Tag Archives: everyday life

9 Poems for the Week

my heart is tucked away today. i’m sorry it’s not open for my writing poetry visiting hours.

1:
I met the math teacher,
At native food day up at the senior center.
He’s from nearby, originally,
So he says his a’s like everyone else up here.
There’s an h in there and a little hint of a smile.
You can hear it if they say bag.
He told me smoked fish is the best because it goes really well
With any type of alcohol.
I love it.
The last time I met him,
He was yelling at me,
So this is improvement.

2:
My heart broke over a piece of paperwork.
She had to fill out the reimbursement forms for me,
For the trip we sent her on to Fairbanks.
I couldn’t get her to fill it out.
My supervisor yelled at me.
She who I had hoped would, would, do. Something.
So now it’s a body and a mind that does what needs to be done.
I’m out of this.
Me and my heart and my soul are back in our little corner,
Looking for better long-term cold storage facilities
Who don’t charge high rent.

3:
I told her my standards are really low.
I quoted this passage from a book which talks about how
He wasn’t much, but she’d never seen much of anything, so there was a chance they could be happy.
I said that was pretty much me.
You’re out of bed. You’re clean. You’re not hurting anyone. You’re good in my book.
I’ll not condemn the lazy.
She just looked at me.

4:
And I can tell she’s never been around chronic depression,
Or lived with an alcoholic,
Or an abuser.
I can tell.
She’s that funny kind of clean
Who wants to know the dirt,
And may have seen the dust,
But she’s never stopped caring when it’s covering her hands,
Because it’s been there too long.

5:
I used to always side with the children.
How could a mother do that?
I didn’t realize I had a bias.
Am I older now, to see adults as humans?
As an equal to the child, they’re needs have to matter too.
When did that happen?
When did I put the living above those who have yet to live?

6:
They say the first day of moose season,
Always means bad weather.
The rain came yesterday.
The first moose this morning.

7:
I just spent fifty dollars
On new clothes,
A pair of work pants, a sleep shirt, a blue dress oxford, and a blouse. A red blouse.
I shouldn’t have spent that.
It’s not in my budget.
My budget is titled: Don’t Spend Nothing.
And if I have to pay for heat again this month,
I’ll be two hundred dollars in debt.
And I’ll take out of my savings,
My rocking chair on a wrap-around porch fund,
I worked so hard to build,
I gave up my social life to bank,
Because I decided it was a good idea to volunteer for a year,
For a cause that might be worth it.

8:
We’re having yoga down at the firehall.
Me and my roommate and the woman in town who does community things.
I use the old beat up pink mat that lives in the corner shelf and has rust stains.
We’re doing thirty days of yoga. Or so they say.
A man came yesterday.
Changes the whole dynamic, even though I feel like it shouldn’t.
And my roommate said my side comments were annoying him.
If I’d known I would have said half of what I’d thought,
Instead of quietly trying to not show my ass while downward-dogging into hell.

9:
He asked.
Damn.
I almost escaped.
But he asked,
What are my plans for after my contract finishes here.
And I had to tell the truth.
Damn.
I have no plans.
I could go back to freelancing, if I had to,
Which wouldn’t be a problem.
Will someone tell me what to do please?
That makes me so pathetic.

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8 Poems from My Life

i’m doing better today. i sat and watched the sunset.

1:
I read about the lives of famous people on Wikipedia.
I always feel like it should have gone differently.
I want the people who did great things to only do great things,
But then, their lives happen,
Something goes wrong,
In the end they always turn out to be people.
I want them to be an example of a faultlessness.
Never have anything go wrong,
As proof that life can be perfect.

2:
When will I be a hellraiser? I want to be a hellraiser.
I can party and stuff.
Or just get told I’m cute.
That happens to me more often.

3:
I get so excited when I read a Christopher Hitchens piece and I don’t have to google any words in the first paragraph.
To me, it feels like the first time I read “White Fang”
And I understood all the words, and I knew them well enough
That when I read them, I understood,
And I felt good about myself,
Smart.
Which is a running problem for me,
If you haven’t noticed,

4:
Can I lead a club called the nervous and the damned?
I’m always worried.
There’s something I’m doing wrong, I don’t have a plan, I should have a plan, I could be doing better, someone in my position would be doing better by now.
And.
I’m going to hell for sure.
Or at least, I tell myself I have to think I’m going to hell, so somehow I can convince myself to be a good person, or what I think is a good person.
With food.
Can we have sandwiches too? And cut them in squares? Diagonally. And have paste sandwiches? I’ve always wanted to have paste sandwiches because I don’t know what those are.
We’ll watch films, after quietly and individually writing down our thoughts by ourselves.

5:
When I watch movies on serial killers I always keep the video player small-sized.
I don’t make it full screen, it keeps them farther away that way.
The same way I had to tilt my head way far back and away from the screen
When I watch that new Les Miserables. Because otherwise I was just too close to those characters.
And their syphilis.
But, I shouldn’t judge the people for what they’ve done or what’s happened to them,
I still want them over there, though.
That’s probably something I need to work on.

