Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.


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When most children are palm wet with excitement at penning their own name and learning to corral their jerky little movements into BIG BLOCK LETTERS – I really hated it.

Hello, have a piece of me.

It seemed to say.

I hate personalizing things.  I break into a cold sweat at personal gifts.  I’m not an ancient egyptian reborn, I assure you, but for awhile I did not think I could handle the fingers and toes of my well intentioned friends.

I left most of my journals unsigned, more than a fair lot of my poems untitled, and arguably all of them hidden for the duration of the rash that came after creation.  I made and then itched and was absolutely not well enough to deal with the repercussions to my big ol’ mouth.  

I can tell you one thing, writing the poem about the bloodied all-seeing Jesus on the cross who is severely disappointed in you and YOU and YOU was something my sixth grade teacher caught the rash on.  Maybe it was about the gore.  Or even the tender care given to the way gore-flesh flutters in a healthy downward stream of blood like watercress.  Either way, it was bad news.

Unsigned, but stamped with the markings of the yeasty-pale girl in the back row that pulled and pulled her hair around her fingers.  Damn, so it’s not only signatures that brings them back towards you?

Either way, I thought it an appropriate homage to my Lord Christ, and instead found myself sitting across the middle school counselor. 

The poem was already out, the umbilical cord cut.  All she was holding was a placental jellyfish, my little thought had already bitten its way through and gone free.

To keep the hemming and hawwing of this dialogue to a suitable degree, I’ll wrap up the exchange.

“Do you have suicidal thoughts, Miss Watson?”

Midway into solving the fucking hard game where you put all the balls in the right indents and one little movement sets them all scattering around again … I replied.

“Not until just now.”

If her expression could be summarized after my declaration, as I am so big about doing.  She would have been the lady that snipped my support rope, oxygen tube and kicked me off the shuttle to flip-float through space a hollowed out little impish monkey.  

Freeze dried monkey or not, I shook her little reindeer vest world for just a minute.

My only condolence is that even though her kick was a damn good one, and I was spinning in space for quite some time – I still remember her green arm-pits.

Lady, did you really think I was that interested in seeing how you stretched?

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