Intersection

I am

a moment of sweet pity
in a parking lot
on a Saturday night;

a half day of
homework
with a friend
who’s learning
what I used to love;

a place to stay
the night before a race
I am not attending;

a stranger’s home
for a month,
but only to sleep
after long days
he’s spent working
in town,

and then

on the way out,

nice to meet you,
thank you,
goodbye,

and good luck
with your endeavor
to be a destination again.

I am
a neighbor
called to discuss
where to put a fence
I don’t want,
so I am safe
from intersecting
with her angry dogs.

And

I am
a meal on
a weeknight
where I am asked
why he should explain,

when it was me
who caused the collision
by mistaking myself
for a destination
in his life.

How did I miss that

I am
no one’s destination
like I used to be
when I was young
and loved.

I became
no one’s destination
when I couldn’t take
the pain anymore
of being
the favored destination
for somebody else’s
damage.

I didn’t realize
my refusal
would change
my entire
construction.

How did I miss this
when everyone else
clearly sees

I am
an intersection
in the lot…
with their fence…
at that restaurant…

…even in my own empty home.

I am
an intersection,
for them,
for him,
for you.

And nothing good
comes from stopping
for long
in the middle of
one of those.

~ cj 2014.04.13

I went to a book reading this week. After the reading, I asked the poet who’d read, how long she worked on her poems. Two, three months, she said. (It showed. They were rich, textured, beautiful!)

Not 10 minutes, not an hour, or at most, half a day like mine.

She says she is not shy about getting them out there, and then revising them later.

When I was writing this, many other ideas for writing about intersections and destinations were colliding in my brain before I’d even published it. When that starts happening, normally I just save the piece in draft and don’t publish it, thinking I’ll come back to it later.

But intersecting with her this week has inspired me to go ahead and publish this. I’ll save the other ideas for another piece or I’ll edit this one later.

Thanx for caring enough to read what I write. 🙂 I’m glad my world has intersected with yours.

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9 Responses to Intersection

  1. Billie Korstad says:

    This made me cry!

    You can stop and intersect here anytime and all you will get is love and happy hugs!

    Beautiful poured out heart – you!

    • cjromb says:

      <3 Thank you Billie. <3

      • Billie Korstad says:

        The first half amazed me by the beauty of the many adventures and things that make you who you are – I felt a bit envious in ways……but it also got me into gratitude and into taking a deeper look into myself.
        Then progressing thru you were able to be raw in the things you shared that evoked in me such compassion—-since I have the gift of mercy, I crumble easily at times – but am learning all gifts can swing north & south – finding a balance in nurture & care at appropriate times needs to dangle also with silence and embracing pain and seeing how much we grow more beautiful thru absolutely everything we experience. Seeing & feeling your joy and pain is so precious. Love all your expressions! Identify too! I love your love for life!!! Please keep writing—-I liked this one soooo much!

  2. Morine says:

    I think about intersections a lot — I call them crossroads, though, and maybe that’s a different thing altogether.

    There are so many intersections in our lives — strangers, struggles, friends and lovers, confrontations, pain, and on and on. I believe there are intersections that are not of our choosing, just as we also find ourselves in intersections we purposely seek out. If nothing good comes from stopping in those intersections, it’s time to look elsewhere for peace, contentment, love, respect, companionship, whatever it is that you seek.

    Maybe my term “crossroads” is more accurate? Dunno. But, I think being at a crossroads implies that you have a choice in the direction you take, left, right, straight ahead, maybe a U-turn. Being in an intersection implies that people and things are coming at you from all directions while you’re at a standstill. Or maybe I just need sleep…..I do love the poem, though it makes me sad. You are a giver and have a loving and generous soul (as I believe I do, also) and it might help to reflect on how much your actions in these intersections helped the people who were there. Sometimes, we feel taken advantage of or used or unappreciated after the many kindnesses and pieces of our hearts we share, because of insufficient closure or unintentional/intentional pain caused by others or simply blind ingratitude. I have learned to exercise patience in seeking out personal contentment. I leave it mostly to the universe to help steer me toward it. Who knows? Maybe I’m supposed to be alone…I hope not. But I’m at a major crossroads, for sure. I hope you can get the hell out of your intersection soon and safely on your way in a more suitable direction. <3

    Thank you for always generously sharing your writing. It is a privilege to read them.
    (btw, please don't take 2-3 months to post your work!)