6:
I think it’s in the eyes of the kids,
What they stare at – meaning what they haven’t seen before
And what’s totally normal – ignored.
A stranger driving down the street finds eyes and attention.
Or when I’m introducing myself, or offering a normal kindness.
But not when I yell,
Or hear other people yelling, or gunshots, or unwashed faces.

7:
Sometimes I read the forums on 4chan because they use language in a different way,
And I want to read that.
Sometimes I want to be shocked, to feel something.
It’s to laugh occasionally too,
Or pick up cooking tips.
Or hear what other people are thinking, when they get to be anonymous.

8:
I called my mother,
Sitting on the early learning center carpet in the library,
Wedged between stacks of partially-alphabetized children’s books,
Because I had started crying.
I found this book, and the pictures looked familiar.
I started to read it,
My mother’s voice came into my head, singing this song,
Peanut butter peanut butter, jelly, jelly.
And I remember hearing her sing this rhyme.
And I thought, I’m not crazy.
So I texted my sister with a picture from the pages,
She didn’t remember.
So I called my mom.
Mom, I found this book in the library,
Do you remember this?
It’s about building this huge sandwich, peanut butter jelly, and,
And she knew.
And she sang the song that I was singing in my head,
Except it was in her voice.
My mom’s voice.
And that made all the difference.
It matters.
It matters with every book you read to your kid.
We’ll remember.
And you’ll tell us to have a carrot.

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 6-14-16

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.

Poems from My Day 6-12-16

i’m backdating these because the day i wrote them i couldn’t pull my courage together to publish

1:
I just want someone to love me.
Easy.

2:
You offer me a cigarette,
Like you haven’t been around addictive personalities before,
Who say they don’t smoke anymore.
You offer me beer,
Tell me to drink more,
Like you’ve never seen it turn bad.
I’m not sure how you made it out unscathed,
From your childhood,
From our childhood.
But I’m so damn jealous.
I’d love to be that stupid again.

3:
Dear Sally,
When I saw your hands,
I didn’t think,
Wow what a weird finger,
Her hands look really messed up,
First I thought,
It looks like she hit her fingernail with a hammer, I wonder why she would be doing manual labor,
Then I thought, if she can be successful with hands that look like that,
Then I can too,
With my stubby, slightly twisted fingers and overly flat palms.

4:
I can’t tell if I’m feeling better
Or if it’s just another day,
Or if it wasn’t that bad in the first place.
Sometimes I get mad at myself for still being myself.

5:
Hide me, give me a place to rest, where I don’t have to worry or explain.
These are things you don’t realize you need until you leave them behind.
I just want a place to sit. And be okay. Please.
If that’s a person or a feeling. Please.

6:
My mother told me she (who doesn’t drink) brought a bottle of fireball, a tupperware of strawberries (two packages for five dollars) and a gift card to a cook out.
No one else brought anything.
They had never had fireball.
She said, “it’s what white people bring to parties.”
Black cookout, did I mention there were two other white people there?
Oh god I love my mother.

7:
We got a dryer.
My clothes smell like laundromat instead of mildew and cedar.
Another day.
I still feel useless.

Poems from My Day (6-7)

it’s not good right now.

1:
You will not do something nice for me and tell me how to feel about it.
That is emotionally manipulative.
I won’t stand for that.
My mother does that.
Am I clear?
You will not buy me something and tell me to be happy,
You can buy me something pretty and hope I’m happy, but you can’t expect me to be happy and grateful.
Do you know how gift giving works?
You do it expecting nothing in return, it is a gift.
My emotions are mine to feel, share and give away.
They aren’t yours to use and bask in.
If you give me flowers, I may be glad,
Or I may hate them, tell you so, and throw them in the trash.
You don’t get to say a goddamn thing about it.
Am I clear?
You don’t tell me how to feel in anyway shape or form.
Wow, you’re carrying a lot of baggage?
You’re goddamn on point now, bub.

2:
My mother always said that sometime I’d get hit, by like this thing, where I’d uncontrollably want babies, I’m sort of waiting for that, I guess.
But I’m so cold, I want someone to hold me.
Actually anyone who would just even smile at me would be fine.
What the hell is wrong with me.
I hate everyone.

