Monthly Archives: September 2016
Poems from My Day (9-27-16)
I am competitive.
Pushed way, way down,
Because it turns me nasty.
I remember playing Monopoly with my sister,
She would talk about her win for days.
But when I would win, and try to act like her,
Crow, tease, smile at your tears,
I’d feel guilty.
It became easier to lose,
So I didn’t become the monster,
That is my sister when she’s better than you.
I don’t know what to do here.
She says she’s leaving her husband,
She’s going to stay with us in our spare room,
She’s bringing up her extra twin bed.
Not her two kids, only the baby.
I called my mom,
Mom, what’s normal here,
What do I do?
What do I expect?
She says 8.
It takes an average of 8 times before a woman will leave an abusive partner.
These problems I thought of as only for adults are happening to my friends now.
My mother has a really great rule,
It’s the –
No matter what,
You can call me and I’ll come rescue you –
I probably avoided a lot of dangerous situations,
Because I knew it would leave me having to call my mom,
Which isn’t nearly as cool
As having to dodge her.
I saw the way his mom is with him,
And I see the young mother his sister has become,
I see the lack of developed potential.
The struggle for income.
They seem happy.
So who am I to judge?
The farmers go to school,
Education is important. This is recognized.
You bring that to the farm,
New techniques, a view of the world, information.
But these people,
Fisherman, Pacific Northwest, or small town,
I don’t know.
But it’s damn frustrating.
What? You don’t need to know how to buy a boat?
You don’t need to learn about coastal patterns,
It wouldn’t be helpful if you could read contracts,
Do basic math, speak what you mean?
I guess not,
All you have to know how to do,
In this community,
Is how to drink yourself to death.
I’ll never not be lonely.
I’m learning there’s different types of lonely.
You can see someone every day,
Talk to them once an hour,
Know they’ll care if you died,
And still feel lonely.
I’m scared of committing to something tangible,
Right now I can hope it’ll improve,
Once I find a person to understand me.
No one tells you how to have adult relationships with your siblings.
Do I call once a week,
Can I still offer advice?
Do we keep it shallow, cute pictures of puppies only,
Or talk about,
What you’re doing with your life?
We’re so far apart now, in distance as well as age.
And I don’t know these people with their brains fully formed.
Small Seashore Birds & Squirrel
Poems from My Day (9-22-16)
bad day. bad day.
I was under the impression everyone was as worried and self-conscious as I am.
It’s common to think the other way around.
These people must not have grown up with my father,
Who was always smarter.
Someone in your life has to be aggressively intelligent,
To convince you of your insignificance.
I can thank my father for my obnoxious self-detrimentalness,
His constant, accidental, humiliation of me,
Has made me cautious, slow to judge, and fault-assuming.
And it’s made my self-confidence my own,
Because I built it myself.
We fall back on the old patterns of interaction,
When we don’t know what else to do.
Because we ended up talking about the one thing we have in common,
Or because we already know how to react,
We already have the emotions all set.
The youtube video is queued up,
Just press play.
I’m stuck in this space in my mind.
I can’t get off this track.
I want to have the same base thoughts as I was thinking last year,
But I can’t access those,
Even though I thought them a thousand times.
I feel like a never-ending to-do list that repeats itself,
Every time I turn the page, it adds something new,
And forgets the page before it.
I’m like my kids in tutoring.
I need someone standing over my shoulder,
Telling me I’m doing well,
And I’ve got this,
In order to allow myself to keep going.
It’s a little frustrating.
I don’t remember what’s it’s like to be a child anymore.
I’ve forgotten all the realizations that had to happen
To make me realize my parents are people,
That all people are people.
This one is for the repressors.
Not of free speech, but emotion.
The best things are bottled,
Beer, wine, and emotions.
If I were to address a room of high school kids,
Telling them why I write,
I think this is what I’d say:
Prove to me you matter.
It’s a Boat
Poems from My Day (9-19-16)
i’m a mess
I’m blasting un-autotuned T-Pain singing about booty and shawtys,
Through my borg-like twenty dollar tiny speaker,
While I’m drying dishes in my kitchen,
And the last of the summer sun is shining through my window.
