Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Song Lyrics

So, here we've come again to the end of another April, to the end of National Poetry Month. And once again, circumstances beyond my control, I didn't get to blog about poetry as much as I would've like, or had planned way back at the beginning of April, back when I was young and innocent and whatever. But, as it is the end, I've decided to finish off my poetry blogging with the reveal of my latest set of song lyrics.

These are also based on a scene in Effigy and once again, if you've read the story, you can probably figure out which scene. And if you haven't, well, maybe these will inspire you enough to want to read it...


Maelstrom

Your eyes snared me
Before I knew it'd been done
A single drop of rain
From a sky soaked in sun

And drenched I now am
As the storm carries on
The water keeps rising
But my will to swim is gone

Did you want to hold me under?
Did you want to watch me drown?
Well, it won't be long because this storm's now a maelstrom
And the black is pulling me down


You kissed me so gently
When the deed was done
You smiled so sweetly
It never occurred to me to run

Is that what you wanted
When you planned your attack?
Me looking in your eyes
As you stabbed me in the back?

Did you want to hold me under?
Did you want to watch me drown?
Well, it won't be long because this storm's now a maelstrom
And the black is pulling me down


What a clever little whore
With your clever little lies
Lure in your prey with a smile
Then trap them between your thighs

How did you ever get so close?
How did I let it get this far?
I've had my share of hurt before
But you were the first to scar

Did you want to hold me under?
Did you want to watch me drown?
Well, it won't be long because this storm's now a maelstrom
And the black is pulling me down


You were sobbing when I saw you last
Crocodile tears flooding your perfect eyes
Your siren song was on your lips
But for the first time, I saw past your guise

I'm through bleeding for you
But I won't try to fight my way free
I'm too far gone and done with the world
So let the world be done with me

Come now and hold me under
Come now and watch me drown
I'm a dead man adrift in a maelstrom
And the black is pulling me down.


©Melissa Jordan, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Long Time No Blog

It's been a little while since I've blogged so I thought I might take these moments before the American Idol results show (If Matt Giruard stays and Alison Iraheta goes, I'll be mad.), to tell you what's been going on.

So I should probably start with the reason why I haven't blogged. Well, last Wednesday I went online to watch Chuck on NBC's website and just a couple of minutes in, this window popped up claiming that some virus was attacking my computer and if I would only click here, then the VirusScan2009 (Not the real name, but I don't remember the real name, so I made one up. Not my most creative work, I grant you, but functional nonetheless.) would sweep in and save the day. I did not click here. I called Joe to ask him because I didn't remember anything called VirusScan2009 being installed on my computer. Because I didn't. Neither did Joe (Joe, by the way, just caught a glimpse of the blog entry entitled "Shmoe Versus The Schnauzer" and is, how do you say, not pleased.). The VirusScan 2009, as it turns out, is a virus that tricks people into thinking they have a virus (which, ironically, they do) and when the poor unsuspecting people click here and give VirusScan2009 permission to scan the computer or whatever, it steals all the online money stuff it can get its hands on. It must have been disappointed with my computer because there isn't any online money stuff on it. But Joe told me to turn my computer off and he'd figure out how to de-virus the computer when he got home.

This happened at 8am. Joe wouldn't be getting home until after 5pm.

Now, there was a time in my life when I wasn't really all that into the internet. I remember telling my friend Ben that I didn't need email or internet access because when would I ever use it? Then, about fourteen years later, there I was, sitting in my living room, wondering what the hell to do with myself since I no longer had any online access.

So I watched a show I'd recorded with the DVR (My traitorous DVR, by the way, that has started to delete my beloved episodes of Legend of the Seeker). Then I watched another. Then I stared at the ceiling fan for a while. Then I dusted the ceiling fan. Then I checked the clock. It was 9am. Time moves very slowly when you can't check your email or Facebook page over and over again.

Joe spent the next couple of days trying to de-virus my computer. I've taken a lot of guff from people asking me what kind of sites I visit but the most controversial sites I frequent are Facebook and MySpace. I don't go to the scary sites. I don't click on links people send me unless I know for a fact that it leads to a safe site.

And yet.

Whatever. My computer's fixed now (at least as far as we know) but now I'm afraid to use it so I've been waiting for Joe to come home every night so I can use his laptop. With any luck, it won't get affected.

