Tag Archives: work

Ten Poems (10-09-17)

about work and love

1:
Here. I will practice it with you.
I don’t like you anymore.
No that sounds too harsh.
I think you’re unattractive.
Ouch. That’s worse.
How about.
I don’t like you that way.
Eek. That’s just as bad as it’s not you, it’s me.
I’ve met someone else.
Well, now, that’s just a lie.
I don’t need you anymore, maybe I never needed you at all.
Bah.
I’ll do what I always do, and just hope he goes away instead.

2:
I feel like the mountain I pretend to be when I do yoga.
I stand on all four corners.
You are not needed.
But, I keep you around, because I’m scared of the time when I’ll need you again.

3:
My mother is coming to visit.
But we laughed on the phone today.
And she was so funny.
I’m worried she won’t be in as good as mood when she comes to visit.
She’s here to see my sister, not me.
I can sit quietly and keep to myself.
I don’t have to do a thing.

4:
I need an opinion.
My father forgot the day to call me, not the first time, understandable.
He told me stories he’s told me before.
First he’ll offer to lend me the Simon & Garfunkel vhs tape from the park, when one of them starts “Bridge Over Troubled Water” too high and has to squeak it out at the end.
He’ll tell me to read that wonderful Esquire piece about Mr. Rogers.
Then he’ll forget I told him my mother’s coming to visit.
And ask me about church.
Do I tell him he’s slipping?

5:
I have a deadline you know.
About seven years,
Before I’m going to have to take care of my father.
If I have a family,
I could get away with that excuse as a reason not to take on the burden.
But that means I have seven years.
To get started, and wait for my dad to go,
After the dementia diagnosis.

6:
It’s hard that my brain works.
Because I can often see what’s going to happen.
I can tell you how our relationship will go.
I can tell you exactly why we won’t work.
But sometimes, I want to feel anyway.
So I’ll give it a go against my instincts.
And he really won’t be able to take criticism.
I’ll be right and alone again.

7:
I can’t do this job much longer.
My short-term memory is short-circuiting,
Because I’m not a computer, I’m a person.
Why won’t you treat me like a person?
I can’t do the same thing four-hundred times a day.
It hurts.
But I need to fix the air-conditioning in my car.

8:
The hair on my thighs turned brown.
It’s always been blonde.
I told my sister.
She said, getting old sucks.

9:
I usually tell people I’m blunt and honest.
Because I think that’s the truth,
But I don’t want to use it as an excuse to hurt people.
When I can’t tell if what I’m saying will be mean,
I keep quiet, I keep to myself.
And then I’m tired, and my filters fall down,
I become combative and talk too much.
I wonder if that’s who I am,
The rude woman with no censor, who hurts with abandon.

10:
I can’t put my finger on why I dislike him.
I think because he dismissed me.
Which means he’s not an accepting person,
He’s judgmental instead,
Interested in himself.
Which means he’s been protected,
And hasn’t had to rely on other people,
Hasn’t had to rely on other bad people, who’ve done something wrong too.
I don’t know if I want to associate with someone like that,
Someone who’s so pretty, they can dismiss people.
Because their confidence provides their personality.

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Poems from My Day (2-27-17)

1:
I will not be jealous
It’s silly to be jealous
I can’t be this competitive
Love doesn’t work like this,
In measured ways.
We can all be friends,
I am not better or worse for being excluded.
I will not care that they’ve done something without me.
My abandonment issues will not make me weird.
I won’t play with people like this.

2:
I met a woman with three other friends
At a dive filipino place in southeast
And she was nice, kind
But either she didn’t want to be there,
Thought it would be different,
Or was on drugs.
I kept thinking, why was she here.
She writes though,
Which means she was absorbing everything,
To use later, without giving too much of herself away.

3:
Maya Angelou wrote this poem for people who have to be happy for work.
I think she’s right.
We’re all crying on the inside.
No wonder cannibalism has gone out of fashion,
We’re all dead inside.

4:
She said,
That’s why rape happens,
It’s why alaska’s rates are so high.
Because you have to be nice to the people you live with,
Or you don’t have a place to stay,
I have to be nice to her, Or.
She thought we were thick as thieves.
No.
She takes what she learns about you,
To use it against you, again and again.
Like the domestic violence,
And it happens and it happens,
And you watch it happen
All over again.
You do nothing to stop it for others,
Or yourself,
And you hate everything you are a little bit more.

