Category Archives: Poetry

seems to be getting worse instead of accomplished

Relationship Poems

i’m alive guys

It’s Gone on Too Long
I don’t know what to do with him.
Today he called,
Ostensibly to say hi.
He asked how my day was, what I did today,
Most likely because he didn’t know what else to say.
I was fairly distant which was fun in a –
I know I’m being a bad human –
Kind of a way.
Tomorrow, I’m supposed to tell him when I’m free
So I guess he will talk for five minutes and then hang up on me.

I can’t test him, which is what I want to do.
Which is what all the relationships of my past tell me to do.
Be clear, give deadlines, ultimatums,
And when people fail them,
Cut them out.
But I don’t test people, I don’t manipulate.

He’s awful, and uncouth, and uneducated, not that I hold these things against people,
But I do.
It’s like I know I’m not supposed to judge people for how much they eat or don’t eat,
But I do.

I’ve always thought, when it’s right, it’s right.
When I click, when it’s easy, when there aren’t odd breaks in conversation.

He thinks maybe I’m it, because he doesn’t think he’ll get any better.
“Likes me”
I can see myself saying, fuck it, and take the money and run
And be a depressed housewife just for the cash.

I Didn’t See It
I remember something she said to me,
She said,
He looks at me with love in his eyes.

She respects his wife too much to ever do anything about it.
That he looks at her with love in his eyes.

I never would have put that together.
And I’m not sure it’s true.
If it’s still true.

She could have been over confident, or high at the time.

What are these men doing?
Who are now supposed to be raising families while the mothers work.
Is that what they signed up for?
Is this the reason they get white girl wasted on weekdays and sleep around?
Is that where they find themselves,
Or lose themselves?

Why didn’t she act on it?
Maybe that line is right, whoever said it,
Maybe you can’t choose who you fall in love with,
But you choose who you be with.

Actually, on second thought, that’s totally wrong.
I think there are a lot of men and women who don’t fall in love unless their brain is in there with them.
And so many people don’t have a choice in who they’re with.

To Women

I’ve spent longer watching myself smile in the mirror than I’ve spent laughing with friends.

Has your mother accused you of scratching yourself because of the stretch marks on your breasts?

To the women who wipe it away with alcohol. I understand. I’m here if you need me.

Don’t qualify your statements when you speak. You’ve a right to be heard. Have something worth saying. I want to hear it.

To the women I’ve let down. I’m sorry. Tell me please, so I can get better.

Who fall in love with the cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts because he has a sexy voice and he kept my extra penny.

I’ve never seen a healthy relationship. What would I expect from my own?

Who have tried to turn over one-sided mattresses by themselves.

Who have hair on their bellies longer than the hair on their legs.

Who have used the same pair of panties, with a different pad the next day.

If you can’t eat goldfish without eating the whole bag.
Welcome. I have snacks.

Who have been the victims of sexual assault.
Domestic violence rates are nearly one in three.
Do you know three women?
You don’t have to move on with your life if you don’t want to.

If you’ve got in your car and never left.

Sing all the words to Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” if you haven’t had a hair cut in a year and a half. Light a big yankee candle, turn off the lights, put your crystal necklaces in a semi-circle and pray to the gods that Robin McKinley will write a sequel to “Sunshine.”

If you’ve never sent anyone a nude photo, you don’t have to be beautiful to be human. I hate my feet too. The only thing yoga helps with is passing gas. My thighs certainly aren’t thinner.

I’ve over-thought a two-second conversation because it was the last time I’ve spoken with anyone all day. My socks never match either. I like that it drives other people nuts.

To those who wear the blood of a crushed mosquito on their skin like war paint. Come hike with me.

To the woman who can’t find an entry-level job that pays a living wage and has snaggle tooths.
You are good enough.

Who read romance novels into the morning to self-sabotage their big day.

To the women who won’t give up control.
Don’t apologize.

To the women who are actually able to tell their accidental, fingering-on-the-couch date that, no they haven’t found the clitoris.
Can you tell me how you did it?

Who have scrapes from going skinny-dipping in the rocky Pacific at midnight in thirty-degree weather. Don’t ever start showering every day.

Who have to remind themselves that friends can have other friends, and they won’t leave you.

To the women who have gone to bookstores so they can tell this day from the last.

To the women who have changed in the backseat of the car because you needed to. I bet you can also take off your bra without removing your shirt.

To the women who wait for a text.
Who don’t want to be needy.
Who try to call out sexism.
Who have to live with someone they don’t love.
Jason Momoa is in your google images search history.

If you don’t have anyone to talk to, talk to me.

To the women who have cried for no reason at all and can’t stop themselves, and get mad at yourself because really, you’re old enough, what is wrong with you, why can’t you do anything right?

