Tag Archives: depression

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.

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Ten Poems (11-26-17)

1:
I used to tell myself,
When I talk to myself, which is frequently,
That all I needed was one person to care about me, right?
I’d tell myself, just one.
Who cared if I was dead.
But I have that now,
I’m still unsatisfied.
I want someone true, and loyal to worry about me.
To love me.
And I worry this is escalating.
That maybe I’ll get that, find a perfect relationship, from the books,
And I’ll want more.
I’m worried I’ll never be satisfied.
That my only moments of peace will arrive in two second snippets of peace I find sometimes when I’m driving on the highway, and the sky looks more orange than usual.
I worry that I should have been a stoner, at least, at last, at peace with himself.

2:
The meaner I am to him, he closer he pulls.
Because no. He doesn’t understand me.
Do you have to understand someone to love them?
I don’t think so,
In fact I think the opposite is true.

3:
What do I tell him?
Would you please fuck me in the car so I can get it over with?
Doesn’t strike me as having a high probability of success return rate.
How do I say,
I’m not sure if …
If,
I missed that boat in high school and college,
That no one ever made out with me in the backseat,
But instead people fucked me over in other, more fun ways,
That I don’t know how to do anything,
But I’m tired of having people make fun of me for it,
I shouldn’t have told him I was sexually assaulted, maybe he’s nervous now.
Maybe he just doesn’t care one way or the other, and is along for the ride like the rest of us,
Coasting until you find you care.

4:
I’m all at odds and a mess with myself,
Unsatisfied, angry, and mad that I’m angry.
I can’t seem to think in a line without a minute of self-doubt and stubborn focus on something useless.
I want attention and loneliness. I want a friend, companion and perfection.
I want my hair to look as beautiful the day after I wash it.
I want to make sense.
I want to know what it is that I want.

5:
A cardinal hits my office window everyday.
Repeatedly.
He makes it up higher on the window some days than others.
You hear it hit, reverberate, then scratch again.
I feel like that damn bird,
Trying to get to where I wouldn’t fit in,
Hitting the glass, thinking they look like me over there,
And bouncing back,
Getting brain damage,
And trying again in twenty minutes, hoping maybe the glass has changed.
Forgetting I’ve tried before,
So excited someone looks and sounds like my reflection.

6:
I pull down my bottom lip in the bathroom mirror after I brush my teeth but before I’ve showered to take a look at my skull.
It’s supposed to remind me of the shortness of life, and quick approaching death, look, see your skull with your own hands.
Instead I become obsessed by my plaque. Hoping I’ll never have to get dentures,
Dreading when my gums never shrink back into my brain.
Live your life, live your life, look what you have left.
Instead, I become more obsessed with my future.
Will my teeth ever be straight?
What would they look like if I got braces?
Does anyone remember when I got that crack?
Oh my one baby tooth is still there. Isn’t that nice.
Watch my desperation for topics, once the dread of life sets in.

7:
I went to a neon art show.
I went to a local fair trade gift fair for local artists.
I went to a park with fishing next to the Colorado river.
Look at all the things I did.
Look at my pictures as proof.
What more do I have to do to prove myself to me?
Why can’t I be good enough for me?

8:
I’m worried I’m picking these fights,
I’m worried that I’m not as smart as I think I am,
I’m worried I’ll never find a pair of boots that truly fits me.
I’m worried that I’ll lose my home and my job at the start of the year.
How I hate applying for new work.
Have I written this already? I worry about that all the time.
Let’s try this again.

9:
I’m getting ready to leave here again,
To find another job in another new place,
Find new coffee shops to type in,
Different stressors to wake me up at night.
New people to forget,
New memories to hurt,
But away from here, away from the heat.
I want to leave because I don’t feel at home.
I think I’m looking for community.
For beauty, friends, and lovers.
And I think I’ll always be looking.

10:
She told me to be careful about sending mail here in my name,
Because I’m just a guest,
They might get in trouble with the apartment company,
She’s right.
I’m temporary.
She’s made fun of me for it.
I’m living boring,
Off the kindness of family,
And a lucky office job until the end of the year.
Then I’m free of commitments.
To become that person who leaves again.
People forget to remember.

Ten Poems (11-7-17)

1:
I can’t be honest with you,
I got enough sleep last night.
My usual self-medication hasn’t worked. My brain isn’t foggy.
All I can do is sit here and calculate all the ways in which I made mistakes are wrong,
And be hungry even though I just ate.
I can’t seem to write.
So I’ll just tell you what happened to me this week.