Went to Boston this past weekend. It was a research thing. I spent the drive down being mad at my "friend" (Yes, I am using sarcastic air quotes. Told you I was mad.). You know, the one who's reading my book but isn't. Well, he sent me an email a while back asking if he was helping me at all. So, after writing and erasing a multitude of sarcastic responses, I very calmly wrote back that yes, it helps but the length of time between chapters was decidedly less helpful. But then I gave him an out and said that I knew he didn't have a lot of free time and I shouldn't have bothered him with it in the first place, so he didn't have to bother with the rest.

Then he responded with an email that made my eyes repeatedly bug out of my head like I was a cartoon character. Here are some of the highlights:

I really don't have time to read it twice. My response: Don't recall asking you to read it twice and besides, you haven't even read it once yet.

I can just read it and bug you constantly until you let me read the next one. My response: Are you frakking serious? What the hell makes you think I'd let you read Second Nature? The only way you'll ever read Second Nature is if you go into a book store upon its publication and buy a copy.

For the record, you never 'bugged' me about this. I volunteered and would again. My response: I know I didn't bug you about this. I know you volunteered. I was trying to be polite, you frakking prick.

Anyway, it's your book and my occasional free-time is at your disposal...or not. My response: Damn right it's my book and if your occasional free-time was at my disposal, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. Whatever.

So I decided not to respond to this email. I decided to just let it go. Then I received the next chapter from my friend with the note "Since I'm reading it anyway, I'll put my thoughts down. If you don't want to use them, that's cool too." followed by some stupid emoticon.

That's why I was mad on Saturday. This was the response I was going to send: "I obviously can't stop you from reading the book since I was idiot enough to send you the files in the first place, but I would prefer it were you to refrain from sending me your thoughts. I waited nine months to hear your thoughts. You had your chance and you stuck me on the back burner so you could play World of Warcraft. So I don't care if you find a plot hole the size of the Northern Hemisphere. I don't want to hear about it. Not from you."

But again, I ultimately decided to not respond. Today I took a look at the chapter notes and only found one and one so minor I didn't know why he'd bothered to put it in. So Stupid Me, I asked about it. Didn't know why he bothered. Whatever.

But anyway, back to Boston. Had a great time. It was a gorgeous day and it was the first time I went to Boston to just walk around Boston. Boston, by the way, is the city of false advertising. Heather and I found "The Old Corner Book Store" on a map and tracked it down only to discover that it was now a jewellery store. Outside the jewellery store, there was a plaque that read "Old Corner Book Store" with some blurb about how the Founding Fathers bought books there or something. Whatever. Fortunately, there was a Borders with free brownie samples waiting for us across the street. Then we wandered down to Boston Commons. We people-watched for a while and then tried to locate the Frog Pond on the map. On the map, it's a cute little drawing of a cartoon pond and a cartoon frog. In reality, it's a hole in the ground lined with cement. Apparently, they use it for ice skating in the winter. Not cool.

Oh, and the Red Sox swept the Yankees. And Jacoby Ellsbury stole home on Sunday night. This play was amazing and the ESPN commentators were replaying it over and over and over again. Monday morning, I tuned in to SportsCenter to watch the top ten plays, figured Jacoby HAD to be there. And he was. He was number four. FOUR. Youk hitting a home run came ahead of him and some guy hitting a three pointer in a basketball game was number one. Seriously? Guys hit home runs and three pointers every day but how often does someone steal home without the catcher even realizing it was happening until it was done???

Jacoby was robbed.

Of course, I am not one who should be considered unbiased in this. I would also like it to be noted that I love Youk and bear him no ill will.

My friend Omar told me that the Yankees are planning to 'plunk' (I think that's the word he used) Jacoby when Boston visits Yankee Stadium next month. I say Bring it on. Ellsbury is like the freaking mayor of Awesomeville. You plunk him (whatever that means...I think it means hit him with a pitch) and you'll have to deal with all of Red Sox Nation. Can't wait to watch that game.

What else? Oh, I love my town. It was ninety degrees yesterday and the front page story in the local paper was about the avalanche that happened the day before in the Ravine. Today's front page story was about an Eagle Scout who spent four days alone on Mount Washington.

Anyway, it's almost time for American Idol. See you on the Flip Side...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Curious Case of the Shell-Shocked Schnauzer


Turns out Monday was not the day Max would finally bitch slap the Gator Girl. Not that he didn't try and try again. And again. And again.

