Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dream Poetry

I wrote a perfect poem in my dream.

I wish I could remember it.

In the shower this morning the first line came clearly, and I asked for a pen and paper and scribbled it down against the wall where wet drops ate away at the paper.

I stood in a parabola of light.
I was in the garage with my father, with whom I have an awkward relationship. I wasn't actually in the garage, because I was in a writing room with Robert Hass and Melanie Abrams, but the poem took place in the garage and so I could see the action playing across the page like a projected movie.

His blue eyes were glossy and welled up behind his glasses like a fishbowl.

I think that I read this somewhere and I remember debating about whether or not to put it in my poem, since it wasn't mine, and did, so I could remember the sentiment.

He was sad about my leaving to go to college, which was when the awkward turn in our relationship happened. He said something so perfectly encompassing the change and the sentiment without being obvious, but that was either unimagined or forgotten.

I thank the room.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Also Create Magnificent Works of Art

"The Jimmy Street Tangle"
"The Bird That Flew Too High"

Plastic birds on pipe cleaner
Jessica Cox 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Didn't Drop By to Say Hello

On Sunday Milke Thompson walked over to the Bart station, entered the train and sat down. He read a newspaper in a top hat. People looked at him funny because of the top hat. And the cane, and the purple chiffon gown he wore on Sundays. Milke liked to put yellow crepe paper in a duffel bag and walk about the station outside with the yellow bits of paper poking out. He said he liked canaries. The blue lockers were on the left of the ticket machines and he would stand there with the paper until the train rumbled overhead. Calmly, he would purchase a muffin from the vendor on the sidewalk, and slowly unwrap the chocolate Costco muffin from its saran wrap coating. After the train departed, he would move toward the escalator leaning heavily on his cane, tapping the ground twice with the metal end before shifting his left foot in front of the right. Milke Thompson is a millionaire. And he spends his Sundays thus, in an endless repetition of crepe paper and chocolate muffins.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Enjoy a Nice Cup of Coffee Now and Then

Of course it started small, and ended in an explosion of fury and humiliation. But perhaps I go too far.

This morning of Tuesday last, after falling asleep while my professor read Chaucer, I and my friend Amelia go over to Peets for a nice cup of coffee. Now I've worked with coffee for quite some time, and I should know. But I drank a small iced drink before lunch and then everything in me started buzzing and jiggling and moving about. You know that coffee shake that's become so stereotypical, now merely an exaggeration to pretend you're all jacked up. It happens. To me.

So my head's getting all twisted while I'm sitting through Archaeology and my teacher's a freaking nut case and says, "uuummmmm, oo-oohhppss...did I say that? ho ho, no sir, giggle, mhmmmm" all in one go and I'm really just trying to read Faulkner's monolithic sentences and I have to sit on my hands they're shaking so bad.

I was the first one out of the door the minute she trailed off her theatrical expose....and in the cafeteria searching through the glass doors for something that would help. Like a plug in the bathtub I hit upon an orange vitamin water -- B relaxed, or something like that. Yes, yes, thank god, just drink it drink it drinkit and stop stop beating

In my short story class I'm the only person that knows what they're doing. But that's unfair, 'cause there are a few, but let's just say I'm the most outspoken. And this is where it hits. The culmination of energy packets firing in my synapses until it feels like head is going to explode and there will be nothing left but bees.

She, my teacher, compatriot, asks this question: "And has anyone read Faulkner before?"

Harry Potter raised his hand, The Sound and the Fury, of course of course it's sitting on my wall at home. And ye gods, through the will of it's own my hand creeps up to the top of the desk in some sort of Buddha gesture declaring peace peace! We will not have peace! The synapses shout and as she was giving up, as she was giving up! She spotted my hand and looked through her bangs down out through her nose and said, 'Oh, yes?"

"Um, Landing something, or something Landing; it was his first published story."

This is a lie.

It's weird to not leave things as they could stand, and to instead make up a lie that has no reason or motive or that can get you any further in anything positive. And you just feel the falseness of it, and though no one of course could know, or care, you hear it screaming again and again, liar liar! You know They hear it, in the way the professor turns away from you with a catch in her throat and an "oh" because who cares. And you're terrified, and maybe you should just never come back because you know the hollowness of it, and the stiff unnatural sounds in your mouth will expose you and then they will know that you're full of shit.

But it's important somehow, to prove to these people that I'm smarter than them, more worthy of an English class than these sad fucks; to show my superiority over those who think niggard is a racial slur.

Am I overreacting?