I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes (5:45)
I rehearse lines of thought of what I said
So when it comes up again I’m ready
So I can say there was a way out of it
So I can look better to my backwards mind.
And put the thoughts in a drawer away from who needs to start the water for pasta.
I can tell you all about me
Quirks, habits, peculiarities of character and temperament
But you’ll still come to hate me later.
You can be the nicest in all the world
But I’ll hate you for it, give me time.
I can warn you,
Say you won’t, can’t hold me,
Say I barely straw the strands of myself,
But it won’t matter,
If you think you can help.
Goodbye push buttons to dial.
A satisfying click for each number
Not accidentally pressed against a cheek
I suppose you’re still there for calculators
And cash registers, but not on my phone
My great link to people.
I’d do it I think
I’ve been in this hell hole long enough
I’d just leave
Ask for a ride to the airport
Find someone who’d take me
Dash for good.
This must be what parents who leave their kids feel like,
They’ll be better without me here, and
Anyway, I don’t deserve this.
She asked, did you draw that?
It was a printed photograph I planned to paint.
She had planned such nice bits to say
That would finally break through
And get to cheer me up because I had so much talent
And so much to do, and she wanted me gone.
But, oh, instead.
She pried on my desk and dished out the usual
I didn’t mean to insult you.
You shouldn’t be offended if I didn’t mean to hurt you.
The last time she saw me drawing, she said,
You’re better than I thought you were.
The dentist said I’m going to numb you
And pulled out a needle for an elephant
Instinct bunched me up
And it hurt
To get to numb through endless pain
It’s why depressed people have a smudge of dead behind the eyes.
She never stood out pretty
But took time with her hair
And had a special way to lay her bangs
That someone really liked
This guy she married,
Who loved someone before
But decided he liked her family better
I couldn’t tell then
If she took this guy to prom out of pity
Well, he took her, she was younger
He had a cleft palette and was three inches shorter
But she gave him attention.
They had jokes that were theirs
And she wore a blue gown that showed her no hips
But she took a better looking boy the next year
And she would smile if I asked
Are you a thing?
I saw all the sides of religion too early
So I can spot them from a distance.
And believe a little less
When people profess, oh how they love a god.
If someone made me live a plan
Saying you do this next
Then maybe I’d make up my mind
And do what I’m supposed to.
But they haven’t appeared to strangle me,
And I’m directionless without opposition.