Thursday, May 7, 2009

Picasso's portraits

These are portraits of a few of the Miami students who visited the Drop Inn to serve meals as part of ENG 226, Intro to Creative Writing. "Picasso," the Drop Inn's resident artist, drew them -- thanks Picasso! you're fantastic!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Food I Remembers

I remember serving food and serving our minds.

I remember shucking corn on the deck with no shoes on while the sun was setting and talking about how my sister's boyfriend set a table on fire at the ku ke lau.

I remember waking up every Sunday and smelling the aroma of fresh cut celery and carrots before they were tossed into the bubbling pot of chicken broth.

I remember the scent of overcooked mystery stew as it wafts with the almost-forgotten hint of Jack Daniel and Weed.

I remember the smell of spaghetti wafting through the room, enticing the entire Drop Inn community.

I remember the ravioli mom used to make. The big ravioli drenched in bold red marinara, sprinkled with parmesan like snow.

I remember when we ran out of ravioli. When the ravioli turned into beans, mush, mud. But they ate it anyway, only some complained.

I remember boiling a pot of hot water, making a mug of Tazo Clam Tea, sitting back in one of the two big leather recliners in my living room, and turning on a movie.

I remember the anticipation building as the smell of taco spices crept up the steps and infiltrated my room while I sat at my desk.

I remember chewing Trident spearmint-flavored gum after my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, all packed in a brown paper sack.

I remember dinner requests, although, variety and choice was lacking.

I remember the thick, stewy soup that was served to the Drop-Inn residents.  A lot of residents thought it looked unappetizing.  I didn't think it looked that bad.

Traumatic Memories (Edited)

I remember when my sister came in my room crying, she came to wake me up to tell me that my uncle had a heart attack and passed away.

I remember waking up to Christmas morning and my father not being there—the family trying to tell us he will be there next Christmas.

I remember going to the emergency room because I had such a severe upper respiratory infection that I couldn’t breathe.

I remember the relief I felt when I pulled into my parents driveway after 15 hours of travel. I remember the emptiness that enveloped me when I realized my father was no longer there.

I remember the smell of the soil as we covered the top of the shoebox and laid it to rest forever in the earth. The neighbor boy sarcastically laid down dandelions as I tried to piece together, in my mind, why it had not made it through the night. Goodbye, calico bunny.

I remember the phone call, my young brother's voice trembling across the line as he tried to watch through the chair legs at what was going on in the other room. A feeling that I would not know how to handle; the denial that would send me running from the emergency room in a frenzy.

I remember the feeling—the feeling of not being able to breathe as I continued to jump for the surface. Jumping harder then I ever jumped before, trying with every gasp of air to yell for help, thinking that with everyone that was around, no one would save me.

I remember that my mom's bed was made when I left a pile of my dad's emails on it. They were to another woman.

I remember spending everyday at the hospital that summer. The teardrops that left my mother's eyes carried the feelings of failure and disappointment and shoved them in my face.

I Remembers: Home Themed

I remember feeling at home.

I remember people crowding in front of our little house for a party we were throwing. It seemed like people were coming from all directions. I never expected them all to fit in the house.

I remember talking without speaking in the split-level, sea level house in Montgomery I call home.

I remember that I will always miss those covers in that tiny room and the smell that somehow remains within the walls.  I need to grow up and learn to let go of that home.

I remember the sweet nostalgia and security of visiting home for the first time after having moved out.

I remember being truly happy.  Truly at home.

I remember the smell. You typically don't know the smell of your own home until you've come back from a trip, or left it behind for some time. I always wanted to capture that smell and keep it with me when I went away.

I remember smelling skin, wood, and Chianti in my new home in Wyoming I will soon, for myself, call home.

I remember feeling insecure about having a home

I remember moving twice, each time, losing a little of myself in each previous house.

I remember missing my old house because that is where my true memories reside. 

Sibling/Family I Remembers

I remember lining up with my sisters and neighbors on the first day of school each year. We would all take a picture on our porch before walking the four blocks of school together.


I remember watching whatever my sister waned on the TV because she was bigger and stronger than me.


I remember joking and laughing with my sisters, teasing and antagonizing each other.


I remember the first time I was allowed to ride my bike to the ice cream store without my older sister.  


I remember the chaos that was always present within the walls of our house.  The friends of my brother and sisters that sometimes seemed to pack up and move in.


I remember the dents in our doors, which were given life when I, or my brother, were fortunate enough to escape each other's fits of sibling wrath by barricading into our rooms.


I remember when Kyle had a house party and we put a hole in the wall


I remember jumping in between my brothers two identical twin beds in footie pajamas and thinking 9:00 at night was very late.


I remember going to the baseball field to watch my brother's game while my dad coached. Multiple game nights consumed the majority of my summer nights growing up. I wouldn't have it any other way.



I remember the night my father got so upset about the fighting over what television show we were going to watch that he got up, took out his trusty pocketknife from his back pocket and cut the cord in half.


I remember the crimson red walls from which hung paintings -- obsessively perfectionist architect brother. 


I remember the sound of shrieks and giggles as she lay helpless on California Shag as a brother's fingers tickle -- obsessively annoying brother.


I remember the playhouse in the backyard filled with me and my brother’s playful spirit and how we never thought we would actually grow up. 


I remember skipping school to stay home and bake cookies with my mom and little sister--for no particular reason other than that I was in first grade and sometimes even first graders need a bit of a break.


I remember building a treehouse with my brother so we could have a place all to ourselves.


I remember when my brother and his friends ‘accidently’ caught the tree line behind our house on fire. I waived down the fire truck while my dad attempted to put the fire out with a tiny, plastic bucket.


I remember happily pushing my little sister around in a shopping cart. I begged my mom for something different in every aisle. Fruit Rollups! Score.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Remember

I remember driving around,
Should we stop and go in?
Is this teacher crazy has she been here before?
So we stopped...
Locking the doors and locking arms,
we marched inside...
We did our job,
and then we left...
I remember,
but I don't remember why I was so scared.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Take a Picture

As a young boy,
I was The Perfect Child –
My secret heart was
Sweeter than doubt
Sweeter than two-percent milk

I am an adult now,
I write misspelled words
My sycophancies are frozen into ice
I live a life of quiet desperation

Miami University:
Here, it is how you say “sweet” and “cute”
But what would the walls of the brick buildings say
If they could talk?

Drop Inn Shelter:
Serving food and serving our minds.

Smile. I am screaming inside.
“Why not me?” as I fill cups with water, scatterbrain-like,
I dream to take this “thing” away.

Picasso draws exquisitely – “thank you”
Everything I see has more color now
Who put their warm hands over my eyes for so long?

Miami University: Love and Honor
Drop Inn Shelter: social progress

The End.