Poems from My Day (6-7)

it’s not good right now.

You will not do something nice for me and tell me how to feel about it.
That is emotionally manipulative.
I won’t stand for that.
My mother does that.
Am I clear?
You will not buy me something and tell me to be happy,
You can buy me something pretty and hope I’m happy, but you can’t expect me to be happy and grateful.
Do you know how gift giving works?
You do it expecting nothing in return, it is a gift.
My emotions are mine to feel, share and give away.
They aren’t yours to use and bask in.
If you give me flowers, I may be glad,
Or I may hate them, tell you so, and throw them in the trash.
You don’t get to say a goddamn thing about it.
Am I clear?
You don’t tell me how to feel in anyway shape or form.
Wow, you’re carrying a lot of baggage?
You’re goddamn on point now, bub.

My mother always said that sometime I’d get hit, by like this thing, where I’d uncontrollably want babies, I’m sort of waiting for that, I guess.
But I’m so cold, I want someone to hold me.
Actually anyone who would just even smile at me would be fine.
What the hell is wrong with me.
I hate everyone.

I remember the speech the salutatorian gave at my sister’s high school graduation 11 years ago.
That’s how good it was.
Being 2nd in the class wasn’t nothing. It’s a good school.
So many people went up to her afterwards to say what it meant to them.
My family still talks about it every time we go to a graduation.
Her speech.
She got up there, and said,
It wasn’t worth it.
She had worked and worked in high school.
And she was going to a state school, but her family could afford her free-ride tuition.
She turned down friends,
Events, family, to study.
It wasn’t worth it.
If she could go back, she would have partied.
She would have come out of high school with a friend.
It reminds me of the last interview Maurice Sendak gave to Terry Gross, and us,
He said, “live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”

But god I shouldn’t have told him about Tim’s nephew.
I shouldn’t have told him.
Even though I didn’t really tell him,
I sort of skirted around the issue,
Tried to explain why I’m claustrophobic.
Told him why he couldn’t trap me, hold me, with both his arms.
I was hoping he was too drunk to remember.
But now he looks at me,
Or flits around with his hand,
I can’t say what you’ve been through,
Stuff like that.
I should have just kept quiet.

I told her, I don’t have a plan, I might end up working with a wood carver, because I’m interested in that,
And I don’t really care.
She said can you deal with mom and dad having to tell people that,
And I said yes.
And she looked at me.
I don’t have a career path, and I don’t care.
I might care later, but I hope old me can respect younger me and the decisions I made at the time,
I’m okay with this.

I remember my father talking to himself in this whiny howl-like voice,
He’d eek out my mother’s name as he went to sleep,
Or while he was distracted.
I remember thinking, “this is why I can never live alone.”
But I find myself almost chanting,
“I want to go home.”
Even though I have no home to go to anymore.
I think what I mean is,
“I want to feel safe.”
But I feel like I’m whining for a long-lost love, like my dad.

I don’t know how to deal with these people being kind to me.
It keep freezing me up.
I cannot process it.
Rude? I can deal with.
Nice makes me feel undeserving.

My mother used to say to herself,
And pretend she was spraying PAM,
While she drove us half asleep to our grandparent’s house three hours away.
“What’s that?” She would ask the car,
“I’m spraying Teflon on my self.
Ping, ding, fwing,
It all bounces right off.”
She would have to prepare herself for the fires of visiting my grandmother.
I found myself doing something similar on the plane ride over.
Except in my head was Mr. Rogers telling me I’m perfect as I am.

8 thoughts on “Poems from My Day (6-7)

  1. richcreativemuse

    Challenging poem (#1 – Day 6-7) for me. The scars of having been manipulated cause me to react rather than respond. If it’s about intimacy – What is my loving response? Got to be true to me, but there’s more. You don’t have to agree with my opinion of course.

    1. some bad plankton Post author

      Oh interesting. There’s always more. I think to fully, ahem, respond to what you’re saying, I have to give you some background. Even though giving you more information colors the readers judgment in a way I don’t find appealing. Four points.

      The way I write poetry is fast and quick usually 1-2 minutes per poem. This is the only way I’ve found I’ve been able to write anything. For some reason, my judgmental brain kicks in if I let myself stew, and everything ends up getting deleted. So these are almost written in one breath. Because of that, I’m often not saying all I’m trying to say.

      This poem is about my mother. It’s my internal dialogue I would hypothetically say to her. It’s about me dealing with her in the present, and preventing myself from getting hurt in the same way she’s hurt me in the past. What I should have said is that you can’t act on your expectations of me to be happy, you can’t punish me for not feeling what you expect me to feel. And by “can’t” I mean that it would be unfair to do so.

      I think you’re right. But sometimes writing poems for me is being able to show my deficiencies as a person, including reacting or responding irrationally. In the poem, I might be just reacting. But it doesn’t mean the reaction would be different than a response. If I came to this as a new person, and wasn’t dealing with a repeat offender, I would most likely respond differently, but I think with people you’ve known since before you could speak, there is no responding, there is reacting, because they are so instinctual. I don’t think there is a loving response. I think my feelings are not part of this, that’s the whole point. I react with my mind, and then take something else into account, or react with my heart, then take my mind into account.

      I have a problem with people who take a certain mindset into all situations. Like your loving response or the person who says I always come to every table with peace in my heart. Because it’s belittling to the people you’re around, and doesn’t take into account how widely circumstances vary. More importantly though, it’s dangerously close to being blind, as you’ve prescribed your worldview before having opened your eyes.


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