I have a lot of “stuff” to do this weekend. Like, most of today will likely be consumed with school work. But the conference yesterday was lovely. My own workshop went well, I thought. I retained all of the audience members in a session devoted to success/retention in online classes (win!). I can be quite––how do you say?––charming at times, I think.
I drove up to Edison with Effie. I was going to title these poetic notes “Driving with Effie,” but I think––I’ve been thinking for awhile about wanting to write about my Western Pennsylvania relatives. I think maybe Effie and I will start this summer. We’ll call it Appalachia or…
Et in Appalachia
[The names will all have to eventually be changed.]
Margy calls to say
Tim is still w/ Dawn,
who takes his paycheck every
week but never pays the bills.
They’re repossessing my truck,
says Tim. Dawn tells him:
it’s time for you to go,
Tim; Dawn & Tim &
Dawn’s five children
plus one child’s child +
baby-daddy all crammed
into one tumescent trailer,
beating. “Can I speak to
your mom?” Margy asks
one of the kids, the ten-year
old & he answers her, I think
she’s around the corner with her
head up her ass. At the doctor’s office,
Dawn tries to convince the nine-
year old to go inside for his appointment,
but he runs around the block, yelling,
I’m not fucking going inside!
Meanwhile, across town,
Uncle Joey’s new Cupcake phones,
whispering to Margy because
Joe’s asleep at four o’ clock
in the afternoon. Cupcake & Joe
wake at 2 A.M. everyday; drive
an hour to the casino southwest of
Pittsburgh for the free breakfast:
everyday they do this.
Once, I remember, the summer
before I left for London, driving w/ Effie
out to Western PA. We went
to the Andy Warhol Museum & then
met Joe and Aunt Tony (this was
Pre-Cupcake) at their house; Uncle Joe,
drinking beer and telling me to invest
all of my money in guns.
I went to bed that night
dreaming of silkscreened guns,
a variegated militia of saturated
pink, orange, yellow. It is like
the proliferation of kinship, this:
Just yesterday I was thinking about when we were little and I got poison oak playing in the bushes next to Margy’s garage. Effie gave me benadryl and we went to Joe’s for dinner; I fell asleep head on the dining room table. Do you remember?
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A post like this makes me glad I saved the link. I’m really enjoying what you do here.
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