10 Poems for Thursday

1:
She butted into a conversation to say how nice it was to hear me laugh,
Told me she felt like being social, and sat at the other table,
And sounds like me when I talk.
She’s the worst combination for my personality,
Self-confident and incompetent.
She changed the spreadsheet without permission,
Calls her fiancé her partner.
My partner this. My partner that.
I have thought it out. And now I know.
Exactly why I don’t like her.

2:
I tore up the paintings I was making for my brother for Christmas,
After my mom called to tell me grandma was going into hospice.
I told him what happened and that I’d make him more.
He nodded and forgot, I’m sure.
I finally finished them, just now in April.
I told him they’re coming.
He sent his address.
And now I have the uphill battle to make it to the post office.

3:
I went on a terrible awful date, where I said more to the waiter than the dinner partner.
And yet, I want him to call me, and message me too much.
Is it so I can decide how I really feel about him?
Maybe I want everyone to love me, just because I want options,
Or choices. Or it’s something evolutionary?
Am I so reactionary, I can’t go get what I want?
I have to react to how you feel.
Think about it forever.
Even if I didn’t like you,
I want you to think I’m great.
External validation from the opposite sex, I guess. Confirmation that my worst fears aren’t true,
That I’m not unlovable, socially awkward, unattractive, mean.
Somehow them wanting to see me again, spend time with me again,
Is proof I’m worthy of living, loving.

4:
I live with a very critical woman,
And I’m worried it’s rubbing off on me.
Not allowed to misspeak,
Not allowed to leave unscrutinized.
Or you’ll get teased, or it’ll get brought up again,
Or they’ll remember.
She waits for me to fail, so she can feel better about herself,
Fix me.
But I’m too competitive to let her win, get away with it.
And there’s a tension, and I can never relax.
I’m worried I’m making other people feel the way she makes me feel.
All I want to say to the whole world is leave me alone.
Let me make mistakes in private.

5:
I felt like the whole lining of my uterus fell out.
And I uttered a quiet, annoyed oh my god.
I wanted to tell my boss, I need to work the rest of the day from home,
Or I will spend 1/8th of my day walking to and from the bathroom.
Taking pain pills and head-down on my desk.
But I didn’t because somehow,
Women are supposed to be quiet about this massive pain
If we’re at work,
It’s not supposed to exist,
I’m not supposed to wince if I’m in a meeting, and I get a muscle cramp hard enough to leave me on the floor.
I’m supposed to be proper, and whisper the gross words I say instead.

6:
My sister confided in me, over tea and a Pakistani food truck,
She looks for mother figures, but hates that she looks for mother figures,
Angry, because she thinks our mom didn’t do a good enough job.
But I don’t care.
My mother has been a person to me for a long time.
What can I tell her when she looks at me like she wants me to be angry too.

7:
She wants me to stop seeing our step-dad in solidarity with her.
But being threatened with being hit,
Doesn’t scare me.
I’m tougher than she is in a lot of ways.
And there’s a strength in that I didn’t realize I had.

8:
I’m painting triangles,
Not well, skillfully or with meaning,
But because it makes me happy,
And I’ve been excited to come home with something to do for the past three days.

9:
My mother told me,
I think you should have a baby, so you can center yourself,
And have something to live for,
You could get one of those people to do it for you,
I think it would be good for you.
You’d make such a good mom.
It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been telling myself,
To be okay alone.
To be solid here, right here, and live here, and not tomorrow.
And now I don’t know which one’s right.

10:
I miss the days before I realized I am my body,
If souls don’t exist,
Before I realized I can’t say,
My body wants this, my body wants that,
Instead of I want. I need.
I miss the days when I thought I could escape the skin I wear,
When I didn’t realize I have to live in this forever,
Be trapped here forever,
When I get sick,
When it fails me,
And when I finish dying.

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Rainy Saturday State Park

photo of bluebonnets from above

i liked this one. i shouldn’t but i do

geometric waterfalls

i love shapes

curled tree root

what’s down there?

dying and baby cacti

with bonus dew drops

photo of water cascading over the falls

more waterfalls

photo of juniper bush with berries

this is what gives everybody around here cedar fever

photo of waterfalls at mckinney

sorry tlc i went and chased my waterfalls

photo of tree bark peeling with scratches

just breaking away

photo of grass growing out of the water

it rained!

twisted tree roots with moss

spooky to me

photo of the falls at mckinney

such a gray day! i love it.

photo of bluebonnets

the prettiest flower texas ever did see

small yellow flower blooming in front of the clouds

what is this? i don’t know. i just thought. hey neat flower.

10 Poems for the Weekend

the edits will have to come later, i’m used up for the day

1:
He asked me to drop my filters,
To tell him all those things I almost tell him, but renege on.
I told him a lot of those are in place for your protection,
And my protection.
Because it’s pretty dark up there.
And there’s a lot of tentacles to infect the happy people.
He looked at me like he was trying to think.

2:
That’s what I am,
what an interesting reverse.
I am the material,
I am gathered,
Pinched, sewn, and used everyday,
As everyday material
My privacies are no longer mine,
Because I’m with a person who
Shares.
Disgusting.

