Tag Archives: death

Ten Poems: Arguing With Myself

1:
I made ten thousand extra dollars last year from my retirement account.
Because I started a retirement account young, and set up automatic payments years ago.
And suddenly, I get my statements, and poof,
Look at all that money I won’t touch until I’m old.
How can I complain about corporations profit margins
When here is literal proof in my hands,
That I’m benefitting.
How can I argue anything when I can see both sides,
When I change my mind,
When I’m not informed enough,
When I’m not good enough to think the thoughts I think?

2:
I don’t want to hear her talk about politics.
I can’t stand it.
Whine near someone who can do something,
You’re talking to a crowd who already agrees with you.
You’re not promoting action, you’re reveling in drama.
This isn’t constructive. We’re spinning our wheels in our own wheelhouse.
Let’s go to a city council meeting.
Talk to someone who doesn’t agree and let’s plan something concrete,
We all know he’s crazy.

3:
I don’t want these men to lose their jobs until their guilt has been proven.
At the same time, if the justice system fails victims so often, public court is all we have.
But if you’re just getting rid of the attackers from public sight, you’re not fixing the problem.
Stories are to be believed as much as fact.
But I still want proof, even if it’s testimony.
I want better education about what’s right and wrong,
And I want it to come from parents.
Not from schools. I want what’s right to be clear.
At the same time, I doubt this would happen.
All we have left is sensationalism law,
That will break so quickly on a false accusation.

4:
I want a doctor to be able to kill her.
She never would have wanted this.
I think she deserves the right to want to die.
She’s there already.
I know it’s a slippery slope.
But for god’s sake the woman can’t swallow food anymore.
She’s not hungry.
Can we please kill her?
Please?
I can’t keep watching my mom try to take care of a dying plant.

5:
I am not defined by my work.
That is not where I fit into society.
He’s wrong.
I do not need work to be a part of anything.
Work is an option.
This nine to five is a western concept, as is steady employment.
Sure the factories employed people with a little extra money to go the movies on a Saturday,
But no one likes working in a factory.
These jobs were soul-sucking to begin with.
The economy was better, life measurements were better.
How did we get to this categorization? Of people.
Have you ever tried to categorize people?
Their feelings?
Good luck.
Because I am a person, my worth, my value, is there.
It is not in how much I can fit on my little black screen.

6:
Pick someone and go with it.
I’m tired of all this back and forth and over-analyzing.
You’re tired of being alone, just find someone.
It’s a fifty-fifty chance anyway.
This one will be as good as the next.
I’m tired of looking for a reason to be alive,
Why don’t I do everything wrong,
Throw my lot in with a stranger,
Tie myself emotionally to something unstable,
Have no identity of my own,
And wear some sort of apron thing.

7:
We’re not going to be friends.
We have gone through hell,
Known as our current job,
Together.
And we are bonded.
But you’ll never hang out with me outside those,
Those doors right there.
Those glass double doors.
Because you don’t see people like I do.
As entities to enter your life, and love while they’re there,
As a whole person already.
You’re using me to get through our jobs.
I understand.
And I’ll leave you to it.

8:
How do I standup to her?
Why does she get to be mean to her,
But if I’m mean back, I get yelled at.
That’s not fair.
I have to get out of here.
But I have nowhere to go.
I’m a failure. I keep cycling here.
There’s nothing new.
Something in me has to change.
I need perspective.
Let me stand on a desk,
Or forget about time for a while.

9:
You know what I did today?
I applied for new jobs,
After all that worry.
I organized, folded, washed dishes and my hair,
I prepared and thought out, and now.
Well I was waiting for someone to come over,
But they’re putting me off, and now,
Now I don’t want to do anything else today.
Why can’t I be happy with myself?

10:
My mother said I should offer to take my sister to the gym with me.
Because I’m trying to be healthy.
Because I’m losing weight.
And suddenly, it was about my sister,
Mom thinks she’s worried about her weight again,
Like she was for years in high school,
Doesn’t she remember how many years we’ve been dealing with this.
I cannot make her happy with her own body.
I can barely keep me up here on the line, and you’re putting pressure,
Blaming me,
Trying to get me to make her happy with her body too?
Why can’t it be about me?
She sang to me yesterday in the car, middle child syndrome,
When I said no one was home to take care of me during my wisdom-teeth removal surgery.

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Poems from the Plane: Christmas 2017

1:
Don’t ask me permission like it makes a difference.
Don’t pretend to need my blessing.
I’m no deciding factor.
Go ahead.
Put her on hospice care. It’s past time.
I don’t know why you’re insisting on picking me up from the airport.
Mom. I can take a cab, stay with your mom.

