Like riding a bicycle

This morning I set my alarm early and actually woke up to the chiming. The morning before I slept in about an hour and a half past it without any knowledge it had even gone off.
I made an unfortunate cup of bad coffee and surrounded myself with poetry books, my journal, my manuscript of poems that I haven’t solidly looked over in a few months. It’s time. The move is over. I am here and must schedule this time because for the past few months the need in my gut has been growing to an insatiable monster that can’t be fed any other way.
Last night a storm of monsoon proportions held it’s body over the city. Dust storms, wind whipping an American flag, flickering lights and fans and I stood in front of my sliding glass door realizing for the first time that 1) no matter how much I fear “losing” poetry in myself (if you don’t use it, you lose it theory), it will always be AND 2) that if I don’t ever “make it” the way kids dream they make it, I’m OK with that.
But being OK with that and knowing that poetry will never be lost in me in no way means I can be lazy about it and it in no way means I’m not going to work to get there. I suppose it was just a nice feeling, looking out into a new courtyard knowing that poetry would always remain no matter how much I or my surroundings change.
So this morning, I sat on my couch with my unfortunate cup of bad coffee and cracked open the legal folder I’ve been lugging around the country, on the river, to different houses and looked upon all the words I had built from another life. A life I had just left. A friend told me this is the best way to look at your work. From a different location and I think she’s right. The original thrust of those poems in gone and now as I enter the editing, I can really see them or hope to see them soon as they are meant to be.
Outside, a man brushed the sidewalk in irregular beats like nylon on a snare drum. I listened to the scratching noise, realizing we were doing the same work: cleaning around the corners.

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4 Responses to Like riding a bicycle

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Writers write.
    The end.

  2. I love this, Rachel — esp. the last paragraph where you realize you and the man brushing the sidewalk are doing the same work: cleaning around the corners.

    Something similar’s happening here, too.

    I love knowing you’re in Arizona – I’m hoping to return to Phoenix next April. Perhaps we can take bikes on the light rail? xo

    • rachvb says:

      Claire, I would love to ride bikes on the light rail with you! I have April in the back of my mind, so I do hope you can come. By then, hopefully, I’ll know all the hot spots to take you =) no pun intended. I’ve been thinking of you and hope you are well. Work on, my friend! I can’t wait to see what you are doing next. xo

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