jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On marriage

I heard on the radio this morning that a bad marriage can actually make you sick. Literally. Of course, heart disease as a result of stress is no surprise, right? And the study was on a group of British professionals. How 'bout studying an American part-time-stay-at-home, art studio owner? I'd like to see those results!

In other, more poetic news, I just started reading Notarikon by Catherine Bowman. Part of the book is a one-thousand-line poem written in one hundred ten-line stanzas, each line made up of ten syllables. It is part homage to a ten-year marriage. Hmm... marriage again.

I was inspired to write the following poem. I know I'm not supposed to wait for inspiration, but hey, it came. I wrote it. Comments & critique, please!

Hurry, Hurry, Step Right Up

Somehow we have passed the seven-year-itch
without incident. Afterbite, soothing aloe, avoiding
dense shrubbery, trios of three--who can explain luck?

Every morning I imagine the neighbor-dad
watching me wiping, moistruizing, blow-drying.
Each night, I think I see the long-legged jocks

at the school behind us, illuminated in one lone street light,
lathering their virgin stubble in the same round rhythm
my hands follow as I wash my face.

You used to come to bed
with me, brush your teeth beside me,
bend and spit together. Caress, foam, spit, rinse.
Then you came
to bed at eleven, twelve.
Now it is one.

Just this morning I heard from a cartoon wife,
"Some hats you wear. Some hats you cook."
I think tonight I will boil your hat,
shrink to fit,
hand it to you at midnight,
declare a new year,
twenty-one days before all-hallows-eve.

Here's your hat.
Here's the door.
Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a neat balance - humorous & true. I really enjoyed this.

11:31 AM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

First you laugh, then you cry! This is a good read!

4:55 PM  
Blogger Mary Timme said...

Wow! We went through it all in a few short lines. I really envy people who can do that and you did it!

5:11 PM  
Blogger ...deb said...

I love the numbers. They make the story so real. The aliteration, poetic. The humor: human. Well done.

I have to read it to my husband.

6:16 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

well you have what sounds like a good relationship... 11-12-1... whatever.. he is there....

7:04 PM  
Blogger polka dot witch said...

as i comment, please know that i am SO cranky today. i know that so much affects how we read what it is we read. i'm not saying that to set up a negative comment, not at all. i'm saying it, maybe, to explain how i got a different sense of this than the others.

i didn't get humor. i was sad throughout. (and you know me; that makes a good poem as far as i'm concerned.) so sad that there's no longer tandem teeth-brushing. i know what that means in my own house. when it's missing.

i love all the testosterone in this one. peeping dads. young men. i even see baby new year as masculine and also the act of handing you your hat, showing you the door. those ways of saying/doing seem masculine. the lack of a loving, hopeful kiss at midnight.

the single "kitchen" act, a boiling, one of the most violent cooking techniques. VERY interesting! (i love it when a bit of violence sneaks into your writing, which it does from time to time!)

there's a lot of fantasy in this for me. imagining other men, imagine being so bold as to show someone the door ....

as always, i love the juxtaposition of diverse images in your work.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

So many women wish they could hand their guy his hat.
You have allowed them to live vicariously through you.
(Not me! LOL)

11:29 PM  
Blogger Kimberley McGill said...

This poem is awfully good! I don't see it so much as humorous - more sadness - no, not even sadness - more like emptiness, like living in a place where nothing happens. It's not just that the hour is one - but that she is one and the male interactions she is having are all fantasy. But it also seems to be a poem building toward a decision - which brings some hope into the situation. Really well done!

1:43 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

A good poem, but I too don't read it as humorous........sad, downbeat, worn-out; but well-written.

7:26 AM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

How true, how true! This one made me laugh...the upside of all is, I more sleep than I used to! :)

11:25 AM  
Blogger Beloved Dreamer said...

hum... I can connect with this poem....Your use of repetition and soft words are wonderful. Softly spoken and yet....so true.
Very well done.....


12:00 PM  

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