all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Please include a link (www.papayamaya.blogspot.com) when reproducing any of the material in this blog. Thank you!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, February 17, 2005

loud and clear

though it was not close to home
i decided to go to the open mic
in the middle of suburbia
no, further, san jose, a whole hour, and
a saturday night when i could have been
throwing back cosmos or sitting stoic
at the symphony
or flirting or better than flirting
i left the city for this
because of the plan
the big plan of
once a week
because once a week, I had said, you are going
no matter where, no matter if
the gas is getting expensive again,
you are going, forget the distance,
you are going to show up and
you are going to do this

you are a writer, I said,
and aside from the books you want to sell
aside from the fantasy of fame or fortune
aside from the dream-making and whirlpools of hope
there are things you can do
today
there are things you must do today
like show up
like show up and say something
you can do this
you must do this
reveal yourself, I said on the drive there,
the words you have been so carefully plotting
at home, twirling the syllables on your tongue,
forget about the shadows you normally
hide behind, the screen of your new Apple computer
which you love for its cheerful fluorescence and
better yet,
for its cheerful anonymity,
get out from behind that,
from anonymity,
get out and show up and whatever you do
be afraid of it.

see what it is to be afraid,
to let fear tingle your fingertips,
to let fear dizzy the pages as you hold them
to let fear rattle from the back of your throat
the veins of your insides
feel this galactic uncertainty of
am i good enough or
am i good
see what it is to be afraid but not
more than you can handle, not
enough to keep you silent
let everyone see this
let you see this
loud and clear
because
this is what it means to have a voice
and
this is what it means to use it
so

take 101, not 280
which is the slower, sweeter ride.
101 is that much faster
and they're going to start without you
if you're late.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

I love your writing. This post gives me encouragement and hope to face my own fears, even though they are different than yours. Thank you for sharing your strength. Michelle

Geoffrey Mangers said...

You didn’t look scared.  
You looked fine.  
>"You were very entertaining"I'm glad you enjoyed it.

You want fear? .. "to see what it is to be afraid, .. to let fear tingle .. dizzy .. rattle .."  
Why don't you try some voluntary stuttering the next time? .. "..feel this strangling galactic terror at your throat.."I'll give you 'metaphor'..

OK, so I didn’t stutter.  It still didn’t come out the way I wanted it.  I was still nervous and Hyperventilating.  It was the second speech I ever gave in my life.
>"the words you have been so carefully plotting.. syllabically twirling.."You think I remember what you said?  I was too preoccupied with my own problems!
>"You were very entertaining"So were you!  Even if I don't remember what you said.   Why don't you post it so I'll know.

Geoffreyp.s: aren't you glad I came to your speech?

Norene said...

You are a brave Papaya, revealing yourself always, revealing, revealing...