Tag Archives: written quickly

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (3-19)

4:03 p.m.

I prided myself today.
On me.
On the fact that, as of now,
I haven’t killed myself yet.
I survived me.
I’ve survived me for years,
I’ll be ok, I’ll keep being ok,
Ok here in my head,
With just me,
If I’ve lasted this long.

We’re going to have to crate her.
The red fawn beautiful runner,
Beautiful dog, who they rescued
With pride-filled rescuing hearts.
She can’t keep doing this much damage.
Or at least we’re going to have to lock her in the room.
We can’t give her back, you know, it’s not like you can give a child back,
They’re not a bad cup of soup.
So we’re going to trade her old box for a new, shiny new, cage.
That way she’ll fit in here.
She’ll fit in with her beautiful hair.

She speaks now with a lisp
From her fake tooth
To stop the infection that was under the gum,
That she was convinced was killing her.
She has to talk on the phone with that voice.
I have a laughing pity.
My favorite kind of emotion,
For the woman I’m not sure I grudgingly hate.

Woman of wisdom, believer in spirits.
She tells me she thinks the human auras parted the red sea,
After she briefs me on her latest case brought to trial.
She’s the mother who always had to do it the hard way.
Wouldn’t let her kids define her, control her, or let herself resent them.
So she put her first, for better and worse,
She lives with the guilt, of missing what she missed of me.

I’ve planned what I’ll say when he dies.
Not because I can’t wait for him to die, but because sometimes I use him,
To find a way to cry.
And he always loved a good speech.

Tell me I’m pretty.
That’s all I need to hear today.
Don’t say: you’re gorgeous,
My girl, my honey, mine.
Don’t tell me what you love me more than;
Tell me how your feelings look today.

You’re in such a beautiful box.
I know what you’re going to say next,
I know for sure how this story I’ve heard before will end.
You’ve told me before.
I’ve heard already,
And I have safe love for what will happen later.

I met her for coffee.
Just outside this great little place she found.
I took her as she was,
As I saw her,
As she showed herself to me.
I remembered I’m good with people,
If I try, I’m so very good,
It’s a switch I flip,
I know.
To be charming, and lovely, and not quite me, in the light.
But that one has good friends, and people who love her,
And she cares to try.

Good people.
Good as in solid, strong, and right.
Righteous goodness.
They have solid bones, and solid minds,
And like good people, they keep their twists to themselves.

I don’t want to let this grudge go.
I want to keep it,
And feed it spitfires, so it keeps burning, to keep me angry.
Because when I’m angry I can’t be mad at myself.
It’s lovely there, with righteous anger. It’s so great.
And I can think of all these reasons to hate, all these reasons they’re wrong,
These reasons I won’t share. That make me feel better.
And what am I going to do without my martyred, middle child self?
What will be left of me?
Happiness for fools. Give me my sinners cynicism and dark giggles.
I’ll know where I stand, and I’ll know where my lines are,
And I’ll understand where they come from unsympathetic, unloving, happy.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (November 23rd)

Ok, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. I miss having a structure and a deadline to write poems. I really do. It’s like part of my day is missing. So I wrote more poems, off the top of my head. And I feel better about life.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes (7:09)
Day 11-23

Poem 1:
I’d like to think I’m good
A good person
Who does good
Well, I mean, I’m not sure anymore
I can’t find a good judge
Someone who’ll fair judge me
And say,
Yes you do good.

Poem 2:
I spoke to my sister today
In a way I haven’t in a while
We talked of all we’d loved
All we’ve had
All she’s loved.
Because she has that in her
To love, this man
She loves him.
I’ve never had that in me,
I’m not sure, it’s even there.

Poem 3:
And I couldn’t speak
Everything I said got dissected
Or told that wasn’t right.
So I held my tongue
In the grip of polite.

Poem 4:
She says to us
You could have said it this way
And it wouldn’t have been mean.
So I write that down
In my playbook, my list
Of the proper phrases I can say to my mother
But she keeps editing
To say
I’m angry with what you’ve said
So I’ll keep picking at you
Cross that out and only ask for my love this way.

Poem 5:
Find me sunlight and
I’ll show you shadow.
I will.
Find me good
I’ll turn it wrong
Just by titling my head
And saying look how the sun shining on us
Misses all those over there.

Poem 6:
What do I say?
To my father when he asks where my job is.
How do I bargain with peace for stillness
So I don’t have to explain myself.

Poem 7:
I haven’t seen it
You know
I never have.
My face from your eyes.

Poem 8:
He said, let me get a job
And we can flirt with the idea
Of buying you a plane ticket out to see me
He priced them out for me.
I’ll probably hold grudges against him in time.
Just give me time
And I’ll find fault in the hundred percent.

Poem 9:
I sold something back
For less than I paid for it
So in effect
I spent forty dollars on my birthday and
Got hassle.

Poem 10:
I want to know what I’d look like skinny
If I was thin
How beautiful I would be
I can almost see my bones now
Without the added weight.
Beautiful in mirrors with pinched skin
And drawn on lines
With perfect shades,
We’re artists of our faces.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Thirty-Two)

I wrote lots a poems, poemy, poem, poems.