    • cjromb says:

      Morine, I’ll write more to the rest of what you said later; I am thinking about it.

      But to your comment about taking 2-3 months to post my work, I’m not sure I could stand the underlying impetus for whatever I write, swirling around in my head for that long. haha.

      To be fair, her writing is definitely beautiful and absolutely compelling, but it’s very different from mine. I don’t know for sure, but it seems to serve a different purpose for her than mine does for me.

      You’d asked me recently how long it took me to write these pieces, and I hadn’t answered. So I’ll answer now…Most of the time, I have the majority of the content written in 5-10 minutes.

      I don’t usually think them through ahead of time. In fact, I don’t even usually know what I have “in mind”.

      Here are a few examples of what happens…

      Sometimes I just get a little niggling that I want to write, but no clue about what. I’ve gotten in the habit of giving into myself, opening my blog, and letting whatever’s on my mind show up.

      I pretty much never know how a piece is going to end.

      I definitely don’t start off with some point in mind. I think me writing is me trying to figure out what my point is.

      Sometimes I think I have a basic concept in mind, something I think I want to say, but then when I start writing, turns out something completely different wants out.

      Sometimes I get some little phrase, or some little impression of something in my mind, and it won’t freaking go away. So fine. I open my blog up and write it down. Sometimes it finishes itself immediately. Sometimes it just sits in draft because it either bores me, or it gets so complex I have to step away from it. I probably have parts of well over a thousand pieces by now, sitting in draft on my blog, sitting in Notes on my phone, or sitting in Evernote…unfinished.

      Sometimes I start to post a photo in Instagram…and when I go to write the caption, I realize ohhhh, there’s more to it for me than that.

      Sometimes I’m texting one of my friends and the next thing you know, I’ve written the majority of a piece right there to them.

      So I guess I’m saying it varies. Rarely do I sit there for very long chewing on it, which may or may not show in the “quality” of whatever I’m publishing.

      One time I remember getting stuck on something. I got frustrated with it. It ate hours and it wasn’t pleasurable. I learned then that if I walk away, it either sorts itself out, or it isn’t ready to be sorted out.

      I’ve also learned that publishing has an interesting impact. If you see it right away when it’s published, and then you go back a few hours later, you’ll almost always see that it’s been changed. Having it “out there” makes me show up and figure out whatever wasn’t quite done in my head.

      After a very short time (usually a few hours, at the most a day), I don’t edit them anymore. Whatever was on my mind is usually processed or expressed, and I’ve started something else.

      Perhaps this is more than you wanted to know, but there you have it.

      And I really loved what you had to say in reply to this piece. I’m still thinking about it.

      • Rick says:

        CJ and friends,
        In no way do I mean this comment to be disparaging.
        I have another friend that referred to writing a note/journal/blog entry as “puking out your thoughts”. At first that thought made me think “ewwwww”. On reflection though, it made a lot of sense. After reading the posts above, I think I have a better understanding. I really should start putting those little “whispers” of thoughts down somewhere, perhaps calling it “collecting my thoughts”, so that someday I can examine them for some value.
        As always, you are an inspiration.

  3. Steven says:

    Intersections….. Stop,look & listen. Proceed with caution. Your way more than an intersection. Your awesome. If ya don’t believe am ask Billie & Morine. 🙂

  4. Morine says:

    I must say that I love all of the impetus and impulses you’ve listed that inspire you to write. My BFF of 25 years, Julia, who passed away 9 years ago from breast cancer, wrote much the same way. I knew her when we still used typewriters (haha), and she’d put a clean sheet of paper in the carriage of her Selectric II and start typing. Sometimes observing over her shoulder, I’d watch a beautiful poem appear on the page — BOOM! It astonished me! How did you do that?! We worked together, and many times she’d stop her secretarial work and pound out a poem, because she had to do it RIGHT THEN. I can’t speak to her inspirations or how she processed a concept, or even if she started with a concept, but the commonalities in your writing methods are uncanny. Fortunately for me, I got copies of nearly everything she wrote, be it a poem, short story or limerick — some with illustrations. I’ve shared much of them with her eldest daughter via email, and want to put some kind of collection together for all 3 of her daughters. It’s a huge project for me, and I ought to get moving on it! Then again, I also ought to change the sheets on my bed, but I just move to the other side.. haha….crikey, I no longer have time management skills. waaah!

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