broken crackers

November 2, 2010 § 3 Comments

or, how much should I charge for my book

my defaults are asymmetry and imperfection, though even when I was still wholesome enough to be in the game I announced early I would not stand for being less (equal) than my brother just because I might not get straight a’s which is not to say he didn’t deserve recognition for his work but instead to say there was more than one scale more than one occasion and black and white notwithstanding we live in a world of nuance and shadow

like the first time David came over after school and my mother opened the door and said go around the back and he said oh just because I’m black and she said no because I’m giving a music lesson

and the time my brother–we were going across country on the train, he was not even 10, I was not even 16–had gone to the observation car and came back all smiles with a dollar in his hand and said, those guys over there want to talk to you

or when Michael said as a general announcement, because food had gone missing in a common refrigerator, keep your cotton picking hands off other people’s stuff, and we of course knew who the perpetrator was, and she happened to be black

or after brainstorming with Mike–who’d recently had brain surgery–Susan said how she’d like to pick his brain again if he didn’t mind which of course he did

or all the times you’ve heard someone yell, be quiet, as if that would or could possibly be effective, or used the men’s bathroom because it was empty and the line for the women’s was impossible, or used the disabled stall for the same reason but nevertheless understand it is not quite the same reasoning when it comes to disabled parking

long before my epiphany–I had a tumor taken out of my head which left me with facial weakness and synkinesis, completely deaf in one ear, and with a depleted and depletable fund of energy meaning I was no longer able to endlessly multi-task, meaning I could only work 8 hours a day, not twelve, and I could no longer assume the charge nurse and/or team leader role, not even for lunch coverage which meant applying for ADA protection–a whole other story–and that every time, I mean without fail every time I worked otherwise reasonable, righthearted and rightminded people put me in the position of having to say, I can’t do that, which being a bit of a pollyanna and a maker of damned fine lemonade ironically enough I came to see served me well, and especially so at a time when everyone around me was being asked to do more than they possibly could, never mind do it well, and no one had enough courage, sense or honor to say, no–thing is even before I entered the league of imperfects, I thought it strange that my then mother-in-law, the dean’s wife, who had an unwavering sense of waste not want not to include no extra trips up and down stairs, and a washing machine that allowed her to re-cycle the rinse water for the next wash, never served broken crackers to guests, as if it were an insult, not of course that she threw them out she put them aside and served them to family as if that were not an insult, or maybe as if we were smarter, or as if the aesthetic changes

it’s true I never wore jeans to a wedding, but these days being the rainy days I’ve saved for, and practicing waste not want not myself, I just might and I might even wear my opera clothes to the drug store, either way it all distills, parses (from parsimony, you suppose?) into a question of value and valuing, and in or out of the club (whether or not I like it), after all you never really come through the, through my front door unless you’re family, maybe it’s left over from The Movement (I’m a red diaper baby) when you were either trusted or not, and for all the nuances there were no shades of gray–though lots of it, for all the black white and red–and you got which ever cracker came out of the box, there was no decorum,

well except for politic, and social action…ah! and strangely enough in our circle, art which is where all of this started; I had occasion to sell DRUM, my book of original art and poetry, hand set and printed, and I had no idea how to decide what I should could would charge, what was it worth? to whom? it’s not perfect good thing otherwise I’d be free to charge the sun and the moon, instead I’m selling it for $11.00

or giving it away of course to friends and family


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