To my quiet women, who can’t tell someone how they feel. Try listening to Cat Stevens.

To the women who have stood up to their mothers. Did you hands shake too?

Can you tell a guy to shut up? Have you figured out how to be interested in his hobbies?

To the women up north who wear xtratufs, toting shotguns and dead moose. You’re heroes. Tell your Alaskan sons to stop raping women.

To my aunt who took me in when I hadn’t lived outside a village in too long and I was weird.

To the woman who was nice to me in Sitka. Who didn’t need to be. Who talked to me like I mattered. You don’t know how much I wish I could be friends with you.

To my sister who didn’t have that affair. I will never judge you for your sexuality or promiscuity. I will be there if you leave him. I will send you secret condoms.

To my mother who tries so hard.

To Kelly who doesn’t see how wonderful she is. You are beautiful in and of yourself. If you find someone to love you, great. If you don’t, you will always be the best of humanity.

I wish I knew all the women I accidentally hurt, who think about me as often as I think of the high-school girls who hurt my feelings. I want to fix it.

To the women who have picked at the dirt stuck at the corner of their toenails, who aren’t sure if they can make it on their own, who look down when they walk, who don’t laugh too loud because they’re not sure they have a right to be alive, who are trapped, who are scared, who are destined for greatness, who have a well-worn t-shirt of a college bar logo and a mug of beer.
You are my favorite.

You will be better than your mother, because someone loves you. I love you.

I love you as you are. I love you. I mean it.

I love you. I love you. I love you. Stop hurting the people I love.

7 Poems with Titles

i will post something better, and better written tomorrow. this is all i can do for today.

Heard in the Hallway
I thought,
I’m not in rural Alaska anymore.
I won’t have to hear abuse happen and be powerless and guilty.
But I came home.
And he hits the dogs.
Not in a, I’m venting my anger,
But in a, you’re not behaving properly way.
And I want to go away.
But he’s old, and hopefully dying.
And I don’t want to deal with it.
Or make my mother deal with her husband.

I’m Sorry
He called me a minefield.
I keep thinking,
He’s the wrong one to practice this on.
This time,
I can’t disentangle whether it was him, or it was an old hurt
That I’m just deciding to feel today.
I flashed back to all the times I would be excited, or mad, or really happy.
And my sister would be there to make fun of me,
So that I never showed how I was feeling,
No one would notice and no one would hurt me.
She would flick her thumbnail over her ring finger and tsk,
God, what is wrong with you.
She’d say.
He was teasing my mood in a casual way.
Then.
I lost it, and started crying. Why was I crying?
Suddenly all those 13 year-old me feelings come back,
I got quiet, and I didn’t know why.
And I don’t think he’s strong enough to deal with this,
Or smart enough.

I Lost the Whatever I Had
My sister says I’m wasting away.
That’s what living in this house does to me.
My mother’s house.
She says she can’t watch it.
She says come live with her.
This is what happens when I can’t speak my mind,
When I can’t criticize,
When no one thinks I’m important.
All the whatevers I found living on my own disintegrate.
So that I have to cry silently at two in the morning so no one bothers me.

I Don’t Like Her
My brother’s first girlfriend.
When my sister pushed me for the whys.
I said, “she’s young.”
She’s …
How do you say someone is accidentally racist?
They’re only 19.
And he’s sillier with her than I’ve seen him in a long time.
She’s a lot like me.
And it’s hard to see your own traits reflected back at you by a prettier face.
She asked me to tell embarrassing stories about my brother to her.
How do I explain what’s wrong with that?
I told my sister, she’s very much raised as middle-class suburbs Indiana.
I think he’s smarter than her. I think he can easily out-maneuver her.
I worry that she’s not enough of a force of nature to counteract the abusive tendencies his father taught him.
He asked, and I said, “you like her, I like her.”
Cop out. I’m a cop out.

She’s Way Too Good of a Person to Be Friends with Me
It’s not often I’m the crazy lady who takes someone on adventures.
Except with her I am.
I’m the brave one.
And she takes me seriously, and the things I tell her actually seem to help her.
It’s almost like I’m scared she’ll clean the cynic out of me and I’ll have to start caring again.
Oh god save me.

I Haven’t Found a Job
I shake, literally my hands shake, like they do when I confront my mother,
When I have to apply for jobs.
I have to put my hand over my eyes, scary-movie-watching style, and just type.
To the outside, it’s such an easy fix.
I want to find a job, almost any job, before I move,
Just kidding, I want a paying job that isn’t demeaning.
And there go all my options.

