Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Mockingbirds are the MC’s of the animal kingdom–
they listen, and mimic, and remix what they like,
they rock the mic.
Outside my window every morning
I can hear them sing
the sounds of the car alarms
like they were songs of spring.
I mean: if you can talk it,
a mockingbird can squawk it.
So check it:
I’m gonna catch mockingbirds.
I’m gonna trap mockingbirds, all across the nation
and put them gently into mason jars
like mockingbird Molotov cocktails.
And as I drive through a neighborhood, say,
where people gotta lotta
I’ll take a mockingbird I caught in a neighborhood
where folks ain’t got nada
and just let it go, y’know–
Up goes the bird, out come the words:
“Juanito! Juanito! Vente a comer, mi hijo!!”
I’m gonna be the Johnny Appleseed of sounds.
Cruising random interstates and city streets,
rockin’ a drop-top Cadillac with a big back seat,
packing like thirteen brown paper Wal-Mart bags
full of loaded mockingbirds.
And I’ll get everybody.
I’ll get the nitwit on the network news, saying:
“We’ll be back in a moment with more on the crisis.”
I’ll get some asshole at a watering hole
asking what brand the ice is.
I’ll get that lady at the laundromat
who always seems to know what being nice is.
I’ll get your postman making dinner plans.
I’ll get the last time you lied.
I’ll get: “Honey, just give me the frikkin’ T.V. Guide”
I’ll get a lonely little sentence some real bad judgment in it:
“Yeah, I guess you could come inside–
but only for a minute.”
I’ll get an ESL class in Chinatown, learning:
“It’s raining, it’s pouring…”
I’ll put a mockingbird on a late-night train
just to get an old man snoring.
I’ll get your ex-lover wishing someone else good morning.
Cuz I’ll get everyone’s good mornings,
I don’t care how you make ‘em:
Aloha. Konnichiwa. Shalom. A salaam malaikum.
I’ll get uptown gurus, downtown teachers,
broke-ass artists, and dealers, and Filipino preachers.
Leaf blowers, bartenders, boob job doctors,
hooligans, garbagemen, your local Congressman
and the spotlight guys in the overhead helicopters.
Everybody gets heard, everybody gets this
one honest mockingbird
as a witness.
And I’m on this. I’m on this ’til the whole thing spreads
with chat rooms and copycats and moms, maybe,
tucking kids into bed, singing: “Hush little baby, don’t say a word–
wait for the man with the mockingbirds.”
And then come the news crews, and the man-on-the-street interviews
and the letters to the editor–everybody asking:
“Just who is responsible for this citywide,
nationwide, mockingbird cacophony?”
And somebody’s finally gonna tip the city council
of Washington D.C. off to me
and they’ll offer me a key to the city,
a gold-plated, over-sized key to the city,
and that’s all I need, cuz if I get that–I can unlock the air.
I’ll listen for what’s missing–
and I’ll put it there.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
1) Everyday I hope it will be a day I discover some new little gem - an obscure band or song I like, a poem, an artist, a well written book -- these things make me happy.
2) I love the sun and I love to be warm. I love swimming pools -- even just looking at them.
3) I think the swimming pool thing goes bak to a Chanel No. 5 commercial from the early 80s. The tag line for the commercial said "I am made of blue skies and yellow sunlight and I will feel this way forever". This had a big affect on a girl living in the frozen tundra of Idaho.
4) I can be very silly. There is a lot of dancing in my house and goofing around. A lot of imitations of people real or imagined.
5) Probably half the people I know are very aware of this silliness and the other half have absolutely no idea.
6) People often think I'm stuck-up or stand-off-ish. I think it's because I often silently observe a lot. I have a tendency to stand back and watch and silently take things in. I have to force myself to be more out going than I'm comfortable with at times.
7) I think my tendency to silently observe makes me good at figuring people out and understanding them. I'm a great listener.
8) Sometimes people apologize for making me listen to them, for showing up at my door unannounced and telling me all their problems. It's hard to make people understand that I don't mind listening to them at all.
9) But it does seem like a good idea to parlay this into a money making way to spend my time, rather than just doing it for free -- which is why I'm still working on my psych degree.
10) I love to laugh.
11) When my husband and I are both laughing at the same thing at the same time -- those are the best moments of the day.
12) I love my kids and I'm amazed at how different each one of them are -- and how truly great they each are in their own way.
13) Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, and the best. What a cliche that is, but so true.
14) My husband is one of my favorite people in the whole world. He is a ball of creative and intelligent energy who also loves a good laugh. I feel so lucky to be married to him.
15) I have great friends I can rely on which is such a nice feeling.
16) I have a "best friend" which seems kind of adolescent, but really, she keeps me sane and entertained.
17) I completely love traveling. Whether it's a trip to Scotland or a trip to the Circle K down the street, I like to be in motion.
18) I'm a very liberal person but also deeply religious and spiritual. This stymies people sometimes but I find it to be the least absurd way to live life.
19) I'm often a liberal in a sea of conservatives -- this is sometimes an amusing position to be in and sometimes entirely frustrating. But I manage to be amused more often than frustrated.
20) My parents are somewhat dismayed that they managed to raise a liberal. They blame my liberal tendencies on BYU. There is a grain of truth in that theory, but it's much more complicated than that. The irony is rather delicious.
21) Every day my husband leaves the house and says "I'm off to fight the forces of evil". It's a lot like being married to super hero. Most people probably wouldn't think a lawyers wife would feel like she's married to a super hero, but I do.
22) I'm having an unexpected love affair with the desert. The other day we drove with the top down near the preserve at Dreamy Draw. I love the smell of the plants and all the unexpected wildlife -- the birds and the bunnies and the occasional coyote. Even though I'm very much a city girl -- I love that there's nature just around the bend.
23) I love my dogs. We have a part chow part german shepherd named "Tanner" and a purely mexican mutt named "Scout". I have a lot of existential angst about Tanner these days. He's 12 and I will be devastated when he's gone.
24) My new church calling in the Stake Relief Society Presidency is one of my favorite callings ever. I love getting to know so many new women in the Stake. I love thinking about all those women every sunday all over the world, united in our efforts to be better people, learning more about what it means to be christ-like -- giving charity and sharing our burdens. What an amazing thing.
25) The world is full of so much beauty -- it makes me feel like my heart will almost burst open sometimes. There is beauty everywhere -- on the wall of graffiti, in the lady waiting for the bus, in the desert bird, in the palm trees swaying in the breeze -- it's all around us if we just choose to see it.