Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Migration!!!!!!! Announcing AdamTritt.com

Hi folks. It was time. Past time, actually. With three books out, two more in the works and several anthologies, it was past time for AdamTritt.com There will will find my blog as well as pages for some of my books, a page that tells you how I am getting into trouble this week, and lots more. Even (soon to come) merchandise! Everything here has moved there plus a whole lot more. You will also find some new essays and poetry with more to come. So, thank you so much for playing here. And I hope to see you soon (Hey, why not go now?) at AdamTritt.com. By the way, if you are on Facebook, why not "like" my new "Bud the Spud" page. Enjoy, Adamus

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peek-a-boo

I dislike people asking me how I am. Generally, I am well. Or some version of well, depending on varying definitions. But being unwell has never got me anywhere so I see no point in it.

My doctor once complained to me that people complain too much about common ailments when they should just accept the body is imperfect and live their lives instead of whining so much. Sure, get checked out and stay as healthy as possible. And quit bitching. Then she looked at me and said, “if anyone has a right to complain, it is you. If people knew what you deal with, they’d shut up.” True, maybe. But I don’t think so. People like to complain. Some like to be miserable. Misery makes them happy.

Most of the people I see on a regular basis know not to ask me how I am unless they mean it. I don’t mean friends. I mean people I see but don’t know well. Cashiers, postal workers, bank tellers. We are always friendly. I am not the stuck-up, elitist, aloof snot many people think I am. I just don’t do smalltalk and pleasantries.

For instance, at my local grocery store, most of the people don’t ask me how I am doing. I even come in on occasion with my service-vested dog. Then they know I am not doing as well as I might like. Or that Dusty just wanted an outing.
Cashiers ask everyone how they are doing. They also always ask me if I found everything I was looking for. That is a habit I can’t seem to break them of. But asking me how I am doing is something most no longer ask.

They used to. And I would answer with a question. “Is that a pro-forma question or are you genuinely interested in the state of my health and general tenor of my life? Because if you are, I will tell you. If you are not, please don’t ask.” They usually answer honestly that it is just the thing to say and we generally go on to have a pleasant financial transaction without the unnecessary interpersonal interaction and personal disingenuousness.

Once, the manager saw me staring at the soup cans. Five minutes later, she walked around again and saw me staring at the soup cans. She asked me if she could help me find something. Well, yes, I said, stunned back to a more shared and active version of reality. “Chicken and rice soup.” If she sees me in the store, she asks now if she can help me find something. It is appreciated. I tell her so. And she knows better than to ask how I am.

The last time I bought chicken and rice soup was for my wife, Lee, She of blessed name, as my not-too-distant ancestors would say. The manager had to help me find it among the other shelves and rows of cans. It was something she craved when she had brain cancer. Funny, somehow, doing such ordinary things for someone so extraordinary. For someone soon to be gone. The sacred in the mundane.

One late night, I left the hospital. It was April. Or May. Don’t ask me much about time in the seven or nine month period. I went to Publix late. It was nearly closing. Or I got in just before and it was after closing. I had four items. One might have been a vegetable sub on whole wheat bread. It might have been a cookie and fried chicken. On some of those hospital nights I went for comfort food, letting myself off easy. I would have had three items, but off the discount shelf was a bottle of Jack and Coke for a buck ten. And why not?

I don’t drink. Well, barely. I don’t want not to feel. And I didn’t want to deaden anything of what I was feeling. Folks tried to get me to take something to sleep. A tranquilizer. No need to feel it all the time, they would tell me. No. I never wanted to not feel the hurt, the pain, the agony. The impending loss. The emptiness, helplessness, uselessness. I didn’t want to, don’t want to deaden or dampen, even temporarily, anything to do with Lee. But this night, drink and the new episode of Justified would do just fine. Seriously, what is better to drink with a Kentucky crime drama than a bottled bourbon and Coke?

I got to the check-out. A tall, young fellow was behind the counter. I put my items and one cloth bag on the belt.

“How are you?”

Oh, no… not on this, one of the worst of all nights. “Is that a pro-forma question or are you genuinely interested in the state of my health and general tenor of my life? Because if you are, I will tell you. If you are not, please don’t ask.” I have it down, you see.

He laughed. “No, seriously, how are you this evening?”

He seemed like a nice kid. I thought I’d let him off easily. “Seriously, you don’t want to ask that question tonight.”

“Things a little rough, huh?”

Ok, I’m getting annoyed. “I’m giving you an out, you know. A free pass. Seriously, please stop asking.”

He looks at me a little funny. That’s ok. If it gets me my four items and I get to go home for a few hours before heading back to the hospital, then he can look at me any way he wants. The last few nights I slept in the hospital in a chair next to her. I feel wrecked. I must look wrecked because she was worried about me and sent me home to sleep. I just want a few hours in my bed. Food, a little TV, bed.
Three items rung up. He picks up the Jack and Coke, hesitates before sliding it over the scanner. Then looks at the label a bit closer.

“Well, this’ll make it better.”

