Tag Archives: poems

Relationship Poems

i’m alive guys

It’s Gone on Too Long
I don’t know what to do with him.
Today he called,
Ostensibly to say hi.
He asked how my day was, what I did today,
Most likely because he didn’t know what else to say.
I was fairly distant which was fun in a –
I know I’m being a bad human –
Kind of a way.
Tomorrow, I’m supposed to tell him when I’m free
So I guess he will talk for five minutes and then hang up on me.

I can’t test him, which is what I want to do.
Which is what all the relationships of my past tell me to do.
Be clear, give deadlines, ultimatums,
And when people fail them,
Cut them out.
But I don’t test people, I don’t manipulate.

He’s awful, and uncouth, and uneducated, not that I hold these things against people,
But I do.
It’s like I know I’m not supposed to judge people for how much they eat or don’t eat,
But I do.

I’ve always thought, when it’s right, it’s right.
When I click, when it’s easy, when there aren’t odd breaks in conversation.

He thinks maybe I’m it, because he doesn’t think he’ll get any better.
“Likes me”
I can see myself saying, fuck it, and take the money and run
And be a depressed housewife just for the cash.

I Didn’t See It
I remember something she said to me,
She said,
He looks at me with love in his eyes.

She respects his wife too much to ever do anything about it.
That he looks at her with love in his eyes.

I never would have put that together.
And I’m not sure it’s true.
If it’s still true.

She could have been over confident, or high at the time.

What are these men doing?
Who are now supposed to be raising families while the mothers work.
Is that what they signed up for?
Is this the reason they get white girl wasted on weekdays and sleep around?
Is that where they find themselves,
Or lose themselves?

Why didn’t she act on it?
Maybe that line is right, whoever said it,
Maybe you can’t choose who you fall in love with,
But you choose who you be with.

Actually, on second thought, that’s totally wrong.
I think there are a lot of men and women who don’t fall in love unless their brain is in there with them.
And so many people don’t have a choice in who they’re with.

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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.

Poems from My Day (3-1-17)

1:
You find the strong people because you can’t hurt the strong people.
When you’re sure you’re going to hurt someone,
Find the ones that are already bleeding,
It’s safer.

2:
I can’t believe she didn’t take responsibility for getting us stuck out the road.
She never apologized, or said it was her fault.
At the time, I didn’t think anything of it,
But I’m madder at her now, than I was in the freezing cold,
For getting us stuck out there.
You answer to yourself, if you’re uncomfortable stop.
You’re responsible for you.
Jesus.
Be a wimp, or don’t be a wimp, either way, own it.

3:
She just comes from a different world.
You know what?
I come from a different world.
So what you were privileged,
Own it don’t hide behind it.

4:
I bet she tells her boyfriend all about me,
God that’s so annoying to me,
Who’s such a private person.
She’s so much a – suffer in silence.
I went off last night,
On how much those people drive me nuts,
Something wrong? You say so, dammit.
I think I offended her,
Or she finally saw me as I am.
But I don’t care. Because I have nothing to lose.
Group me in with your low-lifes and your vagabonds,
Those people you’re trying to save,
Whatever you do, just leave me alone,
Or keep looking at me with pity, and a you could be better face,
I can deal with that.

5:
She’s so insecure and it drives me nuts,
You shouldn’t need group acceptance,
Be fine on your own,
Not everyone has to like you,
Not everyone will,
So make sure they like you for who you really are,
Not the woman you’re trying so hard to be.
I’m giving her too much credit, by spending so much time on her
With my words.

6:
She was right, I don’t know why we’re even friends with her,
I told her the Alaska line –
The you don’t have much choice in friends so you go with who’s left –
But I think she’s like me,
And will be lonely rather than deal with idiots

7:
She checked up on me
And asked me where I was
And asked me where I was going
And asked me what I got done today
Can I tell you how annoying of a girlfriend you make?
Everything in me has clenched fingernails into the palms saying,
Leave me alone.

