Quondam

June 2013
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More than coins

She makes her way to the picnic benches that sit just on the other side of the paved walkway that marks the boundary of this small amusement park. There are better newer picnic benches within the park itself, but it turns out those are all reserved for parties, in which she is not. These far-flung unreserved benches sag in their middles, their green-painted wood carved and re-carved with the claims of fickle sharp-tongued lovers. Johnny loved Kate, apparently, but then he grew to love Gwen, whose name is slashed over Kate’s as though the knife had been set to an improperly large font. Next to these declarations is another note about Gwen, in different hand, which announces that Gwen has a cock, leaving unclear whether the cock that Gwen holds is her own or someone else’s. The woman runs her hand over the depths of the hearts and threats and names, countless names, lonely cries of, “I was here but no one saw me, and so I gouged proof of my existence into this tabletop.”

I was here but no one saw me.

It explains much.

The bench she has chosen sits in mud instead of grass, but it is shaded beneath a large maple tree, and the day is only getting hotter. She stands next to the bench for a moment, considering – if she sits with her back to the park, she can look over the rolling green that leads down to the pulsing liquid burnish of the river below, but she will be blind to anyone approaching from behind and also largely unaware of people walking along the adjacent path until they are upon her and then passing. She hesitates, but then chooses the view of the river, willing to take the small risk that on this particular day, she is not invisible.

She has brought a book of poetry, a fat anthology, and for the next hour, as she turns the pages, words break from their structures and float free and through the air, some of them worthy of her attention . . .

How do you paint a room the color of a wish?

Her skin is like bread-dough.

I told James he’s good for nothing and then I had to explain how nothing ain’t no field of expertise.

You got a screwdriver? I got an itch.

Change is change is change, motherfucker . . . I want more than coins.

If I had known we were going to be ending this, I would have had that second drink.

No, baby. No.

All I want is to be a little less aware of the wanting, you know?

Fucking idiot put cheese on my sandwich again.

I got a ticket to ride, and I do not even want to hear about there being a song.

Drop it.

Heel.

Listen, I’ve counted all the times I’ve eaten since the last time I ate, and I’m pretty sure it’s time to eat.

Well, that fucking hurt.

Next time I say I don’t sunburn, call me out on that ignorant shit.

I’m going to go back there and vomit on his shoe.

It’s not self-control I need; what I need is control of others.

It’s like the world is moist with sweat, and I got to walk through sweat to get where I’m going.

Snowflakes, except these are all the same.

She looks up at the mention of snowflakes – the heavy humid air has gathered itself and muscled through the cottonwood trees, setting free cascades of billowed white from the cracked offerings of podded curves. The wind fills the air with muggy snow that drifts and twirls, indecisive except for movement.

Snowflakes, except these are all the same.

She stares into the blizzard of warmth . . . a million small Seussian worlds she does not move to save.

Instead she pulls her keys from her pocket and carves her name into the peeling green-painted wood.

I was here but no one saw me.

It explains everything.

    16 comments to More than coins

    • liz

      I went back and read the last post with the last tag in mind and it changed the way i read it…..
      and, it’s nice to be seen sometimes even if most of the time i prefer to be invisible. So :)

      • Liz, I appreciate you saying that you read the post to be a story of only rain.

        I see the blood, and even looking back from this moment, the blood is clear to me. So if I had to do it over again, would I tag that post to help interpretation . . . no. I provided several roadsigns along the worded way to indicate that there were two different storms, but even with signs, people see what they see.

        My words touch the ones who are meant to be touched.

        I’m good with that.

        That said, I did wonder . . .

        So thank you.

        Me

    • I remember those benches. Not the poetry. Didn’t know that amazing broken poet back then. BTW. Gwen was a bitch. Pretty sure I remember that right.

    • “All I want is to be a little less aware of the wanting, you know?”

      That. That right there.

      Sigh.

    • Robin K

      Featured grass whispering

      waving soft and clear

      World taunting perfection near

      Desire parks

      Will.

      Not disappear.

    • Mishelle

      “All I want is to be a little less aware of the wanting, you know?”

      Frankly, that’s my new motto… would make the world a little better for just about everything.

      M

    • Robin K

      As for the other: you know I am a huge fan of white space, in visual art, in my home…I don’t think the tag would have changed the way I read the post. I did not see blood, however.

      I think it was sweat I was feeling.

      I did not comment on that post as it left me wakefully pained and confused. The hammock bothered me. I hate hammocks as to me they are claustrophobia and panic inducing.

      I said to myself, “I’ll wait for the next post and comment.”

      Weird.

      • I am not going to argue you into a love of hammocks . . .

        But for me, with these children of mine, I find that on the rare occasions we lie together in a hammock, there is a releasing of the personal-space boundaries to which we (and most especially one of us) so adamantly adhere.

        Bodies melt into bodies, spaces between are met and melded.

        A secret? It reminds me a bit of the feeling of pregnancy, that insistent heavy weight of another who is me and not-me within and around and taking of me.

        Giving to me.

        There is a surrender to the embrace that I am not generally afforded in this motherhood of mine.

        That.

        Me

        • As for the white space?

          I intended to leave white.

          I perhaps left more than I could see.

          Can see.

          Because to me, there is red.

          But I am fine with clearer interpretations.

    • Issa

      I’ve always wanted to scratch my name somewhere. Not the right time and not the right place. At least at this point in my life.

      • A name scratched does not pin you to a location, you know.

        The claiming is of nothing other than yourself in the single moment.

        Me