Monthly Archives: May 2016

Poems from My Day (5-25)

the last one, i think, is the only good one of the bunch

1:
She thinks he’s rich.
He has like a million dollars.
Well, if he’s 55 years old,
Plans to retire soon, and has made 50,000 a year for a long period of time,
He’s not rich.
That’s money to live on regular-like,
After you stop working.
But how do you explain that to a hair-toss
Who wants to hate his ex-wife for taking the house?

2:
If you pay us enough money,
We won’t have to sell our souls anymore.
We’ll have the emotional energy to turn around,
And ask,
What do you think you’re doing?

3:
I’m not working properly today.
I’m sorry.
But, you know me,
I’m always sorry.

4:
Speaking of stress,
I haven’t felt this much in a long time,
I thought to myself, wow this is kind of fun,
Being this stressed,
Energy boost,
Then I remembered this used to be my normal default.
That’s why I deserted.

5:
I’m going home for my brother’s graduation.
Somehow it seems all about me.
Who will I see that I’ll want to avoid, because I feel fat and unaccomplished?
How am I going to get that car my mother decided to buy for me from here to Alaska?
I’ve calculated exactly how many hours I’ll have to spend with my sister.
My mom will have brie and crackers and juice for me at the house.
But it’s my brother, my little brother,
Who’s done something worthy of attention.

6:
Hi Shawn, it’s me.
I’m leaving you that voicemail I said I would.
The sunsets.
The sunsets here are gorgeous.
It’s so pretty here all I say is gorgeous.
The beauty has diminished my vocabulary.
That’s how gorgeous it is here.
Huge scrapes of purple, and reds, yellows, and pinks.
Right over the water,
Past the mountains hanging in the distance.
And the clouds,
Make it all worth it.
Because on the days they’re not there,
The clear blue days,
Are the most beautiful things.
Do you know what cedar smells like?
The room where I dry my clothes has cedar in it.
So I smell like cedar.
And I saw bears!
I went hiking, and there was this guy, just sitting there,
Right there on the tree stump.
God, Shawn,
It’s so beautiful.
The campfires with cold beer and a full moon,
You can see the stars here.
Anyway,
I’ll be back home this weekend,
So I was thinking of you.
I thought I’d call.

Poems from My Day (5-24)

just four today

1:
Tomorrow, I go home.
Back to where I’m from at least.
I first take a seaplane from this island, to the capital.
From there, to the lower 48.
Seattle to Chicago,
O’hare to home.
If I keep repeating the steps to myself,
It seems less.
Manageable.
I will not allow myself to break over seeing that many people.
I will be fine.
My heart beat will realize that in a moment.

2:
I wanted to call him up,
Just so I’d have someone to shoot the shit with.
Maybe to see if he’d answer,
But more of a wall,
To bounce my excess energy off of.
And to hear him laugh.

3:
No matter how hard my mother tries,
You can’t manufacture a good time,
I can try praying to the gods of conversation,
Please, oh please,
You strange forces of peace, serenity, interest, and chatter,
Come down upon us in good faith,
And give us those good memories my mother is always talking about.

4:
I don’t really want to see them.
Hang on a second,
I’m looking,
Scanning,
Nope.
I’m not finding any longing in my heart.
Do I have to go home?

Poems from My Day (5-18)

I’m not sure about today.

1:
I’m trying to get the last drop of tea out of my cup.
The spoon is just holding back air.
I’m making the right noises so my roommate doesn’t make a comment about how I’m sitting at the kitchen table doing nothing.
Nasty lady.
She wouldn’t understand why anyone would ever count the last ten drops out of the tequila bottle, or smile at a flower, or sit.
So hard to be a regular person.

2:
I manufacture grief holidays so I have an excuse to feel something,
My grandmother’s birthday is today,
It’s the anniversary of a breakup,
I got some bad news from home,
Because I can’t let myself be in a mood without good reason.

3:
“Are you just sleeping on the couch?”
She asked me walking past on her way to the kitchen.
No, I’m awake.
I was sitting here doing nothing,
Because sometimes I have to sit,
So I can cry and cope.
Trying to understand why I can’t share how I’m feeling with anyone that matters.

4:
I’ll be home in a week.
Back for my brother’s graduation.
If I had trouble adjusting to seeing a highway after being on this island,
In this village,
How will I deal with my family too?

5:
My sister called me today,
She made me laugh.
She told me about not doing laundry and having to wear the last dregs of your underwear, and getting tumors of broken elastic on your hip, and frugality not being worth having to wear anything this tight.
While I stood bent over clutching my ankles, laughing, dying,
I was reminded that I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time,
And I missed having people to share parts of me with,
Because you only really laugh with common souls.