Things came to a head while we were watching Dancing With The Stars (Joe likes the skimpy costumes.). Mischa was lying on the floor, relaxing as much as she ever does when conscious, when Max (who had been hiding under the coffee table) decided this was it. This was his chance, his shot at overtaking the role of Alpha in this house, and so he went forth and confronted the Gator Girl.

Yeah. Wasn't his shot.

At first, things were fine. They were sniffing each other and playing with each other and on one was trying to dominate the other. Then Max started to get pushy and then a little pushier and then even a little more.

"You're gonna get your Schnauzer ass tagged," I warned him.

But he did not heed my words. Instead he continued to push his luck and then, right before Chuck and Julianne danced a Samba, Mischa reached her breaking point and pushed back.

Things got very loud, very quick.

Max dove for cover and I yelled for Mischa to stand down. She did. However, Max the Wonder Schnauzer with a death wish the size of my German Shepherd, decided to lunge at her.

Chaos, as you can imagine, ensued with Max shrieking like a little bitch.

No amount of yelling on my part was going to break up the brawl so I had to pull them apart. I pushed Max back against the couch and made Mischa lay down. When she had, I checked Max over to make sure the Gator Girl hadn't removed an eye or anything. She hadn't. She had managed to pull out a bit of his beard (but you don't even notice, so don't worry, Alison.) but other than that, there was nothing.

So, after that, I put Max on the couch next to me where he sat, staring off at the corner of our living room, probably counting the number of little cartoon birds and/or stars circling around his head.

"Is he all right?" Joe asked a couple of minutes later. "He's just kinda sitting there."

Which was a fair assessment. Max had yet to move from the spot in which I had placed him. He had yet to look in another direction. So I started to make noise, snapping my fingers, clapping my hands and calling his name. When I said his name, he looked at me with an expression like "Oh hey. When did you get here?"

"I think he has brain damage," I said to Joe.

"How can you tell?" Joe replied.

I put Max in my lap then, rolling him on his back and giving him a belly rub while I looked at his eyes. He didn't try to bite me. He didn't mouth me. He did nothing.

"Do you know what year it is, Max?" I asked. "Who's president?"

Joe snorted. Max looked at me like he was saying, "Max? Who's Max? I don't know, but he sounds delightful!"

Max spent the rest of the night in my lap, not moving much. I kept checking to make sure he was breathing. Joe said Max was likely just tired. Defeated, more like, I thought. Shell-shocked. And how.

This morning, Max (who really is fine, by the way.) woke up asking if we'd gotten the licence plate number of the truck that had hit him. I told him we sure did: G8TRGRL.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shmoe Versus the Schnauzer



Author's Note: The following timeline is actually from
Sunday. I've just gotten around to posting it now. Enjoy!

5:00am: Mischa's up. Taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap.

6:30am: Mischa gives up pacing and plants herself at my bedside and stares. I suspect she's using her Jedi mind tricks to try and get me out of bed.

6:40am: I look at the clock, see that it's 6:40 in the morning and say, "You can't be serious. Go back to bed."

6:41am: Apparently, "Go back to bed" is now code for "Time to get up" because everyone's awake now. Sebastian's pacing, Max's screaming and Mischa celebrates the newly made chaos by jumping on the bed. Max screams more. Such fun!

6:42am: Joe shouts "Knock it off!" Sebastian goes back to his bed. I make Mischa lie down. Max stops screaming loudly. He instead opts for a constant low pitch yowl punctuated every thirty seconds by a high pitched very sharp cry. Such fun!

6:45am: Mischa, lying on the floor at my side, looks up at me and essentially rolls her eyes. There are times when she is not impressed with his cousin. This is one of those times.

6:50am: Time to get up. For real this time. Mischa celebrates by jumping on the bed and landing on my ribs. Max squeals but then, so do I. I say a plethora of not nice words.

6:51am: I am still nursing my ribs so Joe takes the Dynamic Duo out, leaving The Little Pisser (Joe's new nickname for Max...guess someone's still a little miffed about yesterday's one pup pee parade.) in his crate.

7:05am: Joe returns with Mischa. I get out of bed, still holding my ribs. I let Max out of his crate and we go downstairs. Joe's outside with Sebastian.

7:06am: I'm trying to put Max's collar on him when Joe and Sebastian return. Sebastian decides to help by standing over Max. This helps immensely. Joe, to my surprise, takes Max outside. I remind him, just in case, that he has to bring Max back.

