Monday, August 24, 2015

Tomorrow We Can Drive Around This Town

All these things and what to do with them/ we carve up the world all the time.  - Richard Siken

There are parts of me everywhere. Lost in slate along my favorite lake's shore, in the sunshine that sets my hair on fire, at the bottom of a Gin and Club Soda, the crease along the spine of my favorite book, on the curve of every word I write, under my husband's fingernails, balling up on late summer leaves, in the quiet fizz of neon... just everywhere. I'm noticing this more.

I'm doing a thing where I'm listening to those tiny parts of me scattered around this world. It's proving to be beneficial on many levels: heart levels, brain levels, social levels. It is a good exercise on what is right and what is well; I'm excited about what this means for me. But also, sad.

Leaving the winery was not an easy decision; the dissonance is (still) tangible. I learned so much under the guidance of Eric and Dennis,  blossomed with creative freedom,  honed skills I knew I had hidden somewhere, made incredible bonds with people I would have never come across... Two-EEs has been good to me. But lately there has been a fragrant and deafening pull for elsewhere. I noticed when the pull was more of a subtle tug, and now I'm listening.

So. Onward! as they say.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

This is Your Heart, It's Alive, It's Pumping Blood

I admit it, okay?

Most of the time I do not think I'm a deserving human. I don't know where it originated; actually, I have an idea but I don't want to get into it today. But now that my poetry is being combed through by professional poets the issue is getting recognized. And called out. It's terrifying in all the ways it could be and therapeutic in ways I can't understand.

First things: 1) In your letter you say (casually), "I, mostly, am the worst person." No. You aren't. Dick Cheney is the worst person. You know what else? I think this steady self-deprecation of yours is really some kind of mask -- something you deploy to ward off the world and to beat others to the punch -- or something. 

That is an excerpt from the letter Mark Wunderlich wrote. To me. Yes, THAT Mark Wunderlich. And this Mark Wunderlich - and even THIS Mark Wunderlich. This man is my poetry mentor during my final term with the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. Can you believe the goodness? My luck? Can you? I can't. I still can't. I'm overwhelmed.

I ripped open my correspondence with Mark as soon as Andy put it in my hands, sat down on our kitchen floor and sobbed.

You rely on writing how you're a bad person, how you hurt other people, how you had an affair and everyone hated you, etc. Life is too fucking short. He goes on: I wonder what would happen if you just wrote a poem about being awesome? About how much you love the parts of your body, or your mind...? What would happen? 

The letter went on and on with the most beautiful, personal, soul exposing words. He went through ALL of my poems and personally noted each one. Every single poem has his handwriting all over it. I am lucky. I am overpowered by what I get to experience, moved by my mentor, and down right scared to address the juggernaut of self-hate. But how exciting to think that I might deserve attention from an incredibly important poet, to think that I might be better than what I give myself credit for, to think that maybe, just maybe, I'll be okay.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I Don't F**k With You

I am not *just* your wine girl.
I am not a dying flower in your goddamned garden that needs dead-headed.
I am not just my figure, or my toned arms (though both are exceptional - I know).
I am not rude.
I am not just a loud energy you can't avoid.
I am not just a wife or a recovering adulteress.
I am not just the friend who suffers with depression.
I am not a gardener,
but I am a nurturer.

I am a writer -- a poet, to be precise. I am thoughtful and quite hospitable; someone has described me, even, as having a small town charm. I can navigate social situations with ease - avoiding awkward interactions with grace and making people feel comfortable are my specialities. With that said, I can also destroy you with just a few moves - strike that - with just a few words. I can be rowdy and reckless with your feelings, but only if I'm reciprocating. I am part hillbilly girl and sometimes she claws to get out. I am goddamned gorgeous, but that isn't it. I'm smart, too, you know? And passionate about a few things that could change the world if more people gave them the acknowledgement they deserve.

If we are friends: I'm tenacious about your feelings. If we aren't friends: I'm considerate and gentle. I can be rabid if you offend the sentiments of the people I care about. I know just what to do when emergencies happen -- all kinds of tragedies. I am familiar with birds and some trees and with geography. I can maneuver Indiana country roads with a crazy finesse. I am a hard worker -- I am an emotional worker. Nothing I do gets done without elbow grease and a tiny piece of my heart. I am a wife to a gracious, handsome man. I am mother to two beautiful kittens. And to succulents I'm trying not to kill.

So, let me tell you this: I am so much more than YOUR WINE GIRL. Limiting me exhibits more about your character than mine.