Tag Archives: poems about life

Poems from My Day (5-9)

Okay. We’re going back to ten poems in twenty minutes, because I can’t get anything out, and I need a structure. I’ll tell you what happened as it happened to me, as best I can, and do better tomorrow.

1:
We drove up an old logging road in her maroon, beat-up, ‘97 Jeep Grand Cherokee she’s named Gerdie.
I think she’s named it because she’s heard of other people naming their cars, not because the car has a name.
It’s the same with her kindness,
She’s nice because she’s supposed to be nice,
There is no goodness there.
That’s my least favorite kind of disingenuousness.
It might be because I’m from the Midwest, and that’s how I was raised,
I’m contrary on purpose, and stubborn and hospitable, and upfront.
So, for me, character flaws are cause enough to distrust someone.
They’re harder to change.
And I dislike her. She’ll only say thank you because it’s what’s expected.

2:
I have not come right out and asked her to drive me,
My pride wouldn’t allow it.
So, on her birthday, she asks if I want to go take pictures.
“Yes.” I say. “Always.” I say.
We drive up to a scenic overlook spot.
It’s almost like senior pictures, she says.
She brought a change of clothes.
She’s driving in her fancy new blue high heels.
She blow dried her hair.
I didn’t get asked to take her picture. I need prep time for portraits.
I do this for a living. I get paid for this. I don’t offer me for free.
If I give me and my camera, that’s one thing, if I take your picture because I want to, that’s one thing.
Why didn’t I bring it up?
I don’t stand for crap like this.
I don’t owe her.
But I do, because she drives me around, because I have no car.
And in her mind, I live in her house.
So I take bad photographs, because I’m blindsided, and didn’t have prep time.
And I’ll take the blame for that too.

3:
We could do something for your birthday tonight. It’s still early.
I suggest from the corner, hiding from the angry lady complaining about cramps and her friends.
“It’s 8:30.” That’s all the response I get from her.
How could I ever think of doing something so late.
There must be something wrong with me, like she’s always thought.

4:
Oh for goodness sake. Make a decision.
Pick one.
Both have good and bad sides, but are roughly equal.
Do one or the other and stop complaining.

5:
Quit talking work with me.
It’s Sunday.
And I know when my supervisor leaves, you’ll be my new boss.
But I don’t want you to be.
You like being in power, and that scares the hell out of me.
You’ll make a terrible leader.
But I can’t say that.
I’m going to go eat more asparagus from the grill over there.
And walk away from my future boss on a beach chair.

6:
What did you do for your twenty-first?
She doesn’t have many birthday parties.
I laugh.
Then laugh some more.
Good or bad, she asks.
I take another laugh.
Oh, it was bad.
I don’t even say, I’ll tell you about it when I’m very drunk.
Because I don’t think I will.
That terrible, awful, hell of a night.

7:
She doesn’t do black hair ties.
Who says that out loud?
I mean I can see someone saying it knowing they’re being ridiculous,
But to be so silly on purpose?

8:
I’m an asshole.
The maintenance lady’s son, wait they call them custodians,
The custodian’s son, who I think is not right in the head, helped me move boxes of books and shelves for the library.
The nicest anyone here has been to me is the mostly mute, slightly brain-damaged, ex-fisherman who didn’t have his overalls zipped up all the way.
But we got a lot done.
And I feel nervous around him.
And he walked me home, without permission.
I’m just making a face and wanting him to go away.
See line 1.
If I say I’m an asshole, it covers my sins, and I don’t have to work on fixing me.

9:
By the time I’m comfortable at a party,
Everyone’s leaving.
By the time I like someone,
They’re done.
I don’t have attachment issues,
Stop telling me that textbook from my early childhood psychology class.
Just because my parents divorced when I was a baby,
I don’t have abandonment issues. I’m perfectly fine.
It’s just that no one will ever love me.

10:
He’s coming over to make us fish.
King salmon.
He was supposed to come earlier last week. He kept forgetting.
The guy who made moves on me (and I let him)
Still “talks” to my roommate,
And didn’t respond to my last text.
Oh yeah,
This is gonna be great.
I think once you tell yourself to be cool, play it cool,
You’ve lost all your nerve.

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Poems from the Week (7/14)

1:
It rained so hard today I wanted to cuddle with strangers.
The sky turned to winter morning’s green.
I hunkered my shoulders.
I wanted someone to notice I wasn’t ok,
And hold me while I curled up in a ball
From the big scary noise.
Desperation bred lovability today.

2:
I woke thinking life had nothing but horrible thoughts for me.
Then I got something done,
Not everything, mind you,
But something.
And I only thought, “I have to get out of here” when I stopped to think.
That must be why busy people never stop to think.
All their little day saddnesses would play catch-up.