I’ve got refrigerator rolls with another ten minutes in the oven,
To take to my yoga friend’s house, because she invited us for barbecue.
I am comfortable in my skin,
Braless, wearing Super Bowl XLIV “The Who” baseball long-sleeve shirt I wear to paint,
Sleeves I’ve rolled up so often the cuffs are loose fresh out of the dryer,
And my Levi’s boyfriend jeans with two patches on the inside-thigh seem,
Shabby clothes, bad dancing, for the me no one else will see.
I’ve been imagining what I’d say when at her funeral,
If she kills herself like I think she will.
I’ll say she was my friend.
She pushed me,
When I was working in marketing,
She asked me what I was doing with my brain.
There’s not many people in your life who will understand you,
Or care about you enough to call you out,
Tell you you’re wrong.
She was stronger and smarter than me.
She left her home to be better, do better, learn more.
She was funny.
She would go with me on strange twisting battles of subjects
Ranging from why we should stop for traffic lights
To why no person can be really good.
She wouldn’t mock me, unless I deserved it.
She was wispy, and wiry, and full of energy.
The first person I ever met, unafraid to be herself.
I feel honored she might call me her friend.
Be as smart as you like,
Back up your theories with page cited references,
Names I’ve never heard before.
But if you still can’t figure out how to be kind,
How to checkout at the store without doing it wrong,
What use are you?
I’m new to this feeling,
Of knowing you’re being ridiculous,
Knowing your emotions are irrational, but
Having them anyway, and not being able to stop them.
It’s new to me,
I get the feeling,
I’ll get accustomed quickly.
I was lying in bed watching some shitty movie on Netflix about love and quilts.
And I was feeling like a voice-over.
Thinking about telling my computer screen how much I miss the sound of bugs at night in summer.
How my skin feels after I’ve been sweating and then it cools down.
I miss porches painted white
I’m trying so hard not to think about him.
Because I don’t like him,
But I want him to like me.
But I don’t want to care,
I think I’m lying to myself,
I just can’t figure out where.
I made thin chocolate chip cookies
For the funeral this week.
I made a bundt cake for the one last week.
I don’t want to be here,
I don’t want to be here.
The Greens of Southeast
9 Poems for the Week
my heart is tucked away today. i’m sorry it’s not open for my writing poetry visiting hours.
I met the math teacher,
At native food day up at the senior center.
He’s from nearby, originally,
So he says his a’s like everyone else up here.
There’s an h in there and a little hint of a smile.
You can hear it if they say bag.
He told me smoked fish is the best because it goes really well
With any type of alcohol.
I love it.
The last time I met him,
He was yelling at me,
So this is improvement.
My heart broke over a piece of paperwork.
She had to fill out the reimbursement forms for me,
For the trip we sent her on to Fairbanks.
I couldn’t get her to fill it out.
My supervisor yelled at me.
She who I had hoped would, would, do. Something.
So now it’s a body and a mind that does what needs to be done.
I’m out of this.
Me and my heart and my soul are back in our little corner,
Looking for better long-term cold storage facilities
Who don’t charge high rent.
I told her my standards are really low.
I quoted this passage from a book which talks about how
He wasn’t much, but she’d never seen much of anything, so there was a chance they could be happy.
I said that was pretty much me.
You’re out of bed. You’re clean. You’re not hurting anyone. You’re good in my book.
I’ll not condemn the lazy.
She just looked at me.
And I can tell she’s never been around chronic depression,
Or lived with an alcoholic,
Or an abuser.
I can tell.
She’s that funny kind of clean
Who wants to know the dirt,
And may have seen the dust,
But she’s never stopped caring when it’s covering her hands,
Because it’s been there too long.
I used to always side with the children.
How could a mother do that?
I didn’t realize I had a bias.
Am I older now, to see adults as humans?
As an equal to the child, they’re needs have to matter too.
When did that happen?
When did I put the living above those who have yet to live?
They say the first day of moose season,
Always means bad weather.
The rain came yesterday.
The first moose this morning.
I just spent fifty dollars
On new clothes,
A pair of work pants, a sleep shirt, a blue dress oxford, and a blouse. A red blouse.
I shouldn’t have spent that.
It’s not in my budget.
