The one my Gramma likes

i am out of spoons and so very tired now

Recently my grandmother and I had a chance to talk about the book; she had just received and read her copy and wanted to know about this particular poem. The conversation meandered from e.e.cummings to the ASCII art form and to Spoon Theory and chronic illness. While we didn’t really get to finish, it seemed like the first conversation in a long while that brought us both a lot of joy.

That has happened repeatedly since releasing this baby of all the feels into the wild. I feel as though I have done something permanent and beautiful, without being fake or polishing over the jagged bits and everyone good is invited to the party.

So I’ve started to strut around in my own life, refreshed with a kind of cosmic permission to be here in this world just as I am because, damn it, I have poetry to write about all of this and someone is already waiting to read it.

I should note: My grandmother is also a talented artist and creator. She is the music teacher, the piano player, the painter, the scribe, the self taught masseuse who rubbed away every belly ache we could bring her. She writes the best post it notes and loves to flip me off. i am lucky to have her.

So long story longer the poem reads : ” I am out of spoons and so very tired now ”

ups and downs

An original idea on the left, and the final version on the right, 5 years later- Proof of perseverance.

Behind the scenes look at ” life has ups and downs ” – I hoarded my writing for years, never thinking I was intentionally curating the pieces. In fact I frequently chided myself for not letting go of a lot of “stuff”, so perhaps this minimalist collection of poetry is also giving me permission to hold onto what truly matters, instead of discarding those hand made inspiration cards unceremoniously into the recycling bin as I’ve so often been tempted.

the inspiration

behind the scenes look at a hack poet’s process

The inspiration for ‘girls will be girls‘ was in part receiving a book of poetry from my sweet cousin, and I was struck with a) how similar in style and sentiment it was to my own writings b) how simple and effective the format and design work was and c) I really enjoyed the poetry. Thanks to much meditation on the question: Why not be a writer as you tend to write write write and feel feel feel and make make make? I found myself energized and focused, creatively, for the first time in years.

Thus the ball began to roll. the writing has always been there, I have journals from as young as age 7 or 8 all the way up to now filling boxes under my bed. I have kept as many scraps of paper I drunkenly scrawled on as I could from those years, and every college notebook had at least a dozen pages of poems and doodles between the science notes. I was delighted to find that I was in fact a writer and had the hard proof in hand.

And so I decided 2 things- a) that everything that has ever hurt me must have a place in this story, this life of mine, and maybe through some magic of my existence I can make those painful things beautiful, relatable and transformative? Maybe even weave them into the happier, prettier, more loving things in life. and b) that I must be ready to move forward because I have been archiving all these written works and that is work in itself on top of the work of writing, and I can let that be enough.

I began to edit the most recent works in earnest and with deep love and respect. I chose to curate pieces for the shortest and smallest form of my vision, for simplicity. The scope was a snapshot of my mind from arm’s reach of the wreckage of my marriage and community in 2015, but I would hardly say that is what this book is “about.” This book is about being allowed to be in this world.