BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO





SANZ

May 13, 2000





I met her on the bus to Portland.
She was big and loud and beautiful
and full of life and laughter and
young with red lips and injured.
She had spent her settlement of
Three Hundred Thousand Dollars
in Six months time.

I kid you not. I couldn't believe it either.
No one as old as I can believe
such a thing because growing older
one grows consequential, cautious,
conservative.

But I had to ask: "Did you have fun?"
O Yes, she had had fun:
She bought cars and dinners and good times
for all her friends,
wildly, wandered,
leased a luxury apartment for a year,
and hadn't saved a dime.
"Then it was worth it," said I.
"O, Yes"

But now, she was
fifteen hundred dollars in debt
and on her way to a Job Corps job,
for a bit of college credit,

because, belatedly, she realized she wanted
to go to college;
she didn't want a dead-end job forever.

Not forever.

She loved doing whatever she was doing,
but Not remaining a mindless coffee-house attendant
was, at twenty-two, on her long-term agenda.

She wrote. She kept a day by day,
minute by minute journal.
I read a few lines. It was good.
With her good cheer,
her talent, her generosity,

her delight in the sheerness of being alive
even with a game leg, and a good many
scars, she'd have no problem.

"My big breasts saved me," she said,
"from broken ribs, but there are scars," she laughed,
making crisscross gestures across her chest.

Her contagious enthusiasm,
her total trust,
her pleasure in life may have saved
me, too,
from a deadly despondency of penny-pinching
and fear.

Thank you Sanz, you Cuban-Chinese/Russian-Ukrainian,
heritage of the world,
huge ball of caramel-cream beauty, flaming-red-copper hair
body-piercings and tatoos, lots of tatoos!
hourglass of mortality,

for fetching me from the slough of despond
just by being, just with the knowledge of
your giant suitcases, one full of diary and CDs
the other packed entirely with shoes
like... "Imelda Marcos" -- she took the words
right out of my mouth --

the sheer extravaganza of being alive!...
Is God interested in Voluntary Simplicity?
I didn't used to be either.








Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER POEMS



BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context