Tag Archives: new poetry

Poems from My Day (6-28)

what’s my sin? i try so hard.

1:
My brain woke up today.
There are so many things to keep in mind when I’m having a conversation.
Or telling people what to do.
I can’t keep it straight.
Then I over eat to compensate.
It’s a protective shield.
If I don’t take care of myself,
No one has to talk to me.

2:
Trying to be interesting, and well read,
I’m up to number seven of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
So far,
I’ve gathered,
I’m supposed to have a child to pass on my beauty.
I must be missing something.

3:
In one of my potential conversations in my mind,
I have to explain my relationship to him.
We’re messed up in similar ways,
So we’re mutually supportive of our destructiveness. Together,
If you can get him on the line,
He’s a good source of predictability,
But he’s also one of the main reasons I won’t drink too much. He’s so close to what I am, it’s a reminder to do better. What a way to use him.

4:
Quit telling me how to feel or what to do
Just tell me what you want to tell me and get on with it.

5:
I can have a family? I can pick them out? I can choose?
I could have kids and a husband if I wanted and smoosh together in photos?
I could have that?
It makes me want to cry.
It seems so far away from the life I’ve known.

6:
A friend here on the island has a baby.
I’m becoming familiar to the intricacies of wails.
Someone else has a two-year-old and a five-year-old.
They’re around all day.
It’s,
Almost too much.
I don’t think I can deal with that,
Can I make that proclamation, or am I too young? No kids on my own.

7:
There was a woman, drunk
Outside the blue house across the way,
And her man, a man, I guess, was forcing her into the truck.
There were little kids.
Screaming, and she was beating the kid with her bag.
And yelling.
I felt so naïve.
What to do, what’s right? Why am I so upset? Why aren’t I more upset?
Why are they so casual about domestic violence here?

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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 (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 Week (6/1)

Guys, guys, are you seeing this? I’m actually keeping to my schedule. I just cannot believe it. It is, in fact, unbelievable

1:
Come on, preserve my sanity, I dare you.
I bet you could break me if you wanted. So do it.
You’re so close already.
You think you’re my life line, what’s holding me here.
Prove it.

2:
I am more than what you see between my hairclips and my shoelaces. I have to be.
I have to be something more, because
Otherwise,
Well,
I’m not sure, but it’ll be unsatisfying as hell.

3:
I don’t know what to do with myself, or what it is I think I might be feeling. So I’ll go buy something. Or, maybe just think about starting the car, to leave, to be free, to run. Run in my car, and buy something, to feel better.
I thought this an hour ago, and I’m still here. And still here.

4:
If I could show you how I felt, I would clap till my hands turned to ground beef.
But I don’t know what to say.
So I’ll say what I always say to you, which is hedged bets and a plastic mold of a heart.

5:
I screwed up a bit. Not a lot. Just a little.
And I’ll be agonizing over that for the whole week,
I’ll get distracted and really mess something big up,
But not care, because I could have prevented this whole catastrophe in the first place.

6:
My goodness found a stamp.
It peeled off the backing and wrote an address.
It mailed itself to someone who was a bit better and felt a bit more.

7:
She must have realized she was talking down to me.
She must have processed who she was talking to.
She can’t be that cold, but wait who am I talking about.

8:
I memorize songs, so I can keep track of time in the shower.
I think the same train of thought so I can reorient myself.
I count my fingers when I can’t breathe.

9:
She spent so much money. Just all in one go, no problem.
I have to be careful where my twenties fall.
I can’t be loaned out later.
I hate that she doesn’t have to worry,
And doesn’t have to keep track.

10:
I met a boy who wore a purity ring.
It took too much strength not to make fun.
People must hate me, always sarcastic that one.

My Week in Review

I got stuck at 16th and Washington. I remember you telling me you missed me. I passed the doughnut shop established when this was a working class neighborhood. I remember the first time you touched my knee, drunk.

I remember one time I was describing this African woman in an old Byzantine painting for Art History class. I said, “African American woman” instead of just African.

I took my dog for a walk in the park. She killed a groundhog. It squeaked a bit before she buried it.

I can’t get any closer to you without being on heights.

I thought I couldn’t win at Scrabble because I wasn’t as smart, until I saw people using normal words. She always had to be smarter than me, until I beat her at chess, and backgammon, and poker, and ping-pong. Now I live in fear of talking down to you.

I guess you have to try to find love so you have something to go for.

Typos are the misspeaking stutters you glaze over in normal conversation.

I don’t even know why I try to be original anymore. There’s nothing wrong with derivative works.

