Fifteen confessions in ten minutes, and maybe poem number six

I wrote a post earlier today (no! I did not lose it this time!) comparing writing to the performing arts but for the life of me I couldn’t choreograph the language in any way that worked and so I chose not to post it, and now I find myself near the end of the day without having blogged, and so I’m thankfully falling back on the everything in betweenedness I’ve allowed myself on this blog and posting an idea I had while walking to my car on the way to a late-afternoon interview. So here we go, 15 confessions in ten minutes or less, and maybe poem number six.  It’s 4:05 currently.

(1.) This morning I accidently ran the air conditioner in my car while the window was down, contributing for probably ten minutes to the melting of the ice caps and the drowning of Polar Bears.

(2.) I blog during work, not because I don’t respect my job but because I believe it keeps me sane.

(3.) I’m going to aerobics after work but only because it might help me lose weight and look attractive and NOT because it’s good for my health.

(4.) I didn’t know what a garlic press was until my friend Anne used one Friday night

(5.) which made me realize I’m really a grown up now, and I need to learn to do things like zest lemons and press garlic and make icing from scratch. It’s time.

(6.) I’m almost thirty and I keep wondering when my desire to stay out late with friends over cocktails will end, but so far it hasn’t.  I might be stuck forever around the age of 21.

(7.) I don’t use eye cream or special eye make up remover and often I forget to use any sort of facial cream at all, which has all led to

(8.) a new wrinkle cutting down my cheek, which startled me in the women’s room today and took up probably an hour of my thoughts throughout the day

(9.) when I probably should have been meeting any of a dozen different work deadlines, but, you know, I felt a little traumatized.

(10.) I drive a foreign-made car, which everybody around here refers to as a rice-burner, and I have trouble deciding where my loyalty should first rest – to my little family, with a car we can afford, or to Detroit and AMERICA, and I should trade my affordable car in for a Detroit model, or to the environment – my car gets amazing gas mileage –

(11.) I’m writing fiction and it worries me because it seems to be affecting my mood, it seems to take more out of me emotionally and physically than non-fiction does,

(12.) But I do NOT want to be one of those woe-is-me writers, always talking about her work, even though

(13.) it’s primarily what interests me right now, that and Jill Carrol’s 11 piece series on her kidnapping and torture that’s running in the local papers.

(14.) It’s taken me all summer to read War and Remembrance

(15.) I woke up tired this morning, but I never know if I’m supposed to listen to my body and rest or if I’m just being wimpy for no particular reason.

Okay, so, a bit of a lackluster post for the day, but fortunately there is time to redeem myself with a poem from a poet I went to school with, Jonathan Moody, who when he reads his poetry aloud proves time and time again that sometimes all we need is the marriage of rhythm and words to move this world forward.

BEYOND CHATANOOGA

                   I believe there are only two truly regal women
                    in this world, my mother and Bessie Smith.

                                   —The Prince of Wales

You don’t have to open
your mouth to let us know
you’re on stage. But tonight,
in Baltimore, you do, & for
that I’m grateful. Still singing,
you pull me from my seat,
grab me by the hand, &
walk backwards —staring
straight into my eyes.
I follow you, Bessie, the way
a worm follows a blue
goose, or the bed-sheet’s
lilting shadow. We dance
against canvas backdrops
of magnolia & incongruous
moons; our shoes, setting
fire to the ramshackle cabin.

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This entry was posted in Hopelessly Indulgent Reflection, Top 100 Poems. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Fifteen confessions in ten minutes, and maybe poem number six

  1. The cocktails: it doesn’t go away. This I can say from the ripe perspective of 37, having just got in from a night out with my girlfriends doing just that. I loved your post! And the poem is lovely too, especially the “magnolia & incongruous moons”.

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    I loved your post too! I like the 15 confessions idea.

  3. litlove says:

    I like the 15 confessions too! Not sure I’m quite as lucid about myself as you are, Courtney – I would probably slope off into random jottings about books I’d read. That’s all my blog is really! Nice thoughts about books to put off the work that needs to be done on myself…

  4. Charlotte – well, it’s good to know I have an answer regarding that concern :-). I feel sometimes like I should be much more grown up, drinking green tea and practicing zen meditation, but really, I still like to go out like I did when I was 18! I don’t know what that says about me!

    Dorothy – thanks so much – it’s sort of a spontaneous idea because what I intended to post just wasn’t working…

    Litlove – Thanks! I love your blog so much because it’s about the books you’ve read, but also about the thoughts they spur. You write about much more than books, you write about happiness and despair and the revolutionary power of French Literature – when I read your work I feel like I am truly learning something about the way the world works, and the human condition, and it makes me feel like a better person.

  5. kj says:

    This was great. I liked it. Seems like it is a great writing and thinking exercise…something I will have to try.

    P.S. Keep the rice burner.

  6. bloglily says:

    I agree, cocktails with friends need not and, as far as I can tell, does not end at 30. Your confessions amused and entertained, and for that your penance is probably … a cocktail! Your fiction writing sounds like it’s really making you go deep, which is a good thing, and not something you sound like you’re woe-is-me’ing about. (And thank you for the poem. it has a good rhythm.) xxoo, BL

  7. Make Tea Not War says:

    OMG- Charlotte and I are exactly the same age- 37. Litlove must be round there too…

    And it’s somewhat embarrassing how much I still love cocktails. I have martini glasses, and a cocktail shaker and even special little olive spikes. I keep waiting to grow up but it never happens

    You are really a fantastic writer btw. Your piece about being rejected was so very true. That feeling that in 3 months time you’d be better so rejection wouldn’t sting so much…I know the feeling exactly.

  8. LK says:

    OMG, #11. Totally relate.

    I’m over 40 (oh, I hate writing that), and still go out for drinks with friends. We call it therapy.

  9. Emily says:

    Want some company to help you feel better? Here you go:

    1. One day, maybe, I’ll relate my teenage angst story about something similar, only it was heat not air conditioning, and was much worse, because it involved a boy on whom I had a huge crush..
    2. I do this all the time, although it may be different, since I work from home and often find myself working at 10:00 p.m.
    3. I kid myself that I work out for health reasons, but it’s mostly for the same reasons you do.
    4. It was years before I figured out what cream of tartar was and where to find it in the grocery store.
    5. It you do even half the things that our society thinks you should do as a “grown up” you will become a very boring person. Fight I, and feed your imagination instead.
    6. It won’t. And if it does, there’s something wrong.
    7. What a bother!
    8. Oh, those damn wrinkles! Read Erma Bombeck (her last published book, I think) and what she has to say about wrinkles and a well-lived life. It will make you feel much better.
    9. Sometimes, some other things are more important than work deadlines.
    10. This is not a confession at all, and DO NOT SUCCOMB. Your planet depends on it. American companies know perfectly well how to make cars that are better for the environment, but they are driven by greed, and they use guilt (“you’re not buying American and supporting American workers”) as a tactic to entice consumers, in order to make as much money as they can. Chances are, your “foreign-made” car was manufactured in this country. This is truly a crisis situation (and I’m not kidding ). All the children you know and love right now will be suffering terribly in the future if we don’t start controlling it. Tell those who make fun of you, “Yeah? Well, I’m not a sucker for advertising.”
    11. There’d be something wrong with fiction if it didn’t affect your mood.
    12. Haven’t noticed that you do that. Will tell you if it becomes a problem.
    13. Bizarre and intriguing distractions are what make life interesting.
    14. Don’t ask me how long it took me to read Don Quixote (one of my all-time favorites). I probably set a world record.
    15. I always opt for listening to my body and resting.

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