Monthly Archives: October 2014

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Seven)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 87

Poem 1:
We hand out candy to these princesses and ghouls
In the cold wind weather.
We open our doors put a light on
And give chocolate.
Such kindness?
We don’t speak to the parents,
Or say howya doin,
We give what we’re supposed to
To do like the others in the houses in the streets with the trees and
The candy.

Poem 2:
I stopped right then
In the middle of the hall
I knew I’d regret not doing something
I’d regret this moment right here
And I thought about the regret
And thought the better of it.
I knew I could live with the regret.
It’d been there before.
But shame I wasn’t so sure about.

Poem 3:
That line in my mind between
Well that’s normal
And how dare you.
And if I were with different people
In a different moment,
My line would curve
To take in some more of that
Out there.

Poem 4:
We buried in a tunnel of a snow fort
The first winter we spent in the brick block house
And out tunnels interwove
With castles and motes and icicles and dragons.
I was covered in snow.
In the good packing snow
And my pink winter coat I only remember in photographs.

Poem 5:
I asked him the same question
Twice on purpose
The same sign on the same side of the highway
To see if adults lied
And if they changed their minds
And it they’d forget they’d been asked.
He said something different that time.
So I was right, then, dad’s make mistakes.

Poem 6:
Quit talking to me.
I’m trying to do something.
It doesn’t involve you.
I answer you in one word.
I won’t make eye contact
I shy away.
These are my signs
Read please.

Poem 7:
She wondered why we don’t tell her things
After she berates us for whatever choice we’ve made
And says what we could have done better.
She says I want you to be able to talk to me
After foot listening to you
Sharing her opinion
And going with her way over yours.

Poem 8:
Wasn’t there
There was something I wanted to
Do, yes
For sure
I shouldn’t have this time now
I’m supposed to be doing that one
Thing instead
It was important
I think,
I should’ve already had it done
Whatever it was.

Poem 9:
Don’t compliment me.
How long is it you’ve known me.
And in all that time when was I happy about a compliment.
Oh you look so nice today.
Because most of the time
When someone tells me that
They’re lying to get something
Or looking for the return compliment.

Poem 10:
I have to get out of here
I have to get out
I must get out of here
But I have no plan.
Someone told me that once people
Who want to kill themselves make a plan
That’s when it’s more serious.
So I never made a plan back then.
Till it past.
Now it’s too late to make plans at all.
But I should start now, I know.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Six)

It’s been a bad week when the prospect of fresh baked goods improves nothing.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 86

Poem 1:
Weary for the new and the old ways
Full of I don’t wannas
Sitting in the car at the stoplight
Must make up my mind to turn
One way or the other
Get the errands done
Or go back home where I was.

Poem 2:
A stick sat in my shoe
I didn’t know it
Till I pulled it out
And felt great relief from a pain I didn’t see.
I keep pulling threads of myself
Hoping that one will relieve
What I can’t feel is there.

Poem 3:
I look at the blanket
But don’t reach
I think,
I am cold
I could use a sweater
But it’s over there.
And I’m here
Contemplating the universe of
Me not having a jacket.
Oh how could the world let me get a chill.

Poem 4:
We have each our separate square
Connected in the middle
With a couch and kitchen island.
When we hear another
Chatting in the main
We emerge
To say hello
I live
To those creatures outside the door.

Poem 5:
I’d like to commune with nature
Light candles
Sing dances
Be pagan and glorious.
But even if I was in the field
Someone would see.
Or they’d record.
And I’ll do it to do it.
But I won’t do it to be seen.

Poem 6:
He says, look I’ve brought you the moon
And here, here are the stars.
Just liked you asked
I did all I was supposed to do.
But why can’t,
Why won’t,
Love me.
Say it to me,
Even if you don’t mean it.
Look at all I did for you,
I bought it,
Give me what I’m due.

Poem 7:
He waved me passed him on the stairs
Well come on.
I didn’t want to go past,
I wanted to go clear.
I won’t be waved on
I don’t listen to commands.
Don’t you dare tell me what to do.
And the hatred roared up again,
For something so simple.
And I repeated my mantra,
Not a saying but a feeling of a thought
Once I leave here I’ll never return
They won’t have me again.
Not stuck in this pass.