2:
I didn’t realize other people’s memories don’t work like mine.
I’ve combed it so often,
That very few are tinged with emotion any more,
It’s more of what do I remember,
And how was I feeling,
I’m like a third-party to my own mind.
I see what’s going on,
But offer no judgment to the woman there.

3:
The most intimate thing I’ve done?
Given him a sweater.
He said in a text message that he’s never the one to start something.
But I couldn’t tell, I was waiting.
I was literally laying in your bed watching videos on a ceiling projector.
We’ll see how I feel tomorrow about the kids thing.
A friend told me, don’t you want kids?
That shut me up.

4:
You know what I want for Christmas?
I want personal morality to apply to the workplace.
That’s just business. What does that mean?
Why is this okay?
Why is doing a good job, good work, the equivalent of holiness?
Why is competitiveness disgusting interpersonally, but accepted when you put on a blouse? Why is suddenly protecting your best interests more important than equality.
If corporations aren’t our new churches, we have loyalty to nothing else.

5:
I don’t want to go home.
I want to go back to having an apartment to myself with Netflix gratis.
The ability to leave lights on without impunity.
The noise volume regulation of a toddler.
Jacking-off squeak privileges.
And grabbing what I need from my room in a towel.

6:
She says she doesn’t see the point of her –
This is my brother’s girlfriend –
Why would they be together?
Jesus, have you ever been stupid abut how you feel?
Sometimes suitability is more about the answer being,
I don’t know I just do,
Than,
I admire his mind.
I think, to ask that, you must never have done, no, let yourself do something stupid for a feeling.
He likes the girl. Leave him alone.

7:
Dad called me to say,
Oh I missed out on spending time with the sweetie twin.
He would have taken the train to see me at my three hour layover.
You’re not serious. I’m not serious. We both know,
But the sentiment dad, is appreciated.
Even if it’s not to see me, but “your daughter.”

8:
That Midwest gray, I love you.
I’m from there.
Those lines from the sky, those grids, where everything is flat,
And the sky clouded for months.
You miss it.
How could you miss an itch in your ear?
I missed the normalcy.
I want what’s normal to me to be normal all around.
Gray sky in December is right in my head.

9:
I was so mad. Just mad. Why can’t god even decide to kill someone?
Why do we have to do it? Why are they waiting on me to let her die.
To discharge her. To new nurses with unlimited paid meds.
Who’s going to do her hair?
Mom, I’ll be your sounding board again, for your parent’s funeral speech.
I’ll get ready to put that pressure on another human when you yourself die.
In family tradition.

10:
I told him no one wants to hear they’re just like someone else.
How do I tell him that he has the wrong idea about me?
I am nothing like this woman, girl.
Except my silliness that comes out when I’m around you.
Don’t tell your girlfriend she reminds you of me.
I didn’t know I ranked that highly in your estimation of people,
But, keep it to yourself okay? Like the girl for being her.

Ten Poems for Late December

1:
Know where I am?
Hawaii. On Christmas vacation paid for by my mom.
And so much has been happening,
So much has happened, and yet,
I can’t bring myself to write about it just now,
Because there’s palm trees out there
And water and sun.
In December.
So I’ll sit and watch this dragonfly a little longer.

2:
He didn’t tell me he had kids,
Little kids,
Like toddlers,
And do I get involved? Knowing either he’s a poor father?
Or he’s a good father, and he’s been hiding it from me.
I think I have to see where it goes.
Suddenly all the big little faults seem worse,

3:
I read dirty poems on the plane ride,
The whole time hoping the woman next to me couldn’t make out any words on my screen.
Like Please or Master,
Perl or Sweet.
So I switched to trying to sleep,
Alternating between playing music and how long can my battery last.
I accomplish nothing on plane rides.

4:
Did you know you can get constipated from stress?
I didn’t.
You think it was the travelling to my mother’s house?
Then to Hawaii for Christmas to meet with relatives.
My money problems?
Putting my grandmother in hospice care?
Having to hear my mother tell me she doesn’t want her to go.
What do you say to that?
I’m not asking you, I’m asking God.
What do you tell your mother when she says,
“I don’t want my mom to go?”
Huh?
I want an answer.
Why isn’t she dead already so we can start grieving?

