I wrote this in a sort of fevered state night before last. I suppose I write everything in a sort of fevered state, I hold my writing inside me at work, packing it, folding it and crushing it inside me until at long last I allow it it's freedoms and it flies forward like chariot horses on a packed ally-way, slamming and stomping over everything in it's way. So, here's my gift to you, my pent up bubble of thought, mulled over hours and hours of a very long day.
My Children Are Slamming the Doors of My Skull
I have a word in my head. (Something you should know about me, I always have a word in my head, forever a one; a word or phrase that rotates around my head like a moon and sits out on the edge of my tongue, demurely watching the world spin past) The word I have now is Baba-Yaga. Well, I do suppose that is two. In my head they are all smushed-up together and always seem to come out with one quick flick of the tongue.
I spend a lot of time with my words, petting them, grooming them and lining them up like baby ducks; then they fly out my jammering-yammering mouth in a wild way I never meant. I look up at them, floating above me in that heavy way and pluck them back like night stars. I am always bereaved with them as I pull them back into my wild-mild head, settling them back in their quiet compartments, wondering how they'd gotten out in that rough-hewn way and had made the faces around me turn such bewildered expressions that I'd become quite dizzy.
Now this new word, Baba-Yaga sticking deep in my head like the resin my dad used to use on his surfboards to repair what the one-minded beast of the ocean had taken from them. I used to leave that old garage, the one we had when I was six, with the scent of it hiding in my nostrils, patient, until the moment where I had nearly forgotten it, it would spring wildly forward in the midst of whatever six-year-old game I was playing. And here I am, ten years later, smelling it; after my father has given up the trade, without even the end of an ocean to trigger it's upstart, smelling it in the foody smells of the dishes or in the rotting spines of my old books. Here it is cropping up again on it's own accord. I will promise you now, this new word, Baba-Yaga, will burrow it's merry way into the marrows of my bones and settle itself in for a good long night, until the hole it made closes, until I forget the pains of it's burrow. It will become fat with it's brothers, there in the depths of me and when it's time comes, it will rise wildly up to give me a hard nip on the ear, then leap out my mouth, only to be plucked back with the rest of my word-stars, and cycled around and around until it is quite tired.
I wonder if anyone can see me, wily as a greedy old hen, pulling those words back into me, pressing them into my sternum, gasping at their psychobabble. Praying to them again and again never to throw themselves out of me in that way again, praying to them to just trickle from my lips in that way we practiced, that kind sort of way that kept the conversation slipping over itself like a group of upstream salmons, the sort of way that never stopped everyone on their axis in order to crain their necks around at me in that stunned-and-slapped way. Somehow I never manage it, somehow I never line them up at the door right and they end up tumbling right off like baby ducks learning how to fly.
I suppose you want to know what my word mean, don't you? Baba-Yaga is the most common name for an old hag in Slavic folklore, and here it is, tap-dancing it's way around my mind, after having seen it once in a news-paper article. Here I am, writing about my children, my words and phrases, the things I hold so dear, with a deep-seated love that somehow manages to crop up every few minutes when I see them standing up so tall in pageant lines there on my pages or others. Here my children are tonight, running up an down the highways and byways of my head, slamming doors and stomping all over me. Here I am, just basking in the rin-tin-BANG.
(This is not an apology for who I am. Just an explanation. Sometimes I am happy with me, the way I can stun, really stun, people into silence with the way I can swing a sentence together. And, sometimes, I have a smooth rock of regret, riding in my quick moving rivers and this is how I rid myself of it. Iyam who Iyam. But we all have these moments, oui?)