I Wrote 10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 32

Poem 1:
They sent me this piece of paper in the mail
I can add to the rest
Now I go live my life
Go back to what was four years before
There’s just not much here

Poem 2:
I want to blame everyone else
Why didn’t they tell me what to do?
Why didn’t someone give me a profession?
Why won’t someone take me under a wing?
Why can’t I do anything?
Jobless with a brain
Don’t tell anyone

Poem 3:
There’s a job I should get
Out there
To make money
But I haven’t done anything
So I’m scared to fill out
So I don’t
Then I don’t do anything
So I have nothing to put down
Then I feel guilty for having nothing
Makes me think not good enough
So I don’t have it
To apply to start

Poem 4:
Do I have to work
No one seems happy
But, then again, no one’s happy anywhere
I want to move to Montana and sit on a porch

Poem 5:
And I’m all spoiled
From all my pamper
I can just sit here
And I am just sitting
So useless
But useless anyway

Poem 6:
Maybe by not doing anything I’m equaling it all out
I’m not out and about wrecking and havoc
So I don’t contribute, but I don’t take away

Poem 7:
He seems so happy to tell me
How I respond and back away
I can’t remember anymore why I hate him
Just that he’s there
And it’s been there a while
Then he yells at my brother
It all comes back

Poem 8:
I heard that hymnal song
From some band they played in the basement
Memory vodka hazy from the party with free pizza cups
Music brought it back
How the drink sweated against me
Make the music take it again

Poem 9:
I just eat and cry now
And make fun of myself in my head

Poem 10:
I scrape the finger pads down my thigh
In the beige shorts with blue paint stains
Watch how my skin depresses around
What could I do to make it all go away

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Thirty-One)

I think anyone who reads my poems is pretty. Which, de facto means I’m pretty, which I was totally going for.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 31

Poem 1:
Six of us traveled up to the holler, mission trip
We couldn’t mission near us
We worked to stock the food bank, we did
This great big warehouse with shelves to the sky
They got a new shipment
Had us categorize and sort
It was green peppers from prisoners
They grew peppers
I just wanted to wash my hands
I thought one of them hid drugs or shivs in the plants
I convinced myself their evil would touch me
On what they grew
But if the ground grew for them, I guess
They’re probably ok

Poem 2:
She said you’re more animated when he’s not around.
Otherwise I’m a still life.
Which causes less drama.

Poem 3:
I can’t believe I did this
I, I wrote you
No I can’t even say it
I wrote you a love song
It rhymes and everything
I plucked out the piano keys
Recorded it for you
And rhymed love with thought of
Worst thing ever

Poem 4:
I drugged myself today with lack of sleep
Brain doesn’t work as well
It gives me permission to be silly
Without analysis
I smile

Poem 5:
Needed to use my body to move
I wore shoes without good treads but
I walked up this hill with tree roots and trail marks
Stood on the top of the king of the mountain
Saying I am the best in the world

Poem 6:
Heat on my skin from the outside
Been in the air, conditioned too long
I’ll miss this heat when green begets orange
But for now it’s just a place to avoid

Poem 7:
They won’t kill her yet
This dog, my dying dog
My brother he can’t bear to part
But she can’t hardly stand
He can’t hardly stand
So we’ll let her suffer for him

Poem 8:
How am I going to remember this summer?
What will be the memory I go back to
Or will it fall in line with the others
All blurred into general worry

Poem 9:
I won’t brush my hair
I will not make myself beautiful for you
That piece of hair is gonna stay there
I’ll muss it around without care
I don’t preen to be seen
My hair doesn’t care

Poem 10:
Well I saw Randy with another girl
Boy I always thought liked me
He looks better than
I wanted him to be
Made just for me forever

10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Fourteen)

This marks two weeks of daily poetry. Two weeks. I could have gone on a magazine diet by now.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 14

Poem 1:
I stayed up late last night
The first hour I said I’ll wait till the end of this chapter
Then I’ll wait till the top of the hour
I waited up until the sun showed up
I’ll spend my life waiting for what I’m waiting on

Poem 2:
I made biscuits
My father used to make biscuits for me
He would take our order while we watched cartoons on the couch
What would the girls like
He could make anything up
8 1/2 minutes later on a plate with the bottom crusts cut off I would have weekend breakfast
… But my biscuits I started from scratch
And they tasted better
My dad seemed a little less of a genius
But I felt more betrayed

Poem 3:
I say the words out loud one after another
I start reading when I can’t focus
Then the zone sucks me in
It takes a second to remember my name again

Poem 4:
She said are you mad
I couldn’t look her in the eyes
She said did I do something wrong
I said I was making quesadillas
She said are you going to tell me
I stared at the granite cutting board
I said no. I’m not going to tell you
And she called after me because I didn’t give her what she wanted not because I was upset

Poem 5:
The jewelry box that sits on my dresser isn’t mine
I think how she would have looked at it
Get mad that her mind died before I could know her
If she was like my father only worse, I don’t know if I’m glad to have missed

Poem 6:
I hunch my shoulder blades up so the dress kicks up that extra half inch
My reach my arm around and stretch
I try for that zipper
I pull the front way down so my other hand can lunge and strain it up
Loved women don’t worry about zippering themselves
They stay whole

Poem 7:
He went to school the same route they always took
From raceway to twenty second
Hoping the sun wouldn’t be in his eyes again since they were on time
The walk from the parking to the doors didn’t clear his head
He just felt guilty and what not
Failing to get done what he shouldn’t have to do

Poem 8:
When I finally left and got to make my own friends
I chose people who were not like me
On purpose or not

Poem 9:
Birthday I turned drinking into life
She invited herself down to stay
My backbone gave way
She told her friends to come to my day
Then she didn’t talk to my people
And they went scared and shy
Just like me
So we sat quiet at my own table because my presence wasn’t enough to bring thoughtfulness to my would-be people

Poem 10:
I recite the Lord’s Prayer in the rhythm of my father who spat it from his wooden throne
His intonations and his cadence
His hand motions and his pacing
From memory I call upon that never ceasing image of his preaching
Hoping the wrath of god won’t find me if I’m still
Quiet and still