3:
Well, I got what I wanted and I’m as unhappy as I thought I’d be.
Guess it’s time to fuck it all up again.
Where do I sign?
How can I make this wrong?
How many more people can I leave behind again?

4:
Gargoyle arms and God morning.
They don’t mean anything to you.
Only to the boy who sat next to me at work for round about a year.
And soon to him, they’ll mean nothing too.
We share a square space of time and mind for a little while,
Long enough to help each other get by, not much more.
We won’t ever be friends for life,
Or share a drink at a bar alone, in a group, in the worst dregs of the poorly paid peasant life,
We were kin.

5:
A part of me misses the water so much it hurts.
Not these, not these little lakes, streams, cricks. Puddles.
I miss the water. The beauty, the inevitable, the fear, and the love.
Right there. Just right there.
If I move again, when I move again,
It will be for the water,
To sit by the water and be.
I’m trying to explain it to myself,
Maybe it evokes emotion, and sometimes I can’t do that without help.

6:
I know I’m going to look back on this time with a firm opinion.
One way or the other.
I will have a colored lens to see what’s now through a set polarization.
I can’t see it, feel it yet.
But it’ll be there.
Rosy, gray,
Dusky or sad.
I’ll swing with my feelings the other way. And have a very strong opinion about whatever it is I’m doing now.

7:
What would it be like to be the woman he thinks I am?
All bubbles and giddiness.
Instead of concealment, boredom and anxiety.
Maybe I would have had a steady boyfriend named Brandon in high school,
Gone to college to teach special needs preschoolers,
Discovered my love of baking with my grandmother in the kitchen.
And only have wholesome in my heart.
What would it be like to be that woman?
Who knows how to do her hair and makeup, how to flash with her eyes,
And smile with her legs?
He’ll be disillusioned soon enough.
Leaving all the same for his broken, acknowledged dreams.

8:
Laptop, why won’t you turn on?
Have I forsaken you?
Put another device before you?
I put a pan of cooked ham on you for Easter, but that was just because you were my recipe book and I was out of space.
Haven’t I loved you?
Cleaned you with swipes and air-dusters?
Don’t I keep you in a case, away from heat, light, and laying flat?
Please turn on, my beloved,
My lifeline, my laptop.
I won’t eat ramen next to your keyboard,
I’ll clear my internet history,
Please power on.
What will I do without you?
You are irreplaceable with memories and saved files.
I’ll back you up as soon as you turn on.
Turn back on now.
Please please please.

9:
My favorite part of baking is alone,
When I can take as long as I want to measure the ingredients,
And re-read the steps, without judgment,
Google how-tos on the simple things I know how to do, but wonder, if maybe there’s a better way.
I can soften my butter without the microwave,
Listen to my music,
And eat the batter off the spatula.
I don’t have to apologize for turning on the mixer,
Or over-compensating for different ingredients.
Life, in general, I’d like to spend alone,
Wait till I’m done to show other people,
And allow me to apologize profusely,
For the small errors.

10:
I got enough sleep,
Enough sleep to process.
And I found out what that deprivation was covering up.
The I’m not good enough.
That’s what I was hiding under there.
If I’ve gotten enough sleep, I don’t have that excuse anymore.
I have to own up to the fact my brain isn’t the best,
I’m wasting away,
I haven’t hated myself lately, and maybe that’s why,
I haven’t given my brain enough power to do so.

Ten Poems for February

1:
I bruise easy.
I found what looked like finger bruises on my forearm a few days later. I thought. I thought. Maybe one of the other people did that to me, the people I’d seen over the weekend. Who held me when I wasn’t watching.
But it wasn’t
It was me. I held my arm in front of the officers, hard enough and long enough to leave a bruise. Two bruises, my sisters noticed before I did.
They’re yellow and faded now.

2:
C’mon let’s remove those tentacles,
The ones that say you care.
First the one with the memories,
The ones tied to guilt and shame over the silly things you’ve done together,
Then the ones that thought you might be okay, normal,
And the ones that are embarrassment, wanting to do it right..
Finally all your little claws, talons, pieces, hopes, are all back where they belong.
All died like the succulents you water too much.
And we’ll go on as usual.
I’ll not ask for what I need.
I won’t have to learn how to build boundaries.
You can go collect spare tokens with the other partial memories of the boys who’ve loved me.

3:
So what if you’ve seen my body,
I haven’t bared my soul.
You can tell me my brother’s name,
But not how it feels to love him.
Maybe that’s something I’ll never get to share with someone else.
They’ll always be a part of me held back in trust,
That’s where all my optimism in life went,
Reserved from the cynic,
It sits in my heart, and promises we’ll open up for that perfect person
Who’ll love me perfectly.

4:
I have no doubt we make better friends than lovers.
Something about my canal being too tight,
And your lack of patience and finesse.
Maybe I can’t deal with your short height and children.
I’m too much for you,
That’s what you said.
That line you should never say to the depressed.
But we can make each other laugh,
And conversationally rhyme so easily.
Not as lovers, but as friends, we’d be good.
If I were safe and you were taken.

