Tag Archives: memories

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.

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Poems from My Day (7-4)

it’s all too loud

1:
I miss my family.
It’s not something I thought I would ever say.
But, today, oddly enough,
I’m sitting here imagining what life would be like,
What today would look like if I were back home.
It wouldn’t look like this. I would be stronger. I wouldn’t have let myself stay in bed all day. I would have actually done something.
I would be drinking a lemon shake-up,
Sitting on the prairie, sweating, playing cards, trying to keep the blanket flat.
I’d be miserable, I’d have been worried about it on the 3rd. Did we pack, will we run out of things to do, who’s going to get angry?
And worried about how we would all handle it. Would we have enough lawn chairs, would someone embarrass me, how often would I have to dodge the crowds, how bored would I be?
We’d eat sandwiches, or if Mom managed to manage her money correctly that month, we’d have fried chicken in a bucket that was a little soggy from being in the cooler. And it’d be mad at myself for being fat. And hot.
And the symphony would take forever to start, but I’d never be able to get lost in the music.
Because there would be something I would want to change, to make it better. Someway I could be less uncomfortable. I’d still be holding a grudge for something someone said in the car that I didn’t say anything about at the time.
But, I’d take the pictures that I’d file away with all the other fourth of july pictures that I’ve taken for years. And they would look the same.
I’d know what was going on.

2:
I told myself last Christmas that I couldn’t go to my father’s again without a buffer.
I needed someone to come with me, stand with me. Be the in between.
Because I couldn’t take it otherwise.
But now.
Now.
Now, I don’t know.
Maybe I could go again, just me.
I have a little more understanding, I think, after this year.

3:
I’m glad that happened.
It was terrible, but in a terrible way, I’m glad his wife died, because I got to read this beautiful piece of poetry. I got to feel something I wouldn’t have otherwise felt. So, I’m glad.
Maybe it’s a bit Kantian to say,
Like thanking God for the fall of Rome because all those cats have a place to live,
But, something beautiful is sometimes worth a sacrifice?
Or does that make me a bad person?

4:
It’s such a gift to be raised in a city.
You don’t even know.
I know how to walk down a block and have the look that makes homeless people not bother me.
I don’t get scared in crowds.
I can figure it out.
I know what street signs looks like.
I’ll be fine, if I decide to move back to a place with a stoplight.

5:
I got mad at my mother for posting my picture on Facebook.
I had asked her not to, she did it anyway.
She thought, well just one, because it was graduation.
I said, this is why I didn’t let take my photo. Because she would do whatever she wanted without asking permission.
She didn’t ask me.
It was the right kind of mad. I don’t get that often. Totally in my square, right to be mad, no later repercussions for doing it wrong or anything. God I was so mad. It was beautiful.

6:
Why do people always not see me as a person?
It’s not fair.
Can’t you tell I’m scared?
I like to be invited to things.
I’m not good enough.

Poems from My Day (5-10)

i had a day i thought would turn out better.

1:
I bought a bike.
I purchased it in pieces.
I assembled as much as I could.
Perhaps I was overwhelmed.
It’s been sitting half done in the spare room.
That room smells like rubber now.
Hang on a second, I have to let the dog in.
Two people offered to help.
I can’t take them up on it.
I don’t know why.
I should be biking,
I’ll have to this summer,
Carless. When my ride goes back down to Montana.
I can’t seem to, get it done.
I stare at it.
I think, give me a little more time.
I think that about a lot of things,
Just give me a minute.
One more second.
A moment to figure it out.
I am the mud of spinning wheels.
I am death.
I don’t know what that means.
I should go to sleep.

2:
I’m sad my clothes smell like the wet mold you get from not drying properly.
I don’t know how to fix this.
The dog, not my dog, the dog bangs at the door to come in.
She scratches.
Her owner taught her to breathe at the door.
Exhale, exhale, exhale.
She wants to come in.
I can’t hold out as long as my roommate.
The whining gets to me.
If I ever have a baby,
The same thing will probably happen.
I’ll be the weak one who’ll give into the cries.

