Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ties that Bind

I was talking to Lisa the other day and the subject of blogs came up. We were talking about one of our blogger friends and wondering what was going on in her life. We've never met her in person, or spoken to her on the phone, yet we were talking about her like we knew her and hoping that she is doing all right.

This lead to a discussion about how amazing it is to connect with people through blogging that you would never have the opportunity to meet. That's the reason we blog. To connect, to encourage, and to receive encouragement. We blog to be reminded that we are all tied together in this immense world.

One of our mutual favorite bloggers is Brian. He writes prolifically, honestly and beautifully. And he leaves encouraging, warm if he feels everything we're writing. He pays the utmost attention. This is no small feat considering he has about a million followers.

Recently, I've been a dry well and I wrote about that on my last post. Brian left a comment, said he's going through something similar. I went back to his blog and read what I've missed the past of week and found this piece. And it reminded me of the poem below. It's one I wrote twenty years ago during a very dark period of my life. Brian's takes place in a coffee shop and mine takes place in a bar. Brian mentions Charles Bukowski and at the time I wrote mine, I was reading everything I could get my hands on by Bukowski. If you've ever read any of his work, you'll see it in my piece. I was trying to imitate his style and it reeks of Bukowski...absolutely reeks. And though the two pieces are different, they are similar. Especially that one line about fitting. You'll recognize it if you read them both. And immediately, I was reminded about how we all search for that connection. I was reminded that even in this big, sometimes sad, world, we are all looking for some place to fit. A place to belong.

I was lucky enough to have it published in the Marr's Field Journal, an undergraduate literary journal published by The University of Alabama. I say lucky because it's horrible. My creative writing teachers tore it apart and I've tried to rework it a few times, with no success. And here it is, twenty years later, somehow tied in a mysterious way to a piece written by someone I've never met. Maybe it's just me, but I think the connection is pretty cool. And maybe I'm the only one that sees the connection and that's just fine. It got me writing again. Thanks, Brian and Lisa.

Crazy for you, baby

Back in my tequila drinking days, I knew a lot of insane people
who used to hang out at a bar I know.
They are the best people to be with because they're honest.
They don't know any better.
One guy named Glen was from New Jersey and a manic depressive.
He used to cry like a baby everyday while sitting on his bar stool.
He was good at suffering.
He had a friend named Mike who used to be a psychiatrist at Bryce Hospital.
Mike was fired for being aggressive with his aggressive patients.
He was good at beating the shit out of people.
Glen and Mike would sit there everyday, on those same puke green bar stools in
that nasty, smelly bar, and disagree.
That's what they did - that's where they fit.
Glen hated the south and Mike would tell him to shut up and go away.
Said if he couldn't handle eccentric southern bullshit, he should go back to Jersey,
and that's when Glen would start to cry.
The drunker they got, the better they got so I bought them tequila and we drank it straight.
None of that salt and lime bullshit.
It was smooth and hard going down.
One afternoon, after too many shots and a round of Jeopardy which
included a category on Jewish history, Glen started to cry again.
He couldn't stop so I took him home.
His apartment was empty except for his depression which smelled like something dead.
He told me about his girlfriend, who he had driven crazy, and I said,
"No big deal, we all drive the ones we love a little crazy."
He said, "No, she's really crazy.
She wears a straight jacket like a security blanket.
She eats nails like candy.
She feeds one me."


Mark said...

I just checked out Brians "human" po you requested, then I re-read yours. Yeah, very similar, I too like the bit about fitting.
I thought both were great.

moondustwriter said...

Working on a psyche unit I saw the extremes of these two. You do a great character study in this piece. I would build on it.

Blogging is a community of sorts; we find what is absent in our everyday lives.

Thanks for being so real is this blog

Mon smiles

dustus said...

Felt like I've had a few drinks with the subjects of your poem. Vivid writing that comes to life. Nice shout out to Brian too——one of my favorite writers online. cheers

Eric Alder said...

Teriffic One Shot, Melinda!

(I believe the 2nd-to-last line should read "She feeds on me")

Desert Rose said...

so we all pass through this phase Melinda, Dry and at times hollowed, sticking together somehow makes a difference.
interesting style here in your poem, images so alive,Just spectacular :)
Brian is one of the finest pens i ever read for. Glad we all have each other. perhaps in words, but they matter for real..:)

Brian Miller said...

smiles. thank you for the mention...yours is definitely a strong piece...and what we will do to ourselves...bukowski is the man...a poet of the people...

one of the things i love about this online world we create is the lives that intersect...chances are we have all been through similar things...stay at it...write every day...a guy once told me 90% of what you write will be junk but you have to go through it to get to the 10% that is not...

LauraX said...

love the part about "he was good at suffering"...blogging is such an amazing has become a bridge for so many people around the world to cross and meet and for very real friendships to develop...that has been my experience, and I am truly grateful.

Dan Kent said...

Well, you said that this is no good - but I think your poem is great! I feel connected to you - always have since the first time I read your blog. It amazes me how the soul of the person creeps through the internet. And since I missed your last post, I have to say, YOU PAINT! Didn't know that. I love the feeling of it and the composition. Happy New Year.

Steve Isaak said...

Colorful, exemplary work - put me, briefly, in the mindset of early Tom Waits bar songs.

Nomar Knight said...

This is a nice poem and you're right, we're all just searching for a place to belong, to find our purpose.