October 17, 2005


I almost fell out of the apple tree twice on Saturday, mid-pickins handoff. I was balanced on the limbs, but I caught myself on a rope. It's a good thing that Ian did not catch me or break my fall below. He had a buck knife in his hand. Ian is Robin's beau, he is a poet. Robin says he is working on a poem about Mary Poppins right now. Robin sells umbrellas for a living. Together we picked apples.

All weekend was poems and poets. In the Didion book, in discussion with Ian, in discussion with JR and Ian and Robin and Miles about Frank O Hara and his death--I asked rhetorically and got no answer what must it feel like to run over a great poet, to kill a great poet with a dune buggy? ( or conversely, how is death, drunk under the wheel of an ATV? Sheesh). Robin and Ian and I sat outside a rotted-out corpse of a corn maze, picnicing on snacks, and I offered I never read poetry until 9/11, and for the next three years, it was all I read. Poems and magic realism. Normal books could not hold me, because context seemed to have shifted and I wanted radical love, peace, disgust, outrage and effluvial words for it. The breath-stealing lines: in Brooks' Bronzeville bit about the abortions, Nikki Giovanni's bomb drop of "I am not an easy woman to love", Ginsburg imploring America take your clothes off, 5 times through Panther and Lash, Wanda Coleman saying love is a pimp just the same, Ferlinghetti's "slopes of heaven". Slopes of heaven makes me think God lives in Tuscany.

Other than apples, the weekend was of revisions and remittance, and the reluctant humility involved in both. I bought a road bike, $40 from the collective, in leiu of getting a car--battling head on my relationship to conviences, battling my idea of what a car provides--it is a hard war, convience has all kindsa tricks. But what I know: In Chicago, a bike is faster than surface street cars, and so I am seeing what happens now, seeing what happens when I commit to becoming a non driver. because at a certain point, the question becomes If I am not living my hope and politics at my advanced age of 29, then what am I doing?

Posted by Jessica at October 17, 2005 12:18 AM | TrackBack