Friday, March 04, 2005

the magnet girl

My mother once gave me an aluminum magnet which was a girl at a crossroads. One road sign said: Your Life. The other: No Longer An Option. This was meant to reassure, but in effect terrified.

The magnet girl wore a bonnet and I believed she appeared to skip.

I am not skipping but in my head are twirling thoughts. And out of my metal mouth comes things like: To make a choice is the right choice. And, the hardest decision is the right one. But what is harder?

Noise all night from the trucks heading out of town. Cutting through alleys to avoid the tourists. Gray snow, and chapters peek out from doorways like fabulous apartments, hidden from the ground. I am always searching for them, looking up into shuttered second floor windows, imagining the furniture inside. Here goes a couch. Here a green bushy fern.

Or poetry. White bags stained with grease from fast food restaurants. Neon lights that go out. Never a parking space anywhere.

Do I want the long winter, the novel, enduring like the curb crust of ice? Or poems, there then gone again, boom-flash of summer?

Genre is a question of geography.