Unconventional Nelson

10.20.2018 – I told the UPS clerk my Mom’s first name was unconventional.


Lesbia Nelson & Paul E Nelson Jr.

When Bhakti and I were in Chicago last September, my Ma, Lesbia Nelson, was having lower back pain and so I offered some of my CBD salve. She tried it and loved it so I left the jar with her, but when I got back to Seattle, she wanted more. I told her I was not sure it was legal to mail it, but then realized I could send it by UPS, so she sent funds for the salve and shipping, I got the salve at the marijuana store and put the two jars in an empty yogurt container and wrapped it with paper from a Trader Joe’s shopping bag.

I went to the UPS store and the clerk asked me what was in the package and I told her “skin cream for my Cuban Mother. Her first name is unconventional” I told her. She said “no problem” and filled out the address form, which was easy because I had shipped things to Ma before from the store. When the clerk handed me the shipping form so I could verify it was accurate it was addressed to: Unconventional Nelson. I should have taken a photo, but instead I said: “No, my Mom’s first name is… well, let me spell it for you.”

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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