Monday, October 02, 2006

time is on your side

One of the requirements to receive my MFA is that I take 6 credit hours a semester in Graduate Advising. This means I give my advisor (a faculty member) some writings and then every other week we meet for an hour to discuss what I've written.

Now, since a huge part of writing is the fact that you will not be in the room when the
writing is being read, a writer just can't interrupt when a person is interpreting a story/poem/play/etc. You can't say. "Okay, you read that wrong." You just have to sit back and say, well, that interpretation is very interesting.

I respect my advisors, I actually like them very much. I am referring to the fellows of the current semester as well as the fellows of previous semesters.

But sometimes, their interpretations of the prose can only be called interesting. There I said it!

Rough draft of something new:


You say that a turtle, flipped on its back, will suffocate unless it uses the muscles in its neck to right itself.

This one time I’m walking and my heel catches a break in the concrete and I stumble a little bit, I trip. I look around and hope that no one noticed me. But if they did, if anyone saw my break my rhythm, I have to keep walking like nothing happened. I keep up my pace and I go step-step-step down the road. My walk is so steady that any witness to my slip will think that their eyes were playing tricks on them. Because here I'm upright on two feet so consistent and so strong.

We listen to music down on the floor. You’re lying next to me, your arms stretched back and crossed under your head. My hands crossed over my stomach. The speakers face down next to us so the music is more than a sound. It is a vibration. It is a stuttered voice that speaks this floor. It is a shiver. It is shaking our skin, every little cell and every little flake of us is quivering with music. Tickling my neck. Tapping its trace into your arms.

Your thigh shivers and you can't stop it. You put my hand on your leg to feel the tremble that you can't control and I told you so. I told you not to buy that shit from a guy selling on Ash Wednesday. It’s just bad luck I told you and now weÂ’re at the bar and you can’t stop the quake in your leg so we drink until we forget that everything around us is in constant motion and all the way home I’m holding you up so you don’t fall down.

I push you. I push you down so the palms of your hands get cut by gravel. And I’m glad to see you get up and get away.

This one time I trip and this time I fall all the way down and I’m face to the concrete and I’m thinking about staying like this while feet tread on me. And trucks go by and I feel them bump and shiver over urban pavement. Cigarettes are twisted out under rubber soles on my neck. A glove is lost and I tuck it under my arm. Soda spills on me. Dogs piss on me and birds drop shit on me. And the snow gets me blue and shovels scrape me red and sun burns me brown and sun burns me black and rain drains me and wet leaves fall and hang on to my back and in the drought dry up until my skin is a paper mache of dirty golds and reds and brilliant, remarkable orange. Buildings rise around me and levees flood me and a broom sweeps me. Chalk lines are drawn on me and newspapers cover me and feet tread on me like I’m concrete.

You say that a turtle, flipped on its back, will suffocate unless it uses the muscles in its neck to right itself.

This one time I trip and I keep walking like nothing happened.

Lately, I feel like I have no time that is mine and mine alone. Time to just stare out the window. Time to look at the sky. Time to write notes down or to daydream. Time to be alone and be in my own head for a while.

168 hours
-37 hours work
-8 hours class
-14 hours commute
-42 hours sleep (never enough, can't wake up, alarms, ugh)
-7 hours prep
-2 hours "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives"
=58 hours

seems like plenty of time, to me

1 comment:

bezdomnik said...

you know those old sailing boats used to gather turtles/tortoises in the Galapagos, tip them upside-down and store them for months... the tortoises couldn't right themselves down in the brig and so would live for months upside-down until they were cooked.