2:
I broke down in my sisters kitchen chopping vegetables on a black floor tile counter.
I called my mom.
I’m not good enough mom,
I’m breaking.
She said, have you tried painting? Or buying something for yourself?
I needed someone to sit with me while I coped.
The things I thought were all I needed to be okay turn out to not be enough.
I just want someone to care about me.
I just want to do something in an office.
I just want space to cook, and enough heat to not be cold.
I want enough jeans that fit without holes.
But I’m still not okay. And it’s not fair.

3:
I planted plants.
I paid too much for the bag of dirt.
If I can keep something else alive,
I can keep myself alive.
My friend got a cat even with her allergies.
Homeless people with dogs tend to be better off.
Something about dirt and full circles,
But really, it was the first time in a while I’ve wanted to do something,
So I did it. Hoping I’d want to do more things in the future, instead of just more sleep.

4:
My Dad’s slipping.
He says I’ve told him that before. He didn’t know it was getting worse.
Of course it’s getting worse. This kind of thing doesn’t get better.
Am I not important enough for him to keep details straight?
Or is part of his brain dying?
He doesn’t understand how to tell me it will be okay.
He doesn’t understand how to comfort.
I don’t know which one of these will break us, but it’s around one of these corners.

5:
I met someone off an app for coffee at my least favorite coffee house.
We both get bored at live music.
He seems nice.
Not attractive, but nice.
And now we play my favorite game called,
What will I do to eff this up?
Text too early?
Sing along to songs?
Be ugly with double thigh dips?
Forget to drive you back to your car?
How will you Seinfeld me out of your life?
Go give me something small about myself to mull over for a couple weeks.

6:
My sister says I don’t need a lot from other people.
I’m pretty self-sufficient.
That can intimidate some people.
I bought life-insurance today.
Is that what she means?
I monitor my credit score, and don’t have debt, so one will love me.
Here you can have my paid-off car and my healthy relationship with my brother.
Can I have a date for my work Christmas party?

7:
I love romance novels.
I have to read them on a half-empty brain or I get mad at the sexism and assaults.
A refuge is predictability. It’s calmness because nothing will go wrong worse than you can imagine.
There’s so little secure in my life. I want someone else’s love to have a plotted existence.
I want structure to give me meaning in what I see everyday, so I find that in trashy books.

8:
I misplayed at cards on Wednesday night.
I shouldn’t have been cocky or smiley happy because we were winning.
He huffed away mad.
I forgot to hide myself, and I was shot down for it.
It’s not unusual.
I’m always mad that they’re people.
I want them to be people I already know.
And I want them to like me because I’m perfect.

9:
I made a pineapple upside-down cake.
That was the highlight of things I did I’d never done before last week.
I remember when I tried to do something new everyday so that I could tell the days apart.
I see people, and naturally compare myself, and say, wow look at that. They’re experiencing life. I want that. And instead, I arrange pineapples on brown sugar for my brother-in-law.
I cut cherries precisely in half, instead of falling in love.
I change the recipe just a little bit because you should mix the butter and sugar together before adding the flour.
I don’t take a road trip. I don’t spend money.
I save money for later in life when my back will hurt worse,
And I’ll feel guilty for not having lived while I was young.

10:
I only lived there a year.
My sister reminds me, like somehow I didn’t earn anything.
Like experience is something to earn.
Like she knows I can’t claim a place because I was there a little less than 400 days.
Don’t be dramatic, you’re just the same as me, she says.
You’re life doesn’t have my value.
Look what I’ve done in that time instead.

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 (6-29)

when everything’s in order, it’s for sure i’m a mess

1:
Wow. His wife looks at lot like his mom.
Just younger, and a bit prettier.
I should stop noticing things like this.
On a list of things you can’t un-learn
The oedipal complex is has to be near the top.

2:
When I still believed in heaven,
I worried I would become bored after a while.
A physics teacher at my school gave a morning assembly about how if God could create things you can’t imagine, you’d never tire of thoughts.
That was nice, calming, wholesome.
It made me think of what God would have up there that would be interesting.
I always hoped it was a big list of statistics about you.
This is how many total hours you spent brushing your teeth,
Or
This is how many total lemons you’ve seen in your lifetime.
Or
This is how many close scrapes to death you had but didn’t realize.
I’d enjoy reading that.

