Tag Archives: life

Ten Poems (11-26-17)

1:
I used to tell myself,
When I talk to myself, which is frequently,
That all I needed was one person to care about me, right?
I’d tell myself, just one.
Who cared if I was dead.
But I have that now,
I’m still unsatisfied.
I want someone true, and loyal to worry about me.
To love me.
And I worry this is escalating.
That maybe I’ll get that, find a perfect relationship, from the books,
And I’ll want more.
I’m worried I’ll never be satisfied.
That my only moments of peace will arrive in two second snippets of peace I find sometimes when I’m driving on the highway, and the sky looks more orange than usual.
I worry that I should have been a stoner, at least, at last, at peace with himself.

2:
The meaner I am to him, he closer he pulls.
Because no. He doesn’t understand me.
Do you have to understand someone to love them?
I don’t think so,
In fact I think the opposite is true.

3:
What do I tell him?
Would you please fuck me in the car so I can get it over with?
Doesn’t strike me as having a high probability of success return rate.
How do I say,
I’m not sure if …
If,
I missed that boat in high school and college,
That no one ever made out with me in the backseat,
But instead people fucked me over in other, more fun ways,
That I don’t know how to do anything,
But I’m tired of having people make fun of me for it,
I shouldn’t have told him I was sexually assaulted, maybe he’s nervous now.
Maybe he just doesn’t care one way or the other, and is along for the ride like the rest of us,
Coasting until you find you care.

4:
I’m all at odds and a mess with myself,
Unsatisfied, angry, and mad that I’m angry.
I can’t seem to think in a line without a minute of self-doubt and stubborn focus on something useless.
I want attention and loneliness. I want a friend, companion and perfection.
I want my hair to look as beautiful the day after I wash it.
I want to make sense.
I want to know what it is that I want.

5:
A cardinal hits my office window everyday.
Repeatedly.
He makes it up higher on the window some days than others.
You hear it hit, reverberate, then scratch again.
I feel like that damn bird,
Trying to get to where I wouldn’t fit in,
Hitting the glass, thinking they look like me over there,
And bouncing back,
Getting brain damage,
And trying again in twenty minutes, hoping maybe the glass has changed.
Forgetting I’ve tried before,
So excited someone looks and sounds like my reflection.

6:
I pull down my bottom lip in the bathroom mirror after I brush my teeth but before I’ve showered to take a look at my skull.
It’s supposed to remind me of the shortness of life, and quick approaching death, look, see your skull with your own hands.
Instead I become obsessed by my plaque. Hoping I’ll never have to get dentures,
Dreading when my gums never shrink back into my brain.
Live your life, live your life, look what you have left.
Instead, I become more obsessed with my future.
Will my teeth ever be straight?
What would they look like if I got braces?
Does anyone remember when I got that crack?
Oh my one baby tooth is still there. Isn’t that nice.
Watch my desperation for topics, once the dread of life sets in.

7:
I went to a neon art show.
I went to a local fair trade gift fair for local artists.
I went to a park with fishing next to the Colorado river.
Look at all the things I did.
Look at my pictures as proof.
What more do I have to do to prove myself to me?
Why can’t I be good enough for me?

8:
I’m worried I’m picking these fights,
I’m worried that I’m not as smart as I think I am,
I’m worried I’ll never find a pair of boots that truly fits me.
I’m worried that I’ll lose my home and my job at the start of the year.
How I hate applying for new work.
Have I written this already? I worry about that all the time.
Let’s try this again.

9:
I’m getting ready to leave here again,
To find another job in another new place,
Find new coffee shops to type in,
Different stressors to wake me up at night.
New people to forget,
New memories to hurt,
But away from here, away from the heat.
I want to leave because I don’t feel at home.
I think I’m looking for community.
For beauty, friends, and lovers.
And I think I’ll always be looking.

10:
She told me to be careful about sending mail here in my name,
Because I’m just a guest,
They might get in trouble with the apartment company,
She’s right.
I’m temporary.
She’s made fun of me for it.
I’m living boring,
Off the kindness of family,
And a lucky office job until the end of the year.
Then I’m free of commitments.
To become that person who leaves again.
People forget to remember.

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Ten Poems (11-7-17)

1:
I can’t be honest with you,
I got enough sleep last night.
My usual self-medication hasn’t worked. My brain isn’t foggy.
All I can do is sit here and calculate all the ways in which I made mistakes are wrong,
And be hungry even though I just ate.
I can’t seem to write.
So I’ll just tell you what happened to me this week.

2:
I broke down in my sisters kitchen chopping vegetables on a black floor tile counter.
I called my mom.
I’m not good enough mom,
I’m breaking.
She said, have you tried painting? Or buying something for yourself?
I needed someone to sit with me while I coped.
The things I thought were all I needed to be okay turn out to not be enough.
I just want someone to care about me.
I just want to do something in an office.
I just want space to cook, and enough heat to not be cold.
I want enough jeans that fit without holes.
But I’m still not okay. And it’s not fair.

3:
I planted plants.
I paid too much for the bag of dirt.
If I can keep something else alive,
I can keep myself alive.
My friend got a cat even with her allergies.
Homeless people with dogs tend to be better off.
Something about dirt and full circles,
But really, it was the first time in a while I’ve wanted to do something,
So I did it. Hoping I’d want to do more things in the future, instead of just more sleep.

4:
My Dad’s slipping.
He says I’ve told him that before. He didn’t know it was getting worse.
Of course it’s getting worse. This kind of thing doesn’t get better.
Am I not important enough for him to keep details straight?
Or is part of his brain dying?
He doesn’t understand how to tell me it will be okay.
He doesn’t understand how to comfort.
I don’t know which one of these will break us, but it’s around one of these corners.

