It was my grandmother’s wedding anniversary.
My mother group texted us a photo of her in her dress.
And then a photo of her, sitting in her wheel chair,
Full of dementia instead of love and memory.
I saw it, and right there I wanted to cry,
I wanted to be the kind of person who can take a day off every year
And get all their grieving out at once,
Because she’s not really here anymore,
Except in the photos.
She looked so full of hope in the photo,
And the way she has her chin tilted, is just like the way my sister tilts her chin.
I think back on what I know of the marriage, colored through my mother’s understanding,
As terrible and straining,
But in these two photos,
She doesn’t know the tension that will come,
And in the other, grayer photo in color,
She can’t remember yet.
I told the traveling vision tester where I was going after my contract finished,
She said she would love to be that free,
That’s actually her dream,
To travel and have no destination, or place to go,
I wanted to tell her it’s my version of hell,
But she looked so happy for me.
I couldn’t tell her I’m stuck, and can’t make a decision,
I’m repeating a damn pattern,
Just like after college.
The water freezes and condenses on both sides of the glass
So when I start my car,
And it tries so hard to start,
To clear my windows,
It doesn’t know which way to go,
It doesn’t know what I’m asking for,
No one else seems to be able to give me what I need,
A machine wouldn’t be any different.
I talk to these people through my phone,
Texting, or snap chatting,
But I still don’t feel like I know them.
I spend time with people in cars,
And they talk to me,
But I still don’t feel close to them.
I’m starting to think it’s not the medium,
I’ll never be as open as the woman who can tell strangers about her tearing from her pregnancy.
I could go to Maine, and work for my room and board
And learn pottery, ceramics,
From this couple who advertise on their homewritten website.
I could stay here,
Stay for summer, the berries, and the fish.
Or I could go stay with my mother.
Or I could cry some more.
We’re doing a thirty-day workout,
Please make it stop.
I want to not follow through on my word,
I said I would do this with them though,
Everything is awful, and I’m going to die.
I can bake a cake, and a pie.
I can write, and read, and critique.
I can make people love me.
That’s what I learned this year.
I can survive.
My sister said,
If we weren’t family,
She doesn’t think I would talk to any of them,
And she’s right,
But they’re family,
And I’m Kantian here,
In that, they’ll be okay,
If I have to drag them through rocky mud every damn day.
Fill me with good things instead of
Punctually correct text messages.
Let me listen to Ian McKellen shout at me about
My mountainish inhumanity.
Tell me about what you want to leave as a legacy.
Quit talking to me with what you think you’re supposed to say.
Tell me what you feel.
I want to hear it.
what? i’m writing again? yeah the internet has been down for a while. also i went home for christmas.
I kind of want to be a kind with cancer so I can make a wish and have Robin Mckinley write a sequel to “Sunshine.”
I hate you a little, because I’ve let you in.
I am not Heathcliff.
I am guilt.
So much of my religion has become singing hymns when the melody line finds me and won’t leave.
Googling the verses,
And singing to myself, in my own way.
On my bed, cross-legged, scrunched to the screen.
Let me tell you who I am,
So that someone knows.
I feel like I’m living a life like a streaming online video,
That’s too dark and too quiet,
But the volume is already all the way up
And the brightness at its most blue.
I press the keys to make it clearer, louder,
But the pictures keep moving just the same.
When I get too stressed and my eggs stop falling,
They will be sad.
I’ll get prosecuted for failure to protect life.
One will never grow into a sea monkey.
My insides will get more gnawed from guilt.
And I’ll feel bad for letting them down,
Or not letting them fall down.
I keep asking him one more time,
For the stores I’ve already heard,
Because I know he won’t be able to tell them soon,
Tell them the way I remember.
Because I want to remember,
Before he can’t tell me anymore.
It’s the same reason I don’t mind when my mom tells me what I’ve already heard on my birthday,
The story of how I was born.
I know the words by heart, rhythm, and cadence, but
It’s not the same, like the new toy to replace the lost one isn’t the same,
I want to hear my parents tell it.
I will never be a women who belongs to someone else.
I won’t ever sing about only dreaming of one person
And running to someone else.
The self-sufficient baron in me,
Laughs, like Ursula, at those pitiful feelings slugs.
And I can’t decide what I want.
Do I want someone strong and unmovable, but ultimately boring and predictable,
Do I want someone stronger than me,
Or do I want an equal?
Or do I want someone I can push around,
And how much of this is left up to me?
We were talking about Byron
About how, you can’t live your life at that speed for long,
But god, is it interesting.
And everything in me, wants to be that dramatic,
Leans toward being loud, and over the top, like I was raised.
Maybe I want to be fantastic, taking up space.
My favorite parts of the Sharon Olds’ “Stag Leap” will be forever the angry bits,
The bits with so much flavor,
Instead of the settled down, crock pot ending.
I want that drama, it’s so much more interesting.
I read this book that was taking on all the great rock n’ roll music debates
E.g. Hendricks vs. Clapton or Prince vs. MJ
And he went with Clapton over Hendricks mostly because Clapton is still alive and going, even at a partial rate, whereas Hendricks flamed and died.
His basic argument was that he was old and respected the cost of living,
Be beautiful and rich and full and honest once.
Then leave the rest of us alone.
Give me a minute to get myself together. I’ll be writing more soon.