July 27th, 2012
I’ve been swimming every day in Nebraska in the Olympic pool. Natalie Diaz read last night and spoke this morning. And Jan Beatty. Both were so wise/hip. And last night Pope Brock read exuding more talent in a minute than most of us can come up with in a lifetime. Allan Kornblum read about publishing, mostly on papyrus. Also clay tablets. The rise of paper. Suicide in the Chinese emperor’s court. The paper maker takes the poison. He’s forgotten more about publishing than the rest of us know. He’s been working in publishing since 1970. That’s 42 years.
Tonight Charles Wyatt, Teri Grimm, Bill Trowbridge and I are reading. We plan to be amazing.
In Jan’s workshop and in Natalie’s we wrote poems. Some people get crazy/wild in workshops. Others get all hung up. I just let it all hang out. I have nobody to impress. We wrote gloopy messy drafts that might later become poems. I wrote three all of which were bizarre disconnected messy ponds of words. This is one of them.
The evening was warm. It was California warm which means it was hot. I could see the palm trees along the hill under the power line, and the kids walking under the power lines where I didn’t want to live. The power lines were black against the yellow sky. It was simple. I could not be married to him any more. I had to go. I didn’t hate him, in many ways I didn’t even know him. We’d been married six years. His mother had called me the “c@# from the cult,” and that got her uninvited to the wedding. Then there were kids. There was the new house I hated under the power lines. There was yelling and screaming and cursing. There was the policeman with the night stick who stopped me and gave me a speeding ticket and my husband cursing me out for not giving the cop a blowjob to avoid said ticket. Just telling this story makes me laugh now because then I knew I was leaving. I knew I could get out from under. I could get away. I had a car. I had my own two seater car into which I packed all my possessions. At 30, they still fit and my kids and the pregnant babysitter and I drove away. With the chickens. One laid an egg in the trunk. The kids wanted to know if now that we weren’t living with Daddy could we wear no clothes and I said yes. And no shoes. Yes. And just eat Otter Pops breakfast lunch and dinner. Yes. And that was a great beginning for the next twelve years of un-parenting. Random parenting. But mostly. Un. But we were gone. And the next time he yelled at me. I laughed. Because I wasn’t living in the house under the big black power lines. I was gone.