Sunday, August 27, 2006



Last night I went over to my brother's house to watch the fights. While our truck was parked in front of his house a drunk driver plowed into it, driving it up onto the sidewalk and folding the rear axle.

So, yesterday we had a truck, today we don't.


I guess I always need these reminders. You think you have something. A truck, or your health, or a friend, or a job or a house or a marriage. A grip on things.

You don't, though.

At best, you get to sort of check them out for a while. It's a lending library.

You gotta give it back.


Some shit's overdue, even.


Then one day you go and they take your card.

It's no good anymore.


You don't get to check anything else out.


Pema Chodron calls it "groundlessness." We are comfortable, then something happens, we're not feeling so good anymore.

What happened? I thought this was going to last...

We don't like it. We don't like to feel things shift under us. We want it solid. We want the world to be a place we can count on. But it isn't. The nature of the world is that very groundlessness we seek to hide from. Go drink on the deck in the dark and watch the glowing tip of your cigar as the stars wheel, thinking you are a special case. You are and you aren't.

You are and you aren't.


So, anyway. Today I'm trying my hand at remaining in the uncertainty. Not fighting it, not hiding, not trying to change it.

Just be there in it.


Take a look around.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

what i hate is picking up a new book of poems or some interesting work of fiction but when i hand the lady my card she says i owe 90 cents for the books i turned in a couple months ago by slipping them in the return can outside rather than over her zealously guarded desk. and i have to put the books back, naturally, because like the other wealthy people i know, i never carry cash on my person. sorry about your truck. but maybe you'll get enough out of the insurance to take your wife out to dinner somewhere nice.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Odom:

I am greatly impressed with your work that appears at Mannequin Envy.

My name is Joshua Michael Stewart. I am a poet and editor of an online journal called the Big Toe Review. I like your work so much that I'd like for you to send something to me for the cover of the next issue (actually if you could send a few that I can choose from). I cannot pay you of course I don't even pay myself, but I could give links to your other work and guarantee that your work will always have a home at BTR.

I also like to ask you if you would be willing to do the cover of my book. My first collection is called "Everybody Wants to be Cary Grant" and your piece "learning to Forgive" would be perfect. The only problem right now is that the book is being looked at by other publishers and they tend to keep things "in house" so as much as I'd like to, if the book gets picked up I may not be able to use you. However if the group who is looking at it now don't go for it I'll self publish, which is something I thought I'd never do but from speaking with people who have major deal (like Norton and Penguin) it may be the best to go.

If you like to see some of my work you can check the last issue of mannequin envy, (spring '06 issue) and I have some sample poems for my chap book at the Big Toe Review

Hope to hear from you.


Joshua Michael Stewart

6:30 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

oh you're back, that's wonderful

10:03 PM  

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