Monday, October 24, 2011

For the Young Who Want To


Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

I'm looking through a book called "PoetSpeak" a selection by Paul B. Janeczko, the whole idea is that the poets comment on "their favorite work." The first poem I read (not this one) gave this beautiful explanation after the poem about him as a child and what the poem meant and why the images were so great. I felt that that should have been part of the poem. I want to create pieces where the beauty is intact.

This poem I connected with so I wanted to share it. I feel like this some times. I like that she doesn't need an explanation she's pretty clear in what she writes, or else I connect to it and understand. Oh and I called the Library today and made an appointment with the writer in residence to look at my work, I'm scared because I feel like I'm not good enough, like I should be able to work this out on my own, and every book I've ever read tells me to go beyond that feeling. And I'm excited to talk to a person about what to do next.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Told a Story

When I graduated university in 2000 I had limited my theatre courses to only the amount I would need if I came back to do my honours instead I took as many History and English courses as I could. I couldn’t make theatre and film work, it took a lot out of me emotionally, and finally didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Writing was the only thing I didn't let go of.

So tonight was a big deal.

I told a story at the local library with our story tellers group. I found a story about an elevator operator at a hotel and switched it to a room service girl and made most of the plot from things I had learned during my years working at a hotel. I was a little scared at first, it has been forever since I did something like that, so my body wasn’t sure what to tap into to tell a story to a bunch of really talented women.

“Don’t look at the floor, look at us" I was told. I took a deep breath and told my story. I came home and danced around the living room, tonight I did something that I was in love with as a child and connected to a piece of myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I just didn’t know

I woke up this morning, kind of, and thought "I just don’t know what to do." I didn't have the answers. I didn't know why I felt like crap. I didn't know why I wanted to keep sleeping. I didn't know what was going to happen at work. I didn't know what I'd say to friends. I couldn't predict or plan anything, I just didn't know or didn't "Think" I knew. I didn't know more than anyone else, different yes, more no.

I guess that’s Ok, I guess that’s the new phase of my life, not to have all the answers not to be right, or believe I’m right all the time. Marianne Williamson speaks of falling to your knees and asking for help. I haven't reached out for help but I said "I don't know.  I've started asking questions about I should have a while ago. Things about people about situations. I can't to get angry and frustrated because I didn’t get it my own way.

This is hard. The epiphany didn't come with a flash of light and energy, but a darkness that seemed to take hold of me, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow morning.

I can admit I don't know something and ask for all the help I need. I can participate, I can play, even if I don't win first place, I can invite the world in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

little rooms

I worked through a lot of emotional stuff yesterday. I got down and dug in some deep dirt. I learned how spending so much time by myself especially during the school years , has affected how I react to people as an adult. Doing so many things on my own and expecting such a high standard has also brought me down, not lifted me up 100%. It’s who I am, and it’s gotten me this far, but for me it’s time to be aware of how doing it this way affects the myself and the people around me.

Yesterday I expected that I would go to work and want to reach out to people. I expected to give off great energy and feel open and ready to accept people in a new way. I was on such a high yesterday. There’s such an exhilaration when I uncover a piece of myself… I expected the high to continue. Instead I felt as dreary and heavy as the clouds and rain that was falling.

Throughout the day I felt immense pressure in doing my work better, and was bombarded with ideas and questions all day.

My work will be changed by this. Today I used journal techniques to work out monitors. I couldn’t disappear and do whatever I felt and say whatever I felt.  I had to monitor myself to make sure I didn’t fall in the same pattern I had in the past. It’s easy to say you’re going to be a better person when you’re sitting on your coach reading about the little rooms in you have been cut off from. That’s what the exercise was to find the pieces of you that you’ve closed off. That’s what Debbie Ford told me in her book. That we are born with a full castle and as time goes on we learn to close off rooms in our castle and as adults we need to find those rooms again. At first I thought “I live life pretty much the way I want to so there’s no rooms I need that are shut off.” And then reality called me a B*itch and I started to list all the ways I cut myself off from people. It was a real eye opener.

I no longer need to criticize myself as harshly as I do and impose the structure I put on my own life onto others.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grown Up

I think I’m a grown up. I think the self work I did today made me realize that. People often think I’m in my late 20’s (including a friend whose son I went to school with) when I was 30 someone thought I was 19. I’ve never thought of it as a compliment, I’ve always thought of it that I wasn’t acting my age. Today I looked at a friend’s picture on Facebook and said “wait she’s all grown up.” I looked at Oedipus and said this is a gown up play and I can read it. The picture I posted makes me feel grown up. I wish I had a picture of me from the picnic today. I would like to see my eyes and my soul on the page.

Today I feel grown up. It’s not a bad thing. I feel strong and weak at the same time.

what has brought them to you


My children
You carry the name of duncan
Hidden behind the name of my husband
You have fallen before me
You have stated you no longer love me
Your mother
You demand to remain only with your father

You are not yet old enough
To carry your own perfume
Your own weight is carried
In apple juice and child’s potions
While older children experiment with flowers
And then musk’s
You have chocolate chips melted
On your fingers
And ask me to pour the milk
With your cookies

 To the father
Come forward if you want to
Take your children now
And leave
Go far away from your wife
For there has been something
That has turned them so hastily
From me

I feel my heart falling to mu feet
And my tears are cupped
By the roses of my cheeks

Great wife
Love of my life
See how the children come to you
They don’t yet understand
That what has brought them to you was love
For if it was pure hate they would run away
And we would see them
Never again

They cling to your words
Even with wishes of being far away
They can barely live alone
Yet we have created strong minded
Independent children

My weight is in my age
I chose you when I was very young
I had young women lined up
From neighboring towns and countries
Line up at my side
And asked me to own them
To tell them what to do
And you walked in with your sister
Wanting only to be there for her
And I began to wonder
How to build a castle
That you would love
The doors that welcome you
The linens from other worlds
That would feel soft
Against your skin

There were murderous scenes 
When I chose you
There were tears in the village
But you have stood by me
And fear not for we have instilled that
In our children

There were children
That didn’t survive
Children from mothers we reign over
Children have died in your arms
Surrounded by our blood
This is our family now
And we must choose
At this moment
How to make the family

We are turning to you
Even though we say
We do not love you
You and I and the children
Are strong enough
To build this family up again
We are kings and queens
And princes and princesses

You have brought us
Love and fortune in the past
Come to us again
With flowers and stars

Love over us
Not in the pieces of death
That has caused the castle wall
To crumble
But in the power
To build the castle strong

Poor children
Poor husband
As I can only hear
The anguish you have felt to come here
I know your feelings
Are eating you inside
You have become melancholy
In my care
And now knowing this is how you feel
I am filled with the emotions
Of the three of you

Each of you suffers
Within yourself
And since you are all part of me
Your suffering
Aches my soul
With the power of
My soul growls and aches
And demands that all of this changes
Demands our family be one again

Inspired by first page of oedipus rex by sophocles

Friday, October 7, 2011


I want to sit in the park
there's one picnic table there
The moon, full

The day turned dark
the sky cleared of clouds
I will gaze into my dreams

On a warm night
when you can count the miles
to the farthest star