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
butter and sour cream
on my baked potato, foods that
slothful people eat, that turn
yellow and opaque beneath the skin.
I am still in my nightgown,
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,
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.
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.