Tag Archives: free verse

7 Poems with Titles

i will post something better, and better written tomorrow. this is all i can do for today.

Heard in the Hallway
I thought,
I’m not in rural Alaska anymore.
I won’t have to hear abuse happen and be powerless and guilty.
But I came home.
And he hits the dogs.
Not in a, I’m venting my anger,
But in a, you’re not behaving properly way.
And I want to go away.
But he’s old, and hopefully dying.
And I don’t want to deal with it.
Or make my mother deal with her husband.

I’m Sorry
He called me a minefield.
I keep thinking,
He’s the wrong one to practice this on.
This time,
I can’t disentangle whether it was him, or it was an old hurt
That I’m just deciding to feel today.
I flashed back to all the times I would be excited, or mad, or really happy.
And my sister would be there to make fun of me,
So that I never showed how I was feeling,
No one would notice and no one would hurt me.
She would flick her thumbnail over her ring finger and tsk,
God, what is wrong with you.
She’d say.
He was teasing my mood in a casual way.
Then.
I lost it, and started crying. Why was I crying?
Suddenly all those 13 year-old me feelings come back,
I got quiet, and I didn’t know why.
And I don’t think he’s strong enough to deal with this,
Or smart enough.

I Lost the Whatever I Had
My sister says I’m wasting away.
That’s what living in this house does to me.
My mother’s house.
She says she can’t watch it.
She says come live with her.
This is what happens when I can’t speak my mind,
When I can’t criticize,
When no one thinks I’m important.
All the whatevers I found living on my own disintegrate.
So that I have to cry silently at two in the morning so no one bothers me.

I Don’t Like Her
My brother’s first girlfriend.
When my sister pushed me for the whys.
I said, “she’s young.”
She’s …
How do you say someone is accidentally racist?
They’re only 19.
And he’s sillier with her than I’ve seen him in a long time.
She’s a lot like me.
And it’s hard to see your own traits reflected back at you by a prettier face.
She asked me to tell embarrassing stories about my brother to her.
How do I explain what’s wrong with that?
I told my sister, she’s very much raised as middle-class suburbs Indiana.
I think he’s smarter than her. I think he can easily out-maneuver her.
I worry that she’s not enough of a force of nature to counteract the abusive tendencies his father taught him.
He asked, and I said, “you like her, I like her.”
Cop out. I’m a cop out.

She’s Way Too Good of a Person to Be Friends with Me
It’s not often I’m the crazy lady who takes someone on adventures.
Except with her I am.
I’m the brave one.
And she takes me seriously, and the things I tell her actually seem to help her.
It’s almost like I’m scared she’ll clean the cynic out of me and I’ll have to start caring again.
Oh god save me.

I Haven’t Found a Job
I shake, literally my hands shake, like they do when I confront my mother,
When I have to apply for jobs.
I have to put my hand over my eyes, scary-movie-watching style, and just type.
To the outside, it’s such an easy fix.
I want to find a job, almost any job, before I move,
Just kidding, I want a paying job that isn’t demeaning.
And there go all my options.

This Counseling Book
Don’t worry about why I’m reading it.
Listen to what I discovered.
If the counselor and the client have different social-economic status, personal values, background and experiences, they might not click.
My god. This is why people who move have so many problems.
Think about it, if you don’t want to share with a trained professional who’s a little different than you, why would you ever be friends with someone so vastly different than yourself. They, and I quote, don’t have “intuitive insight.”
And you know what else?
This is exactly why my roommate up north couldn’t find any friends,
Because she doesn’t have anything in that list in common with the locals, and she didn’t know how to find common ground.
She thought the common ground should come to her.

Poems from My Day (11-7-16)

1:
I hate it when my mother is right.
She said, you’ll have a time when two different guys are after you,
And you won’t know what to do, and they’ll tell you how blue your eyes are.
When I finally thought I was good by myself,
There she is in my head,
The woman who never leaves,
Telling me they’d love you more if you were skinnier.
And they only like you because you’re new in town.

2:
We did thirty days of yoga,
On the thirty-first day,
I asked my roommate, are you ready to go at seven?
Yes.
At 6:55, dressed and ready,
She asked me how I did it, how I could keep going?
I did yoga in my room by myself.