3:
The woman who works next to me read me part of a book today,
A children’s book about how to play nicely with others,
Something something brown colored pencil,
No one wanted to be around the thing because it was always negative.
Is that me?
I am a brown colored pencil that’s always angry and sad.
What does it mean about my adulthood that I take lessons from children’s picture books?
I self-censor when I keep my mouth shut.
Adult conversation isn’t all that advanced from when we were seven, I suppose.

4:
A little kindergardener mimicked me in a mocking way today.
That hadn’t happened to me in years,
I wanted to call her a little shit,
But she’s a kindergardener.
I didn’t know what to do.
I was upset I was offended.
I have no coping mechanism for this.
It reminded me of the time I met a new girl in choir,
And the first thing she said to me was did I know my two front teeth were longer than all the others?
Yes.
I’m aware.
That’s all I can ever say to bullies young and small.
Yes.
I’m aware.

5:
They look at me like they’re waiting for me to say something else.
I don’t know what.
That’s it.
I can come up with more to say.
If I were on a college campus it would be a day where everyone would look at me weird.
And the servers at the dining hall would cock their heads to the side.

6:
I want to go home.
I use that phrase as a litmus test of how bad a day is going.
Oh man, I only thought that three times before lunch.
I have no home to go to.
It would be worse back there.
I tell myself.
You’d be within driving distance of your mother.
But it’s become a Monk’s chant.
I shower. I want to go home, I want to go home.
I cook. I want to go home, I want to go home.
I fall asleep, alone, after no one invited me out.
I pet the dog who can’t quite get her blind eyes to focus on my face.
I check my cell phone for messages.
I stretch familiar yoga poses in the dark.
I sing Prince songs I’ve heard a thousand times before.
I pretend to like the beer they’re drinking.

7:
She was on the second floor of this office building off a boulevard right off the exit of the highway.
The building next door stood empty.
She is black,
I didn’t want that to be a thing,
But I think worrying about it was wrong,
I tried to be normal,
So I guess, that makes it just like all my other interactions with people,
Trying to pass as normal.
Not wanting anyone to hate me, so they won’t tell everyone else they hate me.

Poems from My Day (2/22)

it’s one of the days i wish i was another person

1:
I’m staying at my parent’s house,
Until I leave to go across the width of the country.
I keep grabbing for the dishwasher in the wrong place.
I keep opening the wrong cabinet, because they moved the bread.
I keep behaving the same way I have in the past.
I almost slammed my door yesterday.
It still smells the same in there. I still hate that garage door.

2:
I didn’t know other people would respect your boundaries if you set them.
That wasn’t something I knew.
If I said no, they’d listen?
I should have had more friends so I knew more of what was un-normal.

3:
Dad thinks I can do it.
I can work two jobs,
So I have enough money for food.
Me.
I’m not so sure.
I can’t get my mind made up, which is more nerve-wracking.
I don’t know, I don’t know.

4:
The desks are a little off-green squares.
The wood looks like it would have been fancy when new.
The guy’s baritone whispers in the cubby across from me are distracting.
My ears are sore and red from wearing headphones.
The outlets are brown.
I can see down a whole row of books to the other-side of the second floor.
I worked at the library today.
I ate a donut I bought on recommendation from a woman with a lazy eye.
I’m relearning about cosigns from the tutoring going down three tables away.
I can’t see the church next door anymore,
It’s gone black.

5:
It took me years to realize it wasn’t my fault my mom was bad with money.
It wasn’t my fault she got upset after we went shopping.
I broke down once in Target at the checkout aisle.
She said she was nervous about going shopping with me again.
I was never sure when she was going to be stressed after paying.
I was never sure if I was paying or she was.
She always got tight after we walked out.
And had to justify it out loud while we walked to the car.

6:
I wear new boots to break them in,
Even when I’m sitting in bed,
I punch my legs off to the side.
So they look worn in,
So I won’t look like I’ve bought them new,
Like I had to buy them new.
So I won’t look like I’ve had to spend money,
Like I have money to spend.

