Tag Archives: birthdays

Poems from My Day (7-21)

more to come

1:
They wouldn’t cross me, and they’re true.
I’m not friends with the wishy-washy people.
I’m friends with the weirdos.
And I don’t think you understand exactly what that means.
I’m the most traditionally stable of the bunch. We get stared at when we go out.
I won’t make the easy friend.
Not anymore,
My people contemplate suicide on a daily basis, and wax rhapsodic about why they stay alive.
They get tattoos of little hearts that say – “always keep fighting,”
They tell me they stay alive because they don’t want their families sad.
I’ve set up google alerts for their names, deceased.
My red-haired Paul Bunyan, I’ve been watching his twin sister’s facebook, waiting.
I’m friends with the people who will tell me how they’re really feeling, because they’re braver than I am.
Who tell me about their visits to the restaurant brothels of Thailand, who tell me more and more outrageous things, poke me with a stick, see how long it takes me to freak.
But they never judge me. They’ll tell me I’m stupid, that I’m not living up to what I could be, that I should try relaxing.
Thinking about it, the thing they have in common is that they’ve never given me that – you’re crazy look, the one that says – I don’t understand you, you’re weird to me.

2:
Okay Jade,
I figured it out,
You asked about my favorite book, and said I was just like your teacher because I fell in love with things. Now I remember being that age, and not loving anything, and being worried I’d never have hopes or dreams. But I do now.
It’s a book written by the same woman who wrote 101 Dalmatians
About these two sisters before the second war in England.
It was the first time I remember reading something I had experienced. It was so wonderful to see, to read, someone else explain exactly why I felt the way I felt.
She couldn’t bring herself to love the man her sister had her hands on before her.
And these were the silly problems, the problems you got to think about before all the men started dying again.
I couldn’t bring myself to love the man who loved my sister. I had that problem. Just like her.
I remember being just like her.
Just like someone for the first time.

3:
I think I have a dreams now,
I want my cabin in the middle of nowhere that’s within driving distance of a coke slushie machine, it’ll have a wrap-around porch and a rocking chair, and those thick, tapestry like throw blankets. And tea. Lots of tea.
And warm lights, none of these white, fluorescent things.
And I’ll do hospice work, and maybe take in foster kids. And I’ll have books piled everywhere. I’ll be able to make mistakes there. That’s what will be great.

4:
I think that’s true. I think people you can make mistakes in front of, are the best creative partners.
Who you know won’t mock you.
Or who will go along with you on your journeys. Those are the best.
Together, we do good stuff.

5:
I cried when I got the check my father sent me,
And cried harder when the post office lost the next one.
I get frustrated that I can’t qualify for benefits because I have savings.
Then I give up. And say I’ll just live in debt. It’s easier.

6:
I want to say to her, no,
I won’t be jerked around.
You want to be my friend, then be my friend,
Don’t waver in the wind like a pussy.
I’m tired of this.
I’ll give you allowances, here and there, and wiggle room for not knowing me, and feeling uncomfortable, but I have to be around people who are stronger than me, because I need the strength they give.
So, either be here when I need you or get out of my way.

7:
I do so many things poorly, and nothing well.
But if I spent all my time, and had one great accomplishment,
Someone would still do it better.

8:
They gave me a cedar rose and now my jacket smells like campfire smoke and cedar.
My house smells like campfire smoke and cedar.
He used to smell like gasoline.
My couch used to smell like vinegar and yellow Clorox wipes.
If my cold weren’t here I’d smell charred chorizo.

9:
My mother called on my birthday.
She did the thing I love, but have always been to scared to tell her I love,
In case she’ll stop.
She tells me stories about when I was a baby.
And it was just me and her.
About when I was born,
And how pretty I was, and how loved.
Every year it makes me cry, because I like to think of my mother as a person who only causes harm,
But she loves us so much. And sometimes she lets it show through.
And it makes me miss my mom.

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Poems from My Day (5-9)

Okay. We’re going back to ten poems in twenty minutes, because I can’t get anything out, and I need a structure. I’ll tell you what happened as it happened to me, as best I can, and do better tomorrow.

