Wednesday, August 6, 2008

what a poet looks like

My son is a poet. He doesn't look like a poet. He looks completely usual.

He doesn't 'dress up' in poetry clothes. He wears jeans - and only buys them at Good-Will even if he has a pocket full of money. Which he doesn't often have. Because he is a poet and people don't think poetry is worth as much as basketball, for instance.
He has one pair of shoes. When they wear out he buys another pair of the exact same shoes. He has a lot of underwear, all the same style. (I know because I have folded them all when he does his wash in my washer.) He seems to value having abundant underwear, and also white tee shirts. (Maybe a clean white tee shirt and fresh underwear makes him feel rich like having soft toilet paper makes my husband feel rich.)
For whatever reason, he has dozens of tee shirts and a pile of underwear. He pulls a clear white tee shirt over his head every day - even a hot summer day - with jeans or shorts and then pulls on a button-up shirt.

He seems to have possibly three button-up shirts, all sort of old-man-ordinary. Bought at Good-Will. He cuts his hair over the toilet with a hair buzzer contraption he bought at WalMart. He is pretty good at getting it all even.

So his outside self is not particularly jaunty. No quirky arty affectation. But his mind is full of words. His eyes see and his soul feels and his words find those things and he writes them. Even if no one reads them he writes them because if he didn't his head would become too full and words would fall out his eyes and nose.

And he has a big smile. It is a smile you don't always see, because he has a well nourished melancholy streak. But when he smiles it is a big wide embracing smile.

His eyes sometimes look bleary. Not because he has been on a bender, but because he has allergies. Ordinary, everyman kind of grass and pollen allergies. The gift of a poet is hidden inside this allergy inflicted, running shoe wearing, ordinary body.

And sometimes when I read what he writes I cry.

4 comments:

rachel said...

i like this. i love that boy. and sometimes it makes me cry, too.

Karen said...

Vincent truly does have a way with words - I love his blog. It's very cleverly written, and quirky and provides me with interesting little nuggets to throw into everyday conversation. Oh, and speaking of that - where the heck IS "Monkey's Eye View"? Vincent, we miss you.

Anonymous said...

i like your son's poetry too...and it often makes me cry.

Krissi said...

I still want to read that book you told me about.