The smell of pot strikes me in passingLast Sunday night I showed up for the writers' workshop session at Gemeinschaft Home and ended up being the only guy there. Gemeinschaft is a halfway house in our neighborhood and I've been facilitating sessions creative writing sessions for the past month with just a handful of guys going through the program. It's a program that provides 90-day transitional housing and support for guys (just guys) coming out of area correctional facilities. It's a challenging environment to do a workshop like this because these guys are just coming out and trying quickly to get back on with their lives. 90 days is not a long time when you're facing the kinds of challenges these guys have. They have a million things to worry about, so something like this can seem pretty trivial, but a few guys have hung with me.
Simultaneously out of place
But whispering, familiar, and lost.
Words spit into a cellphone:
"Our bikes have been stolen."
Not a good sign.
Settling in, now the chalkboard imperative:
"Leave this room as you found it."
Fine with me. Empty I entered.
Empty I will depart.
Through the slats in the blinds, and glass,
More percussive words punch through
A story between me and the setting sun
Behind the slouching mountains across the valley.
In this fluorescent buzzing silence...like what?
Like it's just what I need today.
Myths and fairy tales; Truths for all times.
Except tonight. Tonight they wait.
Tonight we pause, and in the silence...
Except for last week. But it worked out all right, as it was a time to sit in a nice quiet room in an empty building, where I cranked out the poem above (which underwent some editing before finding its way here). It's essentially a snapshot of the evening, starting with what really to my nose smelled like pot as I walked by the front porch. This, of course, would be a huge no-no but I didn't stop to investigate. Also, I'm not ruling out the possibility that my nose was fooling me. But it set the stage for a strange mood and a strange quiet evening...perfect conditions for writing.
I'm headed back over there tonight in about a half-hour. We'll see what happens this week...