Tag Archives: roommates

Ten Poems (12-10-17)

1:
Let’s go find lunch.
Like it’s hiding in the bushes,
Like it will appear if we can seek it out.
If we say the right incantation, poof, it appears.
Only a few of a restaurants have it.
This lunch thing.
You must find it first.
Find my lost lunch.
Is it in my bag?
On the grass?
In my hat?
I don’t know. We must seek it out.

2:
What is this hope of new romance?
Aren’t we too practical for this nonsense?
Here I am talking to my friend on the phone while I’m wandering my room,
Folding laundry, cricking my neck, friend in my ear,
What are you supposed to do on a third date?
She googled what to expect.
She says it’s going well.
That he’s shy, so each time she learns something new.
And she likes him.
And he likes her.
I tell her that’s great. I’m so happy for her.
Even if they can only meet at weird times because he works the night-shift.
I tell her I went dancing, and ate pho with a new boy.
I like him I think.
Like the nervous you get when you know a painting is going well,
You don’t want to ruin it.
So you proceed very slowly,
And try and shush down the hope and the future plans your brain has decided to spring on you.

3:
I play a video and get told to use headphones.
But they can talk and make tea unencumbered.
I am the one to subdue because I am the interloper,
The quiet person who pays rent, and won’t be staying,
Don’t make room on the bathroom counter,
Or in your daily routine.
Let us find a box for you and your things.

4:
I haven’t applied for new jobs.
I think about it, and chicken out.
I get home and cry because I have no energy left.
I can do it on the weekend.
Yet here I am.
Reading instead.
Trying and failing to make a list of what I need to get done.

5:
Here is this woman,
This wonderful woman,
Sitting across from me, sipping her cider with spices,
In a black coffee mug,
Snacking on Norwegian wreath cookies,
Telling me about what she studies,
With passion in her voice, and no shame.
She’s telling me engagements are different in Egypt,
In her culture,
Because there is no premarital sex,
They are often shorter,
But also less serious.
It is not a sure thing, once you’ve been engaged.
But the man is still expected to provide financially,
Basically afford a flat,
So the time engaged depends on money more than anything else,
And the expense of the wedding.
She doesn’t get to tell me more,
I have to drive the people who invited me along home,
And I think,
We could have been friends.
Those funny, subtle shifts, of timing, friends, and circumstance.
We should be friends.
I want to hear about her fiancé, who cannot see.
I want to hear about growing up in Britain,
I want another chance from fate, to sit down in a green plush chair caddy-corner to her,
And hear more about life, from someone else.

6:
The boys I meet now,
I cannot just trust my own opinion,
I use the other people’s voices in my head as counterbalance.
What would my mom say of this person?
Would my best friend turn up her nose?
If I introduced him to my people,
Would he fit in?
This is what I ask myself,
Because, suddenly, my own opinion needs bolstering,
And my own thoughts need support braces.

7:
Here I am in the car again, so I can talk privately.
Yes, I’m cold, but I can’t be overheard.
I made it home from the party okay.
I got pretty claustrophobic, but I made it out.
No, I don’t know why I still talk to you either,
I think you’ve always known you liked me more than I liked you.
I’m hanging on now because of my abandonment issues.
I will leave you once I find someone better,
You know it. I warned you. I gave you a chance to stake a claim.
I think I’m your out too,
I give you someone to think about when you’re tired and lonely,
Which is better than nothing from afar without your glasses on.

8:
Hello, it is I,
The person hiding in the tread of your shoes,
Congratulations, I have finally shrunk to the size you think I need to be,
Leave me alone now please.
Let me do things wrong or right in my own way,
Way down here,
Out of your notice.
Let me fail, please, without commentary,
It’s so hard to keep my shields up at full maximum for so long,
To repeal all the insults, jokes, teasing, and jibes, that I can and could do better, if only.

