Saturday, December 24, 2011
It's Christmas Eve. I'm serious.
Last year, I posted this Christmas Post, and I just re-read it and it's awful. But it's who I was.
Here is a misconception that we've been trying to live by for a hundred years: Christmas is perfect. Christmas isn't perfect. It's commercialized and pulverized and slandered and most of all: turned to sacrilege.
I know about Christmas, guys. I know your fractured hand-holds climbing up the commercial face of Santa Claus and Christ alike, I know the anger you take out on your family: "I'm sorry", and the stockings filled with IVs of your own Type O+ blood because you couldn't think of any other way to say "I love you" besides proving just how gruesome you can be.
I know about Christmas. The same prayer on a thousand lips. The same songs on radio. The shine of it. The way that I could be here and you could be there but there's a phoneline and suddenly I love you and Christmas doesn't break over time zones or language barriers. The way it tastes sweet. And the biblical version, the original tinsel and electrical lights, the "Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy!" The long stretch of stairs before the tree. The waking up.
I've loved Christmas for almost eighteen years, but I don't love it unconditionally. I love it because it's been so good to me. Christmas has always had the softest hands. December itself has never been a real month, but one long countdown, a fifth season, a big inhalation and then Christmas Day: exhale. I like nativity scenes made of wood. I like wrapping paper. I like the smell of it. Even the cannibal consumer's version of Christmas---all price-tags and coupons and Overnight Shipping---is about giving, even in its crude, malnourished interpretation of the word: "giving". I like buying books for my mom.
Christmas has been, you know, altered. It's not what it was supposed to be, that day in the manger. It's not even what it was supposed to be sixty years ago and "Oh Melvin! A transistor radio of my very own! Gee whiz!" But even this gritty, twenty-first century version of Christmas is, honestly, gorgeous. It's... hopeful? It's hopeful. Bright.
And I think I finally got what I want this year, even though it's not going to be a kitten. You know?
Thursday, December 8, 2011
*This is not specific. This is not what it seems like. Probably.
You're stunning; trust me, this once.
I know what you keep in your pockets: forgetfulness, pity, rage. And maybe when it's cold outside, you wrap up in a little spite.
Take it off. Yeah, take it all off. You know who you are: impatient and cathartic, wistful, bored by... everything and amazed by... everything and satisfied by... nothing. Yeah, you really know who you are. You're not very impressed by me. I like it. You're not very impressed by me. I hate it. You're a sort of hard to describe with English adjectives: how about impassive? How about starry-eyed? How about hungry? And how about uncorruptable? Yeah, that. Uncorruptable.
I've gotten pretty good and picking out the gods from the peasants but you... you blur the lines. How can someone so desolate want to live so much? So much. I've never seen someone survive the way you do. You're terrifying. Everyone says so. You weren't what we expected. We all know the shape of you. Your hands. You have a really good poker-face.
Stop taking things seriously. And stop telling the truth all the time. And don't cringe, this isn't about you.
Take a raincheck, baby, I'll be here all year.
This isn't a love poem.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A Poem About My Mother at 6:26 AM
And sometimes when I go downstairs
in the full-moon morning,
and my warm feet ache on the wood floor
because the house has frozen over in the night
and the thermostat is,
it's not on:
there's a mug of hot chocolate already there
by the makeup bag and the toothpaste,
and there are little marshmallows in there.
And that's when I think:This is love.