Thursday, June 02, 2005

If I Were A Major Romantic Poet...; Or, 'What Was I Doing at 17?'

...I'd give it up for Byron. "Lord, what a George would be/ if a George be who could/ be a George who would/ with me...".

S. T. Coleridge
You are Samuel Taylor Coleridge! The infamous
"archangel a little damaged!" You
took drugs and talked for hours, it's true, but
you also made a conscious choice to cultivate
the image of the deranged poet in a frenzy of
genius. You claimed you wrote "Kubla
Khan" in an afternoon after a laudanum,
when you pretty manifestly did no such thing.
You and your flashing eyes and floating hair.
And your brilliant scholarship and obvious

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

And, other useless, but canny for their uncanniness, quizes inform me that I'm 60% normal, and my Mexican name is "Doña Yeldid". Huh?

Here's one from Multiple Hellrosis, which I'll be blogging on soon: "What Was I Doing At Age 17?"

"At 17, I fancied myself Coleridge's reincarnation; I was long past The Prelude to a kiss. I was breaking up with Kevin Collins, boy genius who sometimes resembled Sherman lost in space but for a Tom Cruise handsomeness. He wore starched white shirts with ties, an army jacket, holey jeans before they were high haute holy, and silver painted gym shoes. He gave me Joyce & Salinger, Spike Jones & "The Bucket Rider". He introduced me to "The Hunger Artist" & I entrusted him with the Hunger Artist of my Musement. "Jones is a different butcher. Anytime you are in town pay him a visit. Or better still, come to buy!" Cymbols & high-hats crashing through The Act in an abandonned shed. Love's hide-out, the truant. Love's Esme.

At 17, I saw a star blow up. Or something, traveling slow for its speed and its height. A satellite? A falling meteor, but before the wish some final dis-solution under the rainbow, some gigantic firework making a colored vaccination mark on heaven's fat arm. What was that? We heard screaming in the middle of the night, ran outside, me and a new love, blonde as I am black, a walking negative. We were in the middle of the street (Hanchett?) and a woman was murdered. Or saw a murder. Or a death. Something violent. Happening now. Aways already. Rattled by a screaming sense of helplessness beyond The War. Nothing to do but go to bed, go to sleep, 'perhaps to dream' in a luxury of sheets. But for that looking up. What was that? That afterglow which left a lifetime's trance. A trace.

At 17, I ran away for the 17th time. Past my brother's orchard of music and hand-basketry, of elaborate weaves and mandalas made of thumb-prints in the flesh-colored clay. Past the sweatlodges below a stolen meadow, the iced river and the foamed glass of a Point Reyes surf. Past the bon-fires of redemption danced all night in the sparklers of aged riverwood, a river lynx tricking the flash & ember. 17 ways to say: I made you. At 17, I walked naked under a pink satin floor-length skirt, a rainbow phoenix, my symbol, left half-painted at the hem. And the haw of summer opened his jacket of flesh. San Jose slum. San Francisco slumming on the haight, near the corner of Love. 17 ways to say LOveInAsLum.

At 17, I moved away, taking my brother with me. At 17, I house-sat my brother's acid-tested psych-test that would keep him alive longer than the mean in the barrio draft. At 17, my brother becomes more than a crayon smear on a polished wall or a prayer to Viet Nam, with love.

At 17, I practiced Living On the Earth. At 17, I had practiced Mother Earth's "Down So Low" and Grace's "I Saw You" (Coming Back to Me) for the 3rd year in a row. At 17, I was the Yoda Princess of my high school's after-hour bleachers, talking bad trips down into lessons for the simply absurd and absurdly simple.

At 17, Post Traumatic Stress was not an article. At 17, my high school 'guidance counselor' said I was "setting my goals too high. You'll only fail. You are not college material... Now, if you had Kevin's scores...". National Merit. Me, with a mother with a will to inflict and 50 vodka's in as many hours as are buyers. Will you buy this horse? It has poor teeth. The hooves are sore. This is not a girl who fantasizes large horses.

At 17, I cut my poll teeth in a War On Poverty. At 17, I cut my sore feet on a walk, on a march, on a picket outside of Lucky. At 17, I first practiced the lost art of unpredictability. At 17, I threw away my clocks. At 17, I fished my mother from some gutter, some track, some get-back-home, go on alone, "come back, little Sheba." She keeps me up on a 5-night binge, night 5 before my SAT. At 17, she sees puppies in the sheets, little dogs are dribbling down the stucco patched walls which look like crazy footsteps, making a Drunkard's Path pattern in shattered quilts on the bedroom walls. At 17, I could have passed the college entrance exam on Abnormal Psychology. At 17, my mother almost dies, her clotted stomach coming out in fist-sized chunks of afterbirth. At 17, I enter strange hospitals in far away, 3-bus places. At 17, I started doing my homework. Straight A's, eh, in physiology & anatomy, the retiring psch teacher says I am the "most creative student" she had ever taught. At 17, I write a 45 page research paper on Sigmund Freud's latent homosexuality (his cousin) and breast envy which gets me out of cutting class and writing in the bleachers.

At 17, I noticed every sunset.

At 17, reading in the world was life."
So much for "blogging on this soon."

"At 17, my favorite tune was something from Mozart and my tocayo's "Now's the Time" by Bird. At 17, some still knew me as "Bird." At 17, some still knew me."

At 50, Now's the Time. At 50, Art is Time. At 50, there's no Time Out...

"...unless it be/ for romance."


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