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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

National Poetry Month: Les Poèmes (#8,9,10)

The weekend ran away from me, as did poetry. But not for long. Apparently, my muse can’t abide by weekends. And yet she loves weekdays. What can you do? Speaking of her, below are my poetic offerings for Saturday, Sunday, and today. They share an interesting theme.

Weekend Haiku #1 (Saturday)

ah, what a weekend–
when i drink in all the sun
and forget to write.

Weekend Haiku #2 (Sunday)

it’s not an excuse
but my muse has attitude–
and off days, as well.

Monday Haiku (Today)

yet when Monday comes,
champagne and inspiration
all for This Square Peg.

National Poetry Month: Poème #7

Bon Friday, dear reader. Here’s a piece I wrote a few years ago after a pretty cathartic conversation with close friends. Because that’s how poetry functions for me: whereas fiction traverses the highways and byways of my imagination, poetry is every nuance and inch of the life I lead. Is that how it is for you? Let me know in the comments.

Breathless

You, with your half flesh, absent of your complement,

I would give you the exact latitude and longitude to get to me,

but I didn’t listen that day in class.

I have no mind for coordinates, I cannot bear giving directions.

Just wherever you are, traverse the highways and byways and miles

it will take to reach me, and come as soon as you can.

You will be guided by air and wheels, yes,

but also by softly uttered prayers feverishly whispered in the dead of night,

when the slow passing of minutes spent alone no longer wish to be abided.

Your arrival will not be met with waving palm fronds and outer garments spread on the road,

for I understand who my true Savior is,

but trust that you will meet a joy so acute that it will sound like the releasing of a

long-held–

tightly held–

quietly held–

breath.

National Poetry Month: Poème #6

As an author, her stories and essays have always thrilled me. But I’d like to discover her more as a poetess. Below is a powerful piece by Alice Walker. Enjoy this poetic Thursday, dear readers.

Be Nobody’s Darling
Alice Walker

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

National Poetry Month: Poème #5

Hi, Poetry Lover. Wanted to share a classic today. I fell in love with this piece in college after more than one poetry professor introduced me to the wonder and complexity of Theodore Roethke. Please read and enjoy.

In a Dark Time
Theodore Roethke

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.
A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.
Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

National Poetry Month: Poème #4

Day 4 of NPM. Happy happy. This piece was written by me. One of my personal favorites:

The Passage of Time

we’ve run out of conversation,

we’ve nothing left to say.

we cannot abide by talk of the

children, who now wrangle children

of their own, expecting us to play with and to give back, to babysit and to listen.

and what of those who bore us? how do we talk of what stabs us in our hearts, of nursing

homes and pain pills, of loss of strength and absence of memory?

we’ve run out of conversation,

we’ve nothing left to say.

we let them talk around us, about anniversaries and births, about time and trust, about how our

lengthy togetherness inspires, about leading by example.

they merely hear their own voices reverberating back to them.

not ours. we haven’t said a word.

and what would you say, if you could?

and what would i say, if i could?

crickets chirp.

the night wears on.

we’ve run out of conversation,

we’ve nothing left to say.

National Poetry Month: Poèmes #2&3

Happy NPM. Because I missed Sunday, here’s a piece for Sunday, written by me:

Learning, Gratitude
(Hindsight)

To you.
The heart should never be
so revealed, so unaware of where
the results will land.
No more waiting when the answers
are usually quite clearly there.
No matter if you were moved. Time to move on.
Thank you.

To you.
Too open, too fast, too trusting.
Too bad, too bad, too bad.
In the end, you actually missed me.
In the end, I walked away with no regrets,
warmly blanketed by the comfort
of the full circle.
Thank you.

To you. Ah, you.
There are no words–
well, there are words–
but which ones?
(Blissfully) blinded, (glaringly) sighted, (then) goodbye.
I carved you out of the clay of perfection
and quietly watched the hand of truth smash
you to pieces…

Still you.
Still thinking about it.
Still sighted, yes, but no longer
looking back in youthful anger.
Now, a sad, adult understanding of what came to be,
what became of you.
Nevertheless–regardless–in spite of–
thank you, thank you, thank you.

…And a piece for Monday, also written by me:

Yours.

I was your very first brownie–
I know that because you were
stunned and staring–
and you hated how you felt,
my chubby, bigoted love,
because you commenced with destroying me and making them laugh all the while,
when secretly and behind their backs
you spoke to me like you were whispering sweet somethings
in my brown ear,
an ear you ached to nuzzle and punch in, but you decided to just mock it instead, mock it hard, and the shocked, confused little face that came with it.
but they didn’t see you by the goalpoast,
inching closer, culling conversation,
conveniently cool and quiet when they looked, checking you, checking me.

may you have come to terms so
she may be none the wiser.

National Poetry Month: Poème #1

It’s National Poetry Month, y’all. I’ll commemorate by posting a poem a day. Some will be my own work, some classics. In any case, poetry will be had. 

Here’s the first piece:

“A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.”
               –Charles Ghigna

Fill this month with poetry, won’t you?

storm warning.

