Tag Archives: life

Ten Poems (09-16-17)

1:
Marc said he ran out of his script and has been without his meds for a couple of days.
He has a mohawk now. He tells me. While hiding in his girlfriend’s bedroom to avoid the fight she’s having with her temper-laden fifth grader.
He’s sharing to share, and because I’m there, available.
I say this as a point of pride, but probably because I’m afraid it’s not true,
That people share to me. I’m a non-threatening person. I’m not going to judge you,
Says something in my face. And it’s true.

2:
It is sitting at the same desk trying your best to emulate a machine.
To be paid, enough but not to spare, to do the same task ten-thousand times. To find information for other people, for other corporations to then sell.
And they want me to be happy? I do my job. That’s all they get from me. They don’t get me to care, or buy their products or ideas.
No.
I will do what you pay me for. I will go home. I will leave when I can.
Because I’m just a little more tired inside than I was the day before,
And I won’t be able to apply for new jobs tonight.
I don’t want to play these games for a giftcard. If you can afford to pay me more, than pay me more.

3:
I don’t give them enough time. We don’t do anything interesting.
This one sideburns, tallness, a nice voice, and a blue short-sleeved collared shirt.
At a dive bar where the pizza pans are better maintained than the building.
I don’t think he liked me. He had somewhere to be,
And I had to wait an extra twenty minutes to sober up from the one beer he bought me.
We ran into each other, but not to stay.

4:
I need to buy black markers to draw with,
And enough paper to stretch the world.
So I can listen to jazz and paint where it’s quiet.
In the sun, with windows, and air-conditioning and ice tea.

5:
I will ask him this week.
I will say,
Hey I like talking to you we should hang out this weekend.

No. I’ll be like my Dad.
So worried about everything going wrong and getting everything set, that I’ll forget to order food for myself, and I’ll have to share with what you ordered.

I think he likes me.
I want two tries for when it goes wrong the first time.
I bet it’s the age thing. I bet he doesn’t want to make a move because that gap. But I would be happy if he did.
Maybe he doesn’t like me, or I’m not pretty enough, or there’s something wrong with me.
Oh my god I’m being ridiculous.

6:
Open your mouth and tell our boss that you’re having debilitating cramps.
So what he might be embarrassed.
He’s not in pain. You are.
Tell him the problem. Tell him how it’s effecting your work. Tell him a solution.
Why are you embarrassed? Do you think you’re the first women he’s met with a period?
It’s blood. It’s your body. It’s who you are.

7:
He pushed my no.
And he couldn’t take a joke.
He didn’t know how to say out loud,
Please stop you’re hurting my feelings.
So he pushed my no, and I pushed his silence.
He hasn’t sent me another text after I thanked him for Saturday.

8:
This wonderful woman with purple hair streaks on her no longer gray hair
Tells me, why would I be embarrassed?
No harm.
So what.
She’s right.
Can someone message that information to my brain please? It’s not getting through.

9:
Please give me a dream.
I want something I want to do for the rest of my life.
Give me a calling.
Give me a home.
I’ll work so hard.
If you tell me I can succeed.
Please.

10:
My senior thesis would disagree with you.
I kid you not.
I was talking to stretch my mind.
And she says,
My senior thesis would disagree with you about that.
I don’t want to provoke the people I’m smarter than,
I don’t need to prove myself in that way.
But damn, maybe she thinks I agree with her because I stayed quiet.
You shouldn’t play games with drunk people’s minds, and you shouldn’t tease the easily angered. Maybe.

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Poems from My Day (2-27-17)

1:
I will not be jealous
It’s silly to be jealous
I can’t be this competitive
Love doesn’t work like this,
In measured ways.
We can all be friends,
I am not better or worse for being excluded.
I will not care that they’ve done something without me.
My abandonment issues will not make me weird.
I won’t play with people like this.

2:
I met a woman with three other friends
At a dive filipino place in southeast
And she was nice, kind
But either she didn’t want to be there,
Thought it would be different,
Or was on drugs.
I kept thinking, why was she here.
She writes though,
Which means she was absorbing everything,
To use later, without giving too much of herself away.

