Spring Things To Do

This spring I will forsake all donations in the form of soft compliments. Those that I have received already I will convert into hard currency. I will be my own arrow and my own target. I will practice putting my inner princess to work. There will be frogs available for lower prices than ever in the history of fairy tales.

One spring, years ago, it rained warm water out of nowhere. I was on a date with a girl who lived with a much older man. She took off her shoes and I took off mine. Then we ran through the rain to find shelter. After a while we realised that we didn’t need protection from ourselves. We laid down on the grass and I kissed the water off her neck. It was such a sweet waste of time with all that rain coming down on us from above all the while.

Console myself with pink hair ribbons though I don’t have much hair but I have women in my life and through these women hair inevitably falls over my eyes when a woman for example puts her head her beautiful head next to mine and shakes her mane then the hair will frame my face as if it was my own and at the end of each hair hangs a promise because that is what hair is a promise of youth.

Localize exactly the place in the centre of my chest where the hurt and the pain sit. Talk to them quietly and patiently, without losing my breath. Talk to them in the tongue they understand. Forgive where forgiveness is appropriate, but also extract those few names to which revenge is attached like a tarred angel with a grimace instead of a smile. I will then plot my revenge and I will dig up the knives buried in the garden of my mother and thrust them into the hearts of the deserving.

This spring I will, for the first time, write every single word as if it were the first word ever written. If a word feels used in any way, I will wag my finger and force it back into my malleable mind like a spaghetti strand hanging out of the side of my half-open mouth.  Like a broken string it must be removed from the instrument of my art, which is both airy and rocky, both watery and shiny as metal. It may be that, when spring is over and summer beckons, I will be down to three usable words, or down to two, or even one, and I am looking forward to finding out what word that is.

When I pass a church this spring, I will bring my paints and my brushes to color the dark aisles and turrets, the towers and transepts. When I meet a monk, a deacon, a priest or a bishop even, I will touch them with my brush. They will fall silent and look at the red, green and blue as if they had never seen colors before. I may even seek out the pope and leave a stain of hue on his white robe. Christendom, I will say to him, deserves better than black and white.

Once, I wore a uniform and the winter had been very cold. Unsure of my true powers, I flew through the air like a sad icicle, clutching my weapon. On a spring weekend, I took a girl out for pizza. I didn’t care about the food at all, I only cared about her feelings for me, but she kept talking about the dough and the right crust; she must have had a past life in Italy. I swear, she killed me there on the bench with her fascination for pizza. They could have fed me rat tails with oyster sauce. I only wanted her to look at me and lose herself in my greyblue eyes and in my words. Instead, she obsessed about tomato slices. More than anything I remember her dislike of artichokes. Life serves weird memories sometimes.

This spring I will befriend time and leave space to play alone. I will look up and wait for warm rain. I will take my shoes off. I will explore fruit from the inside. I will take care to be dirty. I will measure my full weight in letters, stuff myself in a padded envelope and send me off to Señor Agustin Primavera who lives with a three-legged dog in the last house on the southern most street of the world where he speaks long Spanish poems into the foam of the sea. This is the place where spring comes to anchor for the rest of the year when all is done and the people are ready for summer. Señor Primavera will open the letter thriftily, with swift hands like Santa Claus opening the letters of children from everywhere. He will take one look at my transformed self and, I hope, he will smile with appreciation at the gesture and name a condiment after me.


Also posted at Fictionaut. Published at the24project (visible from April 15-22, 2012 only) and published (for good) at the lush Yareah Magazine.

11 thoughts on “Spring Things To Do

    • It’s out there, Chris. I can see it from my window. I’ve been collecting words in different languages for this very moment. I’ve stored them in a cardboard box under my bed. But I won’t touch that box: when the first spring ray reaches under there, it’ll open it and all the words will come flying out…

  1. Some of my favorite lines include:

    “I will be my own arrow and my own tar­get. I will prac­tice putting my inner princess to work.”

    It was such a sweet waste of time with all that rain com­ing down on us from above all the while.”

    For­give where for­give­ness is appro­pri­ate, but also extract those few names to which revenge is attached like a tarred angel with a gri­mace instead of a smile.”
    It reads like poetry with a dance beat.
    –These lines, below, remind me of how I talk to myself as the semester, and teaching year, come to a close, with spring, and a break, in the offing: 
    “This spring I will  …””This spring I will, for the first time …””When I pass a church this spring, I will …””This spring I will befriend time and leave space to play alone. I will …”   –

    One final thing: that photo of the “common bed bug” is not not a nice thing to look at (at bed time).

    Enjoyed everything else ~
    K.

    • Thank you so much, Karyn, you made my day. I know this is something people say often but I really mean it. I’m going to attend a friend’s funeral later on and I’m going to bag all the energy I can get for that. As for the coming spring: this is well-wishing. This post may well be the only piece of proper writing that I do all spring (even though I write a lot all the time). On the bed bug: it’s gone. You were right. Not savory. Hope you like the new bed-like photo. Cheers from Berlin to Vancouver!

      • I’m so very sorry that you have a friend’s funeral to go to. That can’t be an easy thing to anticipate. So very sorry.  I was just teasing about the bed bug photo (although the idea of bed bugs does freak me out). As for the new image, with the idea of beg bugs still in my head, I look at that hair, that long, long hair, I keep thinking she’ll have to shave it off to get the bed bugs out. I think she’ll be upset.

        • There’s no pleasing some people ;-)  — Seriously, the previous photo bugged me, too. It always made me think of Kafka though, perhaps that’s why I put it there. Though I probably just did because it was handy and because I liked the idea of how a bug perceives human hair…and to a tiny bug of course I look like a beat poet with my remaining hair! Like a jungle beast!

    • Some of my favorite lines include:
      I will be my own arrow and my own tar­get. I will prac­tice putting my inner princess to work.
      It was such a sweet waste of time with all that rain com­ing down on us from above all the while.For­give where for­give­ness is appro­pri­ate, but also extract those few names to which revenge is attached like a tarred angel with a gri­mace instead of a smile.It reads like poetry with a dance beat.These lines, below, remind me of how I talk to myself as the semester, and teaching year, come to a close, with spring, and a break, in the offing: This spring I will  …
      This spring I will, for the first time … 
      When I pass a church this spring, I will …
      This spring I will befriend time and leave space to play alone. I will …
      One final thing: that photo of the “common bed bug” is not not a nice thing to look at (at bed time).
      Enjoyed everything else :-)
      K.

  2. Just so you know … my original comment was very well organized and formatted when I posted it. Unfortunately, it looks like a mess now. Don’t know what happened. Sorry!

    • Not to worry, Karyn, this is the god of blogs acting out. Feel free to repost a response that’s sorted out as you like it and then I’ll delete the old ones. Though of course the net never forgets…

  3. Lulled me into Spring, ever so gently.
    Oops – soft compliment?
    No way. Ready to pay hard currency to be lulled into anything, these days.
    Thanks.

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