Poem 8:
She woke me up
You have to get up,
Be there at eight.
Right now.
It’s 7:45.
I told her calm as I could.
Unfiltered in the morning.
Please don’t yell at me.

Poem 9:
I tried to tell her the story that made me so upset
And she didn’t get it.
And if I explained she wouldn’t get it herself
A little more alone for her not getting it.
And a little less justified.

Poem 10:
I know I need to
But I can’t get myself to choose an option
Too many options
All fog
And I see the distance of each one
And I can’t move
Because all the blame lies with me.
And I huddle up and cry a bit more.
Someone take me out of here.
I’m no good on my own.
Pick something for me.

The Yellow Leaves of Fall

photo of yellow leaves

see? yellow.

photo of saplings in fall

more yellow

photo of yellow leaves against the sky

an unexpected surprise. yellow leaves. crisp.

photo of maple leaves in fall

little brown dots on my yellow leaves

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Five)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes (5:45)
Day 85

Poem 1:
I rehearse lines of thought of what I said
So when it comes up again I’m ready
So I can say there was a way out of it
So I can look better to my backwards mind.
And put the thoughts in a drawer away from who needs to start the water for pasta.

Poem 2:
I can tell you all about me
Quirks, habits, peculiarities of character and temperament
But you’ll still come to hate me later.
You can be the nicest in all the world
But I’ll hate you for it, give me time.
I can warn you,
Say you won’t, can’t hold me,
Say I barely straw the strands of myself,
But it won’t matter,
If you think you can help.

Poem 3:
Goodbye push buttons to dial.
A satisfying click for each number
Not accidentally pressed against a cheek
I suppose you’re still there for calculators
And cash registers, but not on my phone
My great link to people.

Poem 4:
I’d do it I think
I’ve been in this hell hole long enough
I’d just leave
Ask for a ride to the airport
Find someone who’d take me
And bolt.
Dash for good.
This must be what parents who leave their kids feel like,
They’ll be better without me here, and
Anyway, I don’t deserve this.

Poem 5:
She asked, did you draw that?
It was a printed photograph I planned to paint.
She had planned such nice bits to say
That would finally break through
And get to cheer me up because I had so much talent
And so much to do, and she wanted me gone.
But, oh, instead.
She pried on my desk and dished out the usual
I didn’t mean to insult you.
You shouldn’t be offended if I didn’t mean to hurt you.
The last time she saw me drawing, she said,
You’re better than I thought you were.

Poem 6:
The dentist said I’m going to numb you
And pulled out a needle for an elephant
Instinct bunched me up
And it hurt
To get to numb through endless pain
It’s why depressed people have a smudge of dead behind the eyes.

Poem 7:
She never stood out pretty
But took time with her hair
And had a special way to lay her bangs
That someone really liked
This guy she married,
Who loved someone before
But decided he liked her family better

Poem 8:
I couldn’t tell then
If she took this guy to prom out of pity
Well, he took her, she was younger
He had a cleft palette and was three inches shorter
But she gave him attention.
They had jokes that were theirs
And she wore a blue gown that showed her no hips
But she took a better looking boy the next year
And she would smile if I asked
Are you a thing?

Poem 9:
I saw all the sides of religion too early
So I can spot them from a distance.
And believe a little less
When people profess, oh how they love a god.

Poem 10:
If someone made me live a plan
Saying you do this next
In accordance
Then maybe I’d make up my mind
And do what I’m supposed to.
But they haven’t appeared to strangle me,
And I’m directionless without opposition.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Four)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 84

Poem 1:
That whole year was cold
Every memory thought of for back then
I’m always shaking.
You said the heat cost too much anyway
And wouldn’t put it past seventy-two
But in my big room
The one with my bed
I shivered.

Poem 2:
She makes up little things to be wrong
If there’s nothing off.
She stayed in an apartment with beautiful carpets
Crown dusted edges and a fireplace.
But she afforded it with rent.
She said, well your neighbors must be awful.

