The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: October, 2008

Dream 1013

Sometimes I don’t dream about the baby. Last night, I walked miles and miles…always walking.

There are these old, old mountains in southwest Oklahoma, mountains so old they’ve been scaled down by time and almost aren’t even mountains anymore, mountains where I’d camp in college. Nights, we’d channel dead poets and eat Frito’s; mornings, we’d wake up to buffalo outside the tent. I haven’t seen those mountains in over a decade, and they were always so fragile–earth breaking up under my hiking boots, memory slipping away on the drive back to school–that I sometimes find myself wondering if they’re even still there.

That was all that was in the dream: just a long walk through those archaic mountains, and then the room grew a bit cold, and the baby kicked, and, finally, I got up to close the window and make us warm.

Sign of the Times

Paid a buck fifty for a nectarine;
it tasted like wet wood.

Three-Ring Mind

My mind has been a total circus lately. I woke up on Tuesday with a deep gash in my leg from my own thumbnail. It sent me into a spin: If I can’t keep my own nails trimmed, I thought, how will I take care of a baby and trim her nails and how do you even bathe them? Aren’t they slippery? And what about those little suction-y things? And why have people given me mitts? And what if I can’t hear her crying? And what about when she gets older and glares at me over uneaten-quinoa across the kitchen table? What if she says she hates me?

I spent the rest of the day wandering around in a wrinkled dress trying to figure out how I could be thirty-four years old and still believe that wrinkles just magically fall out of clothes.

Yesterday’s anxiety was more generalized. I took an early walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was gorgeous, and the sky was so blue, and the city so perfect, and What, I kept thinking, is the purpose of life? Why do we write and love and grasp and grapple, and all day I was coming up empty handed. Students came in and out of my office. One told me a story of her estranged father reattaching the neck of a tiny ceramic goose he had given her mother years earlier. Maybe that’s it, I thought. Or maybe the way this light’s coming in; or this kick from the baby; or this perfect peach.

By the time I left the office and was walking to yoga, my mom called back. I had left a message that I had two questions.

Her: What’s up, girly?

Me: Hey momma. How do you get rid of a sty?

Her: Warm, moist heat.

Me: Great. Thanks. Okay. What’s the purpose of life?

Her: Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.

Me: I thought you might say that.

We hung up, and I went to yoga where I fell into a deep and peaceful sleep and woke up only to eat an Organic Oreo.

So, folks, my mother’s weighed in–though she may change her tune now (I was kidding! Do you think they’ll know I was kidding!?!)–I need more. Purpose of life, please.

Playing with Poems!!!

My dear friend, Zoe Ryder White who also happens to be expecting her first baby (!!!), just came out with a book. It’s an instructional book for K-2 that uses poems to teach word lessons, and what a beauty it is! Congratulations Zoe!

Zoe included a few of my poems, ones that I wrote especially for the book, and I feel really honored and grateful. (Thanks, Zo.) I’ll spare you the one about screaming for ice cream as I’ve been doing enough of that around here lately, but here’s one that teaches compound words. Hope you enjoy…

Postcard from Someplace Lopsided

Dear Sweetheart,

I have spent the afternoon
watching the sunrise.
All is sideways but full of butterflies.
Here, the ladybugs live in beehives
and the sunflowers bloom on seashores.
Oh, it is something!
Just this morning,
sipping my tea from a buttercup
and basking in a moonbeam,
I heard the heartbeat of a rosebud.
I’d do anything if you could be here
to see the wheelbarrows of wishbones
and the downpour of starlight.
Please visit soon.
I am awestruck but oh so lonely.

Somebody Blue

If only grading were so easy…

Gee, You’re So Beautiful That It’s Starting to Rain

Oh, Marcia,
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsichord.
I want high school report cards
to look like this:

Playing with Gentle Glass Things

Computer Magic

Writing Letters to Those You Love

Finding out about Fish

Marcia’s Long Blonde Beauty

by Richard Brautigan

Sweet Little Ditty

On Friday night, I ate ice cream for dinner.
On Saturday night, I had pie.
Tonight, I’ll sup on sugar cane soup,
and that, my dear, ain’t a lie!

A Good Saturday Morning Cry

It involved horses and snow…

Week 31

Your baby now weighs more than a large head of cabbage; your heart has grown more than 30 percent, and you, you…well, how do we say it? You may be feeling…emotional? Perhaps you drop a jar of mustard on the floor; it doesn’t even break, just sort of flies and rolls, and you want to yell; you get sort of teary; you feel like when you were thirteen and you want to punch something but your husband looks at you like you’re insane, so instead, you choke on your own thick words and try breathing deeply (all that yoga!) but that doesn’t work, so you point to your belly and tell your husband you need him to love the baby and to love you and then you make him promise that he will never leave, no matter how crazy or clumsy you get. No, you say, really promise. Cross your heart. You have to. But don’t hope to die. Please don’t. Promise. Because we need you. And there you are: standing in the light of the kitchen, clutching a jar of mustard and wishing, wishing, oh deep-belly-wishing that you had bought a head of cabbage last week so you could pick it up and forget all of this and try (try, try just a little) to begin to understand the weight of things to come.