Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Cog in My Wheel

As seen on 30 March, 2010.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Car Racing at Rush Hour

On my way home from work,

the last two miles of road,
starting at Chicago and 31st Street -
you’d know the light if you biked here -
I began tailing her.

I took the center of the lane
on my Specialized Allez,
behind a black woman
driving a Ford Escort.

Thirteen blocks, I stuck to her bumper,
running-bra soaked,
mouth parched,
my nose – invaded by fumes.

At the red light, 1st Av. and 31st,
about to turn,
she opened the door and yelled,
“You go, Girl!”
with a grin.

A woman –
not threatening me or hollering
“Get on the sidewalk!”,
“Move your ass over!”.
Thrilled to be tailed for 13 blocks
by a shirtless and sweaty chick on a bike.

This is how I move, how I breathe.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Baggage as Art: Sweltering

for the man at the park.

Thirteen years later, I don’t just leave,
but I tie my bike around his thoughts of the afternoon – sticky –
and I swelter him to a fence of sun, to grieve

my innocence as he asked, if, by my leave,
he might touch my
thirteen years later, I don’t just leave.

He pulled from his pants, white as under a farmer’s sleeve,
flesh, writhing – jello on a spoon, jiggly.
I swelter him to a softball fence, to grieve.

The adrenaline pumped around my body late into the eve
as I nightmared summersticky potbellies under the moon, hazy.
Thirteen years later, I don’t just leave.

My teammates, only by my silence I deceive.
Under the three o’clock sun, my shorts were short, by necessity.
Still, I swelter him to a softball fence of sun, to grieve

my innocence injured, my pedals pushing to be freed,
my eyes from his flesh, my ears from his false lullaby.
Thirteen years later, I don’t just leave,
but I swelter him fast to a chainlink fence of sun, to grieve.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Keeping my baggage in check.

I've become an editor, accidentally, and expect, now, a phone call, or email, or facebook message saying "Hi, Esther.... Do you have time?" to read through a new essay every week for a dear friend. My friend's essays and stories are always interesting, always a perspective I haven't known before.

I feel greatly honored that he pays attention to what I recommend, even though most of my recommendations are grammatical. I like being one of the first to read what's going up on his blog this week, and never know what it will be, beforehand. I have trouble with technology - I don't see what I'm supposed to click on - quite frankly, it's amazing that you're reading this; I was lost, unable to see where I was, trying to send Google an SOS when the page opened "post"!

I'm frequently lost, unable to see where I am. Technology, astigmatism, and now a little farsightedness all affect this techno-blindness of mine, to say nothing of the rest of my mind's mysterious workings. I muddle through our ever-more technological world in a bit of a fog - some days it takes a great wind-storm and brilliant sunlight to lift that fog. Some days, it just takes a little help from my friends. It's an elemental part of the title of this blog; I've got a history: delightful, mixed with mediocre to icky. It's important to me to recover my baggage when it gets out of hand, find the best way to pack it back inside so the panties don't come flying out at the least little tweaking. Sometimes, all it takes is a friend asking if I'd be able to read his most recent creation, talking about life in all its seriousness, silliness, or,frequently, a mix.