I suppose now has particular meaning only in relation to then. Then, I was adrift. Now, remembering adriftness, I'm anchored.
My husband tells me that I'm a literary writer, as if it's a disease, a skin color with negative connotations, something that can't be helped.
There are Santas spread around this city, clumped on corners, bedraggled. Some Santas are less than savory--no one I'd let my baby near.
I don't want to give up coffee! But neither do I want to be a zombie.
It could be heroin for all the obsessiveness of the inquiry.
We are now allowed, once again, to take fingernail cutters into the cabins of airplanes.
She said: People are committing suicide.
I said: Well, you're not.
She said: No, I'm not.
Here, the cookies taste nothing like you imagine. Eat one--you'll not believe me until you do.
Over good wine, we alluded to our worries, not about the children themselves--we can see they're walking straight lines--but about the world we're turning over to them. And our grandchildren, I added, emphatically. And theirs, we said together.
Good red wine, a brusco.
I read that children who are blind, deaf, and mute, laugh when tickled.
Chimps who have been taught sign language often sign about tickling.
Music acts quickly on the brain.
I have to believe this territory is negotiable. One takes small steps.
My Husband's Dream
My husband dreamt that he was swimming and flying and dead. I suppose if one were swimming and flying, both, at the same time, one would be dead.
But if a body of water can overtake us so easily (just when we think we're walking on firm land), how can one have faith in the accepted division of the earth: land and water?
Her brain is a blender of uncombining substances.
The problem--no, one of the problems--with red wine is that it purples the tongue. Even the next morning, the toothpasty spit in the porcelain bowl is more purplish than not.
She'd forgotten that we were coming, so we got her sleepy and somewhat wrinkled, though her hair was combed nicely. I said: Gram, your hair is nice! And she complained: It's so white. As if it could be otherwise on a woman one-hundred-years old.
The mute guy I gave a dollar to mouthed "thanks" emphatically, then waved to me as I pulled away from the curb.
Last fall, my friend ate three bushels of sweet carrots and turned orange.
More rain. Sheets of it, then pause.
When the water drains away, you see what you're left with: diamond-like encrustations
One goes so deep, in thought and feeling, but can't stay there long. Tiny, nagging solid things pull, make demands in hoarse, scratchy voices. Much of the time, you ache to be pulled back. It's a sweet tug-of-war.
Maybe I just need to force myself to sit here for a while longer. Isn't that when the atmosphere begins to spill its secrets? In the hollow of patience?
A day foreshortened by marzipan. How to get to midnight?
The only way to make language go where it hasn't gone before is by walking to new places in the terrain of yourself.
In any story, and certainly in every poem, one wants to reconcile a paradox.
Lucky are those who, early in life, stumble upon a tantalizing problem.
About the author:
Anne Germanacos' work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Quarterly West, Blackbird, Salamander, Fourteen Hills, Black Warrior Review, Florida Review, Chattahoochee Review, Agni (online), and many others. She lives in San Francisco and on Crete.