My budget is titled: Don’t Spend Nothing.
And if I have to pay for heat again this month,
I’ll be two hundred dollars in debt.
And I’ll take out of my savings,
My rocking chair on a wrap-around porch fund,
I worked so hard to build,
I gave up my social life to bank,
Because I decided it was a good idea to volunteer for a year,
For a cause that might be worth it.
We’re having yoga down at the firehall.
Me and my roommate and the woman in town who does community things.
I use the old beat up pink mat that lives in the corner shelf and has rust stains.
We’re doing thirty days of yoga. Or so they say.
A man came yesterday.
Changes the whole dynamic, even though I feel like it shouldn’t.
And my roommate said my side comments were annoying him.
If I’d known I would have said half of what I’d thought,
Instead of quietly trying to not show my ass while downward-dogging into hell.
I almost escaped.
But he asked,
What are my plans for after my contract finishes here.
And I had to tell the truth.
I have no plans.
I could go back to freelancing, if I had to,
Which wouldn’t be a problem.
Will someone tell me what to do please?
That makes me so pathetic.
8 Poems from My Life
i’m doing better today. i sat and watched the sunset.
I read about the lives of famous people on Wikipedia.
I always feel like it should have gone differently.
I want the people who did great things to only do great things,
But then, their lives happen,
Something goes wrong,
In the end they always turn out to be people.
I want them to be an example of a faultlessness.
Never have anything go wrong,
As proof that life can be perfect.
When will I be a hellraiser? I want to be a hellraiser.
I can party and stuff.
Or just get told I’m cute.
That happens to me more often.
I get so excited when I read a Christopher Hitchens piece and I don’t have to google any words in the first paragraph.
To me, it feels like the first time I read “White Fang”
And I understood all the words, and I knew them well enough
That when I read them, I understood,
And I felt good about myself,
Which is a running problem for me,
If you haven’t noticed,
Can I lead a club called the nervous and the damned?
I’m always worried.
There’s something I’m doing wrong, I don’t have a plan, I should have a plan, I could be doing better, someone in my position would be doing better by now.
I’m going to hell for sure.
Or at least, I tell myself I have to think I’m going to hell, so somehow I can convince myself to be a good person, or what I think is a good person.
Can we have sandwiches too? And cut them in squares? Diagonally. And have paste sandwiches? I’ve always wanted to have paste sandwiches because I don’t know what those are.
We’ll watch films, after quietly and individually writing down our thoughts by ourselves.
When I watch movies on serial killers I always keep the video player small-sized.
I don’t make it full screen, it keeps them farther away that way.
The same way I had to tilt my head way far back and away from the screen
When I watch that new Les Miserables. Because otherwise I was just too close to those characters.
And their syphilis.
But, I shouldn’t judge the people for what they’ve done or what’s happened to them,
I still want them over there, though.
That’s probably something I need to work on.
I think it’s in the eyes of the kids,
What they stare at – meaning what they haven’t seen before
And what’s totally normal – ignored.
A stranger driving down the street finds eyes and attention.
Or when I’m introducing myself, or offering a normal kindness.
But not when I yell,
Or hear other people yelling, or gunshots, or unwashed faces.
Sometimes I read the forums on 4chan because they use language in a different way,
And I want to read that.
Sometimes I want to be shocked, to feel something.
It’s to laugh occasionally too,
Or pick up cooking tips.
Or hear what other people are thinking, when they get to be anonymous.
I called my mother,
Sitting on the early learning center carpet in the library,
Wedged between stacks of partially-alphabetized children’s books,
Because I had started crying.
I found this book, and the pictures looked familiar.
I started to read it,
My mother’s voice came into my head, singing this song,
Peanut butter peanut butter, jelly, jelly.
And I remember hearing her sing this rhyme.
And I thought, I’m not crazy.
So I texted my sister with a picture from the pages,
She didn’t remember.
So I called my mom.
Mom, I found this book in the library,
Do you remember this?
It’s about building this huge sandwich, peanut butter jelly, and,
And she knew.
And she sang the song that I was singing in my head,
Except it was in her voice.
My mom’s voice.
And that made all the difference.
It matters with every book you read to your kid.
And you’ll tell us to have a carrot.