In the way that most of the wind
Happens where there are trees,
Most of the world is centered
Often where the wind has gathered
The trees together and together,
One tree will take
Another in her arms and hold.
Their branches that are grinding
Madly together and together,
It is no real fire.
They are breaking each other.
Often I think I should be like
The single tree, going nowhere,
Since my own arm could not and would not
Break the other. Yet by my broken bones
I tell new weather.
“Middle-class parents tell their children to reach out to the teacher and ask questions. Working-class parents see asking for help as disrespectful to teachers, so they teach their children to work out problems themselves.”
My kindergarten teacher was a mean old lady named Ms. Cross (sometimes life is a short story), and one day she called home to say I was causing serious behavioral problems in class. She wouldn’t say what it was, just that my parents needed to come in immediately. Apparently the issue was I had been raising my hand too often to answer questions. “It’s making the other children feel bad,” she said. “We need to work out a solution to stop him.”
To this day, my mother swears, it’s the closest she ever came to punching a woman.
My date is late, is I guess what I mean to say.
Mosquitos settle on water because it’s still. Their lives are constant stimulus, and when the pace of zooming about gets to be too much, the presence of a tranquil pond draws them deeply, like a bug to, you know.
The same thing happens on subways, and streets. You see it every time too much anxiety sets in. Each sudden glance you didn’t mean to send, the moments your eyes find a stranger’s you never in a million years would want to share. Consumed with quivering pulses, your brain bypasses your control to scope out a smoother surface.
I was awful proud, the day I learned that. Until it set in that I would never be comfortably still again.
it’s called AAVE, you FUCKTRUCK
I hate how people here think that “proper general English” is the only way to speak English and all the others are considered “idiocy” like if language has anything to do with intelligence. I’m not even from the U.S. and I know this better than most of you.
Below is a list of all English dialects in North America:
- New England English
- Inland Northern American English (includes western and central upstate New York)
- Mid-Atlantic dialects
- Inland Northern American English (Lower peninsula of Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana, Chicago, part of eastern Wisconsin and upstate New York)
- North–Central American English (primarily Minnesota, but also most of Wisconsin, the Upper peninsula of Michigan, and parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa)
- Midland American English
- Southern English
- Western English
- Hawaiian Pidgin
- Newfoundland English
- Maritime English
- West–Central Canadian English
Native/American indigenous peoples
The Hudson Valley English link blew my mind! My mom was born in Boston but grew up in Poughkeepsie and that article nails her accent.
I am so guilty of that mountain (moun-in) pronunciation, oh man.
I can’t find the accent for Middle Tennessee! East and West are in there!
Seriously, look into that Pittsburgh English entry sometime. It’s FASCINATING.
Also reblogging because I thought I was the only person who’d used the term FUCKTRUCK
There’s an AWESOME book (which I have just learned is a series of books?) by H.L. Mencken that covers the development of the American language as it compares to its British origins:
The main thrust (I mean there’s a lot of them) is that the thing that made the American language distinct from stuffy old B.E. is one, an intense reliance on idiom and metaphor, and two, an ever-increasing shortening of word sounds and sentence structure. In other words, the EXACT things that we associate with African American Vernacular. Hugely-mocked elements of it like the verb construction “I be” or using “he” as a single word to indicate possession are in fact direct descendants of these patterns and represent the next stage of development in our tongue.
The next time some asshole tries to point out how “funny” AAVE is, just remind them that the reason it sounds off to their dumb ears is because its practitioners are LITERALLY SPEAKING THE FUTURE.*
* - because white people steal everything, is a thing that goes without saying
I’m from the same town as Scotty Pippen. He still comes around some times, and he built a golf course here. Since there are are only 3,000 people it’s a bigger deal to us than most everybody else, but I think it’s pretty neat.
we become our parents to attract people who had parents just like them
things have been
going so well
because i have begun
exclusively playing wounds
This is almost surreal to watch… Lorne Michaels & the original cast of SNL on Tom Snyder in 1975 a couple of weeks before the show debuted.
that belushi “fuck you chevy” ten second finger scratch! that post-muppet gilda wiggle at 3:50! i don’t know if it’s just after-the-fact reasoning but it seems like you can already tell from the body language which ones are gonna be stars
“I sometimes think of this Marilyn Monroe quote. ‘If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.’ If the goal of a poet is to take the language, or the reader, or the self, to someplace they have never been before, to a place where the last two words of her quote—‘do anything’—can happen, humor can crowbar open the audience to ‘an anything’ they are resistant to imagine. If you can make people laugh, you have their attention. Those eyes and ears are beams of light. You hold mirrors. You can point them at anything. It can be at another joke. Or an unforgettable glimpse of hell. Or a gesture of universal love for all humanity. Or lyric.”
