Because I Can’t Get Enough Right Now

Patience

Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time’s fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn’t be
distinguished
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.

— Kay Ryan

*****

One of these days I will again post my own thoughts, but Ms. Ryan says lots of great things.

If my mind is space, and time is time, the exact location of my mind cannot be determined at any point in time, not without that location occurring in the past. When I want desperately to be in the now.

This is my uncertainty principle. That’s what I’m feeling.

Rest assured, there’s lots to be said about school (SO. MUCH. SCHOOL) and boys and friends I don’t see nearly enough of. And meeting poets. And autographs. And food. And boys and church. And some boys that aren’t smart. And new friends. And the cooling weather. And swearing at school, though not by me. And running into former seminary students who are so very tall. And staying up until 4am or waking up at 3am and either way letting the silence soothe me. And seeing those people in my life that make me feel like all is right with the world.

Eventually, the past will catch up to now.

Thanks for your patience.

This Poem Stunned Me When We Read It Aloud in Class Last Week

BEFORE THE AIR BECAME THE JOURNEY

It is Good Friday
and I am seven.
I don’t understand the priest
who speaks in Latin
or in Polish,
but I like the hopeful smell of
candles burning.

Inching forward
on our knees,
we sway and shuffle towards
the giant crucifix
propped at the railing.
The men’s heads are bare.
The women wear bubushkas.
Everywhere I look
there are soles of shoes.

My turn. I stand
and stretch to reach
the bleeding instep.
An altar boy
wipes away my kiss
with a white handkerchief.

I bow my head
to imitate the old man
who on Sundays stays
for all the Masses,
locked in place
at the altar rail, face
buried in his hands,
hunched over and sad
as if, like me,
he’d done everything wrong.

Someone like him, I think,
could stop the nails
from going in.

Elisabeth Murawski

If You Want to Read This, You Know What to Do.


Discipline


I lie in bed at 3am
trying to write a poem.
My light is on
and I try not to disturb the crickets.
Their hearts have reached a resting state
and they are saving their songs for tomorrow.
They have discipline.
The loudest thing this morning
is my pen
The most impetuous thing this morning
is my mind
conspiring against the pen
haphazard on the page
scrawling into illegibility
which isn’t like me.

Part of Why I Remember 9/11

There are definitely ways of coping with the events from ten years ago that are more crippling than reparative.

But remembering that loss helps me to acknowledge in a healthy way the time in my life when I was terrorized.

It’s not a patch I’ll ever sew on my sleeve. I don’t talk about it all the time. I was a kid. It was in the ’80s.

It happened. I can’t unhappen it.

But I also have chosen not to let it discourage me.

Through it, I have learned resolve and determination and forgiveness. I have exercised faith. It has taken a long time.

So, of course I see loss and sorrow, but I also see hope and trust that our country will recover.

We will heal.

Just a Few Things Intentionally and Unintentionally Related to Today

HOME TO ROOST

The chickens
are circling and
blotting out the
day. The sun is
bright, but the
chickens are in
the way. Yes,
the sky is dark
with chickens,
dense with them.
They turn and
then they turn
again. These
are the chickens
you let loose
one at a time
and small–
various breeds.
Now they have
come home
to roost — all
the same kind
at the same speed.

–Kay Ryan

From her interview at NPR at the time she became the poet laureate:

First of all, it comes from the thing we say to other people when they’ve done a lot of stupid things, and now they’re getting their comeuppance. We say, well, your chickens are coming home to roost, and I have no doubt that when I wrote this, I was chastening myself, and I was telling myself this, but unfortunately, this poem was sitting on the desk of an editor in New York at the time of 9/11, and it suddenly took on this terrible added significance, and I had to withdraw it because it seemed cruelly appropriate. . . . Now right after 9/11, that sounded, you know, the blue sky in here, the clear sky, sounded just like the beauty of that day, and those chickens sounded much too much like airplanes.

In relation to the beautiful day it was 10 years ago, here are a friend’s sentiments.

You can view this interactive map from the New York Times to see where people were on that day. You can click on it and write where you were and how you felt/feel.

This is an NPR interview with John Adams and his commission to compose a piece to commemorate the one-year anniversary of 9/11.

This is the first third of the composition:

10 years.

Still healing.

So I Went to My Cousin’s Concert on Wednesday

And I tried to take notes of the setlist. I have most of the songs down, considering I was writing in the dark and had to decipher my writing. Two full days after the concert.

Lea is a great personality. She’s been in the biz for a long time, and she’s at ease with the audience. The band was great.

No one in our honorable audience seemed to post any contraband video on YouTube. So, here’s concert coverage from everywhere else in my attempt to recreate the experience for you.

It was a lot of fun. My cousin speaks great English. Awesome.

Feeling Good

This has got to be one of my favorite cabaret songs.


Hahanpin Ko

I played part of this for my mom, and she at least translated the title for me.

http://youtu.be/bcrcEk-8tgk

I Dreamed A Dream

This always makes me want to cry.


Pokerface

She said she wanted to sing something fun after turning 40 this year. We had fun with her.


Reflection

She told the story to us about how Disney cut the song in half for the movie, so she had to sing it again. And she always sings the full version when she can. Which is perfectly fine with me.


(A song I don’t remember)

I Give My Life for You

Yeah, of course girl gets a Tony for this role.


The Last Time


Blackbird

Very pretty version.


(Another song I don’t remember)

On My Own


For Good

Wicked will always carry wonderful memories for me.


A Whole New World

The volunteer from the audience who sang with Lea during this song had a good voice, but he was nervous and missed a few cues. It was still pretty fun, though. The guy in the video does a much better job.


Everybody Says Don’t

So, she didn’t say at BYU what she says in this video. She just went right into this song without an introduction. Maybe she felt it was safer not to say anything.


Journey


Encore
On My Own – She resang this one with a camera man circling her for footage for a series BYU TV is producing for the spring. It’s called something like “The Song that Changed My Life.” We clapped extra hard, partly because she told us to, but mostly because it’s an incredible song, and she doesn’t ever sound like she gets tired of singing it, even after thousands and thousands of times.

Forget You

I sort of cringed throughout this last song, because I wondered how many people in the audience were aware of the original version, which is the first version I had heard. I felt uncomfortable for the older part of the audience who expected more of the Broadway hits. Anyway, this is a very interesting sign-off song. Just saying.

The Last Post for This Week Is A Poem

“Swept Up Whole”

You aren’t swept up whole,
however it feels. You’re
atomized. The wind passes.
You recongeal. It’s
a surprise.

Kay Ryan

And, an excerpt from the linked interview:


What do you think about the state of poetry and the reading of poetry in our country?

I never, ever worry about poetry or its survival because it’s the very nature of a poem to be that language that does survive. Poems are even better than tweets – they don’t require any electronic equipment. They can lodge right in your brain. They are by nature short. You don’t even have to remember all of them — you can remember just a phrase. That can be something you can turn to in any emergency, good or bad. You’ll pluck out a little group of words, just maybe a phrase, and that’s exactly what poetry is for. It’s for the things that really last. Because it lasts.