My s*** is all over the place

I like categories. I like to split things into groups, split the groups into groups. I spent the last semester taking most of my notes on a computer. When I looked back at them, I noticed the amount of space on the page wasted to indentations, to margins before bullets, roman numerals, capitalized and lower-cased letters. Here, I should offer a disclaimer: Typically when we think of someone who likes this sort of systematizing, we think of a “type-a” human being—someone who, in at least an organizational sense, really has their shit together. This is not me, and this is certainly not my poetry. My shit, on the contrary, is all over the place, and I think my brain uses categorization as a sort of desperate, manic attempt at making sense of things that, actually, one might be better off not trying to make sense of. All this is to say, when I think about from where I source my writing, I think of three main things, each of which can be broken down into subcategories which don’t really have rhyme or reason and would likely make a true organizer cringe.

  1. Family [1] (usually associated with guilt)
    1. my little sister
      1. the freckles no one ever notices on her cheeks
      2. the way she continues to grow although I beg her not to
    2. my mother
      1. her hands and lavender veins that come up all too often
    3. everyone else
      1. their bodies, the parts of them that anyone can see but everyone sees differently
  2. Music (“the jar of gold glitter” effect [2])
    1. songs I can sing along to because they operate within my vocal range
    2. songs I can’t sing along to but try to anyway because they make my stomach drop into my butt (the best way I can describe that really good song feeling)
    3. scores to movies I haven’t ever seen
  3. What lacks (physical and intangible gaps)
    1. I can’t…
      1. communicate
      2. relate
      3. understand
    2. We can’t…
      1. communicate
      2. relate
      3. understand
    3. Sidewalks make us trip…
      1. because grass is growing through the cracks, filling the gaps and teaching us something about absence and/ or if there is always a something to occupy a nothing

[2] stare into a jar of gold glitter and tell me if there are words to explain the way that makes you feel. similarly, you know those fountain fireworks? the gold ones that explode and trickle liquid gold against the blackness of a summer sky for what also seems like way too short a time? that feeling, if applied to what we hear rather than what we see, is what I am looking for (or sometimes just finding without looking at all) when turning to music

[1] “family,” here meaning blood relatives, but also those closest to me, most influential in my life

One Reply to “My s*** is all over the place”

  1. When I read “scores to movies I haven’t ever seen,” I immediately thought of the film Amelie. I am unsure whether or not you have seen it, but I highly recommend it if you have not. The film examines a couple of romantic and platonic relationships, realism vs. fantasy, and how difficult communication can be when life and introverted behavior get in the way. There’s a touch of humor, too, which is always nice. It also showcases lovely places in Paris (I think it has some ridiculously high number of scenic locations that it was shot in, but I can’t remember exactly what that number was).
    The film is a bit of a two-in-one, though, because–to return to my original statement–the soundtrack is lovely. Yann Tiersen created beautiful compositions that do an excellent job of transporting you to France and making you smile at jaunty piano pieces. Not to say that it’s all light and happy. “Comptine d’un autre ete, l’apres-mid” and “La valse d’Amelie”are rather sad, but poignant and delicately beautiful nonetheless. The album is called “Amelie from Montmartre” and is on Spotify, if you’re interested. Personally, I find classical and classical-esque music to be really calming and I fell in love with the film, so this is all pretty biased. Sorry!
    Your comments about gold glitter jars and fountain fireworks made me think of a really awesome artist I found on YouTube a while back. Tanya Shatseva’s art tends to give me that same sort of feeling you mentioned. Her YouTube videos show how she paints her work, set to pleasantly eclectic music choices. Watching her create something is amazing and I know that I have a love/hate relationship with that little window of time between a blank canvas and the finished product. I do, however, really love the permanence of a completed work and if I had to pick a few pieces to recommend you look at a source material, I’d argue that “It’s Jellyfishing Outside Tonight” and “Self-Crowned” show off her unique style and give me that same sort of vibe you were talking about.
    As far as poetry is concerned, I’d recommend taking a look at “Blowout” by Denise Duhamel. It is a poetry book I discovered through a professor of mine and it is written quite beautifully. The thing that I appreciated about it most was that it was written using the same sort of voice that I see in my own writing. I don’t mean that in a narcissistic way (if you can believe it). Her work just has a general feel of anxiousness that mirrors my own. When you talked about not having your shit together as well as you could, this work came to mind. I believe it to be a good source for you as it offers some of that wildness of thought, but delivers it in such a way that reads very nicely. Organized chaos kind of thing.

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