Being of Service

by

When you don’t have an official job, but you sort of do.

What do you do?

Go be of service.

I went out to the suburbs today.

I so thought I was going to get lost.

I really did.

However, the directions were perfect, and the best kind of directions for this wayward, oft waylaid lady–take a right by the cafe, red mailbox on the left, as the crow flies–sort of directions.

I also asked for directions the one place that I was a bit uncertain as to which way I was supposed to go next.

In French.

I asked for directions in French and I understood and I followed those directions and voila!

I made it.

The trip was a little surreal.  When I think about it, I spent over three hours total today below ground on various trains and Metro lines.

Metro Jussieu

Metro

I got where I needed to go, however, a very new development in the Paris suburbs.

New Developments

New Developments

This mural was my “red mailbox” to turn right at.

The apartments are so new that the streets are not yet on any maps.

The turned earth raw, the pavement new, the cranes and scaffolding scattered about.

It was all very new and very strange.

I wondered to myself how is it that I got here?

What in the world am I doing at 1045pm on a Wednesday night in this neighborhood?

Being of service.

I say yes to things, is another way of putting it.  And if this was being a help, than I am glad for it.  I washed some dishes, I made some dinner, I gave mom a rest, and I got to hold a new baby in my arms for hours.

Hours.

Mmmm.

The smell of a new-born.

I told the mom, not to worry, I promise I won’t eat her while you are napping.

I may kiss some wee small toes, but I won’t eat them.

I had baked salmon for dinner, so I was already satiated.

Sleepy Monkey

Sleepy Monkey

She is a precious little thing.

I get to hang out with her and mom on Friday as well.

I am going to be getting my fill of the kids for the next few days.

Friday, this little gal again.

Saturday the kids in the 7th.

Monday the kids in Asiniers Sur Seine.

Wednesday an 8-year-old to tutor.

In between I must to write.

I must.

I filled my day with the baby primarily and got to help out my room-mate who has been down for the count for the week with a proper bad cold, flu, cross my mother fucking fingers, I don’t catch it, illness.

I have not gotten to the writing as much as I would like.

Granted, I have done some, I would not be who I am, who I want to be, without putting some sort of pen to paper.

I always write in the morning and I did today.

I always write my blog, and I am doing that now.

I also got off a poem.

Yup, babies and poetry, that’s what you get from me today.

Skip past the italics if it don’t float your boat.

 

Can You Save Me?

Pink pocket plagiarist dance

Jitter bugged steps toward

French waiters dressed white/

Black.  Follow, fallow, cast out

Bright light lamp eyes.

 

The spill of hot chocolate

Smell of the Tabac drifting

From behind the counter

Water slops in a glass.

Old lady hands, crumpled napkin.

 

Cast back, hand jobs, blow

Jobs, fucking, another on the

Couch, not yours.

Shivered green/

Blue.  Overexposed.

 

I lean into the violet

Dusk wishing to busk

Your cheek with love bites

Hold your hand still,

In the small of my back.

 

Hide me behind the

Open trunk of the convertible

Press me again to your

Mouth.  In faith I am framed

Smut crusted, dusted.

 

In old snow and dealt

Blue black, ribbons fallen

From bedraggled dolls

Drug behind tired children

In oversized train stations.

 

Moth batters about moon

Heart swells, music tells

Dashing apart, not falling together.

This is feeling though,

Not fact.

 

 

I like that I am writing poetry.

It was my first love.

Sometimes it is to me, and probably only to me, the truest form of my history, I can tell you every bit of that poem.  I can tell you it is about love and loss and wandering through train stations.  I can tell you it is a melange of four different times, four different places, sitting next to a famous ex-model, actress in a Parisian tabac, two different men, and the history of my own heart.

I can tell you the songs, snatches of music, the colors, the sounds, the smells.

I could pick apart every single line and tell you what moment of my life it comes from.

That would be rather boring, for the reader, I imagine.

Poetry, for me, is history.

It is my own histroy, my own story.

Poetry, for me, again, this is just for me, is the attempt to capture a moment.

Yesterday when I was writing the summary for Baby Girl to send to the agent, the curt, almost dry, cut to the chase, write the action, move the pace, tell the story as quick as you can, outline fifteen chapters and the arc of a life squashed down from 265 pages to 2 pages double spaced.

A kind of dry poem.

But it does not encapsulate for me the true feel of the book.

Then again I don’t know that I have a poem for Baby Girl.

I may have.

I did have a journal I was keeping.

It was destroyed.  The destruction of that record is long gone, twenty years gone, in a trash barrel, in a land fill some where outside of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

I have kept most of my journals, I have one that I wrote soon there after that trip.  It has bits and pieces of poems.  It may be interesting to go back some time and look them up.

A baby is a poem.

A poem is a child.

To love, to hold.

To let loose upon the world.

With or without my interpretation.

A conversation that I will only have a small part of, for just a moment, her small foot in the palm of my hand.  The small furl and unfurl of her fingers around my thumb.  The soft sweep of brown hair underneath my hand, and the warmth in my arms.

A baby.

A warm ache in my arms.

A body poetic.

 

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