Writing My Way Through

On March 13, I made my weekly grocery trip to a local warehouse store. The parking lot was jam-packed. After I managed to find a parking space, I went into the building and saw a staff member wiping down the handles of each shopping cart with a disposable wet cloth before passing them to customers. 

What I saw and experienced in the store was disturbing to me. After I left with my groceries, I drove to a less crowded parking lot so I could stop and take a breather. I called my wife to tell her what was happening in the store. Then I used my phone to write a piece of poetry: 

Shopping for the Apocalypse 

The warehouse store’s getting 

robbed out — 

Bare bread shelves 

Store staff collecting empty 

boxes and hauling them away 

Wearing gloves 

Patrons piling boxes and crates 

full onto carts and flatbed dollies 

Crowded aisles blocking access 

Faces hidden by surgical masks 

Masses queuing at the checkout 

A store run, like a bank run 

Triggered by rumors of 

Financial fall 

What descent has fueled 

This withdrawal 

This stockpiling 

The first piece of creative writing I ever did was a poem I wrote in fourth grade. Since then, as playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda says in a hip hop song, I have “wrote my way out” of a background of urban poverty, school bullying, and child abuse, and into two college degrees and a home that I own. I wrote my way out of an economically depressed Rust Belt town, and into the financially stable Twin Cities. My family of origin eventually followed me to find new lives here. 

In the present time of shutdowns, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, I struggle with the fact that with this crisis there is no way out. There is no distant city that can provide me escape, no college education that can offer me uplift, no jobs with income that can give me refuge. 

I was 19 years old when I was able to take the first step of writing my way out, attending college far from where I grew up. Before that, as a child and teenager, I wrote constantly: journals, poems, essays, stories, letters to my best friend. I often walked around with notebooks to scribble whatever came to mind. Until writing got me out of the traumatic environment I lived in, it got me through living in it. 

I cannot write my way out of the pandemic and its effects, but I am compelled to write my way through it. 

Stephani Maari Booker (she/her), author of “Secret Insurrection: Stories from a Novel of a Future Time,” writes nonfiction, speculative fiction, erotic fiction, and poetry. .goodreads.com/athenapm 

View the full downloadable “Cocoon” Quaranzine here

http://credit-n.ru/zaymyi-next.html http://credit-n.ru/zaymyi-next.html https://zp-pdl.com/apply-for-payday-loan-online.php http://www.otc-certified-store.com/cholesterol-medicine-europe.html https://zp-pdl.com