3:
I said something in a bad tone that upset someone’s cousin at a luau a couple months ago.
So my friend’s friend was mad at me on her behalf,
For months.
No one said anything to me.
That’s why half the town hasn’t been talking to me for a months and months.
What kind of people do that outside of middle school?
Do I want to be friends with people who do that?
Am I being snotty?
My mother said, when I called her to cry,
Well, they got over it, so it’s all in the past,
And doesn’t matter anyone.
That doesn’t feel right either.

4:
I listened to the OBC RENT soundtrack while I folded laundry.
So many nothing were on my list today,
So many different lines to cross off,
And I got one done.
I folded laundry.
That’s all your going to get from me and my couch today.

5:
I had to have a talk with him because my conscious kicked in,
I don’t know what to do about him,
I’m being silly to start this at all.
It’s all in my head.
He could be showing the pictures I’ve sent him to drunk fishing buddies out on the boat,
So that when people see me they blush.
But I had to talk to him,
To say,
Hey this other guy messaged me,
Do you have a problem with this?
But unlike the good lawyer’s daughter,
I didn’t know the answer I wanted to that question before I asked it.
Because I can’t figure out how I feel about this,
It would all be easier if I were more decisive.
He said I was sweet for asking.
I want to take it all back,
At least the thought of being duplicitous
Gave me something to whittle away the hours with.

6:
There’s such beauty in going back to something you love,
Because only you have changed,
It hasn’t moved,
The words are in the same order,
Scenes fall the same way,
But how you see it has altered,
So you’re able to learn about your self,
Through the old memories you keep,
And the new thoughts you have.
God that was a bit heavy-handed, wasn’t it?

7:
I like thin crust pizza. Dammit.
If I’m making the pizza I can make it however the hell I want.
I can make the crust thin, the cheese too heavy and the pepperoni stacked.
It’s my goddamn pizza.
And I made it from scratch in my oven, in my house on my pan, with my cheese.
I don’t answer to anyone.
I can make the pizza however I want, and the rest of you can eat it
And be happy.

10 Poems from My Day (10-27)

these are a bit long. i’ll post lots of photos tomorrow to make up for it.

1:
I angered my sister via text about casserole.
I’ll tell you the story.
My father sent me money wrapped up in a church bulletin.
A line at the end of the page said, “You can sign up on the clipboard in the narthex.”
I sent it to my sister. “This has to be the most Presbyterian thing I’ve ever read.”
She said, “It just needs casserole.”
“I’m partial to ham loaf.”
Here’s when I messed up.
She said, something like “you know, tuna noodle casserole has always been one of my favorite things to eat. “
I sent back a one word reply.
Pagan.
Then it began. “Geez, I try to share one silly thing about myself with you and you make me feel bad about it.”
This right here is where I should I have apologized for hurting her feelings.
Instead. I said,
“That’s what you get for liking tuna noodle casserole.”

2:
She makes me feel alone.
I have a real problem with people who treat people like little things they can squish between their fingers.
I am not your caricature.
You will treat me as a human being, not a story to relate to your next roommate down the line.
I don’t know how you are a teacher, when you look so far down on anyone who needs to learn.
When you yourself are embarrassed to have more to figure out.
You talk, but it’s not the conversation I like to have,
It’s placemat placeholder placating blah-ness.
I told her, actually, I said, I love to have arguments,
When I can separate myself and just go with the logic,
I can argue a point, it feels like stretching my wings.
She doesn’t understand.
I always feel stupid after an argument, they always end badly, don’t you always win?
I don’t want to share myself anymore. I want to say, good you should feel stupid, it makes you want to learn, be better. Arguments can be so much fun, they can change your opinions. I’d say with an evenly matched partner, I win half the time.
She doesn’t understand.
I miss my friends, my friends who would push me,
And not talk to me about their Facebook headlines.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is better to never open yourself up to be wrong, to fight for what you know, to have to explain yourself.
Maybe it’s better to be safe where you are, to know people.

3:
My first thought on seeing a sex ramp was,
“Oh my god that must be so much better on your back.”
I took some quiz about fantasies,
Googled half of the questions.
I’m glad to know, though,
That some part of my conservative upbringing has stuck around.
It feels safer somehow, that I’m still the prude I was in High School.

4:
I called my brother for his birthday today.
Plastered on a smile and jumped up and down a few times in my doorframe,
So I could have the love to sing.
I said I was worried about turning into Mom.
He said we all turn into some part of our parents.
My sister got the fussy part,
Maybe you got the storytelling part.
Would it be so bad,
If all I did was narrate my life?

