Posts Tagged ‘hippy’

Teenage Angst: know thyself

October 1, 2010

Friday morning and the tweenage angst is in full force. My one son yelled at me for not letting him bike to school in a downpour; the other whined about not wanting to go to school at all.

“I hate school,” he said.

“Well, how come just yesterday you were pumping iron in the garage at seven in the morning, putting on loads of deodorant and couldn’t get out the door fast enough?”

“That’s different. That’s for a girl who happens to be at school. Everything else is just nonsense.”

“Oh, I see.”

Anyway, at least they are attempting to know themselves. As for me…I seemed to be pretty confused at their age, as these poems attest. I don’t think I need to get too analytical with them. It’s safe to say that they are pure embarrassment.

1. (c. 1984)

Y’know I was just thinking
Bout what I believe
Kinda hippy, peace, love
Put on earth for me to receive

This world I don’t find easy
But I’m doing the best I can
God, you know I don’t belong here
This generation I can’t undertand

Feels like I’m in the dark
A misfit in the light
Honey, everybody knows I’d be better off
Just coming out at night

These days aren’t mine
It’s hard to believe in peace
In a world full of hate
My world long ago ceased.

2. (c. 1984)

This one is a little deeper, and more philosophical …

Finding yourself
Is like going on a trip.
You just travel,
Not knowing where you’re going
But somehow you just end up there.

3. (c. 1986)

This one seems to be profoundly existential and probing. And yet, teacher’s comments were discouraging: “This needs work,”  (to put it lightly). I guess I was grateful that the other poems, which presumably were turned in with this one, didn’t have the same comment on them and thus, were works of genius.

If I Never

To die.
To never breathe again
If I never drank from the rivers of peace
Never smiled at the trees
Or drew my expressions
Painted them onto my canvass
if I never felt the beauty of the sky
Never felt the heat or cold
If I never got out of bed and did
the stuff that I usually do
If I never…
I wouldn’t be.

The lawyer and the barista

February 21, 2009

You are not normally self-effacing.

Until you push past the carts.

In a black suit.

Against a dichotomous background.

On your way to the Cafe

To buy  black coffee

Circumnavigating the aisles of Whole Foods,

Where you obviously don’t belong

At two in the afternoon

While there’s work to be done

At your desk;

Your glass office

Some ordinance to file.

You are

Linear and finite

Braving a sea of amorphous,

Communal, leftist, hippies

Who brush past you with their flowered dresses

And canvas tote bags

And downplay their superiority,

Just so you can catch a glimpse

Of your girl’s smile.

 

 

 

Leap Year

June 5, 2008

He used earth words and planted gardens and liked going down south and road trips to nowhere. He had tattoos of the Devil on his forearm, and looked like God, with big blue open seeing gentle eyes that had a spirit steady and true beyond the simple human spirit. He was a great kisser. Like me. But quiet. And deep. Not deep in a click-your-fingers-at-a-coffeehouse deep; not even the kind of temporary deep you think you see in the face of a student of philosophy. He was deep like rivers that cut through canyons as old as the brachiopod lingula and the horse shoe crab.

 

I met him when I was young. In a bookstore.  Buying war novels for my father. I liked to call him Mr. Smith, but his name was Steve. His hair was long and kinky and I remember I could smell his clean, hippy, 25-year-old smell as he flushed spines in the history section.  He said to me: “You see, you have this calming affect on me. I actually want to struggle with you.” And I thought to myself, I want to run my fingers through the algebraic recipe that cooked up the lines of your hair. I was on fire. I perused picture books of the American desert and listened to Navajo tunes. I bought a dress with flowers that came down to my ankles and I wore sandals.

 

He struggled with me. And then he took off. Restless. One day in May. He rode with some friends in an orange VW bus out to a reservation in New Mexico to study art and history and eat mushrooms and pledge a vow of celibacy to the Great Spirit in hopes that one day he would understand the difference between love and lust.

 

I waited. But he didn’t come back. The Spring was over. The warm, tired, lovesick days of August too, and eventually the fall and then the winter…

 

I fell for a waiter. I made love to a Jew who became a Rabbi. I danced meringue with Paul Garcia in a club named Brazil. I kissed Doug, Scot and Eamon and the Twelve Apostles and a Moroccan named Arie. And I sold my soul to a drummer one Leap Year because I lost count on how many times he said: you are so beautiful, baby.

 

I married a Spaniard who barely spoke English and barely brushed his teeth. He was tall and lanky and had a long face like El Greco and chased me around the bedroom, “Come here, wife. My sex is hard for you.” We lived in a piso on the 4th floor of a rundown building in Vallekas, a gypsy suburb of Madrid. I made tortillas and arroz con leche and sometimes crouched on the terraza under the hot sun and watched stray cats fuck on rooftops. I cried for home. And dreamed of humidity and the green, oxygen pine trees and grass that grows with dew stuck to each blade like a rock climber descending a cliff.

 

I became a woman. Desired. Pedestaled. Unwoven. Torn. Shredded. Real.

 

I made two babies. Moved to Jersey. Bought a home. Divorced. Years passed. In the Spring of ’04 I spread my father’s ashes across the jetty down on Nebraska Avenue. Saying goodbye to the man who taught me how to love. Boyfriends came. Boyfriends went. Sons grew up.

 

I bumped into Mr. Smith at a record store one night in February. He was buying vinyl and I was perusing the Cds. I barely recognized him without his long hair. But he still talked smooth and his tattoos were all black and green. And I thought, if I had my own they wouldn’t be the face of the devil. They’d be words. Words that save me from my self, where God, not man, is the Second Coming and the Third and Fourth. Words when strung together become the only thing in life that’s real—forming a straight line like Time to a Westerner.

 

We talked about books for a while. The west.  He didn’t remember much. And so I shrugged when he asked if I wanted to go for a drink. No, I said. Maybe another time.