Regular Poem: On the Grind

20 Apr

she’s always on her grind
always got a scheme going a new project an old project always a project
usually for money but sometimes just for self-edification
some blend of physical and mental
that takes planning and vision and muscle in equal measure

a self-directed self-starter
on her grind
making that money
making those connections
(she’s gonna make it after all
throws a beret into the air and
freeze frame

i often find myself in bizarre situations with her
driving an open lonely stretch of turnpike
listening to her monologue about
events that she doesn’t give enough exposition to really understand
and conspiracies that i don’t exactly buy
standing with my back straight and my hands in my pockets with my head cocked in thoughtful listening mode
in foggy parking lots and chilly equine rescues and stuffy living rooms and dusty gutted hotels mid-renovation

when she introduces me to other characters in these bizarre situations
they without fail nod and say something like
oh right
that girl

a foundation has already been laid they already know without having seen me before
i’m the sidekick
and they trust me because they trust her and she trusts me

it’s so fascinating

we’re all protagonists in our own lives
but there’s so much to be learned about yourself when you analyze
what kind of supporting character you are in somebody else’s life
especially if that person lives her life in a completely different genre

she’s the plucky heroine of a pulled-up-by-own-bootstraps adventure
and in her narrative i’m her mentee
whom she sees as a younger version of herself
to be nurtured and cultivated and remade
into the best version of both of us

but in my narrative
(well in my narrative
i’m all white trash gothic and heavy-handed poetry)

she’s on her grind
like a powerful river
smoothing the rocks beneath her by willful and persistent erosion
always surging forward with an ultimate goal
obstacles surmounted in crests and bends

and i’m on my grind
like a grindstone
the free-standing electric kind with a sandstone wheel
i can sharpen or i can blunt or i can polish and i’m very good at it
but somebody has to flip the switch somebody has to connect the power and start me to turning

on my own i am inert collect dust
look like a pretty relic
some specimen in an antique shop
although i’m not antique
i work

i still work

just plug me in and see
just plug me in

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