8 Poems from My Life

i’m doing better today. i sat and watched the sunset.

1:
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.

2:
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.

3:
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,
Smart.
Which is a running problem for me,
If you haven’t noticed,

4:
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.
And.
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.
With food.
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.

5:
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.

6:
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.

7:
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.

8:
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.
It matters with every book you read to your kid.
We’ll remember.
And you’ll tell us to have a carrot.

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13 thoughts on “8 Poems from My Life

  1. talesbytink

    I really like no.8. And I think your sense of humour is leaking out 🙂 No.4 is complex, whimsical, pensive… and funny. Like Virginia Wolfe meets Bukowski and they have a chat about life, or a conversation that might be heard in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes. Paste sandwiches, btw, I believe are made with anchovy paste. My parents used to buy it. If you like salty fish, it’s fab. If you don’t, it’ll probably make you retch.

    Reply
    1. some bad plankton Post author

      Well. Thank you. I have a pretty well developed, dark sense of humor. I’m always scared it’s starting to leak out.
      Salmon paste is more what I was thinking. I think that’s a thing. But it’s good to know it could mean anchovies.

      Reply

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