9:
She says she only wants to date,
She’s not taking care of anyone.
So many men, she tells me,
At that age, are only looking for someone to take care of them.
She’s done that already.
But who will take care of her, I wonder to myself,
But her mind and body are good,
So maybe, she takes care of her.
A nice thought.

10:
I can think to myself,
People are all the same,
As often as I want.
But when I was driving in Texas after the snowfall,
No one slowed down over the bridges.
When I called my friend to tell him how to steer out of a fishtail,
He ignored me,
I have front-wheel drive he said.
No one here knows how to use defrosters.
And again, I had those stranger’s thoughts.
I don’t fit in.
I have no home to go back to.

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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 (11-1-16)

if one more person says to me ‘you do you’ we’re murdering

1:
I read Potrnoy’s Complaint
Until I got to the masturbation in liver
I didn’t want to force that on my eyes.
I saw enough when I thought exposure was cool.

2:
I would love to be vulnerable and honest with you,
But I’ve made myself not share,
So now I can’t tell you what might be
Interesting,
What might show you who I am.
I can only keep talking at you,
Like my mother does,
Talk at you, not to you.

3:
I had an argument with a roommate
About when you contact someone about scratching paint.
She said you always leave a note, or go tell them.
It was 3:30 a.m. her sister was drunk riding shotgun.
I was sober.
There were drunk guys milling around on the weekend before Halloween.
Your call at this point.

4:
I start these things,
These relationships,
Or something.
I know can never work.
Because I want to be safe.
But I think I read that in a book somewhere.
What I really think is that,
I start what I can start,
And try,
So I can hope and dream
Like the teenage girl I never let myself be.

5:
There’s a stapler my new roommate can’t get to work
I think it looks like a lobster.
It could be the rum & coke I’m drinking out of a solo cup goblet,
I told her to be nice to the stapler and it would be nice to her.
She told me to write down the stories I’m telling her,
Instead of trying to write whatever it is I’m trying to write.

6:
I had to present to city council today.
Waiting for the updates,
The one non-councilman in the room.
I kept thinking the floor didn’t match the podium colors,
And that the city manager’s voice doesn’t match his personality.
I didn’t think my nervous heart could beat for so long.
For the five minutes I presented.

7:
Here’s the mental path I censor,
Stop talking,
You’re talking too much,
No one cares.
They’re just humoring you,
They don’t care what you’re saying,
They’re going to use this against me,
I can’t do anything right.
I’ll never do anything right.
I’m going to be a failure.

10 Poems from My Day (10-27)

these are a bit long. i’ll post lots of photos tomorrow to make up for it.

1:
I angered my sister via text about casserole.
I’ll tell you the story.
My father sent me money wrapped up in a church bulletin.
A line at the end of the page said, “You can sign up on the clipboard in the narthex.”
I sent it to my sister. “This has to be the most Presbyterian thing I’ve ever read.”
She said, “It just needs casserole.”
“I’m partial to ham loaf.”
Here’s when I messed up.
She said, something like “you know, tuna noodle casserole has always been one of my favorite things to eat. “
I sent back a one word reply.
Pagan.
Then it began. “Geez, I try to share one silly thing about myself with you and you make me feel bad about it.”
This right here is where I should I have apologized for hurting her feelings.
Instead. I said,
“That’s what you get for liking tuna noodle casserole.”

2:
She makes me feel alone.
I have a real problem with people who treat people like little things they can squish between their fingers.
I am not your caricature.
You will treat me as a human being, not a story to relate to your next roommate down the line.
I don’t know how you are a teacher, when you look so far down on anyone who needs to learn.
When you yourself are embarrassed to have more to figure out.
You talk, but it’s not the conversation I like to have,
It’s placemat placeholder placating blah-ness.
I told her, actually, I said, I love to have arguments,
When I can separate myself and just go with the logic,
I can argue a point, it feels like stretching my wings.
She doesn’t understand.
I always feel stupid after an argument, they always end badly, don’t you always win?
I don’t want to share myself anymore. I want to say, good you should feel stupid, it makes you want to learn, be better. Arguments can be so much fun, they can change your opinions. I’d say with an evenly matched partner, I win half the time.
She doesn’t understand.
I miss my friends, my friends who would push me,
And not talk to me about their Facebook headlines.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is better to never open yourself up to be wrong, to fight for what you know, to have to explain yourself.
Maybe it’s better to be safe where you are, to know people.

3:
My first thought on seeing a sex ramp was,
“Oh my god that must be so much better on your back.”
I took some quiz about fantasies,
Googled half of the questions.
I’m glad to know, though,
That some part of my conservative upbringing has stuck around.
It feels safer somehow, that I’m still the prude I was in High School.

4:
I called my brother for his birthday today.
Plastered on a smile and jumped up and down a few times in my doorframe,
So I could have the love to sing.
I said I was worried about turning into Mom.
He said we all turn into some part of our parents.
My sister got the fussy part,
Maybe you got the storytelling part.
Would it be so bad,
If all I did was narrate my life?

5:
I’ll explain myself here, where it’s safe.
I don’t know what I’m looking for,
But I want more.
I don’t know how to say what I need,
And for someone who tries to use her words,
That’s really frustrating.
I would love to depend on someone.
I don’t know what that looks like.
I’m so scared about sharing myself,
Because you’ll use it against me.
I have this window of vulnerability,
Before I shut people out,
And your door is closing.
I’m doing it on purpose,
I won’t say I’m sorry anymore.
I need you once you’ve gone to sleep.
I don’t know what we have in common,
I don’t know what I can offer you.
I’m waiting for you to get tired of me and ghost.

6:
Do you think after dating an alcoholic
I can’t tell when you’ve been drinking?
You touched my foot while I was doing yoga.
And said tickle tickle.

7:
I don’t trust doors.
I loved everything about this parting statement.
As the woman with the old lady white-hair fro
Walked into the wind, out of my path.

8:
It happens in a weird way,
There’s a guy you think is attractive,
But you don’t have feelings for yet,
You could though,
And someone brings him up,
Everything gets smushed together,
Suddenly, you want him to like you,
But you’ll only make the first move if you know.
I wish the world was bigger.

9:
There’s all these things I need to get myself to do,
And I can’t.
The list builds until I hate myself.
I have to wait till I’m angry,
Or have the courage,
To just plow through,
With my eyes closed,
And hope no one sees me.
Then it starts all over,
And I hate myself a little more for letting it happen again.

10:
Thought process. Goes like this.
Maybe my jokes are mean. I will just stay quiet.
They won’t like me because I’m quiet.
I want to leave.
I want her to stop talking.
I do not like this sam I am.
I put myself away in a corner of my mind so I could just be there,
Not have to be there.
Maybe it’s me, maybe I make her feel embarrassed.
But if I change me, am I still being honest?
She makes me feel embarrassed to be myself.
Do I do that to other people?
How much more do I have to watch myself?
I already try to be so careful.
I wonder if she knew I was angry.
Maybe they can read me easily,
Maybe I hide as much as I think I do.

Poems from My Day (10-12-16)

i make no apologies for being silly

1:
Maybe she’s not aware of how loud she walks.
Clomps.
Or that I think about recording her eating Hot Pockets,
Calliente pockets,
Because she chews like a cartoon eight-year-old bacon eating boy.
She wears mid-calf boots that muffin top.
She can’t handle my spicy food.
And she thinks she’s better than me,
Which, really, is the only thing that truly bothers me.

2:
I stood, well,
I was folded in half staring a my knee,
Thinking,
I am not a downward facing dog,
I am an angry person folded in half.
I don’t think my belly should be touching my thighs,
I think that’s because I’m fat.
Lady, my arms aren’t that long,
There’s no way people used to cook sitting in a squat like this,
No, my heels will never touch,
What the hell does the light in me respects the light in you mean?
Do I look like a lamp?
Actually, don’t answer that, I was in tree pose earlier.

3:
The pump that fills the tank in my toilet broke,
I don’t want to have to clean my room,
So I haven’t called the maintenance people.
4chan would call me beta.
I call myself a particularly beautiful kind of lazy.
I’m refilling it manually with an empty 3 lbs cashew jar.

4:
There’s going to be strippers in Craig.
They told me on the conference call.
Oh, hey, I saw that flier.
They’re from a traveling group, up from California,
I’m told.
Apparently, they only let gay men in the bar the night the guy strippers are there,
They’ve had problems with territorial Alaska men.
The story only gets better from there.

5:
I love having paint on my hands and having someone comment on it.
I got claustrophobic in the sauna two days ago.
I had to keep taking deep breaths, and the woman sitting next to me copied me,
Thinking that was the thing to do in saunas in the Alaskan wilderness at 9 p.m. on a Monday.
I take long drives on chug-hole filled white gravel roads so I can sing as loud as I want with my arms out the windows.
I drove a 1998 jeep with a coked-out 300 pound woman on the roof of my drunk roommate’s car, down a gravel road in the pitch black without a seat belt, blaring 2008 shorty rap. Two bottles in the cup holders. The other woman was hanging out the window. And the seats were damp from last night’s rain.

6:
I feel like a failure.
I can’t do enough. I can’t do it right.
I need someone else to tell me to get it done.
I can’t do it myself.
I’ll never escape this. I’ll be like this forever.
I’ll never be good at anything.
Then I laugh at myself,
And pretend to shake it off,
And putter around for a couple more hours before I can go home.

Poems from My Day (5-18)

I’m not sure about today.

1:
I’m trying to get the last drop of tea out of my cup.
The spoon is just holding back air.
I’m making the right noises so my roommate doesn’t make a comment about how I’m sitting at the kitchen table doing nothing.
Nasty lady.
She wouldn’t understand why anyone would ever count the last ten drops out of the tequila bottle, or smile at a flower, or sit.
So hard to be a regular person.

2:
I manufacture grief holidays so I have an excuse to feel something,
My grandmother’s birthday is today,
It’s the anniversary of a breakup,
I got some bad news from home,
Because I can’t let myself be in a mood without good reason.

3:
“Are you just sleeping on the couch?”
She asked me walking past on her way to the kitchen.
No, I’m awake.
I was sitting here doing nothing,
Because sometimes I have to sit,
So I can cry and cope.
Trying to understand why I can’t share how I’m feeling with anyone that matters.

4:
I’ll be home in a week.
Back for my brother’s graduation.
If I had trouble adjusting to seeing a highway after being on this island,
In this village,
How will I deal with my family too?

5:
My sister called me today,
She made me laugh.
She told me about not doing laundry and having to wear the last dregs of your underwear, and getting tumors of broken elastic on your hip, and frugality not being worth having to wear anything this tight.
While I stood bent over clutching my ankles, laughing, dying,
I was reminded that I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time,
And I missed having people to share parts of me with,
Because you only really laugh with common souls.

6:
He’ll be gone in about seven years,
I heard the first signs of dementia on the phone.
The man who talks to me like a parishioner.
He even says, “God bless”
Before he catches himself to say, “love you too.”
I practiced what I would say to his dead body at his funeral today.
I’d like to hear him preach once more,
And hear him say the Lord’s Prayer, just the way he says it,
He ends Holy Ghost with a patronizing smile in his voice,
And amen with a full, beard-peppered grin.
I’d like to find the guts to ask him why he’s so messed up,
I want him to write down his stories, the ones that make me laugh,
But, then,
They wouldn’t be his stories anymore, they’re a tradition, with motions and faces and a crowd.
They’ll go with him.
With his memory.

Poems from My Day (5-17)

these are decent

1:
Let me tell you about the scars I wish you had asked about
I listened as you told me all about yours.
The one from the bike crash where your atv fell into the creek, the one from you running into a pit full of sticks, the one you really should have gotten stitches for when you were little.
I didn’t get to talk about mine,
But I guess you can’t have it both ways,
You can’t hold back and then expect to be asked.
So I’ll keep my stories to myself, and pout,
No one wants to hear mine anyway.