5:
Tomorrow’s my last day
Tomorrow I can talk about politics
And not be a logo
And not answer to Jamie,
Or be penned in
Or have to wear a polo
I’m free
Gemma was right.
She kept telling me,
You’re almost done.
My head can’t comprehend

6:
How much of your village is native?
About 80% identify, but beyond that you get into percentages of people,
Which I’ve never really enjoyed.
I didn’t go into this thinking I’d be more comfortable around the brown people I see everyday,
Then a conference room of white.
I talked to the yupik lady from up north for too long, because she looked like my people.

9 Poems for the Week

my heart is tucked away today. i’m sorry it’s not open for my writing poetry visiting hours.

1:
I met the math teacher,
At native food day up at the senior center.
He’s from nearby, originally,
So he says his a’s like everyone else up here.
There’s an h in there and a little hint of a smile.
You can hear it if they say bag.
He told me smoked fish is the best because it goes really well
With any type of alcohol.
I love it.
The last time I met him,
He was yelling at me,
So this is improvement.

2:
My heart broke over a piece of paperwork.
She had to fill out the reimbursement forms for me,
For the trip we sent her on to Fairbanks.
I couldn’t get her to fill it out.
My supervisor yelled at me.
She who I had hoped would, would, do. Something.
So now it’s a body and a mind that does what needs to be done.
I’m out of this.
Me and my heart and my soul are back in our little corner,
Looking for better long-term cold storage facilities
Who don’t charge high rent.

3:
I told her my standards are really low.
I quoted this passage from a book which talks about how
He wasn’t much, but she’d never seen much of anything, so there was a chance they could be happy.
I said that was pretty much me.
You’re out of bed. You’re clean. You’re not hurting anyone. You’re good in my book.
I’ll not condemn the lazy.
She just looked at me.

4:
And I can tell she’s never been around chronic depression,
Or lived with an alcoholic,
Or an abuser.
I can tell.
She’s that funny kind of clean
Who wants to know the dirt,
And may have seen the dust,
But she’s never stopped caring when it’s covering her hands,
Because it’s been there too long.

5:
I used to always side with the children.
How could a mother do that?
I didn’t realize I had a bias.
Am I older now, to see adults as humans?
As an equal to the child, they’re needs have to matter too.
When did that happen?
When did I put the living above those who have yet to live?

6:
They say the first day of moose season,
Always means bad weather.
The rain came yesterday.
The first moose this morning.

7:
I just spent fifty dollars
On new clothes,
A pair of work pants, a sleep shirt, a blue dress oxford, and a blouse. A red blouse.
I shouldn’t have spent that.
It’s not in my budget.
My budget is titled: Don’t Spend Nothing.
And if I have to pay for heat again this month,
I’ll be two hundred dollars in debt.
And I’ll take out of my savings,
My rocking chair on a wrap-around porch fund,
I worked so hard to build,
I gave up my social life to bank,
Because I decided it was a good idea to volunteer for a year,
For a cause that might be worth it.

8:
We’re having yoga down at the firehall.
Me and my roommate and the woman in town who does community things.
I use the old beat up pink mat that lives in the corner shelf and has rust stains.
We’re doing thirty days of yoga. Or so they say.
A man came yesterday.
Changes the whole dynamic, even though I feel like it shouldn’t.
And my roommate said my side comments were annoying him.
If I’d known I would have said half of what I’d thought,
Instead of quietly trying to not show my ass while downward-dogging into hell.

9:
He asked.
Damn.
I almost escaped.
But he asked,
What are my plans for after my contract finishes here.
And I had to tell the truth.
Damn.
I have no plans.
I could go back to freelancing, if I had to,
Which wouldn’t be a problem.
Will someone tell me what to do please?
That makes me so pathetic.

Poems from My Day (2-9)

Gravitas he lacks it.

1:
I hate that I smile when I’m uncomfortable
I hate that I’ll think I’m stupid and know nothing in 5 years.
Please don’t ever talk to someone, pat them on the head, and think their problems are cute.

2:
I kept telling myself if I get everything done I need to today,
Then I can do nothing and sleep.
Except I got almost everything done,
Felt guilty about not doing more,
And never got the break I was promised.

3:
I hate being dependent on someone.
I feel obliged.
And I’m never sure what they’ll do with that obligation.
Like ask to let something slide,
Or tell me “it’s nothing,”
So we have something to hide together.

4:
I feel like I worked all weekend.
And I didn’t get that day to do nothing.
Maybe I won’t ever get those days anymore.
But knowing that the last time I would have a free day, would be the last day,
Probably would have just added more pressure to have a good time,
Instead of increasing my bliss.
It’s like, the m&m can only be so good,
Even if you save the last one till twenty minutes after you finished the bag.

5:
I have a new worst thing in the world.
It’s when someone does something wrong that effects you,
And gets mad at you for asking them to fix it.
Also known as payroll.