7:10am: Joe and Max return. Joe made The Little Pisser stay outside until he'd peed at least twice. Max, not Joe.

7:15am: Max inhales his breakfast. Sebastian hovers so he can drink out of Max's water dish.

7:21am: Max is back in his crate and Sebastian wants another refill in Max's dish. We point out the other two much larger water dishes but he only has eyes for Max's dish.

7:24am: Joe asks if there's anything else I want to clean with the Bissell Little Green Cleaning Machine since it's still on the counter and still has cleaning solution in it. I tell him to wait...the day's still young. God, is it young.

7:57am: Joe and I play ball with Sebastian. Playing fetch with him is kind of like watching a normal dog playing fetch in slow motion (or watching Mischa in slow motion). Max doesn't seem to appreciate any tomfoolery going on without his supervision and starts sobbing. Screaming, actually.

8:00am: Still screaming. Lily (the dog hating cat) joins in. Such fun!

8:02am: Mischa joins in on the dog/cat chorus but I suspect she's telling the other two to shut the hell up because they do.

8:30am: I rescue Max and Mischa from their crates. Mischa steals Sebastian's ball and Max hides under the coffee table. Joe puts up the babygates so Max can't get on the stairs or go down the hallway. It's not that we don't trust you, Max, it's just...Oh wait. Yeah. It is that we don't trust you.

8:35am: Joe notices me writing notes in my notebook. He suspects what I'm doing and looks over to see notes for this blog. "You don't put my name in your blog, do you?" he asks. I tell him I call him "Shmoe" and no one ever knows who I mean. Joe looks like he wants to say some not nice words but refrains. Mostly.

9:00am: Joe leaves to take a shower. Max curls up next to me on the couch.

10:00am: I leave to take a shower. As I'm closing the bathroom door, I hear Joe exclaim, "Are you peeing on that?" I decide not to go look.

11:20am: Max is lying under the coffee table, chewing on the bone he stole from Mischa when she was distracted by a dog on the television. Joe exlaims, "Would you stop doing that?!?!" as Max is chewing on the bone on Joe's feet.

11:23am: "Seriously, do you have to do that?!?!?"

11:24am: "Would you stop chewing that bone on my feet?"

11:25am: I think about interceding but it's just too much fun to stop.

11:26am: Joe reaches his breaking point. He takes the bone and throws it out in the middle of the living room and tells Max to go chew on it there. Max looks forlornly at the bone but does not make a move to get it. I explain to Joe that Max would prefer to have the table as cover from the Gator Girl.

11:27am: I move the coffee table over so it's no longer near Joe and put Max's bone underneath it. Max decides he'd rather sit with Joe on the couch. No social cues, that one.

12:00pm: Kong Time! Mischa's in the living room, Max under the dining room table and Sebastian in the kitchen. Max finishes first and thinks long and hard about going for Sebastian's kong. I was wrong about the social cues. The Schnauzer just has a death wish. Big is relaxed about a lot of things but his kong is not one of them.

12:30pm: I take Sebastian outside who follows Max's morning trail around the house and pees everywhere Max peed. Such fun! Since I also made Sebastian wear his doggles, I let him mark pretty much whatever he wants. Pretty much. Marking my house and deck are still off limits. Do you hear that, Max?

12:45pm: I take Max outside. Max follows Sebastian's trail and pees everywhere Sebastian peed. Such fun! We then go for a walk around the neighborhood where Max protects me from a Blue Jay (the bird...not a baseball player.) and a shifty looking branch sitting in the middle of the road.

12:55pm: The neighbor's dogs, Zowie and Barney, pop out of the woods. Zowie and Barney have a nasty habit of being in our yard. Sebastian does not like them. They are afraid of Sebastian and do not approach him. However, they are less afraid of Max. Sorry, Max, but it's true. C'mon...even Lily isn't afraid of you and that's really saying something.

12:56pm: I turn Max the other direction because of how desperately he's pulling to get to Zowie and Barney. When Zowie and Barney turn for home, so do we.

1:00pm: We pass one of the neighbors who looks at Max and makes a face like, "I thought her dogs were bigger." I think about explaining how I accidently threw Sebastian in the dryer on high heat. But I don't.

1:15pm: We make it back to the house.1:30pm: Joe and I take Mischa and Sebastian outside to play. Max waits in his crate. Max cries. A lot.