She didn’t know how miserable I was. I can’t blame her for not trying to fix that. I can blame her for not being there though. And I do. And I will. She asked me about it once in college, and I told her she wasn’t there. She started arguing with me. Then crying. Mostly crying.

I had to find a hat to go to the baseball game. I couldn’t go without the hat.

Tell me how to tell someone they’re bad with money. To have to be so careful. To watch it pitter away.

I talked over my Dad today and I didn’t care. He has nothing on me now. Only the requirements.

I drank a diet coke. I hate diet coke. But no one listened. Then I felt awkward about my weight.

Poems from My Day (5/19)

i wrote ten of them. you know why.

1:
My dog led me along a thin and narrow path.
I followed her into the deep woods, into rivers
Under trees, I followed her.
We walked up a hill steep and narrow.
She yanked my arm,
Shot into the brush,
And brought me out a little squeaking groundhog.
I followed her while she buried it,
Then we went back to the car.
We had such a lovely time.

2:
She told me I have too much personality. These, hand brush, are cookie-cutters,
Like those boxes that only change from beige to brown,
You, you have too much you in you.

3:
If I wanted to,
I can find all your secrets. Anything you’ve tacked up.
It’s all still there.

4:
Who’s gonna pay for this?
Look at all this damage.
You did this to me.

5:
Tried a new place where the old Thai place used to be, had good drunken, sloppy, noodles.
I wanted to like it, for the spirit of the thing.
They showed off the same dusty black candle boxes, the same Vishnu painting with a mint tint.
The noodles were gummy and the chicken chewy.
I started singing Joni’s “don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
And I didn’t laugh at someone else’s joke. I’m still going through my, I want to be stoic and not laugh all the time phase.
My cheeks hurt now when I smile.
Their sweetened condensed tea wasn’t bad. One day, I’ll be on time. I’ll find the place I love and it won’t close before I’ve had my fill.
Too fancy philosophical for closing Thai restaurants? Yeah, I thought so.

6:
I drive over the limit when I’m surrounded in traffic.
But when I drive at two, after a Saturday of whatever it was,
I go the 55 exactly. I’m accountable more to myself than to the waves, then, I suppose.
I hear as my car starts to struggle with the second switch, my second switch hasn’t worked since I have to be exhausted to sleep.

7:
One of these I wrote for you, you know.
I’ll give you a hint. It was a love poem. Not that I write a lot of love poetry, or good love poetry, or good poetry at all. (I’m not fishing, don’t send me things, you butts)
I just want to talk with you. But I don’t know how to get you to open your instructions.
And if you do start talking, I don’t know what to say. I’ll say something to make you go away again. I always do. Then I miss you.
You said that to me once. I missed you. It made my day, you know? No you don’t.
I’ll be flying with my fancies over this way. Belittling myself again.

8:
I had to tell a story about something fun I did with my best friend from childhood. I couldn’t think of one.
And I started telling it and got that feeling of being boring, and made it worse.
I trapped myself, then got mad at being trapped, then made myself stuck.
We must have done something that was nice, that I don’t associate with embarrassment, shame, penance and disgust. And now I can’t think of any gleeful memory.
They’re only happy when I’m in a certain mood.

9:
So, then, big power in my mind.
I just get the one, then?
She gets me. She’s smarter, and funny as hell, I want to write down everything she says,
Mystical magical.
Same soul.
I just get the one though? I need another, please. Where do I fill out my form?
I’ll get on stage and recite lines for you. I want someone to know me.
Someone I’m not scared to hide the sections of me I only tell the dogs and strangers.
I tried to give it to someone else, pushed it, dropped, stained my floor, still there now, part of the furniture.

10:
I’ll never be good enough. Enough for me.
The competitive me wants more.
The styrofoam container kid in church, says you work for goodness.
But I still take comfort, sometimes, in thinking that the meek have something.
We’re supposed to get the Earth. I think I have that on a magic card as manna.

10 Poems (4-21)

of course the first week I try a real schedule i fall a day behind.
These are ten poems I wrote today, as true as I could make them.

1:
Just came up here to work, and no other reason.
Listened to Sweet Baby James in the car and
Rolled up the window on three pieces of my long hair; it’s too windy today.
First week without her.
I’m can’t be a mess already.
But I cut my nails short this week.
And finished my book about Robert Kennedy.
I have something else planned for tomorrow.