8:
God she wanted to see me drunk,
So she could feel better about herself,
And have something else she would know about me,
Because she uses what she learns,
And loves it.

9:
I don’t have beautiful words or bangs, or things to tell you.
I wanted you to talk to me, more
So I could know you,
And I can’t punish you for the man I now know you to be,
Can I?
I don’t know.
I think I need to meet you when you’re being you.
No, that’s a lie.
I’d just need to meet you once, see you once, to know what kind of man you are.
It’s one of the nice benefits of abuse, you’re people reading meter is excellent.

10:
These women marry these idiot men
Men who can’t compete with them.
But they’re the ones that cook,
And the men are the ones who leave.
They don’t know how to take care of kids,
Or they can’t handle it.
The other moms don’t want to narc,
Even if we know that baby daddy is on drugs when he’s watching the kids.
If you don’t tell us we don’t have to know,
And care.

Poems from My Day (2-21-17)

hello again. it’s been a bad couple of weeks

1:
I apologize too much.
She told me, quit saying, “I’m sorry.”
I don’t have a problem with my apologizing.
Leave me the hell alone.
What have self-confidence-less people ever done,
But hurt themselves.
It seems to me, the people sure of themselves are the ones
Who never think they need to listen and learn.

2:
I fall under something called the Hatch Act.
It means while I’m seen as doing my job,
I can’t say anything political.
In all honesty, it’s a little bit of a relief,
To have an excuse,
When someone asks about my politics,
But, at the same time,
I want to civilly disobey that, and speak my mind, because I was told not to.

3:
Oh god so much has happened.
I can’t bring myself to write about it.
My support systems collapsed.
And I needed people,
I felt like I was being emotionally manipulative,
But I couldn’t spare the mentally energy to check my filters,
See if they were clearing the air before I spoke it.
And I felt abandoned.

4:
I had a day when I felt vulnerable.
A half-hearted breeze could have whipped me.
On those days, I want to hide,
But then the day is over,
The feeling isn’t,
And I have to go into work like normal.

5:
I needed to talk to my mother yesterday,
She called me today.
She told me how to live my life,
Her prophecies for the future,
And, really, what she knows to be true.
Then she told me her “stories”
I was so mad from the first section,
I didn’t bother with the minor sexism, and that little bit of racism that came
with her helping the poor, new african family from church.

6:
My step-father is thirty thousand in debt.
That’s more than I make in two years.
I try so hard to only spend thirty dollars a week on groceries,
I don’t get to buy ice cream. I only buy half a gallon of milk.
It’s not fair.
That’s all I want to say.

7:
She asked me if I thought game night last night would be more fun with men.
I said I was the wrong person to ask,
I don’t really like people.
She can’t process that other people work differently than she does.
I’m not sure why she’s a teacher,
If she doesn’t have the patience to understand,
That her normal isn’t my normal.
I learned that the first week of college,
After living with a woman who folded her dirty clothes.

8:
Officially,
I got searched and rescued.
Really,
Her dad came to pick us up in his truck.
And they called it in so they could get mileage reimbursement.

9:
I was the slowest when we were walking
Walking the miles to get cell phone service,
And they called me a little bitch for it.
I can only offer excuses.
I suppose I am, then.
I can show you my bloody, snowy socks.
I can’t make you feel my nausea that whole night,
Or the pressure of my sinuses with my cold medicine,
Or the three-day long insomnia battle that scrambled my brain.
My hips that ached because I didn’t wear my inserts.
I am, in most cases, an introvert,
I need planning time before I can be okay in a crisis.
And I was useless when we got stranded, because it had never happened before.
I can only apologize for not being better.
But god it hurts when they mock a weakness,
It’s why I’m quiet in the first place.
Maybe they would’ve handled my body better,
But there’s no way to tell.

