In another language
you tell me I am only dancing
in your room for you,
you tell me I am a stamp
of a woman, elegantly abstract
across your stage of equations,
silly in my shoes.
I watch myself in your iris
and I shrink to pose,
turning for you I
want to say
how I slip
published in Psychic Meatloaf, issue 3
I found my flashdrive from college back in 08′ and I found this piece. I wrote it when all my essays and poems and stories began spilling out in college like a damn fever and this, oddly, is before the PTSD hit full-force. And it describes my current nightmares. Weird, eh?
The Nothing Caper
It came in the night. We were all sleeping in the creaky house and I woke to it lifting my sheets; it made my nightgown bleed. My doll saw it all so I ripped out her eyes the next morning before breakfast. Then it started coming in my dreams, and I thought a monster was asleep beneath my bed, gathering my things. On the scratchy carpet where the sun comes in, it branded my skin with its tongue, so I gave it my voice. Mother and father swallowed it up.
They found me in corners and closets and they didn’t hear their words running from my mouth. I didn’t know so I swallowed the words whole; they fed me spoonfuls of aches that echoed deep into my belly, burning my insides until it dulled.
I began to sweat them out my pores like a broken fever. I washed and raked my skin when I saw them in the mirror. They curdled and clotted the mainstreams of my heart as I took their pieces and ate them. I choked and spewed out a doll that didn’t have eyes. Her messy dress had burned away so they stitched her a new one and kept it inside, and I ran away, hungry.
Check out this fantastic poem over at Russell Boyle’s blog. It’s beautiful.
Originally posted on russellboyle.com:
if stars are lit
it means – there is someone who needs it.
It means – someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those specks of spit
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
he kisses God’s sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
he won’t be able to stand
that starless ordeal.
A hilarious reality check for Christmas
Originally posted on Covered in Beer:
The “Holiday Stupids” are the people and things that I like to mock during this otherwise wonderful time of year. I do love the holidays, but they also bring forth a certain type of imbecile that can’t help but to inject themselves into our happy holiday celebrations. I’d like to describe some of these people for you in an effort to expose their atrocities and end their reign of terror.
Dos and Don’ts
Throughout the Internet, annoying posters are writing “Dos and Don’ts” lists for various holiday traditions like office parties and gift giving. If Mork popped out of his intergalactic egg just in time for his first Christmas, then he may need these lists but the rest of us could do without. (The word “dos” doesn’t need an apostrophe by the way; most of these idiot authors make that mistake) They include things like, “don’t drink too much” and “don’t sexually harass your co-workers.” So you’re saying the drunken make out session on the copier is out, Copernicus? The people I feel sorry for are the poor saps writing this filth. They are probably some repressed HR director who think us dumb-ass sheep need these reminders. Hey, Biff, have a drink and lighten up.
This poem is about God as my Mother; it only took a year to figure that out:
BEYOND THE BORDER
The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,
swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,
cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—
beyond this room, beyond this wall
I can almost hear you—the soil
sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;
folds of light robes around you like
You held the sun in your hand.
You held the sun in your hand.
I stared at the light shining
through your very skin, your
fingertips red, as if you were
singly holding a ball of fire
and the darkness around us
was a wonder then, wasn’t it?
A universe we would harnass–
sketching stars in reverse,
stunned at such beauty.
It’s strange how the ones we love
seem to sink in the deep when we’re not looking. Continue reading
Also sharing this with Open Link Night over at dVerse)
I’m about to write a poem about a certain, special color for me (oddly it’s not at all a….pleasant one usually). This is Claudia’s creative idea over at dVerse Poets Pub. Join the fun, read the poems of other bloggers, comment, and the like. Thanks for reading.
Brown like the mahogany pews in the Rectory
my mother used to polish
as a side job when I was four,
trailing behind her with a bucket
of Pinesol–that clean burning smell
of brown sloshing bubbles.
Brown like the carpet squares she
single-handedly pieced together Continue reading
"We believe in one God, Father the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth..." I was raised a Roman Catholic. I have painted my old Reeboks white so they look new; they're stiff as I walk downtown toward our apartment. The steeple from my school and the lake behind it disappear behind the run-together row of clapboard bars, hair salons, and the broken down apartment buildings. Lilacs are always pushing through the dirty fences and even they smell like cigarettes and beer. Gum all over the sidewalk; gum in my mouth. I look down. I'm nervous every day at age eleven. I am shy. I do what I'm told and I have manners. I pray. I pray for my mother. I pray for the holy force to make Joey Larson fall in love with me. My shoes are dirty from the day--in the sunlight I see you can tell they've been painted and I feel for a moment delayed embarrassment. One block to go and I pass the Cassaloma--the last bar before home. The red door is held open by a rusted ashcan and hot, smuggy air permeates from the dark. Bleach and smoke and beer. Stale heat flutters my white blouse and I'm suddenly hot. I take my ponytail out and peek behind my blond bangs, just to see. I always have to see. There's the glare from the chrome of the barstool once my eyes adjust, and I see the silhouette of the man who's there, every day,at 3:20. He doesn't move as empty ashtrays clang and spin across the counter as the bartender wipes them with white rags. The sun catches in his big glasses that always magnified his blue eyes. I want him to see me; I don't want him to see me. I mouth the word "dad" just to see how it feels in my mouth. It's just a fact--as my mother tells us--he has been an alcoholic since we before we were born. A heavy woman in a Mickey Mouse shirt leans back from her stool and stares in my direction. I can't risk her drawing his attention in my direction, so I walk away and wonder if Joey Larson saw my shoes in the sun.
