Sunday
Sep162018

On Sunday, driving home

 Doubletake in Rawlins, Wyoming. Photo by Andre Myron.

1.
Sometimes when you are driving you begin to know things you can’t see or touch but have always carried: the way a jaw tightens to say nothing, how eyes can dart away a shame, and birds how they form along the telephone wire, each with a secret in a long silence of miles. 

On a road for hours, you are sleepy with quiet when a hunger like longing wants the words in your throat to meet the world but knows, like a rain coming, that the feeling will fall and quickly pass. So you hold back and in the suspension the world waits and grows into something similar to illness and you remember the way a fever clarified your life.

Your map is a quilt of lines and dots, and you wear every landscape. You are numb with canyons and hills, with scrub and rock. Every terrain says try me, and so you are haybale and scorched field, broken window and rusted phone. You hold heat and storm, and keep breathing, slow and pronounced, over and over like a prayer or a plea. You are throat and lungs and fear.

Because stillness is a gift, you keep at the wheel, holding tight, holding on. 

2.
If you ask, I'll say I'm happy. But I usually add the ish, happyish, wellish, because each moment is singular and subject to change.

3.
Was I born this cramped, all blister and knots? These weeds inside me, prickle and thistle, were they planted or did I emerge from scrubby plain, growing wind-worn and hard all on my own? 

4. 
These Sunday nightsraising sadness and regret. The solitude of Sundays, the letting go and gearing up. Looking back meets going forward, a loss and weight all at once. 

5. 
On Sunday, poem as prayer:

A quality of attention has been given to you:

when you turn your head the whole world

leans forward. It waits there thirsting

after its names, and you speak it all out as it

comes to you: you go forward into forest leaves

holding out your hands, trusting all encounters,

telling every mile, "Take me home." 


— William Stafford

 
excerpt from "For People with Problems About How to Believe"
a poem that appears in An Oregon Message: Poems  

 

Friday
Aug312018

You Belong In Your Life

reminder no. 10 in a series • by drew myron

This is number ten one in a series of reminders that serve as notes to myself (and now you). Consider this a public service announcement, poetic nudge, sticky note, or just idle chatter. 

Reminder, a series by Drew Myron

No. 1 - Note to Forgetful Self

No. 2 - What's Your Trick?

No. 3 - Secrets of the Slim

No. 4 - What I Don't Know

No. 5 - The Myth of Patience

No. 6 - If I Am

No. 7 - To Do

No. 8 - Things That Make Me

No. 9 - Five Things

No. 10 - You Belong In Your Life

 

Thursday
Aug232018

Thankful Thursday: Inspired By . . . 

On a weeklong writing project, I lost my way.  

There was an agenda, a map, and destinations designed to inspire writing.

But the days got choked with smoke and my haze turned at first to malaise and then to rebellion: Who needs a vista! Who wants some fancy special event?! 

I made plans, rescheduled those plans, then cancelled completely. I did not take the hike, drive to the lookout, or dine with the writers. I went instead to my favorite no-pressure, all quiet, mostly clean and quiet place: the library.  

And there I wandered, losing my self on the Oregon Trail, in Walt Whitman, in snarky humor, and origami.  I wrote and wrote and wrote, mostly a jumble, but maybe a nugget hides in the rubble.

The best part was the sweet relief, realizing inspiration comes to the willing. It's all here and here and here, all within reach. I know this, I do, but often forget. 

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful, oddly, for plans that unravel and expectations unmet. In a small way, my frustration allowed another sort of writing to take foot, stumble, then, albeit wobbly, stand. 

 

How to Fold
 

Find a flat surface. 

Start with a single fold. 

Fold in half. 

 

Fold to back. 

Rotate. Flip.

Fold. Unfold. 

 

Difficulty will increase.

You may feel the chill of not knowing. 

Keep steady. Like any trick, it will 

 

take practice and a curious mind. 

From luck to wisdom to surprise 

you’ll build confidence. 

 

Peel back the petals. 

To create wings 

fold a loving heart

 

and hold the center. 

 

— a cut-up poem by Drew Myron, with lines from The Joy of Origami by Margaret Van Sicklen

  

It's Thankful Thursday.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. 
Please join me in a weekly pause
to appreciate people, places & things.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

Wednesday
Aug152018

Is This A Poem?


You have your own oceans 

Your mind is quick and sharp and strange.

You don’t have to be afraid of the oceans inside you.
Let the tides do their work. The moon grows
bright then dark, and then bright again. 
Do not dwell in too much darkness.
Do not make a home in deep caves of loss.

Tell yourself.

If there’s no way to predict the thing that comes next,
what freedom would it give you to imagine this week and next?

Your ambition doesn’t
have to be greedy to hold its own wild energy.
It doesn’t have to be noisy to change
the world around you. Embrace the messy. 
Remember to pay attention to where
sorrow lives inside you, and where in
your body you store love. 

You don’t have to think your body into clarity.
You might feel the change roaring in the distance
and the change rumbling under your feet. What urgency
has held you tight and what are the words you want to hear?
You’ve traveled a long way through a world that is not your own. 

Push your way back.

You have your own landscape, mountains and forests
and plains full of life. You have your own oceans
uncharted and blue and wild. You know the shape
of the world you move through. 

Show up and just be you.


— a mash-up by Drew Myron of horoscope lines
from Madame Clairevoyant and Holiday Mathis

 

I'm in a quandary: Is this found poetry, a cut-up poem? Is attribution enough? My mind runs and reels. To borrow, to take, to remake — is this moral, correct, kind? If assembly is required, is it art or is it theft? 

Dear Reader, is this a poem and can I call it mine? 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug072018

Love that line!

 



So, wherever you came from, whichever way you swing,

whatever is standing in your way, just remember:

You’re bigger than that. Like the man said:

You contain multitudes.


— from Lawn Boy
a novel by Jonathan Evison


This semi-autobiographical story is packed with angst, anger, and the ingredients of real life: race, class, snark and smiles.

“What I wanted was a book written by a guy who worked as a landscaper or a cannery grunt or a guy who installed heating vents," says Mike Muñoz, the 22-year-old protagonist who mows lawns and imagines his life as an author. "Something about modern class struggle in the trenches. Something plainspoken, without all the shiver-thin coverlets of snow and all the rest of that luminous prose. Something that didn’t have a pretentious quote at the beginning from some old geezer poet that gave away the whole point of the book. Something that didn’t employ the ‘fishbowl lens’ or a ‘prismatic narrative structure’ or any of that crap they teach rich kids out in the cornfields.”

Thankfully, Lawn Boy cuts a fresh tale, true to life with hints of hope.