Tuesday, August 23, 2011

all that feeling

After the wake, I went to Barnes and Noble. I wanted to browse the poetry section and see if I could find some new poets. As I was scanning, I noticed Codrescu's It Was Today out of order, in between two Blake collections. I pulled it down to scan through it and the first poem I opened to was an elegy titled "for lynn luria sukenick." The first few lines are:

What if there is no story
only a feeling?
Of course there are many stories
in that feeling
only they didn't happen to me

I stopped and held the book for a bit, feeling almost overwhelmed. Being at the wake of someone you're not particularly close to produces that kind of feeling. I didn't know all of Sandy's stories or even many of them, but there combined was a wealth of memories that created a feeling of love and, with it, a cutting loss. The person those stories happened to is gone. And now, we are left with a feeling.

I grabbed the book and decided to purchase it, on the strength of that poem. As I was walking off, another cover caught my eye and I kept walking but then turned back around to see who the poet was. Laura Mullen, my other poetry teacher. Sometimes I like to think that God is coincidence.

After that, I had an insane urge to write. RIGHT NOW. When I walked downstairs, I saw a sketchpad and some graphite pencils, so I grabbed them because they were the first writing materials I could find. I need to get back in the habit of carrying a pen and notepad. Then I stood looking out the window for a minute and, because my mind was in a morbid place anyway, I took a photo of reflection because I thought it looked ghostly.

I checked out (after having a conversation with the cashier about the color of my blouse--she thought it was coral and I maintained it was a dusty pink and either way, I felt ambitious wearing it because I rarely wear colors other than black/gray/purple) and walked outside in all my sad girl glory: clutching a poetry book and a notepad, in mourning, into the night. And I almost got hit by a kid flying through the parking lot, blaring "Smack My Bitch Up." I laughed.

for lynn luria sukenick
by: Andrei Codrescu, from It Was Today
What if there is no story
only a feeling?
Of course there are many stories
in that feeling
only they didn't happen to me
they either just happened
to someone else
or happened a long time ago
and so recent and ancient
the stories hung in that feeling
like clusters of grapes
refreshing and intelligent
& I had the honor to drink in
their presence on one or two occasions
in the sap-filled and haunted
days of the late nineteen sixties
in the haunted late city of Santa Cruz
in the soon-to-be haunted state
of California just waking up
in those days in the embrace
of Ronald Reagan future
President of Star Wars winner
of the Cold War
& in that sexy intelligence
of Lynn's there was both wisdom & escape
through there was no story
only a feeling
& in those days most feelings came
before there was a story
so we bumped into stories
just to have something to hold
all that feeling
there were many stories
but with Lynn & for Lynn
only a feeling

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