Monday, March 23, 2009

Meeting hall

This is a poem I didn't want to put up here without an explanation because of the ugliness in it. I was reading this post at Christopher's place yesterday, and next thing I knew I had the poem below written down. This isn't about me or any kind of lived experience of mine, not directly. The I in the room is probably a young male, a bit too cocky, pretty rough around the edges, and most likely he's been told he has to come here, AA or some other peer support group to help him tone it down a bit. Most likely a judge (formal or otherwise) told him he had to come here. It's one of those poems that sort of wrote itself, like someone was whispering in my ear telling me what to write.

Like Miranda, I think this fella is a part of me, though hopefully I've outgrown him by now.

Meeting hall

I’m here in the room
but you can see it in the stiffness
in the back of my head
if you’re smart enough,
there’s places I’d rather be.
Why do you keep looking at me
that way, like jesus
made you holy, and I’m just
the source of the stink
coming from the back hallway?
Once I’ve washed your shit off me,
there’ll be no trouble.

Rachel Westfall
March 23, 2009

13 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

I love how you conjure people, like they're in the lobby just waiting to be found.

Selchie said...

made me chuckle, v nice, very there.

christopher said...

Rachel there's more to it. See my current post. With you saying this, it's getting fairly interesting.

Lirio said...

makes me laugh
i have been in that room with that guy

Poetikat said...

Man, I feel as if I'm sitting behind him. You really have that great gift of bringing your characters to life. As Woman in a Window said, "they're in the lobby" (and it's full, isn't it?)

Kat

Karen said...

Whew! With this guy whispering in my ear, I'd watch my back! LOL

Ghost Dansing said...

he'll prolly be alright i hope.... i really like your white cat.....

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

another powerful characterization. I could feel the sting. Some part of me feels sorry for the guy. What brought him to this point in his life...?

RachelW said...

This guy, I feel like I've crawled inside my skin. I used to hang out with these sorts, once upon a time, so maybe I know the feeling all too well.

You're right Karen, you have to watch your back with these ones.

K. yes, me too; I think it's that feeling sorry that helps me to excuse some of the less pleasant things about the fellow and try for friendship. Or something.

Ghost, welcome... it is nice to see your elusive presence over here.

Christopher, whatever it is, it feels right. I think there is some sort of global creative process happening, and maybe we are just being sucked along.

Guess Aaa Whoooo said...

Bad attitude, dude. That guy sounds like someone I knew, know, and still is.

Hmm, the devil we know is???

RachelW said...

Okay, I admit it; maybe I *still do* hang around with these sorts. And here I was thinking they are all in jail now, or dead, or some combination of the two. ;)

christopher said...

I said about myself back in 1972 that I was going undercover. I went into deep cover so effectively that my wife started calling me "redneck". But inside I was still, am still that outlaw dope dealer guy. I claimed to be one of the few honest dope dealers in San Jose. Maybe. :) I still really love Steve Stills singing Tree Top Flyer. We used a boat.

christopher said...

Rachel, re what's happening. I like it too. I am very pleased that we interact like that.