Verse-fil & “Things”

Ever since the dawning, or near-dawning of Livejournal [y’all remember that one?] I’ve been following a Poem-A-Day blogger by the name of exceptindreams. While I don’t check-in every day, I catch myself going there for inspiration often. It’s always good to get a mix of words—words you might not find sifting through your typical venues. Get outside of your little world, you know?

What I love about this particular poetry blog is that most posted poems seem more modern than not, which, for a hep cat like myself, is sort of a breath of fresh air. It’s not that I don’t dig the classics, but it’s like music, you know? You want someone to show you something fresh, new. After you’ve had the same song on repeat for lifetimes, you want a new beat to dance to.

What prompted this post is my coming across a poem there. For my love of Mars and this simple, yet stunning, idea of looking from the outside in—I’m posting this nugget by Wyn Cooper. I’ve been fascinated with space for forever, but only within the last 5 years have I been so… consumed? Mars is one of my favorites. I fell in-love with Mars after happening upon a National Geographic photo: a tiny white sun setting in blue hues. How small the sun was! I promptly taped it to my wall, rising and falling near it for years.

But those aren’t the only reasons for this post. That poem stirred something in me for other reasons. About a week or more ago, I was having quite the conversation with a friend’s husband. We were all out to dinner waiting to stuff our yaps at Max & Erma’s when I asked:

“So, let’s say you didn’t have any kids or anyone dependent on you that way… would you travel the world’s first mission to Mars, knowing that you wouldn’t be coming back? You would be—hopefully—gleaning tons of insight about space and helping advance our knowledge and technology, but… it’s a suicide mission. You can’t come back when it’s all over.”

I got quite the look for this one.

“What, am I stupid?” he blasted from across the table. “What a stupid question! Why in the hell would I want to do that?!”

I tried to explain that it would probably be incredible, even just the experience: sites and sounds and feelings. Still, he had a pretty cross look on his face.

“Well, would you?” he asked, turning it around on me.

“Yes.” And then I mumbled something sarcastic about having a football field named after me or something.

This isn’t the only fight we’ve had over a dinnertime discussion. In fact, we spent days arguing, stopping then picking back up at our next encounter, about why “I don’t want to be rich.” Once more, I got the what-are-you-stupid? face.

“The only people you ever hear saying that they don’t want money are poor people!” he spat.

“Not true. There is more to life than money. Yeah, it would be nice to be more comfortable and less stressed come bill time, but I know myself well enough to know that kind of excess would depress me.”

“Then you buy drugs to make you happy! You can afford it!” was his answer.

I’ve got a whole diatribe in me. Trust me. And I want so badly to calm this indignant heat in me over his stereotypical “male” response, but just explaining it here has me all fiery again. Spare me the lecture about being an ignorant and sexist ass for blaming it on his “maleness,” because there are reasons that stereotypes are stereotypes, as my roommate would say.

Cliche as it is: there’s more to life than things. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy “things”; however, I know my limits. I know that my want of things—whether they are gadgets, careers or personal goals—keeps me determined and pushing. I need to have “want.”

That said, anyone who’d like to help pay for my mountain-sized debt from school, please find me on PayPal. I’ll repay in doodles and kisses.

Best,
mt

“Mars Poetica”
Wyn Cooper

Imagine you’re on Mars, looking at earth,
a swirl of colors in the distance.
Tell us what you miss most, or least.

Let your feelings rise to the surface.
Skim that surface with a tiny net.
Now you’re getting the hang of it.

Tell us your story slantwise,
streetwise, in the disguise
of an astronaut in his suit.

Tell us something we didn’t know
before: how words mean things
we didn’t know we knew.

2 comments

  1. Grace says:

    Hey Megan. It's Michelle from Jakiela's blogging class. I started reading your blog after you left tonight.

    I would go. I would go to Mars. I would go to the moon. I would go anywhere in space. I've been obsessed with space since I was little. I made my mom buy me books about the stars and planets when I was young. I spent hours laying in the grass looking up.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know that I would go too. I don't want to be rich either. I'd rather be poor and grateful for what I have.

  2. 1flychicken says:

    Michelle!

    So sweet of you to say. I'm glad I'm not the only one… space and the ocean are two things so big that we can only learn about them in pieces. I think having that knowledge would be the ultimate humbling of oneself. And to do it for the sake of others' knowledge, the world's… well, why not?

    Thanks for reading. Glad not all of us want to be zillionaires!
    <3
    mt

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