10 Things (or 5 Things)

1. If I was dating Jack White and someone from Rolling Stone wrote about it or maybe not Rolling Stone because do they even write about girlfriends, but this writer would say, “I am surprised by how normal she is.” It’s all about context. Next to Jack White I’m relatively normal but really I have at least two trunks of eccentricity strapped to my back at all times. But everyone’s eccentric in some way aren’t they? Even blandness is a type of eccentricity.

2. I am visiting my friend D who is in a new apartment after having to let go of the house she lived in for 15 years, where she mostly raised her son, where her marriage didn’t last. I have never seen this apartment before yet I walked in the front door and was home. Who decides who is a home for you and who isn’t ? There’s no guarantee that where your parents is will always be home. Like my father for instance. And my mother too.

3. Last month I was supposed to write poems about place. I didn’t like it. It was hard being a beginner again tripping over my fingers, my language all the time. No, that’s not true—at the very beginning poems came easy. And in the context of what I was able to do then, they were pretty good. It was only when I really learned how to write poems that everything became hard. And anyway what I learned last month is I don’t want to write poems about place but I want to write poems about my father who’s been missing a long time.

4, here’s a story I want to tell in a poem: it’s about how my parents lived in Guyana but I was born in Trinidad. It had something to do with voodoo maybe or bad neighbors or old grudges or my mother and her mother. The first thing my father gave me was his anger. For 6 weeks he stayed in his place—Guyana—and I stayed in my mother’s—Trinidad. I’ve met him since then, of course, but he still hasn’t welcomed me home.

5. I knew I wouldn’t want to write 5 more things so I hedged my bets early. We all only have one true story, anyway, don’t we? One story, many ways of telling it. Like the way an imaginary story about dating a rock star is the same story about a father who is a present absence or an absent presence. And a story about being eccentric is the same story about how every time I see D she holds me hard and later I look at all her books over and over again, even the ones I’ve already read, even the ones I’ll never read.

Posted on June 8, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Fantasy or fallasy into reality

    20 years ago I was single and without a man
    So a friend asked me
    What kind of man are you looking for
    Realising I was on a soul searching journey
    So I replied
    I want a man
    With the intellect of Tyler Perry
    The looks of Will Smith
    The voice of Maxwell
    And the flow of Mos Def
    She laughed
    Said yeah
    Keep on dreaming chommie (friend)
    I smiled once again Miss Understood
    It’s good to dream
    I thought
    So I smiled

    20 years ago I grew older
    Some fell away
    Peeling away
    Much like onion sleeves
    I peeled, they peeled
    Still I was single and without a man
    Now I need no pressure
    But I still dream
    I told a friend the other moon
    I would work hard and be rich
    Work hard be filthy rich
    Or rather I would be wealthy
    And I would go overseas (America)
    And I would go there
    To marry Mos Def and Maxwell
    and they would both agree
    For the offer would be that irresistable
    I would be the most charming thing they ever seen
    They would both immediately fall in love with me
    And I would never have a bad day ever since
    Coz no matter which way I turn life would be good
    In bed to my right would be Mos Def
    In bed to my left would be Maxwell
    So how could I ever have a bad day?
    It just would not be possible
    She laughed and said
    Keep on dreaming chommie

    So I smiled and kept on dreaming
    Believe little dreamer, believe

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