life in highly attuned and detail oriented way. This is my gift. Annette Kolodny describes this awareness as being attuned to the "insignificance of kitchen things." I hope this blog will be unashamedly female.
In Celebration of My Uterus,