5:
She’s not capable of handling it.
She can’t.
She doesn’t have enough unselfish juice to take care of other people,
It has to rebound onto someone else.
Here she is telling me,
It was so hard.
Like I don’t know.
Like I haven’t seen this before.
How do I have sympathy for this woman, my sister, who had to take care of my mom taking care of her mom for three days?
That’s it. Three days.
It was so hard. Why aren’t we more sympathetic towards her?
The kindness isn’t there. I keep looking, hoping to find somewhere, that caring.
But instead I find anger directed toward whoever is present. Me.
She will never see it as anything other than relating to her needs.
I need to stop judging her for what she can’t do.

6:
We’re going to talk about it for a minute.
No one gave me a sex talk.
My mom says she gave me one.
She didn’t.
I went through sex ed in a conservative Christian school,
So sex was evil and you were going to hell.
I was told I was a piece of scotch tape,
The first time mattered, but if you keep sticking that piece over and over on your skin it didn’t hurt anymore, you weren’t worth as much. As a woman. Because your tape lost it’s ability to pull hair off your arm.
I had a beer with my friend yesterday,
She hasn’t talked to anyone. She says she’ll research it online.
I told her to see an OBGYN, they are there to treat you like a sheep. Ask the questions, they won’t judge you for it, they’ve seen weirder. You are a number. It’s perfect.
Why are women allowed to have painful, uncomfortable experiences because no tells them it shouldn’t hurt?
Why did the woman teaching high schoolers sex ed not know that oral can transfer stds?
What is so wrong about facts and information?
It’s my body. Tell me about it’s bones and what they do.
About it’s blood flows and cycles.
Tell me that it’s okay I don’t want to be on birth control.
Tell me it’s okay that I don’t want to be regulated.
Tell me it’s okay that I don’t like tampons,
Cups, or iuds,
Shaving my bikini line or the hair on my toes,
Tell me it’s okay to be unsure about being confident.

7:
I’m a failure and I’m breaking down.
I can’t keep working this job.
But I can’t apply, it’s so hard for me to apply.
I can’t keep living with my sister.
I can’t keep avoiding getting a higher ed degree.
I want a house to put my stuff.
Magically, mystically I want to not work and have money.
I’m just so tired.
But I don’t have references because I’m too shy and scared to ask.
This old cycle, I’ve been here before.
Hello old friend. Glad you’re back.
Take the place of dying relatives and alcoholic aunts.

8:
She said he raised a fist at her,
After telling her to mind her own business,
He has a point,
But at age 67 you’d think he’d be able to regulate emotions,
And say what he needs to say without yelling.
He’s incapable of understanding other people have feelings.
I just avoid him now. I take an active indifference for the years of pain he caused me.
But he threatened to hit my sister, I didn’t see it.
And she was furious.
She was more mad that mom wasn’t on her side.

9:
I found it,
I was sitting with mom and my sister and her husband at a pie restaurant.
I was upset we had to wait an extra thirty minutes.
I was being quiet. Trying to be contained,
And they mocked me for it.
Mocked my feelings.
Teasing me, taking pictures, telling me to make that face again it would make a good meme.
Mom didn’t say anything.
She said I was “in a bad mood” and being a “bee-bee” because she wouldn’t say bitch.
My sister would make faces and say, “don’t take my head off”
Anytime I show any negative emotions.
Somehow when I’m upset I get mocked, but when anyone else is upset they get avoided and respected.
Just because you think it’s a silly thing to be upset about.
This right here. This is why I can’t share how I feel.
And she did this to me.
I just hadn’t seen it in such a long time. It took me a minute to recognize it.

10:
I needed to rage at god and no one was available.
I had to the apartment to myself, an opportunity to get drunk,
And no one returned my call.
I wanted to be mad at god for dementia,
For families,
For airplane turbulence and grief,
And I didn’t have any friends.
So I sat by myself on the computer.
While I packed, and daydreamed about how excited my mom would be if I were pregnant.

Please Don’t Judge Me for This Later

Is this what happens? They just keep dying.

She wasn’t even twenty-one. She was still trying to find the kind of eye makeup she liked.
First responders isn’t who’s on call, it’s the who’s sober call.
She was so young. She can’t be dead. Not again. She was making bad choices in life.
Goddammit. I talked to her about alcohol. Not that I could have done anything. That poor town.

Is this what we let happen? We just keep letting these accidents happen? Again and again. You forget which cake you made for which funeral. They come in threes don’t they. It means they have one more.

