Monday, May 9, 2011

coffee and flowers.

"We live on coffee and flowers
and try not to wonder what the weather will be."
- from Conversation 16 by The National

He says, "left or right?"

And I say, "What's left?"
He shrugs his shoulders.
So I say,
"Left it is!"

This is what is left:
one hundred hillsides freckled by yellow flowers,
a summer field
where an old, blue tractor churns up rows of sparkle-dust
and a service station called a "servicette."
"Does that mean the service station is female?" I ask.
He says: "We could stop and ask."

I start thinking about French words:
how some of them masculine and some are feminine.
... I still don't understand that.
But I like the thoughts of a noun wearing a fedora.
And a verb wearing a peacock-feathered fascinator.
Even though I'm pretty sure verbs are gender-neutral.
No matter. Chic nouns. Feisty verbs!

I decide to keep that mental exchange to myself.

He turns up the radio and says,
"I still like this song, even though it's old."
Say good-bye to my heart tonight.
I say, "Do you know where we are yet?"
Telephone wires loop-de-loop-de-loop up above us.
How many conversations are churning through those wires right now?
(Some words are static. Some are electric.)
He says, "Nope. No clue."

Primroses and thistle bloom up out of the ditch lines.
I like primroses because they look like paper lanterns.
I like thistle because they look a little bit punk-rock,
purple spikes and scrawny stems.

Horses move, strong and steady,
stomping against their shadows.
Let's run away and don't ever look back,
don't ever look back.

And I say, "It doesn't matter really, if we're lost."

We drive into the twisted places,
where telephone poles are bent,
some broken
where the trees are bowed,
but not by choice,
where orange X's have been painted across the skin of busted buildings.
"Search and rescue," he says.
"The X means they've already searched there."

"I hate storms," I say
as my eyes drift up and up,
following the path a tornado demon-danced up the mountain.

We drive through the city.
We drive through the country.
The road swivels and loops until I wonder
if a road looks like a word from the hawk's eye view.
Wander. Wonder. Lolly-gag. Whirly-gig.
Lost again. And then ....

"Cool," he says. " ... I know exactly where we are now."

That's the best kind of adventure, I think,
when you find home
even though you weren't looking for it.

Do you have a favorite place to get lost (or a favorite person to get lost with)? Let me know down in the comments. Then turn off ye olde computer, turn in that last research paper, and go play in the sunshine. Happy Monday to you sweet people!

(Also, I promise not to frequently write posts in verse. I was feeling a little poemcrazy today ; )


  1. I absolutly loved this post. getting lost, it's fun when you don't care, though you really have to be happy and allow yourself to be cool with getting lost. it's fun to get lost inside yourself, to see things completely differently, if only for a moment.

  2. How did you know I was procrastinating?! Haha!

    I have a couple friends I love to get lost with, and a more than friend that I can't help but miss a turn when telling him a story :)

  3. I loved this post! It was beautiful. I love driving around just to feel like I am in my own sort of adventure. Windows rolled down, music playnig, and corn fields rolling by and seeing the occasional deer. :) I love it. There is something romantic about being lost.

  4. Lovely post. It's been quite a while since I've been lost. I should try it again. :) I'm craving a road trip!

    When I did get lost, it was always with my family. And it didn't happen that much, because my dad is a retired UPS driver. He's amazing with directions and it's almost impossible for him to get twisted around. :)

    P.S. I also love the idea that in other languages nouns can be masculine or feminine. :)


  5. this was beautiful.
    poemcrazy moods are alright with me :]

    i like getting lost in foreign cities - the khan khalili markets in cairo, or camden town in london. i love wandering through the frenzy of it all....but doing so with someone who knows how to get us back wehre we need to be.

    (and i DID just turn in my last research paper! more final though.)

  6. That was sucha cool post! I loved it! :) I've never really been lost on a road, but I was lost in the woods for a little while. We walked to far away from the house and got lost. It was weird cause it was getting dark and me and my cousin were kinda spooked, Now we look back and think, 'Wow, if we only looked AROUND THAT HUGE TREE we would of been found!" haha

  7. I hope this doesn't sound creepy, but reading that post made me swoon. In other words, I thought it was beautifully written and it sort of makes me jealous that I'm a reader and not a writer. :)

    I'm a planner, but sometimes I think it'd be good for me to get lost and just let go for once. That's something I've always liked about my friend, Kate.

  8. This is brilliant. It makes me want to write a poem about adventuring for myself. I think I will.

  9. Please write more posts like this. My heart just soaked it up.

    I can't wait to explore Europe with my parents; London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lille,'ll be amazing.

  10. I LOVED the poem. It was beautiful and so fun. I have spent time studying poetry and trying to write it, and I can come no where close to that wonderfulness.

  11. I love the poem! So gorgeous and summery! I wish I was anywhere but in school...especially in Tennessee!


  12. I absolutely love the way you word things. You make beauty into beautiful things. It all sounds lovely and so real. You make me think about things in ways i've never thought about before. Pure poetry(:


  13. "...tornado, demon-danced up the mountain." - amazing imagery, amazing post