1:45pm: Heather comes by for a preplanned shopping trip so I leave all three dogs with Joe. I ask Joe to please let Max out of his crate.

4:00pm: Heather and I are back. We walk in and are mobbed by only two dogs. No Max. I can hear him crying. I ask Joe if Max is still in his crate. He isn't. He's hiding under the dining room table.

4:10pm: Max comes out from under the table. He gets on the couch next to me. Sebastian decides he too wants to sit on the couch. He manages to do so without crushing Max. It's so freaking adorable that I took pictures. I think one of them is at the start of this post.

5:00pm: Dinner time. It's early tonight because Joe, Heather and I are going out for a night on the town. The town that pretty much closes by 6pm.

8:50pm: We're home! Sebastian is thrilled to see us again. Max immediately starts howling in his crate.

9:00pm: Everyone's been outside (again) and we hang out in the living room and play ball. Well, Mischa plays ball. The boys just kind of watch her play ball.

9:30pm: Mischa is panting heavily and lying on the floor. Max takes advantage of this and tries to be the dominate dog. He is unsuccessful. Max retreats to the couch to sit with me.

10:00pm: Max is sleeping on the couch when Sebastian (again) decides to climb on up there with him. I ask him not to crush Max and, for the most part, he does. Just Max's legs a little. Max, however, does not complain. Since his vocal cords are free and clear, I let it go.

10:30pm: Although I'm tired and want to go to bed, I feel bad about sending the dogs back to their crates when they've only just gotten out of their crates. I tell Joe. He laughs and looks at the three absolutely passed out dogs in the living room. "I think they're ready for bed," Joe says.

11:00pm: Bed time. Thank goodness because my ribs are killing me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Amazing Peeing Puppy

So Max is spending the weekend with us. If you're new to My Pet Blog, Max is Max is Wonder Schnauzer, a miniature Schnauzer belonging to my brother and sister-in-law. If you're new to My Pet Blog, you won't know of Max's many misadventures but they are many. And usually involve peeing.

This visit has proved to be no different.

Max arrived around 4pm Friday afternoon. The very first thing I did when I let him out of the car was to take him to relieve himself on all his favorite trees so really, there was no excuse...except, in Max's mind, there was.

He's a boy.

He's also the Alpha at his house. At our house, however, he's low pup on the totem pole. I actually think he might be even below the cats.

Max does not much enjoy this.

So he spends a lot of time (well, any unsupervised time anyway) marking. Marking whatever should cross his path, be it the trees or the rug or the Ralph Lauren bedding or Joe (Yes. Max marked Joe once. Joe was, of course, thrilled and honored.). This, you can imagine, goes over very well with my dogs. Max's first visit with us was a constant pissing contest between him and Sebastian. Sebastian doesn't mark in the house though. At least not any more.

But Max arrived at 4pm on Friday and by 6pm, he'd already peed twice. The first time in the living room and the second time on the doormat in the foyer.

And we ran out of pet stain cleaner.

This morning, I took Mischa to obedience class where she managed to emasculate a couple of the male German Shepherds. Max and Sebastian (two other of Mischa's bitches.) stayed home with Joe. When we came home, it was to find Joe on the couch and both dogs trapped via baby gates in the living room and the Bissell Little Green Cleaning Machine sitting up on the kitchen counter.

"What did Max pee on?" I asked.

"That's the wrong question," Joe said.

"What did Max not pee on?" I asked.

"That's better," Joe said.

Here's what happened:

There's a local election coming up in town because one of our state senators resigned his seat once he received his third DUI (Classy of his, huh?). I think I must be on the best buddies of the democratic party or something because every democratic candidate comes to the house to talk to me (check out my primary blogs from last January). Joe loves it when I'm not home when they comes because then he has to talk to them long enough to tell them he's one of those apathetic Americans who don't vote and yet like to bitch about the government.

Anyway, I digress.

Joe didn't know the election people were at the house. He didn't hear them. Sebastian, however, did. Sebastian loves election people. And the people who comes by to bring us the word of god. And the Swann's man (who still hasn't come back to take our food order...what's up with that?) and, well, you get the idea. So Sebastian went into one of his super fun apoplectic fits but by the time Joe got to the door, no one was there. There was a black jeep hightailing it out of our driveway (they even backed out, they were in such a hurry to get out of there.) and a little door tag thing for whoever the democratic candidate. Max, as far as I know, did not bark or even know anyone had stopped by the house. Joe reports he (Max, not Joe) spent much of the day, standing on the arm of the sofa in an intense staring contest with Speed Racer, the turtle. Since Speed Racer doesn't much move, I'm guessing Max lost.

