Thursday, November 01, 2007

Teaching at the elementary school, I reached into my handbag to find a lipstick. I was make-up free and wanted to at least make a stab at looking more like a grown-up, despite having rolled out of bed at 7:30 and driven like hell on the freeway, eating an "energy bar" (odious and deceptive term) and cursing all the other drivers, in order to get their on time.

I reached in and felt something smooth and tubular and lipstick-shaped. Pulled it out and it was a little vial containing C's mother's ashes, which I had "packed" when emptying his desk at the old place, but not wanted to throw into a box as I felt it would be disrespectful. So, in honor of Day of the Dead, it was "Bring Your Boyfriend's Deceased Parents To Work Day." (His father was in his own separate vial, also in my capacious handbag, which my friend Ellen refers to as my "goat," because she says it's like I'm still in the shtetl lugging around pounds of potatoes, with a goat under my arm. And because it weighs about that much.)

I taught the "Paint Me" lesson plan, which always gets great poems from the kids. It was fun but exhausting.

Last night I dreamed I was writing a musical about the bathhouse era of gay male culture that was interrupted when the AIDS epidemic began. In my dream, I had naked men running all over the stage, singing, while water showered down from the lights! I am feeling the urge to go back to my plays...had a very inspiring meeting with Suzanne Cohen, whose theatre company Mirror Stage Company in Seattle did a reading of my play Saying Kaddish back in 05. Suzanne is a great script doctor/dramaturg, and we talked about the two latest playscripts I had sent her--not ready for prime time, but not without merit either.

I got some good ideas for revision, and of course I have to write one extra little scene for Kaddish too, before the January production. Mostly, I've been working on poems for a while, steadily, feverishly, poeming away, stockpiling new poems for a third book even though the second book is not yet sold (although I found out today that the first book has sold out its second printing.)

Okay, naptime.


Christy said...

If it makes you happy to hear this, I bought your first book maybe a year ago, and the local book store had some trouble finding it, had to get it from some other little book store clear on the other end of the state (Indiana)!

Alison said...

Thanks for telling me!


Anonymous said...

Do you sub? Just curious, as I've tried it. The worst part is getting that 5:30 phone call when it's still dark outside and then rushing to get there on time. Teagrapple

Alison said...

No, I work as a poet-in-the-schools.


Pam Roberts said...

I am wondering what the Paint Me lesson plan is? I lead writing workshops for people touched by cancer and loss and am always looking for new "prompts."
And I love your poetry! Even though it has nothing to do with cancer, I sometimes read your poem "Smashing the Plates" to inspire people to write a rant. We cancer folk often have stuff to be angry about!