japonisme: i am the laziest girl in the world

09 September 2008

i am the laziest girl in the world


I am lazy, the laziest
girl in the world. I sleep during
the day when I want to, 'til
my face is creased and swollen,
'til my lips are dry and hot. I
eat as I please: cookies and milk
after lunch,
butter and sour cream
on my baked potato, foods that
slothful people eat, that turn
yellow and opaque beneath the skin.

Sometimes come
dinnertime Sunday
I am still in my nightgown,
the one
with the lace trim listing because
I have not mended it. Many days
I do not exercise, only
consider it, then rub my curdy
belly and lie down. Even
my poems are lazy. I use
syllabics instead of iambs,
prefer slant to the gong
of full rhyme,
write briefly while others go
for pages. And yesterday,
for example,
I did not work at all!

I got in my car and I drove
to factory outlet stores, purchased
stockings and panties and socks
with my father's money.

To think, in childhood I missed only
one day of school per year. I went
to ballet class four days a week
at four-forty-five and on
Saturdays, beginning always
with plie, ending with curtsy.

To think, I knew only industry,
the industry of my race
and of immigrants, the radio
tuned always to the station
that said, Line up your summer
job months in advance. Work hard
and do not shame your family,
who worked hard to give you
what you have.

There is no sin but sloth. Burn
to a wick and keep moving.

I avoided sleep for years,
up at night replaying
evening news stories about
nearby jailbreaks, fat people
who ate fried chicken and woke up
dead. In sleep I am looking
for poems in the shape of open
V's of birds flying in formation,
or open arms saying, I forgive you, all.

Elizabeth Alexander

From Body of Life by Elizabeth Alexander, published by Tia Chucha Press. Copyright © 1996 by Elizabeth Alexander.

all of this by way of saying that i need to start exercising again, and i've run into a wall before i've even begun. i've exercised a lot, intermittently, in the past: running, working out at a gym, lots of walking, even working out with exerciseTV. right now i am simply not motivated at all.

except for the fact that my mother started developing alzheimer's when she was not much older than i am now, and already you'll never know when i'll just forget how to use something, like my answering machine, that i've used a million times before, and plus they say that really the only thing that slows or even stops it is exercise, and it works really well. 1

can you help? please share with me any ideas, suggestions, thoughts, whatever you have that can help me get moving again, and i thank you from my heart. and my brain cells.

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Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, dear, I feel exactly the same way. The cooler weather is finally arriving and I NEED to get out and walk!! I wish I was nearby. I could pop over and we could take a stoll together.

10 September, 2008 06:28  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh that would be lovely!

okay--i thought of an idea. say we dedicate each day's walks to somebody else. like today, maybe, for example, i could walk for you and you could walk for me.

and then if anyone else would want either of us to walk for them they can tell us and we can walk for them too?,,,,

10 September, 2008 07:18  
Blogger Margaret said...

Well, I find my iPod helps a lot. My husband is an exercise junkie because he plays sports. I usually tag along, and that forces me out the door. I would say it definitely helps to have someone to work out with. Or do something you really enjoy.

I love hiking and snowboarding, but since you can't do that everyday, I practice ballet (NYC ballet workout DVD) when I'm not being dragged to the gym. It's about the exercise DVD I can stand!

10 September, 2008 14:29  
Blogger Neil said...

The laziest girl in the world is a good ambition, but my wife's great-uncle's Danish mistress (if that isn't too much of a phrase-full) trumped it by being described as 'the naughtiest girl of the century'. 20th century, that is. Mix laziest and naughtiest and you probably have the recipe for a long and happy life.

10 September, 2008 14:49  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks, margaret. funny you should mention that particular dvd; i took it out of the library once and found it particularly difficult!

but the ipod is a great idea. what do you listen to? i don't have one; can you tell me what one should consider these days when getting one?


10 September, 2008 17:39  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

neil--a man with his head in the right place.

10 September, 2008 17:40  
Blogger here today, gone tomorrow said...

The images in this post exhausted me!

*Retires to the settee with the flutters.*

12 September, 2008 04:39  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

a most appropriate response, says i, with emphasis!

12 September, 2008 08:17  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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