Ten Poems for August

1:
I’m sorry I haven’t written,
I’m sorry I’m not enough.
There was too much,
And I was not enough.
Whatever you want to say,
The answer is that I’m sorry.
Not that I’ll do better,
But that I would like you to know I feel guilt,
The kind of guilt one feels when someone likes you but you’re already involved with someone else.
No that’s not right, because I love you all.
Which is why I’m sorry.

2:
She’s still alive.
My grandmother is still alive.
She’s recovered from kidney failure stage four, pneumonia, malnutrition,
They’re taking her off hospice.
Two weeks they told us at Christmas.
What is she playing at, living through the pain as usual, determined to cause as much harm as possible.
Making a caretaker for life out of my mother who has better things to do.
She needs to die. Her brain has huge black swaths.
Also I want to eat the food at her funeral, I helped plan the menu.

3:
What will I call you when I forget my mind?
Will you be my sister?
Or my first boyfriend’s name?
Or nothing at all?
Who will you be to me when I can’t chew my food?

4:
It decided to all catch up with me today,
I finally got enough sleep,
Or sat still long enough,
For my brain to think.
It was all there waiting for me,
All the trauma, heartache, pain, agony, suffering, blah.
I’ll tell them to you one by one as I can. As I need to. As I can express.
I’ll verbally process on paper, talking to myself,
Wanting to have that perfect person that negates the need for all this explaining.

5:
I don’t know the pin number to my debit card.
And I have to buy a monthly bus pass for $41.25.
The money I saved in my little silver box has all been broken.
You have to enter a pin number to get cash at the grocery store.
I just got my new driver’s license, so I can’t write a check at the store to get the extra cash because the dln doesn’t match, so the machine won’t take it.
They won’t let you write a check for a bus pass.
My bank is back in my home state.
They need me to come into the bank to verify my identify, three thousand miles away.
I don’t have an account here, because I don’t have a permanent address here, because I’m living as a “guest” and I’m not on the lease.
So I don’t have checks that match my new license, so I can’t write a check to get cash back to pay for the bus pass.
They have a mobile app, but it doesn’t work on all the buses, and I don’t always have my phone charged.
My sister doesn’t have any spare cash I can pay her for later.
She tells me to go to an ATM.
I’ve never used an ATM, I tell her,
And her eyes bug out, but she doesn’t offer to help.

6:
I miss your old apartment,
That truly awful place.
Near Spiderhouse, west campus, off Guad, past 26th
I miss it now that you have a gate with a key code,
An apartment with white walls,
And no twindly staircase to a creaked, upper floor.
The times we played vr without room to turn around,
The snacks and sweaters in my little paper bags,
The way it smelled so terribly like you.
Your bed on the floor without sheets,
The heart murmur, the thighs, the ceiling-projected midnight movies,
I miss that I had hope back then, that you might want more,
That we could fit together.
That I would trust you enough to share my feelings,
That I hadn’t seen you snap at your kid’s mom.
When you would talk as much as I would,
And find me amusing instead of a thing to deal with,
When I could crash at your place after getting drunk at the bars downtown.
He said he didn’t want it to end, didn’t he?
When I told him someone else loved me now.
Funny, then, he never did a thing to keep me.

7:
I need to be someone’s first.
I can’t come second.
I want to be someone’s sun and moon and all the stars.
So, I won’t date you if you have kids,
Or if you’re in a living arrangement with your brother and ex-girlfriend who’s really more of a sister to you, who you haven’t slept with in three years, is coming third okay?
I can’t take being pushed aside for whatever it is that’s more important.
I want to be important. I want to be looked at, taken into consideration, important, recognized, give me validity you external sources.

8:
Let me go down the list of people I’ve failed,
Of promises I’ve broken to myself,
Commitments I’ve forgotten I’ve made,
Things I wanted so much to remember.
I cannot love myself for being human, I can barely love myself for being who I am.

9:
There aren’t any clouds in Texas.
Oh sure it rains, turns gray, and the sun disappears.
But where is my orange and purple?
Where are the dayends in a blaze of glory?
I want my feelings to be seen in the sky.
Those beautiful moving, sweeping, forces of nature.
There are no swirls, fluffs, miniature elephants, or dancing biscuit dough,
It’s clear, or it’s airplane stripes, or a gray you can’t see, deceiving all these southerners,
Making them think those painters are making it up,
Instead of barely capturing how beautiful it is where it’s not this damn hot.