1:
We drove up an old logging road in her maroon, beat-up, ‘97 Jeep Grand Cherokee she’s named Gerdie.
I think she’s named it because she’s heard of other people naming their cars, not because the car has a name.
It’s the same with her kindness,
She’s nice because she’s supposed to be nice,
There is no goodness there.
That’s my least favorite kind of disingenuousness.
It might be because I’m from the Midwest, and that’s how I was raised,
I’m contrary on purpose, and stubborn and hospitable, and upfront.
So, for me, character flaws are cause enough to distrust someone.
They’re harder to change.
And I dislike her. She’ll only say thank you because it’s what’s expected.

2:
I have not come right out and asked her to drive me,
My pride wouldn’t allow it.
So, on her birthday, she asks if I want to go take pictures.
“Yes.” I say. “Always.” I say.
We drive up to a scenic overlook spot.
It’s almost like senior pictures, she says.
She brought a change of clothes.
She’s driving in her fancy new blue high heels.
She blow dried her hair.
I didn’t get asked to take her picture. I need prep time for portraits.
I do this for a living. I get paid for this. I don’t offer me for free.
If I give me and my camera, that’s one thing, if I take your picture because I want to, that’s one thing.
Why didn’t I bring it up?
I don’t stand for crap like this.
I don’t owe her.
But I do, because she drives me around, because I have no car.
And in her mind, I live in her house.
So I take bad photographs, because I’m blindsided, and didn’t have prep time.
And I’ll take the blame for that too.

3:
We could do something for your birthday tonight. It’s still early.
I suggest from the corner, hiding from the angry lady complaining about cramps and her friends.
“It’s 8:30.” That’s all the response I get from her.
How could I ever think of doing something so late.
There must be something wrong with me, like she’s always thought.

4:
Oh for goodness sake. Make a decision.
Pick one.
Both have good and bad sides, but are roughly equal.
Do one or the other and stop complaining.

5:
Quit talking work with me.
It’s Sunday.
And I know when my supervisor leaves, you’ll be my new boss.
But I don’t want you to be.
You like being in power, and that scares the hell out of me.
You’ll make a terrible leader.
But I can’t say that.
I’m going to go eat more asparagus from the grill over there.
And walk away from my future boss on a beach chair.

6:
What did you do for your twenty-first?
She doesn’t have many birthday parties.
I laugh.
Then laugh some more.
Good or bad, she asks.
I take another laugh.
Oh, it was bad.
I don’t even say, I’ll tell you about it when I’m very drunk.
Because I don’t think I will.
That terrible, awful, hell of a night.

7:
She doesn’t do black hair ties.
Who says that out loud?
I mean I can see someone saying it knowing they’re being ridiculous,
But to be so silly on purpose?

8:
I’m an asshole.
The maintenance lady’s son, wait they call them custodians,
The custodian’s son, who I think is not right in the head, helped me move boxes of books and shelves for the library.
The nicest anyone here has been to me is the mostly mute, slightly brain-damaged, ex-fisherman who didn’t have his overalls zipped up all the way.
But we got a lot done.
And I feel nervous around him.
And he walked me home, without permission.
I’m just making a face and wanting him to go away.
See line 1.
If I say I’m an asshole, it covers my sins, and I don’t have to work on fixing me.

9:
By the time I’m comfortable at a party,
Everyone’s leaving.
By the time I like someone,
They’re done.
I don’t have attachment issues,
Stop telling me that textbook from my early childhood psychology class.
Just because my parents divorced when I was a baby,
I don’t have abandonment issues. I’m perfectly fine.
It’s just that no one will ever love me.

10:
He’s coming over to make us fish.
King salmon.
He was supposed to come earlier last week. He kept forgetting.
The guy who made moves on me (and I let him)
Still “talks” to my roommate,
And didn’t respond to my last text.
Oh yeah,
This is gonna be great.
I think once you tell yourself to be cool, play it cool,
You’ve lost all your nerve.