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23 June 2015

in Progress

Forgiveness was a fire by the road.
It was a fire I made,
and a fire I could extinguish.
It was made of my own skin and smile,
my own voice, the timbre of my ears' echo in my own mind.

The rattle of old bones shaking in my skull
-quivering in pain of the race-
was enough to tear down the house
and wake me from the dead of my sleep.
What was their message?

The die was cast, my own die,
and I looked down into my hands.
The baby I was looked back.
And she could still be saved,
by the fire, by the road.--

Sun is shining:

11 June 2015


Since I've begun writing my own book (! boo-yah!) I haven't gotten out to see much art. There are lots I have wanted to see: Basquiat, the Native exhibit at the Met, Jacob Lawrence... the list goes on.

But I am making my own art.

In the meantime, we are all making works of art of our lives. They are always unfinished. And every step is another possible mistake that may remake us entirely, or destroy something precious, leaving us where we began, only this time... faithless?

Every leap of faith is just this: another possible perfect mistake, or another possible drop into yet a new level of hell.

I've spent the last few weeks in a fog of quiet and withdrawal. I have pulled back from almost everything, dwelling in my book, my past, from whence I came. Not only my past but the present created by my past, brought forward every moment in gestures, in memories, in the reflections we regard in the faces of those we love and strangers alike.

I reflect not only on mistakes, but moments of faith. Moments that allowed me to do what I believed in, when I soldiered in pure will through what seemed like jungles so thick with trouble I had forgotten what horizon felt like.

And it's all still a work in progress. As we speak I continue to make leaps of faith in love, continue to battle with old habits that I know will bring me nothing I want. And I write. As life is ever a work in progress, so are the poems I share this month.

Selection from [artist unkown], Yale Art Gallery, 2014

Sleepy claws
separate the haze,
a lazy gesture from the dream world
of freighters and smoke stacks
and water towers.

Something smells like cooking coal fire,
old things burnt away,
no longer necessary;
better they feed a new life.

The growl from your throat in
my ears, unawake...
the fog lingers at my window
and carries my dreams to cloud people.

Thunder and lemons scent the neighborhood.
Our children sleep well tonight
while we lay, side by side,
watching the savanna for signs.