Written by Jennifer Mattern On
It's been a long winter indeed.
Words have been hibernating. Sentences are waking up, stretching and yawning big like bears. They're hungry for you.
I am sitting on the low concrete wall at the edge of the world, listening to the ocean's measured point of view.
Sometimes it is nice to hear the ocean's point of view. Oceans don't get hung up on semantics or loyalties.
Behind me and above the sea, the sky is streaked midnight blue, although it is only nine or so. If you care about o'clocks. It is good to know what you care about, or don't.
By 43, I think, in addition to knowing the right brassiere for any occasion, I should know how to say goodbye. I should be able to say goodbye with conviction, without looking back. At least, I feel like I should be able to do this. But I am always looking back, hoping for one last glimpse, one more wave. No wonder my neck and spine hurt all the time. I ache with goodbyes.
Yes, I would rather sleep alone than fight
and this is why I sleep alone. A drunk?
Not too late, my first last career. I write
already, my prerequisite word sea
dotted by empty green bottles. But sex.
You were saying? I liked it with you. Love--
He loved me when he was drunk. There was a simple equation at work, not hard to follow: the drunker he was, the more he loved me. He grinned red-faced on that June night in his corner of the backseat of the cab. The red-faced grin: the closest thing to love I'd come to know on his face.
In last night's dream I could run pretty fast:
tenth place in the 5k that involved climbing
wobbly circus ladders through plastic sheeting.
I did not stop for water. When I got home,
Lady Gaga received me well in my bed.
Then I drove five hours north to see you in
Montreal, a place in which neither of us has
The busker, August 2013, MASS MoCA
It doesn't take much for me to decide, at long stupid last, that there is no God.
A dog skull does the trick, this afternoon. I'm cured.
The dog no bigger than a large cat leaps onto the couch into the same space and at the same moment I am reaching for--what? Who knows now. The puppy's small dense skull collides with my left eye socket. She is unscathed (the whole fucking world, even a dog, knows how to shake itself off and walk away untouched--pain is remarkably optional for many) but I reel from the impact.
The pain is a fresh pain, at least, something new. That triggers the tears I've been holding at bay for days. I press the heel of my hand to my brow, sobbing furiously and instantly. The pain as an isolated moment is not the issue. It's a dogpile of pain that won't let up, accompanied by self-commentary so vicious, I would drive a knife into the eye of anyone who spoke to my daughters in the same way.
First, grumble fuck a duck under your breath when you realize you have to spend another $19.95 for the right to correspond for two weeks with the creature you were in labor with for 40 hours straight, the baby who rendered your vagina a Level 5 Haz Mat situation, the daughter you have kept alive for 12 years despite poor culinary skills, the confounding little broad who stares at your left eyebrow with her mouth slightly agape when you try to explain that hygiene is really a very exciting thing. Yes. Fork over $19.95 to Bunk Notes for a third year in a row. Bunk Notes: the Official Hostage Converter for Summer Campers.