6:
He’ll be gone in about seven years,
I heard the first signs of dementia on the phone.
The man who talks to me like a parishioner.
He even says, “God bless”
Before he catches himself to say, “love you too.”
I practiced what I would say to his dead body at his funeral today.
I’d like to hear him preach once more,
And hear him say the Lord’s Prayer, just the way he says it,
He ends Holy Ghost with a patronizing smile in his voice,
And amen with a full, beard-peppered grin.
I’d like to find the guts to ask him why he’s so messed up,
I want him to write down his stories, the ones that make me laugh,
But, then,
They wouldn’t be his stories anymore, they’re a tradition, with motions and faces and a crowd.
They’ll go with him.
With his memory.

Poems from My Day (5-17)

these are decent

1:
Let me tell you about the scars I wish you had asked about
I listened as you told me all about yours.
The one from the bike crash where your atv fell into the creek, the one from you running into a pit full of sticks, the one you really should have gotten stitches for when you were little.
I didn’t get to talk about mine,
But I guess you can’t have it both ways,
You can’t hold back and then expect to be asked.
So I’ll keep my stories to myself, and pout,
No one wants to hear mine anyway.

2:
I had all these things built up to say to you in my mind,
I had all the ways I was going to act, all set up,
I knew how I was going to behave,
And say, and not say
I had my eye contact mapped out,
And I had topics planned.
And then you never came by.

3:
Let me tell you what happened. I’ll try to take my bias out.
As much as I can.
Somehow, she did it on purpose, or I let it happen on accident,
But she’s made me feel inferior,
Like I owe her something. i won’t stand for that.
She’s made me feel like I’m bad with people, bad at communicating,
Because we seem to misfire.
Like I’m not right enough, or good enough, somehow.
And then I went to the big city,
And I say city with quotes around it, remember I’m in Alaska,
And I got along so well with everyone, almost,
I remembered I’m pretty decent with people when I want to be
In the short term at least,
I’m kind of a failure long term,
But then again, I haven’t tried long term,
And as my mother would remind, you have that one chinese friend down where you went to college,
It was this great relief, to remember I can make friends, I can talk to people,
It’s not just me.

4:
The second I let myself be me, people look at me oddly,
And someone from my past shows up to laugh at me,
It’s awful.
I keep a tight leash.

5:
Me and alcohol have a weird thing going
I don’t crave it, but I don’t want to crave it, but I still want it,
But I’m proud of myself for not wanting it,
But I kind of want to drink it, but I won’t like it when I drink it,
Control.
I’ve seen too many people lose control.

6:
I’m about to spend two hundred dollars on produce that doesn’t go bad.
There. I did it. I clicked a few buttons online, and, groceries.
I’m trying to find foods I can take with me as lunch that won’t go bad without a refrigerator.
I need to go to the store for more bread, and vegetables, and meat, and eggs, and butter,
But my roommate hasn’t gone, and I don’t want to ask.
What am I going to do this summer, when she’s not here, and I have no car?
Hmm?
Die. I’m going to die.
Or just bike ride everywhere. Yeah. Right.
I need a car.
I can’t afford a car.

7:
I told Beth a little about my roommate’s romantic life,
I regret that.
I try to keep people’s people to myself.
But she asked,
And I think I wanted to share, cut her down a little, which I now feel guilty about.
I hope it doesn’t go anywhere.
This boy? She asked, don’t you mean this boy? No, that one. She’s dating that one.
I bet they’re related and I just insulted someone.
Shit.

8:
What an odd thing to say, “where is my dog?”
It shows such propriety.
She didn’t use her name, or say,
“Where’s the dog.”
My dog.
Like somehow, in the last two hours, I’d taken her away.

9:
I love how dogs hold a bone like they’re scared it’s going to run away.
I wish I held on to life that way.

10:
I want lightning. I want my anger to show up in the clouds.
But it rains, then sometimes, rains louder.
And there are 10 days when it’s clear and beautiful,
The only days you can convince people to live here.
That’s what they tell me,
When I’m visiting the city.

11:
I’m trying to write, I’m trying to explain what it was, how it felt,
Let me start over.
I chaperoned a high-school lock-in 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
At 3:30 the leader lady (my roommate) split them up,
They didn’t have to be asleep, just in one of two rooms.
She asked me if I was going to sleep,
I told her I wasn’t sure.
I shut my eyes for maybe twenty minutes. My feet fell asleep.
I tried sleeping on the ground, it was too cold.
I tried sleeping in a ball, I am too fat.
I got up and read on my tiny iphone 4 in the hallway.
My roommate asked me, did you sleep?
A little, I said.
Lying.
Wow, she said. That’s amazing. She said.
You can do that. Control it like that.
What did you do in college I wanted to ask.
But, what I couldn’t tell her,
And what I guess, she’s never been exposed to,
Is
There are reasons people can’t sleep in groups they don’t trust.
I haven’t been able to fall asleep with another person in,
God what year is it?
8 years.
And she shamed me for it.