5:
I met a woman in the bathroom last night,
When I was the drunk woman handing out love in compliments the like of which I won’t give to people I love,
She had chains on as a shirt,
I told her she had beautiful nipples.
She said thank you, everyone else had just been staring.
And I continue to connect with the safe people, who I know I’ll only know for an instant.
The only time I’m honest is when I know there can’t be consequences.
And I’m worried I’m becoming dependent on something else to allow me to be myself.
Yesterday it was alcohol, today it was sleep deprivation.
I’m only proud of myself when I can turn part of my mind off.

6:
Maybe if I can tell you then I can tell him.
This is my name.
I was not raised in an emotionally healthy household.
I have abandonment issues, while at the same time am the victim of emotional abuse
And later in my life, sexual assault.
I am the child of parents with anxiety, depressive, and possibly schizophrenia.
For all intents and purposes, I am the child of an alcoholic.
No one ever taught me how to have boundaries
I have only recently learned these are a thing I’m allowed to have
I like things explained to me, because I like to understand.
I like to be right
I like to be safe.
I want to know you like me before I will let myself like you.
But, you’re practice, like so many before you.

7:
My fan can make a breeze and cause a change.
It does more than I do, laying here with a heating pad
But I turned on the fan.
Does that count as inciting action?
Or am I merely circulating already circulated air,
Trying to not smell like the boy who lay here,
Just like the fan,
Always reacting to someone else.

8:
The free food will be eaten or thrown away.
And all that worry about it will be for nothing,
Except creating new grooves in my brain patterns
That are friends to stress and worry,
About how quickly I can eat the food,
If I should have taken it from work,
And whether or not I’m taking up too much space in the refrigerator.

9:
To the women who upload romance novels online
So I can download them for free,
I love you.
I feel guilty for reading,
For downloading,
Even if I do often buy them in print.
But thank you.
For this love affair with the happily ever after,
Has gotten me through a couple bad nights,
Where I might have turn my addicts eye to something stronger
Than the printed love.

10:
Austin, Texas.
Why couldn’t I have gotten stuck up north where I was wanted?
Instead of here.
With all this muck of humanity in traffic on I-35.
And dirt and heat
People trying to be something.
I want my seasons to change. I want to date someone other than a software engineer who plays rocket league and drives a car with modifications.
I want authenticity that isn’t in the form of tacos.
I want to find the damn place I belong.

Three Poems for the Weekend

1:
What would happen if you collected all the men who’ve loved me?

What would they have in common?
Would they be friends?

They would be an odd assortment to be sure.
If I remembered them in their prime.

The young and the old, maybe, collected in the age I loved them.

Louie would be there, proclaiming his love to me in kindergarten before moving to St. Louis.

And the boy who’s not sure if he loves me,
I wonder who would be the surprises.

Patrick from 5th grade, who helped me count all the countries in Africa,
And I never looked at twice.

Josh from high school, who I didn’t realize was in love with me,
Until his father talked to my mom, and told her more about her daughter than she knew,
Information he’d learned from his son.

What about the minor crushes,
The boys I left behind,
How many of them could say I loved them back,
How many told me,
How many were related to me?

Would there be any fights,

I wonder.

Dad would be there, and my step-father,
And then we start getting into forms of love,
Does a grandfather count?
Do the people who said it count or just felt it, even if they didn’t know they felt it.

My first boyfriend would be there, who I dated for two seconds
I didn’t actually like him I just wanted to have a boyfriend
I remember telling my mom, and saying, you’re supposed to like them aren’t you?
My pastor would be there,
Who else loves me?
What a weird category to make, while slightly self-serving.
Hmmm.
Would they be ugly, famous? Fun, funny, aggressive? Self-effacing.
No one I’ve known this year or the last.
It’s not a matter of not being there to love,
It’s being there long enough to love.

Would they argue about who loved me best?
Longest? Worst?
Would they wonder why they were there? Compare themselves to each other?
Would there be lots of colors, or would they all look the same?

Would they get along?
How much could you learn about me from listening to them?
What stories would they tell?

2:
I want a new scar to match my fading one from last year.
I subscribe to the rather hillbilly ideal of,
More scars the better, means you’ve lived, and you’re reckless,
And you’ve survived,
Which means your lucky.
And I want lucky friends, so you can hang with me.
I feel like I’m not living,
I need to do something, anything,
I want a new scar,
I don’t want to be hurt,
But to be able to point to something tangible and say,
See? I do things. I am a keeper of stories.

3:
I am living in such a place of self-condemnation
I cannot be proud of myself for taking a shower today,
Making food, or brushing my teeth.
I only remember the horrors of my past,
The things I’ve said,
That were wrong, stupid, incorrect,
And think of all the other terrible things I’ve done.
I’m paralyzed, immobile from the stupidity of my past and present.
But the part of my brain that kicks in,
In kindness really,
And tell me to stop feeling,
It’s okay to go numb for a minute,
It hasn’t hit yet.
Maybe my stomach is just upset because I’ve drank too much milk lately.