I Dream

16 Nov

Before I was a mom, I was a performance poet. People do continue their art after becoming parents (speak up! I know this is true for many of my friends) but it wasn’t something I could manage until recently.

Here’s one of my favorites, from my days on the stage:

I

I dream

I dream up

I dream up ways

ways to drop

ways to drop my female lover

into your conversations,

on my way to work

wearing her clothes, wearing her

perfume,

on my way past security,

into the office, answering phones.

You say my

sexuality

does not belong

in the workplace.

But who obsesses

about sex?

You.

Not me.

You.

When I tell you I prefer women,

you suddenly begin longing,

wanting, hoping.

You should not have

expected that.

I never owed you.

***

Have you been there?  Man flirts with woman. Woman says, “I prefer girls.”  Man does a little happy hopeful dance.  Woman feels sick.  Just a little.  Does this sound like the workplace today?  Or does it place me rather squarely in my own generation, harking back to a time when laws and attitudes were different?

This blog-dentity crisis – which I blathered on about a couple weeks ago – may be doing me good already.  I’ve made two coffee dates with real people in my real life, and I’ve decided to write about something else – is there something else? – something besides being a mom?  I remember, vaguely, my life before kids.  I can read my old poems and remember more.  But that’s not what I mean, not quite.  I still want to write about now, about me, about life, about work, about the world and my family in it.  And the heartbeat throughout, I’m quite sure, will be that of a mom.  But my stories will not all be about my lovely little strong and stubborn, original and curious girl.  I wonder how my writing will change.  Or my perspective.

Have you ever put something on hold to make room for the people in your life?  Did there come a time when you picked it back up again?

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4 Responses to “I Dream”

  1. girlfunk November 16, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I can hear you, in my mind’s inner ear, saying this poem so clearly. I remember the poet Roiann. She was strong, willful, witty, creative, stubborn, curious. Not so different than your daughter. I believe any art is just an extension of the artist or there is always a piece of the artist in the art. It sounds so trivial but when you perform your art it takes on its own life. I believe in your art and can’t wait to hear it, see it, feel it. This blog has been such a tease to that art.

    • rrp69 November 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      You made my week 🙂 Thank you.

  2. goodfamiliesdo November 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    I really relate to your words! I was/am a performance poet as well and am on my way to becoming a Momma. There is something about our identities getting all tangled up that makes it hard to sort through things and write. I keep wanting to write a poem about this experience I am in right now, but I haven’t found it yet. Keep writing, on the blog and in poems!

    • rrp69 November 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      Thank you! And I love your blog – I’m sorry I didn’t have the grace to say so until now. I found my writing changed a lot when I became a mom – my reading, too – something about the quality of my attention, the space between words. I do want to challenge myself to write poetry again, though – something so compact, so perfect, so BIG about a poem. So thank you for being here, on a parallel journey. Take care.

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