Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
because you knew the golden curve
of my arm, the hairs erect and lit as sun
you touched, the supine leg, the sleek
beautiful muscles, turning and flexing
like dolphins. you opened your eyes
in bed and saw the sharp gloss belly,
the curves like church sides, worshipped.
you touched me. the round ass, smooth
and firm, with give. enough give.
you desired me like water. i saw
your entire future lit up in the magnifying
glass of my powers: i was mesmerizing
you with my all powerful body, the truly
amazing sexuality of the young female
honed with poetry and a gritty life, made
with these elixers into something unstoppable.
lovemaking lost my mind. when i came to,
i felt like the Captain of the ship: everything
in working order, legs locked, arms strained,
tits high, every muscle and tendon long and loose-
the expression on your face made me feel
slightly sorry for you, poor stunned rabbit.
heads turn! hallalujah! fights break out!
for a few years i think i caused a fight,
every single time we went dancing,
fell a little more in love with you
every single time you defended my honor,
claimed your place in my thighs with your big heart.
yes you had a young man's body but let's
not bullshit anyone: it's simply not the same for men.
little else to claim for me then: beauty and soul,
my body and my face made me euphoric and terrified:
i was sure i could never be loved for anything more
than the perfection of my rib cage, the downy indents
on my back, the lay of perfectly measured fat over
my hipbones, where your hands held me, trembling.
i had the misery of a broken bleating childhood
abuse, suffering, loneliness, madness on all sides,
alcoholism, manic depression, anxiety, schizophrenia,
and then the saving graces: beauty and soul.
i had a baby and broke both into his little pink face
like an egg yolk over the best sufflee.
sometimes to be a mother feels like this:
to have distilled the finest of myself into someone else.
darling i know you love me you desire me
yes you want me now. still sometimes i hate you
for the same reason i often love you.
because you knew me then.
because you know me know.
this is what happens
when you fall in love so young, spending the first four
years doing nothing but fucking, as if you invented the
way it all ends up, as if you were the mold they broke to repeat.
maggie may ethridge
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
i have silver slot mouthed grin. open bank. let me in. tonight, you win. i close eyes, silver fish. we make effigies. we 'wish'. i silver the sliver ache. i make it good. i should. i love monsters, silver teeth. beautiful eyes. things beneath. i tell silver stories. i make em good. you could too. ( if only you would )
poem maggie may ethridge
Sunday, August 23, 2009
there, I find it amusing to recall a certain hot September day of my seventh year, when I asked my father for ten cents. "
As a teenager she liked to sing, and it was singing she met her future husband, Martin Johnson, a photographer and traveler just back from a sailing adventure with the writer Jack London and his wife; a trip on which Martin had won his place through a postcard to Jack in a magazine contest. Osa had actually met Martin years before, when he photographed her baby brother, but did not remember the confident, worldy Martin. Martin, years Osa's senior, fell madly in love with Osa, who was highly irritated by Martin at first, and acted entirely like a teenager, having hissy fits, sarcastic asides and a generally difficult attitude, which apparently did nothing to dissuade Martin. They were married in 1910, and their great adventure began.
In fact, Osa's autobiogaphy of their life is titled I Married Adventure, and this is how I fell in love with her, and learned of her and Martin's fascinating life. After stumbling across a 1st edition in a dusty, pee smelling used bookstore, I brought home and consumed this unique and energetic life story. Although Martin and Osa began life as a typical married couple for the time, Osa being the housewife and sharply dressed observer of Martin's work life, they could not stay still. Martin was concerned that Osa would quickly tire and leave if he 'subjected' her to a life of travel and adventure, something not done by women of the day, but eventually Osa convinced him that it was possible and so they packed up house and set off. After 7 years of work and saving money, Osa and Martin took sail on a large ship across the ocean to travel, film and explore the Solomon Islands and . They were not sailing on a cruise ship, but instead a hard working ocean ship meant for industry, and although Martin was very concerned with having Osa, a woman, on this ardous journey, she had the stomach of a true sailor, and it was Martin and the rest of the occupants who were miserable while Osa spent time on deck with the impressed Captain.