Poem 3:
In the hopes he’ll be there
I walk a different way
And skirt another path
And look around.
But I can’t look like I’m looking around,
Or he’ll see me, look like I’m looking for him.
And he can’t know I hope to see him.

Poem 4:
We wanted the praise
The both of us
So we bartered and disparaged the other
I’m better.
So I get the attention,
More tennis balls served in my court
Shading for an ounce of un-fairness.
So we could see who he favored.
Who would iwn.

Poem 5:
He forgot to call me on the right day.
The time he should have.
But I said, oh it’s no problem
And when I did the same to him.
He huffed up his chest
Saying well I guess you don’t care.

Poem 6:
I would like friends who sing to me with tea cups rattling
Of whimsy, wit and wile
So they dragged me along with their mood
And wore silly hats
On purpose, there’s nothing strange here
Only what you see as odd.

Poem 7:
I finished it
And it looked awful and childish
Unkempt and askew
I should never have tried
Should have let it go
Now it has my name on it
And they’ll know
How unorganized and feckless I am.
There’s nothing to do with this heap now.

Poem 8:
It’s almost November
I didn’t want to be here this long.
It can’t already be November.
It shouldn’t be cold yet.
But by Halloween it’s freezing.

Poem 9:
Hold my arms.
Find my sense.
Make some art.
And let me be.

Poem 10:
Another day of you shouldn’t be here
And why haven’t you left yet
And we put all that money into your education
What have you done with it
And if you’d just listened
And I could get you working
And what is it you do all day glances.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Three)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 83

Poem 1:
I baked a three-layer cake with ten fingers
For his birthday
I baked it.
I thought I’d put all that love in there
That I think I feel but I’m not sure of
With icing in the middle.
It looks so beautiful, she says,
So nice of you to make.
I made it with beaters and sugar and cream
To say, I have this affection, that might be
Obliged love.

Poem 2:
If I’m going to be late
I won’t go at all.
He toned out his mouth
Tuned out logic
And did what he wanted to.

Poem 3:
I don’t want them waiting on me
Always had to wait on her.
So I try to make it on time, in time.
And I see they didn’t take it
I’m the early one
With my word.

Poem 4:
I know what it looks like
To be looked at
Like that.
I see it now where it shouldn’t be
And I’m worried about that,
I shouldn’t see that there, what I think I’m seeing,
If it’s there.

Poem 5:
Get outta the street
A boy yells to his younger sister
Who sounds like his mom
Who said it the same
Who’ll say it later
To the smaller babies.

Poem 6:
So good to see her, I forgot people want to talk to me
For me, just for me, and me.
Within the minute, my face hurt from laughing
And my throat ached from speaking,
But she wanted to talk to me,
And that was nice,
To seek me out for me.

Poem 7:
I’m so tired I can’t find my glasses sitting on my nose.
I haven’t had any water and I can’t find the bottle.
I tried to eat but burned the oatmeal.
The alarm sang early, it must be early.
And I’m starved for sleep.

Poem 8:
Give me a love please.
So we move mountains.
And flame and burn
And activate hearts.
Here take this here,
I’ll trade you,
For a Heathcliff on the moors,
To a open flat plains.

Poem 9:
I bought a new pair of boots to feel better.
I paid money to feel leather
For a new hitch of ribbon and heels.
Instead of people to know me
For my sneakers and grime.

Poem 10:
Her voice held high, this woman I’d make my grandma
She would bake me cookies with extra special secret.
Go to my recitals.
Because my parents would go,
But it was a thing
Oh I have to go see her,
Not, oh I get to hear her play,
But I must pick her up on time
And figure out where they get out.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-Two)

I apologize for the lateness of this daily post. I fell asleep unexpectedly before I could write.
I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 82

Poem 1:
I waited for you
I wanted you to come downstairs
To talk to me
To say, hi, it’s Mom, let me help.
I know I haven’t been around much lately
But I’m always here for you.
Instead I got an apology four years later
For being left in the mud.

