10/15/2006

this is a poem.

I am lucky enough to be part of an amazing writing community here in San Francisco. I want to dedicate an entire post to the people I have met and what they have to offer, but I'll do that another night. I'm writing this because I met with my writing group today, we meet once a month and have been doing so for three years. There are five of us, four here and one in LA, when she moved to LA she bought one of those Star Trek looking phones so we could call her and she could still be part of the group. We do a lot of feedback on stuff we're all working on, one of us is writing a memoir, another a novel. We also write. I don't have enough of an attention span right now to tell you how much these people inspire me and give me confidence to go on writing. But they do and I cherish all of them. I've been feeling weird about posting poetry on here. Mostly because it's poetry, and a lot of people don't like poetry. But this is my space and I'm posting another poem, I just wrote it today, it's rough. So if you don't like poetry just skip this post and I'll see you tomorrow. xo.

50 Ways to Leave Your Hometown

First close the door. Kiss everyone goodbye. Make something up.
Tell them you'll just be gone a year, for a job, a lover, a class.
Tell them you'll write often and call even more.
Get in your car.
Pull out of the driveway, slowly. Take in the scene,
deeply, longingly, remember the way the river looks beyond the house,
the three boats sailing there.
Engrave in your mind the picture of them standing there,
mother, step father, three brothers, small white dog.
Do not cry.
Do not show emotion and they won't either.
Keep your calm.
Pull out the mixed tape you made just for this occasion,
the one marked "leaving home".
Hit play.
Get change ready for the tolls, quarters nickels dimes.
Look ahead of you. Drive forward.
Do not hit reverse, rewind or pause.
go go go.
Your eyes ahead of you, your heart full and in both hands.
drive drive drive.
Maybe it will take you a day to get where you're going, maybe three. Maybe two weeks.
Perhaps you will fly. But the best way to leave home is to drive.
You need to see the roads your crossing, feel the space you're creating between you and them.
Sleep outside at least once. Wake up somewhere unknown with your lungs wet with dew and a full set of stars above you.
Breathe deeply.
Empty your mind.
Do not think of home.
Look forward.
Forget.
Send postcards along the way, Ohio, Kentucky, Dallas, Las Vegas.
Tell them the weather is lovely and the car is doing just fine. Tell them you miss them and think of them often.
This will not be a lie, you do.
When you get there, fall in love.
Let your feet sink deep in the mud,
let your face fall forward, get dirty
make mistakes.
Fly home for holidays and bring gifts.
Tell your little brothers about the hills there, tell them about the skate boarders and bikers, about concrete
covered in graffiti. Tell them they would love it.
Create a place for them so that when they think of you (and they do) they can see you there, walking the steep hills,
chasing the bikers, admiring the purple pink red graffiti.
Bring them artifacts from this place-- snow globes (tell them snow doesn't happen there), Chinese lanterns,
good chocolate, weekly papers.
Go back.
Kiss them all goodbye.
Do not fight with your mother when she tells you it has been more than a year.
Tell her you think of her often (you do, this will not be a lie).
Fly away.
Kiss the San Francisco ground when you land.
Go to work.
Have sex.
Eat well.
Love your friends.
Call home.
Repeat.

3 comments:

mm said...

fantastic, t

jj said...

very nice. did you really say you be gone 1 year?

oh, and who are these people who don't like poetry? i suppose they don't like unicorns or ice cream or kisses either. freaks.

jj said...

mmhmm, excuse me, allow me to copy edit myself... i left off a ['d] up there...