Met on the ship and on land with incredulous men who could not believe Martin 'let' Osa make this journey, Osa had to prove herself daily, making it clear she could do without nice clothing, proper bathroom facilities, other ladies to socialize with, or any of the comforts of civilization. Again and again Osa impressed men with her hard work ethic, positive attitude and teamwork.
Osa and Martin traveled and met the native inhabitants of these exotic locals- no man or woman had ever done so, and it was debated if these peoples even existed- and came close to death on their first encounter, which ended in a dramatic ( and stomach clenching story to read) run down a jungle mountain hillside to escape onto ship, away from the murderous Chief and his tribe giving chase. Amazingly, Osa did not give up or retreat to the cabin ( I'm sure I would have) and instead the persisted, eventually netting the first ever films of these peoples.
Friday, August 21, 2009
One of the Other Mothers ( who I don't know at all ) made a face and turned her head and I'm hoping I translated it correctly into feeling bad for me, and not judgement of me ) I stood for a half second, picked my response, and said ' Well that was a scathing indictment. ' Another mom raised her eyebrows. MomX hurried, ' You know what I mean, I know you can't. '
I don't, and I can't.
My chest curdled in on itself and I walked back to the car with Lola, trying to listen to her stories of the first day of school, fighting back tears. Not only were the other mothers never inclusive or friendly towards me, I now suspected they judged me as severely lacking as a mother. I am not involved enough in the ways that make me a Do. It hurts. My life, the way that I live, the way my husband and I act in our marriage and in our parenthood, just doesn't make sense to these ladies. It's fine to say Who Cares, or as Mr. Curry reassures, Fuck Em, but I have to see the Other Mothers in large, Nike'd and carpooling packs every day, navigate through the throngs of waiting parents as mother after mother that I have been acquainted with over the years does not return my smile or my hello, so that I have stopped trying, and walk silently, and stand and wait silently for Lola. I feel like I'm the Breakfast Club girl with dandruff, I feel like I'm reduced. I don't know how to stop feeling that way.
I cannot figure out what makes it this way, and although common sense tells me it is futile and self destructive to do so, I can't help myself. ' It's jealousy' would be a nice laurel to rest on, but it doesn't make sense, really. I'm not stunningly beautiful or model thin, I have no money and my life swings on a broken pendulum of problems and disasters that Mr. Curry and I navigate, hands held, breath held, children in gunny sacks at our side. I just do things differently than them. Can it be that simple? I can pick and peel the onion...I'm younger than them, but not enough to matter. Mr. Curry and I do most things together. He was the only dad within miles at Lola's first Girl Scout gathering. The Other Mothers were all there in their clumps of three and four, ignoring me as usual. I don't see the other dads around but once in a blue moon. The Other Mothers spend their weekends with their kids, while from what I can gather eavesdropping and from Lola's recountings, the dads are working, golfing, or ' I don't know where X's dad is Mom, I've only seen him at her house once and he didn't talk at all and I think X is sad because her Dad is not around. ' I'm not making this up. This is straight from Lola's mouth with no prompting from me, about 2 weeks ago. And it's not the first time I've heard this. So far Lola on her own has noticed or mentioned the almost complete lack of Dad involvement in three of her friend's lives.
I think that because I'm not sewing Lola's badges correctly and finding time to volunteer as a Head Mother and because we are poor? I am seen as an outsider and worse, as a bad mother. But I'm not. I could list the things I do, the ways we are involved, and what I think about the kind of non-discipline and guidance and REAL involvement that I see going on around town all the time, but damnit I won't. You guys read my words, see my pictures, you guys love me in your distant internety way, and I don't have to explain myself to you. Because my house is messy and filled with art and animals and books everywhere and my husband and I slap each other's asses in public and I cosleep and long-nurse and organic and FUCK. I am an alien around here. I probably answered my own question.
