Monthly Archives: October 2017

Ten Poems (10-28-17)

1:
I live with accidental consequences of the things I did right.
I cleaned the wood paneling along the floor,
Now I clean along the chip on the wood paneling on the floor.
I didn’t have that relationship, I didn’t move to California with him.
But I never met his friends, never did something stupid,
Never tried to save something I knew would die.
I know you live with your mistakes,
But you live with the successes too.

2:
I wish she would be clear with me,
But I don’t have the courage to be straight with her.
Isn’t that just the way it goes.

3:
I met a German
I think, maybe I’m too silly for him.
He did not laugh,
But he sort of chuffed once.
He was not handsome,
But he was safe, and wanted me to like him.
And he’ll beat himself up later about the silly things he said.

4:
How did I get myself up this morning?
More importantly, when will that will give out?
And it’s always a just barely,
So close to a not.
That’s why I always felt guilty of my accomplishments in college,
They were just barelys instead of easily and because of hard work.

5:
I want to have done something I’ve never done before.
To have an experience, another story,
To keep me warm.
Maybe I’ll poach an egg.
And bake a new cake.
To stop this wanting to have a place of my own, with a person of my own.

6:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Here. Now. With this life.
I’m so aware of how precious health is,
Because I’m coughing up a storm.
But now what do I do with this awareness?
I ask the question we all ask,
What now?

7:
He talks to me in the morning,
And he’s like a brother.
He was raised with sisters, I can tell.
He makes faces at me when we both try to stay awake at work,
He sends me silly gifs in gchat,
He’s human and honest in my little machine corner.
And he’ll play catch, whereas no one else will run with the sarcasm stories of,
Of yes of course I took my pony into work.

8:
I cannot make you love your body.
I am sorry I do not have this power.
I cannot rearrange the features of your face to make you happy.
I can’t make you look good in leggings.
I can tell you that all your parts work, that you are you. That if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be you. You’re the youest you around.
I can tell you that your whole line of ancestors has produced a human that is capable of achieving in this world. That the vehicle for doing this is your body.
But you don’t care.
I don’t know what you want.
To be prettier?
To be thinner?
To be less chubby?
I can tell you how to accomplish these goals. But if you are not happy with who you are, no matter how the outside changes, you will never be happy.
You can always start over, but you bring yourself with you wherever you go.
The doctor doesn’t say you’re fat.
I don’t think your fat.
Who says you’re fat?
Your husband does not care. He says you look good.
Your mother would think you were fat if you were a sheet of paper from the side.
It is only you.
I cannot help you with this.

9:
God I would love to be thinner than her.
It would somehow be divine recompense for the years she yelled at us, took out her anger at us,
For not looking the way she wanted.
For the puking, and the food judging, for the snide remarks about bowls of chips.
It provokes the cat smile, doesn’t it? I could finally do something better than her.
Because she always has to be smarter, prettier, with a better looking man.
Just the one time, wouldn’t it be nice, to be first in something.
But I’m sure she could make me feel guilty for being fat in the first place.
And I’m equally positive I’ll never get in that good of shape.

10:
I call my mom for support.
I needed that support, and my sister cannot offer a shoulder to cry on.
She’s too harsh for that.
Harsh is a good word, I think.
I’m sure the love is there, but it is regulated, and used with a purpose.
My mom will tell me about all the suns and moons I am,
And babble at me when I need it,
To feel at home.

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Six Poems (10-18-17)

my mother came to visit. expect general family analysis.

1:
Look at my sister with her husband, and her hobby,
Those degrees and prospects.
She deserves it, of course,
Of course.
I’d like to say, look at the support she got that I didn’t,
Look at the personality she got.
But I can’t shift blame away from myself.
I’m told, everyone does things in their own time,
But I want my timeline now.
She’ll never be an understanding person,
She’s never been friends with the rapist, instead of the assaulted.
But qualities of character don’t matter much,
When eight hours a day you get to spend doing something you like,
And I sit behind a combination sitting-standing desk staring at excel spreadsheets.

