Gina Myers – Notes on the Color Blue

Gina Myers

Notes on the Color Blue
(After Michael Burkhard)

On NPR they were discussing the advantages and disadvantages of US
military invasion and occupation of Iraq, but now its jazz—Hank Mobley.
Earlier today there was a rally on campus—the faculty association
passed out fliers and buttons, held signs and demanded contracts.  After a speech
and a walk past the President’s office, they collected the signs,
picked up their books and returned to the classrooms to teach
their classes.  And before that was a discussion of Camus and Sisyphus—
the rolling of the rock up the mountain, and its rolling back down.

Three Reasons Not to Get Out of Bed Today:
      1.     At ten in the morning Ben mops the floor at the convenience store down the
              street.  He has done this everyday for the past year, (except Sundays when the
              family owned store decides to stay closed).  Once he was late when he woke up
              and found out his bike was stolen.  Since then he has learned to wake up earlier to
              make up for the time it takes to walk.
      2.     “God is dead.”—Nietzsche
      3.     Overdue videos and overdue library books.  Learning not to care anymore.  Not
              really learning, just not caring.  Does it really matter who the “you” is anyway?

A night.  Not any
night.  A night like this.  Okay then—
this night.  A busy signal.
“A favor.”  Who needs who now?
Queen to bishop.  A formula.
A set outcome.  The probability.
The square root of 16.  Why
is this phone busy?  This hour of night.
This late hour.  This late night.
It is never enough—never enough.
Is this over dramatic?
This is my life—laid off, rent,
the pawnshop, the used bookstore.

Shards of light through
broken window.
He said a plane ticket to

A mouth with no teeth—a black hole in the face.

A conscience.  A consciousness.
Aware of one’s self.  Aware of its being.
Its successes, its failures.  Futility.

A man walks into a bar,
he says ouch.

Wrapped in tin foil.  Week old
leftovers forgotten in back of fridge.
Rotten fruit.  “One bad apple”
& whatnot.  Just need a cup of coffee
to get out of bed.  Just one
cigarette.  Really, is feeling
better already.

She found someone to take care of her—
a job, shelter.  After a month
they’re married.  They live
in California now.

You and I are still here.
A new house.  Boxes still left
to unpack.  In another year you’ll be
leaving, and I’ll be leaving, but we won’t
be leaving together.  There’s
no need to get comfortable.

Memphis, December 29, 1999.  Beale Street.  Wrapped in a coat, hands tucked in pockets,
breath escaping in clouds before me.  A man on the street offers to sell me a flower.
Further down, a man named Rudy plays the trumpet and sings of his troubles—you can’t
ever trust a woman, who stays out all night
—his hat on the ground in front of him.  In
front of the rib shack a small fight breaks out and I remember something about my
brother and the pool hall.

Up the mountain, and back down the mountain.

The absurd hero.
The hero.
A tragedy.
A tragic hero.
A scraping out of the eyes.
The penalty.
A knife to the throat.
The vultures eating the liver.
The night shift.
The assembly line.
Twenty years on the line.
A scraping out of the eyes.
The hero.

24 hour convenience just around
the corner.  Jug jug to dirty ears.

Paxil.  Zoloft.  Prozac.
It doesn’t hurt anymore.
St. John’s Wart.
A pint after work.
Just a few drinks.
It doesn’t hurt anymore.
The sore muscles, the aching,
the pushing the rock up the mountain.

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