Poem 2:
Like a child
I don’t think he can put himself in another’s place
Don’t think he can say, this is how they feel
Can’t see from someone else’s.
And it makes him mean and hard
But sad most of all,
Because he doesn’t get to feel
All the flares of me.

Poem 3:
They did all that work
Just for experience.
Lives in their memories
Good for nothing
But the ideas
That hard work makes your soul.

Poem 4:
No, I’m still here.
I hid myself under a bit of fat
And a smudge of anger along the way.
But I still hold my hands the same
When I’m nervous,
So I must be here.

Poem 5:
I’d get so sick in the winter
She fussed over me
If she remembered I was there.
So I coughed into pillows covered with blankets
So she didn’t hear
And fuss
To give me medicines
For a bad, bad cough.
She’d apologize to her Mom I was sick,
We’d leave their house with doctors to see.

Poem 6:
Pediatrician I grew up with I liked
Because she didn’t really like me
But she’d look at me
And listen
Give out only what she had to
She held herself with so much smart
To a six year old holding orange dinosaurs.

Poem 7:
My people became the odd ones
I saw I didn’t fit
And found those who didn’t fit too.
Which gives me outcasts for hip brothers.
But I love my people for
Never telling me I’m strange.

Poem 8:
I was angrier for not saying so
But I can’t afford to get on their bad side
So I stir more spaghetti.
I can’t scream and yell,
What you just said was sexist.
Because you’ll get offended in your own home, by a child.

Poem 9:
I count words
When I can barely stand it.
I could make him angry with two.
But I’d have to get the tone right.
I could probably get him to say something irrevocable
With four.
The man who blamed his return to habit on me.
Said it’s your fault I’m smoking again.

Poem 10:
In a painting I love
They sit together
But not engaged.
They’re there
In the same space.
But it doesn’t condemn this
Instead you get to be another
Looking at it
In your own space
Not connected to them.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Eighty-One)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 81

Poem 1:
There’s a star I found
And it has a pocket
There’s a hole in its pocket
So it can grab its knife
Stuck on its leg
And defend itself from all the other stars
With its switchblade star sword

Poem 2:
I was my sister’s weird little sister to her friends
She always hung around
I went to the same schools she did
Sometimes they remembered her
I found all her old lockers
I was safe if I saw her first.

Poem 3:
She said maybe it wasn’t right
My dad
He made it all into a competition
If you can do this better, or faster, longer
Can you beat your brother to the other side of the pool?
But it made them all ambitious
Which gave them something to hold.

Poem 4:
Flustering the binded up bound
Makes it so much more fun for the irreverent
Because you get to say
These rules are silly
Look how I break them
And watch what you do without them.

Poem 5:
I tried to tell her I could do something well
I can make a part harmony when I’m singing now
Thanks to being in choir.
She said, wow that’s really great.
Do you want to do it now?
I hoped she would sing with me.
But she called out my pride with cuts.
So I went quiet, me.

Poem 6:
Didn’t take it seriously
Whatever it was I loved when I was young
He gave me attention but not strength
I’m indulging your whims tone
When he spoke.

Poem 7:
Hey boy
He shouts down if he’s done something wrong.
Like telling his father that’s not so
Or bringing up an argument
Or saying no.
And he reigns in the fists his wife won’t let him hold
Because we can’t use those anymore.
But when at the table we talk about that domestic violence
Mom says, we never hit you guys.
I say yes,
But my brother just looks at his plate.

Poem 8:
You know how hard it is to make me laugh
He says
After knocking on my door
To tell me a story.
He must know that I don’t care,
That there’s more animosity than trust
That I’d rather be anywhere else.
But I can’t say so
I live under his roof.
His roof not mine.

Poem 9:
Sympathetic magic I told her
Saying something will happen so it won’t.
She says, this after saying he’ll get so stressed
He’ll have a heart attack and die.

Poem 10:
Another woman took my mother’s place
She doesn’t smile that joy one anymore
And there are lines on her not pale skin
And her hair is short and thin
This is the mother my kids will know
They’ll never see that happiness without a criticism just beneath.