Tag Archives: dogs

Poems from My Day (11-21)

It snowed for the first time today. I used to think that made it a magical day.

1:
I’m fifteen again, because I’m talking to my mother.
She says, “don’t be snippy with me just because you’re hungry.”
I wasn’t that hungry.
But no comment can be made against her.
Unless you have empirical, documented evidence.
It’ll still be your fault though,
How dare you bring this up and make her feel bad,
Don’t you know what she’s going through?
I just shut down. Then get yelled at for being quiet.
Why don’t you talk to me anymore?

2:
Let me tell you what complaining does,
You smug bastard.
I’m coping when I complain.
Coping means dealing with it,
To deal with it I have to say it,
To say it, I have to sound whiny sometimes,
There’s no way around it.
I need to say it out loud,
I have to process, grind, smear, and stutter.
If you don’t let me, I’ll push my tongue to the roof of my mouth,
Clench my jaw so my molars stick out,
And not let you in anymore.

3:
I sing sexy songs to myself in the mirror
And pretend to be Shirley Bassey, and have hips,
And a big bowling voice.
Then I remember something he told me once,
I quiet, and check my forehead for new wrinkles,
And tell myself I won’t do that again.

4:
I saw my grandmother today.
My mom wanted to take a picture,
To post online.
I said no.
When I have a definite opinion,
And you don’t respect it.
You lose.

5:
I left my dog with my parents,
I’m allergic.
She looked so happy to see me,
She’s a dog.
She made me feel loved,
She doesn’t know any better.
I had to leave her behind,
I had to go home,
I’m so sorry.

6:
I make all these rules for myself.
If he calls you again at three in the morning, drunk,
Only pick up the phone if you’ve done something that day.
Wait at least two minutes before responding to texts.
Don’t cling.
Don’t complain.
Don’t get your hopes up again.
Expect nothing.
Don’t remember how much you miss him.
Don’t keep staring at his picture.

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Poems from My Day (5/19)

i wrote ten of them. you know why.

1:
My dog led me along a thin and narrow path.
I followed her into the deep woods, into rivers
Under trees, I followed her.
We walked up a hill steep and narrow.
She yanked my arm,
Shot into the brush,
And brought me out a little squeaking groundhog.
I followed her while she buried it,
Then we went back to the car.
We had such a lovely time.

2:
She told me I have too much personality. These, hand brush, are cookie-cutters,
Like those boxes that only change from beige to brown,
You, you have too much you in you.

3:
If I wanted to,
I can find all your secrets. Anything you’ve tacked up.
It’s all still there.

4:
Who’s gonna pay for this?
Look at all this damage.
You did this to me.

5:
Tried a new place where the old Thai place used to be, had good drunken, sloppy, noodles.
I wanted to like it, for the spirit of the thing.
They showed off the same dusty black candle boxes, the same Vishnu painting with a mint tint.
The noodles were gummy and the chicken chewy.
I started singing Joni’s “don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
And I didn’t laugh at someone else’s joke. I’m still going through my, I want to be stoic and not laugh all the time phase.
My cheeks hurt now when I smile.
Their sweetened condensed tea wasn’t bad. One day, I’ll be on time. I’ll find the place I love and it won’t close before I’ve had my fill.
Too fancy philosophical for closing Thai restaurants? Yeah, I thought so.

6:
I drive over the limit when I’m surrounded in traffic.
But when I drive at two, after a Saturday of whatever it was,
I go the 55 exactly. I’m accountable more to myself than to the waves, then, I suppose.
I hear as my car starts to struggle with the second switch, my second switch hasn’t worked since I have to be exhausted to sleep.

7:
One of these I wrote for you, you know.
I’ll give you a hint. It was a love poem. Not that I write a lot of love poetry, or good love poetry, or good poetry at all. (I’m not fishing, don’t send me things, you butts)
I just want to talk with you. But I don’t know how to get you to open your instructions.
And if you do start talking, I don’t know what to say. I’ll say something to make you go away again. I always do. Then I miss you.
You said that to me once. I missed you. It made my day, you know? No you don’t.
I’ll be flying with my fancies over this way. Belittling myself again.

8:
I had to tell a story about something fun I did with my best friend from childhood. I couldn’t think of one.
And I started telling it and got that feeling of being boring, and made it worse.
I trapped myself, then got mad at being trapped, then made myself stuck.
We must have done something that was nice, that I don’t associate with embarrassment, shame, penance and disgust. And now I can’t think of any gleeful memory.
They’re only happy when I’m in a certain mood.

9:
So, then, big power in my mind.
I just get the one, then?
She gets me. She’s smarter, and funny as hell, I want to write down everything she says,
Mystical magical.
Same soul.
I just get the one though? I need another, please. Where do I fill out my form?
I’ll get on stage and recite lines for you. I want someone to know me.
Someone I’m not scared to hide the sections of me I only tell the dogs and strangers.
I tried to give it to someone else, pushed it, dropped, stained my floor, still there now, part of the furniture.

10:
I’ll never be good enough. Enough for me.
The competitive me wants more.
The styrofoam container kid in church, says you work for goodness.
But I still take comfort, sometimes, in thinking that the meek have something.
We’re supposed to get the Earth. I think I have that on a magic card as manna.

