The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

The Bedroom is a Sanctuary for Sleeping, Sex, and Reading.



It’s 80 degrees in Vancouver, Washington right now. It’s almost 7pm, and it’s finally that time of the year where I regret not having air conditioning, or larger fans, or that the insulation in my attic is too thin and far from up to code. I’m in the process of recovering from surgery, and I’ve been fairly bed-ridden for the last week, and with a few days to go, I think I’ve watched my way through Netflix, caught up in Californication, killed a handful of flies, and stared out my bedroom window enough times to memorize the curves on the gutter down spout that sits almost three feet from the sill. The one thing I’ve yet to do is the one thing that I’ve truly wanted to do this whole time – read.

I thought that given my situation, I’d be drawn to books, but unfortunately that has not been the case. I ordered a lot of them, and as they’ve begun to show up, I’ve definitely been excited to see them – but I haven’t opened them yet. Well, I opened up the autographed copy of Chorus by Saul Williams, and it made me smile to know that I have something I’ve coveted for so long.

I don’t read much beyond my basic curriculum during the school year. For some reason I felt as if reading during the school year made me lose focus on what I was doing in my classroom. It’s a sad excuse, and one that I know is an excuse. I’ve been using it for a long time. The honest truth is that I enjoy the mental shutdown of watching television, and reading at home sounds tedious at times. All that changed over the last couple of days.

I spent the first five days of recovery at my parents’ house, in order to give my fiance an ample opportunity to move around the house a bit. We combined households almost a year ago, but have finally started to make the home ours versus mine. She moved our bedroom into a different room, changed around the living room, and reorganized to truly make this place look like a home for the first time in the three years I’ve lived here. One of the main changes is that we’ve removed the television from the bedroom. It had become a distraction. The bedroom, as she would say, “is a sanctuary for two things: sleeping and sex.” How on earth can I argue with that? That being said, now that I’m home, and confined to the bedroom for a few more days, it’s become a room where I can sit down and read instead of watch movies the entire day.

Last night, I read B by Sarah Kay. It was a short children’s book of a solitary poem, with gorgeous simplistic illustrations. Well worth the read, and a nice way to ease back into things. Tonight I will start on Chorus by Saul Williams. I’m a huge fan of his work – both music and poetry – so I’m truly looking forward to digging into the text. It’s a signed copy, so I’ll take my notes on sticky notes instead of inside the book itself, and unfortunately, this means I won’t be underlining phrases, or highlight things that truly stick out. I’m okay with that. I’ll survive on scattered yellow notes throughout the book.

So, tonight I settle in with a margarita, and a nice book of hard-hitting poetry. Sounds like a fantastic evening to me.

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

2 comments on “The Bedroom is a Sanctuary for Sleeping, Sex, and Reading.

  1. The Running Son
    June 28, 2013

    I write to you from my room, my sanctuary for sleeping and reading. It is a sanctuary for sex too–for cockroaches, vinigaroons, and giant agile desert spiders. But I am a damn monk.

    Not literally. I like monks, but I like sex better, and digressions. God bless Saul Williams.

    Christopher, I like your struggles with reading. Besides a mild and pleasing sense of superiority in the face of human weakness–I Identify across 3 states. And when I finally did turn off my TV after the NBA playoffs, the default increase in reading I did was almost startling.

    Congrats on the signed SW. Enjoy the tide of books in your mailbox, and best of luck on your recovery.


  2. alise
    June 28, 2013

    oh my. you are one of those who writes in their books…that’s ok though. i can relate to this post a great deal. i have had trouble diving into books. normally, once i get started i don’t put it down until i finish. i’ve been pretty scatter-brained recently which is frustrating. i suppose leaving my laptop out of my bedroom would be a start. nice post, much love.

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