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2023-04-29 - 10:38 a.m.

I don't know why I want to be a poet

I sit and work
research some particular industry
learn the language that has been crafted
in law, regulation or code
read the statutes to parse out what is essential
to wordsmith
for the honest
who have to date built a business based on trust
until someone was untrustworthy

and only now
do they feel it may be worth
the donation
just to support a community group
some local business association
and give form to these connections
these relationships

while get a tax write off
for the hours of their sharing stories
of their kids
and grandkids

of how once they did have to actually hire a lawyer
not because their work was not done well
for any failure to deliver quality on time
but for the son who a sheriff brought home drunk
after a bar fight
or cause in a traffic stop
more than an ounce was found
and sure he was able to bring the boy home
but there was still a court date
still a judge to answer to

and they did not know if it was the judge they build the house of
or a younger one
who might not have gone to school with their boy

as the young sheriff does do his job
even though the rules of how change based on who
was the rulebreaker
of the rules he is enforcer of
cause that young sheriff does not yet know all the judges
and all the business owners

I don't know why I yearn to be a poet
when all I can do is read and weep every time

yet it still somehow comes back to the moment
of witness of the pain of the neighbor who spoke in tears of how
he threw out beloved Bertha
shredded her leaves and flowers
on that cusp of potential
teasing out the roots
and separating them
not to help growth and propagate but to fit in the toilet

as the social worker's were coming
or a CPS investigator
I forget which
maybe after the landlord called?
The same landlord who offered to adopt their beautiful black baby
saying she could offer a better life
than that of the mother

Who was good enough
as a careprovider of the circuit court judge's mother
whom she loved like her own
for what it is but love
when changing the diapers and gently wiping that pale white ass
as loving as kissing it
when ensuring dry and comfort
movement and circulation
sunkissed skin getting vitamin D and fresh air
and seeing the trees and hearing the birds sing

as she dressed and took the mother outside
with a cup of tea in a styrofoam cup
and a crocheted wrap on her lap
made by the knitting group gathered in an activity room each Wednesday morning.

then pivoted to head down the hall
where there were other aging company owners
that build the businesses
the women who's husband won the fire chief award for years of service
that also ran a company employing hundreds over the years
creating tile
that is on bathroom walls all over this county
in every municipal building, school and homes
of the judges and the police

Cause when the neighbor was arrested
and not brought home
cause he was not a white boy with parent's running a local business
but instead
a black father
walking crooked, unbalanced
on the sidewalk
smelling of cigarette smoke

after working in a low wage job
where he washed the dishes of
the construction company owner
that build the walls of the winery that he would never sit in to enjoy

Somehow it cracked open something

That is still broken
in me

after having watched yet again
multiple cop cars come with lights swirling

So I stop the research and read poems
and now it is no longer the dead white men's words I read
with their worry of how to live
when their hearts are beating out of synch
madness in their minds
Paradise or youth or sanity lost
hoping to regain it

It is the voices that were shut out of academia
that I don't want to just be a twitter
here and there tremulous
and shared but heard by a few

I want those voices to be tumultuous powerful tsunamis
that can not be ignored
Yet tsunami's wipe clean the beaches
level houses
create such destruction

Leaving some areas looking pristine and clean
ready for rebirth and new growth
but others left in carnage and tangled mass of debris and trash requiring years of labor to remove

I am not seeking Katrina
for our world
rather that we somehow
have the wake up call
without the destruction

Which I know is a fantasy

I want those voices to shake us up
and wake us up
from our malaise
our self absorption

So, Why be a poet?
When it is really not my voice I seek
Nor do I want to speak for others
with any audacity of thinking somehow I am more worthy of telling someone else's story

So why do I want to be a poet?
If not to tell my story
which frankly not only am I so sick of remembering
and am happy when I realize much has been forgotten
delighted that the details are not important

Because I feel like generations were asleep
I just realized Woke is a popular and mocked term

yet why do I keep reading even though it makes me weep when wakened
from my self absorption?

Because I yearn for us to somehow awaken together
TO SEE the humanity of the neighbor that is now next door
and to find that connection

And why do I want to be a poet?

Because there is somehow this great disconnect
and I feel like I bridge two worlds
perhaps it is only on the bridge that we can hope to have passage
into understanding
connection and someday possibly unity

It is that bridge I feel like I have been on
the in between space

Where I sit and see and befriend my neighbors
even those who lamented Brittany Griner's release
as I sat trying to understand how one could possibly see that as an insult to
a Marine who served

Why do I keep reading poetry?
Even when it makes me weep?

And why do I want to write it?
Because I think it is only those who are on the bridge, stuck in the inbetween
that can somehow reach those on either side

If we don't pull some
they will never look in another direction
If we don't reach out the hand and call attention and make them look
they can never even see
will never envision anything other than the small space they have been in.

We need them to look

We need them to become aware and cross that bridge
or there will always be this horrific divide

Why do I want to be a poet?
Because it is painful on the bridge
stuck in the in between

at an impasse
and I am not a builder really
I don't know how to create a new road
or a new tributary where one can float on a boat to get to the other side
There must be other paths
other roads
some pasture of shared space
some meadow or valley surrounded by moutains

so place
some space where we can find the nurturing we need
some country
some city
some town
some land

But to get there
we need to somehow create it

I am not a weaver of rope to pull you across

and if we all get pulled in one direction or another
Would that create the new world we need?

Is that the answer envisioned?
OR would balance then be so off it topples

Do we need a new thing
where we can all be pulled into
with space for all?

Do we need to jump off this plane into another
Is the rocket to Mars not such a fantastical crazy idea?

If we were all together looking for sources of water and food and starting anew with a clean slate of washed world
trying to germinate seed for food
and build our shelter

a complete fresh start
Would we do it any differently?

