White men no college
never read Virginia Woolf
on the toilet in the morning
early morning, 5 am morning
not having woken up but
never having gone to bed
never having felt that sleep
was safe, or that time was plenty
holding her in hand like a white dove
Mrs. Dalloway on the roof
deck of a bus headed away toward the city
white men no college
will live forever without that scene
will grow old beautifully untouched by ache
dusted with golden flecks of hate;
white men no college
have in their canvas hands
the bald heads of daughter babies
whose eyelashes are infinite
and hold in them a future
empty of trees—perhaps—busy with busses
who might go away, far away, to college
and hold in her pale hands
a borrowed novel, a stream of conscious
a woman she might someday be.
for my father whose friend has passed
That silence spoke for itself
an infinity of wide open eyes
and I stood with you at the edge
with my hands on the brim of your
canoe and gave a gentle nudge.
Ours was a bond of time
as much as it was friendship
and after all these years,
my quiet hope for you is peace.
As it is for myself; as it is for my children.
We have seen enough to know
the difference between life and living
the difference between happiness
and the burden of hope. I wish
you carry all this life’s sweetness
with you on your journey, even
which came with time.
These next few moves matter
this I know to be true
that the distance between us
grows stiff with years
and we are different now,
and we have never been this
way—far away; chasing the tail
of our twenties. I am something
in between this and then
and these next few moves speak volumes
thousands of expired encyclopedias
are shouting wait Wait WAIT!
but we are on an airplane
and the wheels are up
and our phones are off
and the last thing I said was I’m sorry
but I can’t remember what for
these next few moves matter
they are the scribble
with which we write our lives
and these are not apologies
as much as manafestos.
and these next few moves
are happening outside my body
a reflex, a habit, a whole.
Terribly young indeed; for the darlings we keep deep as nesting dolls, carrying always into tomorrow, anyway.
When I remember you, I remember those of us you left behind
When I was a freshman in high school my best friend didn’t buy me a normal birthday present. Instead she bought me a whole box of petit fours.
I had never seen such delightful little squares. They felt like a bite size dream. I froze most of them and made each and every one last as long as possible.
I stumbled upon some lovely internet poets who are contemporary and nostalgic all at the same time. I tried to emulate their lovely type-writer cool, but my typewriter is oh so broken and the one at work (yes, there is a typewriter at the library, we are awesome) ate my money and laughed in my face!
So I fell back on what I know and made a semi-nostalgic poem-let for sharing.
There are lots more to come; I wrote 24 of these!
Hope you like them!
I’ve started looking at conversations as poem starters. The first line is from a movie and the rest is what it brought out of me:
I miss the days that never came
summertime wet and sweet melon
rinds fly nibbled and misty wide
the days made of waiting, hungry
for tomorrow, lush with hope
when each moment could be anything
had yet to define itself by name
was aching with opportunity
filling itself up with honesty
and slowly, as not to alert my sense
of self, I became the average
of each noon passing, together
infinite, suddenly—done. Quietly
completed, without stout, full victories
one does miss the maybe-days.