Friday, July 19, 2013

Anatomy of Part of a Poem

The past couple of days have been desolate. Poured my heart out to someone, got "Get a real life" in return (!). You (or Jodi Arias - ha!) might know how that goes.

I was in drudge mode: "Just get up, go to work, come home. Do what you have to do." Also hadn't written a thing in months.

Thursday (last) night, I'd been, in my mental agitation, dallying with throw-offs like:

Get a room, get a life
Kill with kindness, or use a knife
Take it manly, or on the run
Look out below for Number One.

Went to bed thinking of the above nonsense ditty. Right before my 6:25 alarm, was dreaming of seeing some sort of electronics demonstration in an auditorium. Then the clip of the electronics was to be shown as part of an entire movie that featured it. You could either leave after the demonstration, or stay for the whole film. After seeing the electronics clip, I recognized the film as one I liked and was planning to stay. I was near the back of the auditorium, in a row of only 3 seats. The film was about to start, and I felt 3 quick taps on my shoulder...

6:09, the dream-taps woke me up. I physically turned around in bed to see who was tapping me awake! No one, of course, but I immediately had to jump up and write down, not the goofing-off of the night before but:

The trees of our land have scars
where pioneers nailed their barbed wire.

(I just wrote this down without thinking, but I immediately knew the exact physical image: From age 12 to age 18, I grew up in a rural part of Texas. My family had a few acres of land of our own, but we kids in the neighborhood also often roamed around the surrounding completely wild land. We'd often come across old barbed-wire that former settlers of the land had nailed directly into trees to mark their territory. The settlers were long gone, and their barbed-wire intrusions long rusted and long grown over, sometimes in fantastical elephant-man proportions, by the bark of the trees.)

An hour or so later, as I waited for the bus, another line came to me:

And when the worms have had their way
with flesh and wood alike...

And then 9 or so hours later, once I got home:

The rust still runs through the gnarls and knots of both patience and decay.

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I didn't at all feel so sad any more! :) My "having a life" depends a lot more on that imaginary tap on the shoulder than it does on the whims of an even more ephemeral Houston socialite.

I will always have those trees (and that barbed wire).

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