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.
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.
I repeat and repeat to myself:
Feelings are neither good nor bad,
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.