Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Duly Noted

Dog in Riverside Park
A Bull Mastiff named Billy Bob, Riverside Park

Fact: I haven’t posted here in a week.

Another Fact: I wrote a lengthy post last Thursday but didn’t publish. It was written in anger, and things written in anger are often cathartic but seldom edifying. So it will have to remain a draft until I calm down and figure out what my point is/was.

An Additional Fact: I wrote half of another post last Friday; it was to be the kick-off to a blog series I’ve been plotting and planning for awhile. But when I signed online Saturday to finish said post, I noticed a news item that made this series seem less than in good taste, at least for the moment. So that’s in a draft holding-pattern, too.

One More Fact: Lots has been happening lately that I suppose I could write about, but I just haven’t felt so inspired. Excuses, excuses – writers who really want to write don’t get to blame lack of inspiration. They just need to show up and do the work. And I haven’t shown up this week. Maybe next week?

These are the facts of the matter - but the grace of the situation is that it's April - National Poetry Month - which I'll take as an 'out' - an excuse to substitute someone else's words to fill the void of my own.

And so here is a poem - of excellently arranged and inspired words - by Mr. Andrew Hudgins.

Day Job and Night Job
by Andrew Hudgins

After my night job, I sat in class
and ate, every thirteen minutes,
an orange peanut—butter cracker.
Bright grease adorned my notes.

At noon I rushed to my day job
and pushed a broom enough
to keep the boss calm if not happy.
In a hiding place, walled off

by bolts of calico and serge,
I read my masters and copied
Donne, Marlowe, Dickinson, and Frost,
scrawling the words I envied,

so my hand could move as theirs had moved
and learn outside of logic
how the masters wrote. But why? Words
would never heal the sick,

feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
blah, blah, blah.
Why couldn't I be practical,
Dad asked, and study law—

or take a single business class?
I stewed on what and why
till driving into work one day,
a burger on my thigh

and a sweating Coke between my knees,
I yelled, "Because I want to!"—
pained—thrilled!—as I looked down
from somewhere in the blue

and saw beneath my chastened gaze
another slack romantic
chasing his heart like an unleashed dog
chasing a pickup truck.

And then I spilled my Coke. In sugar
I sat and fought a smirk.
I could see my new life clear before me.
lt looked the same. Like work.

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