nOtes from a burned journal

no
thing
not
hing
noth
ing
nothi
ng
nothin
g
nothing
takes as much space as 

nothing

     n O thing

you say I don’t hear you
but that’s because I’m
listening so hard to all the 
things
you don’t say

***

like that maybe we both realize that you don’t need it as much as I do

you made me a promise once
and now you don’t keep it —
not because you can’t
but because it doesn’t occur to you

   ***

I will not take up only the amount of space
you have apportioned for me
I will not lower my voice, nor
my expectations
I will not trade “let’s do this” for “it can’t be done.”
I will
not.

   ***

I read back over seven years of a journal
and I sound like such a child.

I should just burn the whole thing. 
In fact, I think I will.

***

Sometimes I’d like to start
everything over

***

They were having some silly argument, he couldn’t even tell you what it was about, but then he asked, “but you tell me everything, don’t you?” and she laughed. And he said “don’t you?” And she said “no” And she laughed again. And then he said “half?” And she laughed again and shook her head, just slightly, and he said, “25%?” And she said “10. Maybe. Probably. Yeah, 10.” And he said “but why don’t you tell me everything?” and she said “you couldn’t handle it.” He remembered that part.

***

You make the past mean something different
by what you make of what comes after.

***

The clouds billowed toward me,
tumultuously, lugubrious, if such a thing is possible,
like the roil of boiling water
viewed in slow motion.

I pedalled determinedly,
the bag of blueberies
knocking against my knee
marking the seconds
between strobe flash and resultant
thunder.

When I returned
dry and winded
we leaned in the landing window
shoulder to shoulder hip to hip
and felt the house exhale
as drops of rain
rattled like stones on the driveway.

***

by Constance Merritt

Lying

awake at 4 a.m.
whatever the space beside you holds
you are yourself alone

and whatever there is of truth
turning in crevices light can’t touch
it must be that which wakes you
*
in a quiet room a woman works
arranging words, a world
where she might live

it changes little day to day
but the mind is changed
as light changes, as the leaves turn

and whatever holds that space inside her
it is so much harder, vaster, colder
than this near mortal, however breathing,
however loved.

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Without realizing it …

Redamancy Lit

Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives. It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage, the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,” who can be relied upon in small, important ways. People who teach us, bless us, encourage us, support us, uplift us in the dailiness of life. We never tell them. I don’t know why, but we don’t.

And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend in us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.

You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.

– Robert Fulghum

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A different kind of marriage vow

And maybe one of the loveliest I’ve ever heard:

“In sickness and in sickness. That is what I wish for you. Don’t seek or expect miracles. There are no miracles. Not anymore. And there are no cures for the hurt that hurts most. There is only the medicine of believing each other’s pain, and being present for it.”

 From: Jonathan Safran Foer. “Here I Am.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux. iBooks. 

So Far Still To Go

The moon rose last night,
shimmering,
intransigent,
as it has throughout all of our galaxy’s
history.
Over the rise and fall
of the Roman empire,
over the slaughters of innocents
in Viet Nam
and Phnom Penh
the murder of journalists or those
who dared to speak their minds
Communist Russia,
Syria, come to mind;
the Holocaust,
alas
the list is too long.

See, the thing is,
the world does not
care
that we are here;
perhaps might even wish
we were
not.

But we do.
We care.
And it is clear that we
still
have so much to do.

Imagine that


Imagine ThatAni DiFranco

imagine that i am onstage
under a watchtower of punishing light
and in the haze is your face bathed in shadow
and what’s beyond you is hidden from sight
and somebody right now is yawning
and watching me like a tv
and i’ve been frantically piling up sandbags
against the flood waters of fatigue and insecurity

then suddenly i hear my guitar singing
and so i just start singing along
and somewhere in my chest
all the noise just gets crushed by the song

imagine that i’m at your mercy
imagine that you are at mine
pretend i’ve been standing here
watching you watching me
all this time
now imagine that you are the weather
in the tiny snow globe of this song
and i am the statue of liberty
one inch long

so here i am at my most hungry
and here i am at my most full
here i am waving a red cape
locking eyes with a bull

just imagine that i am onstage
under a watchtower of punishing light
and in the haze is your face bathed in shadow
and what’s beyond you is hidden from sight