You in the Volvo! Get back there. Think you're so safe. All the nerdy Swedes in the world won't save you, You insist on edging out into traffic like that.
I saw three different cars jump the curb in the parking lot today. Nobody knows where they are. Nobody's safe But everyone's sleepy.
Spilled my coffee trying not to hit A van nosing out of a side street. Would have been a slo-mo crash, Both of us creeping so cautious.
Should have hit him. Could have gotten our front end fixed.
If you are a Baltimorean like me, I hope to see you at theLiving Poetry Flash Mob at noon on Saturday on the City Lit Stage! Poets Virginia Crawford and Laura Shovan are hosting a spontaneous poetry composition that you’ll want to try on for size. Attendees wearing Living Poetry Flash tee-shirts will “be arranged” into written on-the-spot, living poems. Tee-shirts can be made at home (instructions at www.authoramok.com) or picked up Friday and Saturday at the CityLit Stage.
When she was a kid, a woman I used to know wrote a song about a lizard for a science report. I haven't seen this woman in 25 years, but that song sticks with me:
I don't wanna (clap clap) Be an iguana (clap clap) They have long nails And spiny tails. I don't wanna (clap clap) Be an iguana (clap clap).
I don't wanna be an iguana, by Amanda Bailey, submitted in partial fulfilment of the elementary science requirement at Little Red School House, Greenwich Village, NYC, sometime in the 1970's.
Amanda, wherever you are, I hope you get your hands on this new book of poetry by Joyce Sidman. You'll like it: there's a gecko on the cover, his tail curling around the spine of the book, crunching on some unfortunate winged insect. If you're like me, and you were in 1985, you approve of poetry with a body count. And check this out:
Yes it's poetry. I don't like poetry as a rule, but by god I say yes to this:
...even when the words grace me with their presence, they don't always choose to step delicately into the world, pink shoes treading softly over the white horizon. usually poetry slops lazily over the couch of a page and dangles while I remove its muddy shoes and rearrange the pillows, all the while muttering something about Frost and how maybe his comments against free verse were right all along (poetry in rhyme always cleans up after itself) although honestly, you haven't lived until the homeless free-verse poem on your couch decides to stay for a cup of tea and, if you're lucky, lets you take notes on everything he says.
from "invitation" by Mackenzie Connellee, in Time You Let Me In
There's a butt-ton more of that where this comes from - meditations on the last photons from a dying star, the burning feeling of hiding and making out, joyrides and wine coolers, fitting in, learning, rebelling, parents, grandparents, and oh my god breathless love. Something about the sparkling grittiness of late youth - it's all coming at them so fast, no wonder all they have time for is poetry, little phrases of clarity captured on a car ride or lying in bed, strung together and looped across a window.
Here's another little bit:
as far back as I can remember we've been pissed off, the whole bloodline, just really pissed.
from "as far back as I can remember" by Jonah Ogles, in Time You Let Me In
If you could say "Good job!" in that delighted voice with the big smile in it that you give a three-year-old who zipped her own coat to a teenage or just-past-teenage poet (which you can't, not unless you want to hideously damage him or her), I would say "Good job!" to Lauren Eriks, who wrote:
I have bed knobs in my hands, portals, doorways. I can leap over buildings, baby, bouncing through walls. I'm free as a racing rubber ball. When I get lit on the trail of your Camel cigarette, you know I can break every bottle, butt, bombshell around.
from "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by Lauren Eriks, in Time You Let Me In.
As I write this, on this Spring night full of wind, there are teenagers vaulting from the parking garage to the roof of our library, trying doors and evading the cops. We are startled by their sudden presence, by the thump of their feet on our roof. Those kids will go home and write poetry. Or eat a Hot Pocket and play Rock Band and crack each other up re-telling what they just did. That's poetry too.