2:
Let me tell you how I’m doing.
I’m reading illegally downloaded romance novels on my macbook and changing the pages with my pinky because the rest of my fingers are Cheetos stained.
I’m hoping he texts me back.
I’m not applying to grad schools because I don’t have three people who would give me recommendation letters. It’s all my fault.
I’m crying all the time.
I’m dodging the volunteers lady from the community center because I had to watch the worst 2nd graders in the world for three hours, and I hated it. I’m not man enough to say I won’t go anymore.
My hair feels greasy.
I’m actively avoiding the boy who likes me because I think he’s ugly. Everyone needs a fallback right?
I can pay my bills.
I’m sneezing out pieces of dead grass from the music festival I went to. But I can say I’ve been to a concert now.
I’m so lonely. I want an adventure again. Or at least someone who lets me rest my head on their shoulder.

3:
I went to dinner with my mother, her husband.
My sister, her husband.
There was no one on my side. I wasn’t first for anyone at the table. Unless I made a fuss, then I could temporarily get bumped to the top of the list, ahead of my dying grandmother.
I want to be the reason someone else is there.
I’m not an afterthought. I’m important too. She tells herself quietly in her own head.
I need help to wake up tomorrow. I’m tired of my mother being proud of me for making it on my own.

4:
What am I doing wrong?
I should blame you for making me doubt myself. I’m told.
I must have done something wrong, that you won’t text me back,
You won’t try and make alternate plans when you tell me you’re busy.
I should drop it right here.
But I liked you. And I don’t meet hardly anyone I like.
And I thought?
But you never touched me. Maybe I confided too much? I shared too much of myself.
I should have planned better dates?
It’s just a difference in character. It’s nothing against me personally, I’m sure.
Even if he did set something up, maybe you would be the one to draw back.
He wouldn’t change just because you got what you wanted.
He’d still be this inconsistent.
But I really liked him.
And I can’t seem to stop myself.
Why does it hurt so much? It shouldn’t. It’s silly.
I’m being silly.
Suddenly I’m relating to jazz songs.
He probably has lots of plans. You can have lots of plans too. I bet. If you wanted. Not that you’d have anyone to go with you to them, because you can’t seem to find anyone who isn’t a ghost.
I can fix me, just tell me what to do. Well, damn, that’s pathetic. You don’t stand for this kind of nonsense. Men should treat you better than this.
Nod your head and move on.
Please?

5:
I should never have told my sister our mother pressures me into having children.
Now my sister thinks our mother thinks she’ll be a bad mom.
Not just once has she brought this up.
It was my mistake. Sharing. Sharing anything at all with my family.
It’s the thousand little winces that build up when you’re around them.
And I can’t do anything with them. They’re just piled on top of old wounds.

6:
It is not wrong to put feelings on a shelf.
My way of dealing with things is no worse or better than yours.
Please stop making me feel guilty for the way I process emotions.
I’m quiet dammit. I don’t like to explode. I don’t like to get angry. I want to think about it first.
I will resolve the issue when I want to.
It is possible to feel things later.
I don’t like your way of doing it, because somehow, it’s always me that ends up hurt from your blast radius.
I don’t think I’m sulking. I just need a minute.
Or I’ll let it go.
Please stop it. Let me be.

Ten Poems (10-09-17)

about work and love

1:
Here. I will practice it with you.
I don’t like you anymore.
No that sounds too harsh.
I think you’re unattractive.
Ouch. That’s worse.
How about.
I don’t like you that way.
Eek. That’s just as bad as it’s not you, it’s me.
I’ve met someone else.
Well, now, that’s just a lie.
I don’t need you anymore, maybe I never needed you at all.
Bah.
I’ll do what I always do, and just hope he goes away instead.

2:
I feel like the mountain I pretend to be when I do yoga.
I stand on all four corners.
You are not needed.
But, I keep you around, because I’m scared of the time when I’ll need you again.

3:
My mother is coming to visit.
But we laughed on the phone today.
And she was so funny.
I’m worried she won’t be in as good as mood when she comes to visit.
She’s here to see my sister, not me.
I can sit quietly and keep to myself.
I don’t have to do a thing.

