backyard crowing



My favorite lyric of the day:

"True love could have been a contender."

-The Pretender


I'm going to tell this diary that I am about to finally embark on my music paper. I have been avoiding it like the plague for the past few days, and I can't understand how I can let myself down like this. Get on it, bitch. YouTube is not life.

I need the summer to be here already. I'm not looking forward to seeing my mother every day at all. I am eager to begin again.

Here is a poem I transcribed from Ruth Ellen Kocher's collection, One Girl Babylon.

Ode To the Woman Who, On the Day I Earned a Doctorate, Mistook Me For a Shoe Clerk

I want to tell you I loved how your shoes
sparkled like the muted gold

flecked into an east coast diner's creamy Formica
countertop. I want to tell you how I

imagined them on my wide feet (yellow and crusted
with the desert of five years, walks to the library,

to my truck, to the bar, to my classroom, to my office,
the copy machine, always down and to the bar again)

and yes, I imagined the thin slips of leather
emerging from beneath the plum-colored robe that would

embarrass and thrill me as I walked the procession, gowned
over my round shoulders. I would sit, in just four hours,

through long speeches by deans I had never known,
but who were happy to tally another retention with a handshake.

I could have forgotten the head cap of my mortarboard,
too small to crown thick African twists damp with pomade

and beeswax. I could have forgotten your tap on my shoulder
at just the moment I was remembering mangoes hanging

heavy on a sparse tree near the top of Saba Island,
so close to the cliff the sea longed to swallow one whole;

but I didn't. I did not tell you that you were mistaken,
or that my husband's skin rose into goose flesh at my touch that morning,

even after ten years of waking to the same black mole on my shoulder--
I kept from you the moment, a month before, I had cradled

a student in my arms because the year had mugged her and left her bruised.
And so you couldn't know that the smell of dust from rotting

volumes of Gertrude Stein replaced the stench of the toilets
my teenage hands scrubbed in other people's homes

because government programs for us kids at risk, risked us.
I did not tell you because you were right in noticing

every brown face in that store name-tagged, your beautiful
feet pedicured into acceptance. I want to tell you, now,

never to read this poem aloud in your home as Esperanza,
your maid, listens at the sink. Never read it, because the words

will sift through your ears and fall into the forgotten spaces
between your ribs. They will rattle in your gut. They will circle

the chasms within your shins and fall to the hollow of each smooth
foor, just near the arch, lost to any hope of hearing. And Esperanza

does not need to hear them, not from your lips, because she
can still take her own name home at night, lotion her knees,

peel an orange into the distance measured between
the two doorways of her apartment, and love the sharp scent,

love how it becomes her life, like the words of this poem, and how,
for a few hours, the citrus oil hanging in the air washes you away.

1:27 am - Wednesday, May. 09, 2007


lovesounds - futuresex


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