Lola has playdates with the children of these Other Mothers, and it's horrible for me. I'm getting social anxiety. My stomach hurts when I pick her up and go to the door and the Other Mother strains a smile and hurries Lola out the door not even making eye contact with me. It's just shitty.
Mr. Curry says ' hold your head up ' and he's right. I have to figure out how to move past this sadness and anger. I just don't know how to get there yet.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
maggie and taymar
The best roomate experience of my life. Lola fell in love, hard. I lost Lola for that year and a half, and it only hurt a teensy bit. Taymar was so patient with Lola, and I did try to set boundries, to make sure Taymar had plenty of space, but she brushed it off. She was goobery with Lola. She cooked with her. We all went on walks. Taymar is the kind of girl who could walk around half naked in front of your husband and you wouldn't want to kill her, because she's so fucking guileless. She's so GOOD. Gooder. Taymar and I stayed up until 4am talking more nights that we should have. Mr. Curry loved her. She endeared herself to the boys. She is off color, wild at heart- truly, wild at heart. She travels more than anyone I"ve ever met, her little guy at her side. Driving, flying, fearlessly, kid in tow, figuring it out as she goes along. Her balls out taking of what she wants in life is astonishing and awesome. She wanted to start her own company and moved in with her sister and works hard and produces awesome movies and graphics. If she wants to go somewhere, she goes, and figures out the details when she gets there, and meets a lot of cool people along the way.
Eventually she moved to Santa Barbara. But we have always stayed friends, and every year that passes I love her more. She's my homie for life. I love you Taymar!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
thank you, Lola, for making me read the unauthorized Jonas brothers book to you so many times. how could i live without knowing that Joe's favorite animals are monkeys? if i were a teenage girl, ( no one tell my husband or kids- but i AM ) i would like Nick. he's smart-eyed.
sweet dreams, honey. you are seven, and you love the Jonas brothers. i am thirty-four, and i love you.
b) my eye twitches. i am kidding myself when i say ' i have control '
c) change is on me and my body lets me know it's fear: twitch. tingle. scratttchh. the body is a
myterious channel from the brain and spirit. an article talks about how we know who we
are, how patients after brain trauma can develop identity issues and think they are imposters
of themselves or those they love are imposters of themselves and i pull back and glance at
my undone nails and the slight pucker of my knuckle and gaze at these two hands and know
that they are mine, and wonder how well i know myself, after all these years. i know myself
in the context of my life: here with Mr. Curry and my children, and the years as a single
mother with Dakota, and the years before Dakota, the childhood years. i am two people:
one person beaten to a pulpy, nerve popping spine pain slobbering fearful mess by anxiety
and panic, and another person who has worked years, ' sharpening the blade of my soul ' as
CWLewis says, soothing my way out of panic like a dog being coaxed from underneath a
porch by a kind woman with food in her hands. when too much change occurs at once, and
the measure of that is relatively small, it seems to me, then i begin, like a bad electrical
connection, to short.
d) zzzst zzzzssstt pop miscarriage at 13 weeks. zzzt my 2 favorite people at my place of work leave,one fired, the other moving far away. zzzttt POP the other woman i work with closely has
a stress test- for the heart- and leaves anxious, as i explain to her the deep breathing i
have practiced over the years to manage, to calm the savage beast, to trick the heart into
complacent beating and the hormones into their beds. she leaves, and has a heart attack on
the stress test, on admittance to the hospital has found that she is at 27% heart function and
also has a blocked artery. the doctors aren't sure what is going on, maybe a virus. zzzzt. pop.
