Lupert
The Never-ending Apartments of My Youth
by Rick Lupert

When I moved outside my mother’s womb
I’m sure I didn’t want to go. I’m averse to
change, which is odd because I don’t like
seeing a movie more than once or eating
the same meal two days in a row.

When I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I was one year old and that is everything
I remember about that.

When I moved to Syracuse, New York
I held a yard sale in my apartment.
I sold a Fisher-Price airplane for
a dollar and felt like a millionaire.

When I moved to Pasadena, California
I escaped a junior high school full of bullies.
I got a job teaching other kids how to play
video games without quarters. It was not
the first time I was told not to come back.

When I moved to three different apartments
in the San Gabriel Valley because my mother
couldn’t afford to pay the rent, I learned to
hate moving. I learned to be glad I left the womb.

When I moved to an apartment with a roommate
I escaped every experience that preceded. My
mother moved in two weeks later and smoked
my roommate into her own homelessness.

When I moved to the San Fernando Valley
I wanted to be closer to my weekend job,
which became my weekday job, which
ended when they sold the company.
I remember riding my bicycle home at
one o’clock a.m. Bullies with water guns
took me down. It was hilarious to someone.

When I moved to my own apartment
with no-one but a cat. I learned to love
to be alone. I never felt more alone.

When I moved into a house
provided by an intimate relationship
with a financial institution, they said
you need to buy a starter house, get in
the system. By this time I had a starter
wife. We grew into each other and
found a house with a hundred rooms
that we would never have to leave.

Now I just move from room to room
and each one has it’s purpose. One
is for eating. One is for making the food
that gets eaten. One is for watching.
One is for computing. One is for our son.
One has been taken over by all the cats.
One is for contributing to the septic tank.
So is another. One is for sleeping. One
is for making dirty clothing clean. One is
for other people to sleep.

And there’s a door too.
I don’t know what it’s for.

PHOTO: The author, a year after the first big move.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I hate moving. This prompt gave me the opportunity to reflect on the many times I’ve moved since the first one out of the womb. Ever since that very first move, I’ve been working to arrange my life so I wouldn’t have to do so again. I love how SBP prompts force me to revisit milestones in my life. I want to write these forever.

ricklupert-fanchers-10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His first spoken word album — Rick Lupert Live and Dead, featuring 25 studio and live tracks — was released in March, 2016. He’s authored 19 collections of poetry, including Professor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May 2016),  Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress, and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone WildA Poet’s Haggadah, and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana and writes the Jewish Poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for JewishJournal.com. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. Visit him on facebook.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.