– Mark Leidner (via kdecember)
Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
I who don’t know the
the line. They
(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can’t find,
and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
a thousand times, till death”
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
– Denise Levertov
A woman who writes feels too much,
those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands
weren’t enough; as if mourners and gossips
and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars.
A writer is essentially a spy.
Dear love, I am that girl.
A man who writes knows too much,
such spells and fetiches!
As if erections and congresses and products
weren’t enough; as if machines and galleons
and wars were never enough.
With used furniture he makes a tree.
A writer is essentially a crook.
Dear love, you are that man.
Never loving ourselves,”
hating even our shoes and our hats,
we love each other, precious, precious.
Our hands are light blue and gentle.
Our eyes are full of terrible confessions.
But when we marry,
the children leave in disgust.
There is too much food and no one left over
to eat up all the weird abundance.
– "The Black Art" by Anne Sexton
THERE’S NO LAW REQUIRING CROWDS TO GATHER AROUND SHALLOW OUTRAGE WHILE THE WORLD’S RESOURCES ARE SQUANDERED BY THE WEALTHY AND IRRESPONSIBLE
IT’S A CHOICE WE’RE MAKING
On Sunday I decided to take myself to the movies. It was a last minute decision and since it was a movie that would be inevitably disappointing I went alone.
I got on the subway. It was a semi crowded car and when I saw an empty seat I decided I would be better off taking it…
You might have saved yourself a lot of grief if you would have tried saying “excuse me” before you sat down.
Maybe I would have been saved the grief of that particular conversation but I am so tired of having to justify my existence. Too often I (and others I know) preemptively apologize or ask permission for the most basic considerations. It’s a habit I’m actively trying to kick.
I thought about saying “Excuse me,” before I deliberately decided that sitting down was not something for which I needed an excuse.
Just because you’re a nice white lady doesn’t mean you are except from common courtesy. We all have to live here together, it’s not just you versus the world. If you’re looking to see who has wronged you, waiting for people to disappoint you — living in one of the world’s most densely populated cities, you will find it.
I just wonder if you wouldn’t be going around arguing with strangers and crying on the train if you choose to act in a more courteous and assertive manner rather than in a passive-AGGRESSIVE one.
I’m not trying to steal your shine, you want to yell at strangers in cars? You want to feel victimized in New York City and in life? I can’t stop you but as a woman who has lived in the city for almost 10 years I’m just sharing that it’s not your only choice.
Thanks for your opinion, stranger. I chose to share two isolated incidents that exist among many others that happen all the time. I truly don’t believe that silently taking a tiny seat between two strangers’ spread out legs is passive aggressive. Actually, I find saying “Excuse me,” when you really mean “Move,” to be much more passive aggressive. In both instances I wouldn’t have said a word had I not been confronted with such dominance. I was born in New York City and have lived here full time for the past six years. I’m not new to negotiating space or being courteous to others in tight spaces but courtesy doesn’t mean submission.
Nobody wants to be a victim. I certainly don’t. Nor do I want to “yell at people in cars” but it feels so much worse to just let my body be made public property and not speak back. It feels terrible to have to ask a stranger’s permission to sit down when he thinks he’s entitled to multiple seats. If I don’t speak up I feel shitty. If I do speak up, folks like you make me feel shitty.
super way to go to bat for UNPROVOKED DUDES WHO YELL AT STRANGERS person
if anything (and em i hope you recognize this is in no way blaming you), it was her “courteousness” in taking multiple motions to sit down that invited this asshole’s attention. awful people are built to prey on what they perceive as weakness. it’s hard to do (and certainly way way way harder if you don’t have the benefit of being a “nice white man”) but if you just sit down stridently and confidently in such a way that indicates you will invite no consideration of who this unoccupied space belongs to, they won’t say shit on account of they’re weak babies inside. maybe it’s not the sort of thing to be proud of, but i have generally noticed when i’m getting a strong “DON’T FUCKING SIT HERE” vibe on a crowded train and i go and calmly maintain only my own position (closed legs forever) there’s always a moment before a minute passes when i can feel their auras quiver.
kudos on you for trying to assert yourself against the forces of entitlement. i wish the world didn’t make it so difficult all the time.