Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A poem for my wife on her birthday

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a poem for [Jen]( that I delivered as a spoken word piece at a party we threw for her birthday. She turned 36. Imagine the delivery described [here]( applied to the words below the picture and you will get the idea…

Jen at the Whistle Stop in Renton

— For Jen on her 72nd Birthday —

We are gathered here for
Jen on her 72nd birthday
We are looking back, less from the middle
and more from the end

We are pushing back, we are going back, way back
We are pushing back, we are going back, way back

Back to the afternoon when the blond girl
Killed that first spider on behalf of her mother
Both of them dancing the sacred spider death dance
Oh no it’s gonna get me
Oh no it’s gonna get me
We are saved, we are saved
It’s OK, it’s OK

Back to the boy and his sword
Who commanded Monsters, Monsters, Oh no, it’s a Monster
Who commanded Monsters out from
That beanpole teepee
His dirt face high pitch grin
Wound a light through the darkness that summer

Those were the days of that old car of ours
With the dent in the fender
That we always intended to fix
(but secretly never wanted to)
The one with that swaggering headlight
That became a sort of family compass
Reminding us of what it meant to wrestle angels
(Do you remember when we wrestled angels?)

That was the afternoon she took the scissors to the coasters
The one when she took shears to her blond locks
It was about 3pm when she stared us straight in the eye
And dared us to forgive as ones who have been forgiven much
That afternoon where midnight began

It was the evening he took the markers and the crayons
To everything in sight
The walls, the chairs, the windows, and the television
The walls, the chairs, the windows, and the television
He colored away all doubters that the rhythm of Adam
Had skipped skipped skipped a beat beat beat

It was the morning that that computer crashed
Like Moses smashing those tablets in his anger
He reduced them to sand and used it to cover all sorts of bodies
Hoping no one no one no one would ever find them
(and while no one ever did, he always thought of them
when he paced that beach, desert, beach, desert, beach, desert…)

Yes, yes — that’s it, I can tell you remember those middle days
As we look back and we recognize now
What was less than clear at the time

That those “I have a great idea” moments
All boiled down to a few constant things

That this life is always a wrestling of angels, angels, angels
That this walk always comes with a limp, a limp, a limp
That this gait always establishes a rhythm, a rhythm, a rhythm

Of loving as ones who have been loved much
Of grace doled out to both the kissers and the betrayers
That is the day we began to recognize
The rhythm of an Imagination not our own

So raise a glass to Jen on her
Seventy seventy seventy second birthday
And toast with me to the beauty of a life well lived
To the beauty of a wife well loved

Friday, 30 June 2006

‘Me Too’ Conversations

Some additional thoughts on Susan Mernit’s session on the web and sexuality at Gnomedex — I think that having what I would call naked and unashamed conversations (to modify a phrase) about sex in blogs, etc. is a really compelling way to provoke ourselves into talking about important stuff in our face to face relationships.

There are so many instincts that tell us to not talk about anything that may leave us exposed and venerable — and yet, when we do that, especially in an online context, so many cool things happen (in my experience anyway).

Whether it’s discussing frank and aggressive sex in the context of marriage or talking through the ups and downs of your relationships or working through depression — whenever I take the figleaf away for a moment (or my beautiful wife does), people come out of the woodwork to say the same thing, over and over —

Me too.

Two powerful little words that aren’t technology words — no Web 2.0 — no huge business plan to take over the world (or save it).

Two words that are just, well, human — and really powerful.

She Wants to Know…

Related to the previous post about ‘Sex at Gnomedex‘ — also just noticed that I’d never reposted the poem I wrote to propose to Jen after switching over to a blog format. Here is is — rigns as true today as it did when I penned it in 2001.

She Want’s to Know…
by Bryan Zug

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again — then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

– – –

this has always been here
     though we are just now uncovering it

this has always been here
     though we are just now discovering it

– – –

she has just asked me
how i know
that she is the one

and there is so much to say about the past and the future and the moment unfolding before us — sitting across a table eating Saturday morning eggs at the breakfast pub on 45th and Stone

she wants to know
the method of my surety —
     how I have discerned
     its measure is not madness

and my answer is simply this —
i know because i have chosen.

     chosen to dive for these pearls
     chosen to dig for this treasure
     chosen to love her first
     and last
     and among
     all that lies in this middle

and make no mistake
there is much that lies in this middle —
     split tongue undertones
     of compatibilities?
     too soons?
     and happily ever afters?

i will push these half-truths into full light
and say plainly —

     we are not compatible —
     we are wicked
     and only by Grace made able

     we are not going to live “happily” ever after —
     we will be nourished by Joy,
     through famine into laughter

     we will be blessed in restful wrest —
     a marriage bed of ordered mess

i have seen Salvation
i know what Covenant looks like
i testify on the sapphire foundation of Surety —
     i love because He first loved me

– – –

this has always been here
     though we are just now uncovering it

this has always been here
     though we are just now discovering it

– – –

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

“O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.”

Sex at Gnomedex (the luxurious use of the F-Bomb in church)

Am looking forward to participating in Susan Mernit’s ‘Sex & Longing & Web 2.0‘ session at Gnomedex today.

Hope to read th risqué and beautifully provocative poem ‘Hey You’ by Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine that I posted to a publicly viewable church bulletin board back in 2001 — an action that played a part in the chain of events that I call ‘the wooing my beautiful wife Jen’.

Text is below — it’s got a luxurious use of F-bombs — you’ve been warned — now take a quick read while nobody’s looking.

Hey You
by Linford Detweiler

Fuck me, she says,
And it’s not an exclamation
It’s a plea

Fuck me feels different
In the marriage bed
It’s not like it’s forbidden

Fuck can be such a hateful word
But she’s in love
Trying on the name wife for size

Fuck me sort of suits her
She loves to laugh
And she wants something carefree and crude

Fuck me and all of a sudden it’s a playful prayer
We both still want to do something good for the world
We both believe in miracles

Fuck me and there are better words for it
We both know
But the way she says it makes you wonder

Fuck me please I’m soppy and smooth
The world is disappearing
And it’s not so much the please it’s the possibility:

It’s the possibility
That this life is going to break us into pieces
Knock us reeling and silly with painful joy

And the word fuck is suddenly a tiny praise chorus
A slap happy swing at a tipsy God
The joke’s on us

And this is our sweet redeemer
Looking down on a tangle of man and wife
A happily shipwrecked bed

It’s not like he hasn’t seen it before
But he’s even blessed a dirty word
Thank you Lord

. . .
copyright 2000, Linford Detweiler