all right guys. i’m having trouble writing. so we’re reinstating ten poems in twenty minutes, that way least i’m writing something.
welcome to day one.
I’m working again
In an office that gives you free food and drink and snacks for the day.
What could be better?
I’m in a safe office. There’s a place to park.
The people are kind.
Good pay. Easy.
It’s not hard. It’s entering numbers, basically.
My bills are paid for once, without dipping into my savings.
And yet. Although. But. Wait. Hang on.
Last summer when I had to take cold showers,
I would sing a song as loud as I could in my head.
While I got done what it was I needed to do.
I can’t think about it. If I do, I stop.
I keep hoping, it’ll get better, easier,
If I keep pushing myself to get it done.
Today, getting up will be easy,
Brushing my teeth won’t be climbing a mountain.
But I hiked a thousand stairs yesterday.
My legs are sore,
And I still can’t make myself brush my hair.
You don’t get to treat me this way.
I am not a person to be unsure about or around.
You’re with me or you’re not.
I don’t do half-washed certainties.
My ideas can be fluid and in motion.
My feelings are not.
You’re with me, or you’re out.
If you can’t make up your mind and ask.
I told someone I wrote these.
For stranger friends to see my soul.
And I’ve had trouble writing ever since.
What I say in anonymity, is a comfort.
I process out loud; I need a bounce-back to think it through.
And when I don’t have that, I use you.
But the thought that my thinking, that what I might not feel, but what’s written, true.
Might be heard and exposed by someone,
Has shown me a coward,
And caused a lack of words.
I live now with my sister and her husband.
She asked, how could we be stressful?
After living with Mom and her husband.
And I couldn’t answer.
She doesn’t remember all the damage she’s done.
Or the oddities I bear because of her.
She doesn’t see the strength of a weakness,
Or the person behind anti-social whatevers.
If you don’t shower there’s something wrong with you.
Because she can’t be wrong. Right?
Let me tell you the truth.
I will erase this sentence after it’s written, but I have to keep it here to start writing.
I will make it perfect, but first I have to get it out. Then I can fix it.
This is a judgment free zone for the next fifteen minutes.
Write it, then fix it, but be true, and not cutesy.
Just start typing.
At the blood bank to give blood for the first time,
I threw up at the reception desk, into her trash can,
From nerves. And because I had just hiked six miles of stairs in the Texas heat and humidity without enough water. Then I drank warm water I had waiting in the car, and took a bite of a granola bar that had been sitting there too long.
I called my mom.
She was the mom I remember.
The great mom.
Who was there for me.
To make me laugh, and make me feel better,
Tell me how great I am. That I’m superwoman.
And all I could think abut was that I don’t know what I’ll do when she’s gone.
I don’t want to be boring. I don’t want to have done nothing.
But I don’t want to travel the world and use what I take from other people’s cultures as a way to make myself better, as a way to make myself more appealing to new people I meet.
I want to be important. But I won’t mistreat people. If you tell me I’m doing something wrong, if I’m hurting someone, I’ll stop.
I want someone to love me. But I want partnership. I don’t want to make all the decisions. I want to be the bridge partner who calls trump, and lets his partner lead, directing the flow of power from behind the scenes with well played strategy, silent strength, and smarter than you all.
I want to be able to support myself, and live alone, I want to find out how to make myself happy,
Without your help.
If you can’t run with me,
I’ll never see you as an equal.
If you can’t go twelve-rounds arguing about why a zebra would be a better politician than a hippo, I don’t want to let you see me.
If you are too grounded to never admit you’re wrong, to never be corrected,
Or take a criticism with a nod and a you’re right,
Then I want to go back to my people, the friends I know.
Who will argue with me about the socio-controlling forces of the anarchistic traffic light,
Or at least smile while I ramble on.
I’m scared you only love me without my filter.
That I’m Doug Stanhope, only funny without the alcohol.
When I’m not sleeping enough, and my brain can’t work well enough to work against me,
I can only then be myself, and only then loved.
But when my bricks are up full force, when I’ve slept and ate enough, I become a waiting game,
Waiting for me to go back to “normal.”