A poem came pounding on my door today and I had to let it in. I asked it for a point and it yelled at me, something about no time for talk.
It told me that my chest will explode if I don’t give it a pen already. And that my heart will shrivel up and die if I don’t let it cry and break, no questions asked, as much as it needs to again and again about how the world is too much and not at all at once, since here I am, still alive and exploding even while the world keeps coming and coming and coming at me, saucy earth woman that it is, in me, through me, to me, all the freaking time.
It’s about how you are me (that’s right, you) and he is me and so is she and she and she. And Dick—that’s right—Cheney is also me, mistress of evasion and hiding that I am. And cheeky Jon Stewart too. And Barack Hussein Obama. Mama, that’s right, it said, you heard it here.
And George W. Bush too before you go thinking I’m taking sides for how could I when I am all of them and all of you and it’s all right here inside Iran, which I am, and have been every day I’ve ever held myself back and stifled and silenced and shut things up when I didn’t agree with me, trying all the while to make it look for the world like my shit’s together when really there are burning tires and exploding cars right inside my chest and I na-na-na put my fingers in my ears and numb myself to almost- but never quite fully -death—
For here I am, still, my smile as forever plastic as the bags I self-righteously don’t give myself anymore except for when I do for the trash I justify in my kitchen, because, after all, some stuff just won’t break down no matter how you slice it and dice it and cook it up.
And while I’m at it let me claim pollution of super-sized blah blah blahs of in-consequence except for their numbing effect on a heart fairly bursting if I wait to say how it really is for even one second more.
And before I forget, the poem said, I must tell you that you are also the stupid people in the stupid line this morning, biding their time to pay some stupid fine they can’t afford to pay. And the little boy on his big boy bike trying desperately to make it go with training wheels too low to the ground on account of the hovering mother also called you, not wanting him, by which of course she means herself, to fall.
So that’s me with the attention span of a fruit fly and the world inside.
Where was I anyway? Oh yes, channeling Eliot, something about in the end is my beginning and all that as it seems that through no merit of my own and by what I can only call mercy I find that the trees are also me—
As is the endless spring rain that just yesterday became summer.
So this is how it happens when you can’t get out of your own way: change comes knocking on your door, politely ringing your bell and waiting ever so patiently for you to answer, tick tock tick tock, and then one day, when and exactly why we’ll never know, in some merciful kick of kindness, it breaks down the door of you, the very door you kept meaning to answer, because that’s right: change hasn’t got all day.