I am sitting across from my mother,
on a two day yoga retreat
as she reads my first book of poetry
and I explain away my life.
She is horrified, editorial - amused,
oblivious as I get eye-banged by fellow yogis,
who like bad boys who dress in black spandex,
drinking Roobios out of recycled cups,
listening to sad songs on big headphones,
taking breaks to recite lurid poesy to his Catholic mother,
who salutes the sun with the woman who raised him
who stands with his mother,
imperious against the dawn,
and flirts with rural girls in search of a soul.
There’s a 95% chance
I am going to have sex with one of them -
with some controlled breathing,
all the props,
getting lots of asana
on a combined yoga mat,
in some monastic cell.
My mother will be in bed.
She is one of those early risers.
Ignorant of the pot smoked in the temple
And why we really practice our stretching.
Someday, she’ll read this poem too.
“Hi, mother, this is me.”
You son has come home
and it’s time you got to know him."
“I am here because Byron Katie was bullshit.
I learned everything about being alive from you.
As you drink tea and read obscure literature
and laugh and shake your head and tch in disapproval
and need no cult or book circuit to teach.”
“You taught me to live, no matter what.
Life is painful and that pain means we are alive.
Why disregard our emotions and try to be still as stones?
Rage against the dying light.
Stand defiant against the dark.
Embrace our stories and feel our feelings.”
Why deny our baser natures when that is the way we were born?
Naked and already dying,
In the hands of a woman just as fallable
who considered aborting me as a viable life path.
And who I would not blame in the slightest
if she had taken the clinical route.
“Open yourself to the universe,”
said my therapist,
“And you’ll be surprised what happens.”
Apparently, you find out you were this close
to playing it as it lays,
dodging coat hangers,
wrapped in umbilicals
and ironically alive.
Saved by the same conservative morays
I tried to shed like unwanted cells.
like Joan Didion grew up in the coal region
Instead of the California wastes.
He’s definitely onto something.
He’s a cancer survivor with a missing leg
a incisive mind and a no-bullshit kinda attitude,
who’s super power is being able to shut me up.
He encouraged me to reconnect with my past.
He also knows that life lived is painful.
He’s why my prolife Mother is reading -
My poetry about gay threesomes
Learning about all my formative mistakes,
The details of failed marriages,
The drugs snorted and the bottles drunk
the songs sung and the messes made.
It’s a really good thing she has a sense of humor.
Else my therapist would get the Freudian slip.
Somehow, I doubt he meant using her
to pick up hippies in converted monasteries,
Charming my way through these secular and restrictive corridors,
Earnestly pantomiming a sensitive soul.
What’s a narcissist with a broken childhood to do
Even he has to find his savasana somehow.
Whether pretense or past tense,
Being a momma’s boy certainly has its perks.
Her decisions are why I am alive.
I just hope my therapist approves.