Posts Tagged ‘language’

Without Ever Planning to Meet

I want to meet you without ever planning to meet, just happen to be beside you on the subway the moment you choose to grab a stranger’s hand and change your destiny.

There’s a toymakers’ convention in town. It’s off the green line, a wrong stop for us both, a place neither of us has gone before, and therefore immune to our preconceptions.

We need to change our clothes, so we buy some second-hand stuff, but without tribute or irony: anti-definitions. Moving through the alleys, we find a cat that wants us to chase it. It leads us straight there.

It would be easy to crash this event—we could simply walk in. No one ever checks. But it isn’t sneaky enough, it lacks the spirit of crashing. We enter through a service door. At the end of a tile corridor, we’re in a city of lego. Around the floor are the best tricks of digital technology, of magnetism and mechanics.

We take photos. It’s impossible to capture, exactly, such places, such inventions, because the camera only picks up what struts the imagination. Even children know this. But we do what we can. In the hotel’s print shop, we make them into postcards to slip them under the doors of the guests. A postcard is a false memory, an imposter. So we label them that way, falsely.

Late afternoon, we return to the loop. We find a protest, teach an anarchist to sing. No revolution will succeed without its song. We break into the SPCA with toys for the animals. It is negligently managed—no one is even there. We find two gentle dogs they are about to put down. We set them free.

At sunset, we ride a glass elevator in the financial district. We share pies on the street, run in the park until we puke, find the oldest, cheapest apartment that we can, run up the stairs, shower until the water goes cold, with our clothes, a bottle of whiskey, and kissing to keep our lips warm. We vow to get ourselves fired for our honesty, to live on selling whispers.

We need new names, but won’t know them for at least a year, and we will refrain from our own voices between sunset and sunrise.

Found Poetry

As Timothy Green puts it, “Poetry is everywhere… It happens by accident all the time.”

The idea behind his Found Poetry Project is to see what happens when you look for those accidents. Maybe a note on your power bill sounds like a haiku, or a message your drunk friend left sounds like free association. See what happens when you write them out like poems!

I found something and emailed it in. It’s called Public Retraction, and the original source should still come up if you google it.

I’ll leave you with a couple of links:

I enjoyed doing this. It didn’t take effort or inspiration or angst. It made me notice how odd and beautiful and seductive the ordinary language around me is, things I might never have thought about twice. The project is up and running, and absolutely anyone is allowed to try. I’d love to hear about the poems you find. If you like, then leave them as comments or leave links to them.

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A Bag of Dried Mangoes

I don’t have a plan in the world. I have the wide open sky and a bag of dried mangoes. My last girlfriend called them slices of sunshine.

I have kept the phrases my friends and I made up. A teenager is “a case of ginger ale”, empty praise from the human resources director is “a licorice reward”, and the rocks that reach out into the bay of the small town where I grew up is “where the dragon fell asleep a thousand years ago”. There are others I can tell you if we meet. These phrases are the best things I am keeping. The things I left behind were difficult to part with. Otherwise there would be no virtue in giving them up. There was a Spanish helmet everyone thought preposterous, but that I loved. There was my guitar that, miraculously, stayed in tune for three straight years. There was my best friend.

Is it crazy to take a bus this far? The route follows secondary roads where towns have had time to grow, places you cannot reach any other way. The curves, the stops, the boredom. I only wish it could take longer. I wanted this so badly. I could have flown, but that would ruin it—too clean, too impersonal.

When I arrive I will step straight down onto the broken asphalt of the parking lot. I will part my lips to breathe and let the dry air dry me, Austin. I will be in the thick of your scent, your dust. Any change worth making has to come up from the ground with the heat, has to press against the soles of the feet.

I don’t know who you will be; I have rinsed my expectations clean. But I want to feel that rush of nerves, to laugh with you without knowing where laughter leads, to kiss you without knowing how a kiss can thrill. And you will give me a new phrase.