Monday, May 15, 2006


What a concept, today I am posting actual fresh poetry on this blog that used to serve it daily, now occasionally. I have become more of a weekend Blogger. This week I feel compelled to post more, to get back to my daily roots. So much gets in the way of writing poetry. This blog used to motivate me to write more, now I'm more motivated to check my own and other blogs instead. What will it take to make me into a morning person who gets up hours early just to write with pen and paper in the dim light? At least I could open Word first thing, and type a few thoughts, instead of going right for my bookmarks. All in all, I think MAAP has been good for my writing, especially when I strike something resembling balance. Balance. Ha. I am too easily distracted by spring weather, TV season finales like tonight's 2-hour Grey's Anatomy, a one-day writing conference coming up, and ending the school year on a high note, scratch that, just ending it will be fine. Teaching is draining. I love it and love my students, but I'm ready to be off for the summer and spend more time mommying and writing poetry. The whole teachers having it so good because they get summers off thing is also a bit misleading, we spend our summers going to conferences, setting up our classroom, and reading up on curriculum for next year. (I will be moving from 3rd to 5th grade language arts and social studies next year, I have much to read up on.) But summers are a nice change of pace. I digress in a spiral of contradictions, see how distracted I am? Here is the poem:

Gypsy Blood
J.B. Rowell

My grandmother, the only grandparent I ever met,
told me when I was young that we had a bit
of Bohemian Gypsy blood in us. My mom scoffed,
and denied such lineage, despite the photo of a great-
so-and-so on my father's side: dark eyes and dark
pulled-back hair burning through dull black-and-white.
My nose, my chin.

Now my parents live the gypsy life,
drive to and from two homes. You never know
when they may be passing through. Can't pin
them down for a reservation, can't plan a holiday
too far ahead, can't send a package without
checking, can't persuade them to stay longer
since they are on their way again.

Each morning, I call them on their cell phone
on my way to work. It takes a moment
for my mind to orientate to their location:
by the negative-edge pool overlooking green
of golf course; on white whicker, screened in, treed in,
in the mountains. It must be nice, I think, but then,

how unsettling to be so rootless. Always
switching the mail, buying two of everything,
hoping to pass death heading the other way
on the highway.


Blogger Michael Parker said...

Nice poem. I wouldn't make a good gypsy either. I love having a place.

12:44 AM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Me too, Michael, I'm a homebody, and we're finally living in our own home after many years of grad school. *sigh* Maybe when I am in my 70s I'll want to live the gypsy life - but I doubt it.


9:53 PM, May 20, 2006  

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