Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RIP Tully, Poem, Planned Parenthood

Hey ho there! Sad news: One of my family dogs, Tully, is really sick and we have to have her put down. I'm taking the bus down to DC tomorrow morning to spend some QT with the fam. I found out during work, too, which sucked. 

In other news, I went to Planned Parenthood this morning for a routine exam. Lemme just say: thank the magic sky people for those folks. I didn't have to pay anything (whoo low income! No, wait....) and I got 2 months of birth control. Hooray! I did have to wait a long time, but I was at the busiest one in the city, apparently the Bronx PP is much quicker. But an overheard exchange inspired this new poem.
Having this experience validates my rage against those who want it de-funded. They provide crucial health services. If there are other place that do this with the efficacy and conscientiousness of the PP staff, point them out, please. While my Catholic-conservative shaped mind recoils a little at the thought of suckling at the government teat  (I qualified for Medicaid, which covers OB/GYN), I was able to procure services (crucial ones) that I would not otherwise be able to. I may write about this more in depth later.

"Cecily" 4.13.11

Hello, how are you today?
Can you tell how many times I've rehearsed this?
"Hello, my name is,"
Reversed this
custom anyway I can
Turn it upside down,
invert it above the altar
to try and make it less demeaning?
Modern ritual
No one means it any more
Than they mean
"Have a nice day"
It is sacred and crass
in its ubiquity 
One day I'll stop
And tear their institution down
One day I'll stop 
And spit on their stone idols of false faces
One day I'll stop
And burn their propaganda till it's more fine than dust
One day I'll stop.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Family", or "I Need To Work On My Title Creation Skills"

My seven year-old cousin is in town from the West Coast with my mother's brother; the man I partially credit for my obsession/love of Hollywood and sci-fi horror (I remember him showing my and my siblings the films Them!, The Blob, and the Black Scorpion, among others; he is also responsible for my fear of the Blob...see, giant bugs can be killed with weapons, but the Blob...the Blob just keeps coming...*shiver*).

I took them to the Jekyll & Hyde Club on 58th & 6th ave; a source of great entertainment at the time and fond memories now of when I was a kid visiting the Big Apple. My cousin is adorable and hilarious (though not always intentionally so). She told me I look like Cher, then 10 minutes later told me I looked like Katy Perry. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But hey, Cher still looks amazing and Katy Perry's pretty cute, so win-win. Though I suspect it's merely a 7 year-old's comparisons of people with dark hair and bangs more than anything else, not magical-child's intuition prophesying my future diva-dom. But a girl can dream, right?

Seeing my cousin and uncle for the first time in years (haven't seen Shelby since she was about 2) was gratifying. I've very close with my family in some ways, less so in others. I've always had a very hard time actually picking up the phone and calling folks, even family. I have a friend who talks to his mom every day. I'm the opposite. Love my ma, but I've talked to her maybe two or three times since Christmas. Sometimes the distance from my family is refreshing, sometimes it's not. Like all things regarding family, it's complicated. Seeing family, particularly family I haven't seen in years, reminded me of what that connection means to me and has given me pause to reflect on the distance I've established and why.

So here's a poem about communication. I posted the unfinished version last post; this is the update. I may continue to work it.

03.30.11 (updated 3.4.11)
“Permission to Unhinge”

Alpha One this is Charlie Company
Permission to engage the enemy
on all fronts
Not just the front in my skull
The open front of rat-tat-tat-tat
Tattoo on my lips of the words
I keep trying to say
Do you copy? I said
Do you copy?
Do you copy the edge in my voice
as I tremble further out onto the edge
of my limits to endure
I am requesting permission
to engage the incoming hostiles
of my making

Requesting permission to express
sensory overload
Requesting permission to engage in a dialogue
(it might even be a peaceful one)
System Failure impending
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Do you copy?
(do you want to?)
Are you even there?
(it’s been a long time)
Are -
Can you-
Can you he-
Hear me?
Hear me.
I want to get my message across
but the signal isn’t clear
Too much static
Hard for me to interpret
The radio silence.
Waiting for me to engage?
Waiting for me to make the call
But it’s so hard to read minds via walkie-talkie
Permission denied.
Transmission: incomplete.