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28 · Feb · 2003

I have a friend in Georgia that likes to send me update lists of what’s going on in his life. Things like
1. The cat died last week of natural causes.
2. I bought a new cd player for my car.
3. The band will be touring until the end of August.

I like reading the lists because it’s an entertaining, to the point, glimpse into his life. But if I did a list like that I’m afraid it might make me appear more schizophrenic than entertaining. A lot of my poems are like that, though. They’re parts of conversations in my head and, possibly, only I know what they mean. This is a problem a lot of writers have. They know what they mean by "I was an old man, barely 20", but does anyone else?

To make matters worse, a lot of writers are shy. All over Nashville, musicians get together to “jam”, but how often do you catch a bunch of writers sitting in a café, reading excerpts of their personal stories? “And that is what the red apple said. The End”. How‚d you like that one, guys? Should I keep it in or delete it?”

Many writers, by nature, are private, thinking people. We usually have strong opinions, intense relationships, calculated plans, and a fondness for a drink, which allows us to actually voice what we normally are smart enough to save for our journal. The very things that make a writers work interesting, are often the things that other people pretend they never think about or don’t have the guts to confess.

I’m sure you like to read JK Rowling and pretend you are a ten-year-old wizard whose broom riding skills are unmatched, but will you admit this to your uncle at the Thanksgiving table? I think not. But the truth is some blonde woman from Scotland made up Harry Potter in her head. She actually sat and thought about this and then wrote it down.

I only know three other writers in Nashville. One of them has guarded his work like a Rottweiler, one tapes all his rejection letters from publishers to his wall and the other has a 2nd book of poetry coming out this fall that no one I know, aside from myself will be reading. For these three men and the other writers who sweetly read milk memos, I am providing the following piece that I am quite sure will be misunderstood completely. But let it be a challenge for you to come out of your shell and share a little too. The first step is admitting to yourself you are a writer. Then, if you’re really brave, you’ll call a few friends to get together and “jam”. You know where to find me.


you need a basket to carry those balls
cause the priest you lied to is standing in the hall
and your wife is on the line with a lawyer

you‚re gonna need a casket when you fall
never mind now, let‚s go to the mall
and play Huck to their Tom Sawyer

if it makes you feel better, say you don't remember
but i'll always be the girl who lived through that december
the plan looked good, but now became later
i always loved you, but ignoring it was safer

stun gun
i think you have a stun gun in your genes
with your doe eyed look that brings me to my knees
but nothing new is ever twice, right

this is my mayday call goin' out to the band
the pilot jumped and the plane won't land
yes, of course i picked this flight

oh if it makes you feel better, say you don't remember
but i'll always be the girl who lived through that december
the plan looked good, thanks to the neighbors
i always loved you, but ignoring it was safer

Penny René

Posted by Penny Rene at 03:27 PM | TrackBack