Easter, 2010


We have a place for him,
the personnel director told Karen,

and I said I'd meet him at McGuire's

where Starbucks' customers
wouldn't interrupt. I brought

my notebook and showed him
how I wrote poems and glue-sticked

4x6 photos on pages.
I pointed out things

he might not have seen
as I turned pages. Pretty soon

he was laughing, and that
was just about that, my last

interview. I knew I was done.

Six years now.
When real work arrived.

Jim Bodeen
6 April 2010


Storyship and telephones. Waiting for the day to bring the calls, or the calls to bring the day. Waiting for grandkids. Listening to them. They might be talking to me in Spanish. Get ready. The call came this morning, too. I make all of this hullabaloo about the word, Storypath/Cuentocamino, living on the road in the oral tradition, listening. But it’s all so much pretend, too. I’m Karen’s partner. I’m a grandpa. I take care of this house. My story is right here. We were in our 20s when we moved into this house. Taking Mom back to the care facility Sunday night, she asked, When will you be back? I said, Later this week, for your birthday. My birthday, she said. Yes. How old will you be? 65, she said. No, Mom, that’s how old I am. Storypath/Cuentocamino. The real estate man showed us one house, and I saw the staircase and said, This one. This house. The banker approved the loan and said, It’s a good starter house. Starter house? I asked, What’s that. That’s this house, a house for beginners. Cars cost more now, lots more, than this house, and this house isn’t even paid for. We’re doing OK. Karen’s upstairs brushing her teeth. Krista’s bringing the girls. The Spanish speaking caretaker’s at the hospital with a sick child. Caretakers. Storypath/Cuentocamino is the caretaker. I’ll wait on Karen’s latte and the girls will help me make it. They stir in Splenda and vanilla. they mix a quarter inch of milk. Then they start licking the sweethot liquid to taste, to see if it’s right. I pour in the foam and they add cinnamon from Saigon and white chocolate. Licking gets serious now. On top of a vanilla-sweetened foam we have Saigon cinnamon. Not quite a campfire S’more, but almost. We fill grandma’s stirring spoon with the sweetened liquid and bring her that. Here, Grandma, we cry. Here comes your latte. Here comes your spoon. Karen sits in her chair with the paper and the girls. They crawl up beside her and take one more lick. We were the kids in the neighborhood when the neighborhood was Catholic. Now we’re the old guys in a neighborhood they call marginal. What they used to call starter. We’ve seen it come and go. We’ve seen our neighbors move up the hill and into the country. I never wanted to leave. As far as I can tell, neither did Karen. This house. I’ve been writing about it all my life, since before I knew what writing was, what it could be. Now I have a word given to me by God, God, I say, knowing God is the go-between, that the gift comes from her, the Goddess, source of being and creation. Our mother. How God got the delivery job is another story. He liked to dress up. Go figure. It made things easier for Her, I think. Anyway, we’re waiting now. Grandchildren are coming in the car. Karen’s coming down the stairs. This house is as ready as it will get. We emptied out yesterday yesterday. It’s time to fill the cup again. ¿Más?, the little one says, dipping her finger into the cup, ¿Más? I listen in order to enter the cuentocamino right language.

Jim Bodeen
6 April 2010


whenever it arrives, created
from any darkness. The black

t-shirt is a souvenir.
Using words printed in white ink

creates an image of Oscar Romero.
Wearing the shirt remembers him,

and a friend asks for translation. I choose
from words on the shirt creating the portrait,

La ley es como la culebra,
solo muerde a los que andan descalzos.

There's a toe bone from a coyote
in the medicine bag

given to me at Wounded Knee.
Those who walk barefoot in the world

put the law in the same dangerous bag
with snakes. No sightings

of the coyote have been made.
These curious tracks, bleeding words,

take their place in gospel music,
but they're not found in songbooks.

Jim Bodeen
5 April 2010

EASTER, 2010

Facing the stone
I did not become
what it offered.

I listened
and it did not speak.

The stone did not become me.

Jim Bodeen
April 4, 2010

1 comment:

  1. Your writing continues to encourage me to write. thank you... thank you.