3:
I remember the speech the salutatorian gave at my sister’s high school graduation 11 years ago.
That’s how good it was.
Being 2nd in the class wasn’t nothing. It’s a good school.
So many people went up to her afterwards to say what it meant to them.
My family still talks about it every time we go to a graduation.
Her speech.
She got up there, and said,
It wasn’t worth it.
She had worked and worked in high school.
And she was going to a state school, but her family could afford her free-ride tuition.
She turned down friends,
Events, family, to study.
It wasn’t worth it.
If she could go back, she would have partied.
She would have come out of high school with a friend.
It reminds me of the last interview Maurice Sendak gave to Terry Gross, and us,
He said, “live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”

4:
But god I shouldn’t have told him about Tim’s nephew.
I shouldn’t have told him.
Even though I didn’t really tell him,
I sort of skirted around the issue,
Tried to explain why I’m claustrophobic.
Told him why he couldn’t trap me, hold me, with both his arms.
I was hoping he was too drunk to remember.
But now he looks at me,
Or flits around with his hand,
I can’t say what you’ve been through,
Stuff like that.
I should have just kept quiet.

5:
I told her, I don’t have a plan, I might end up working with a wood carver, because I’m interested in that,
And I don’t really care.
She said can you deal with mom and dad having to tell people that,
And I said yes.
And she looked at me.
I don’t have a career path, and I don’t care.
I might care later, but I hope old me can respect younger me and the decisions I made at the time,
Because,
I’m okay with this.

6:
I remember my father talking to himself in this whiny howl-like voice,
He’d eek out my mother’s name as he went to sleep,
Or while he was distracted.
I remember thinking, “this is why I can never live alone.”
But I find myself almost chanting,
“I want to go home.”
Even though I have no home to go to anymore.
I think what I mean is,
“I want to feel safe.”
But I feel like I’m whining for a long-lost love, like my dad.

7:
I don’t know how to deal with these people being kind to me.
It keep freezing me up.
I cannot process it.
Rude? I can deal with.
Nice makes me feel undeserving.

8:
My mother used to say to herself,
“Tssssh”
And pretend she was spraying PAM,
While she drove us half asleep to our grandparent’s house three hours away.
“What’s that?” She would ask the car,
“I’m spraying Teflon on my self.
Ping, ding, fwing,
It all bounces right off.”
She would have to prepare herself for the fires of visiting my grandmother.
I found myself doing something similar on the plane ride over.
Except in my head was Mr. Rogers telling me I’m perfect as I am.

Poems from My Week (6-6-16)

i went home back to where I’m from for my brother’s high school graduation. i was a mess the day I got back. i am more of a mess five days later.

1:
I can wish to be more than I am.
I pine for hardships that make better stories,
That suffering that gains me sympathy and somehow,
Magically,
Street cred,
But I can’t fabricate.
I can only show you what I am,
What I have,
Who I am,
Right now.
As faulty and sheltered,
As unwholesome and irreverent as I am,
I can be nothing other than myself.
I make no apologies for that,
Not anymore.

2:
I missed being touched.
God, he was so warm.
I wanted to make him portable,
So I could walk around all day, and always be warm.
If I ever become rich, I’ll always be warm,
And I’ll have blankets piled everywhere,
No one will touch my thermostat,
Warm.

3:
This is the mood.
The one I stay up all night reading on countertops waiting for the sun to rise.
I’m in that mood.

4:
Most of my life revolves around having to put a bra on.
As in,
Do I have to,
Right now,
And why.

5:
I am weak in a lot of ways.
Mostly, I won’t disagree with you out loud.
Because I know how it’ll end.
I’m always right.
So I’ll stay quiet.
Instead of confronting, which is what I should usually do.
It’s not the right way to go about things,
But it’s just about all I can do right now.
Take a seat, please, and watch me push you away.

6:
She collects movies she thinks she should watch, instead of the ones she likes.
This woman who is nice.
When she is authentic, as pasta sauce,
She shows her insecurities
In insulting me.

7:
I’m still pissed my sister thought she needed to tell me I’m smart.
It wasn’t the – I’m so proud of you because you’re smart.
It was the – I should tell her she’s smart because she needs the confidence boost.
My mother must have told my sister something I had confided in her,
About feeling unequal when we were younger,
Because I couldn’t keep up with the conversations she had with my father.
Great.
I had to find my self-worth on my own, thanks.
I haven’t needed it from you for years,
Nor do I need your approval, or look to you as a totem pole.
But I loved that condescending reminder of who you used to be to me.
I don’t have to prove a goddamned thing to you.
Let alone in waffle house.

8:
Oh my god I just looked at engagement rings online
Someone help me.
I’m reading about women who get pregnant.
Is this because I went back on facebook?
Did I do this?
Did I create a timeline in my head I have to follow? Kids. Marriage. Steady, plan-y things.
What the hell me.

9:
I need to give my brother a speech about consent,
Because no one else has.
If I can get him on the phone.
And he’ll listen.
It would have been nice if someone had given me that speech.
No a boy can’t do this to you.
And,
You have to say this out loud.

10:
Your wedding photos are terrible and it’s making me happy.
Bad lighting, bad composition,
Your husband’s ears are sticking out,
And his father looks significantly more handsome than your guy.
Damn.
Shouldda gone for him.
Also, you were mean to me in high school.