Tag Archives: short

Poems of My Day (1-31-17)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (11-7-16)

I hate it when my mother is right.
She said, you’ll have a time when two different guys are after you,
And you won’t know what to do, and they’ll tell you how blue your eyes are.
When I finally thought I was good by myself,
There she is in my head,
The woman who never leaves,
Telling me they’d love you more if you were skinnier.
And they only like you because you’re new in town.

We did thirty days of yoga,
On the thirty-first day,
I asked my roommate, are you ready to go at seven?
At 6:55, dressed and ready,
She asked me how I did it, how I could keep going?
I did yoga in my room by myself.

I said something in a bad tone that upset someone’s cousin at a luau a couple months ago.
So my friend’s friend was mad at me on her behalf,
For months.
No one said anything to me.
That’s why half the town hasn’t been talking to me for a months and months.
What kind of people do that outside of middle school?
Do I want to be friends with people who do that?
Am I being snotty?
My mother said, when I called her to cry,
Well, they got over it, so it’s all in the past,
And doesn’t matter anyone.
That doesn’t feel right either.

I listened to the OBC RENT soundtrack while I folded laundry.
So many nothing were on my list today,
So many different lines to cross off,
And I got one done.
I folded laundry.
That’s all your going to get from me and my couch today.

I had to have a talk with him because my conscious kicked in,
I don’t know what to do about him,
I’m being silly to start this at all.
It’s all in my head.
He could be showing the pictures I’ve sent him to drunk fishing buddies out on the boat,
So that when people see me they blush.
But I had to talk to him,
To say,
Hey this other guy messaged me,
Do you have a problem with this?
But unlike the good lawyer’s daughter,
I didn’t know the answer I wanted to that question before I asked it.
Because I can’t figure out how I feel about this,
It would all be easier if I were more decisive.
He said I was sweet for asking.
I want to take it all back,
At least the thought of being duplicitous
Gave me something to whittle away the hours with.

There’s such beauty in going back to something you love,
Because only you have changed,
It hasn’t moved,
The words are in the same order,
Scenes fall the same way,
But how you see it has altered,
So you’re able to learn about your self,
Through the old memories you keep,
And the new thoughts you have.
God that was a bit heavy-handed, wasn’t it?

I like thin crust pizza. Dammit.
If I’m making the pizza I can make it however the hell I want.
I can make the crust thin, the cheese too heavy and the pepperoni stacked.
It’s my goddamn pizza.
And I made it from scratch in my oven, in my house on my pan, with my cheese.
I don’t answer to anyone.
I can make the pizza however I want, and the rest of you can eat it
And be happy.

Poems from My Day 9-5-16

i’m a mess today. i’ll try again tomorrow.

I can’t tell you why I needed to give him a call,
Leave him a voicemail.
I think because somehow we both connected, with something real
Underneath all that marketing and sales.
But I was never trapped as he is.
I got out.
I never bought it.
He was the first person who ever thought I had a brain.
I gave him my word, I would leave him voicemails,
So I have.
I feel like I’m this strange thing he doesn’t know how to handle,
But doesn’t want to leave.

She’s never broken her patterns.
She’s still the 16 year-old girl
Leaving the table in a huff,
After being yelled at by our step-father
Crying all the way.
Waiting for someone to come along and ask what’s wrong.
And the one time you don’t,
You hear about it for years afterward,
Or she tries to kill herself again.
The ever guilt tripping, sister of mine.
Except now, she’s married,
With a husband who’s done something to upset her balance,
And he doesn’t seem to care,
And we don’t seem to care,
So she’s pouting,
And I’m trying not to be glad.

My mother makes Italian chicken
By soaking pieces in kraft yellow Italian dressing from the bottle
In a container for a couple hours,
Before frying it up.
That’s my favorite dish of hers.
And mine never tastes right.
Like my biscuits don’t taste like my father’s,
And my comments never as piercing as my grandmother’s.

My father has a girlfriend.
I’ve seen her on Facebook.
Sometimes his pronouns get mixed up.
But he won’t declare her to us.
And I don’t know why.
I want so badly for him not to screw this up.
I’m so happy for him.