And the people there are still sticking it out. What has to happen to get really angry? When do you say, no, I’m done living? What has to happen? One more fisherman dies because he doesn’t know how to swim? One more girl drinks herself to death on the beach? I guess it’s good you guys are so bad at giving your daughters protection, because with all the kids you’re losing, you’ll need to make a lot more one way or another.

So what she shouldn’t have been dating who she was dating? So what she made trouble and hung with the wrong kimono-wearing crowd?

She died and she didn’t make the news. Why would she? She wasn’t anyone special. She was another native girl from the villages. She didn’t get out. She wasn’t stupid behind those eyes. She was a slow kind of alive. I didn’t really even know her. I knew her enough to say hi at the airport. Enough to say hello. Enough to keep her secrets. Goddammit. So what? She was brought into this world to get taken advantage of by older guys? Then left without an education or tools, with the liquor bottles open on the counter. And we let it happen again? That’s it. I’m done I’m so done.

She wasn’t old enough, she wasn’t old enough to fall in love with things, to have a passion to learn that you can be passionate about something.

She didn’t know that could happen yet. She was too young still, to learn about herself, to do anything other than pay attention if she had to pass her classes with c’s.

I remember that age, when everything is terrible and you think you’ll never find a passion, or something to get excited about. But she was so even. So calm. Maybe it’s that calm that people who are drinkers get who haven’t gotten drunk yet that early in the day.

I can tell you her father was a drinker. I can tell you she’s a victim of her society. I can tell you she’d seen it happen and knew it was a possibility. I can also tell you how experimental she was with the way she looked, how she carried herself with a solidness you don’t often see in young women. And then I run out of things to say. Because I didn’t take the time to know her better, she was too young. And I was too old, and too nervous about myself.

And like most of the people, you accept and you keep going, not changing, just acknowledging that’s what happened.

Do I donate to her go fund me page, so her family can pay funeral costs?

What do I tell my friend, the first responder? Do I tell her I’m sorry? And what do the people I know tell me? They’re sorry. Geez, a lot of people you met in Alaska die. Then they wonder how long they have to talk about it before they can change the subject.

Poems from My Day (8-23-16)

it’s a day to hide in a corner

1:
I didn’t understand people who bragged,
Until my brother decided to be a doctor.
I’m so proud of him.
I want him to do so well.
Is this how parents feel all the time?
I don’t want him hurt, but I want him smart, and happy.
I feel so bad for my mom. She’s been feeling this for years.

2:
I want to hide under the covers.
Cover me up in a corner.
Don’t make me go outside.
I’m weak today, and vulnerable,
Worse than vulnerable, I’m noodly,
I’m flexible, I’m not me, I’m not strong.
I want a big bear of a man to protect me.
I don’t really care right now if that makes me sexist.

3:
Why didn’t I hug those kids.
I should’ve hugged them, told them I loved them.
I’ve never met kids and wanted to take care of them before, I wanted to take them in and make sure they were okay.
I’ve never felt that before.
But their mom drank herself to death, and they’re going to live with their dad,
You know, which might be good for them,
Stability.
But I really liked them.
Damn.

4:
I was supposed to go to the capital this weekend.
They couldn’t get a plane here,
First the fog, then more weather.
I had all this built up energy ready to fly,
And I’m still on this island.
I won’t get to see my friends again before they leave.
One to Seattle, one who won’t be in my program anymore.
Damn.

5:
I can’t get out of my head today,
The space that says,
You’re doing everything wrong,
You can start that later.
I just want to sit and read to avoid the judgment.
That judgment that never leaves.

6:
There are very few people I like,
Even fewer that I love.
But, I think, for those people that are real friends,
I won’t let them walk off the deep end,
I guess there’s comfort in the power I have but don’t exert.
At least, I like to think there is.

7:
The first time I remember feeling claustrophobic
I was sitting in the crowded middle school cafeteria benches.
I sat on benches like those today,
And all the fear came back.
Funny how that works,
You never really leave your fears behind.

8:
He grew up with a different life than us.
He didn’t get yelled at for spending money.
I don’t know what that’s like.
He always got what he asked for.
He had all that attention.
He played all those sports.
He had all those friends.
He knew he was loved.

9:
She said if she had girls that looked like that
She’d keep them locked up.
I don’t know why this bothers me so much.
I think, first, that, you would keep kids locked up just based on their appearance,
Second that you assume bad things will happen to them,
Third, you think bad things will only, or only happen, to pretty people,
And lastly, that keeping them locked up will do any good.
Maybe there’s more reasons that bothers me, maybe it says more about me than her.

