Monday, September 10, 2018


I am exhausted.  I feel as if I have run the Boston Marathon, swam the English Channel and binged all 635 episodes of Gunsmoke all at one time.  I am pooped!  Why, Gladys are you so tired, you ask?  Okay, maybe you really don’t care, or maybe you are just kind of curious, but I am going to tell you why, whether you are or not.  I just spent the last four days sitting.  I spent the last four days sitting listening to poetry, prose and drama.  Why?  Why did I do this?  Because, my dears, just like Mt. Everest, it was there.

Once a year in my little town they have a festival of sorts for the arts.  Where poets and novelist, artist and dramatist, producers and directors all meet and share their works.  It is a meeting of the cerebral realm and honestly my cerebellum has been on pause for quite a while.
It was very enjoyable; listening as a group as others read their works, share their art and show their films.  Except there were people.  You see as a rule, I don’t people. 

I used to think I was an extrovert, then I realized that I probably wasn’t.  You see an extrovert thrives on people.  They draw their energy from being in crowds, feeding like Lestat only instead of blood they suck the energy from your soul.  An introvert on the other hand does not draw energy from the crowd, but, instead is drained from having to be around others. They become the suck-ee.  
 I did my MyersBriggs.  I am INFJ or XYZW or something.  Basically, it told me I am an Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging.  Yep, that pretty much describes me.  I have always felt too much.  So many feelings.  I know that your personality type changes over time.  Like I said before, I used to think I was an extrovert, but I wasn’t.  I digress.  Back to the festival of the artist.

We sat and listened as poets poured out their hearts and their feelings.  They rhymed and rhythmed all day.  Some were good, some bad, some just so-so.  We listened to the staccato of the rain beating a rhythm on the roof and the sing-song soliloquy of the poems.  It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of days.  

 I tell you all of this to say that I am in awe of these talented sonneteers.  I do not have the knack or the talent for poetry.  I don’t know if a Haiku is something you order at Benihana or a type of poem.  If you ask me what a pastoral is I would guess it’s something a preacher is responsible for.  A sonnet is a sun hat?  See I just don’t know.  I mean what makes it a poem and not just a story?  Does it have to rhyme? 

As I sat and listened to an older gent go on about what a Cowboy Don’t Do, I noticed the octogenarian woman’s t-shirt in front of me.  It said something on the back but she had another shirt on over it.  I looked at my cousin, nudged her and pointed.  She squinted and shrugged.  I leaned over and whispered “does that say Fuck It Up”?  

She squinted again and returned “No I think it says Suck it Up.” 

“Surely not, but, maybe that’s why she covered it up” I retorted.

“Well maybe she doesn’t know it says it” my cousin replied. 

Poets rose and fell.  Sonnets were read and ballads sung, yet I heard none of these.  I was obsessed with what the octogenarian’s shirt said. I squinted and squirmed.  I fidgeted and fussed like a two-year old in church giggling at the thought of an old woman’s shirt.  The day began to fade and the lights sparkled in the rain as the crowd dispersed.  I ran to catch up with the old woman’s shirt. 

“Excuse me, Excuse me!” I cried.

The woman stopped and bent her head toward me “yes dear” she croaked.

“Um, I know this is odd but, did you know there is something written on the back of your undershirt?” I stammered.

She handed me her umbrella and began unbuttoning her top shirt.

“NO! No, you don’t need to undress” trying to stop her “I just want to know what is on the back of your undershirt.”

She continued unbuttoning her shirt until a logo appeared on her left breast. “See this” she said.  “This here is my Alma Mater.”

I nodded a soggy yes as the rain began to pour “Ok.  But what does it say on the back of your shirt?”
“I’m getting there.  Don’t get your knickers in a knot.  I was in my Alma Mater’s drill team.  You know them girls that dance on the football field and at the basketball games.  We did little dances in short skirts and boots with tassels on em.”  She kept pointing at the emblem on her chest.

“OK, but the back…” I was cut short.

“I told you to keep your bloomers tight.  I’m getting there.”  She turned around and pulled her overshirt up to expose the writing on the back.”

There in big bold cursive letters was KICK IT UP!

I was a little disappointed but mystery solved.  It would have been a much better story had it said what I thought it said. I helped her redress handed her back her umbrella and thanked her profusely.  She smiled at me and said “Now you gotta go write a poem about it.”

I tried to explain that a poet I am not.  I don’t have a clue.  She just smiled and said “Well, figure it out and then go and Kick It Up.”

So here is my attempt at poetry.
 A Haiku by Gladys
 The Woman
I met a woman
Who said I should kick it up
Only I fucked it up.

1 comment:

mamaduck27 said...

Oh my gosh, that’s funny!!