Saturday, December 1, 2012

Poem of Undoing- by Sharon Venezio

How many kinds of undoing are there?
The word love in the back of my throat,
mouth ajar, as I don't say your name.

Is unhappiness a kind of undoing?
The heart's fault line, a fracture
in the space between two bodies.

My heart is a thirsty artichoke,
each petal a different version of undoing.

If I knock three times, will you reappear?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is the Fall

this is the fall
day that smells like first
year college
chloroplast green
billowing skirt reading
poetry on the well
manicured green lawns
frisky squirrels act
out the part of bright
students and buoyant
fresh love

Mama Says, Thresh the Laundry

Mama says, thresh the laundry on the line
It’s time to mulch the garden with bathrobes and slippers
Put on your shower cap and hoe with your sisters under the blue moonlight
Watch the men irrigate the accordion and weed the violin
Drink and clap and sing!

We slaughter the ironing board every spring
and sell bent nails each winter
We sow the curtain rod, harvest the lampshade, groom the fly
If only you could bundle and weigh our weary joy!

But when I go, because I will go-
I will plow under the marigolds in my heart
I will carry the big leaf maple- even through the gutters
of the fine city- I will carry its dirty roots and all its shade-
deep in my blue jean pockets

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cranky Pants

Today I have my cranky pants on
pulled up high
so that I ooze irritability
out the seams.
I’m cranky about my bumpy bus commute
that reeks of stale beer, cranky about unpaid overtime,
cranky about the cell phone dropped in water,
and the headband that pinches.
Cranky without a caffeine and sugar fix,
cranky because I am so behind on piles of paperwork
bills, dental appointments, and car repairs.
Cranky because I’ve gained fifteen pounds
and can’t even fit into
my cranky pants.

The Dance

The dance of drawing inward
and extending outward
I never get it right-
I think to myself this morning
with the fall nipping at my heels.
The leaves are starting to change

colors and float to the ground
just like they are supposed to
but I wonder
if they are a little sad
about their inevitable transformation,
if it is difficult to change

deep inside; to know it is time
to let down their fiery garb, and then-
to let it down.
I imagine that most of these tall towers
retreat into their hard insides,
wrap layers of pine, maple, red alder

around their green hearts,
and bunker down for the cold months to come
but maybe a few- the courageous, the foolish-
open their naked bodies wide, extend
their branches to all the fierce elements
and sway with the wind.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Subverting Natural Tendencies

I am not the kind of person who takes physical risks or pushes myself out of my comfort zone. I play safe. For example...
I never played team sports growing up.
I have never broken a bone.
I have never had stitches.
I have never gone skiing or snowboarding.
I can attribute my cautious tendencies to a multiplicity of factors including my pragmatic nature, protective mother, and grab bag of phobias/anxiety/insecurities.

All this to say that I am going to do something that is totally uncharacteristic of my behavior. I want to conquer something that I totally believe I cannot do: a sprint distance triathlon.
The Danskin Triathlon is August 19th & is an all ladies sprint distance triathlon. It is a 0.5 mi swim, 12 mi bike, and 3.1 mi run.
To many people, these distances seem reasonable and short, and in truth, that is an accurate view. A sprint triathlon is a feasible challenge for most able-bodied individuals, but it is more than the physical challenge for me- it is mental.

So I am going to give it a try.
While I don't really need to start "training" until mid-May (if I do a 13 week tiered program) I have to start talking about this triathlon with people to convince myself that it is a reality. I also have to fork over the money to fully commit myself to following through. In the mean time, I am working on increasing my general fitness level and activity and strengthening my sense of what I am able to achieve with my body.
Oh, this is a scary journey for me. I could use a cheerleader!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Moon Child

I love that my first word as a child was moon. It is the perfect word to mark my linguistic beginning, although I cannot explain exactly why. Sometimes a person simply knows deep inside what is true and what is not.

One warm Wailuku night I was held on the golden beach outside our home. I stretched my chubby little finger to the sky, like Adam reaching toward God, and named the floating white lantern. Moon: it was my first identifiable word other than the traditional gurgles of “mama” and “dada.” This fact alone feels like magic to me. It makes me feel set apart, like Moses in his basket of bulrushes.

I wonder what was happening in my infant brain when I gazed at the silver glow and watched its rotund reflection dance in roll of waves. Did I see two moons? Did I understand them to be one? The image I hold in my heart, even now, is one where my deepest self surrenders to the mystery and majesty of the way things are.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mother and Child Sleeping

I sleep on the far edge of a large double bed
under the weight of a quilt I stitched together
to pass through the string of cold winter days and nights.
The pillows- six of them- take up more space
than the full female figure of my body.
I tuck my arms, legs, head inward
and curl up like a small dog, back to the wall,
not even hoping to be held.

I hold myself
like I am my own mother
like I am my own child.

Friday Night Behind Closed Doors

I’ve had too much dark chocolate, caramel, red wine.
I am flushed with sweets and blushing with the glitter and tassels
of Friday night burlesque, drag, accordion ballads of unrequited love.
Tonight I fanned the flames of flirtation with a man from Ohio
I used his large beard and computer coding jokes to skirt
the awkwardness of not having anyone
beside me and always being early.

Someone tried to take my jacket. I let him wear it.
Someone asked if I was drinking moonshine in my honey jar.
I wasn’t, but laughed and tossed my hair and hooted
with the rest of them and at the end of the evening
one friendly acquaintance asked, when is my debut?

Next Friday night I will mount the stage
with metal card table and red velvet bag of tricks
I will adjust the tension---
pull out my scraps
and sew them a quilt.

This is what I do behind closed doors.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What we really fear is falling,
not the fall; we fear the candle burning,
not the flame. It is a troubling honesty
to hear “I want you,” but to know
the truth remains.

It is not all bad; even the rain
is sometimes our witness. We love
the scar; we kiss her on that scar.
How beautiful to make no sense-

To be as senseless as the heart, as prayer, as God.
Tonight the candle burns quickly,
the blue-orange flame is tall. I tuck the darkness in
and do everything I can
to remain empty.

I ask God, “What promises do you hold
in the night?” God replies,
“Come, see me naked;
my heartbreak is a thousand things.”