2:
I repeat and repeat to myself:
Feelings are neither good nor bad,
Like facts,
They are. Deal with them as such; accepted.
But that does not work. Why would that work? I have no such luck.
My Mother’s voice comes into my head, and she says in the same tone she speaks,
She smiles, that knowing patronizer, grinning, how cute her emotions are,
How cute that she’s upset, why can’t she just get a job, what have I done wrong?
It must be my fault, I could have been a better mother, I can fix her if she’d let me.
And I have to tell myself, what I feel is alright, it is not wrong,
It can be improved, but it is not wrong to feel this,
It is ok. You are ok.
I tell myself what she’s never said. So I can let myself be sad. I give you permission.

3:
The dog has the courage I don’t, because of her lack of brains.
How courageous and wonderful would I be as a bimbo?
I would be a god.
The dog, the new hated dog, she makes him mad,
Shows no shame or qualms about it.
She sits in his broken, blue chair, his chair,
And like Catwoman, she puts her head over the side and smiles at you as you come down the stairs to first spot her. It makes him so mad.
I love it.
I can’t make him mad, it’s his house I live in,
But here she is, with her beauty, gazing at him without compunction – see what I’ve done –
And watch me not care. She doesn’t mind the yelling.
I’m idolizing a dog. At least I have a hero now.

4:
I own a little plastic kangaroo I got from a vending machine in a mall in my college town.
We were happy that day. That’s all I remember about that day.
But that stupid squishy kangaroo with black dot eyes became an object that won’t lose itself.
I put it on a desk when I see it. Then I see it on the desk and I put it in a box.
I find it in the box of papers, am disgusted it’s still around, and I’ve seen it too many times,
And I put it on the floor and toe it under the desk.
I want to keep it, but I have no place to put it, I don’t want to have a special place for something that doesn’t matter that much. So I wait for it to lose its sense of direction.
But then I vacuum and it ends up in the box with my extra Tupperware,
And I find it when I make a new spice mix, so I put it on top of the fake flowers on top of my bookcase, next to the other memories I’m not sure I want to keep up there.

5:
I don’t want to die here. The place I was born.
I don’t know where I wan to die instead. Just not here.
I can’t die here.
I can’t die where I hated it.
I can’t die where I grew up,
Where everything had its first,
I can’t be that 50-mile statistic,
I want to at least get out.
I would be the nothing I’ve too long imagined.
(god this is depressing, I’ve got to do better than this, man, it’s just too sad)

6:
I met a woman at the church function I got dragged to.
She told me about her motor-bike rally days over a mildly-warm taco bar.
I remember why I like to talk.
I told him once too, it’s the complications, they make people interesting. People aren’t interesting. The complications are interesting. I rebuffed him after he scoffed and I think he agreed with me.

7:
I watch every phone call.
I’m waiting for the signs I missed last time. Am I causing the signs I missed last time by waiting for them? God I hope not, this better not be like that cat in a box physics thing. I’m being superstitious.
She’ll sound too cheery.
She’ll brush off my asking how she is; she’ll silent laugh an anecdote instead.
She’ll tell me how good it will be in a month when blank finally happens.
She’s going to get everything she wants: she’s going to go back to her dream stipend at the place she wanted, and he’s going to go to conferences, but still be interested in her, and she’s going to lose the five or six pounds without her calves getting huge, and perfect her roasted turnips, and Dad will finally talk with her about the elevated topics limited to his men, and she’ll get that new eyelet backed dress with the triangle straps, and she’ll have everything that’s in the routed plan. It won’t be enough this time, everything.
And then I’ll talk to her on the phone, and I’ll hear what I heard two years ago.
That cover.
And I won’t get there in time to help even though I know I need to get down there,
I’ll let it go again, and this time Mom will miss it too,
And those conversations we had about how about are you today, rocks in pockets bad or head in oven bad, or mid-total wave drenched bad, will be over and over analyzed again,
And I’ll have missed it.
This time. But I won’t get the chance for another. Not again.

8:
She described me so perfectly
I felt the need to change.
I didn’t want to be known.
“You don’t know me.”
She seemed shocked my torso held together with more than tape and glue.
And I lost her forever after I insulted her.

9:
I can read people fast and well,
It’s from the danger you have to spot from distances,
I can find the hair-trigger tempers two miles back,
Preservation, baby.

10:
I have to work out this argument in my head until I can figure out how it was my fault so I can fix myself and not have to be mad at someone who I don’t know how to be mad at.
The last time I got mad was January of 2014. God it felt good.
I’m sure there’s something wrong with that.
I’m just going to listen to this song again, it’s already on repeat.
I’ll think of something before it’s over. A different way to see what you said that doesn’t make it mean.