Poems of My Day (1-31-17)

1:
It was my grandmother’s wedding anniversary.
My mother group texted us a photo of her in her dress.
And then a photo of her, sitting in her wheel chair,
Full of dementia instead of love and memory.
I saw it, and right there I wanted to cry,
I wanted to be the kind of person who can take a day off every year
And get all their grieving out at once,
Because she’s not really here anymore,
Except in the photos.
She looked so full of hope in the photo,
And the way she has her chin tilted, is just like the way my sister tilts her chin.
I think back on what I know of the marriage, colored through my mother’s understanding,
As terrible and straining,
But in these two photos,
She doesn’t know the tension that will come,
And in the other, grayer photo in color,
She can’t remember yet.

2:
I told the traveling vision tester where I was going after my contract finished,
She said she would love to be that free,
That’s actually her dream,
To travel and have no destination, or place to go,
I wanted to tell her it’s my version of hell,
But she looked so happy for me.
I couldn’t tell her I’m stuck, and can’t make a decision,
I’m repeating a damn pattern,
Just like after college.

3:
The water freezes and condenses on both sides of the glass
So when I start my car,
And it tries so hard to start,
To clear my windows,
It doesn’t know which way to go,
It doesn’t know what I’m asking for,
No one else seems to be able to give me what I need,
A machine wouldn’t be any different.

4:
I talk to these people through my phone,
Texting, or snap chatting,
But I still don’t feel like I know them.
I spend time with people in cars,
And they talk to me,
But I still don’t feel close to them.
I’m starting to think it’s not the medium,
I’ll never be as open as the woman who can tell strangers about her tearing from her pregnancy.

5:
I could go to Maine, and work for my room and board
And learn pottery, ceramics,
From this couple who advertise on their homewritten website.
I could stay here,
Stay for summer, the berries, and the fish.
Or I could go stay with my mother.
Or I could cry some more.

6:
We’re doing a thirty-day workout,
Please make it stop.
I want to not follow through on my word,
I said I would do this with them though,
Everything is awful, and I’m going to die.

7:
I can bake a cake, and a pie.
I can write, and read, and critique.
I can make people love me.
That’s what I learned this year.
I can survive.

8:
My sister said,
If we weren’t family,
She doesn’t think I would talk to any of them,
And she’s right,
But they’re family,
And I’m Kantian here,
In that, they’ll be okay,
If I have to drag them through rocky mud every damn day.

9:
Fill me with good things instead of
Punctually correct text messages.
Let me listen to Ian McKellen shout at me about
My mountainish inhumanity.
Tell me about what you want to leave as a legacy.
Quit talking to me with what you think you’re supposed to say.
Tell me what you feel.
What’s real.
I want to hear it.

Thoughts & Poems Recently

what? i’m writing again? yeah the internet has been down for a while. also i went home for christmas.

I kind of want to be a kind with cancer so I can make a wish and have Robin Mckinley write a sequel to “Sunshine.”

I hate you a little, because I’ve let you in.

I am not Heathcliff.
I am guilt.

For me,
So much of my religion has become singing hymns when the melody line finds me and won’t leave.
Googling the verses,
And singing to myself, in my own way.
On my bed, cross-legged, scrunched to the screen.

Let me tell you who I am,
So that someone knows.

I feel like I’m living a life like a streaming online video,
That’s too dark and too quiet,
But the volume is already all the way up
And the brightness at its most blue.
I press the keys to make it clearer, louder,
But the pictures keep moving just the same.

When I get too stressed and my eggs stop falling,
They will be sad.
I’ll get prosecuted for failure to protect life.
One will never grow into a sea monkey.
My insides will get more gnawed from guilt.
And I’ll feel bad for letting them down,
Or not letting them fall down.

I keep asking him one more time,
For the stores I’ve already heard,
Because I know he won’t be able to tell them soon,
Tell them the way I remember.
Because I want to remember,
Before he can’t tell me anymore.
It’s the same reason I don’t mind when my mom tells me what I’ve already heard on my birthday,
The story of how I was born.
I know the words by heart, rhythm, and cadence, but
It’s not the same, like the new toy to replace the lost one isn’t the same,
I want to hear my parents tell it.