10:
Leave him alone.
I must have spent the same amount of time thinking about texting him as I have actually spent with him.
I want him to plan things with me,
And take me seriously,
And like me.
He’s starting a new job, I should leave him alone.
He doesn’t care about me,
I’ll never see him again.
Even if my family did background research and really likes him.
What did I do wrong?
Was I not enough of myself?
Why doesn’t anyone love me?
Please, at least,
Don’t text him again, after this one.

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10 Thoughts on the End of the Relationship

1:
He told me I have one setting.
I only behave with people one way.
I said yes.
He said he was just noting.
I told him that he hadn’t seen my other sides.
He told me to drop my filters.
I said they’re there for your protection.

2:
I knew he was immature.
I knew it.
I told my sister.
And she laughed at me, that I need someone communicative.
She laughed because she think I don’t share.
But I knew he was incapable of talking about his feelings, at least with me.
But I need that kind of transparency.
I don’t think he knows enough to try and change.
To ask for what he needs, to infer, to care, to suppose, or touch me with anything other than his hands.

3:
It feels like he threw me away, by not taking the time to think of me.
Just because it doesn’t show on my face doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.
But now I read something online that says, adapting your actions based on how you think the other person will react is manipulative. Is it?
I don’t know.
If you’re only responsible for how you feel, doesn’t that let you get away with whatever you want? Lead to pleasure-seeking behavior only?
Maybe it’s just a sign that I was raised in a bad emotional environment.

4:
He keeps calling me weird,
I think I asked him not to.
I told a friend,
Who said,
Anyone who still has their bed against a corner isn’t mature enough for a relationship. Doesn’t take into account basic accessibility of two people sleeping.
I sat there at two a.m. wanting to leave.
Because I couldn’t sleep.
Because I didn’t feel like he liked me.
I don’t want to be called weird.
I want to feel normal and fine just as I am,
Not different,
Not away from you
Just okay for being me.
I’m sorry you don’t come across people who behave differently than you expect.

5:
Is it because I already had it worked out in my mind?
He isn’t for me.
He makes me feel bad about my body.
Goodness gracious. I’m supposed to say out loud –
Please don’t blame me for the way my body reacted, or
I’m sorry I threw off your groove the first time we tried to have sex?
What else can I say but I don’t have a lot of sex, and I’m sorry.
I’ll be a joke you tell in stand up.
And you can be my thought in a poem.
My heart was protecting me, I knew this.
And I’m little mad at it, for not letting me get hurt, feel.
But I’ll be leaving unscarred, and with a little more perspective on myself.

6:
Here’s what we’re going to do.
We’re not going to initiate contact.
I left nothing in your apartment.
I figure in a couple weeks you’ll invite me out on a Monday.
And I’ll decide from there.
I won’t seek your attention. So I can detach.
I’ll be horrible, and not speak how I feel out loud,
I’ll turn into the ball of self-sufficiency.
Wring out the old happy face leftover from my terrible years of living with my mother and telling everyone everything was fine.
And you’ll get no part of me.

7:
Even though I laugh all the time, and can usually keep a conversation up,
I’m supposed to be quiet?
While you make me feel bad for taking too long to get wet?
You’ve never said you wanted me.
I would have thought about being body monogamous, but my heart would’ve remain elsewhere,
Behind those filters you hate so much,
Behind the never minds you don’t want me to stay, that’s where I keep it.
Because I need a depth you can’t provide, I need understanding, compassion, and bluntness.
I need it. I’m not scared to ask for this, it isn’t rude, and I’m asking politely.
Is it because he’s going to say what I think he’s going to say,
The same thing I’m going to say,
Which is I’m indifferent, and my body needs warmth?
And then you compare to me a character from an anime show?

8:
Is it my work to fix it? Do I want to take that on?
It isn’t my work to point out what your mom didn’t teach you, and twist to make it better.
For someone who hurts me?
No.
You don’t really get to hurt me twice.
Those doors shut honey.

9:
I’m sorry I have too many filters?
I’m sorry sex makes me jumpy and tense because I’ve been assaulted?
What would make it better?
I’m sure it’s my fault, but let’s keep putting the blame over here shall we?
What’s he going to tell those friends of his that would never ask after me?
She found someone else,
Hand wave, haven’t seen her in a while,
I don’t know, good as far as a I know?
No one would ask him what happened.
No one would be like, bro, you’ve been an asshole.
Do you think because apparently I’m a machine, that I don’t need words, feelings, water, and food?