10 Poems (4-21)

of course the first week I try a real schedule i fall a day behind.
These are ten poems I wrote today, as true as I could make them.

1:
Just came up here to work, and no other reason.
Listened to Sweet Baby James in the car and
Rolled up the window on three pieces of my long hair; it’s too windy today.
First week without her.
I’m can’t be a mess already.
But I cut my nails short this week.
And finished my book about Robert Kennedy.
I have something else planned for tomorrow.

2:
I repeat and repeat to myself:
Feelings are neither good nor bad,
Like facts,
They are. Deal with them as such; accepted.
But that does not work. Why would that work? I have no such luck.
My Mother’s voice comes into my head, and she says in the same tone she speaks,
She smiles, that knowing patronizer, grinning, how cute her emotions are,
How cute that she’s upset, why can’t she just get a job, what have I done wrong?
It must be my fault, I could have been a better mother, I can fix her if she’d let me.
And I have to tell myself, what I feel is alright, it is not wrong,
It can be improved, but it is not wrong to feel this,
It is ok. You are ok.
I tell myself what she’s never said. So I can let myself be sad. I give you permission.

3:
The dog has the courage I don’t, because of her lack of brains.
How courageous and wonderful would I be as a bimbo?
I would be a god.
The dog, the new hated dog, she makes him mad,
Shows no shame or qualms about it.
She sits in his broken, blue chair, his chair,
And like Catwoman, she puts her head over the side and smiles at you as you come down the stairs to first spot her. It makes him so mad.
I love it.
I can’t make him mad, it’s his house I live in,
But here she is, with her beauty, gazing at him without compunction – see what I’ve done –
And watch me not care. She doesn’t mind the yelling.
I’m idolizing a dog. At least I have a hero now.

4:
I own a little plastic kangaroo I got from a vending machine in a mall in my college town.
We were happy that day. That’s all I remember about that day.
But that stupid squishy kangaroo with black dot eyes became an object that won’t lose itself.
I put it on a desk when I see it. Then I see it on the desk and I put it in a box.
I find it in the box of papers, am disgusted it’s still around, and I’ve seen it too many times,
And I put it on the floor and toe it under the desk.
I want to keep it, but I have no place to put it, I don’t want to have a special place for something that doesn’t matter that much. So I wait for it to lose its sense of direction.
But then I vacuum and it ends up in the box with my extra Tupperware,
And I find it when I make a new spice mix, so I put it on top of the fake flowers on top of my bookcase, next to the other memories I’m not sure I want to keep up there.

5:
I don’t want to die here. The place I was born.
I don’t know where I wan to die instead. Just not here.
I can’t die here.
I can’t die where I hated it.
I can’t die where I grew up,
Where everything had its first,
I can’t be that 50-mile statistic,
I want to at least get out.
I would be the nothing I’ve too long imagined.
(god this is depressing, I’ve got to do better than this, man, it’s just too sad)

6:
I met a woman at the church function I got dragged to.
She told me about her motor-bike rally days over a mildly-warm taco bar.
I remember why I like to talk.
I told him once too, it’s the complications, they make people interesting. People aren’t interesting. The complications are interesting. I rebuffed him after he scoffed and I think he agreed with me.

7:
I watch every phone call.
I’m waiting for the signs I missed last time. Am I causing the signs I missed last time by waiting for them? God I hope not, this better not be like that cat in a box physics thing. I’m being superstitious.
She’ll sound too cheery.
She’ll brush off my asking how she is; she’ll silent laugh an anecdote instead.
She’ll tell me how good it will be in a month when blank finally happens.
She’s going to get everything she wants: she’s going to go back to her dream stipend at the place she wanted, and he’s going to go to conferences, but still be interested in her, and she’s going to lose the five or six pounds without her calves getting huge, and perfect her roasted turnips, and Dad will finally talk with her about the elevated topics limited to his men, and she’ll get that new eyelet backed dress with the triangle straps, and she’ll have everything that’s in the routed plan. It won’t be enough this time, everything.
And then I’ll talk to her on the phone, and I’ll hear what I heard two years ago.
That cover.
And I won’t get there in time to help even though I know I need to get down there,
I’ll let it go again, and this time Mom will miss it too,
And those conversations we had about how about are you today, rocks in pockets bad or head in oven bad, or mid-total wave drenched bad, will be over and over analyzed again,
And I’ll have missed it.
This time. But I won’t get the chance for another. Not again.

8:
She described me so perfectly
I felt the need to change.
I didn’t want to be known.
“You don’t know me.”
She seemed shocked my torso held together with more than tape and glue.
And I lost her forever after I insulted her.

9:
I can read people fast and well,
It’s from the danger you have to spot from distances,
I can find the hair-trigger tempers two miles back,
Preservation, baby.

10:
I have to work out this argument in my head until I can figure out how it was my fault so I can fix myself and not have to be mad at someone who I don’t know how to be mad at.
The last time I got mad was January of 2014. God it felt good.
I’m sure there’s something wrong with that.
I’m just going to listen to this song again, it’s already on repeat.
I’ll think of something before it’s over. A different way to see what you said that doesn’t make it mean.