4:
I need an opinion.
My father forgot the day to call me, not the first time, understandable.
He told me stories he’s told me before.
First he’ll offer to lend me the Simon & Garfunkel vhs tape from the park, when one of them starts “Bridge Over Troubled Water” too high and has to squeak it out at the end.
He’ll tell me to read that wonderful Esquire piece about Mr. Rogers.
Then he’ll forget I told him my mother’s coming to visit.
And ask me about church.
Do I tell him he’s slipping?

5:
I have a deadline you know.
About seven years,
Before I’m going to have to take care of my father.
If I have a family,
I could get away with that excuse as a reason not to take on the burden.
But that means I have seven years.
To get started, and wait for my dad to go,
After the dementia diagnosis.

6:
It’s hard that my brain works.
Because I can often see what’s going to happen.
I can tell you how our relationship will go.
I can tell you exactly why we won’t work.
But sometimes, I want to feel anyway.
So I’ll give it a go against my instincts.
And he really won’t be able to take criticism.
I’ll be right and alone again.

7:
I can’t do this job much longer.
My short-term memory is short-circuiting,
Because I’m not a computer, I’m a person.
Why won’t you treat me like a person?
I can’t do the same thing four-hundred times a day.
It hurts.
But I need to fix the air-conditioning in my car.

8:
The hair on my thighs turned brown.
It’s always been blonde.
I told my sister.
She said, getting old sucks.

9:
I usually tell people I’m blunt and honest.
Because I think that’s the truth,
But I don’t want to use it as an excuse to hurt people.
When I can’t tell if what I’m saying will be mean,
I keep quiet, I keep to myself.
And then I’m tired, and my filters fall down,
I become combative and talk too much.
I wonder if that’s who I am,
The rude woman with no censor, who hurts with abandon.

10:
I can’t put my finger on why I dislike him.
I think because he dismissed me.
Which means he’s not an accepting person,
He’s judgmental instead,
Interested in himself.
Which means he’s been protected,
And hasn’t had to rely on other people,
Hasn’t had to rely on other bad people, who’ve done something wrong too.
I don’t know if I want to associate with someone like that,
Someone who’s so pretty, they can dismiss people.
Because their confidence provides their personality.

Ten Poems (10-02-17)

1:
Why is it that it’s so much easier to be the one liked more?
And once you know you like someone more than they like you, you cling.
I should speak for myself. I cling. I am cling. I am dryer sheet.
I want them to like me.
Maybe I should give up, and never like anyone again.
Or be less fat.

2:
I think the brain that decides it’s going to wear my skin while I’m on my period,
Has very different taste in men than I do.
It says, this one is safe.
Then this thought will appear, it says
I want to rest my legs on theirs.
But when I meet them the next day, I can’t figure out what it is about them
I liked.
And I think I’m the practical monster all over again.
She who only sees people as a means to scarcely allocated resources.

3:
They’re younger than me.
I didn’t think it mattered. I’ve always been on the other side of that.
But I sat at lunch today, in the cafeteriatorium,
They got all the names of all the country stars wrong,
And I was “never minded” by a guy younger than me for not answering immediately.
I wasn’t myself.
Because I can’t be myself at work and still have a job,
More so, though, to me, they’re still college kids,
Taking about how they learned something new that changed their lives,
And wondering why something can’t be said out loud.
I have more important things than that group, and I’m not sure that they do.
It’s like they haven’t hurt anyone yet, and they don’t know how much future hurt they’re already carrying around.

4:
My father is paying my offering money again.
When we were little, he would run down from the pulpit and hand us each a dollar,
Sitting there huddled in the first pew.
To put in the offering plate.
He asks me each week on the phone if I need money.
He sends me a dog-eared twenty and a five brochure folded in an old bulletin.
This week I put my cash in my white envelope, then in the heavy, rust flecked plate,
And it felt like I was sitting in the same pew all over again.
My father taking two seconds out of his important work to rush down the steps, and give his girls money to make sure they were part of the congregation.
Separating us from them and connecting us to others at the same time.
Like he’s always done,
Teach me how other people think,
And how everyone else is wrong.
He’s never been able to see from a smaller perspective, and he misses out on the insights idiots can make.
Which is why he never understood my embarrassment at having to be the one getting money from the dad’s last-minute pocket.