3:
Maya Angelou wrote this poem for people who have to be happy for work.
I think she’s right.
We’re all crying on the inside.
No wonder cannibalism has gone out of fashion,
We’re all dead inside.

4:
She said,
That’s why rape happens,
It’s why alaska’s rates are so high.
Because you have to be nice to the people you live with,
Or you don’t have a place to stay,
I have to be nice to her, Or.
She thought we were thick as thieves.
No.
She takes what she learns about you,
To use it against you, again and again.
Like the domestic violence,
And it happens and it happens,
And you watch it happen
All over again.
You do nothing to stop it for others,
Or yourself,
And you hate everything you are a little bit more.

5:
Tomorrow’s my last day
Tomorrow I can talk about politics
And not be a logo
And not answer to Jamie,
Or be penned in
Or have to wear a polo
I’m free
Gemma was right.
She kept telling me,
You’re almost done.
My head can’t comprehend

6:
How much of your village is native?
About 80% identify, but beyond that you get into percentages of people,
Which I’ve never really enjoyed.
I didn’t go into this thinking I’d be more comfortable around the brown people I see everyday,
Then a conference room of white.
I talked to the yupik lady from up north for too long, because she looked like my people.

Poems from My Day 9-5-16

i’m a mess today. i’ll try again tomorrow.

1:
I can’t tell you why I needed to give him a call,
Leave him a voicemail.
I think because somehow we both connected, with something real
Underneath all that marketing and sales.
But I was never trapped as he is.
I got out.
I never bought it.
He was the first person who ever thought I had a brain.
I gave him my word, I would leave him voicemails,
So I have.
I feel like I’m this strange thing he doesn’t know how to handle,
But doesn’t want to leave.

2:
She’s never broken her patterns.
She’s still the 16 year-old girl
Leaving the table in a huff,
After being yelled at by our step-father
Crying all the way.
Waiting for someone to come along and ask what’s wrong.
And the one time you don’t,
You hear about it for years afterward,
Or she tries to kill herself again.
The ever guilt tripping, sister of mine.
Except now, she’s married,
With a husband who’s done something to upset her balance,
And he doesn’t seem to care,
And we don’t seem to care,
So she’s pouting,
And I’m trying not to be glad.

3:
My mother makes Italian chicken
By soaking pieces in kraft yellow Italian dressing from the bottle
In a container for a couple hours,
Before frying it up.
That’s my favorite dish of hers.
And mine never tastes right.
Like my biscuits don’t taste like my father’s,
And my comments never as piercing as my grandmother’s.

4:
My father has a girlfriend.
I’ve seen her on Facebook.
Sometimes his pronouns get mixed up.
But he won’t declare her to us.
And I don’t know why.
I want so badly for him not to screw this up.
I’m so happy for him.

5:
0% battery now.
I should move.
And plug this computer in,
Instead of sitting her waiting for the screen to go black.
Or I could sit here and wait for the screen to go dark.
Before I decide to move.
There’s always a gap between deciding to do something,
And getting up and moving.
I have to talk myself into it,
Even breathing sometimes.

6:
Yesterday. I wanted to wake up early.
Wake up at sunrise.
Go out to the beach.
Call my mom from sitting on the roof of my car,
Out where no one could over hear me,
And ask her why I never fit in anywhere.
No matter what I do or where I go,
I’ll never fit in.
I’ll never be able to be me,
Relaxed.

Poems from My Day (5-18)

I’m not sure about today.

1:
I’m trying to get the last drop of tea out of my cup.
The spoon is just holding back air.
I’m making the right noises so my roommate doesn’t make a comment about how I’m sitting at the kitchen table doing nothing.
Nasty lady.
She wouldn’t understand why anyone would ever count the last ten drops out of the tequila bottle, or smile at a flower, or sit.
So hard to be a regular person.

2:
I manufacture grief holidays so I have an excuse to feel something,
My grandmother’s birthday is today,
It’s the anniversary of a breakup,
I got some bad news from home,
Because I can’t let myself be in a mood without good reason.

3:
“Are you just sleeping on the couch?”
She asked me walking past on her way to the kitchen.
No, I’m awake.
I was sitting here doing nothing,
Because sometimes I have to sit,
So I can cry and cope.
Trying to understand why I can’t share how I’m feeling with anyone that matters.