All This quiet time by myself
looking in the mirror, at my triumphs,
failures and mistakes
and I feel a sad song in my veins
when I think of you and me, my dear
I think you’ve gotten tired like me
Maybe we have no way
of getting out of this for awhile
I try not to call
but I’m not that good at being alone.
So maybe I’m sorry, my dear
Maybe I gotta do some things on my own–
as I’ve always tried to do.
I’m slow building up a new foundation
but the layers take me time
but I’m used to getting dirty
When I lost it in November
you were the only one
who could just barely reach my loneliness–
but you did, dear…
and when I hate me–
you’ve always seen some part
of me I can’t–some piece
of me you somehow see–and I trust you.
I think your heart is too big
for someone like me, dear
I think I hurt you
in a bad way–in a way from love
I didn’t know I was twisting up your insides
bad enough you had to
stop and pull back
And maybe I’m sorry
even for things outta my hands
because it’s me anyhow, behind the wheel.
And I don’t wanna drag anyone down
into this with me anymore
for some damn reason you were crazy enough
to volunteer in the dark at my side
and I am
I miss you. I miss us. I miss me.
I promise I’ll get better, my dear.
You believed in me–before I ever could–
what else could have possibly
kept me here?
Since I was little you were
what love was, like a mama, and shelter
and you always let me go my way
as maybe is the way of sisters
I wonder if you–did you think
you’d always have to break your back under me?
I got mad at you for being tired.
I’m sorry, my dear
I expect so much out of you
I see how you kinda had to let me go a little
step back, away
and that’s okay
I’m kinda keen on fighting alone–
you know I prefer to have pride that way
But maybe–you never let me be alone
and so I’ll trust you while you are.
Maybe, for the first time–
Ill do something for you
And let you rest.
as if Lady Day had kissed my skin and I sang–
how I sang to you–my idea
of love a passing summer’s day.
You wouldn’t go away–so serious
of the illusion you bought
or so I thought–No, I’d tell you
when you slept
No, I’m too much for you
and time slips
and it turns to
No, I’m not enough for you
while I thought you were dreaming;
but you knew, didn’t you? the inner
cycles in my matter,
you knew before I did
that I loved you
only you were too shy to say so, too shy Continue reading
This poem came out of me after reading only chapter 2 from the book Women Who Run with the Wolves.
It is a sacred place–this place
when I am unexpecting.
Sometimes it's when I am
overjoyed; sometimes when I am desperate
And sometimes in that space
between waking and dreaming;
But in that secret river–that sacred place–
is The Mother, The One Who Knows.
Search, she tells me, search, love.–the answers
you alone hold. You know what to do.
And of yourself–let die what must die,
let live what must live.
You have a power in your veins–a power
in your very mind–and it
is fed from your soul, she tells me.
And I, for a few moments, revel
in the possibility that illness
is just a lesson from a force
stronger than water.
Another great time at Open Link Night at dverdverse Poets Pub!
I used to imagine that the night sky
was a blanket God put over the earth
and that he was kind enough to poke holes
in it so we wouldn’t get lost in the dark–giving us a light
beyond anything I was ever a part of.
One night my stepfather took us to see my mother
in the mental ward.
We hadn’t seen her in a month
and when she came outside to meet us
she was robed and terrified, clinging to him.
She never looked at us but stood in the cool
October air crying. How strange it was
to see that, and it wasn’t sad–disappointment
was a large part of our lives.
I remember I couldn’t look at her
so I stared up into the stars, that blanket
I wanted wrapped around us,
clinging to my own small song.
Time for another round of Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets’ Pub! Come join in and share a poem and read the talent of others. This poem was inspired by Anne Sexton’s poem “The Room of My Life” and this is the first draft I wrote at six this morning. The title will change. Thanks!
THE ROOM OF MY LIFE
Here, in the room of my life,
a cigarette is half burning, the gray ash
snake still in the crystal. Cheap crystal.
Good Will crystal.
Painted black book shelves, yellowed paperbacks
with bent corners–The Bell Jar–like a pulse
on the second shelf. Two copies.
There is wallpaper–striped gold with deep purple
paisley and forest greens. I must have picked at it–
near the ceiling, strips are gone,
the delicate paper bowing backwards. Pieces of it
have slipped down into the cold register.
There are one or two windows…the heavy drapes block out
all seasons but there is, shhh, one crack between the curtain panels
where brilliant light sneaks through.
I lay on the dusty chaise like Woolf in makeup Continue reading