Tag Archives: relationships

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 (10-25-16)

sean, if you’re reading this, stop. most of these are about you.

1:
You called me honey.
I’m pushing this around in my mouth like a burned tongue.
See? This is how much I don’t know what to do with this,
I’ve resorted to simile.
I still can’t tell if you really like me,
Or just don’t have any better options.

2:
I’d like to have conversations my roommate doesn’t overhear.
Nosy.
God, someone today said something, and in classic village way,
I overheard and wrote it down.
He said, “we take some getting used to,
All those people paying attention to you.”
Noticed and ignored.
Or unnoticed and ignored.

3:
I remember now why I keep my mouth shut,
Because I embarrass myself.
But, I told him on the phone today,
I’m not good unless I’m talking,
If I’m babbling, or if I’m quiet,
There’s something wrong.
He said something about us having two ears and only one mouth,
So we should listen more than we talk,
But the math doesn’t add up if two people are on one phone call.
I’ve yet to find someone to be natural with, including myself.

4:
I have it pinned to my wall next to that,
Wandered lonely as a cloud poem,
It’s a letter from my mother about keeping strong,
Of course, she’s passive aggressive in the third sentence from the top,
But it gives me strength anyway,
That’s what loving my family has become,
Giving me strength anyway.

5:
I want to be a great speech writer,
Or something profound,
Because they always seem to be married to cool people,
And I want someone else to validate me.
But I have to be great first,
So I’m not a depreciating value appendage.

6:
I made my sister angry today by calling her a pagan
After she said she likes tuna noodle casserole.
Came out and said, I share something with you,
And you disparage it.
I said that’s what you get for liking tuna noodle casserole.
I remember why I stopped talking to my sister now.
Who hates me for all I am not.
You never know when she’ll cut.
I should never share with her.

7:
I wanted to be alone,
But I wanted them to like me,
I felt wrong and avoided, I’m probably self-fulfilling that one.
I know I can’t have it both ways.
Alone and talked to,
But it hurt when they talked without me.
All over again.
It’s irrational and I can’t stop it.
Life slogans.

Poems from My Day (6-29)

when everything’s in order, it’s for sure i’m a mess

1:
Wow. His wife looks at lot like his mom.
Just younger, and a bit prettier.
I should stop noticing things like this.
On a list of things you can’t un-learn
The oedipal complex is has to be near the top.

2:
When I still believed in heaven,
I worried I would become bored after a while.
A physics teacher at my school gave a morning assembly about how if God could create things you can’t imagine, you’d never tire of thoughts.
That was nice, calming, wholesome.
It made me think of what God would have up there that would be interesting.
I always hoped it was a big list of statistics about you.
This is how many total hours you spent brushing your teeth,
Or
This is how many total lemons you’ve seen in your lifetime.
Or
This is how many close scrapes to death you had but didn’t realize.
I’d enjoy reading that.

3:
She would bake scones if she had the time.
I guess I do have a lot of time,
But I think, it’s one of those things, that if you’re busy, you get more done.
I sit and stew,
Sitting next to carrots doesn’t help me avoid my doubts.
I wish I was worse at baking so I wasn’t so fat.

4:
God everywhere here is pretty.
The town dump is pretty.
Even in the cloud overhangs in dull, steel gray.
I feel exotic.
But I have to be careful to remember that is this normal for a lot of people. I’m outside.

5:
Okay doctor. I know I’ve gained the weight back that you asked me to lose.
Three pounds a month. To be healthy, needed to go.
I know it. I’m sorry.
But I got my fifteen minutes in today, and I’m hoping to go bike riding on a regular basis once I get a helmet and a hex wrench.
I’ll get it together.
I’m tired of my roommate using me as a comparison to make herself feel better.

6:
I’m screwing everything up, and
I don’t have the emotional energy to talk myself out of it right now.

7:
What am I going to do after this nice, by-pass year is over?
I’ll go back where I know the roads and bird calls.
No, I’ll go live with the best carpenter in the United States and learn how to use my hands.
Maybe I’ll take another marketing job and sell some more soul. Five cents a memory.
All over again, it’s my worst fear. Directionless and skill-less and dream-less.

8:
You’re a bully to push this on me, this summer brew in an orange label.
It hurts that I have to explain, that you can’t understand. Even if that’s not fair to you.
Let me drink half of my beer, so I don’t have to start going to AA, let me
Let myself leave half on the table. To prove to this body I don’t have a problem.

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?

Dear R.P.H. (Letter #15)

I transcribed a series of handwritten letters I wrote, but never sent. Read the previous letters here.
This is the final letter I wrote to him. If I meet him again, I’ll let you know. Promise.

Dear R-

I think I’m closing this chapter of epistolic rants. Basta. Enough. For lack of anything better, I’m going to quote Leonard Cohen. “That’s all. I don’t even think of you that often.”

 

– All My Love

J

(8/20/15)

Dear R.P.H. (Letter #14)

I’m transcribing a series of handwritten letters I wrote, but never sent. Read the previous letters here.

Dear R-

Last time I’ll write you. I miss you now because I don’t feel anything for you anymore. Even when I think of you. Even when I remember the sweetest things you said to me.

And I miss feeling. It comes around so infrequently. Even the misery. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that much again. And I did not feel so much the first time, or in the first place.

I miss that you made me care. I don’t really miss you anymore. But, maybe I’m just saying that now, because I haven’t seen you again or been reminded, or had a little anything for someone else. Now there’s nothing. I look down at that little hole where you sat in my heart. It’s not sad or happy now. It’s just empty. I’m sad about that. But there’s nothing wrong with being sad. There never has been.

Dear R.P.H. (Letter #13)

I’m transcribing a series of handwritten letters I wrote, but never sent. Read the previous letters here.

Dear R-

I’m sorry I misled you. I did it because I thought you’d shut me out. But you’ve done that anyway. I could leave, and you’d never contact me again. It’d all be gone, in just that one second choice.

I reached too far. I actually liked something. And let you know I liked something. So it had to be taken away. Because I’m all wrong and don’t deserve it. God what a pity I am. Such a pity.