not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

what remains


mostly i spend time appraising the abandoned house, what it is, what it once was, what it might become and then behind me quietly existing and asking for nothing, i discover the branch with leaves and the boot.  how often do we miss these things? the house seems so formidable but what of the trees that surround the house? what of the man who once walked through?

i want to put on the boot and do important work.  i want to stand like a tree and be - do important work.  instead i take the photograph and leave.


***
The Sweatshirt


it is 8 years since we buried my father and i am crossing a threshold, my new language rumbling, plate tectonics between my slim jaws that beg, come back and see me grow.  there is a honey mustard sweatshirt in my mother's drawers.  once it wore his body.  could he even have begun to imagine in the meat of his mind that one day i would bud breasts and wear it?  i suppose he wore it when he drank beer and smelled his strange and specific mash of aftershave and cow shit.  i press baby powder scented secret into my newly stinging pits and pull on his sweatshirt, my breasts barely discernible beneath the flaking emblems on my chest.  in the mirror i appraise the dull reproduction of his pale blue eyes on my own face and smile; directly through his absence i ripen.

8 comments:

  1. ...'come back and see me grow.' Brilliant erin.

    (I must tell you how wrong it feels... being envious, even titillated, by your choice of words, your ability, in the midst of such emotion... like I'm checking out hot chicks at a funeral.)

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  2. but this is it, steven, your reaction is so good and right - even through death new sexuality/life grows.

    when i was 12 or 13 i discovered this sweatshirt in my mother's drawers. i remember it. how i loved that honey mustard colour. i imagined i remembered my father in it. he died when i was (i think) five and yet here i was so alive and my body changing. i wore it to be close to him in this new maturing skin. he was gone but not gone but gone. the sweatshirt remained of him, not much else, a red handkerchief that i eventually cut and sewed onto the ass of a pair of well worn and split jeans. considering the leaves and the boot, the abandoned house, i consider the sweatshirt, too, how we are here while we are here (and how we are not here, too) and how we are here even after we are gone.

    death does not take away that ongoing somnambulistic push of life which enlivens so much in us, so your reaction is perfect.

    xo
    erin

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  3. when we leave we also stay behind.
    there is no such thing as an empty boot.
    there is important work being done
    everywhere, without end.

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  4. there is no such thing as an empty boot.

    i'll take this like a little paper sailboat and float it in the muck of my heart. it is precious.

    xo
    erin

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  5. First, I always feel when you come across things like the old house, they tend to inspire us to do something- to want to do something... Sometimes we act on it and sometimes we don't.

    Second, I got a good laugh at Stevens comment about checking out hot chicks at a funeral. His comment made my day :)

    Third, I feel spoiled Erin, My father is turning 80 this year(even tho his health is getting worse) I have enjoyed the years of having my father still in my life. But yet you are so right about he's gone but not gone.

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  6. liz, we're all spoiled with this abundance of life. sometimes we're just lucky enough to recognize it.

    i wouldn't change a thing. couldn't, wouldn't. life is a mystery.

    hug up that dad of yours;)

    xo
    erin

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  7. Incrivel, fantastic,
    Congratulations

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))