04 March 2008

postcards from indiana

long, long ago, i wrote a poem that seems suitable, just now, for the beginning of a blog. i don't really know the ins and outs of blogging, nor do i know exactly how "funny" or "relevant" or "engaging" works on a blog. but i do know that i used to, am, and want to continue writing poems, and i figure this kind of a thing -- reading poems, seeking out poems, passing along poems to you that you might like -- might be the way to continue that trend.

i'm also a little weary of the analysis of everything, the questioning of value, the evaluation of it all -- what grade do i get for this? am i going to get a ticket for parking here? what's that in my teeth? did they notice? that song -- is it horrid, poppy, beautiful, sappy? wait, he wrote about pigeons? why did he write about pigeons? what's at stake in this poem/novel/letter? do we need to know more about the narrator? is the narrator reliable? how much whiskey does the narrator drink? did he mean what he said? did she define her terms? does she love him enough? what does it mean to love someone enough?

i'm guessing this blog, and this whole post, is partly inspired by jack ridl's recent post about grading, evaluation, and what happens when you lift that burden from folks' shoulders -- what sorts of doors open, what windows, what light comes in. i'm in need of a little light. and i'm in need of a little celebration of a good bunch of poems. it might get schmaltzy, sappy -- that's what i do best. (read: he wrote about pigeons because he loves pigeons, their feathers, their bewildered eyes.) it might get sarcastic (read: you go write about important things, like politics, war, love, death, the afterlife, the bloody angels and their swords. i'm staying here with the damned pigeons).

either way: a little light.

mostly, i'll post other folks' stuff (and figure out which laws i'm violating as i do it) and i'll revel in their poems. and it'll keep me reading. and it'll keep me from playing too much online scrabble. and it'll give a little light to the day.


my dear,
this is the world's largest
thermometer. this is the turquoise-soaked
ocean. these are green hills, stacked
like your knuckles. this is my hand
writing to you. here: a sea, a mountain, your
name. which side will be taped to your
mirror? which side is the reverse? did i leave
my socks in your drawer? there is music
here, a guitar sometimes
in the evenings, and there are gulls
in the morning, with sunlight. i have lived nineteen
summers and twenty winters. the day i caught
my train, do you remember watching from
a fourth story window? i turned, looked up, and you
were there, leaning on the sill. and now i know
how to shoulder a backpack, catch rain in the collar
of my jacket, listen to the sounds of bookshops
opening, turn myself toward seasalt or sleep.

~ sally


IUSB Creative Writing said...

I wanted to post your first comment! Love the blog, friend--love the poem.


George said...

Wow. Your first post inspired to "find a little light" and it's one of the most depressing things I've read in weeks! Outstanding! :)

Can't wait to see more of this, but please, don't let it keep you from too much online Scrabble. We'd miss you. :)


sallylynn said...

i think we should all read _against happiness_ and recognize that melancholia is not necessarily *sad,* but full of the hope for resolution and the joy of figuring it all out.

at least, that's my claim for now.

also: more depressing things than sally's blog: losing at scrabble, the last show of "sports night," and...

okay, nothing more depressing than the last show of "sports night."

b. said...

So, apparently it's official: I am now the last person on earth _not_ to have a blog. So, I'm. . .um. . .just going to go back under my rock now.

hannah said...

see. you're going to influence me into sentiment.

i love you. and i love the poem.

turn yourself to seasalt and come home.