A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || April 4, 2011 || 5:07 am

Christopher is this really amazing guy. He’s been around these parts a long damn time, and I keep expecting him to tire of my nonsense and wander away. I like him a very lot. I respect him.  Chris is crazy-intelligent, both from a brain standpoint and a heart standpoint. He is a complete dear. We are going to eat pastries on a sidewalk together someday, and point out important landmarks to one another.

The Internet is a very strange technology. We blame it for the detachment and impersonality that it spawns, and with good reason.  But it is also a space we travel that is frictionless until you bump into a reason to stop scanning and start really looking.  It was when I came across Jett and her tales of the Superior clan that I slowed down – hung around really – and began to read this beautiful (and funny) prose and some incandescent poems that she produced on a regular basis.

I should say that I teach political theory. It is a field punctuated by very difficult books.  As part of the work I do with students to prepare them for this kind of tough reading, I assign them poems.  This is my excuse for indulging in one of the great loves of my life. Folks don’t read enough poetry these days, although they do profess love for lyrics in their favorite songs and commit many of these songs to memory.  In this, poetry is alive and well.

When I first came across Jett, she was in school. Some of her writing was done on the fly in the cafeteria or Student Union building, I think. A lot of us are forced to write on the fly, but very few of us can pull it off with the aplomb and verve.  Well, Jett can, and has continued to do so through the years. The intimacy she shares with the language is something to behold and to be envied.  There is no barrier between her considerably pure soul and the words she uses to express herself.  She is a fountain of creativity in this respect.  Here she is in the confessional mode in a poem titled “There are Forevers”:

I am a burden more to myself

Detonated at a word, a scent

Left picking shards from my clumsy heart

Afraid the crystal would simply shatter.

These are the words of life itself – the embodiment of the vibrant matter that shimmers in us all.  But it takes a special person to notice and bring it to the surface.  I know I feel alive and grateful for the life I have when I read Jett.  Her writing has become dear to me.  It is nourishment from a most creative soul that lives to share bits of herself with others.

And so she shares tales of her children, of her husband, her working life of clients/patients, her childhood, her mother, and especially her stories from the road.  Jett cannot help but to make sacred the profane. She is incapable of writing a dull line. Inanimate objects take on life when she words them. All this is a feat, I say.  I have learned not to cross her:

You traveled down the hall, trailing words behind you
And I hesitated, lost in the picture of me
Flinging a heavy volume in the direction of your head.
It was a dictionary:
I wanted to give the words back, but
With heavily-compounded interest

And so I took one on the noggin and it continues to do me good. I wish I had the talent to return the favor with a combination of words that would leave you, my friend, breathless thanks to the new way to see yourself they would afford.  “Why I am saintly,” you would say.  I lack the talent, sadly, and so I hope you will accept a simple thanks on this celebration of your fortieth year.  I am so grateful to you for all your words, and for your friendship too.  Beannacht! (Blessing in Irish) May you know happiness and health and music all your days.

2 worked it out »

  1. Alexandra 4.4.2011

    Happy Birthday week, Jett.

    Love seeing you celebrate life, and hearing from everyone whose life and yours have intersected.

    Always such a cool thing.

  2. laurie 4.4.2011

    This is really beautiful.


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