10:
Obviously oblivious.
He’s hurtful in his casual everyday.
I told him he can say whatever he wants, but that he’s responsible for the result.
And he told his friend that he has to watch what he says around me.
Equality feels oppressive sometimes to the ones used to getting their way.
Go ahead, keep calling me a robot.
Then ask me why you only see one side of me.

10 Poems for Thursday

1:
She butted into a conversation to say how nice it was to hear me laugh,
Told me she felt like being social, and sat at the other table,
And sounds like me when I talk.
She’s the worst combination for my personality,
Self-confident and incompetent.
She changed the spreadsheet without permission,
Calls her fiancé her partner.
My partner this. My partner that.
I have thought it out. And now I know.
Exactly why I don’t like her.

2:
I tore up the paintings I was making for my brother for Christmas,
After my mom called to tell me grandma was going into hospice.
I told him what happened and that I’d make him more.
He nodded and forgot, I’m sure.
I finally finished them, just now in April.
I told him they’re coming.
He sent his address.
And now I have the uphill battle to make it to the post office.

3:
I went on a terrible awful date, where I said more to the waiter than the dinner partner.
And yet, I want him to call me, and message me too much.
Is it so I can decide how I really feel about him?
Maybe I want everyone to love me, just because I want options,
Or choices. Or it’s something evolutionary?
Am I so reactionary, I can’t go get what I want?
I have to react to how you feel.
Think about it forever.
Even if I didn’t like you,
I want you to think I’m great.
External validation from the opposite sex, I guess. Confirmation that my worst fears aren’t true,
That I’m not unlovable, socially awkward, unattractive, mean.
Somehow them wanting to see me again, spend time with me again,
Is proof I’m worthy of living, loving.

4:
I live with a very critical woman,
And I’m worried it’s rubbing off on me.
Not allowed to misspeak,
Not allowed to leave unscrutinized.
Or you’ll get teased, or it’ll get brought up again,
Or they’ll remember.
She waits for me to fail, so she can feel better about herself,
Fix me.
But I’m too competitive to let her win, get away with it.
And there’s a tension, and I can never relax.
I’m worried I’m making other people feel the way she makes me feel.
All I want to say to the whole world is leave me alone.
Let me make mistakes in private.

5:
I felt like the whole lining of my uterus fell out.
And I uttered a quiet, annoyed oh my god.
I wanted to tell my boss, I need to work the rest of the day from home,
Or I will spend 1/8th of my day walking to and from the bathroom.
Taking pain pills and head-down on my desk.
But I didn’t because somehow,
Women are supposed to be quiet about this massive pain
If we’re at work,
It’s not supposed to exist,
I’m not supposed to wince if I’m in a meeting, and I get a muscle cramp hard enough to leave me on the floor.
I’m supposed to be proper, and whisper the gross words I say instead.

6:
My sister confided in me, over tea and a Pakistani food truck,
She looks for mother figures, but hates that she looks for mother figures,
Angry, because she thinks our mom didn’t do a good enough job.
But I don’t care.
My mother has been a person to me for a long time.
What can I tell her when she looks at me like she wants me to be angry too.

7:
She wants me to stop seeing our step-dad in solidarity with her.
But being threatened with being hit,
Doesn’t scare me.
I’m tougher than she is in a lot of ways.
And there’s a strength in that I didn’t realize I had.

8:
I’m painting triangles,
Not well, skillfully or with meaning,
But because it makes me happy,
And I’ve been excited to come home with something to do for the past three days.

9:
My mother told me,
I think you should have a baby, so you can center yourself,
And have something to live for,
You could get one of those people to do it for you,
I think it would be good for you.
You’d make such a good mom.
It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been telling myself,
To be okay alone.
To be solid here, right here, and live here, and not tomorrow.
And now I don’t know which one’s right.

10:
I miss the days before I realized I am my body,
If souls don’t exist,
Before I realized I can’t say,
My body wants this, my body wants that,
Instead of I want. I need.
I miss the days when I thought I could escape the skin I wear,
When I didn’t realize I have to live in this forever,
Be trapped here forever,
When I get sick,
When it fails me,
And when I finish dying.

