Tag Archives: writing

Leaving South

i left alaska. i’m back with my mom.

She drove and gave me another hug.
She gave me a hug twice.
And told me she has a lot of friends, but not a lot of good friends.
And I got on the boat.
And watched it pull away from the dock.
And as we left the rolling hills and pine trees of the pacific northwest,
Driving through the fog dusted mountains on 90,
I kept thinking, turn around, I’m going the wrong way,
This isn’t right.
But I left all the same.
And I cried by myself in the midship deck that used to be a bar,
Crashed on the curved blue couch in the back,
With everything I possesed right there.
Now I have to go to yoga, and move all my stuff out of storage,
And find a job,
And fix my car registration,
And file my taxes
And figure out what the hell to do about my friends and these people I seem to have acquired.
When I just want to hide.
And I want quiet.
And they didn’t give me whipped cream on my smoothie.

I got to Seattle,
And I said the trees don’t look right,
These aren’t my trees.
This isn’t the Tongass.
I want my forest back.
With all its scars and its danger.
It didn’t care that I was this thing,
It didn’t give me a second glance,
But kept going with it’s own life,
I can respect that.

I miss the salmon strips and chips car rides.
Riding out the road with loud music playing,
And one of us sitting in the middle back seat with their arms on the passenger rests
Eating smoked fish with our fingers, skin and all,
And passing around a bag of sunchips,
Talking with our mouths full,
About how much we loved each other.

I remember driving down killer hill at one of the 3 p.m. sunsets
And the world filled with orange,
I thought, it’s almost worth it.
To pay eight dollars a gallon for milk,
And not be able to buy fresh meat at the store.
To know none of these kids stand a chance.
I left on the ferry, going nowhere, back to my mother’s house,
I watched the new terminal pass behind the boat,
Until I couldn’t see the light,
Standing out there with only the die-hard smokers in the cold,
In the jacket I was wearing when we got stuck out the road.
I stood there undecided.

I don’t want my life, my year up north to be some memory I use,
I won’t expose those people, who were good to me,
I wouldn’t do that.
I want it to keep growing, I don’t wan to lose them.
But I didn’t want to stay by myself. I couldn’t.

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 (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.

Poems from My Day (2-21-17)

hello again. it’s been a bad couple of weeks

1:
I apologize too much.
She told me, quit saying, “I’m sorry.”
I don’t have a problem with my apologizing.
Leave me the hell alone.
What have self-confidence-less people ever done,
But hurt themselves.
It seems to me, the people sure of themselves are the ones
Who never think they need to listen and learn.

2:
I fall under something called the Hatch Act.
It means while I’m seen as doing my job,
I can’t say anything political.
In all honesty, it’s a little bit of a relief,
To have an excuse,
When someone asks about my politics,
But, at the same time,
I want to civilly disobey that, and speak my mind, because I was told not to.

3:
Oh god so much has happened.
I can’t bring myself to write about it.
My support systems collapsed.
And I needed people,
I felt like I was being emotionally manipulative,
But I couldn’t spare the mentally energy to check my filters,
See if they were clearing the air before I spoke it.
And I felt abandoned.

4:
I had a day when I felt vulnerable.
A half-hearted breeze could have whipped me.
On those days, I want to hide,
But then the day is over,
The feeling isn’t,
And I have to go into work like normal.

5:
I needed to talk to my mother yesterday,
She called me today.
She told me how to live my life,
Her prophecies for the future,
And, really, what she knows to be true.
Then she told me her “stories”
I was so mad from the first section,
I didn’t bother with the minor sexism, and that little bit of racism that came
with her helping the poor, new african family from church.

6:
My step-father is thirty thousand in debt.
That’s more than I make in two years.
I try so hard to only spend thirty dollars a week on groceries,
I don’t get to buy ice cream. I only buy half a gallon of milk.
It’s not fair.
That’s all I want to say.

7:
She asked me if I thought game night last night would be more fun with men.
I said I was the wrong person to ask,
I don’t really like people.
She can’t process that other people work differently than she does.
I’m not sure why she’s a teacher,
If she doesn’t have the patience to understand,
That her normal isn’t my normal.
I learned that the first week of college,
After living with a woman who folded her dirty clothes.

8:
Officially,
I got searched and rescued.
Really,
Her dad came to pick us up in his truck.
And they called it in so they could get mileage reimbursement.

9:
I was the slowest when we were walking
Walking the miles to get cell phone service,
And they called me a little bitch for it.
I can only offer excuses.
I suppose I am, then.
I can show you my bloody, snowy socks.
I can’t make you feel my nausea that whole night,
Or the pressure of my sinuses with my cold medicine,
Or the three-day long insomnia battle that scrambled my brain.
My hips that ached because I didn’t wear my inserts.
I am, in most cases, an introvert,
I need planning time before I can be okay in a crisis.
And I was useless when we got stranded, because it had never happened before.
I can only apologize for not being better.
But god it hurts when they mock a weakness,
It’s why I’m quiet in the first place.
Maybe they would’ve handled my body better,
But there’s no way to tell.

Poems of My Day (1-31-17)

1:
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.

2:
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.

3:
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.

4:
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.

5:
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.

6:
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.

7:
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.

8:
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.

9:
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.

Observations from My Week

I can’t do anything else with these thoughts today. I’m sorry.

Somedays I just really love my mother,
Who tells me I’m normal,
And it’s okay to not like most people.

Don’t fall in love with a writer,
We suck your soul dry and pretend it was sand to begin with.

You know how they talk about girl next door?
He’s like boy down the logging road.
He’s beautiful in such a wonderfully normal way.

I had a glass of wine, she had the rest of the two bottles.

I have the signs of the untried.
And I’m scared to know how far I’ll go to please you.

I don’t want to be trapped with children,
I don’t want to have to deal with humans
I don’t want to be stuck at home, because I know I’ll feel responsible.

Today, it’s me.
I’m sick and homesick,
And I can’t stop talking about where I’m from.
I don’t belong. I don’t belong and I’m weird.

I feel bad for being myself, that’s a new one.
I want to tell her, she’s beautiful.
She’s strong,
But that will be condescending.

I long to be the drunk angry Bette Davis in the movie where she wears a green dress with pockets.
God what’s it called?
She was so full of,
Not caring-ness, beauty, and passion.
I love the few times I can be in that mood.
It is so much fun.
It’s Emily Gilmore when she’s running around without a skirt.
It was me last week,
When that woman I always know is there,
Came shining out for a minute,
She doesn’t really care,
And doesn’t really love,
And it doesn’t really matter,
It’s beautiful.
We’re better than you.
And we know it.
God it’s wonderful.
I don’t really mope over men,
I’ll be fine.

I tried explaining this to my roommate,
We don’t really love people, they can be nice distractions,
But really,
We’ll be fine.
Hilariously, beautifully fine.
I’m going to put my hands in my pockets now.
And turn my head to the side and smile.
You can’t touch me.
Maya, I’m feeling like a phenomenal woman.