Tag Archives: relationships

Ten Poems (09-16-17)

1:
Marc said he ran out of his script and has been without his meds for a couple of days.
He has a mohawk now. He tells me. While hiding in his girlfriend’s bedroom to avoid the fight she’s having with her temper-laden fifth grader.
He’s sharing to share, and because I’m there, available.
I say this as a point of pride, but probably because I’m afraid it’s not true,
That people share to me. I’m a non-threatening person. I’m not going to judge you,
Says something in my face. And it’s true.

2:
It is sitting at the same desk trying your best to emulate a machine.
To be paid, enough but not to spare, to do the same task ten-thousand times. To find information for other people, for other corporations to then sell.
And they want me to be happy? I do my job. That’s all they get from me. They don’t get me to care, or buy their products or ideas.
No.
I will do what you pay me for. I will go home. I will leave when I can.
Because I’m just a little more tired inside than I was the day before,
And I won’t be able to apply for new jobs tonight.
I don’t want to play these games for a giftcard. If you can afford to pay me more, than pay me more.

3:
I don’t give them enough time. We don’t do anything interesting.
This one sideburns, tallness, a nice voice, and a blue short-sleeved collared shirt.
At a dive bar where the pizza pans are better maintained than the building.
I don’t think he liked me. He had somewhere to be,
And I had to wait an extra twenty minutes to sober up from the one beer he bought me.
We ran into each other, but not to stay.

4:
I need to buy black markers to draw with,
And enough paper to stretch the world.
So I can listen to jazz and paint where it’s quiet.
In the sun, with windows, and air-conditioning and ice tea.

5:
I will ask him this week.
I will say,
Hey I like talking to you we should hang out this weekend.

No. I’ll be like my Dad.
So worried about everything going wrong and getting everything set, that I’ll forget to order food for myself, and I’ll have to share with what you ordered.

I think he likes me.
I want two tries for when it goes wrong the first time.
I bet it’s the age thing. I bet he doesn’t want to make a move because that gap. But I would be happy if he did.
Maybe he doesn’t like me, or I’m not pretty enough, or there’s something wrong with me.
Oh my god I’m being ridiculous.

6:
Open your mouth and tell our boss that you’re having debilitating cramps.
So what he might be embarrassed.
He’s not in pain. You are.
Tell him the problem. Tell him how it’s effecting your work. Tell him a solution.
Why are you embarrassed? Do you think you’re the first women he’s met with a period?
It’s blood. It’s your body. It’s who you are.

7:
He pushed my no.
And he couldn’t take a joke.
He didn’t know how to say out loud,
Please stop you’re hurting my feelings.
So he pushed my no, and I pushed his silence.
He hasn’t sent me another text after I thanked him for Saturday.

8:
This wonderful woman with purple hair streaks on her no longer gray hair
Tells me, why would I be embarrassed?
No harm.
So what.
She’s right.
Can someone message that information to my brain please? It’s not getting through.

9:
Please give me a dream.
I want something I want to do for the rest of my life.
Give me a calling.
Give me a home.
I’ll work so hard.
If you tell me I can succeed.
Please.

10:
My senior thesis would disagree with you.
I kid you not.
I was talking to stretch my mind.
And she says,
My senior thesis would disagree with you about that.
I don’t want to provoke the people I’m smarter than,
I don’t need to prove myself in that way.
But damn, maybe she thinks I agree with her because I stayed quiet.
You shouldn’t play games with drunk people’s minds, and you shouldn’t tease the easily angered. Maybe.

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Ten Poems (09-10-17)

mostly about romantic relationships today

1:
I remember after the first time,
Thinking I should feel something different.
Thinking I should be thinking something else.
Instead of vaguely sick and uncomfortable.
And mostly bored.
How can you not see it on my skin the next day?
How does it not show on the outside what I’ve been doing.
Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone?
I should be the drunk who’s worried he’s drunk at his kid’s basketball game.
But instead, I over-interpret certain looks from passing strangers,
And take too many showers.

My brain likes to spit back certain moments the next day, as I work through them.
I sat on my bed in my church dress and thought through whatever I was trying to think through.
I guess going over the memories again and again hoping to make sense of them, and relegate them to certain sections of my brain, so that they come when called, and not surprising unexpected, uncomfortable.

2:
I’m so much more used to forward people,
Like me.
(Is that a lie?)
Who tell me they want me.
And I feel safe then,
To be blunt like I like.
I want to be the one holding back.
Power. Or something.

3:
Jesus, what have I done?
I broke it off. Officially.
I used my words and said I couldn’t keep the door open romantically any longer.
And two days later he sends me a text,
He says he’s going to change, I’m going to notice a change.
Is he being manipulative again?
Am I his love coach for life now?
Bad for breeding. He was sick with crohn’s.
We were raised in different SES places.
I’m cold steel on the inside, don’t forget.

4:
Did I really call it off?
He was nice.
That’s all I keep saying about him.
He wouldn’t give me grief in the way I want.
It’s a different personality type than I’m used to,
So I don’t already know what bugs him,
And what turns him on,
Just because I’ve met his type before.
Is that why I wasn’t attracted to him?
I’m not attracted to the guy I was with yesterday, but he was forward, so that was fine.
I don’t really want to know what that says about me. I’m not going to over-think that one.
That thought has been relegated to the unopened file cabinet of my brain.

