Haven’t I stood here long enough

Cocooned in muffling snow, I stood at the intersection while the patient, robotic voice of a man spoke to me alone, the space of a heartbeat between each

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Before the words Walk Sign Is On… came from the traffic light post, judging the flow of traffic and interpreting the signs, I sprinted across the stream, fording seven lanes in record time.

3/18/13 Christine Vyrnon

—————————————————————-

A poem I wrote on the bus last time we got this much snow, a month ago, originally posted to USER, my Tumblr notebook.  Public transit is good for writing poems. It forces you to get to the point.

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Little Ones*

globe detailarid
hollow arians
trying to recall
what our elders said
about being new and small
as we look into brown eyes of refugees

Cradling our lattes we mentally note
the blond haired man
with the afro-ed girl
pat us on the back
see, how far we’ve come
good job
Little One

to celebrate the human race
we eat baklava with brie
and mention the middle east
then eat wild rice with curried spam
celebration festival we live in
these great
united states

Aren’t we cultured
aren’t we great
we don’t sleep at
Super 8’s

}}}}}}}}

after talking to the blond man, I find out that he is an artist, his girl is a poet,
after talking to the afro-ed girl, I find out that she is a woman, her man is her lover
after talking to the lover, I find out that he is proud of his girl, his girl thinks he walks too slow
after talking to the fast walker, I find out that she is a woman, that he thinks she is most beautiful in shades of grey
after talking to the shade of grey, again, I find out that grey would rather be purple, that it is easy mixing some colors

but look at that woman of sorts, that woman of means, that woman of money
how she mixes her baklava with brie, how can she know, how can she think…, how can she?

I try to explain and the man says, I notice the confusion, I feel the confusion, but my girl is beautiful and beauty among mundane worlds can not be put aside easily
so i am at his side, she says

and we were hoping you still carry the freerange chickensalad

he asks, smoke-free joint I suppose

I’m afraid so, I say, as if……………

what do i know
lost in the translation

*This poem is  from an early 2000 journal, possibly pre-9/11… exact date to be rediscovered.  I transcribed it to my computer in the mid 2000s and having been toying with it ever since.  It needs more fiddling around, but this is what I have, so far. 

Ames Library of South Asia

Ames Library of South Asia

Of triptychs and oxen

tranquility

tranquility

The first journal I pulled out of my first drawer-stack of journals is a dream journal from 2004-2005.

Hopefully I didn’t lose my vast audience with the words “dream journal”. I have a couple of them… 2ish to be exact… in addition to dream descriptions splattered throughout most of my journals. We’re all guilty of this, right?

Things Fall Apart.

Things Fall Apart.

Journaling my dreams was a necessary phase.  They were a practice of transcribing ethereal images before they disappeared.  They also represent me scrambling to, aptly enough, archive my brain.

In 2004 I didn’t yet have the balls to embrace the term atheism.  I often described myself as an agnostic atheist… something I clung to all the way to the first 2007 entry of my Hot-For-Jesus blog.  Perhaps my preferred descriptor now is post-theist, but through it all I wanted to believe that my, Our, subconscious held the keys to Everything.

“I think too much of psychic overload, reincarnation, parallel lives.” (from first dream journal entry)

What did I find in the coffee-stained dream journal?

  • Performing, rehearsing, singing, seeing myself in a reflection – ‘blond’ (which I’m not), ‘dusty pink dress, cream pearls’, (both of which I made for a H.S. performance in the early ‘90s) and ‘sexy legs’ (whatever that means)… and I said to myself, “Damn. After all this time, Christine you still look fucking sexy and sound great and you’d make your family proud.”
  • Dying… as a foreign child in a disaster situation and not feeling pain… and needing to let someone know that I/she/he was dying pain-free. The dream convinced me I was channeling the suffering of others, in particular the 2004 Tsunami days before it happened.

You get the picture.  It is full of nonsense.  Absolutely necessary nonsense for the time… full of apocalyptic Armageddons… apocalypses galore camouflaged as war, disease, floods, tornadoes, solving mysteries that uncovered new Mysteries.

As I re-read it now I still look for signs, proof that I knew things before they happened, or parallel to their happening… proof that the dreams were significant if I just could properly interpret them… a holdover from the fundagelical glamorization of Daniel and other Biblical dream-interpreters.  But all I found were themes of houses, lovers, trains, siblings, music, mothers, frustration and apocalyptic intrigue.  No proof of anything but a woman trying to untangle knots of spiritual abuse and normal human life.

Anything worth sharing?

A Helper shared this koan with me.  I wrote it down in red ink:

                                          The oxen are slow, but the earth is patient.

Take it. It is yours to keep as long as you need it.

Better for the wear.

Better for the wear.

The triptych of dream journal coffee pics can also be found on my Tumblr blog, User. (Triptych’s subtitle: put a fucking bird on it.)