0% battery now.
I should move.
And plug this computer in,
Instead of sitting her waiting for the screen to go black.
Or I could sit here and wait for the screen to go dark.
Before I decide to move.
There’s always a gap between deciding to do something,
And getting up and moving.
I have to talk myself into it,
Even breathing sometimes.

Yesterday. I wanted to wake up early.
Wake up at sunrise.
Go out to the beach.
Call my mom from sitting on the roof of my car,
Out where no one could over hear me,
And ask her why I never fit in anywhere.
No matter what I do or where I go,
I’ll never fit in.
I’ll never be able to be me,

Poems from My Day (6-29)

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

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.

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,
This is how many total lemons you’ve seen in your lifetime.
This is how many close scrapes to death you had but didn’t realize.
I’d enjoy reading that.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 6-14-16

all i can say is sorry today.

I have to create the space for it to go wrong before I can do anything at all.
Which means I often turn my muddy wheels in a ball of shame and stress,
Before I decide I can’t do it.

It still hurts.
He looked at me right in the eyes, and
He’s the only one my age from the group,
He seemed to be listening.
But, today,
They must have spent the morning together,
And he passed me over with his time.
The most outgoing boys always get the prettiest girls,
Who know how to tie a shirt around their chests.
But it still hurts.
It’s a wound I’d forgotten I had, that never healed from middle-school me.

Dear Lord, was I like that?
I remember thinking that about the freshman in high school when I was a senior,
And again as a sophomore in college looking at the first years,
And again as the boss of the interns dictating to the group of newbies.
I met college students today, they came to help me out.
I wasn’t a part; I was other.

I want to get mad at him.
Tell him, our friend is a better man than you.
I want to tell him how badly he hurt me,
But I don’t want to have to say any of it out loud.

She told me I’d lived many lives for my years.
I said I’ve done a lot of things, but nothing for long.
Which is true.
But they’ve none of them been me.

Two days ago I stood at the point in my depression cycle where all I could do was read romance novels.
I don’t even like romance novels.
But it’s all I could do.
So it’s all I did.
I got by minute by moment, instead of hour by day.
And made it by.

She wasn’t with mom in that bathroom at the funeral parlor.
Our mother, practicing over and over.
Apologizing over again.
With a handwritten note,
And I couldn’t make any improvements.
I thought, then, I wouldn’t leave this place for anything, I need to be this support, I feel good about being there for my mom, but I’m still bored.
It was me there.
She can never take that away from me, as much as she tries so hard to be included and the center of it all.

I want somebody to tell me I’m perfect,
And I do it the best in the world,
So I get interviewed and matter according to mass public opinion.
Sometimes, my own blocks and lincoln logs aren’t enough to hold me up.

There’s only one way you can listen to this song.
Wallowing in a heap on the floor, no lights.
So I got out of bed, lay on the floor with my knees bent up, an elbow over my eyes.
And heard him cry about “Lua.”

I can’t imitate your work without adding me to it.
I don’t even have to try and change it,
My copying will make it me-like.

And just because somebody cries loudly doesn’t mean they’re feeling the most.
God what a presumptuous thing to say,
And so like her too.
To think the loudest must be right.

Poems from My Day (5-24)

just four today

Tomorrow, I go home.
Back to where I’m from at least.
I first take a seaplane from this island, to the capital.
From there, to the lower 48.
Seattle to Chicago,
O’hare to home.
If I keep repeating the steps to myself,
It seems less.
I will not allow myself to break over seeing that many people.
I will be fine.
My heart beat will realize that in a moment.

I wanted to call him up,
Just so I’d have someone to shoot the shit with.
Maybe to see if he’d answer,
But more of a wall,
To bounce my excess energy off of.
And to hear him laugh.

No matter how hard my mother tries,
You can’t manufacture a good time,
I can try praying to the gods of conversation,
Please, oh please,
You strange forces of peace, serenity, interest, and chatter,
Come down upon us in good faith,
And give us those good memories my mother is always talking about.

I don’t really want to see them.
Hang on a second,
I’m looking,
I’m not finding any longing in my heart.
Do I have to go home?