7:
I have nothing to say.
I don’t mind.
Welcome back, uncaring.
I forgot how comfortable you are.
It’s so flat and clear here.
We’re good to sit for a while.

8:
I’m ashamed I’m competitive for time with my brother against my sister.
I’m happy they’re spending time together, and she gets to feel important again,
Valuable,
Strong, the one you come to for advice.
I’m worried she’ll do to him what she did to me.
There are parts of her I don’t want him to catch.
I’m glad to feel useless again.
I’m sure they’ll talk about me, which will be good for him to hear.
But I’m still a little hurt, for some reason.
I’m glad they’re bonding over something.
I’m glad I’m going.
More love is always better.
I know.
I’m sad that’s I know she’s feeling triumphant for winning his attention,
When I’m the one who’s there.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Feb. 8th)

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day February 8th

Poem 1:
What is this thing over there?
I didn’t not want it there.
It should not be.
This won’t end well.
This new dog that follows me.
I like her. I shouldn’t.
I do not want to like her.
She is not the kind of dog I like,
Not fuzzy, or warm.
She’s skiddish and jumpy and fast.
I’ll do something wrong,
I’ll hurt her on accident.
She won’t like me best,
She’ll like the people that feed her.
I’m not getting attached.

Poem 2:
I hadn’t realized I’d heard it all before.
I’ll get better,
He says.
It’ll just be like this for a little while.
Just wait.
I don’t believe him.
I don’t want to believe him.
Because I told myself,
Stop changing people.
So I take them as they are,
I only sigh,
And try and decide to be calm.

Poem 3:
He makes a joke.
He waits for the laugh.
He says it again,
Maybe you didn’t hear him.
If they laugh this time,
He’ll save it,
He’ll use it later,
Again.
Because he made them laugh.
They look at him,
If he makes them laugh.

Poem 4:
I don’t want a child.
I don’t want what’s inside my head passed on.
The suicidal nature running along my family branches,
Maybe those can stop with me.
But I’ll wait for someone to change my mind,
I’ll wait for the swaying argument,
I can’t defend.
Because I think,
My brain will have nothing to do with the matter.

Poem 5:
Find me somewhere to go,
Where I can just sit.
I can wrap my arms around my knees,
And be given my coffee in peace.
They’ll know my name.

Poem 6:
Talk to me please.
I want to tell you everything,
But you,
You won’t listen,
And you’ll shrug me off,
And not hear.
I need the next person I tell me to,
To remember,
Like the rest forgot to.

Poem 7:
No matter who I’m talking to,
I imagine it’s you.
And I feel safer.

Poem 8:
He’s going to be telling me
For the rest of my life,
The same things he says now,
Every week,
He’ll tell me how to improve.
And I can’t stop it.
I’ll always need to be fixed.

Poem 9:
They want their ashes –
Comingled –
After they die.
I couldn’t stop laughing.
What if someone’s femur is in there on accident too?

Poem 10:
I loved it when it rained.
Now it makes me sad.
When I don’t have a home,
I’ll get wet and cold,
And have nowhere to go.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Sixty-Nine)

It’s raining again. Cold Rain.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 69

Poem 1:
I walked a biker’s path in the park
I walked along the twists and turns
Following the tire marks in the mud and dirt
I got to the fence,
To the clearing before the fence
When the path suddenly stops
Shocks into open grassland
And my tracks disappeared.
They all went somewhere else
Those footprints I followed.
I make my own way pathless now.

Poem 2:
I know the opening chords
And sigh for the comfort I know will soon be
I’ve heard this song before and again
I know how it goes, no surprises
The voice sounds the same
I get to hear a repeat
Just the same, like I can never be

Poem 3:
She asked me
Do you remember when your brother was born?
I was little, I say, thinking, how to say this
I didn’t see anything
But you had me hold a mirror
So you could see the baby
Brother
You yelled at me, tilt the mirror
So I can see him.
That’s it and all.
But I can’t tell my Mom that.

