Kinda Sounds Like Love

My notions of love-

I thought you had to do

something to get it,

borrow it and

give it back-swallow

it whole until

it finishes

and leaves you.

I named this hunger.

It sounds something kinda

like love;

I can see my reflection

in mirrors and rivers and

moving things–

for the first time.

I had to be my own

first witness

after and even during

the burning of becoming,

the burning of relaxing

my fists to palms,

giving away definitions

of self love.

Look at her

look at me

in the wings

and

on the stage,

giving away

old love notes

and hand grenades.

Drops

and it comes back down

to the same thing

every time I remember to look,

habit heavy in my chest,

searching for the left over words

of old familiar songs

but most things feel pretty foreign,

lovers and loves and friends long gone.

 

I’ll circle all around you,

give you what I got, that’s fine

but I let and let it’s suffocating

when I’m quiet all the time.

 

These bones feel like water.

I want that stone anchored in the sea.

I want to scoop it up and touch

its skin, my own burns

too much these days.

 

 

 

(artwork found on Pinterest…)

Let and Let and Let

 

It is just you. And a pulse. And breath.

 

-Jung said to be alone

to find what supports you

when you can no longer

support yourself

can give you an

indestructible foundation.-

 

Love doesn’t exist

when it cannot get in or out-

this much I know.

There are degrees of loss and a kind of

bottoming out

when you give too much

take from yourself too much

let too much

cowering from yet hovering over

your gutted pearl–your silence

a shell in the ocean

you try to fill. Read More

Shame and Lightning

 

 

“I am Burning and Becoming…
I Heard about shame and I heard about lightning…”

I have spent I wonder how many evenings and dark mornings pausing beneath street lights, circling around and over and through and across but not quite in to the center of what has been festering in me, blooming, burning, becoming. How many trips did Bon Iver take with me as I worked my away around charting the symptoms of lust and love confused, of a discovery of myself, my body.
I have been pretending in my life. Not sleeping. Pretending. Because parts of what I am and who I am are hard to accept for me. This is about looking at myself, stripped of tragedy and triumphs, and I’m standing in the street alone in the dark, my heart fluttering in my chest as I make yet another connection–the big one about my body. Hunger started fucking me long ago. So much hunger. But I’ve passed that point and am now mapping the symptoms I’ve charted.
I am my body.
I just spent six years rejecting that notion, teaching myself with reason, logic, and books from the greats that I am consciousness–I am not my body. But I am. My body has been my instrument since its very beginning. It shut down when it was taken, and it hid so well I lost me for a very long time. It returned in a sick state I tended to once I was able to attend. My body has been my alarm system, enemy and foe and protector for a long Read More

Self-Exam

All I wanted was the shadow

of your fingers

and cool eyes to kind of soften as

I gather my wounds in this tulip

and with you I would say

here

here

enter and close me up

 

I waited in your room

like this, folding and unfolding

my fingers over my palms as if it were

the tulip opening and closing,

bearing witness to my wounds

you know so much about, and then each time I

closed them, I saw a sort of smooth scar spreading

over old stitches, and the new ones

blended so well in these new petals.

Read More

La Loba

 

My mother collected the pieces

one by one

in the desert, the sand and skulls

cutting at her feet.

The Bone Mother, they call her,

La Loba

La Que Sabe

the Wild Woman.

Piece by piece she collected

the bones of the wolf,

her ratty cloak sweeping the dunes

behind her, her weathered fingers

clutching those indestructible pieces,

never resting until each one was accounted for.

Patience, she’d whisper to me at night

My love, you’re going to need patience

as I lost count of the scars

as I lost another piece slipping

out the window toward the moon.

Once she found the very last bone, the paw,

she’d take them to a fire, lay them

in place, raise her arms, and sing. Read More

If Death Were a Woman

poetry for and inspired by Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

–free-write, first draft, just going for what I see…

 


IF DEATH WERE A WOMAN


 

She will come for me

like words do when they wake

me from dreams, printed

in my mind’s eye, an inkblot of

the perfect image, the perfect metaphor,

the perfect motif, the perfect theme,

the clearest point.

 

She will wear a black dress

that moves like it’s in oil, her figure

slight and round and complete;

her dark eyes will summon me

outside, to a garden, so dark the night

will be that it is almost purple.

 

The moonlight will reflect on one thing–

an orchid tall and splendid

and she’ll take me by her warm, bony hand

and lead me on in front of her,

“touch it” her deep, quiet voice will command.

 

Death will know herself.

Death will be confident, with the grace

only aged women know.

 

I will feel like Alice through the looking glass,

and I’ll tiptoe up to it, my white nightgown

clinging to my naked frame--had I been sick? I’ll wonder.

I’ll feel the sweat trickle down my neck

like some heat-maddened moth, and I’ll

suddenly be anxious and afraid.

 

Death, permeating

everything fine, will tip up my chin

when I turn, and her eyes will

have yellow flecks like mine,

we share a scar beneath the left brow.

 

“Touch it.”