5:
How do we feel about short guys?
I’m not that tall.
But I’m taller than him without shoes on.
It shouldn’t matter right?
No. It shouldn’t.
But I’m finding small things about people again,
The small things mean I’m looking for an excuse out,
Instead of a reason in.

6:
I’m excited to see him.
Is he too old?
Am I imagining too far in advance.
I think the gray hair is cute.
This is the first time I’ve planned out a life with someone.
I get to come into this community of people who have thought these thoughts before.
Who try to plan to get phone numbers, and think of what children will look like.
It’s a first for me.
I really do like him.
My friend told me the biggest problem with ten plus age gaps is that you’re very rarely at the same point in your life.
What do you mean, I asked.
He said, someone wants kids, has kids, or wants to move.
One is ready to settle, and the other wants to travel.
I said I’m open both ways, I just want someone.
We both like the cold, isn’t that enough to build something on.

7:
I wonder if she loves him.
And that’s why she was so upset,
When he said he was starting a relationship with a co-worker.
She has a boyfriend. In Milwaukee.
He seems better than her.
I’ve met the type before. I wouldn’t be around her if not for him.
But they’re “good friends.”
I can’t tell him he’s better than his friends.
I don’t know what troll they’ve faced in a dungeon that’s forged their bonds.

8:
Curls and comfort,
And talking too much.
God I love curls.
He’s a furnace,
But he made me feel attractive.
Which I know I am,
But I still want to hear it every once in a while.

9:
I feel young,
Like I should be happy I still have a first left to feel,
And the novelty of newness still able to take up hours after I should have been asleep.

10:
I went to a church with my sister today.
We sat side-by-side like we did when we were growing up,
And my dad was in the pulpit.
I can’t remember the last time we sat alone in the pew bench together.
It was our dad’s church, small, old building, older chandeliers, oldest congregation.
But it was warm.
I don’t know how to explain it, other than warm.
The rhythm from my childhood was there,
And passing peace, and silent thoughts.
My sister said she was crying a lot,
How beautiful it is to see this group of people coming together to make themselves better for an hour. It’s not often anymore you can be in a building full of people who are good. Who you know are good.
I don’t go to church because I believe. And I told my friends I go because then at Christmas time so I don’t have to answer to my mother.
But I think it’s the rhythm that gets me.
The social aspect. I’m doing what I did the first twenty years of my life. It feels right.
I don’t have to agree with what the pastor says, or say every word of the confession of faith.
I can be in my own space again, know what will happen next, and be at peace.
Think thoughts I’ve thought before, but were just a little dusty.
God, the comfort, and the opportunity to sing as loud as I want.

Ten Poems (09-05-17)

i’ve been crying today. not really happy stuff below
1:
I ate my feelings today.
I ate broccoli cooked without butter,
And a spinach salad with honey dijon dressing.
Then hummus and cold pretzels, because they have to refrigerate both in those little packs.
I went to the store to buy special ice cream,
But when I got home, I was too sad to eat it.

2:
I can’t keep living with her, because she has to be the best,
The smartest, the thinnest, the right.
I can’t be myself here.
She doesn’t let me be angry,
This woman who says you have to get emotions out,
She makes me ashamed to be me.
I don’t want to explain myself when I get home,
I want to cry and eat potato chips with chopsticks so the salt doesn’t get on my fingers.

3:
I sat at my desk today and tried not to cry for eight hours.
Mark, I said, send me a happy update about your relationship,
He told me that sometimes they just look at each other and blush and giggle.
Isn’t that the cutest?
And then I tried not to cry some more.

4:
Me. I did it. I broke it off.
I said I needed clarity. And I got it.
Two shots. I gave him two shots.
And now for the first time I get to hear the phrases I didn’t think people really said out loud.
Please stay.
And
I want to go back to the way it was,
I’m really trying,
We keep coming back to this,
I’m sorry.

5:
I’m losing my bed.
As in the previous roommate changed her mind and decided in fact she did want the mattress and frame she left here.
So I’m spending my second paycheck in months on a new bed I probably won’t be able to take with me when I decide to leave again.
It’s just a bed. It’s just money.
Maybe I should’ve taken that offer of six hundred a month for a lakeside cabin on the island.

6:
I’m forgetting,
That I don’t have to be the prettiest to be human,
I don’t have to win every time to be happy.
It’s okay to do it wrong.
Sometimes you can do it all right, and it still won’t work.
My mom still thinks I’m great.
I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else,
I don’t have to say I’m better with people, or I can hike farther,
I can say,
I am me. I am good enough.

7:
I was being emotional,
So then there’s a reaction.
Useful, eh?
Can’t do it by themselves,
But oh man,
Raise a ruckus,
And guess who’s had hidden opinions this whole time?

8:
I’m pulling all the tendons in my brain away from the connections toward him.
Into myself.
I’ll hold to myself.
I’ll be safe.
I won’t need him, or rely on him.
I can again be self-contained. And share surface information only.

9:
I have a thought I take with me into work everyday.
If I make it to line 200 then I can think about how much fun tonight is going to be.
I can dream about seeing the guy with gray hair who I think is adorable,
Even if he’s too old for me.
Maybe we can talk again.
Line 202.
Just six more hours.

10:
We’re meeting for ice cream.
First date style.
I’m trying to be chill.
Stroll on,
As the guy on the radio told me this morning.
But what if he says we won’t work out because I call him on his mansplaining?
What if he has hair that I can see out the back of his t-shirt?
He could send me a cat emoji.
Or he could be cool.
I could be cool.
And he still wouldn’t send me another message.

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.

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.