Happy New Year from the Hangover

I got to have New Year’s Eve with some lovely Americans running through the streets of Paris in the snow, and here’s a poem that just wants to say happy new year to everybody.

The last time I had a hang
over this bad must have been six months ago in Portland.
When the summer camp counselors gathered together
in that beautiful craftsman home to hang
socks on each other
like wintertime Christmas trees under the blanket
of a slow summer’s night in the thick of the year, and I
woke up under the dining table with a stack of poetry
journals for a pillow, face
to face with a couple spooning against the china.

But poetry is more column than cuddle, a stack of sentences
divided, apart, one atop the other instead
of hooked up side by side.
A book is but a stack of pages bound together for strength.
A year is just a pile of days.
A tree a collection of rings
chasing renewal’s possibilities one year at a time.
Forests an anthology of trunks dizzying themselves with
growing fat round and round and around again the past
until man presses them skinny again
to stamp their faces with his poetry.

and all I see on Paris’s face are circles,
an agglomeration of arrondissements pirouetting around
each other to make a city in Spirograph,
one that is perfect for stumbling through, overjoyed
by the lightest of snows while the minute and second hand
circle around the watch’s face toward midnight to divide
one day from the next
in this business of making new, to say then
and there. Here
and now.

Those were socks
and this is snow.


New Year’s Resolution: 2016


IMG_2824This past summer, I spent a night in a “chuck wagon.”

It was at a camp in Oregon, while working  as a counselor,  near the end of the season. We’d caught wind that our campers (of Jr. High age) were planning to sneak out of their cabins and go down to the river that night. Boys and girls. So I slept in the chuck wagon–a makeshift pioneer wagon with a long picnic table in it–in the middle of the cabins to catch and stop any mischief.

Skinny dipping has been a pretty steady ritual throughout my three years as a camp counselor: the body of water ranging from the natural waterway of Oregon’s Sandy River to an irrigation pond, stagnant with sunscreen and bullfrog shit, on a ranch in Arizona’s high desert. Skinny dipping, however, is a counselor right. Permissible only by the arbitrary stamp of some “adulthood” that comes in caring for other people’s children.

For some reason, that night, the fact that the summer was coming to an end and that I would start my senior year of college in a few weeks, hit me. In the middle of acres of nearly untamed, and completely dark forest, I couldn’t sleep for fear of the unknown beyond graduation. A condemnation to “adulthood” beyond counselor rights and our invented  superiority over adolescents trying to enjoy puberty.

Now, I can’t stop looking at 2016 as if I were approaching The End that Henry Ward Beecher’s last words, “Now comes the mystery!”, invoke.

One of my good friends (found here) has been urging me to start a blog for quite some time now. I’m not a stranger to blogging. Inspired by The Clothes HorseConfessions of a Female Drag QueenCali Vintage, and Hannah and Landon, I had a “personal style blog” in high school that, when I checked today, has well over 25,500 views (which is weird?). I did a couple of posts for a blog when I studied abroad in Denmark, but promptly gave it up to, you know, study abroad. And last semester, my boyfriend started a blog making fun of me called Lizzy Does Wine.

The Lizzysaurus, now, is my 2016 New Year’s Resolution (even though it’s the sixth) (and has nothing to with my embarrassment when I published a blog article a few months ago, and when the woman asked for a link to other work, I had nothing). So, here is my totally-necessary public platform for recording this (maybe?) great, post-graduation mystery that will be 2016.

And who knows? Maybe it will help with my chuck wagon insomnia, which is all I’ve ever really wanted.