Poems from My Day 6-14-16

all i can say is sorry today.

1:
I have to create the space for it to go wrong before I can do anything at all.
Which means I often turn my muddy wheels in a ball of shame and stress,
Before I decide I can’t do it.

2:
It still hurts.
He looked at me right in the eyes, and
He’s the only one my age from the group,
He seemed to be listening.
But, today,
They must have spent the morning together,
And he passed me over with his time.
The most outgoing boys always get the prettiest girls,
Who know how to tie a shirt around their chests.
But it still hurts.
It’s a wound I’d forgotten I had, that never healed from middle-school me.

3:
Dear Lord, was I like that?
I remember thinking that about the freshman in high school when I was a senior,
And again as a sophomore in college looking at the first years,
And again as the boss of the interns dictating to the group of newbies.
I met college students today, they came to help me out.
I wasn’t a part; I was other.

4:
I want to get mad at him.
Tell him, our friend is a better man than you.
I want to tell him how badly he hurt me,
But I don’t want to have to say any of it out loud.

5:
She told me I’d lived many lives for my years.
I said I’ve done a lot of things, but nothing for long.
Which is true.
But they’ve none of them been me.

6:
Two days ago I stood at the point in my depression cycle where all I could do was read romance novels.
I don’t even like romance novels.
But it’s all I could do.
So it’s all I did.
I got by minute by moment, instead of hour by day.
And made it by.

7:
She wasn’t with mom in that bathroom at the funeral parlor.
Our mother, practicing over and over.
Apologizing over again.
Pacing,
With a handwritten note,
And I couldn’t make any improvements.
I thought, then, I wouldn’t leave this place for anything, I need to be this support, I feel good about being there for my mom, but I’m still bored.
It was me there.
She can never take that away from me, as much as she tries so hard to be included and the center of it all.

8:
I want somebody to tell me I’m perfect,
And I do it the best in the world,
So I get interviewed and matter according to mass public opinion.
Sometimes, my own blocks and lincoln logs aren’t enough to hold me up.

9:
There’s only one way you can listen to this song.
Wallowing in a heap on the floor, no lights.
So I got out of bed, lay on the floor with my knees bent up, an elbow over my eyes.
And heard him cry about “Lua.”

10:
I can’t imitate your work without adding me to it.
I don’t even have to try and change it,
My copying will make it me-like.

11:
And just because somebody cries loudly doesn’t mean they’re feeling the most.
God what a presumptuous thing to say,
And so like her too.
To think the loudest must be right.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Thirty-Eight)

Poem written with a time limit. Good fun.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 38

Poem 1:
Let me take you to my favorite place
Walk down this trail
Stay close to the road
There’s this one big dead tree right in front
Of a little moss covered bench
Sitting in the middle of the woods
A three way intersection in the path
At the perfect height for my knees
So they fold parallel
And we can listen to the birds, highway, bugs
Songs

Poem 2:
I listen to music to calm me down
I use the sounds
To feel a certain way
Leave me one place
Where I’ll know where I’ll be
And I know where I am

Poem 3:
He told me
You tied your laces all wrong
Pointed to my shoe
It should be tighter there
He offered to fix it for me
Offended, I can tie my own
Was that a hit?

Poem 4:
I dragged her to this Italian movie
Director would be there
Only seats we could find
Across the aisle from the maker
He made me conscious of my laughs
Cataloguing them in his book
Yes, the Americans found this funny

Poem 5:
I won’t name how I’m feeling
So I can keep feeling
Without the use of knowledge

Poem 6:
She saw nothing wrong with me at the time
Nothing to handle
Her father had just died
I couldn’t scream out, help me please
She lived her own life
Kids were only there to be fixed
Potential problems to be quashed
Quiet and reserved, only needs a man
I’ll find that later
I should get this done now

Poem 7:
Stop it
Stop taking what I give you
And using it back
I shared something with you
You thought it was a bit odd
Readjusted your mouth, looked to the side
Bring it up again, the one thing I shared
Because you won’t get any more ties

Poem 8:
I keep listening for her tags to clink
But only hear the one dog
She asked for scissors to trim
Some of the dog’s hair
To keep
Looked all over for a spot
Shaky hands
Trimmed a bit of skin
From the stopped heart dog
I folded the hair in the baggie
So she didn’t see

Poem 9:
Forest thick and proud
Quiets down so you can sound
Before it takes you as it’s own

Poem 10:
Driving with music
I move, it moves
We all move together
Chorused and sure
With the same heartbeating