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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

American Pillow Book

Things I Have Forgotten

The smell of my grandmother’s orange sweater.
The taste of homemade soup.
How it feels to have my hair split
into six sections, three on each side,
pulled tight and twisted,
pulled tight and twisted.
How to make chili relejos.
The proper temperature for heating oil.
The heat of the moment.
The fire of a foreign tongue sliding across my teeth.
The names of all the Italian soccer players
who fell in love with the girls from America,
all seven of us, pale, blond, fading
in the stale airport air.
How to travel alone.
How to memorize a three-minute jazz dance.
Where my feet belong when I am standing
in a long, long line.
When to stop listening.
Who first told me I am beautiful.
The smell of my first perfume.
The first Christmas my father didn’t buy
my mother new underwear.
The embrace of my first bra.
How it feels
to do something for the first time.


There was a wildly imaginative list poem up at This Is All Your Fault yesterday. Turns out it was based on a pillow book, a traditional, still popular Japanese form. That reminded me of a book I read when I was pregnant with my first child. It was by a young Japanese author and it was full of lists. I had great plans for my own list poems, then I had a baby, I had another, I lost some brain cells, I forgot about list poems. Boy, am I glad I remembered. They're very freeing. Very inspiring.

PS: You should buy Christine's books. They're great.

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Blogger PDW said...

this is a great list poem. even if i didn't have a soft spot in my heart for list poems, this would resonate with me. it's caged so sweetly with the braids and the sweater, but inside: foreign tongues, heat of the moment, the awkwardness of standing in line. i love it!

p.s. driving home tomorrow

9:29 AM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

great! hope your trip went well! have a safe return.

9:37 AM  
Blogger KrisUnderwood said...

Hey- I just came across your I am No Mary, You Are No Lamb poem again at mamazine. I just have to say that poem...is so raw. It really deserved to be published somewhere.

By the way-your mamazine link in the sidebar shows up as 'not found'

11:21 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks for the mention!

3:00 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

That's marvellous. You've reminded me that I have a version of this somewhere (I've forgotten where!) .. must dig it out. Lists can make very powerful poems

5:19 PM  

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