Tuesday, October 27, 2009

29 Homes in 21 Cities

On October 5, I posted a poem called 28 Homes in 21 Cities on my under-traveled poetry site Take the Body With You, formerly called A Poem a Day For the Rest of My Life. Yes, I was overreaching there a little. Considering that I've only made 106 entries in nearly three years (the anniversary is Thursday) and the great majority of these were made in the first 12 months, I'm not exactly fulfilling my original mission. But when you reach a certain age, you think more about quality than quantity (said with a sense of "I'm not really saying this").

This poem was about me and the places I've called home. Careful readers would have noticed that, in cities where I have lived in more than one place - say Minneapolis, where I lived in four different homes or Santa Monica where I had two homes - I created separate entries for each address. In fact, there were two cases where I had two addresses in the same building (North Hollywood, (homes #17 and #18) and Eden Prairie (#21 and #22)).

Well, I missed a rather important home in the original poem. I first lived in the Mondale-era suburb of Eden Prairie, Minnesota in 1984, at a house on Amsden Way with my parents and the sister. In 1987, my family exiled to Asia and California one day after my college graduation, I rented an apartment on Valley View Road, also in Eden Prairie (my first place living "on my own"!) with my friends John and Bill, the latter eventually replaced by Mike, no not that Mike.

So, to remain consistent with the rest of the "rules" of the poem, I added a new entry for Eden Prairie (the 10th home), making it a total of four for the little town with the lovely name. The title of the poem has also changed, as did the Pomona-Pasadena-Monrovia troika, and something in Santa Monica. Oh and I fixed the strained structure of the post-Long Beach lines.

Enjoy 29Hi29C. Read it here (down below) or

(Some blog post stats: Amidst all the flowery text, there are eight left parentheses, eight right parentheses, three left quotation marks, three right quotation marks, and 23 different numbers in text or numeric form, including the number 23 that I just typed and now it's 24 including the 24 that I just typed. DAMN, that makes it 25 numbers not including this one and it will never never end. Yes - quantity vs. quality.)

29 Homes in 21 Cities

We worked it out
I come from Eskilstuna where the kiosks come up
I come from Alexandria where the asphalt was invented
I come from Teaneck with its sharks in quicksand
I come from Feasterville so you have no upper upper hand

We called it out
I come from Bergenfield where the floods did come
I come from New Milford where no children smile
I come from River Vale with its bushes of baseball bats
I come from Doylestown so you best not relax

We tore it up
I come from Eden Prairie where the warmth is palatable
I come from Eden Prairie again where the earth is flat
I come from Brea with its music 'til four in the morning
I come from Minneapolis where swift lifts make for soft pulls

We made it shiny
I come from Pomona so all your threats are empty, empty
I come from Pasadena where the ping-pong is dusty
I come from Monrovia where hearts are down and dusky
I come from Newbury Park with its two exits

We pulled it back
I come from North Hollywood so I know about coming from
I come from North Hollywood again and its ski lodge aspirations
I come from Ventura where the U-Hauls skulk
I come from Amherst where on the twelfth day we rise

We cleaned clocks
I come from Eden Prairie again so you best believe I linger
I come from Eden Prairie again with its misreading of the future
I come from Minneapolis again with its disappeared
I come from Minneapolis again with its so you never stood a chance

We pushed it out
I come from Minneapolis again with its owned not rented
I come from Santa Monica where nothing bad ever happens
I come from Santa Monica again where the rain is unending
I come from Hollywood where the helicopters haunt me

We rattle easily, no
I come from Long Beach so you know why we do what we do when we do what we do

We broke it down
We made a run
We wait it out
We have it all

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