I will never be a women who belongs to someone else.
I won’t ever sing about only dreaming of one person
And running to someone else.
The self-sufficient baron in me,
Laughs, like Ursula, at those pitiful feelings slugs.

And I can’t decide what I want.
Do I want someone strong and unmovable, but ultimately boring and predictable,
Do I want someone stronger than me,
Or do I want an equal?
Or do I want someone I can push around,
And how much of this is left up to me?

We were talking about Byron
About how, you can’t live your life at that speed for long,
But god, is it interesting.
And everything in me, wants to be that dramatic,
Leans toward being loud, and over the top, like I was raised.
Maybe I want to be fantastic, taking up space.
My favorite parts of the Sharon Olds’ “Stag Leap” will be forever the angry bits,
The bits with so much flavor,
Instead of the settled down, crock pot ending.
I want that drama, it’s so much more interesting.
I read this book that was taking on all the great rock n’ roll music debates
E.g. Hendricks vs. Clapton or Prince vs. MJ
And he went with Clapton over Hendricks mostly because Clapton is still alive and going, even at a partial rate, whereas Hendricks flamed and died.
His basic argument was that he was old and respected the cost of living,
That’s shit.
Be beautiful and rich and full and honest once.
Then leave the rest of us alone.

Poems from My Day (11-29-16)

1:
17 days.
I get off this island in seventeen days.
I get to go home.
Where it’s not weird.
I shouldn’t say weird, I should say different than what I’m accustomed to,
Different from my culture.
But I can’t help it.
It’s weird.
And I want to go home.
Even if I hate that home.
I want to be where there are roads and stores and love
For Christmas.

2:
Today I am absurdist comedy.
We drove out the road,
With a hatchet and a flashlight
In the jeep with one loose door, mice in the back, and conspicuously wet seats,
To chop down a Christmas tree to put in a pickle jar.
We filled the jar with water and rocks and covered it with a red pillowcase from the back of my closet.
We put four hardback discarded library books underneath.
It was too wobbly.
We duct taped the pickle jar to the stack of books.
It leans now.
There’s one string of lights, in neon blue,
And four ornaments from the only store in town.
There’s a good chance the blind inbred dog will knock it over.
We were going to make halibut and muktuk for dinner.
Need help. Send wine.

3:
Yesterday, we met up with a reporter from the radio station an island over.
We were taking out our trash, which means a trip to the dump.
She was in the back. Listening with the tape recorder and her reporter mode on.
As we told our stories, about up north,
And we showed her the dump,
That gets set on fire every once in a while,
And burns a beautiful plastic.
Because you can’t recycle or barge it out here.

4:
They have basketball teams stay in the library.
Kids sleeping where the other school can put them.
For about two weeks, they either have games at home,
Or travel to the other small islands.
Two weeks they travel away from school.
The line the teachers give is,
What grade do you want them to have?
A we’ll do our own thing state for sure.

5:
I’m nervous talking to reporters.
If I lose my job,
I want it to be about something big n’ loud.
Not because I picked up a chair,
When I’m only supposed to do administrative work.

6:
I feel myself drawing away from him
And I don’t care.
I’ll be fine on my own.
I’ll sing Les Miz loudly and wear a beret to pretend.
Other people might make my life better,
But my pavement still shines like silver.

7:
I heard carol of the bells at the store today,
It reminded me of bell choir,
Of damping my middle c bell so hard I had a crescent bruise underneath my shoulder
Because Joanne never damped her b flat, and it would run, and sound terrible.
I remember going to her funeral thinking she died with orange hair in an afro.
I remember learning her sons had died before her in the war.
I don’t know what to do with that.
I just felt it, but I don’t know what to do with it.