5:
Suddenly there seems to be so much time.
I wonder if, thinking back, we’ll say those were the days when we were young and silly,
Before we settled down. I’m so glad we settled down.
Or if, instead, I’ll think back to a minor thing I said while I wasn’t paying attention,
A relationship version of nicking a parked car with my sideview mirror,
A slipsecond of not paying attention,
That causes us to never speak again.
Maybe I’ll call you up, in twenty years to see how you are,
To see if you got what you wanted.
It’s turning over the next card in blackjack to see if you could have made five-under-twenty-one,
I want to check to see if I made the right decision, even if I can’t change it now.

6:
God, what did he say to me?
Hang on, let me find it.
I don’t ever want you to go. Hopelessly devoted I think I am.

My head processed the annoying grammar before it read the emotion.
I think he’s lying. But he doesn’t know he’s lying.
I don’t think anyone can predict their emotions like that.
But, the happy part of my brain says, what if he’s right?
That’s creepy, says me who learned that my terrible step-father only went on a first date with my mother after waiting outside her building for weeks.
He seems to like me?
Is this a self-confidence issue with myself? Do I not think people are capable of liking me?
I might have heard this before, but maybe those other cases don’t apply to this one.

We’re different social classes, which you don’t think is important, but it is.
But wait, I’m arguing about a different issues, instead of this one.
What is the issue?
I don’t know what to do about him liking me. And this makes it seem like he really does like me. Love me.

But that phrase gives me all the power doesn’t it?
He doesn’t want me to leave.
I like that.
But at the same time, I’m still more comfortable with the boy planning out the dates and taking care of me. It’s work to be the one in control.
I can’t have the power and still expect him to make the decision though? Can I?
Maybe it’ll be more nonsense he’s said with all the other things.
Or maybe he means it. Or maybe he doesn’t know how to say what he really feels?
I can’t know him better than himself though? Can I?

7:
Everyday I have to drive on a fast, crowded, four-lane twisty, hilly road to get to work.
They test teslas cars on that road.
In the left lane, I’ll be passing a gardening truck with hedges sticking out past my dotted line,
I have to take a deep breath to keep my hands steady. The cars coming south are inches from my mirrors around the curve, past the rich, tech-money houses.
The first time I drove it, I said I would smile every time I rode on it.
Now I wish it were a flat line.
I wish a mountain were a flat line.
That’s how much I dread work. I don’t want any more of my attention directed in that direction.

8:
My brain can’t stop telling me all the ways this could go wrong.
Over and over to be rejected by an automated resume-reading machine.
I want a nice job, one I don’t hate.
I should go back to school, be in debt, but happier in the long-run.
But I don’t have anyone to give me recommendation letters, and it’s too late to ask, and I haven’t taken the test, and I’ll have to wait a whole other year.
And I’m wasting another year of my life.
I’m mad at myself for not knowing what it is I want to do, for not taking the time to figure this out when I was younger. I want it to just happen, I want someone to make the decision for me. I don’t want this responsibly.
I paid my car insurance today isn’t that enough?

9:
My mother is coming to visit.
Suddenly I’m fat and slovenly.
My job is bad, and my clothes have holes.
I should have children already, read more, and wear more makeup.
I want her to buy me food, and not judge me.
That would be the perfect mom, wouldn’t it?
But very unlike my mother.

10:
She gets so angry, and I don’t know how to handle it.
It’s the same anger from when we were kids.
I have issues dealing with anger because of her, because of this.
I cower. Instantly. And it pisses me off.
I get yelled at for being angry, and she gets everyone to move out of her way.
She would tell you it’s because she’s great.
And I’m sure she is.
I just want her to go away, so I don’t have to put up a front all the time,
And have all my emotions just so in place.
My feelings don’t go in slots. And sometimes I have to feel them later,
There’s nothing wrong with me.
Don’t mock me for my feelings. I am right to have them. They are right to exist.
The reason this dialogue even exists in my head is because of you.