Monthly Archives: December 2012

(Vulnerability) Hangover Cure

Did you pull a Harry Bailey? Go too far
Too fast on the mouth of your shovel, straight through the ice?
Don’t panic. In this movie there’s always a George
To plunge in and save you, no matter the risk.

I’ve been there. That’s daring greatly. That’s the price.
Just let your liver process what you did,
Whatever it was. You were right to try, even if
You decide to do it differently next time.

Sweet old Clarence puts it all on George,
“Every man on that transport died,” in the world
Where Harry’s dead because George was never born.
But if both Bailey boys had stayed at home,
If Harry had taken his turn at the Savings & Loan,
If he’d played it safe, those men would still be dead.
No heroes, no love stories–the movie would end sad
If we Harry Baileys didn’t always push
too hard, too fast, too loud, too soon, too much.

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Since this is post about practicing empathy, I will save for another post my current progress in working on shame & vulnerability & daring greatly & then suffering multiple vulnerability hangovers. I will just dedicate this to a friend who was brave enough to admit she was having a vulnerability hangover & say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you to Brene Brown. (And also I need to learn how to do diacritical marks on Word Press.)

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Also note, this serves as further evidence for how HARD it is for me to write a sonnet in 14 days rather than an hour.  I wrote this in the bathtub in the back pages of I Thought It Was Just Me. And the water didn’t even have time to get cold.

Two Week Sonnet, Day 6

Riding the line between abundance and chaos,
My stupid focus is on lack, lack, lack.
I try gratitude, but follow the switchback
Back toward loud whiny-assedness:
Too much. Too much! There really ought to be less
Except of course when there needs to be much more.
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12/8/12
Decisions, decisions. Today we reach the end of a sestet–a little six-line cluster. If we’re going traditional Petrarchan, we’ll push on for a couple more lines to complete the octave (8 lines, if you didn’t know) and THEN shift gears. The rhymes seem to indicate I’m in an octave, not a sestet. I was kind of mis-remembering, forgetting I’d set up “whiny-assedness” to rhyme with “abundance and chaos,” only remembering that “less” rhymed with “ness.” I thought briefly about trying to rhyme with “less” so this could decide to be a sestet.

I’m a little worried that the two less/more lines are too obvious, but I like having them as end words there in the early-middle of the poem.

Well, really, it’s tomorrow’s decision, where to go from here. Just feeling the impendingness of it today.

p.s. I told my husband last night what I was up to with this and he totally got it, how hard it is for me to do this just one line a day, since I often write a sonnet, or most of a sonnet, in the car on the way to work.

Fortunately, this isn’t the only writing I’m doing.
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12/7/12
So, no Babe the Blue Ox in the Slough of Despond yet. But there’s time. We’re only five lines in. A whole universe of crap can happen in 9 lines in a sonnet. Right now I’m thinking the next line will begin

Except for when

but I could totally change my mind by tomorrow.
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12/6/12
I decided I’d try to write a sonnet over a two-week period (14 days–seemed liked fate), one line a day. Curious if I’ll do it–I’m trying not to anticipate what I might write the next day or later, though it occurred to me this is kind of a version of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which made me think of Paul Bunyan, so they might show up, with Babe in the slough of despond or something. Or not.

Two Week Sonnet, Day 5

Riding the line between abundance and chaos,
My stupid focus is on lack, lack, lack.
I try gratitude, but follow the switchback
Back toward loud whiny-assedness:
Too much. Too much! There really ought to be less

_____
12/7/12
So, no Babe the Blue Ox in the Slough of Despond yet. But there’s time. We’re only five lines in. A whole universe of crap can happen in 9 lines in a sonnet. Right now I’m thinking the next line will begin

Except for when

but I could totally change my mind by tomorrow.
_____
12/6/12
I decided I’d try to write a sonnet over a two-week period (14 days–seemed liked fate), one line a day. Curious if I’ll do it–I’m trying not to anticipate what I might write the next day or later, though it occurred to me this is kind of a version of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which made me think of Paul Bunyan, so they might show up, with Babe in the slough of despond or something. Or not.

Two Week Sonnet, Day 4

Riding the line between abundance and chaos,
My stupid focus is on lack, lack, lack.
I try gratitude, but follow the switchback
back toward loud whiny-assedness.

___
I decided I’d try to write a sonnet over a two-week period (14 days–seemed liked fate), one line a day. Curious if I’ll do it–I’m trying not to anticipate what I might write the next day or later, though it occurred to me this is kind of a version of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which made me think of Paul Bunyan, so they might show up, with Babe in the slough of despond or something. Or not.

In Defense of the Swine

The Lord said not to cast pearls to—poor pigs,
Just rooting through the slop of their to do lists,
The muck of obligation a fine sheen of stink.
Dolphins of the barnyard? Not in this scene.
The mess they make is made of others’ messes.
We count on their willingness to eat corpses
And kitchen scraps with equal relish and then yes,
We butcher them and eat their screams like a sauce.
Don’t kid yourself. They didn’t even see your pearls.

Don’t waste your precious best self in committee work.

But hey, let’s do admit we all take turns at this—
Pearl clutcher, pearl caster, demon, and pig.
Don’t give me your best when I’m going full-bore porcine.
When you’re a pig, you sure as hell won’t get mine.