5:
I’ll explain myself here, where it’s safe.
I don’t know what I’m looking for,
But I want more.
I don’t know how to say what I need,
And for someone who tries to use her words,
That’s really frustrating.
I would love to depend on someone.
I don’t know what that looks like.
I’m so scared about sharing myself,
Because you’ll use it against me.
I have this window of vulnerability,
Before I shut people out,
And your door is closing.
I’m doing it on purpose,
I won’t say I’m sorry anymore.
I need you once you’ve gone to sleep.
I don’t know what we have in common,
I don’t know what I can offer you.
I’m waiting for you to get tired of me and ghost.

6:
Do you think after dating an alcoholic
I can’t tell when you’ve been drinking?
You touched my foot while I was doing yoga.
And said tickle tickle.

7:
I don’t trust doors.
I loved everything about this parting statement.
As the woman with the old lady white-hair fro
Walked into the wind, out of my path.

8:
It happens in a weird way,
There’s a guy you think is attractive,
But you don’t have feelings for yet,
You could though,
And someone brings him up,
Everything gets smushed together,
Suddenly, you want him to like you,
But you’ll only make the first move if you know.
I wish the world was bigger.

9:
There’s all these things I need to get myself to do,
And I can’t.
The list builds until I hate myself.
I have to wait till I’m angry,
Or have the courage,
To just plow through,
With my eyes closed,
And hope no one sees me.
Then it starts all over,
And I hate myself a little more for letting it happen again.

10:
Thought process. Goes like this.
Maybe my jokes are mean. I will just stay quiet.
They won’t like me because I’m quiet.
I want to leave.
I want her to stop talking.
I do not like this sam I am.
I put myself away in a corner of my mind so I could just be there,
Not have to be there.
Maybe it’s me, maybe I make her feel embarrassed.
But if I change me, am I still being honest?
She makes me feel embarrassed to be myself.
Do I do that to other people?
How much more do I have to watch myself?
I already try to be so careful.
I wonder if she knew I was angry.
Maybe they can read me easily,
Maybe I hide as much as I think I do.

Poems from My Day (10-18-16)

Eight poems for now. More later.

1:
I took a drive with her.
We’d never been by ourselves before.
I tell her I’m quiet, that’s nothing wrong,
Which is a lie,
She tells me she wants to know me,
Then plies me with peppermint schnapps.
She tells me about her last week in Anchorage,
Hanging out with the man she had an affair with,
Taking a bump at a strip club,
Looking for that someone who will
Make her better, into the person she thinks she should be.
She tells me about her High School English teacher,
Who wrote her a poem,
Saying she was just waiting to fly.
All I see is a dreamer, with three kids, a small house,
And too much to burn.

2:
Stop competing with me,
Please.
My name is listed on the undersides of game boards
With the date we played, and my final score.
I’ve had guys ask for my number.
I’m sorry you’re insecure.
There’s nothing here I’m trying to win.
My father sent me a gift in the mail,
She says she’s jealous.
I say it’s guilt money,
That’s nothing to hope for,
But I don’t think she believes me.
Whatever I have is worth it.

3:
You don’t ask my kids why they weren’t at church on Sunday.
They’re in a safe space here.
School grounds. Dammit.
You don’t pressure them here.
All my instincts said protect.
I hate this weakness. Oh if only I were in a bigger town,
If I was Kanye’s better, faster, stronger,
I’ll never have the guts to stop it when I see it.
I’m going to have to deal with this about myself.

4:
I drive on what’s left.
After the pot holes from sewage projects, rain, and only black gravel.
What’s left behind at the store after the barge comes through, and the rest of the community grabbed the fresh vegetables.
I love what’s left of the people they were.
I sleep on the bed from the woman who lived here before me,
Wearing clothes another dropped off at goodwill.

5:
What can I love of what a monster creates?
Who am I to judge?
Can’t I sing along with a woman?
Admire a painting?
Can’t I read something,
Someone terrible wrote,
And not celebrate them?
Or by not ignoring them,
Am I giving the virus-filled pages ad revenue?

6:
I have trouble dealing with insecure people,
I don’t think it’s because we have so much in common,
I think it’s because they can’t take a joke,
I can’t tease them,
I can’t push them,
And there’s no equality.

