I’m going to be co-judging GUST’s slam poetry competition tomorrow (on the 15th). I will also launch the show with a new poem, which did not want to be written until a few days ago.
On the last day of my vacation in spectacular Barcelona, and while I was packing in particular, I suddenly received the blessed Muse. I kicked out my roommate (“Go! Shop! Or something. Just don’t return or call until I let you know it’s safe”). I tore open a new journal (I had used up all the pages of the one I purchased for the trip), and began scribbling.
I called my friend when I was done. Took a shower. And when she walked in with bags upon bags, I told her to sit her ass down (I was in my robe, hair still dripping wet) and listen to the poem. She laughed, because she’d known how desperate and how miserable I’d felt, trying and failing to write the poem since the end of February.
She approved the first draft. We packed, went to the airport. Got on the plane. Flew the seven hours to Dubai, and then the pilot announced that we had to wait in the air above Dubai for three hours because Dubai’s airport had suffered weather calamities — the catch is that we had enough fuel for only 2 hours.
I took in a deep breath and started watching Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Still mindbogglingly awesome. The second catch is the chance of missing our connecting flight. My friend started to panic. But how can you panic when lovely-haired Esmeralda is tied to the pyre?
“What will be, will be.”
I didn’t get a chance to watch Tangled after. We landed. Everyone was anxious. Everyone was running. The more gates we passed, the more corners we turned, the more distance continued to separate us from our destination. My friend’s panic grew ten-fold when we passed the deadline. On the moving escalator, I turned and said, “Stop. Just stop. If we miss the flight then we miss the flight. If we don’t, then we don’t. Let’s react when something happens, not before.” She took in a deep breath. Nodded. We continued our trot. Ten minutes later, we reached the gate. They let us in. No questions asked. In fact, while on the plane, we stayed on the ground for hours. I watched an entire movie before take off: The Big Short. I don’t know how to feel about it.
Over the next few days, I began snipping and rewriting the poem.
I started the day with a 5 minute version. Just managed to slice it into 3.
The real trick now is memorizing it for tomorrow.