Friday, August 05, 2011

When all else fails —> dance



I'm going out dancing tonight and we will be practicing our Viennese waltz.



Viennese Waltz — natural turn

It’s like flying
or falling.
Each step a revolution.
The planet tilted
too much.
Sunlight far off.
Clouds strangely graceful
even as the storm
arrives.
She says, lean back further.
Enough to contain
the rotation.

The ballroom is wide
as a plain. I’m a sapling
and he is the wind.
Sometimes I touch the floor,
toes starved for solid ground.
Sometimes I leap.
Every other step a lock
as though leaves
can be caged.

He is vertigo.
The darkened tornado
peeling my meadow.
The sky falters but I hang on,
fingers lodged in his bones.
I am a white birch.
I am a falling
branch.

I am a spinning
leaf, spiked
with rain.


Written this past April 2011 during NaPoWriMo, this poem is part of a manuscript of ballroom poems, though one could argue they're also love poems. Yes, I'm a sentimentalist.

photo credit: Vladimir Pervuninsky, "The Viennese Waltz."




Edited to remove embarrassing public whining. You see, it all started with—. . . . . you know what? Never mind.
.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Can rage cause a crack in one's floor? Yes. Yes it can.

Warning: this post has nothing to do with poetry and everything to do with real life.


Yesterday my son and I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (aka: the seventh circle of hell) to get my son a learner's permit (driving). It took two hours to get there because of construction traffic. Then we waited in line for two and a half hours. A person who smelled like smoked salami sat next to me for most of this time. When we finally got to the counter, Jeremy easily passed the test, BUT:

They said his birth certificate isn't valid, even though I used it to get him an official state photo id last year with it. Even though he got a passport with it years ago. Even though I registered him for school with it. Even though it has a raised seal and all the pertinent information and was issued to me by the state of NJ.

Naturally, I argued. Demanded to see a supervisor. Three DMV workers insisted the certificate was wrong. Fine.

NJ (his birth state) requires a valid state photo id (or driver's license) to get a valid birth certificate. Theoretically, my son could get his valid birth certificate with his existing photo id (obtained with the non-valid birth certificate), but he can't get a driver's permit.

*bangs head on wall*

To get a valid birth certificate online, one must upload identity documents. The system won't upload even though I already paid. The system has no phone number so I can call a human. I sent complaint via email. No answer.

To get a valid birth certificate via writing, it will take 10 WEEKS. Yes, weeks.

*bangs head on wall harder*

We have only one option left: drive to Trenton, NJ to get it in person. I know that probably won't go well. We'll hit more construction. When we get there they will insist that I, his mother, present a valid birth certificate as proof of identity. That certificate will be invalid (I'd bet money on this).

We have 30 days before he has to retake the learner's permit test. And before you ask the obvious, I already did: we can't use his passport because it's too old.

*bangs head on marble floor*

*floor cracks*