7:
Yesterday,
I sat on the couch,
My day off,
And ate the shortbread fresh from the oven,
Listened to Jazz at Massey Hall
And read a wallflower romance novel
In my new pair of Xtratufs.
I’d never been so happy with myself, or my life.

8:
I’m having trouble saying I need attention,
I want attention,
I feel like I’m just become nagging,
Like my mother.

Poems from My Day (9-27-16)

1:
I am competitive.
Pushed way, way down,
Because it turns me nasty.
I remember playing Monopoly with my sister,
She would talk about her win for days.
But when I would win, and try to act like her,
Crow, tease, smile at your tears,
I’d feel guilty.
It became easier to lose,
So I didn’t become the monster,
That is my sister when she’s better than you.

2:
I don’t know what to do here.
She says she’s leaving her husband,
Thursday.
This Thursday.
She’s going to stay with us in our spare room,
She’s bringing up her extra twin bed.
Not her two kids, only the baby.
I called my mom,
Mom, what’s normal here,
What do I do?
What do I expect?
She says 8.
It takes an average of 8 times before a woman will leave an abusive partner.
These problems I thought of as only for adults are happening to my friends now.

3:
My mother has a really great rule,
It’s the –
No matter what,
You can call me and I’ll come rescue you –
Rule.
I probably avoided a lot of dangerous situations,
Because I knew it would leave me having to call my mom,
Which isn’t nearly as cool
As having to dodge her.

4:
I saw the way his mom is with him,
And I see the young mother his sister has become,
I see the lack of developed potential.
The struggle for income.
But, really,
They seem happy.
So who am I to judge?

5:
Back home,
The farmers go to school,
Education is important. This is recognized.
You bring that to the farm,
New techniques, a view of the world, information.
But these people,
Don’t care.
Fisherman, Pacific Northwest, or small town,
I don’t know.
But it’s damn frustrating.
What? You don’t need to know how to buy a boat?
You don’t need to learn about coastal patterns,
It wouldn’t be helpful if you could read contracts,
Do basic math, speak what you mean?
I guess not,
All you have to know how to do,
In this community,
Is how to drink yourself to death.

6:
I’ll never not be lonely.
I’m learning there’s different types of lonely.
You can see someone every day,
Talk to them once an hour,
Know they’ll care if you died,
And still feel lonely.
I’m scared of committing to something tangible,
Right now I can hope it’ll improve,
Once I find a person to understand me.

7:
No one tells you how to have adult relationships with your siblings.
Do I call once a week,
Can I still offer advice?
Do we keep it shallow, cute pictures of puppies only,
Or talk about,
What you’re doing with your life?
We’re so far apart now, in distance as well as age.
And I don’t know these people with their brains fully formed.

Poems from My Day (9-22-16)

bad day. bad day.

1:
I was under the impression everyone was as worried and self-conscious as I am.
I’m wrong.
It’s common to think the other way around.
These people must not have grown up with my father,
Who was always smarter.
Someone in your life has to be aggressively intelligent,
To convince you of your insignificance.
I can thank my father for my obnoxious self-detrimentalness,
His constant, accidental, humiliation of me,
Has made me cautious, slow to judge, and fault-assuming.
And it’s made my self-confidence my own,
Because I built it myself.

2:
We fall back on the old patterns of interaction,
When we don’t know what else to do.
Because we ended up talking about the one thing we have in common,
Again,
Or because we already know how to react,
We already have the emotions all set.
The youtube video is queued up,
Just press play.

3:
I’m stuck in this space in my mind.
I can’t get off this track.
I want to have the same base thoughts as I was thinking last year,
But I can’t access those,
Even though I thought them a thousand times.
I feel like a never-ending to-do list that repeats itself,
Every time I turn the page, it adds something new,
And forgets the page before it.

4:
I’m like my kids in tutoring.
I need someone standing over my shoulder,
Telling me I’m doing well,
And I’ve got this,
In order to allow myself to keep going.
It’s a little frustrating.

5:
I don’t remember what’s it’s like to be a child anymore.
I’ve forgotten all the realizations that had to happen
To make me realize my parents are people,
That all people are people.

6:
This one is for the repressors.
Not of free speech, but emotion.
You heroes.
The best things are bottled,
Beer, wine, and emotions.

7:
If I were to address a room of high school kids,
Telling them why I write,
I think this is what I’d say:
You’re spare.
Prove to me you matter.

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.