4:
I’ll be home in a week.
Back for my brother’s graduation.
If I had trouble adjusting to seeing a highway after being on this island,
In this village,
How will I deal with my family too?

5:
My sister called me today,
She made me laugh.
She told me about not doing laundry and having to wear the last dregs of your underwear, and getting tumors of broken elastic on your hip, and frugality not being worth having to wear anything this tight.
While I stood bent over clutching my ankles, laughing, dying,
I was reminded that I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time,
And I missed having people to share parts of me with,
Because you only really laugh with common souls.

6:
He’ll be gone in about seven years,
I heard the first signs of dementia on the phone.
The man who talks to me like a parishioner.
He even says, “God bless”
Before he catches himself to say, “love you too.”
I practiced what I would say to his dead body at his funeral today.
I’d like to hear him preach once more,
And hear him say the Lord’s Prayer, just the way he says it,
He ends Holy Ghost with a patronizing smile in his voice,
And amen with a full, beard-peppered grin.
I’d like to find the guts to ask him why he’s so messed up,
I want him to write down his stories, the ones that make me laugh,
But, then,
They wouldn’t be his stories anymore, they’re a tradition, with motions and faces and a crowd.
They’ll go with him.
With his memory.

Poems from My Day (3-21)

i’m back.

1:
So. I’m living on an island of ~600 people.
Remote. Rural.
There aren’t any Mexicans or black people. Pretty much just natives and whites, and a Korean family.
There is no restaurant, bar, or coffee shop.
You can’t drive to get here.
I’ve been here two weeks.
Start praying for me.

2:
I did it. I flew across the country by myself.
And I didn’t die.
I got trained by these people who really seem to care.
I heard horror stories about poverty, and what it means,
And what it looks like.
It was just depressing.
I told a girl on the bus ride over to the plane this,
And she said, it wasn’t depressing, it made me want to do something.
A something that will be useless.

3:
I’ve never talked so much about where I’m from, until I’m not there anymore.
Because I assume people would know what I was talking about.
But now they don’t.
They’ve never been to KFC, or seen movies in a theater.
I’m an outsider, for the first time, a person who wasn’t born here, who didn’t grow up here.
And I don’t fit in, for a good reason. But it’s the first time I don’t fit in with a good excuse.

4:
I may or may not have had a thing with the only other person I know here.
I drank PBR because he was drinking PBR.
And I had to tell him about my claustrophobia.
That you can’t trap me with your arms.
And that I had to ask my friend before we went any further.
He fell asleep. I had to control my breathing.

5:
Packages take two weeks to get here.
The dump is a pile of trash they light on fire every once in a while,
It’s where all the bald eagles are.
There are miles of logging roads people go “cruising” on.
I’m so alone.

6:
A loaf of bread costs $3.50, the cheap, white kind.
You can’t fill up your gas tank past half-full,
They have a fuel stealing problem.
I have 4G, though, and Amazon Prime.
There’s an airport for seaplanes,
And commercial fishing,
And alcohol. So much alcohol.

7:
My mother called me,
My uncle visited and saw grandma before she died,
My brother asked a girl to the prom, she said no.
My sister’s visit was nice, but short, and they have communication problems.
My stepdad is having more dementia and skin cancer.
My mom still has no external support system.

8:
She was analyzing me,
Like I wasn’t me,
It was as if I was a test, an experiment, like when we were kids,
And she was trying out reactions, seeing how far she could push me, before I’d get upset.
She did it on the phone,
Practicing her counseling techniques,
One step away from, well how does that make you feels.
It sounds as though…
I hear that you’re…
Well what do you want from this situation …
What’s your best outcome.
I remember why I no longer confide.

9:
I watched basketball.
Instead.
I quit my part-time other job this week.
I’m officially under-employed, qualified for SNAP, and poor.
Tired and poor.
What have I done?

Poems from My Day (2-9)

Gravitas he lacks it.

1:
I hate that I smile when I’m uncomfortable
I hate that I’ll think I’m stupid and know nothing in 5 years.
Please don’t ever talk to someone, pat them on the head, and think their problems are cute.

2:
I kept telling myself if I get everything done I need to today,
Then I can do nothing and sleep.
Except I got almost everything done,
Felt guilty about not doing more,
And never got the break I was promised.