Rainy Saturday State Park

photo of bluebonnets from above

i liked this one. i shouldn’t but i do

geometric waterfalls

i love shapes

curled tree root

what’s down there?

dying and baby cacti

with bonus dew drops

photo of water cascading over the falls

more waterfalls

photo of juniper bush with berries

this is what gives everybody around here cedar fever

photo of waterfalls at mckinney

sorry tlc i went and chased my waterfalls

photo of tree bark peeling with scratches

just breaking away

photo of grass growing out of the water

it rained!

twisted tree roots with moss

spooky to me

photo of the falls at mckinney

such a gray day! i love it.

photo of bluebonnets

the prettiest flower texas ever did see

small yellow flower blooming in front of the clouds

what is this? i don’t know. i just thought. hey neat flower.

10 Poems for the Weekend

the edits will have to come later, i’m used up for the day

1:
He asked me to drop my filters,
To tell him all those things I almost tell him, but renege on.
I told him a lot of those are in place for your protection,
And my protection.
Because it’s pretty dark up there.
And there’s a lot of tentacles to infect the happy people.
He looked at me like he was trying to think.

2:
That’s what I am,
what an interesting reverse.
I am the material,
I am gathered,
Pinched, sewn, and used everyday,
As everyday material
My privacies are no longer mine,
Because I’m with a person who
Shares.
Disgusting.

3:
Well, I got what I wanted and I’m as unhappy as I thought I’d be.
Guess it’s time to fuck it all up again.
Where do I sign?
How can I make this wrong?
How many more people can I leave behind again?

4:
Gargoyle arms and God morning.
They don’t mean anything to you.
Only to the boy who sat next to me at work for round about a year.
And soon to him, they’ll mean nothing too.
We share a square space of time and mind for a little while,
Long enough to help each other get by, not much more.
We won’t ever be friends for life,
Or share a drink at a bar alone, in a group, in the worst dregs of the poorly paid peasant life,
We were kin.

5:
A part of me misses the water so much it hurts.
Not these, not these little lakes, streams, cricks. Puddles.
I miss the water. The beauty, the inevitable, the fear, and the love.
Right there. Just right there.
If I move again, when I move again,
It will be for the water,
To sit by the water and be.
I’m trying to explain it to myself,
Maybe it evokes emotion, and sometimes I can’t do that without help.

6:
I know I’m going to look back on this time with a firm opinion.
One way or the other.
I will have a colored lens to see what’s now through a set polarization.
I can’t see it, feel it yet.
But it’ll be there.
Rosy, gray,
Dusky or sad.
I’ll swing with my feelings the other way. And have a very strong opinion about whatever it is I’m doing now.

7:
What would it be like to be the woman he thinks I am?
All bubbles and giddiness.
Instead of concealment, boredom and anxiety.
Maybe I would have had a steady boyfriend named Brandon in high school,
Gone to college to teach special needs preschoolers,
Discovered my love of baking with my grandmother in the kitchen.
And only have wholesome in my heart.
What would it be like to be that woman?
Who knows how to do her hair and makeup, how to flash with her eyes,
And smile with her legs?
He’ll be disillusioned soon enough.
Leaving all the same for his broken, acknowledged dreams.

8:
Laptop, why won’t you turn on?
Have I forsaken you?
Put another device before you?
I put a pan of cooked ham on you for Easter, but that was just because you were my recipe book and I was out of space.
Haven’t I loved you?
Cleaned you with swipes and air-dusters?
Don’t I keep you in a case, away from heat, light, and laying flat?
Please turn on, my beloved,
My lifeline, my laptop.
I won’t eat ramen next to your keyboard,
I’ll clear my internet history,
Please power on.
What will I do without you?
You are irreplaceable with memories and saved files.
I’ll back you up as soon as you turn on.
Turn back on now.
Please please please.

9:
My favorite part of baking is alone,
When I can take as long as I want to measure the ingredients,
And re-read the steps, without judgment,
Google how-tos on the simple things I know how to do, but wonder, if maybe there’s a better way.
I can soften my butter without the microwave,
Listen to my music,
And eat the batter off the spatula.
I don’t have to apologize for turning on the mixer,
Or over-compensating for different ingredients.
Life, in general, I’d like to spend alone,
Wait till I’m done to show other people,
And allow me to apologize profusely,
For the small errors.

10:
I got enough sleep,
Enough sleep to process.
And I found out what that deprivation was covering up.
The I’m not good enough.
That’s what I was hiding under there.
If I’ve gotten enough sleep, I don’t have that excuse anymore.
I have to own up to the fact my brain isn’t the best,
I’m wasting away,
I haven’t hated myself lately, and maybe that’s why,
I haven’t given my brain enough power to do so.