we are pressured in many ways in this life. we live in an atmosphere rims around the world. the condensation builds up by the heat, the clouds form and the rains come. the pressure and heat build up some more. how do you respond? you don’t have to be intimidated! go ahead and rocket across the boundary. go where no one has ever been before. laugh out loud! the way you interact with your environment, your community, your greater family and yourself, is unique in time and space. keep the faith! we need you!
when i live
crafting these poems of words i
forge my peace with
the sun burns on
and the dreams oh
the feelings anchored to thoughts
keep me dreaming
as i type across
our time and
we were living out of motel rooms back then and only a couple of people we could trust. pumping air into bike tires and patching them up, so for some freedom out on the streets. you had to be able to get out of a tight spot fast. someone was always having a breakdown or a meltdown except for the lifers who kept calm and had an eye for any advantageous situation. swoop down like a buzzard and pick apart the meat and leave the bones to sink into the earth. socioeconomics pushed a nasty current downtown and hung a red tide. they marked up for resale whatever they could not themselves consume. the players threw a party to look unselfish. many swam off into eddies and lost touch with reality for days, then, when it hit, let’s hope you could hit the ground running to make up for all that lost time. kids were kids and lost time lost money for every adult who had no fixed income or paycheck. outside of the clear specifications of sanctioned work or disability in a capitalist society, lay the gray zone. lots of marginalized people in the mix. try to discover what you had of value then stir up some demand. could be a skill. could be a quality you carried yourself. you had to get creative and put yourself out there. try not to resort to the least common denominator. plenty of good boy and good girl gone bad scenarios. god! i’m so fortunate i got out of there. and i wish you had, too.
my version of aromatherapy was dropping a grapefruit peel down the sink and turning the switch to obliterate. i met someone like that. her life like a grapefruit peel after she lost her daughter to suicide. i did a lot of deep stretches. i wrote a letter on greenish colored paper with a pinkish colored pen. i had an assortment of vivid dreams and got up easily every morning at four am. prayer got me through a couple rough patches. the rain materialized and cleared into sunshine. i got to feeling so very alive.
i woke to voices sung high in some distant land. they touched into my subconscious and drew me headlong into the world to carry out this mission. to build a creature of feathers and cotton and infuse it with such love that, when called upon by a touch of the paw, it may invoke these celestial notes, opening its half-sewn mouth for to give us all we need to go on another day.
the kid was cold. damn cold. they already had three layers what with an undershirt, a tee shirt, and a hoodie. they wanted to adjust the thermostat but it was off limits. to save money is why, they reminded themselves, i guess i will have to put on a parka. they did exactly that, and ran around the apartment building exactly 4 times. the old lady was out there with the old man. the old man shouted some words of encouragement on the second lap. their breath rose towards the clouds. the old lady clapped through her mittens. they put their arms in the air and made fists in the sky.
Here’s an excerpt from my WIP (work in progress):
“The night hung heavy and winter would not wait. The days grew shorter and colder in Chicago. We haunted an apartment wedged between others on a long city block not far from Division, the four of us. The whole block seemed to shake every time a train passed by. Factory chimneys exhaling smoke, incessant sounds. What I loved about the city was how it’s so alive. There was all kinda weather coming through, winds blasting across Lake Michigan for days. Early snow subsided to rain, and all the kids on their way to school pushed gleefully through the puddles. Skyscrapers stood tall among the trees. The vertical life in Chicago in obvious contradiction to the system of streets and rails. All diversity of people caught up in all diversity of things, twenty four hours a day. Altogether it made for a life you would not wanna miss.”
– Katya Mills