— this is really happening


The Electric Slide Boogie
Audre Lord

New Year’s Day 1:16 AM
and my body is weary beyond
time to withdraw and rest
ample room allowed me in everyone’s head
but community calls
right over the threshold
drums beating through the walls
children playing their truck dramas
under the collapsible coatrack
in the narrow hallway outside my room

The TV lounge next door is wide open
it is midnight in Idaho
and the throb      easy      subtle      spin
of the electric slide boogie
around the corner of the parlor
past the sweet clink
of dining room glasses
and the edged aroma of slightly overdone
dutch-apple pie
all laced together
with the rich dark laughter
of Gloria
and her higher-octave sisters

How hard it is to sleep
in the middle of life.

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All the newly designated eastern seaboard storm names sound familiar. Hurricane Gustav? Didn’t that one just happen? Hanna? I swear Hurricane Hanna was last year. I can’t help but wonder if placing “Hurricane” before a name makes the enormous, swirling throb of water, cloud, and sea guts rather homely, like my Dad’s old leather rocker.

In the confines of my safe and dry Oakland, CA apartment I like to imagine a large depository of possible names churning in a vat somewhere, a long, metal spout at the bottom spitting out one single name as the National Weather Service runs the query. Jam must be blocking the way for new hurricane names to get through. A peanut butter sandwich eaten by one of the technicians has fallen into the spout. What can we do? Everyone seems to be going along with it, but I swear Hurricane Gustav was the last one.

Just to be sure, I have run my own query.  Here’s 2007’s storms.Humph, so far it seems my theory is full of holes. Ah well.

  • Subtropical Storm Andrea
  • Tropical Storm Barry
  • Tropical Storm Chantal
  • Hurricane Dean
  • Tropical Storm Erin
  • Hurricane Felix
  • Tropical Storm Gabrielle
  • Hurricane Humberto
  • Tropical Storm Ingrid
  • Tropical Depression Ten
  • Tropical Storm Jerry
  • Hurricane Karen*
  • Hurricane Lorenzo
  • Tropical Storm Melissa
  • Tropical Depression Fifteen
  • Hurricane Noel
  • Tropical Storm Olga

*Karen was redesignated as a hurricane in the post-season re-analysis. <– FAVORITE PART

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