It rained so hard today I wanted to cuddle with strangers.
The sky turned to winter morning’s green.
I hunkered my shoulders.
I wanted someone to notice I wasn’t ok,
And hold me while I curled up in a ball
From the big scary noise.
Desperation bred lovability today.
I woke thinking life had nothing but horrible thoughts for me.
Then I got something done,
Not everything, mind you,
And I only thought, “I have to get out of here” when I stopped to think.
That must be why busy people never stop to think.
All their little day saddnesses would play catch-up.
Someone’s beautiful place of memory
Got destroyed today.
Those poor red shutters on the old brick house,
And all the overgrown fence posts,
They’ll never be like you remembered them.
You can’t go back to double check yourself.
Did I really feel like that,
When I saw the sights I’d seen a thousand times before
With different, healthy eyes.
I’m so sorry little memories.
I should have written you down to keep you safe.
I should have sketched you in color,
I should have photographed with sound.
I do not want to talk to my old teachers.
I will be reminded of all the things I promised myself to be,
The last time I came across their desks.
Let me stay unjogged, more likely forgotten,
So that I can slip by,
Accountable only to myself today,
Instead of the, look where I’ll be, girl with shorter hair.
Pain pills chill on my desk leftover from surgery.
I don’t take them.
I have to say I can overcome some sort of addiction.
I’ve left them on the desk because they fit in.
Like I’ve left that bird turned just sideways.
I have to be able to do something right.
I want to be noticed, but I can’t say I want to be noticed.
So I have to pretend my below grade flying is destined on purpose.
I could be famous.
If I wanted to be.
You find love together in the moments,
Then the waiting for the next one.
Maybe this next one will be better,
Or maybe he’s forgotten.
I met your father for the first time,
He knew all about me,
Oh god, I’m a topic of conversation around your damn meatloaf.
I thought we thought of each other as friends.
Dammit, why didn’t you tell me, you know I’m blind about things like that.
I never saw you again after you left for school.
You an all curl hair.
My dyslexia kicks in.
I’ll tell you what happens.
I’ll be stressed, I have to say this quickly, and it has to be accurate.
I know exactly the word I want to say,
I try to say the word, but I can tell it’s coming out wrong,
And I can’t fix it.
I know it’s the other thing I want to say, the opposite,
But I can’t figure out how to say it,
And there’s no time,
So I go with what my mouth was trying to say,
And I can’t figure out what I said, or meant to say, except I’m mad at myself.
It happens with words.
It happens when I’m writing down a phone number and can’t figure out if I’m writing down a 6 or a 9, and I know something’s off but I can’t see it. My b and ds looks like butterflies, with bumps on both sides.
It happens when I’m thinking too. I’ll think wrong, but I know what I mean, so that one’s not so bad. When I’m reading the letters will flip flop, the letters and the words, and the lines, sometimes it’ll sound funny, and I can laugh to myself. It gets bad when I’m tired too.
I’ll never be beautiful.
I don’t mind.
It means I don’t have to put on makeup.
And no one lies to me.
They know they can’t tell me I’m the prettiest.
I can be fine with me, and my perfectly normal features.
I’ll draw you a picture of me one day here soon.
The schedule is now more like a rough outline. Anyway, this is what I wrote this week
I wonder what I’ve done to permanently injure someone else
And I never knew.
I wonder who’s memories I haunt
And if our spirits cross in each other’s memories to wave hello to a friendly face.
I knew a girl with my first name.
I thought she should keep it.
It fit her.
It fit her far better than it fits me.
I’ve always thought of it like my body, a trap instead of one together.
I’ve found my temporary freedom card in an odd place.
It was under the seat of the old car.
I plug my phone into my car and let music play.
I sing as loud as I want driving to work.
I sing off, I constantly rewind, I’ll listen to that part again.
I bear no one’s standards. I get yell and howl and screech.
Only where no one hears me – that’s as strong as I am.
I pushed myself into the cracks so that she wouldn’t notice me, and I had an excuse to be shy.
My Mom usually forgot about me. I thought that has a nice ring to it.
So I wouldn’t draw attention or ask for, then I could bemoan my state.
But you can’t tell her that. You can’t blame her for anything. Don’t you know what she went through?
We take the blame, and smile at you, and add another edge, next to our broken teacups.
The first time I met you, we sat on the floor off the right wing of the art building. I cut cardboard and you sketched lines.
The first time you schooched over toward me, I flinched when you touched my arm.
I told you, you shouldn’t smoke, and you asked me why I cared.
You played guitar for me by the naked lady fountain and I stared at our Converse.
You said you wanted to be an anesthesiologist because they made the most money.
I told you, you can’t buy a suit jacket that falls that far down your wrists.
Then we just stopped running into each other. And I blamed me, my defects, something wrong, prolonging the incapacitation of confidence. I read somewhere that if they really want you they go after you.
My number hasn’t changed.
I always think, if you’d have just told me,
By this point, I’d be able to stand on my own two feet.
Instead of amounting to debt and new excel sheet lines in inventory.
Next time, you tell me you’re never drinking again.
What do I say?
Good. I’m glad?
What do I do when you go on a bender?
Do I just sit and wait to remember all the times you told me you’d stop after college?
Go on, brush me off, I’m not important.
When do you take me seriously? Is there something unserious about me?
What do I say when you ask for another twenty just to cover tonight?
Don’t brush me off. Please.
No, you know what? I’ve done all I can.
Destroy yourself now. That was a command not an insult.
I don’t let anyone speak to me like that.
But I’m tied to you, I need your money.
So I say nothing.
I add another tack to my miserable, and say
You could have prevented this, you could be somewhere else by now,
If you weren’t you.
It’s rained for three straight days.
So I wore black jeans in summer, to say,
Hello sky, I commiserate with you.
You condemned my curiosity. I will not absolve you of that.
You mock whatever isn’t your standard.
I use that tool now. I know how to make people feel ashamed of trifles, because you taught me.
A few paragraphs on what I can’t get out of my mind in early July.
You don’t want me. You want a woman who’ll tell you you’re the greatest. I won’t lie to you. You want a flouncy, thin beauty with a button nose and that kind of history. You can’t handle my mess. And I can tell you what you can handle, because I’m stronger than you are, and you don’t argue with me. Find someone with lovely eye sparkles who knows how to put on subtle. Talk to her about her blushing secrets and tampons. You can’t brush with complexity. And you still suck at grammar.
We treat these people who care like wild flowers we want to press inside novels with hardback covers we’ll pretend to our friends we’ve read. That’s how rare these strange creatures are in our lives of you can’t shock me anymore. We’ve seen it all. You cannot offend us. We have no scruples. Until you hit a nerve, because they’re so well hidden. You show us a gif of a woman’s legs breaking backwards and that’s it. We lose it. But we’re invisible so it doesn’t matter that we don’t care.
Folk music is about people. There’s isn’t a pop fault veneer. It says this is the way it is. This is the way these people lived. And you’ll love them for it. It says I know the person you’re singing about, I’ve met her, she is me. There’s no glancing over pain. The pain is there with the beauty and the winter and the gloom. They’re always simple songs, it’s like I don’t need mixing to show you how I feel. The songs are clear. They open themselves up with a guitar and a story, and say sit down for a minute, and I’ll tell you about me. These are the people who are barely getting by saying, I’m gonna live with music. And I won’t die with nothing. And that’ll be just the way it is. These are the songs you need not to get through the bad times, but to get through the good.
The switch in my brain just swotched and now I know I’m talking too much.
There’s nothing left of me now. All gone and empty. They took it all. I can feel where the thoughts used to be.