5:
I met someone off an app for coffee at my least favorite coffee house.
We both get bored at live music.
He seems nice.
Not attractive, but nice.
And now we play my favorite game called,
What will I do to eff this up?
Text too early?
Sing along to songs?
Be ugly with double thigh dips?
Forget to drive you back to your car?
How will you Seinfeld me out of your life?
Go give me something small about myself to mull over for a couple weeks.

6:
My sister says I don’t need a lot from other people.
I’m pretty self-sufficient.
That can intimidate some people.
I bought life-insurance today.
Is that what she means?
I monitor my credit score, and don’t have debt, so one will love me.
Here you can have my paid-off car and my healthy relationship with my brother.
Can I have a date for my work Christmas party?

7:
I love romance novels.
I have to read them on a half-empty brain or I get mad at the sexism and assaults.
A refuge is predictability. It’s calmness because nothing will go wrong worse than you can imagine.
There’s so little secure in my life. I want someone else’s love to have a plotted existence.
I want structure to give me meaning in what I see everyday, so I find that in trashy books.

8:
I misplayed at cards on Wednesday night.
I shouldn’t have been cocky or smiley happy because we were winning.
He huffed away mad.
I forgot to hide myself, and I was shot down for it.
It’s not unusual.
I’m always mad that they’re people.
I want them to be people I already know.
And I want them to like me because I’m perfect.

9:
I made a pineapple upside-down cake.
That was the highlight of things I did I’d never done before last week.
I remember when I tried to do something new everyday so that I could tell the days apart.
I see people, and naturally compare myself, and say, wow look at that. They’re experiencing life. I want that. And instead, I arrange pineapples on brown sugar for my brother-in-law.
I cut cherries precisely in half, instead of falling in love.
I change the recipe just a little bit because you should mix the butter and sugar together before adding the flour.
I don’t take a road trip. I don’t spend money.
I save money for later in life when my back will hurt worse,
And I’ll feel guilty for not having lived while I was young.

10:
I only lived there a year.
My sister reminds me, like somehow I didn’t earn anything.
Like experience is something to earn.
Like she knows I can’t claim a place because I was there a little less than 400 days.
Don’t be dramatic, you’re just the same as me, she says.
You’re life doesn’t have my value.
Look what I’ve done in that time instead.

Ten Poems (10-28-17)

1:
I live with accidental consequences of the things I did right.
I cleaned the wood paneling along the floor,
Now I clean along the chip on the wood paneling on the floor.
I didn’t have that relationship, I didn’t move to California with him.
But I never met his friends, never did something stupid,
Never tried to save something I knew would die.
I know you live with your mistakes,
But you live with the successes too.

2:
I wish she would be clear with me,
But I don’t have the courage to be straight with her.
Isn’t that just the way it goes.

3:
I met a German
I think, maybe I’m too silly for him.
He did not laugh,
But he sort of chuffed once.
He was not handsome,
But he was safe, and wanted me to like him.
And he’ll beat himself up later about the silly things he said.

4:
How did I get myself up this morning?
More importantly, when will that will give out?
And it’s always a just barely,
So close to a not.
That’s why I always felt guilty of my accomplishments in college,
They were just barelys instead of easily and because of hard work.

5:
I want to have done something I’ve never done before.
To have an experience, another story,
To keep me warm.
Maybe I’ll poach an egg.
And bake a new cake.
To stop this wanting to have a place of my own, with a person of my own.

6:
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Here. Now. With this life.
I’m so aware of how precious health is,
Because I’m coughing up a storm.
But now what do I do with this awareness?
I ask the question we all ask,
What now?

7:
He talks to me in the morning,
And he’s like a brother.
He was raised with sisters, I can tell.
He makes faces at me when we both try to stay awake at work,
He sends me silly gifs in gchat,
He’s human and honest in my little machine corner.
And he’ll play catch, whereas no one else will run with the sarcasm stories of,
Of yes of course I took my pony into work.

8:
I cannot make you love your body.
I am sorry I do not have this power.
I cannot rearrange the features of your face to make you happy.
I can’t make you look good in leggings.
I can tell you that all your parts work, that you are you. That if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be you. You’re the youest you around.
I can tell you that your whole line of ancestors has produced a human that is capable of achieving in this world. That the vehicle for doing this is your body.
But you don’t care.
I don’t know what you want.
To be prettier?
To be thinner?
To be less chubby?
I can tell you how to accomplish these goals. But if you are not happy with who you are, no matter how the outside changes, you will never be happy.
You can always start over, but you bring yourself with you wherever you go.
The doctor doesn’t say you’re fat.
I don’t think your fat.
Who says you’re fat?
Your husband does not care. He says you look good.
Your mother would think you were fat if you were a sheet of paper from the side.
It is only you.
I cannot help you with this.

9:
God I would love to be thinner than her.
It would somehow be divine recompense for the years she yelled at us, took out her anger at us,
For not looking the way she wanted.
For the puking, and the food judging, for the snide remarks about bowls of chips.
It provokes the cat smile, doesn’t it? I could finally do something better than her.
Because she always has to be smarter, prettier, with a better looking man.
Just the one time, wouldn’t it be nice, to be first in something.
But I’m sure she could make me feel guilty for being fat in the first place.
And I’m equally positive I’ll never get in that good of shape.

10:
I call my mom for support.
I needed that support, and my sister cannot offer a shoulder to cry on.
She’s too harsh for that.
Harsh is a good word, I think.
I’m sure the love is there, but it is regulated, and used with a purpose.
My mom will tell me about all the suns and moons I am,
And babble at me when I need it,
To feel at home.

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.

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.