Mr. Curry is struggling, needs space, and I feel the aching, relentless yawn that comes when
he is unable to calm me when i am afraid. he is a loving husband, a good man, he is allowed
by me his struggles, because i know for sure this is how we will stay man and wife and in love,
by giving each other space in our marriage for individual struggles and triumphs. but. it
doesn't make it easier when he's retreated and i feel 10. maybe 9. maybe fetal. zzttt Dakota
left for camp and felt a small lump which he told Mr. Curry and myself about and i felt it and
it felt like.. a lump. a doctor would say ( i've been there before with lumps ) wait a week, see
if it goes away. come back if not. i think it's a lymph node. that night, i sweat. i try not to be
irrational. i talk to myself. ' maggie, don't waste precious hours feeling intensely about some-
thing that does not exist. ' the next morning it's almost gone, that lump. i think of Kate McRae.
i pray for her harder. ztttttttZTTTPT the kids start school soon. 3 new teachers, paperwork,
inumerable tiny things to remember and be responsible for as a mother. a working mother,
trying so hard to finish my novel. i love my novel. i love the protagonist, Parish, and her
husband, Henry, and all the characters and the story and the words, and i want to write them,
and i am, but school-- a time eater, a maker of homeworks and rigorous bedtimes and early
risings and paperwork and meetings and backpacks and !
e) when in doubt, hug.
f) i hug a LOT. my children get kissed and hugged an unreasonable amount. so does Mr. Curry.
e) i would like to be taken care of. my mother once told me the common thread that unhappy
adult people have is they are spending their lives waiting for someone or something, God or
a parent or husband or X, to take care of them. they never truly squarely face the fact that
while a Universal love or spirit or energy or God etc may be present and available for strength
and help in life, the actual grunt work is done alone, by our hands, our feet, our mouths, our
work. the essential aloneness is a truth i feel. although i also feel the connection. these are
both true and run parallel throughout life. if we are lucky. i am lucky. i am loved, and i love.
but sometimes, when i am afraid, that doesn't feel like enough. i want to be consumed and
uplifted by someone else, so i can rest and look around with meek baby eyes as if i am a
swaddled infant in someone's arms. i believe that this desire might make me actually ill.
being ill is this state of helplessness, where you do not have to decide, but then- you do not
GET to decide, even if you change your mind, or feel better on Sunday. i remind myself.
i want to decide. even if it means being afraid.
f) maya angelou wrote a children's book called ' Life Doesn't Scare Me ' that i bought for my
children. i bought it and i thought, ' i wish '
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
“I want to die,” she would tell her friends, in what seemed, perhaps, like more elaborate hyperbole. How could she, they wondered, as they stood amid the splendid world she’d created for herself, full of beauty and friendship with the witty and the famous, most of whom, quite literally, worshipped at her feet"
How could she? How could they- how do we end up with large pools of people
lying to themselves so often and so vehemently they forget
what it is to be alive? That they do not know
nor friendships based on parties
can give us meaning
Her friends were concerned, but they were also growing tired of her macabre side... ” As one put it, “Someone finally said, ‘Look, Issie, if you really mean to kill yourself, there’s a pool out back, go drown!’”
These. Are. Not. Friends.
This was a woman deeply, deeply alone.
She came from here:
When Blow was 4 years old, her younger brother drowned in a half-full swimming pool while, as she later recalled, her mother was upstairs putting on lipstick and her father mixing some drinks....Blow’s parents never recovered from the tragedy, and her mother eventually left when Blow was 14. “It was literally a handshake and then she was off,” says Detmar. “The stepmother came with three daughters and sort of said to Issie, ‘Okay, then. You’re out.’”
and ended up with this man:
“I had a lot of loneliness,” he says, defending himself. “Issie was always working. I had to schedule time with her, so I always had these platonic crushes. Because I was married to Issie, I got much prettier dates than I ever could have on my own.” (!!!!)
Blow, for her part, retaliated with the gondolier and his bulging white pants, but in the end, she told her friends that he stole a lot of her money and wasn’t good for much else.
Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow, is co-written by Isabella's husband of 18 years, Detmar Blow ( would you like your cheating ex-husband to write your autobiography? ) due 2010
abandoned by her father, cast out of her own home. She was cheated on and lied to and clinically depressed. She jumped off a bridge and shattered many bones in her long body. What is the real story of Isabella Blow? And how will we know if her husband tells us her life?
