Patchword (or Prose Poetry)

I do not know how this is going to work, but I did as I said I would in my last post and I went through my 5 favorite papers from college, collecting the passages I liked the most and mashing them together. Thus forming a sort of Prose Poetry. Let’s see how it turns out:


With her romping through the yard, snapping at butterflies and chasing her tail, things look a little less dilapidated and the overgrown yard and flaking paint is a little less noticeable.

I am twenty, a virginal twenty, and I have never really discussed sex with my mom. The car is way too small of a space to do it in. As I climb back to the passenger seat with The Joy of Sex I am all too aware of how my arms brush my breasts and I know my vagina is there, as well as my belly button, and the fact that my mother is right next to me, in the driver’s seat.

The sky is grey but the tall evergreens are a deep comfortable color and the field of wheat that is inching up to the shore has turned its muted rustling gold.

So my fingers work at the first button of my of blue flannel shirt and I can feel a little more air on my neck, it wanders down my collarbone. But then the pious, fully clad, habit wearing figure of Mother Hildegard pops into my mind and I retie my left shoe and button my shirt.

Religion tells is that this pruning process is necessary: pruning is purifying. But I look at the bad bits that I should be throwing away and I just see bits of me.

My identity is solid; the skin of my left hand itches, and my heart rattles my ribs. In the two seconds it took for all this to happen I have gained and lost everything.

My grandfather is a Methodist minister. My grandmother edited the Revised Standard Version of the King James Bible. They met in their mutual days at Yale Divinity. I went through the Lutheran confirmation and acted acolyte for services. But no matter how many candles I light I know the religious gene has deemed me wanting and skipped me. I ask too many questions and I have a gold medal in doubting. I was once told that without doubt, there is no faith which, frankly, is bullshit.

So I went home, and in my small room I made that awkward trek to my knees.

It sits deep in the hips of Shaw Island in Northern Washington.

A three day hangover–that’s how pale I am.

But a writing major seems decadent, self serving. What was I going to do? Change the world? With my writing? Do book signings in the bowels of Africa? To who? The literate? Visions of bloated children gnawing on the corners of my leather bound books taunted me. I told myself that I could become a journalist, someone who travels to the uninhabitable, inhabited places of this earth. I could document what I see for the world to read and change lives. But does the world need another bleeding heart journalist? And would I really want to serve the huge machine of cooperate media? How realistic is that anyway? To think that I could tell the same story that we have all seen before and expect to be different.

Having banished Guilt, I have declared war on my love affair with him. Sometimes it is a losing battle; he likes to seduce me. I like being seduced. But then I wake up the next morning and recall the year long lesson in Italian living that Destiny forced on me. So I kick Guilt and his $128,000 out of my bed, I clean up his various manifestations like ice cream cartons and empty tequila bottles, and I take a shower.

It is a slippery slope once the shoes are off.

But I could still imagine that black water sliding over my body. I could feel my heart beat against the chill of the water. I knew how the water would slip over my hips and arms. How it would curl around my limbs, leak between every toe, surround me…hold me. My skin would change colors in the briny water, becoming paler, softer.


2 thoughts on “Patchword (or Prose Poetry)

  1. Thad says:

    Beautiful. I don’t comment much, but know that I really appreciate being included in this. I think of you often, cousin-mine.

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