6:
It’s the first time I’m being asked to sign a non-compete clause.
I’m vaguely offended.
But this company has always put business practices before doing the right thing,
Mind you, they tend to screw those up too.
Even if the founder would tell you different.
I’m going to get in trouble for writing that.

7:
I deleted all my books
The ones you made fun of me for,
And now there’s no record I’d read them, or where I stopped reading them, or gave up.
I still want credit for them.
Because I so desperately don’t want everything to be for nothing.

8:
But my handwriting is perfect.
That’s what my Mom told me she thought as soon as she checked into the hospital for stress exhaustion.
She told me this after I told her all my clothes are folded and put away.
And everything is perfect.
But the me is lacking in me.

Poems from My Day (1-26)

i’m moving across the country soon. did i mention?

1:
My father has never been happier.
His little girl, forsaking the world of marketing,
High-profile, clients, ARR,
To take a year of her life and work for the good of the country.
First time he’s ever seemed full of pride since I graduated.
He’ll be able to make so many sermons out of this.

2:
A pretty girl in middle school told me,
As she was trying to braid my hair,
That I had a sensitive head.
She didn’t think someone like me would be so soft.
To this day, I still have no idea what she meant.

3:
Everyday I drive on the highway,
I have a second, a feeling,
Like I was a hairsbreadth away from crashing.
Some days, I think, I’ve lived my whole life like that.
Just this far away,
From walking in front of that car.

4:
I’m sitting with my arms pinned in by people talking loudly on either side of me.
We’re in a basement of a crowded place, there’s alcohol, and the social necessity to talk.
Sitting on those kind of benches from 8th grade lunch.
It would take me a solid thirty seconds to get out.
And once I realize I’m starting to have a panic attack,
It makes it worse.
I got through it.
Then I sat in my car for twenty minutes in the parking garage with the lights off,
And cried.

5:
I don’t like when people know things about me.
It’s mine to share.
I don’t know what you’ll do with it.
Probably hurt me.

6:
Why am I so bad at the things I think I should be good at?
I want to be quick, nimble, and fast.
Smart and caustic.
But I feel slow all the time.
Behind, outdated, frumpy, and slow.

7:
I got sick Sunday.
And went to work Monday morning.
And I’m not sure why.
It wasn’t loyalty.
I had so much to do.
And my sense of right, won’t let me do a bad job, at my job.
Even if they deserve it.

8:
I told my sister once that she was selfish.
I think it was the only time I ever hurt her.
One count.
She brings it up every once in a while,
Expecting me to apologize, take it back.
But it’s the one hurt I’ve never been ashamed of,
It’s a pain I don’t mind causing.
Because it’s as true today as it was years ago.
She’s selfish.
And she’s hurt me so often, it seems like fair cosmic retribution
That I can have my pride on this one point.

Poems from My Week (6/7)

1:
My mother is powerful.
She can’t lift a dresser though.
She’s sharp, but she can’t make you bleed.
She gives you the blessing of guilt.
I am so blessed.

2:
I wanted you to be perfect.
The best in the world, for me.
I wanted to have someone who fit.
Understood me.
I guess I just thought you did, because you talked to me.
It seemed like you were talking just to me.
But you’re human again, and far away,
And I don’t know how to fix it.
God, I want you to love me. I’m so disgustingly selfish.

3:
I’m at peace with my two front teeth.
I don’t have an even line smile,
It’s bumpy and crooked
And two are chipped from, well, it’s a funny story actually.
I am not a straight and narrow person, nether are my teeth.

4:
I got a little bit of money from my Dad.
I was so excited. I need so many things.
Then I was sad. Because I can afford one of the things I need.
Shorts, new necklace, socks.
I don’t have enough money to buy morals.
I have to shut off the part of me
She says this is wrong, what you’re doing for money.
But I don’t have a choice. I always feel trapped.
Trapped into taking other people’s money.
Stuck into graciousness.

5:
Make I statements.
Don’t insult the other person.
Address the issue with respect.
Outline the precise nature of the problem.
Kill me now, please,
All this hubbub because we have to be nice.
This just sucks.

6:
I cry in the car on the way home from work.
It has become my blue chariot of peace.
It flies between two hells on the highways.
I walk into the second and hug the emotional torments who call me daughter.
My biggest argument tomorrow will be with myself,
And how to exit the needle nest
To make vain for someone else.

7:
When I’m overcome with emotion,
I spout cliché,
Not my own words,
My own words take so much longer,
And seem lesser,
To the apologetic blank mind of the moment.
I wish I could make myself smarter,
Faster. So I could tell you what I felt right then,
And not have to wait for this thing between my ears to settle and explain itself.

