It’s strange because right now I have so many things to write about, and I have been writing about some exciting things. Sometimes, though, we become drenched in thought and it’s hard to make sense of what’s clear and what’s not. I am very cyclical writer and I’m not. It’s very dialectic. I am a writer who practices writing every day. I need to have the muscle memory and keep doing it. My mind also is a vat of images and stories constantly playing out, so there’s always something brewing. I have the good fortune of having several friends that know I write and they will say things to me all the time when we’re talking like, “you need to find a a way to fit that into a poem.’ It happened at least three times in the last week and for each I am trying. I often say I’m a storyteller versus a writer because it encompasses me more. As a writer, I’m not as funny as I am in real life. I probably tend to go for the emotional or dramatic. I’m the classic INFJ, the introverted, extrovert and in writing the introvert shines a bit more. So, I digress, in writing I am this daily writer, but I’m also very cyclical I’ve realized working on this project. I write heavily in the fall, winter, spring, but it’s in summer that a lot of those ideas take root. I sort of fall into phases that tends to have me more on the researching end of something or I’m deep in a writing phase. I make myself write every day, so there are poems that come out that are born in summer. Traditionally, they’re not near the output I can put out in fall or winter. The times I’ve lived in tropical places, my writing has been consistent but not as interesting to me as what I tend to write when I’m at home in Wisconsin. I also drift through periods where friends will say “I’m just lost to writing,’ and periods where I feel so alone or lonely that writing ‘is almost impossible.’ I find it very challenging to write at extremes of emotion and do my best writing when I’m not too up about something and not too down. I’ve talked about the poem I am going to post this morning before and then never posted it. It’s part of series of poems I wrote living in Miami. It was a wonderful time in my life, as I remember it. I love the city of Miami, but I remember coming home and writing it from the perspective of the waiter at a very fine restaurant I had watched who was serving a family of upper-class individuals. I don’t come from an upper socio-economic class. I don’t know what that world is like, so it has made me uncomfortable before. I think what I related to the most was watching this waiter, who I felt like was trying to become part of this city and seeing on his face just how hard it is to integrate to a new lifestyle, a new city, a new job, and how alone that can feel. So I got home and wrote this poem, Gelato Rain. This morning when I got up and it was raining and humid. It’s been a very lonely kind of week, I thought of this poem, which I think speaks to our desire at times to be ‘taken away by something.’ I hope it bring up an image, a thought, a feeling of something that makes you feel safe and cozy when you’re in need of it.
The party waits for their table.
The waiter clears soggy, cocktail napkins, wiping
Away another conversation, another
Lover’s tongue, another confessional poet.
The jokes were pornographic,
The distance between customers seductive,
The silent prayer inside of him waiting
As he invites another bright God
To enter him as he seats another party.
And their daughter is pretty, he thinks.
A harbor he could lighthouse to,
A moon to an old sailor
Too drunk not to notice,
Too sober not to forget.
I wish you understood how this feels
To watch this, the medicinal exhaustion
Of plow and earth, of never ending thoughts,
The sweat on his brow
A far cry from eternity.
To stand here stranded
Somewhere in the midst of humanity
In a rain that can’t even melt Gelato.
Here where the pay phone hangs crookedly,
Where Juan forgets his coat at the movie theater,
Where later tonight, this waiter will
Turn off the lights
Bone by bone.
I still believe in the power of fate.
How lives can change with a single glance,
Scoopable, papable, transformative
As the essence of snow.
The party is seated now.
Soon there is room only for Sorbet,
Oysters, and the clandestine modesty
Of a faithless husband
Masterbating himself a palace of strange infidelity
Under a gluttonous table.
And the Gelato is still tangible,
The rain continues to fall.
Bare arms reach for chocolate,
Or love, or just a poem
That sort of tastes the same.