I had it. Tired. Late. Hungry. Wrecked and worse, really didn’t want to leave my wife in the hospital and have my, first?, maybe my first, night alone in the house. Maybe, certainly, one of many to come. One of a life-time of nights alone to come where she isn’t with me. After thirty years, not with me. Considering this, I think I handled myself well. I think I was nice. Really.

“No, I am pretty sure that will not make it better. I am pretty sure, whether I drink that or not, my wife will still die of brain cancer. And a little Jack and Coke won’t make that better. But it might make it so I can sleep tonight.”

He lost a bit of color in his face. His smile dropped. The jocularity disappeared. He just looked at me. And, slowly, said, “Sorry.” One word. And put the bottle in the bag.

“I gave you an out. I asked you not to ask.”

“Yes, you did.”

I hand him a twenty. He hands me change. I leave.

Some number of day later I am, again, checking out of Publix.

”How are you today?”

“Let me ask you a question. When you ask that, you don’t really want to know, right? I mean, you don’t really want each person, all day, to tell you how they are really doing, do you? Aren’t you just saying hello? Really, isn’t it just a more formal way of saying hello? Or saying, I see you. I recognize your presence here is important to me. Isn’t it more that?”

She stares at me.

I stare at her. And say, “Peek-a-boo.”

She blinks and smiles. Shakes her head slowly. Scans my items.

It is sort of like saying “namaste.” Translated loosely, it means “The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.” I see you there. My spark of the divine sees the same in you. And here we are, together.

Alan Watts used to talk about God playing Hide and Seek with itself. The divine breaks itself up into all these people to experience the thrill of finding itself again, anew, in all these bodies, aspects, places, ways. A game of fun and discovery. Watts used to drink quite a bit.

Very much like a game of Peek-a-boo. God hides from itself. Sees itself, is surprised, blinks. Smiles. Says, “There I am!” and goes off to do it again. Next. Next. Who will I see myself in next?

Peek-a-boo.

Monday, March 05, 2012

3:10


It is 3:10 ᴀᴍ
And I'm
Wrestling with Hashem
Over matters of love
And propriety,
Over poetry
And the small matter
Of whether he exists.
Hashem states
It is if little consequence
And I say, Hashem,
People fight and die,
Live, love, kill and
Become kind
In your name
And Hashem argues
Atheists do the same
But are, at least,
Honest in their motives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Love You Unadorned


I love you
Unadorned
And that you are
In sunlight
And air
Not even between us
In clothes
Simple
You and I all
The decoration
You desire.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I Will Write You A Poem

Come to me tonight,
And I will write you a poem
To carry with you
In your body,
On your skin.

My fingers will write it
On the palm of your hand,
My lips shall speak to your lips
in silent verse,
My eyes
Will show you the seat of love
From which all poetry comes
And in my voice
You will hear the sound of my soul
Singing your name
In words that come to you
As starlight,
Sweet wind through the trees,
The brush of grass,
The sound of your feet.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

If I Could Show You Your Heart

If I could show you
Your own heart
You would fall
In love with you.

You would see what I see:
The Universe flaming into being
And newborn light
Leaping from star to star.

You would see
The birth of suns
Comets spinning into space
And planets coming to life,
Life upon life.

You would see
Celestial bodies in love
Drowning in each other
And their children
Populating the skies.

If I could show you
Your own heart
You could see mine
Deep inside, smiling.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When I held You

The moment I held you,
nested with your body,
wed thigh to thigh,
belly to back,
breath to your neck.
The moment I held you
The sigh, the sleep
my hand rising and falling
with each of your breaths,
you, my inspiration.
The moment I held you
when your body let go,
when your soul, let loose,
held to mine, soul to soul,
and I could no longer tell
who’s soul belonged to who.
The moment I held you
when the distance disappeared,
when separation ceased,
when all became you and me
became we and naught else existed
but us and still you are all with which
I am filled.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book

There was that very special book
of poetry
left to me by my mother.

One hundred and twelve years old
and a quilted cover,
Fields and Poe,
Tennyson, Shelly
and an inscription on the inside cover leaf
by a woman no-one I know
had ever met.

She had given it to her love
on the occasion of his birthday.
Twenty one he was
and, if I am to believe what is written within,
quite the handsome lad.

She draws his attention to page forty-one,
and a poem by Tennyson about a flower
plucked and examined
during a walk,
ephemeral beauty destroyed by too close a love,
too vulgar a desire
too mean a possession.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When Did You Enter Me?

Look at you up in the sky
Shining, pulling oceans
Back and forth,
The flow of blood
Through my heart,
Thoughts in my head.

When was it you
Entered my genes,
Became part of me,
Wrapped around my soul,
Filled my veins with liquid
Moonlight?

When did my
Comings and goings,
Ebb and flow
Fall under your gravity?
When did I discover
I saw better by
Moonlight?

Look at you up in the sky
Shining, so bright
Mars hides
In your light,
Blushes at your beauty,
Paralyzed.