Posts tagged poetry
Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.
Far away the sea sounds and resounds.
This is a port.
Here I love you.
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears by Mohja Kahf
My grandmother puts her feet in the sinkof the bathroom at Searsto wash them in the ritual washing for prayer,wudu,because she has to pray in the store or missthe mandatory prayer time for MuslimsShe does it with great poise, balancingherself with one plump matronly armagainst the automated hot-air hand dryer,after having removed her support knee-highsand laid them aside, folded in thirds,and given me her purse and her packages to holdso she can accomplish this august ritualand get back to the ritual of shopping for housewaresRespectable Sears matrons shake their heads and frownas they notice what my grandmother is doing,an affront to American porcelain,a contamination of American Standardsby something foreign and unhygienicrequiring civic action and possible use of disinfectant sprayThey fluster about and flutter their hands and I can seea clash of civilizations brewing in the Sears bathroomMy grandmother, though she speaks no English,catches their meaning and her look in the mirror says,I have washed my feet over Iznik tile in Istanbulwith water from the world’s ancient irrigation systemsI have washed my feet in the bathhouses of Damascusover painted bowls imported from Chinaamong the best families of AleppoAnd if you Americans knew anythingabout civilization and cleanliness,you’d make wider washbins, anywayMy grandmother knows one culture—the right one,as do these matrons of the Middle West. For them,my grandmother might as well have been squattingin the mud over a rusty tin in vaguely tropical squalor,Mexican or Middle Eastern, it doesn’t matter which,when she lifts her well-groomed foot and puts it over the edge.“You can’t do that,” one of the women protests,turning to me, “Tell her she can’t do that.”“We wash our feet five times a day,”my grandmother declares hotly in Arabic.“My feet are cleaner than their sink.Worried about their sink, are they? Ishould worry about my feet!”My grandmother nudges me, “Go on, tell them.”Standing between the door and the mirror, I can seeat multiple angles, my grandmother and the other shoppers,all of them decent and goodhearted women, diligentin cleanliness, grooming, and decorumEven now my grandmother, not to be rushed,is delicately drying her pumps with tissues from her purseFor my grandmother always wears well-turned pumpsthat match her purse, I think in case someonefrom one of the best families of Alepposhould run into her—here, in front of the Kenmore displayI smile at the midwestern womenas if my grandmother has just said something lovely about themand shrug at my grandmother as if theyhad just apologized through meNo one is fooled, but Ihold the door open for everyoneand we all emerge on the sales floorand lose ourselves in the great common groundof housewares on markdown.
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day. Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)
I hope you know
I am having feelings about people I cannot touch.
I am having sudden difficulty with object permanence:
Where are they now?
For the Dead
I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer
The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself
I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight
Adrienne Rich (via hardlysilver)
sometimes I need to reblog myself just because I love certain posts so much and they are always relevant somehow, even if in a different way than when I originally posted it.
Especially poems - always good, but always a different reading. Each time you get something different from it.
I LOVE THAT.
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible, I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much. Mary Oliver, from How I Go To The Woods (via violentwavesofemotion)
one thing i dont need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i dont know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry
i am simply tired
‘i didnt know
i was so important to you’
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say yr sorry
i dont use em anymore’
i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i’m gonna soothe mine
you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it
Ntozake Shange (via wretchedoftheearth)
i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself
yes yes yes yes yes this poem!(via shannonwest)
six things every girl will ALWAYS have in her purse:
- another smaller purse
- an aging picture of ringo starr
- a six pack of heineken
- the complete box set of every season of Deadliest Catch
- the hat you thought you lost at Disneyland when you were 5
- a tiny, infinitely dense marble that contains our own universe