My True Friends: a spoken-word poem in writing

Aw, crap. So, I had President’s Day off and I forgot I didn’t already have a post scheduled in the hopper and now it’s Tuesday evening and I need to have something brilliant for Wednesday (yes, I know what day of the week it is but pretend you’re feeling my panic on Tuesday evening, ok?) Sadly, there’s no brilliance to be had because everything I’m working on still needs a ton of editing.

My solution: laziness. I’m just going to stick something here, something I wrote a year or two ago after talking to a friend who does powerful spoken-word stuff. She made me realize I do not have that kind of passion or pain and that I’m rather shallow and maybe even boring. Then I started thinking about what I would do if I had to do a reading.

If I were a spoken word poet, this would be my poem:

My friends and I agree
that the process of moving from youth to aged
is strange
our bodies again mysterious, delving into the unknown,
reminding us of the gifts given and taken by puberty
We are new at this because yesterday we were fresh from college
and today, our children are fresh in college
These new things must be explored because they are yet to be

My true friends, my close friends
the friends of my soul and of long nights with stars and of whispered childhood secrets
Those friends and I agree
That our changing bodies-
these globulin masses that contain the USness of us-
give us moments of fright
but also moments of wonder
and we find new magic in an old world

By and large, the favorite change
among the True Friends
is the one that turns us once again
or maybe for the first time
into coo-ing new parents
peering into an infant’s freshmade
dirty diaper
to see what small bodies evacuate, leave behind
to see the magical residue that quickly becomes a chore but is so shining and momentous at first

Only with us, with these friends, we stare not into a
tiny cloth or synthetic holding apparatus.
We stare into a porcelain tank
typically called The Toilet.
We stare in wonder at what we have made because
once again, it is a magical thing to be able to make

Remember when we didn’t think about it? Remember when it was just something that needed to be done and just we did it?
No more!
Now it is Triumph! Now there is alchemy involved
concoctions of remembering to get it just right-
correct fiber placement and
plenty of hydration
and a little oil to get things moving slickly

My own poopery
not as prevalent as it once was
has become a source of curiosity
and sometimes pain
and often of a hard little belly bump like a perfectly round stone tucked away in a large pocket weighing down the garment of my guts
but it is also a wonder and a gift
because when I can stare into the watery depths
of the toilet bowl to see my creation
and I can think to myself
Another job well done, four days in a row
I know that I have succeeded in that age-old joke of
Staying Regular
and I know
that I am getting old.

And my true friends – they agree.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.


Filed under For my short story collection, My journey to writerhood, My Phenomenal Fake Life, Tales from Toiletopia

15 responses to “My True Friends: a spoken-word poem in writing

  1. This has to be the most amazing piece of poetry ever concocted in the history of humans everywhere, and if you don’t win some type of amazing award for it, then that just proves that people are shitheads that should be slapped for not paying attentions to the details of awesomeness.

    • Yes. Thank you. I was inspired that day.
      I would think shitheads would like this poem even more than the rest of us, though. Maybe not; it might be intimidating.
      I’m sure Keats would have liked it, though.

  2. Also: Sam would love this poem too. I think you should frame this and send it to her.

    • That is a BRILLIANT idea! Shinier than a new toilet!
      OMG! Total random aside: I saw a book on the shelves today called “Toilets Around the World” and I didn’t have my camera on me and I just now remembered it because of this post. I need to take a picture of it tomorrow because you KNOW it has to be an awesome book!

  3. Was it this one?
    It’s really a book about the history of toilets! I am impressed! And now have to poop!
    I kind of want this one. It seems like a good one to read on a long plane ride, or in a public place:
    It seems like there’d be TONS of useful information in there…

    Now please excuse me while I go accomplish something amazing.

    • Oh, yes! That’s the one! See, I knew I should have taken a picture. My memory couldn’t even hold the right title!
      But OMG! Every traveler should have a copy of How to Shit Around the World! I know I could have used that in multiple Asian countries! I need to buy that.

  4. I also did not realize that those would be so big on here… tee-hee oops!

    • Big and spammy, apparently, since WP was all, “HEY! You need to approve this comment because it might be spam. Big spam.”
      And I said, “I already told you that up to 3 links are allowed in comments before you blast them”
      And it said, “Right. I know. That’s why I didn’t just junk this but gave it to you for approval.”
      I said, “You know that JI is the most frequent commentor, after myself, on this blog, right? Why would she suddenly turn into spam?”
      And now I realize it’s probably weird that I have conversations with WP.

  5. Pingback: I’m going to Xenophon, TN April 27th (in my head) because I’m number 823*. | Jeneral Insanity

  6. “She made me realize I do not have that kind of passion or pain and that I’m rather shallow and maybe even boring. ”
    Most of the time I feel that this is a triumph.

    • That is probably true, especially since so much of this stuff comes from really awful experiences (not my stuff – the other spoken word poems, the ones good slam poets perform) and you’re right: I’m not sure I’d want to trade in my good fortune and mostly-charmed life just to be a little more interesting.
      I could stand to be a tad less shallow, though.

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