Article from when I was Features Editor at UAA’s The Northern Light, published under my maiden name.
My clients don’t talk, though we communicate just fine. I read body language, posture and blinking eyes. I interpret moods, stretches and the consumption and digestion of food. It’s all in a day’s work, cat-sitting in New York City. Continued in Crixeo
This is a poem I wrote for my brother Glen, who passed away from cancer in October 2005.
Read the poem in Alliterati Issue 4
I’m wearing my dead brother’s shirt. I can’t remember ever seeing him wear it, but it was his, and now it’s mine. If you asked me what I get out of wearing this shirt, I’m not sure I could answer you. It’s just a shirt. It doesn’t hold anything that’s left of him: all that’s left of him are my memories, my family’s memories. Maybe that’s what ghosts are made of: memories and empty clothes and an over-active imagination. The funny thing about death is–and I mean funny-strange, not funny-ha-ha–the funny thing is that everyone always thinks about loss when they think about death. I used to think the same way too. Death means the loss of someone you love, and it’s something horrible, irrevocable and final, but there’s more. You never hear people talk about the things left behind, and I’m not talking about ghosts, unless that’s what you call t-shirts and memories and regret. Some things just stick around, long after the loss, and they haunt you.
When I was little, my favorite book was The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. We had this ratty orange paperback version — nothing special, I’m not even sure if it had the illustrations in it. I must have read that book 5 or 6 times myself during my childhood, and my sisters had all read it too. Its popularity in our household was clearly evident: my sister Jenny and I had drawn pictures on the blank pages at the beginning and end of the book, and the spine had been reinforced several times with masking tape.
This is the third in a series of quasi-haiku found-poems gleaned from various spam emails I have received.
Notes for Performance:
———- Spam Haiku: No. 3 ———–
[–] nature morning ,
Interpretation and Significance: This spam haiku “Re:HelpMedicinesNow” reflects the Spammer’s views on what he/she perceives as the dangerous over-prescription of anti-depressants by medical providers for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). Probably.
A close-reading of the haiku leads us to understand the ironic nature of its title. The first line, “evening nothing” evokes the feeling of the long, hopeless descent into the season of depression — a depression that lasts not a single evening, but an entire winter, carrying on through “March,” which we see set apart in the second line, like a small beacon of hope. These two lines create a tension for the reader, who feels the inextricable agony of being trapped by the relentless onslaught of uncaring seasons.
The third line, however, is the turning point of the haiku. The line “[–] nature morning ,” shows the reader that there is hope for the future, there is a dawn, and it will come sometime after March, with the spring, unless you happen to live in Alaska, and then it won’t come until May, or even June. In which case you’re probably better off taking the Zoloft, sweetie***.
The final line, “each during” is an acknowledgment of the difficulty one might have in trying to work through such seasonal depression without the help of pharmaceuticals. However, if one remembers the lesson of the seasons, one might be able to remember that SAD, too, is only a seasonal affliction, and that if one were only to get over one’s self already and stop being such a pussy, one would be better off.
***disclaimer: the author of this blog would like to remind her readers that this is the spammer talking, not her, and that the haiku should not be used as a replacement for going to see an actual medical professional to help you with all those fucked up issues you’ve got going on in that brain of yours.
This is the second in a series of quasi-haiku found-poems gleaned from various spam emails I have received since beginning my job hunt more than a year and a half ago.
Notes for Performance:
———- Spam Haiku: No. 2 ———–
RE:erectile pills buy here
ocean [–] probable,
Interpretation and Significance: This spam haiku “Re:erectile pills buy here″ reflects the Spammer’s views on Offshore Drilling. Probably.
The opening line “open probable,” almost exactly does not mirror one of President Obama’s election campaign statements that he supported a more modest approach offshore oil exploration and drilling than that of GOP candidate John McCain. Also, the choice of the word “probable” indicates the Spammer feels nervous about the prospect of this, suggesting the spammer has a strong environmentalist stance when it comes to the issue of natural resources.
The pattern repetition of the second line, with just a single word changed and the added tension afforded by the significant pause in between the two words serves to further build the tension that the Spammer feels over the prospect of the beautiful ocean floors being deflowered by the evil offshore oil derricks, which, of course, represent penises.
Finally, the Spammer ends the haiku with the significant single alliterative word: problem. As in, Houston, we’ve got a problem, and it’s offshore oil drilling. The word “problem” also hearkens back to the title of the poem: how the current reality of the erection of oil derricks for offshore drilling is a bitter pill to swallow, indeed. Our spammer appears to have lost all hope because the country appears to have bought into some kind idea that electrical cars are lame because you can’t hear them coming and you might run over blind people, which is totally not a non-sequitor.
Furthermore, the choice of using a single-worded final line indicates just how close the Spammer is to despair. He’s just way far much too full of despair to go on any further. He has to go cut himself now.
And that’s a problem.