By Amber Tamblyn
I took a break from writing about the dead
and drinking from writing about the dead
to walk around my childhood neighborhood.
Everything’s for rent. Or for sale, for ten
times the amount it’s worth.
Palm trees are planted in front of a mural
of palm trees under the Ocean Park Bridge.
In the painting, the metal horses of a carousel are breaking
free and running down the beach. Why didn’t I leave
my initials in cement
in front of my parent’s apartment in the eighties?
Nikki had the right idea in ’79.
I walk by a basketball court, where men play
under the florescent butts of night’s cigarette.
I could have been any of their wives,
at home, filling different rooms in different houses
with hopeful wombs. Agreeing on paint color
samples with their mothers in mind.
I’ll bet their wives let their cats go out
hunting at night like premonitions of future sons.
They will worry, stare out the front window,
pray that privilege doesn’t bring home bad news
like some wilted head of a black girl in nascent jaws.
To say nothing of the owl who’s been here for years. I hear him
when I’m trying to write about the deaths I’ve admired.
I hear him when the clothed me no longer recognizes
the naked. I hear him while writing and shitting and sleeping
where my mother’s seven guitars sleep.
I hear him in my parent’s house,
their walls covered in my many faces,
traces of decades of complacence.
My childhood neighborhood is a shrine to my success,
and I’m a car with a bomb inside, ready
to pull up in front of it and stop
Adam had lots of homework on Thursday and Maddy was fighting with her financial aid paperwork for school, so we had another quiet morning doing assorted chores. In the afternoon Maddy was meeting friends from work at the mall and we took Adam to get him new sneakers, plus we got Menchie's froyo now that there's one in the mall (it was pretty good but I think Yogi Castle is pretty good too, and neither one is Cold Stone Creamery).
The news over the past two days have been so stressful that we spent the evening watching basketball -- we're very sorry Purdue lost, ambivalent about the Michigan game because we generally support Big 10 teams but our Oregon relatives are very happy, and very proud of Xavier for beating Arizona (now it's less awful that Maryland lost to them). Here are some more photos from Frying Pan Farm Park earlier in the week: