Monday, November 28, 2005

'Why Do You Make Such A Big Deal About A Racist White Holiday, Anyway?'

My son wants to know. He knows his history. He should know mine. I just stopped, and looked at him. And then I told him.

"Every single Thanksgiving was horrible, the worst. Now, I'm in charge."

I have a poem in the new book, DRIVE, book two, BIRD AVE, entitled "California Plum" with a first line: "I suppose I was a derelict/ I was a derelict's kid." Every year she'd get drunk -- and cook -- and fling turkeys & anything else she could get her hands on. I think of it and I taste chocolate cake and onions, together, in the same batter. Funny, my first poetry guru, Bob (Hass) kept it hidden from the world until he was my age. "My Mother's Nipples", a poem thanks to a challenge by Sharon Olds at Squaw Valley. He had the same line, about the taste of chocolate cake & onions, and screaming on the street. I wrote poems about shattering bottles and staggers while in his workshop, 20 years old. He never said a word. Secret family.

Now, I'm in charge.

A door I still can't open, and if I do, not for long. "Shut the door, it's cold."


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