Saturday, December 18, 2010

321) tulips & why i bought a jean jacket

the literary life 12/18/10

I want my mind to feel like the damp corner of a tulip. Vacation is here, which means plenty of chocolate. I am done with grades, with conferences, and with academentia. I want to read about Emily Dickinson over break and bake some halva. I want to wear my jean jacket when I go grocery shopping for bananas. I bought this jacket last month because it fit like a haiku. Now I have television shows to invent. These past few weeks I have been my not-myself self. I mean, there are no poems printed on the back of my knees. I shudder at the thought. My life, lately, has had too much plot. I yearn for fragments. I yearn to buzz like a bee around the spring tulip of cadence. Language is a doorstep. I don't understand people who are not marveled by words, by the symphony of consonants. I eat radishes in my spare time just to remember that verbs taste like the poetry of awkward conversations. I've had plenty of awkward conversations lately because I've been greenly exhausted. Tired is not a state of mind. It is the factual consequence of intentional labor. Now my intention is to rediscover Emily Dickinson. Today we went furniture shopping for a desk, a mattress, a bed frame, and a table. In the furniture gallery, I ambled like a ghost down the aisles. My husband said, "This is like the Disneyland for adults." I too thought the saleswoman helping us was part Donald duck. It was exhausting to spend some money. The saleswoman was animated and inclined. I could tell she was working hard for the commission. I didn't know how to tell her that too much excitement in people makes me want to paint my ears black. See, it's mid December and rainy and the world is loved best when dreamy. When the excitement is no brighter than a pink-gray morning, the humming tracks of a train station.


  1. Wow -- I just this minute discovered your blog! I feel as if I have been privileged to peek into an inner sanctum or a secret garden. Your writing is lyrical and intentional, and you have a unique and engaging perspective! And I feel that you should also know that almost all of Emily Dickinson's poetry can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." We once went camping and took an anthologu of her works instead of a book of camp songs for around the fire. I am so glad that I happened on your blog!

  2. Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by my blog and posting this response! It's inspiring to hear you descrbe this post as a "secret garden." I haven't sung Emily Dickinson to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas", but in college I used to record her poems on my answering machine, which was fun for me but may have troubled a few callers. I think no matter what the mood/the context, reading poetry is political.