I’m kind of done right now, folks.

Mostly, I’m angry and frustrated and sad. At individual people. At the world in general. At myself. I tend to hide it well, but the roiling writhes deep.

I’m not going to name names. I’m tired at everyone blaming everyone else. I’m tired of feeling like there’s no hope of changing minds, that every day there’s a fresh new horror to deal with. That my friends and their families and countless other people across the globe are experiencing crises and situations I could never understand, no matter how much I try.

I told my husband last night that I want to be out on the “front lines” in some way, but I feel like I can’t because our boys still need me alive and unarrested. “But maybe my lily-white ass just needs to stay out of it anyway,” I said, because really, mine isn’t the voice that should be among those leading the charge. Because there are people more qualified than me to tell it like it is. Because I’m in constant need of checking my privilege.

What was it Anansi the Trickster said in the Starz version of “American Gods”?

“Angry is good. Angry gets shit done.”

Except when it doesn’t because you’re so freaking overwhelmed you don’t know which shit needs to get done first.

I guess I’ll #MakeArt instead. That’s something I know I can do, even when I’m tired. Especially when I’m tired.

Here. Two poems I wrote while sitting on the beach this summer:

 

By the Sea Reading L. M. Montgomery, July 21, 2017, Folly Beach, SC

Jade steel raiment brushes azure hat above,

Cream sugar socks rolled to its ankles.

It bends its neck, touching its floury feet,

Pirouettes, its tragic shoulders enveloped in silk foam and salt tears.

Curses.

Howls.

Nips

At the soles of those who dare tread its powdery toes,

Crossing its threshold of rot-filled pain.

It roars at the feathery clouds, anxious

For its bride hiding behind starlight,

She who, clad in ebony velvet,

Waxes and wanes with her love.

She throws her fickleness upon her beau like the beacons ornamenting its feet,

Her white, pockmarked face.

Beau, sensing her near,

Offers up diamonds and curtains of frothy lace,

A veil to hide her visage when she’s particularly shy or moody.

Every evening, it reaches for her,

Leaving life

And death

In its treacherous wake to appease a greedy goddess.

And every evening,

She glares down her nose,

Except when she hides

Sullen-like

Behind the star’s shadow

Where she waits

For her beau’s vehement offerings,

Mute.

Their dance continues to the break of day.

 

Top,

 A Conversation with My Son

The world is like a spinning top, he told me,

Eyes hazel and sparkling with eleven years of dreams.

It must stay balanced.

He shows me with his tanned fingers

Erect as tiny soldiers on his open palm.

If it tilts

Just a little one

Way or the other,

His fingers wobble

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

It falls.

And we’re all doomed.

We all fall down.

 

Thanks for reading. Go out and make art today if you can. Get shit done.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a stay-at-home-mom and writer living in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. When she’s not caring for her family or obsessing over punctuation, she can be found helping out at her sons' school, catching up on her Goodreads list, playing (and sometimes winning, but mostly losing) board games with her friends, crying over her favorite PBS programs, or sewing yet another costume for the local gaming/pop culture convention, where she’ll probably lose at even more board games.

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