Oh, hey, look at that. I'm digressing again.

While Joe was already off his ass, he figured he'd take the boys out to pee. He took Max first. Max took forever to pick a shrub but finally relieved himself and Joe brought him back. Joe then took Sebastian outside. Sebastian did not take very long to do what he needed to do. Joe says he wasn't out for more than a minute.

Turns out, a minute was all it took.

Max had taken advantage of the lack of supervision and decided to claim the stairwell as his very own. The entire stairwell. Starting at the very top and working his way to the very bottom.

Joe was not what one could consider amused. Or evenly mildly pleased.

And, oh yeah. Did I mention we were out of pet stain cleaner?

So enter the Bissell Little Green Cleaning Machine. And the baby gates.

Max and Mischa are currently curled up together on the sofa. It's adorable. I am unfortunately sans camera. It's a nice change from the rest of the evening when they were engaged in a never ending power struggle to see who'll be top dog. Max doesn't have a chance but, bless his little Wonder Schnauzer heart, he never loses hope that today will be the day when he pees on everything and beats down the Gator Girl.

Maybe he'll be luckier tomorrow...

Better go stock up on pet stain cleaner.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yeah. About That...

Remember how I said I'd be finishing my synopsis this month? Well, I actually meant May. I'd be finishing my synopsis in May. Not April. No, because April ends in two weeks and I am pretty much still at the two and a half page mark. So yeah. I meant May.

I thought I was making progress. I had this great transition that I absolutely adored, and still do adore, but I just couldn't string anything together after it so finally it was time to back up and try it from a different way. That's what I do. I've probably said this before on this blog but when I hit a wall and can't find a way around it, I back up and try the same scene from a different angle, sometimes even a different character altogether.

So that's what I did. I worked on it while I was sitting in the waiting room at the Subaru dealership last week. They were doing an oil change and switching the winter tires for the all season tires. And while they did that, I was stuck in a little room with no Facebook or television or dogs or laundry or anything else that required my attention. So I wrote. I wrote until they called my name.

Then I stopped.

Haven't been able to get going again since.

Do you think they'll mind if I come and sit in their waiting room for a couple hours every day until I actually do accomplish something? Because I'm seriously considering it.

Of course, my failure to achieve my set objective has consequences. Consequences I levied upon myself, mind you, but consequences I nonetheless must enforce. Otherwise, I will lose all credibility with myself and we can't have that. If I don't know that I mean these threats when I make them, then it's all over. It'll be anarchy.

Which means that I will, in fact, be reading nothing but Jane Austen novels until the frakking thing is done. Which means that I will, most likely, be reading nothing until the frakking thing is done. I really don't like Jane Austen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today's Featured Poet: Anna-Lynne Williams

One of my all time favorite bands is Trespassers William, a group of which I first became aware in Buffy The Vampire Slayer's sixth season. Their song, I Know, was playing in the background at the end of the epsiode Gone and it was love at first listen.

The lyrics are all written by Anna-Lynne Williams and they are some of the most amazing lyrics I think I've ever read. There isn't a single song that leaves me cold so I've decided to feature her today. The hard part is picking which song(s) to feature. I think I have to go with the ones that make me think of my writing. So you just know they're gonna be happy!

What Could I Say

What could I say
To touch beneath your clothes
When I say "I need you here"
You'd say "How could I not know?"

Why am I so tired?
Exhausted in my love
Water in my eyes
Why am I not enough?

I told you everything I knew
I tore my pockets out and gave them all to you.
You hold my throat like a violin
I never want to kiss again
Because there's nobody like you
Because there's nobody like you

Now I'm so afraid
To push you from my mind
Like the fear of forgetting what
What light is like when you close your eyes

How can you stare?
How can you sit?
While I'm trying to tear you up
And I'm almost good at it.

I told you everything I knew
I tore my pockets out and gave them all to you.
You hold my throat like a violin
I never want to be held again
Because there's nobody like you
Because there's nobody like you


From the Album Different Stars (2002)

The next song was also featured on an episode of Buffy, also in season six (the episode As You Were, in case you wondered...).