3:
Someone’s beautiful place of memory
Got destroyed today.
Those poor red shutters on the old brick house,
And all the overgrown fence posts,
They’ll never be like you remembered them.
You can’t go back to double check yourself.
Did I really feel like that,
When I saw the sights I’d seen a thousand times before
With different, healthy eyes.
I’m so sorry little memories.
I should have written you down to keep you safe.
I should have sketched you in color,
I should have photographed with sound.

4:
I do not want to talk to my old teachers.
I will be reminded of all the things I promised myself to be,
The last time I came across their desks.
Let me stay unjogged, more likely forgotten,
So that I can slip by,
Accountable only to myself today,
Instead of the, look where I’ll be, girl with shorter hair.

5:
Pain pills chill on my desk leftover from surgery.
I don’t take them.
I have to say I can overcome some sort of addiction.
I’ve left them on the desk because they fit in.
Like I’ve left that bird turned just sideways.
I have to be able to do something right.

6:
I want to be noticed, but I can’t say I want to be noticed.
So I have to pretend my below grade flying is destined on purpose.
I could be famous.
If I wanted to be.

7:
It’s true,
You find love together in the moments,
Then the waiting for the next one.
Maybe this next one will be better,
Or maybe he’s forgotten.

8:
I met your father for the first time,
He knew all about me,
Oh god, I’m a topic of conversation around your damn meatloaf.
I thought we thought of each other as friends.
Dammit, why didn’t you tell me, you know I’m blind about things like that.
I never saw you again after you left for school.
You an all curl hair.

9:
My dyslexia kicks in.
I’ll tell you what happens.
I’ll be stressed, I have to say this quickly, and it has to be accurate.
I know exactly the word I want to say,
I try to say the word, but I can tell it’s coming out wrong,
And I can’t fix it.
I know it’s the other thing I want to say, the opposite,
But I can’t figure out how to say it,
And there’s no time,
So I go with what my mouth was trying to say,
And I can’t figure out what I said, or meant to say, except I’m mad at myself.
It happens with words.
It happens when I’m writing down a phone number and can’t figure out if I’m writing down a 6 or a 9, and I know something’s off but I can’t see it. My b and ds looks like butterflies, with bumps on both sides.
It happens when I’m thinking too. I’ll think wrong, but I know what I mean, so that one’s not so bad. When I’m reading the letters will flip flop, the letters and the words, and the lines, sometimes it’ll sound funny, and I can laugh to myself. It gets bad when I’m tired too.

10:
I’ll never be beautiful.
I don’t mind.
It means I don’t have to put on makeup.
And no one lies to me.
They know they can’t tell me I’m the prettiest.
I can be fine with me, and my perfectly normal features.
I’ll draw you a picture of me one day here soon.

Poems from my Week (5/28)

i am. a penniless, schedule keeper. but i thought i’d tell you about my week

1:
The dentist took my wisdom teeth.
I had to go back to his office.
I had to be polite
To the man who caused my week’s worth of pain.
He should sell himself as a weightloss specialist.

2:
They know who I am as soon to look.
Then I have to be the attitude they’re expecting,
Because they’re waiting for it,
They’re who I’ve always wanted to be.
They’re women who knew what to do with their hair,
Because their mothers told them,
Because their moms knew,
Because their moms cared what their hair looked like,
And not that they were late.

3:
I would much, very much like to know someone who would
Celebrate a very merry unbirthday to me, to you.
I want someone to push me,
Accuse me.
Ask me why didn’t you finish that when you were told.
I put more of you on paper as real.
I’m hoping you’re the one person of whom I can say,
“She knows me, she gets me, she understands.”
You know why I need to pour tea from a watering can and cry.

4:
I want to talk to you, but you’re high.
I can’t even tell the difference anymore.
When did I become a nag?
My mother bugged people like I’m starting to.
He doesn’t love me enough to stop.
I haven’t asked.
I can’t ask.
I can’t complain about something I haven’t spoken of.

5:
You’ll know me, then be bored of me, then leave me.
I am me without you,
I am me without you.
If I see you again,
It’ll all come back,
Like driving past elementary.

6:
The skin cancer man didn’t wear sunscreen,
Until the doctor told him:
Please continue, I have two kids to put through college.
Insult to the way you handle money,
Only to be pull off by a stranger in authority.

7:
Complain about yourself.
It can’t be your fault.
Oh, the most horrible thing happened.

8:
I cussed out the woman who lives in my phone.
She directed me to three closed coffeehouses
Before she found a tea place instead.
I wanted to hold her accountable, and couldn’t,
It’d be better if I could.

9:
Remind me to tell yous –
Are remembered after it’s been lost,
And it’s raining,
And your shoes are squeaking,
And the food is cold.

10:
She called – just to chat.
I talked for an hour.
Thursday night ramblings of weekends and weeks before and things and trees and shrubs.

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.