Perhaps my father's name will pass on extra-genetic traits
that will allow her fingers to be linguists,
or call the cat that tore the tongues from our faces
and left us a site for reconstruction.
Perhaps I will carry her in the folds of my pockets,
the full moon rising on the sound of horse hair in the wind.
But it's likely I'll feed her as my mother did me,
feasting on founding fathers and Great Expectations,
though the cat remains curled in the corners of our mouths
waiting for a thoughtless sigh or a Please pass the butter.
So together we dangle among our twin ribs,
belonging, at the moment, only to each other.
Last night I got to hang out with this man at a bar, and then he came to my apartment and ate one of my cupcakes. YAY.
by Bob Hicok
I remember Michigan fondly as the place I go
to be in Michigan. The right hand of America
waving from maps or the left
pressing into clay a mold to take home
from kindergarten to Mother. I lived in Michigan
forty-three years. The state bird
is a chained factory gate. The state flower
is Lake Superior, which sounds egotistical
though it is merely cold and deep as truth.
A Midwesterner can use the word "truth,"
can sincerely use the word "sincere."
In truth the Midwest is not mid or west.
When I go back to Michigan I drive through Ohio.
There is off I-75 in Ohio a mosque, so life
goes corn corn corn mosque, I wave at Islam,
which we're not getting along with
on account of the Towers as I pass.
Then Ohio goes corn corn corn
billboard, goodbye, Islam. You never forget
how to be from Michigan when you're from Michigan.
It's like riding a bike of ice and fly fishing.
The Upper Peninsula is a spare state
in case Michigan goes flat. I live now
in Virginia, which has no backup plan
but is named the same as my mother,
I live in my mother again, which is creepy
but so is what the skin under my chin is doing,
suddenly there's a pouch like marsupials
are needed. The state joy is spring.
"Osiris, we beseech thee, rise and give us baseball"
is how we might sound were we Egyptian in April,
when February hasn't ended. February
is thirteen months long in Michigan.
We are a people who by February
want to kill the sky for being so gray
and angry at us. "What did we do?"
is the state motto. There's a day in May
when we're all tumblers, gymnastics
is everywhere, and daffodils are asked
by young men to be their wives. When a man elopes
with a daffodil, you know where he's from.
In this way I have given you a primer.
Let us all be from somewhere.
Let us tell each other everything we can.
The Space Heater, by Sharon Olds
On the then-below-zero day, it was on,
near the patients' chair, the old heater
kept by the analyst's couch, at the end,
like the infant's headstone that was added near the foot
of my father's grave. And it was hot, with the almost
laughing satire of a fire's heat,
the little coils like hairs in Hell.
And it was making a group of sick noises-
I wanted the doctor to turn it off
but I couldn't seem to ask, so I just
stared, but it did not budge. The doctor
turned his heavy, soft palm
outward, toward me, inviting me to speak, I
said, "If you're cold-are you cold? But if it's on
for me..." He held his palm out toward me,
I tried to ask, but I only muttered,
but he said, "Of course," as if I had asked,
and he stood up and approached the heater, and then
stood on one foot, and threw himself
toward the wall with one hand, and with the other hand
reached down, behind the couch, to pull
the plug out. I looked away,
I had not known he would have to bend
like that. And I was so moved, that he
would act undignified, to help me,
that I cried, not trying to stop, but as if
the moans made sentences which bore
some human message. If he would cast himself toward the
outlet for me, as if bending with me in my old
shame and horror, then I would rest
on his art-and the heater purred, like a creature
or the familiar of a creature, or the child of a familiar,
the father of a child, the spirit of a father,
the healing of a spirit, the vision of healing,
the heat of vision, the power of heat,
the pleasure of power.
An LJ writing prompt for lack of better subject matter
Some people spend their whole lives preparing the answer to this question: What albums are on your personal all-time Top 10 list?
I took this to mean albums I can listen to the whole way through and never skip a song, albums that will always make me stop and listen for a bit, albums that make me remember. Not really the sort of things I would put onto mixes, just because I think the album in its entirety is so great. Got it? Okay.
"I have wished that each building around us
Was a cedar, a poplar, a pine;
That the men and the women were statues,
An the rain that was falling was wine;
That the lights were ethereal flowers;
That the cars were the nooks in the wood,--"
Ameen Rihani, Lilatu Laili
"The Trans for Obama campaign continues! It's your time to stand up & be counted, trans democrats, independents, and republicans! If you're voting for Obama, why not make your vote count twice?
First, here's a reminder of an event way early in the campaign that has been forgotten by the "they're both against gay marriage" set: Obama made a point of shutting down homophobic sentiments when he could have just let the moment pass. For those who think that them both being against gay marriage means there's no difference between them when it comes to LGBT issues, please remember that McCain chose a running mate who is for "ex gay" therapy.
Then go look at these photos. I love that this photographer just kind of knew - as did Richard Avedon (watch till the end) - that Obama would become President Obama. Look at the one of his shoes. Of him cleaning up the drips from his ice cream. At the faces of the young people listening to and looking at him.
My firm belief is that Obama is an extraordinary president for extraordinary circumstances. [sic] That we are in the latter is in no doubt, considering this week's economic news; there are lay-offs happening in all sectors of the economy. That the former is true - that Obama is the right president for this time - is only something I can be sure of in my head and heart. His decision to run when he did, his unbelievable good planning with making it to the nomination = all of these things, the odds he's beat, tell me that his time is now.
And now it is yours. Go out and vote - early, if you can, to avoid the lines, or on November 4th."