This Counseling Book
Don’t worry about why I’m reading it.
Listen to what I discovered.
If the counselor and the client have different social-economic status, personal values, background and experiences, they might not click.
My god. This is why people who move have so many problems.
Think about it, if you don’t want to share with a trained professional who’s a little different than you, why would you ever be friends with someone so vastly different than yourself. They, and I quote, don’t have “intuitive insight.”
And you know what else?
This is exactly why my roommate up north couldn’t find any friends,
Because she doesn’t have anything in that list in common with the locals, and she didn’t know how to find common ground.
She thought the common ground should come to her.

Leaving South

i left alaska. i’m back with my mom.

She drove and gave me another hug.
She gave me a hug twice.
And told me she has a lot of friends, but not a lot of good friends.
And I got on the boat.
And watched it pull away from the dock.
And as we left the rolling hills and pine trees of the pacific northwest,
Driving through the fog dusted mountains on 90,
I kept thinking, turn around, I’m going the wrong way,
This isn’t right.
But I left all the same.
And I cried by myself in the midship deck that used to be a bar,
Crashed on the curved blue couch in the back,
With everything I possesed right there.
Now I have to go to yoga, and move all my stuff out of storage,
And find a job,
And fix my car registration,
And file my taxes
And figure out what the hell to do about my friends and these people I seem to have acquired.
When I just want to hide.
And I want quiet.
And they didn’t give me whipped cream on my smoothie.

I got to Seattle,
And I said the trees don’t look right,
These aren’t my trees.
This isn’t the Tongass.
I want my forest back.
With all its scars and its danger.
It didn’t care that I was this thing,
It didn’t give me a second glance,
But kept going with it’s own life,
I can respect that.

I miss the salmon strips and chips car rides.
Riding out the road with loud music playing,
And one of us sitting in the middle back seat with their arms on the passenger rests
Eating smoked fish with our fingers, skin and all,
And passing around a bag of sunchips,
Talking with our mouths full,
About how much we loved each other.

I remember driving down killer hill at one of the 3 p.m. sunsets
And the world filled with orange,
I thought, it’s almost worth it.
To pay eight dollars a gallon for milk,
And not be able to buy fresh meat at the store.
To know none of these kids stand a chance.
I left on the ferry, going nowhere, back to my mother’s house,
I watched the new terminal pass behind the boat,
Until I couldn’t see the light,
Standing out there with only the die-hard smokers in the cold,
In the jacket I was wearing when we got stuck out the road.
I stood there undecided.

I don’t want my life, my year up north to be some memory I use,
I won’t expose those people, who were good to me,
I wouldn’t do that.
I want it to keep growing, I don’t wan to lose them.
But I didn’t want to stay by myself. I couldn’t.

Poems from My Day (3-1-17)

1:
You find the strong people because you can’t hurt the strong people.
When you’re sure you’re going to hurt someone,
Find the ones that are already bleeding,
It’s safer.

2:
I can’t believe she didn’t take responsibility for getting us stuck out the road.
She never apologized, or said it was her fault.
At the time, I didn’t think anything of it,
But I’m madder at her now, than I was in the freezing cold,
For getting us stuck out there.
You answer to yourself, if you’re uncomfortable stop.
You’re responsible for you.
Jesus.
Be a wimp, or don’t be a wimp, either way, own it.

3:
She just comes from a different world.
You know what?
I come from a different world.
So what you were privileged,
Own it don’t hide behind it.

4:
I bet she tells her boyfriend all about me,
God that’s so annoying to me,
Who’s such a private person.
She’s so much a – suffer in silence.
I went off last night,
On how much those people drive me nuts,
Something wrong? You say so, dammit.
I think I offended her,
Or she finally saw me as I am.
But I don’t care. Because I have nothing to lose.
Group me in with your low-lifes and your vagabonds,
Those people you’re trying to save,
Whatever you do, just leave me alone,
Or keep looking at me with pity, and a you could be better face,
I can deal with that.

5:
She’s so insecure and it drives me nuts,
You shouldn’t need group acceptance,
Be fine on your own,
Not everyone has to like you,
Not everyone will,
So make sure they like you for who you really are,
Not the woman you’re trying so hard to be.
I’m giving her too much credit, by spending so much time on her
With my words.

6:
She was right, I don’t know why we’re even friends with her,
I told her the Alaska line –
The you don’t have much choice in friends so you go with who’s left –
But I think she’s like me,
And will be lonely rather than deal with idiots

7:
She checked up on me
And asked me where I was
And asked me where I was going
And asked me what I got done today
Can I tell you how annoying of a girlfriend you make?
Everything in me has clenched fingernails into the palms saying,
Leave me alone.

8:
God she wanted to see me drunk,
So she could feel better about herself,
And have something else she would know about me,
Because she uses what she learns,
And loves it.

