I’m Looking for Atlantis

3 September 2013
10:48 am

Edinburgh

T. —

Shane’s Atlantis was my first exposure to spoken word poetry. I fell in love, and I fell hard.

This is for every time
Love becomes the finest minute in the darkest hour.
This if for those who scour the streets
Wondering where the wild things went.
For the believers who leant us their madness.
This is for everyone we miss.

And this is for the children who were lost.
Sadness is nothing more than the cost of being able to smile
Once in a while.
And grief is the trial we stand to offer evidence
That your finger prints were left on our hearts
And our skin,

And in terms of proof,
Love can be demonstrated in giving.
Our lives consist of the efforts we give
In swimming towards the lost continent
Where you are rumored to be living.

*

Ryler was my next most influential exposure.

I’m bleeding in a land I don’t even understand.
And everyone starts clapping.
It’s like we’re all breathing together.

I’ve been trying to write a poem, I say.
It was me who wrote these postcards to myself, imagining a funeral pyre.
I believe God’s like everyone here, he says. He just wants to be seen.

My. God. I just listened to it again for the first time in a long time. Like the violence of this too-big love we hold, doesn’t know yet where to fit itself, lost somewhere inside a too-big poem.

*

I was doing some digging back through old emails trying to find other Shane Koyczan that I sent to people, because reading his words on the page is almost as good as hearing them aloud. Just the sheer rhythm of his sea of beautiful words. Crashing and rising.

Instead, I found this email I wrote a long time ago, and I thought I wanted to share it.

It is raining in Edinburgh. Surprise, surprise. It is also: a) the one day I have off from work each week (because I have classes all day, so can’t work in the shop!) b) the day I reaaallllly need to send off a series of important documents. Got up early this morning, all the documents copied (including, I’ll have you know, my RIDICULOUSLY expensive copy of my passport: one sheet of paper that they charged me $120 to notarize), all of my books for class, hopped on the bus in the pouring rain and traveled 20 minutes to get to the Fed-Ex-like place where I could send my documents. The shop opened 15 minutes late (putting me late for the rest of my day), and after finally filling out all the paperwork to send it, putting the documents in the envelope, arranging where it was to be sent, discovered:

I had left all of my money at home. Literally all of it. I barely had enough for a bus-ride back.

I stood there, ready to start crying, when a lovely doctor from South Africa who was standing behind me offered to pick up my tab (it was only about $10, but I literally had nothing). I almost fell on the floor in gratitude. Unfortunately, it was one of those moments of sheer embarrassment/frustration/disbelief/guilt that barely allows for any show of emotion, much less gratitude, but I tried my hardest to convey that to him. He responded “one day, it will be me”, to which I replied, “and I hope you have an incredible person standing behind you in line”.

Trudged back through the rain to the bus stop, with soaking books, cold fingers, a late bus, and a class already started, and I thought… This is where I am. This is where I am, and this is where I need to be. Obviously, at this moment, I desperately need to be cold and wet and disgruntled, but still holding a glimmer of hope at the generosity of strangers. It reminded me of a poem I posted on facebook yesterday, which I am attaching to you. Obviously my circumstances are much less severe, but nonetheless… I stood there in the cold, lonely bus stop, determined to keep loving the world.

“Yes, I will take you
I will love you again.”

Things are incredibly hectic and busy. I think the key will be to stop scheduling things on the weekends… my weekdays are packed enough as it is and I’m desperate for some time to unwind. I’m swing dancing twice a week, singing three times a week, doing poetry readings, working and trying to keep writing at the same time. It is a lot. Too much? Probably.. but don’t tell anyone. I’m so in love with all of it, dropping anything would feel like amputating a limb.

– 27 October, 2009

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Now, I’m ready to go home.

Good morning,
M

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