[1] Laughing Steel

Posted on March 28, 2009


I’m wilting a little. But not for long.

Hundreds of tiny birds swarm peacefully in their flocks around the stoplights. The tree frogs and bullfrogs are awake and are singing again in the swamps and the sunlight is bursting into our Saturdays. The rain is getting warmer.

Any hint of smoke in the air throws me back to memories of camping through the long and delicious, warm Julys. Cooking dinner over the campfire, the smell of the wood left in my sweatshirt for days. We’d cook sausage and even though I rarely eat it, during the summer I love the salt and smoke on my tongue.

My creative focus has waned a little bit. I daily question the validity of the words floating around in my head whether they are just the playthings of my mind when it reaches levels of boredom from living in the same town everyday or whether they might actually mean something.

I give them meaning today.

No one questions dreams when they wake up. Of course, they are mostly absurd. But no one questions if they saw the vivid colors, or if they actually heard you say what you did. If your grandfather who passed years ago came to visit you in your sleep, and he smiles and asks how you are, you believe he was there. If the dreams are full of new and violent thunderstorms or a taunting and jeering man with a cane who can only be seen by you, we never question those truths.

“I mean, I was there.” “I saw you. You were there.” “I dreamt about Grandaddy last night.” “But the storm was so real!” “And there was this man, and he never stopped…”

And yet, simple things like poems that are woven when I step into a greenhouse, or the book I want to write about you when I realized how beautiful you are when you poured out your soul and sang in front of me, or the instant pain that rushes to my reddening cheeks when you wield your words like daggers and you act as if they have no more weight than paper snowflakes–I question all these.

Somehow a dream with smoky thunderstorms can be life-altering, and yet I can’t allow the pictures and poetry and ideas and words that run in rivers through my veins and ateries all day fill me up and run back out.

It’s like I’m working on the skyscraper of my soul, and as I build I consider each steel beam and tell a few that they aren’t worth keeping. I tug with white knuckles to pull them away from the frame. My building either collapses or the beams remain in place and laugh at me through grey teeth.

Because each piece is essential.

To all the words and pain I’ve left behind, declared void, ignored, brushed away, talked myself out of, I give meaning to today.

(Number 1)

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