8:
I thought I could understand everyone.
I am wrong.
I do not understand the humorless.
I cannot comprehend their pride.
Are they nervous?
You cannot live with yourself, if you cannot find your weaknesses ironic.
I do not understand.
I think, you have no soul, if you do not find humor.
Why does she scare me so much?
This woman I know.

9:
I cannot do this. I can’t.
But, see, I don’t have the ties of family,
I don’t have, I must do this for the kids,
That makes it harder,
Having no one to work for,
It makes it harder to stay.
Because I’ve always run, shied, hid.
And somehow, where I am, responsibility means exchanging your heart for a timeslot.

10:
I’m always going to associate with the worker over the boss.
Even when I’m old, and know people who started this thing when they were young, and became heads of companies, with fancy names and hair cut styles.
I’ll find myself on the side of the picket who values people.
I always will.
I’m mourning the loss of the boss in me.
I’ll never make that much money. I have too much humanity, and middle child syndrome.
I read somewhere, I think, that if you’re poor when you’re younger, you’re more altruistic. I think we were poor. I’m not super sure.
But we’re union.
I find my family values where I can and take them for their linearity. You don’t side with the mighty against the powerless.
I know that. And when I see myself starting to look for positive black numbers in excel sheets,
And avoiding how much people need to see bits of themselves in other humans,
I think, maybe it’s ok I’ll never be somebody.

10 Poems (4-29)

i know, i’m behind schedule again. sigh.

1:
We walked out of the restaurant smiling, with happy on our faces,
I’m thinking, no I can’t remember the last time that happened, not at all.
It was a good time.
But then I realized I was having a good time and ruined it.
You weren’t there. We got white cheese queso and had mock battles over the possession of salsa.
We were happier without you. And I was in a good mood.
No bows drawn back, no double meanings, did you catch thats,
It was just nice.
How sad it must be for you, no longer needed, now only tolerated till it’s done.

2:
I teeter and wobble on the line between farcically melodramatic and temperate mundane.
I pull out big words when I’m uncomfortable. If I’m awkward at least they’ll know I’m not totally stupid.
But big words don’t mean thoughts, good thoughts,
Thoughts like, I’ll never be good enough as long as I keep thinking I’ll never be good enough.
Nothing profound.

3:
I sit in the chair that seems lower than my knees, so I feel small.
He looks me over, tests my hooves, and my references.
It’s all great fun.
I want to say, I’ll do whatever you want, just give me salary.

4:
I am a washing machine, no wait, hang on, hear me out.
I have cycles, cyclical, big word, did you see that big word?
I tell myself, I have to stop this, I can’t do this again. I can’t do this to myself again.
I shouldn’t. And then I do, I talk to him, and wish I hadn’t. I started it.
I say, I won’t do this again. I’ll take a break from him.
Then I don’t, and wish I had, because I rinsed and he responded.
And I felt a silly old rag fool.

5:
Engrained in me are a few strings and shavings of stone.
They shore up every once in a while when I’m not looking.
You boil spaghetti in a big pot.
You give the three-fingered wave on two-lane roads.
You are polite to old people.
You bring a gift when you go somewhere.
Immoveable aspects of me.
I don’t know they’re there till something turns them wrong, and my whole me says,
No, stop, you can’t, it’s just wrong.
It’s probably why, even if I don’t “believe” I’ll bring my kids to church.
Because it is done. I must miss so much of life because of what I can’t see I can do.

6:
You were born to be better than me.
Better in heart, soul, spirit,
Better at church, love, speaking, breathing.
But I got something you can’t touch, and it’s what will keep me in straight confidence.
I’ll never tell you when I figure it out.

7:
I’m indecisive about whether I want a lover, one good friend, or a leader to follow.
I should pick one,
I should pick something to do, with a whole heart.
I want a braided tie to another something here around somewhere,
Maybe it’s time to look down toward my chest, touch my chin to my collar bone,
And find some passion.

8:
I try to explain to him, Ryan, I mean, I’m trying to say why I’m friends with him.
I have an entire, a whole ethos, thing about being friends.
Is that odd? Of course it is, but I won’t be ashamed of it for you.
I think we can be friends and I can not like you.
I don’t have to think you’re great to get along.
We’re not soul friends, or good friends, or pound my chest brothers,
But we are good enough, and I like to talk to you.

9:
I want a goat who votes,
He jumps over ballot boxes, and steel legged plastic tables
And crinkly red, white and blue paper table cloths,
Well those he stops to eat.
Then I can blame the goat,
And eat him, or freeze him, or get some cheese for my trouble.

10:
I’ve never been on fire, not for a man or with cigarettes.
My mother would imply there was something wrong with me for it.
I never let myself have the chance to be really stupid.