Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life
what would they be?"
The adorable vacancy in Om's eyes told me that Tip
had fibbed about the English proficiency in this class.
He smiled.
"Three foods," I held up three fingers and
spooned imaginary soup in my mouth.
For all Om knew,
I could have said three favorite
General Mills Cereals
or three most despised Jello flavors.
His neighbor translates my question in Thai.
"Chicken. . ." he started.
It was hopeful. I sat on the edge of my seat
nodding like an eager child. Come on. That's it.
"Rice . . ."
Yes. . . Here we go. . . you got it.
I let out the heaviest sigh and thank God he knew
I didn't give a shit if they didn't make a wit of
sense. Or if Om wouldn't be able to make too many
combinations out of the three ingredients. OR
how much diarrhea poor Om would get from
all the coconut.
My dear sweet Om knew three foods in English!

The brother and sister duo

He runs everywhere and blows spit bubbles because he likes organic creation.
He spins around and arms spanning and knocking into things
He climbs on things and makes unintelligible noises with his lips and hands
She holds open the door for him.

Unsuspecting Things about Charish Roderick

I might be one of the worst dancers I know. I depend on a lot of standby moves in my arsenal. "Reckless Arm Flailing," "Aimless Shimmying," and "Awkward Shoulder Shaking." When I'm at home alone, I will "dance" to Bjork's Earth Intruders until I get a headache and the police are called because my next door neighbor thinks that there is a domestic dispute just beyond the wall.

My mother bought me a recorder when I was ten. I learned how to play Taps really well. I performed it everyday in a long somber key. No one told me it was a song for military funerals.

I write newspaper headlines on my hands so I can use them for conversation starts later. "Johnson Boy Falls Down Abandoned Mineshaft for the Second Time." I find it gets the ball rolling and gets people excited. That's how I got through the first few dates with my now unsuspecting husband. He talked with his hands and I read from mine.

I never proof read my work. My hope is that people will think I'm a literary genius that refuses to adhere to the rules of grammar. Though I feel like this will never catch on . So I feel a little embarrassed when people say, "You've spelled Tuesday wrong." or "this is the wrong usage of the word derby."

Someone said that you shouldn't make fun of people's smiles. Laughs, however are fair game. I'm working on making mine a little less wheezy. When I'm really going at it, I sound like I suffer from smoke inhalation. I'm actually thinking of taking up smoking to cover it up. And then I can finally be the first front woman for a Pearl Jam tribute band--- "Freeeeeezin', rest his head on a pillow made of concrete."

When I was a child, I lied compulsively, stole only what could fit in my pocket, and broke what I could fix later. I told my third grade teacher that I got a new dog, a mixed breed of mutt and mongrel and that I named him Trigger. When my parents found out, it .didn't help my case in getting a dog. I was six when I stole a pack of Juicy Fruit, when my mother found out, we drove back to the store so I could be scared straight with the threat of incarceration. I broke a kitchen cabinet door by swinging on it. I could not fix it.

I lose gloves all the time and I'm okay with it.
I lose pen caps and find it too devastating to live with. I usually take a moment out of my day to mourn the missing half a perfectly useful pen.

As a writer I am more than willing to whore myself out to the highest bidder in hopes that one day Oprah will endorse my books with a sticker and ask me how my writing pertains to her life. I want to walk on her stage, give her a hug and talk honestly to her about my ill fitted bras, my fear of food and how I too pretend to read Faulkner. I will make the suggestion that multi-colored cashmere sweaters from the Gap need to be on her list of favorite things.

I am This Man's Wife

I thought as I walk along the trail
He will run ahead in red shorts and black socks
He will leave those same black socks in the middle
of the floor with his underwear and
he will say it's his method
This man who will not clean after he cooks, but will cook,
is my husband.
He will drink "good" tequila and then scoff at the news,
correcting its absurdities.

I will get tired and he will wait on me.
He will be sweaty and smiling and ready to kiss
Because I am his wife, I will kiss him back.
We will have dinner
He will cook and I will clean the counter
In the evening I will move aside those
socks with my toes and take care not
to knock those red shorts off the door knob.

I will look into his eyes and ask myself: why
on earth did you marry me
I will kiss him again, looking for the answer
I will fall asleep in his arms
musing with a smile:
I am this man's wife.
When I was younger
I'd swing around on things
to test their durability
and my weight
the suspense of destruction
thrilled me.
The power to impose my will
to throw my weight
was a tease that faded with time
Tension replaced it all

careful to touch this
cautious to take space there

You brought pressure back
you made it fashionable
to press toes against the springboard
As I pushed against your space
and explored my own,
the voice that says
horseplay gets people hurt
fades with time
Recklessness replaces it all
Pants with change in the pockets
lay in the floor
a nondescript black sock sits
and just as dependable as the last,
sneakers that have taken
awkward steps away from one another
are in the next room
This is why
it is hard to leave home
there are no traces of you on the street.

Monday, October 26, 2009

When my sister and I were kids
we'd sit in our mom's car
in the parking lot
of Kroger and talk about life as we knew it.
I was seven years older than she,
I naturally knew more and so I out
talked her.
She liked to sing loudly from the back seat
I would make requests:
"Sing a Michael Jackson song."
Sometimes to be real jackass goof-offs
she and I would catch the gazes of
old white ladies walking past the car,
we'd act frightened, which wasn't hard for
my sister, the ham of the family.
We'd lock our doors to prove a point.
and then we'd laugh.
Oh how we'd laugh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome Back

I came home to a dream
an obvious american dream
my legs took me to the midwest
I met with a tribe of friends I didn't
know I had

We smoked a long pipe and bragged
of the ways we'd already been high

I could see that things hadn't changed
things were moving along
stagnate and compliant to the mores
that I'd left before