 

My nature has always been

not to disappoint, but this time

I am not willing to please-

and Death knows this, so her presence

will embolden me to embody

my own grace

and I will move my pale fingers

into the moon beam

and touch the orchid’s round center,

down into its curving dip.

 

“What do you wish to say?” Death will ask.

 

I will look to her again.

The orchid’s reflection glowing in her

irises–I will be bewitched. And see

she has smudged eyeliner on, and

her lips are fading.

Her dress that had moved like oil

will be disappearing into a white shift that seems

transparent but slowly

filling. The wrinkles that had been there

will start to trickle

and run down her face like

ink,

 

and I suddenly will remember

the words that had woken me

all those nights out of all those

nightmares and dreams–I’ll see

them in the ink of her tears

 

“What do you wish to say, Amy?”

her low voice is not asking,

only guiding

 

I will turn back and step closer

to the flower, the moon’s light

blinding on my shift that

will seem to be fading

into something dark, something

beautiful–black, somehow, moving as if in oil.

 

My words will be printed on its petals;

a fine script emerging as I bend nearer

there they will be–the point.

 

The clearest point.

 

 

(*wow, where the hell did that come from? Interesting write, Real Toads!!)

Reinvent Yourself Endlessly

Every time a professor asked me or my peers what my poems meant–I never quite knew how to answer. They’re comments led me around and around the center of how I always felt about it but couldn’t word,  I just acted like I already knew. That’s why it was written–those were the words to what it was, what the truth to me was. It’s not that I didn’t know but that my body or mind seems to piece things together with words and images before I can catch up. My first poem I ever wrote was Vapor in 2005. And I’ve held onto it. It’s even been published. That poem still holds true–it’s some kind of core belief I have but I didn’t have a rope down into that well to truly grasp it. I am writing to you guys tonight because this is happening again in a way–I don’t know what I am thinking until I write it down; I have to write to a someone, and I hold you guys with affection, because I am not willing to write to just myself. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my honest attempt to stop escaping myself. Because I try to be as honest as I can on nights like these. I’m so tired, but I can’t stop feeling words that are coming that I am trying to prepare for. I’m not eating, I’m not sleeping. This is what happens every time before something real is written, and I don’t know what it is but I know my fingers will type it out for me.

Everything I have written so far–planning my grand, tragic memoir–is/was really, I am realizing, a desperately structured narrative so I could validate it the events, find order in the chaos, and so I could actually feel for the girl in the story because I have a hard time doing that for myself. Or I did. That’s changing. I am changing, and everything I’ve written–none of it is going into whatever it is that I am compelled and pulled to write. What pulls at me has been pulling for almost a decade, but it’s even stronger now, the words waiting, because I have been watching it unfold and the words only gradually come.  Call those vignettes, that attempted narrative structure, a healing process, call it a coping mechanism, call it a perceived truth (as all truths seem to really be), it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because how I write it and how I remember it has been two different worlds. The memories and images, feelings (mostly physical, body feelings, frozen emotional states of the past, etc.) and events of course are as true to myself as I can be. But my life is not a linear, chronological tale-it is a history of flashes out of order. And the flashes are what I look to when I write, involving my one fail-safe–my senses and body memories. I’m more tied to the smell of lilacs, tractor oil, Old Spice, the weeds along the path to the baseball games I went to all summer when I was a girl, the milkweed, trains, the iron ore at the dock, old books, the perfume I wore when I was being abused, the feel of water and wet skin on me, physical alarms and instinct, than I am tied to actual happenings or events. And that is a blunt truth: dissociating your whole life–you live in fragments, just like how I remember it. And I have changed and do so constantly into something that makes me feel alive–and I never really felt alive before, not for this long of a period. I am in love with the simplest things like blue, deaf mornings in the winter, the way the telephone wires reflect in puddles, the smell of a storm coming, white seagulls on dark clouds Read More

Gypsy, Stripped Down

So this version, I came across it tonight and it took my breath away, goosebumps, throat hurt. Because that slow, decided piano with those lyrics, and even that low tone of her voice–

for me this song is me saying goodbye to the child/doll that has haunted me, because she was a piece of me I was terrified of, and I have come to terms with her, I stopped fearing the nightmares of her and so on, and some how, I showed her compassion. She has been quiet. She’s gone, and lovable. Damn, this song.Beautiful.

 

Gypsy, Stevie Nicks-

So I’m back to the velvet underground
Back to the floor that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was to the gypsy that I was

And it all comes down to you
Well you know that it does, well
Lightning strikes maybe once maybe twice
Oh and it lights up the night
And you see you’re a gypsy
You see you’re a gypsy

To the gypsy
That remains
She faces freedom
With a little fear
Well I have no fear
I have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from you now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And her memory is all that is left for you now
You see you’re a gypsy
You see you’re a gypsy

Lightning strikes
Maybe once maybe twice
And it all comes down to you
Oh oh well it all comes down to you
Lightning strikes
Maybe once maybe twice
Oh
I still see your bright eyes bright eyes
And I’ve always loved you
And it all comes down to you
It all comes down to you