Chanukah The Second Day,
Or How Did Our Poems Get to be On Being (it wasn’t easy)
One day my husband who has tinnitus
always ringing in his ears always
no one knows how to stop ear ringing
he sleeps with headphones and listens because
listening often overcomes ringing
one day my husband heard Naomi Rachel Remen
writer and doctor tell a completely wonderful story
with one of those VOICES and when I woke up
he played it for me. The story was about
what life is what matters, and then,
who she was. Who she was took precedence.
I listened to her story Over and Over.
I even wrote her a letter.
Maybe On Being
where she belonged was where
I belonged too. Not that I want to
Belong Anywhere. Not really.
I wanted my poems to belong.
My poems are happiest
with Matthew Septimus’s pictures.
He shows what I can’t and what he shows
is often linked to my words.
I am not a collaborative type. Neither is Matthew.
So we worked well together for years.
Trying to show what holiness looks like
photographing holiness in a record store
under the subway with my poet friend
Pedro Pietri he called himself El Reverendo
people who are for ordinary reasons
extraordinary. He photographed mailboxes
and old men and all the miraculous odd beauty that he sees
over and over and I wrote poems and poems.
A few years ago I thought we should be on On Being.
I wrote a letter a pitch
even though pitch is a word like blog
and tweet that is intrinsically problematic.
Like everything else, it took years
and then some months and then today
Peter was googling On Being Just to See
and there was Matthew’s picture,
and my poem.