So back to the question of why read poetry when it makes me weep?
and feel so deeply?
Why on on the most beautiful serene of mornings when I have nothing but time for hours to do whatever my soul is moved to

do I work
then read and try to write?

Somehow it is because there must be healing in this. In this free form ramble. This heart gets so full
when reading the baring of another's soul

I don't know how one can read with a straight face some of the word that have been so carefully tended to , so artfully and skill fully crafted to share such depth of pain.

Today I read BPJ Taylor Byas

and stopped my work-
I had been working for a good hour, enjoying it- relaxing and researching the industry of the work at had. Happy with my progress in what I learned. Knowing I have added value and can deliver a helpful product to my client that will improve their business process, reduce their risk.

But it feels like busy work when there are companies that honestly are build on their own integrity. The solid contract is the honest one. If truly honest then the handshake is as solid and impenetrable as any carefully crafted legal language.

So what really needs work?

It is the hearts of those who can do such good work

But only for their white peers and friends

I mean for me the heart of the matter is I want my work to not be ever wasted
I suppose it is a bit of an ego, a pride issue to be honest
Why can't I find meaning and value and be SATISFIED with good work that is valuable in the small container in which it resides?
In which is is offered?

Why do I Have the yearning to always look at the bigger picture and know there is intrinsic value in what I do?

Why do I want to understand the impact so deeply?

I know this is why the caregiving work is so easy and fulfilling to do. The impact is immediate and clearly intrinsically valuable to the people helped in any given moment.

I suppose I yearn to be a poet as it is the reading of poetry I feel most alive. I feel

It is in the reading of poetry
that I feel

So I hope to somehow replicate that in the writing of poetry

of writing about the in between
from the in between

while bridging social worlds that are different and divergent and trying to find the spaces in which they intersect and coexist.

That Coexist bumber stickr comes to mind. I think I udnerstand it more now than nver before.

I suppose that is the answer

I seek understanding.
Why is knowledge so valuable when being passively ingnorant in some ways is a surer path to happiness?
Happiness is not the highest value for me for sure. I suppose somehow integrity its. Yet not even sure what that means
or how to do it

how to life a life with full integrity.

I think that however is the goal
and pare of the answer of why be a poet?

Because the poet is always authentic

It is a practice of authenticity
of truth telling
of being in full presence and not only being in full presence but capturing each moment that one can which seems to be the mission of a poet.

YES I suppose that is it
to help us be conscientious in our living
more aware
not just going through motions

Awareness helps us SEE things
FEEL Things
and I hope be more fully participating in our work
participating in SHAPING the world around us.

So now that I am done with the diversion of this; time for me to go back to being fully present and engaged and in flow with crafting an agreement for a local builder who to date mostly worked on handshake and a very thin Purchase Order ( called an Agreement but it really is bare bones skeleton of a contract. I LOVE so much about that very fact. YET... Know my work will be valuable as the small former rural sleepy town has morphed and grown and changed and over time a company necessarily must branch out and start doing business with strangers rather than just local neighbors and friends! That requires more clarity as the business is not build on a relationship; but rather the new relationship are developed and build on the busyness transaction done. There are no assumptions based on past behavior. There is no inherent loyally based on relationship. There is not a foundation of trust that was already build as the backdrop for work. So that foundation of trust is in part build through the initial agreement and coming to terms of it. This is foundational trust work. I am building trust and providing tools for its growth- so yes my work is inherently valuable.

So back at it...

Oh but first... I think after listening to some poets it just again made me want to study. And I had to do it- one last google. Really just to see if any upcoming workshops-
DARN I found some FREE ones offered during April. National Poetry month ( this all done before thinking- JUST WRITE- just go ahead and do it.)

And thought, I want to study with Sean Thomas Dougherty cause I like his work so much ...
and found this one to share today:

YEAH I think that was the one that hit me like a brick at 9:45 AM it seems.

AT 8:50 AM I took the break from my work to pick up the Beloit Poetry Journal and became undone by Taylor Byas's poem Tell it Like a Movie. Then I started looking up what offerings could find for taking a class in poetry and it was almost an hour later of not finding anything viable I came back to the thought I really want to someday take just even on hour of a workshop with Dougherty if the opportunity ever arises.

So leaving this out there. Someday it will be time for me to dig in as a student to learn the craft of formally creating poetry.

It feels like something I should just do.

Like learning guitar, and writing songs. I feel like it is something I will invest time in.

This is why I do not work full time for life balance, for exercising, walking my dog, and being creative so I want to just take time to devote to it with intention. Some day I will find the space, place, and teacher to be disciplined and it will be more, different from just the journaling.

But until then this is it; And until I have all adult children who are independent I am happy to have this work to do in this home I am proud I have bought and care for and can sit in on a peaceful temperate morning where I can watch the wing gently caress the tree leaves while listening to birds chirp and cars coast along the nearby state highway, with the background noise from inside of the talking of my almost no longer teen and young adult. I heard the cliking of one put away the dishes that I washed this morning, and the door open and shut as our dog was let out. The dog came back up and is curled by my side under the blanket thrown over me as the breeze comes in the window and I work with my cup of coffee. In the kids organizational spurt they unearthed hidden Niagra chocolates , with remnant of christmas candy cane bits and crunchy dark oreo like cookie bits that burst of flavor when I delightfully bit into one after finding them now visible, no longer hidden in the back of the cabinet opened to take out the dark grounds of locally roasted coffee that I brewed this AM. I patiently waited to enjoy one with the coffee, even though I actually accidentally ran the machine only with water- grounds still sitting in the top of the grinder, as I washed last night's dishes and Nija machine parts from the smoothie one of them made.

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