10 December 2006

When I was in college I used to write poetry sometimes, like any lunatic english major. I usually began a poem when something momentous or annoying happened, or when I had an epiphany of some kind. The other day I found a bunch of crap I wrote in a file, and actually found a few things I liked. Here's a poem that I wrote when I realized the jerk I was dating at the time was a jerk. His name was Michael Riedell and I think he is now a high school teacher which I find rather frightening.

I like to think that I learned something from every relationship that I've had. In part because of my time with him (besides learning what total assholes humans can be) I actually did learn many things about myself including becoming aware of some of my own vulnerabilities. I don't regret many things I've done in my life; I do regret wasting precious time on him. At least I got a poem out of it.


when he hears the word marrriage
more than three times
in as many days, he begins
to itch in places he didn't know existed
he starts to eye the windows
of travel agencies
he wonders about the limits
on his visa and mastercard

the itch gradually subsides
until he gets to waremart
where he slowly becomes aware
he is shopping with a woman at his side
the aisles of the store contract around him
eggs become orange juice
milk flows into wine
he takes refuge in a magazine
she continues to shop
not unaware of his proximity to the floor
as food fills the cart
the need to move
the urge to scratch
become central
outside, he feels relief
until he sees a woman
selling chocolate roses for valentine's day
he looks at her, then at the woman by his side
no, he says to himself
but the woman he loves hears him
he sees her mouth move
but does not hear the words
he glides the cart with some effort
toward the car

at home, the air is still and heavy
he opens all the windows
gulps the mobile air
and wonders where to scratch
the woman who was beside him
who is beside him
puts her hand on his neck
he feels her warm lips
and looks at her
he sees himself
alone on a mountain top
in the wind
the woman says
I could spend my life with you
and shuts the door
he watches her through the open window
and does not move