– Arts camp

Today is Festival Day at Creative Arts at Park. Parents walk around, watch performances, meet teachers, and see their children’s pictures, objects, and sculpture.

I’m in the air conditioned room where the juvenile writers work. I can’t resist checking my e-mail and pretending that I’m a young writer at camp; I put words in a file because it’s my turn. It’s fast and freeing. It’s my 20-minute, unrevised blurt:

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13 Ways of Looking at a Guterman

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1. You see the hair: head, brow, lash. Circulation, blood: that interior river sprung.
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2. Each finds their own place. Friends are places to hide. Friends set you free.
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3. Sound frees, freaks, frets. Guitar has frets. Lydia frets. Grace freaks. Eli, “Free us.”
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4. Strings attach you. Blood ties and sometimes it leaks. They bleed they cry.
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5. In bed, dreaming. Limbs stir and breath is slow. They submerge themselves in worlds not known.
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6. Rhyme, they don’t. Different, they insist and take and beg and bargain. No five-year-old Jesus comforts them. No sparrows.
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7. Food in cupboards, stashed. Cooked, they don’t eat. Hidden, they gorge themselves. We starve them; there will never be enough.
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8. For us, too much sometimes. Three pairs of legs, arms, nostrils, those eyes. Three times ten toes. Digit after digit after digit.
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9. Pixelated beauties, freeze. Stop time. Blow smoke in their faces. Breathe in.
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10. Ions and electrons, slow down. No slouching towards Bethlehem, you rush.
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11. Heads together, they share ideas and parasites and propagate both widely. I pick and pick and those damn notions and lice return.
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12. Return they won’t. Gone, gone, gone – every new day, an old one gone.
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13. Old clothes and battered shoes. Papers and artifacts. What they sound like. These we hold fast to. What they smell like? Atoms dispersed. Join the air.
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Eli looks over my shoulder and says, “Mom, let me read it.”

He reads it. “Uh, I don’t really get it.”

Jane: “It’s not literal.”

Eli: “Okay.”

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At 12:15pm we have three children in three separate performances in three different spaces. There are only two of us. Fractions.

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One thought on “– Arts camp

  1. Pingback: Pages tagged "blood ties"

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