Washes Away

I can laugh at this dream
and if I drown I'll wake in the morning
this is liquid love in a plastic cup
and if it leaks we can plug it right back up
pain is a rain that washes away
I'm a fabric you can stain
to make light of you is all that I have
so understand me if I laugh
you were sleeping and your eyes they were gone for a while
you were screaming and I searched for the lines of your smile
this is peace and I know 'cause I'm too tired to cry
I'll never get close to you and I'm just to distracted to try
pain is a rain that washes away
I'm a fabric you can't stain
to fall into this is not what I want
so understand me if I don't
love is a glove that just doesn't fit
no matter how you pull at it
to make light of you is all that I have
so understand me if I laugh
it is late I won't ask you to stay or to stroke
I have never gotten warm from you huddling close
if you danced I might take you right up in my arms
but you don't so I whisper this is all
this is all
all


From the Album Anchor (1999)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today's Featured Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was born in Maine (Penobscot Bay), attended Vassar College and lived in Greenwich Village. She wrote plays, she wrote poetry...if she wrote novels, she would've had the exact life for which I was striving. Her poetry tended to follow traditional English forms, particularly the lyric and the sonnet. Her subject matters were varied from rebellion against convention to beauty and romantic love to life's promises and disappointments. Whenever I'm feeling particularly somber, hers are the poems to which I am drawn. Which, perhaps, was a factor in my selection of her.

But all to your gain, right? Here is one of my favorites, a poem that makes me think of one of my books (Not Effigy)...

Witch-Wife

She is neither pink nor pale
And she will never be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of coloured beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she will never be all mine.


Here's another of her poems that I like:

Elegy

Let them bury your big eyes
In the secret earth securely,
Your thin fingers, and your fair,
Soft, indefinite-coloured hair,-
All of these in some way, surely,
From the secret earth shall rise;
Not for these I sit and stare,
Broken and bereft completely;
Your young flesh that sat so neatly
On your little bones will sweetly
Blossom the air.

But your voice- never the rushing
Of a river underground,
Not the rising of the wind
In the trees before the rain,
Not the woodcock's watery call,
Not the note the white-throat utters,
Not the feet of children pushing
Yellow leaves along the gutters
In the blue and bitter fall,
Shall content my musing mind
For the beauty of that sound
That in no new way at all
Ever will be heard again.

Sweetly through the sappy stalk
Of vigorous weed,
Holding all it held before,
Cherished by the faithful sun,
On and on eternally
Shall your altered fluid run,
Bud and bloom and go to seed;
But your singing days are done;
But the music of your talk
Never shall the chemistry
Of the secret earth restore.
All your lovely words are spoken.
Once the ivory box is broken,
Beats the golden bird no more.


And finally, the poem she wrote that caught my attention in the first place:

I Shall Go Back

I shall go back again to the bleak shore
And build a little shanty on the sand
In such a way that the extremest band
Of brittle seaweed shall escape my door
But by a yard or two; and nevermore
Shall I return to take you by the hand.
I shall be gone to what I understand
And happier than I ever was before.
The love that stood a moment in your eyes,
The words that lay a moment on your tongue,
Are one with all that in a moment dies,
A little under-said and over-sung.
But I shall find the sullen rocks and skies
Unchanged from what they were when I was young.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's National Poetry Month...Again!!

So many poets, so little time...well, let's jump right into it, shall we? Today I'm going to write about Archibald Macleish (1892-1982), an American poet who wrote some cool stuff, poetry and plays and the like. He was influenced by poets like Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. For a good long while, his philosophy on poetry was that its value was in itself, not necessarily in any social value the poem might also encompass (This philosophy is illustrated in the poem I'm going to feature down below.). Later on, his work contained strong messages of social justice and, during the days leading up to World War II, they had constant patriotic themes, freedom, justice and the American way and all that....which is all well and good, but today I'm not featuring any of those poems. I'm featuring his poem Ars Poetica, which is generally one of the first poems I teach during my poetry unit (that is, when I'm teaching). Ars Poetica is Latin, meaning "The Art Of Poetry". It's not uncommon for poets to write an "Ars Poetica" poem to explore their own personal views on the subject. This is MacLeish's view and is, I think, an excellent poetry philosophy...

Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown-

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangling trees.

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind-

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

A poem should be equal to:
Not true

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea-

A poem should not mean
But be.