Saturday, December 28, 2013

I get by with a little help from my friends.

I've done it before and I'll do it again. Yes, that's right, I will use the art of others to inspire my own. Creativity begets creativity. Once again Mark Hall, music producer extraordinaire from across the pond, gave me a little writing boost with his track "And the Angels Fell". (You can listen to it here.) So, like the famous song says, "I get by with a little help from my friends". (For what it's worth, I like the Beatles version, but I LOVE the Joe Cocker version.)

Something about this particular track of his tugged at me. I was entranced right from the beginning, and then I could feel that slight knife-edge that slides right in. Beautiful disaster. You know the kind that hurts but you can't stop pushing it forward? Something about this track told me the story of a friendship that got twisted along the way. I can't tell if things worked out in the end, but I remain hopeful.

Okay, okay, okay. Enough rambling from me. Here's the poem:

Remorse Code

Look at you. smiling that smile. The slick one you have reserved for impressing people.
The one with no teeth and too much eye squint.
But with a turn of your head and change in mood, I see that damned dimple.
As if it were some secret code between us. (dimple, dimple, wink, nudge)
An unspoken apology for dismissing our friendship. It's going to take more than a dimple this time. 
Yeah. You fucked it up that bad.

You and me -- we have always fit like puzzle pieces.
You and them -- fit more like orange slices.
Some fits are better in action -- others are better in theory.

By now you should know that when I laugh, it’s not always because it was a good joke.
That “I’m sorry” does not always equal a good apology.
That “it’s okay” almost always means it isn't.

Friendships are hard. Doubly hard when you are hardly speaking.
Barely whispering. In fact, all I hear is radio silence.
(tap, tap, tap - - is this thing on?)

Things are different now that we've grown up.
The responsibilities, the other relationships, the distance, and the godforsaken busy.
We are different but more.
The same but less.

I am still a simple woman.
Simply complicated;
but lucky for you I am easily appeased.
You of all people should know how to do that.

The question is will you…
...and will I let you.

Friday, December 13, 2013

I have something to say about this...

As you might guess from the title, I have something to say. Go ahead and read this tumblr post. 
Just do it real quick:


Now here's the deal. I met my husband when I was just 18 years old through a mutual friend. We started dating when I was 19. Had our daughter when I was 21, married at 22 (wedding was in May and my college graduation was in August - a busy few months), and home owners by 23. There is not a single day that I regret any part of our time together. I have a constant companion and best friend, no need to worry about dates for parties, have someone who likes to cook me dinner, fixes things around the house, and mows the lawn. IT'S GREAT!!

Here we are on our wedding day. Say it with me, "D'aww"!
Do I give him a hard time and tell him that he robbed my of my youth? Absolutely. (Teasing him is one of my favorite pastimes. I might even call it a hobby.) Do I mean it? Absolutely not.

There were lots of folks out there who didn't think we stood a chance. Didn't think that we were ready to be so committed at that age. Didn't think we understood that kind of love or the work it would take to maintain it. I am so pleased to have proven them wrong.

Sometimes young love works. I'm sure it's rare and most of the cynics out there are right 90% of the time. But this still leaves that 10% of couples who fall in love as teenagers and somehow manage to defy the odds. 

December 15th, 2013 will mark 11 years of togetherness for us. I know without a doubt the reason it is so easy for me to work so hard at my marriage and be so willing to compromise is that I am certain all of that willingness and work is reciprocated. Also, it should be said that he has never asked me to be anything that I'm not. Never said, "Jenn, I wish you wouldn't laugh so loud. It's obnoxious." Never said, "Jenn, I wish you would try to be better at baking cookies." Never even said, "Jenn, your humor is absurd and it scares me. Please stop." Total acceptance is a beautiful thing.

Yes, I know that this is predominately a poetry-centric blog so just sit tight and stick with me for a minute...

I'm about to let you guys see a very special place inside my heart. Posted below is the first poem I ever wrote for my husband when we were younger. He has this printed out and stapled to the wall above his work bench in the garage. (He's adorable.)


Dear                   ,

Someday you'll settle me down.
you'll keep me away from
doubt and regret,
from wishing for better boys,
from needless self destruction.
you'll rescue me from the oxymoronic
everyday business of monotony, boredom,
and chaos.
show me calm, collected; captured even.
you'll teach me how to breathe again.
slow, steady, serene. 
my vocabulary will start to include words
I once though were bullshit.
monogamy, romance, love.
dinner plans at 8, meet the parents.
hold hands like a couple. 
someday you'll get to name my obsession,
you'll call it your own.
you'll put my admiration and adoration
on the wall above your bed.
so high,
infinity could be my mother.
you'll show me my biggest fears and desires, 
both disguised as ridiculous, 
reflected in your eyes.
attachment, necessity, must have.
you'll wash away my guilt; insecurity. 
reassure me that I am still myself,
a whole, intact, and alive.
I'll just be me
standing next to you inexplicably
mutually
happy
and completed by each other's
synchronized exhales of relief.



Someday I'll settle you down.
Sunday morning coffee and crosswords.
Tuesday afternoon naps on the couch.
you'll begin to understand affection,  
companionship, and returned phone calls.  
appreciation of the little things
that mean nothing.
belly rubs, back scratches, and purchased packs of smokes
will become manifestations of everything.
I will keep you away from cloudy and powdery
white monsters.
I'll show you a world of truth.
you'll find beauty in the reality of here and now,
today and tomorrow -- forever and always.  no need for you to hide behind that bad boy
with tattoos, did I ever tell you about the time... image.
someday I'll tell you another secret.
you'll forget the confusion that was your past.
trade it in for wide-eyed clarity.
you'll realize your worth; the infinite power of you.
brother, son, best friend, and lover.
simply-complex perfection.
I'll keep you and your comfort, intentions,
reactions, and daydreams,
all on the tips of their toes.
you'll understand what it means to be valued,
appreciated,
respected.
you'll recognize in my voice, eyes, arms  
something familiar that you can't quite
put into words.
because it belongs in a dream.
all that I am.
your 5am reality check.

always with love,
jenn