Saturday, August 1, 2009
i will not be confined by my own ( mind )
i will not be confined by my own ( town )
i will not be confined by my own ( fears )
i will not be confined by my own ( past )
i will not be confined by my own ( secrets )
i will not be confined by my own ( vanity )
i will not be confined by my own ( anxieties )
i will not be confined by my own ( sex ) *
there are certain words and those words
begin with capital letters and those capital
letters signify a specific person place or thing
that is why our names are capitalized
and maybe why i have always written poems
entirely in lower case.
i will not be confined by my own ( blog )
i am awake at almost five am. i have not been to sleep. this was completely by choice. no one made me do it. i made myself do it. i let myself do it? Mr. Curry has been out of sorts the last three days and although he is out of sorts i still came out of the bathroom in nothing but a towel and called him in from the living room and pulled him into the hallway and demanded sex. this is one of the major benefits of marriage. of my marriage, anyway. i am a scorpio. Mr. Curry was already in his swim trunks and there were three very excited children waiting to go swimming on a Friday night but Mr. Curry still followed me into the bedroom and shut the door and smiled at me and when we went to the pool i was happier and much more relaxed than before we left for the pool.
which reminds me of trying on swimsuits last weekend. which reminds me to mention never to try on swimsuits when you are on your period, especially when your period is not really a period but a prolonged spotting that led to bleeding caused by losing our baby at thirteen weeks and so your thyroid which is already bad gets worse and your hormones are miserable and clogging up where they should be bursting and bursting where they should be showing restraint and so you are puffy and out of sorts with your body and when you try on the bikini over your underwear like a good girl you think to yourself with a shocking spite that if wal-mart cannot get better mirrors in their dressing rooms they had better not let hormonal women try on bikinis.
lola moon is lying next to me asleep. dakota and ian sleep in their room. Mr. Curry fell asleep on the couch. the air conditioner runs. the house is listening to me type with it's window eyes and vent ear and the hungry catching breaths of our dogs somewhere under the beds of teenage boys. weasley and bellatrix cried for twenty minutes tonight when we put them in the sunroom for bed because we have to because in the hour we let them in to play mr. weasley pooped twice in the corner and for his physical safety i think it's best if he and Mr. Curry are not too close.
lately i am wishing it would hurry up and be over. in my twenties i terrifically envied those women who were so stable and emotionally astute and practical that they marched on as they should regardless. i am marching on as i should and life must go on but if my body could just catch the fuck up a little i think i could stop feeling sad. this summer is beautiful and i am enjoying it and i am terribly, ( desperately ) grateful for my loved ones and my life but i feel sad all the time, even when i am laughing. like my mouth will be wide open in a huge laugh and i snort when i laugh, too, and i will notice that at the corner of my mouth there is a small trickle of sadness moving outward, and i will stop and think 'what is that?' and ' why am i sad?' and there are so many reasons possible that i have to stop and think. because my life is not easy or full of simplicity AT ALL. wow i wish it was. it's not. so i think about all the sad things and then i think about losing the baby and how pregnant i would be by now and i feel sadder and then i think 'oh'-
and then i try not to do what anne lammott talks about which i totally DO do which is let my hypochondria take over, and i think to myself even IF, even IF something IS wrong sweetie (because sometimes when i am very scared or sad i have to talk to myself like a nice mommy) you won't be spending your time wallowing in fear and despair but fighting it and moving toward health and life, so why let yourself do that NOW, when
suddenlyi think about how the last four days i am having the heaviest period ever, and how i am waiting for another round of bloodwork results to come back in ( blood count, pregnancy hormone levels, etc ) and i feel heavy in my stomach area. and tired. i'm very, very tired, all the time, no matter how much i sleep.
so tonight, i don't sleep.
tonight, i sit in my shit.
* the author does not take responsibility for living these out to their full potential
but puts the intent out there with all sincerity