3:
I hate being dependent on someone.
I feel obliged.
And I’m never sure what they’ll do with that obligation.
Like ask to let something slide,
Or tell me “it’s nothing,”
So we have something to hide together.

4:
I feel like I worked all weekend.
And I didn’t get that day to do nothing.
Maybe I won’t ever get those days anymore.
But knowing that the last time I would have a free day, would be the last day,
Probably would have just added more pressure to have a good time,
Instead of increasing my bliss.
It’s like, the m&m can only be so good,
Even if you save the last one till twenty minutes after you finished the bag.

5:
I have a new worst thing in the world.
It’s when someone does something wrong that effects you,
And gets mad at you for asking them to fix it.
Also known as payroll.

6:
It’s the first time I’m being asked to sign a non-compete clause.
I’m vaguely offended.
But this company has always put business practices before doing the right thing,
Mind you, they tend to screw those up too.
Even if the founder would tell you different.
I’m going to get in trouble for writing that.

7:
I deleted all my books
The ones you made fun of me for,
And now there’s no record I’d read them, or where I stopped reading them, or gave up.
I still want credit for them.
Because I so desperately don’t want everything to be for nothing.

8:
But my handwriting is perfect.
That’s what my Mom told me she thought as soon as she checked into the hospital for stress exhaustion.
She told me this after I told her all my clothes are folded and put away.
And everything is perfect.
But the me is lacking in me.

Poems from My Day (1-21)

i’ve been so cold this week

1:
I’ve started saying phrases I don’t believe in,
Copied from other people
Who have their guard awake constantly
And have perfect eyebrows.
Things like, I would greatly appreciate it if,
And have a wonderful weekend, or
I’m so glad to hear you say that.
I’m developing a constant refrain of saying,
The old me never would have said …
Would never let herself,
Would have stood up to this before now.

2:
I read a boy I knew in high school’s post
On an off-chance and a whim,
About how he tried to commit suicide because of his weight
How he’s a beautiful person inside and out now,
And it sounded pre-written, scripted,
So I’m worried about him as a person, now,
Instead of dying of heat disease.

3:
I’ve needed the help of my mother.
She’s been there.
She’s helped me do big girl things this week,
Like open a 401k, tell me I only need 10k in life insurance,
Write my first two-weeks notice, and tell me it’ll be ok.
I had this terrible thought,
My kids, if I have them, won’t know the mom I knew,
They won’t know her without wrinkles, skinny.
They won’t see all the cuts and bandages she’s put on me.
And soon I’ll be the only one who knows about those too.

4:
You’ll never understand me,
Even if you want to, try to,
And I’m okay with that.
But, then again, I’m hard to upset.
As long as we don’t start sharing our souls,
I’m fine with you on nodding along.

5:
I say hi to the cleaning people.
I’m not sure if I do it out of pity,
Or goodness,
Or trying to do right.
Or to prove I’m righteous and good.
I might say hi to them, because they’re the only people lower on the totem pole than me, and they have to be nice to me, which is a change.

6:
Exit only signs.
I let my brain work out why they say exit only instead of no re-entry,
When I’m about to lose my lane on the highway.
I have to have a stupid problem for my brain to work out while I’m driving
Otherwise, I’d start to feel mundane.

7:
I think I’m developing a stutter.
I make myself so nervous.
I try to get everything out perfectly.
I have to double check everything I say,
So it’s perfect.
So I can’t be at fault.
I’m even stuttering in my mind.

8:
She said, I literally just turned this on, this second.
I told her I believed her.
She’s nervous. She thinks I think all she does is watch tv.
I don’t mind, or judge. I’ve been there.
I try so hard to be a non-passer of judgment.
Especially as it relates to people I like.

9:
I budgeted this month correctly.
I can buy sunflower seeds and saline nose spray.
I put the 10% in savings, and the 250 in retirement.
Tomorrow I’ll remember to put deodorant on,
Reply to all those emails,
And do all my dishes.
Then, as my mother says,
I’ll start to see the warning signs.
When all my socks are matched, and put in drawers,
My desktop is organized, and my pens all work,
It means there’s something wrong,
When it’s all too clean.