3:
She would bake scones if she had the time.
I guess I do have a lot of time,
But I think, it’s one of those things, that if you’re busy, you get more done.
I sit and stew,
Sitting next to carrots doesn’t help me avoid my doubts.
I wish I was worse at baking so I wasn’t so fat.

4:
God everywhere here is pretty.
The town dump is pretty.
Even in the cloud overhangs in dull, steel gray.
I feel exotic.
But I have to be careful to remember that is this normal for a lot of people. I’m outside.

5:
Okay doctor. I know I’ve gained the weight back that you asked me to lose.
Three pounds a month. To be healthy, needed to go.
I know it. I’m sorry.
But I got my fifteen minutes in today, and I’m hoping to go bike riding on a regular basis once I get a helmet and a hex wrench.
I’ll get it together.
I’m tired of my roommate using me as a comparison to make herself feel better.

6:
I’m screwing everything up, and
I don’t have the emotional energy to talk myself out of it right now.

7:
What am I going to do after this nice, by-pass year is over?
I’ll go back where I know the roads and bird calls.
No, I’ll go live with the best carpenter in the United States and learn how to use my hands.
Maybe I’ll take another marketing job and sell some more soul. Five cents a memory.
All over again, it’s my worst fear. Directionless and skill-less and dream-less.

8:
You’re a bully to push this on me, this summer brew in an orange label.
It hurts that I have to explain, that you can’t understand. Even if that’s not fair to you.
Let me drink half of my beer, so I don’t have to start going to AA, let me
Let myself leave half on the table. To prove to this body I don’t have a problem.

Poems from My Day (6-22)

no one makes me feel like a natural woman

1:
Kelly stood up at the little girl’s birthday party,
Inside the bunk house where the service group is staying for a month this summer.
He grabbed baby Helena from her Momma.
But effectively cut me off from my exits.
I had to mentally calm myself down, like I have to do on a plane.
He wasn’t trapping me. I could get out.
I wasn’t stuck.
I have to tell myself the same thing in my physical space as well as my headspace.

2:
Sometimes I like being around people I can’t read.
Get a read on a mean, like understand.
We’re on the same level.
But, when my brain is tired, it’s less work to be around less smart people.

3:
I don’t do well on my own.
I mean living alone.
Because I am now.
My roommate has fled for her summer teaching holiday back to her home.
I’m having to have a new experience each day.
I’m planning them.
So I don’t fall into the bad kind of depression.
The kind where I can’t leave my bed.
And no one will be there to judge me for it.

4:
There’s a woman here in town,
She’s a lot like me.
I dislike her.
But, because of the similarities between us, between who we are,
I feel like I’m disliking myself, by disliking her.
It makes me want to change.
Be less of a know-it-all,
She’s the sort of girl I avoided in college.
But, here, because everything’s so small, I can’t tell her how I really feel.

5:
It comes back when I’m uncomfortable.
I can’t stop smiling. There’s nothing to be smiley about.
It’s a default.
I want it to go away.
This person who smiles.

6:
I spent an hour of my lunch seated in the beige chair
Reading a book I’d read before,
Hunched over my small phone screen
While eating my lunch of dried apricots and peanuts.
But from that spot in the library,
No one can see me, I’m not watched.
So I can sit like a man.

7:
I warned her before I was going to do it.
Throw my phone across the room.
I had talked to my father.
It was one of the times he wasn’t listening, but hum-hawing along.

That same day, he drunkenly told me he loved me.
And I was upset that I wasn’t worth it sober.
I went into shut-down mode.
She asked what was wrong.
I smiled and made small-talk.
I think she finally realized just how much, exactly, I hide.

8:
So, part of growing up,
I’m told,
Is learning more about yourself, and growing habits.
I used to think I had no habits, I was the best in the world to live with.
But that’s not true anymore.
I’ve learned more about myself, and how I work.
So now, I take all that with me to each new person I share a sink next to.

9:
I’m mad at myself I couldn’t see it as a good thing that we both like to draw, and paint, and speak bad Spanish.
I didn’t see it as a bonding thing, but competition.
Because we’re similar, I had to be better.

10:
I held her baby.
I wanted a baby.
I didn’t understand this.
So I called my mom, hoping to have her tell me it was okay not to want kids, but crave something of my own.
Instead she told me all about how my stepbrother has decided everyone is dead to him, and how her conference went well.

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.