Poem 4:
I would walk back through his memories
With a sprinkling jar
Adding bits of love
Dashes of hope
Here and there.
But he would turn out spoilt.
Because, it seems to me
The only way to get good people
Really good ones
Is to have a horrible sad beginning
It gives you a shot a one in twenty
Of turning out great, not just there.

Poem 5:
She played on the school piano
The “Yellow” song from the radio
One anyone who played wanted to play.
She played until the better came up behind her,
With concertos and memorized rhythms.
The sounds swallow the sounds,
Pop yields to skill,
But I got to listen for free.

Poem 6:
She threw us a wine and cheese party
But mispronounced gouda
I said it my way in front of her.
She hosted it in our place.
So proud of her perfect palate pairings.
I felt it my job to remind us of our humility
And mock the little cheeses on their little plates
With our dollar store wine stems.

Poem 7:
I blew bubbles with a magic wand
Plastic bent and pink dragged across
Bits of remaining package foil.
Landed on the grass without popping
With wind.
But when I tried to place the bubble
From the wand to my hand to the grass
They always popped
Grass is sharp if you tap it with your hand
But the bubbles did better by themselves.
I couldn’t help but ruin all the air.

Poem 8:
Life would be so boring
She said
Without a flair for the dramatic.
I said no one is interesting without hyperbole.
We all make our lives so much more interesting
Because they only matter to us.

Poem 9:
She sang me, “You Are My Sunshine”
When I couldn’t sleep.
If I hear it now, from another
I become alert
Waiting for my mother, her voice
Her voice is mine for that song.

Poem 10:
He said, that’s ok you did your best.
But I didn’t I say
I tried but not my best.
He didn’t know what to say to that,
The thought never occurred.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Sixty-Eight)

I got one of those blue slushies of some raspberry flavor. My tongue is blue. I terrorize villagers with my plague of color.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 68

Poem 1:
I passed a jogger on the trail
A youngish lady, a bit overweight
I figured she ran in the woodsy trail
Avoid the eyes of the judgmental.
She looks in my eyes, passerby
Checks to make sure I hold no hate
To give her way.

Poem 2:
I’ll do this work for you
Compromise it all
Those, I should only do for good
Or, don’t push toward the better.
No, I’ll work for you
For something I want.
A collector’s book, hard to find,
Costs more than I own.

Poem 3:
It’s quiet up there today
In my head
I keep looking
Poking around the open boxes
But not much
Nothing happening

Poem 4:
After he died
I said the same thought
In all the tenses.
I had a grandfather.
My grandpa did.
My grandpa was.
I saw memories of him in the silliest
Little glimpses
That was the exit they lived off of
He used to like tomatoes.

Poem 5:
She said, while I stood on the stairs untangling a braid,
I forget sometimes how beautiful you are.
Thanks, I think, you say to that.

Poem 6:
He keeps beer in the basement
Under the wooden stairs
Next to the portable television with rabbit ears
Folding chairs and piles of papers
Shotguns and old square cartridge boxes.
Not the place for all my learning.
I tone me down.

Poem 7:
I cover up for my pathless meanders
Who wants to plan and plans to plan.
He hides behind his weight
The food that keeps them away at bay.
She shies the down married shame
With protestant works and eye of a camel breaking.
She waves over her feminist career behind
A husband she wants to support.

Poem 8:
If you play dumb
Then
When you fall over shoelaces
It’s normal not sensationalized
And they take no notice.

Poem 9:
I sat on the kitchen swivel chairs
With high wooden backs
Pink velcro step down light up shoes
He brought an old pair
So I could learn to tie.
He showed me twice, three times.
You should get this by now.
I’ll leave you to practice.

Poem 10:
We competed to help make breakfast
Argued to be the favorite.
He liked it that way.
But didn’t care if it went the other.
He’d read a new book about our behavior.
He understood that need to be needed the best
Over the sister.
He gloried in his attention sought approval.
While we stirred pancake batter with extra sugar.