Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Farewell Houston

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The last time I left Houston for an extended period of time, I was traveling just three hours away to attend university in Austin. I was still in Texas, albeit a more liberal part of Texas. At the time, four years ago, my parents were possibly concerned--oldest child away to school--but I was thrilled.

As part of an early school assignment, my world literature teacher asked us to imitate the literary style of a writer covered in class. I imitated Isabella Whitney's "Last Wyll and Testament," attempting poem in ballad meter with alternating tetrameter and trimeter rhyme scheme. I posted the poem to the blog long ago, but it's worth revisiting.

A note to previous comforter, Houston, concerning the author’s reason for an affair and new relationship with the city Austin.
Dear Houston, whom I did depart,
your climate was oppressive
good times we had at first were smart
though often still depressive.
As the sweat gathered on my cheeks,
I flicked away the droplets
and thought of Austin’s golden streets,
the Texas tower orange lit.
With trunks and suitcase in the car,
I bid you final farewell--
so long dear heavy August heat
consequences I dispelled.
Alas but twelve hours prior,
I made my concluding rounds,
a tour of the fourth largest town
familiar sites don’t astound.
“Of course the freeway is backed up,”
I proposed another route,
Kirby, Westheimer, and Shepherd,
congestion present throughout.
Oh, to make it there in Houston,
better drive aggressively,
dad maneuvered, and we arrived,
to dinner successfully.
True, the food there is quite divine;
Becks Prime and Goode Company,
but Austin cuisine is unique,
Torchy Tacos and Maudies.
Following dinner, we explored
Montrose, the Heights, River Oaks
looking back, our venture about
how did none suffer heatstroke?
The beer can house with all its shine,
Memorial Park and joggers,
my parents fear Austin for me,
while I just count the hours.
What I loved about you Houston,
will be multiplied so soon
Zilker, Greenbelt, and Barton Springs,
replace seasonal typhoons.
In my new home, I shall witness
smog-less days and starry nights,
with World Lit class during the day,
night festivities delight.
Houston, what more could you offer?
I felt too large for that place.
My time though was much enjoyed there,
memories, I shan’t erase.
Thus I take from you many joys,
like time spent in the Village,
adventures at parks with good friends,
captured with artsy footage.
Pollution, population, no
I have suffered that too much,
thus to Austin I quickly fled,
new lover and home to clutch.

I suppose this means a second poem will be coming once I make the move to San Francisco, and establish myself in the City by the Bay. But for now, I will attempt some last minute packing in preparation for tomorrow's departure from my sweet hometown, Houston.

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"Greetings from Houston" mural             
Gelazzi in The Heights
3601 White Oak Dr
Houston, TX 77007
Houston's "Before I Die" wall
Blue Line Bicycle Laboratory in The Heights
3302 White Oak Dr
Houston, TX 77007