9:
I don’t have beautiful words or bangs, or things to tell you.
I wanted you to talk to me, more
So I could know you,
And I can’t punish you for the man I now know you to be,
Can I?
I don’t know.
I think I need to meet you when you’re being you.
No, that’s a lie.
I’d just need to meet you once, see you once, to know what kind of man you are.
It’s one of the nice benefits of abuse, you’re people reading meter is excellent.

10:
These women marry these idiot men
Men who can’t compete with them.
But they’re the ones that cook,
And the men are the ones who leave.
They don’t know how to take care of kids,
Or they can’t handle it.
The other moms don’t want to narc,
Even if we know that baby daddy is on drugs when he’s watching the kids.
If you don’t tell us we don’t have to know,
And care.

Poems from My Day (2-27-17)

1:
I will not be jealous
It’s silly to be jealous
I can’t be this competitive
Love doesn’t work like this,
In measured ways.
We can all be friends,
I am not better or worse for being excluded.
I will not care that they’ve done something without me.
My abandonment issues will not make me weird.
I won’t play with people like this.

2:
I met a woman with three other friends
At a dive filipino place in southeast
And she was nice, kind
But either she didn’t want to be there,
Thought it would be different,
Or was on drugs.
I kept thinking, why was she here.
She writes though,
Which means she was absorbing everything,
To use later, without giving too much of herself away.

3:
Maya Angelou wrote this poem for people who have to be happy for work.
I think she’s right.
We’re all crying on the inside.
No wonder cannibalism has gone out of fashion,
We’re all dead inside.

4:
She said,
That’s why rape happens,
It’s why alaska’s rates are so high.
Because you have to be nice to the people you live with,
Or you don’t have a place to stay,
I have to be nice to her, Or.
She thought we were thick as thieves.
No.
She takes what she learns about you,
To use it against you, again and again.
Like the domestic violence,
And it happens and it happens,
And you watch it happen
All over again.
You do nothing to stop it for others,
Or yourself,
And you hate everything you are a little bit more.

5:
Tomorrow’s my last day
Tomorrow I can talk about politics
And not be a logo
And not answer to Jamie,
Or be penned in
Or have to wear a polo
I’m free
Gemma was right.
She kept telling me,
You’re almost done.
My head can’t comprehend

6:
How much of your village is native?
About 80% identify, but beyond that you get into percentages of people,
Which I’ve never really enjoyed.
I didn’t go into this thinking I’d be more comfortable around the brown people I see everyday,
Then a conference room of white.
I talked to the yupik lady from up north for too long, because she looked like my people.

Poems from My Day (2-22-17)

1:
I can’t hold off all my thoughts.
I would like it if my trains could be derailed for a minute,
Like I would be able to take that thought and pick it up and
Set it to the side, off the kid’s wooden tracks,
For just a minute.
Spin the wheels in the air,
Disconnect and reattach the magnetic caboose bumpers,
Take a break from being stuck inside the circles and circles
Of worn down track.

2:
I have no expectations of him.
It needs to stay this way.
Because I only get hurt,
When I depend on people.
That attachment will never get deeper,
It will stay on this level right here,
Because he can’t be part of my support system,
So he can’t be a part of me.

3:
It’s not a big deal to me,
If people are drug addicts,
Or unacceptable in some way or another,
I’ll judge them when I meet them,
For what they show me.
I still haven’t made up my mind
If you can be a bad person and do good things.

4:
My roommate doesn’t understand trash talking,
She doesn’t know how to not take it personally,
This is not something I can explain.
It’s a concept she’s never heard.
It has nothing to do with you, person you.
It’s like when you need to watch something innocuous,
Sports is there, to care about, but not hurt to think about.
And you get to hate other teams,
Say mean things,
Be silly.
And have conversations with strangers with a nice, common ground.
But she gets offended when I talk smack.
I have to say, I’m being sarcastic,
I don’t mean it.
She told me, this is why people think you’re mean.
When I was trash talking today.
She’s never let her mind run.
Football is all about the food for her.

5:
My brother has a girlfriend.
I’m so excited.
It means he’s normal.
He turned out okay.
He’s able to express his emotions,
Right.
That’s what this means.
It means we didn’t mess him up too badly,
He’s better than his father.
He can say what he’s feeling.

6:
My sister told me she has stress induced IBS
Ouch.
I don’t know what to tell her?
Quit killing yourself?
Suck it up and deal?
For goodness sake there’s so much education between the two of you, why can’t you figure this out?

7:
I always have to lie in would you rather games.
Because I’m tame, and I won’t be ashamed for it.
This time,
Though I had told the truth,
She screamed at me,
How have you had a threesome, but never smoked a whole cigarette?
I do not like her sam I am.