Last night, it rained. Hard.

Let me tell about the rain in Texas (rather than the rain in Spain; you’re welcome). When I first moved here a whopping seven months ago–time truly flies–my friends hardly spoke about the heat. The heat didn’t require discussion. I knew that the sun would be vengeful, punishing me for something I’m not sure I did. No, dear reader, I was informed about the rain. Because it doesn’t just rain here. It monsoons. Deluges. Floods. Cats, dogs, and cows fall

flood
Oh, hey, Nessie.

from the sky. High winds. Rain descending sideways instead of downwards, which indicates to me that this ain’t a game. Thunder. Lightning. Hail the size of my massive head. When I initially moved here, I once arrived at my former residence and watched, wide-eyed, as the sky turned to a shade of inkwell black. As I scrambled to get out of the car before I was drenched and/or transported to Oz, I realized that perhaps for the first time in my life, I was filled with pure, meteorologically-based fear. (Sure, living in Anywhere, VA had its insane moments. Snow, rain, all of that. But having lived in that area most of life, I was used to it.) And rarely did we receive tornado, get-in-the-bathtub warnings like we do here. As I reached behind me to grab my ineffectual umbrella, I moved with the kind of panic you reserve for dark evenings when someone is walking behind you or when you share an elevator with just another person. (Is it just me? I cannot function when there’s just two of us in an elevator. I simply cannot.) It was terrifying. When I finally made it to the covered porch, a few droplets already falling on head, I turned around right on time as the heavens began to weep. It was incredible.

Oh, and this isn’t the kind of relaxing rain that lulls you to sleep. Rather, I was pulled out of my sleep and driven towards the window, where I peeked through the blinds and watched the sideways storm batter the ground and the cars in the parking lot. A few nights ago, hail accompanied the storm that came.. Ever hear a million rocks thrashing against your window as if they’re mad and not going to take this anymore? This time, however, there was no hail. Just angry water propelled by unremitting winds. When I finally headed back to bed, I lay there, wishing it was over. No such thing. It was determined to screech and ruin the dreams I could no longer remember. (No, Leonard hasn’t returned.) Thankfully, a fitful sleep eventually came over me and I was able to escape the noise. In the morning, the only evidence of the storm were the leaves that decorated the surfaces of my car. If only cars could talk. (“Darling, what was that?” Imagine the scratchy, accented voice of Idris posing that bewildered question, because my car shares his name. This ain’t a game.)

So how do we make amends with this weather fear? One of the many reasons I moved here was to avoid the snow and ice of the Northern VA area, which also came with the kind of cold air that bypassed coats and scarves and headed for pure bone. I’d rather be hot than cold. Hot means I can find a Starbucks and escape the heat outside. Cold means frozen tears just because I can never get warm. And since I’ll be here for the foreseeable future, what do we do?

We find a better umbrella, stay inside, and avoid Oz at all costs.

Does it rain a lot where you are? Do you hide like me or do you laugh in the face of weather-related fears (unlike me)?

it’s morning…

Curious about how This Square Peg energizes for the day? *Or whether she actually gets energized for the day? Read about my morning routine below…wakeup

  1. My alarm is set for 6AM. I turn it off and then sleep until 630AM. It is what it is.
  2. After the usual morning things, I hop into a scalding hot shower (I don’t know about you, but there’s something about almost third-degree burn water temperature that just wakes me up) and, based of having shared a bathroom with all of my siblings for several years, am out of there less than 6 minutes later.
  3. Applying lotion and/or oil is the highlight after a scalding hot shower. It fills the room with lovely scents and aromas.
  4. I quickly brush my teeth and then wash my face. Because I intentionally woke up 30 minutes late and am now rushing.
  5. Nine times out of ten, I plan my outfits the night before. So after the skincare/beauty regiment ends, I head to the closet and quickly get dressed.
  6. If I don’t have a protective style, I quickly take out my twists and/or puff the hair. (Sometimes I do this while “sitting”, if you get my drift, particularly when I have twists in.) If I do have a protective style (yes, please, because it takes forever to take out twists and style), I just fluff and it’s done.
  7. I head to the kitchen and make a sandwich for lunch. Like a 10 year-old, I prefer peanut butter on wheat bread, no jelly.
  8. I’m out the door after determining, via my heavily used weather app, if I need a scarf or light coat or heavy coat for the bipolar Texas weather.
  9. Drive to work.
  10. If I feel like it, I quickly put on makeup at stoplights. So if you’re behind me, I apologize, but this Ruby Woo needs to go on these lips and I didn’t have time to do that at home.

As you can see, quick, easy, we’re done. What’s your morning routine? I’d like details. The comment box can handle it.

*I don’t get energized until 9pm. So there you go.

P.S.: are you wondering if I eat breakfast? I do. TSP’s belly won’t stand for all of that. I tend to grab breakfast at my job or roll by Starbucks on the way into the office, if I have time…which I most likely don’t. And if you’re also wondering if I actually get into the office on time? I actually do. The wonders of only working 10 minutes from home.

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