2:
I had all these things built up to say to you in my mind,
I had all the ways I was going to act, all set up,
I knew how I was going to behave,
And say, and not say
I had my eye contact mapped out,
And I had topics planned.
And then you never came by.

3:
Let me tell you what happened. I’ll try to take my bias out.
As much as I can.
Somehow, she did it on purpose, or I let it happen on accident,
But she’s made me feel inferior,
Like I owe her something. i won’t stand for that.
She’s made me feel like I’m bad with people, bad at communicating,
Because we seem to misfire.
Like I’m not right enough, or good enough, somehow.
And then I went to the big city,
And I say city with quotes around it, remember I’m in Alaska,
And I got along so well with everyone, almost,
I remembered I’m pretty decent with people when I want to be
In the short term at least,
I’m kind of a failure long term,
But then again, I haven’t tried long term,
And as my mother would remind, you have that one chinese friend down where you went to college,
It was this great relief, to remember I can make friends, I can talk to people,
It’s not just me.

4:
The second I let myself be me, people look at me oddly,
And someone from my past shows up to laugh at me,
It’s awful.
I keep a tight leash.

5:
Me and alcohol have a weird thing going
I don’t crave it, but I don’t want to crave it, but I still want it,
But I’m proud of myself for not wanting it,
But I kind of want to drink it, but I won’t like it when I drink it,
Control.
I’ve seen too many people lose control.

6:
I’m about to spend two hundred dollars on produce that doesn’t go bad.
There. I did it. I clicked a few buttons online, and, groceries.
I’m trying to find foods I can take with me as lunch that won’t go bad without a refrigerator.
I need to go to the store for more bread, and vegetables, and meat, and eggs, and butter,
But my roommate hasn’t gone, and I don’t want to ask.
What am I going to do this summer, when she’s not here, and I have no car?
Hmm?
Die. I’m going to die.
Or just bike ride everywhere. Yeah. Right.
I need a car.
I can’t afford a car.

7:
I told Beth a little about my roommate’s romantic life,
I regret that.
I try to keep people’s people to myself.
But she asked,
And I think I wanted to share, cut her down a little, which I now feel guilty about.
I hope it doesn’t go anywhere.
This boy? She asked, don’t you mean this boy? No, that one. She’s dating that one.
I bet they’re related and I just insulted someone.
Shit.

8:
What an odd thing to say, “where is my dog?”
It shows such propriety.
She didn’t use her name, or say,
“Where’s the dog.”
My dog.
Like somehow, in the last two hours, I’d taken her away.

9:
I love how dogs hold a bone like they’re scared it’s going to run away.
I wish I held on to life that way.

10:
I want lightning. I want my anger to show up in the clouds.
But it rains, then sometimes, rains louder.
And there are 10 days when it’s clear and beautiful,
The only days you can convince people to live here.
That’s what they tell me,
When I’m visiting the city.

11:
I’m trying to write, I’m trying to explain what it was, how it felt,
Let me start over.
I chaperoned a high-school lock-in 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
At 3:30 the leader lady (my roommate) split them up,
They didn’t have to be asleep, just in one of two rooms.
She asked me if I was going to sleep,
I told her I wasn’t sure.
I shut my eyes for maybe twenty minutes. My feet fell asleep.
I tried sleeping on the ground, it was too cold.
I tried sleeping in a ball, I am too fat.
I got up and read on my tiny iphone 4 in the hallway.
My roommate asked me, did you sleep?
A little, I said.
Lying.
Wow, she said. That’s amazing. She said.
You can do that. Control it like that.
What did you do in college I wanted to ask.
But, what I couldn’t tell her,
And what I guess, she’s never been exposed to,
Is
There are reasons people can’t sleep in groups they don’t trust.
I haven’t been able to fall asleep with another person in,
God what year is it?
8 years.
And she shamed me for it.