When I'm down from the heat
Give me akvavit
Till I'm back on my feet
From this piss-stained sheet
I should have been buried an aborted Jesus
But ended up squirming like a crucified fetus
Just a crackerjack spread with three cheap cheeses
I'm a satellite steered by midwest breezes
So kiss my shit when I howl at the moon
My wavelength's built to be a fucked-up loon
There's a pinky in my ass since the month of June
And Rachmaninoff's playing another titty-brained tune
I am What I am
I am the distance
He who makes the powerful appear small and dismal from afar
He who warps one's perception to something unrecognizable
But also he who lacks any interest in connection
And any sense of direction
The distance grows cold as though we all are
just as much as it allows us to view nearly every star
I am the storm
He who brings about life in a forceful swept
Drenching parched plants as though a giant above them had wept
He who brings about salvation with such passion
But also he who accidentally destroys
As though the world were nothing but toys
And who's appearance is fleeting so no one enjoys
I am the badger
He who grows enticed by glitters and gold
And burrows with mighty claws into the below and cold
He who is persistent and never gives up without a fight
Even from things that cause a fright
But also he who burrows in brittle land
only to be suffocated and become the cold
I am the fog
An ever-changing shape and indistinguishable
One may even say invincible
He who offers a hiding spot to those who are weak
Despite it's nature being meek
But also he who forces the light to surrender
And makes everything appear moldy and dreary
It's a lot, the things I am and could be
Even now I am not certain of all of me
A man of light and darkness
Giving way to abstract and absurdness
Who creates just as much as he destroys
And takes the time for all his enjoys
It is this that means
I am free
I am the moment you decide to crumble, instead of continue to shove it all down
I am the whirlwind that comes in, makes a mess of the whole environment, then disappears before you can admonish it
I am a stubborn crumb, hiding in your keyboard, screwing with the letter p, until you finally wise up and get the can of compressed air
I am the name on the tip of your tongue
I am the cache of socks lost from the dryer
I am the ripple in the potato chip
I am the burst setting on an M16
I am the pole
I am everything you think I am, but not at all the way you think
But mostly, and completely,
Friday Morning Confessions
I was going to write this under the Midnight Confessions challenge for which I have been seeing fabulous entries but of course I am too late. Makes perfect sense. So here is my Friday morning confession.
I am good at thinking.
Particularly good at overthinking.
I was going to start this by saying,
I am good at breathing.
But then I thought about it.
I'm not always so good at that, I've just been doing it my whole life.
You're not good at something just because you've always done it.
I became a mom, three times over.
I'm not so good at that either.
I've been avoiding talking to my teenage daughter.
She lives at home, she's a senior in high school, already accepted to college.
She's been like my roommate more than my daughter for the past few years though.
Especially after her brother left for college.
I've been avoiding talking about it with her. Because I'm not so good at talking. Also, I had a feeling I knew what she was going to say. The oldest two, they've said it before.
But this morning, I put my mom pants on (no, they're not elastic, they're proverbial), and asked to speak with her. Well, first I tried to arrange a time. When that fell flat I said well can you just give me some time now, because she has off school today, and I wasn't late for work. So she agreed. The conversation went how I knew it would. This is not verbatim. It's the main ideas condensed and filtered through my veil of tears.
Me: "You know that I love you, don't you?"
Daughter: "I don't know. It doesn't matter. I closed myself off long ago."
Me: "Why?" I knew the answer. I just had to hear it out loud, lest I fall victim to assumptive reasoning. This wasn't assumption though, it was just truth, which I knew.
Daughter: "Because you won't give up drinking."
Me: "So we can't work on our relationship unless I stop drinking?"
Daughter: "I'll still see you on holidays."
Me: "That's not what I mean. I want to be a part of your life. I want to know you. I want to matter. I want you to know me." (Okay, I didn't say that part out loud, but that was what my heart was saying.)
Me (really): "So where are you going to live next year?"
Daughter: "Jen asked me to move in with her."
Me: I start a monologue about how difficult my life is and has been and I'm human and I've tried so many times but if I backslide a little bit all the doors shut even though that's when I need support the most and she just doesn't understand and I stop, mid-sentence, get up and walk out the door stating, "I'll talk to you when I stop drinking then."
You know, I run through all the options in my head, as alcoholics are wont to do. Weigh things against one another. And then have I the mini-epiphany, as long as I continue to believe I don't deserve things like loving children and a happy family, I won't have them. The problem is, very very deep down, compressed into my core, stamping my soul in a way that even cloning me would produce the same result, is that belief. Whispering to me in the still of the night, "You should have never been born. You were a mistake. You killed your mother." To be clear, I don't know if she died in childbirth. That's just what the haunting refrain tells me. Over and over again my whole entire life, coloring every word I say or don't, every action I take. Conscious or subconscious. It lets me walk away from anything and everything good because I. Don't. Deserve. It. Anyway.
And this concludes my Friday Morning Confessions.
There’s no need to go any further
I am not what you label me to be,
though you feel you are employed to tell me what you think, what you feel, or how I can be a better use to society.
What you fail to realize is that I’ve already heard those words, from myself, from the all too regular passersby on the street.
But that’s not what defines me.
There’s no need to go any further, because at the end of the day,
I determine what definition I want my name to read.
It’s all too easy to say just leave,
but have you felt the iron fist of love hit you on the cheek?
Have you put in the time to heal your wounds, yet remain loyal to your commitment to the one you vowed you’d never leave?
It’s harder than you think,
especially when you stand by hoping for it to change.
It’s harder than you think.
There’s no need to go any further, as I contain more strength and fortitude in my swollen eye, than you produce in fifty-two weeks.
My shortened hair is like a beacon to you.
It’s been ten years since we last shared words, yet here you are with your keystrokes of sorrow as if you’ve been here indefinitely.
There’s no hand to hold or a warm embracing squeeze,
just the coldness of kind words shared digitally.
I am more than the diagnosis I received.
There’s no need to go any further, as every remaining hair on my head contains an accomplishment, I set out to achieve, or a memory I had once created,
or a life I helped inspire to believe.
My thickened armor is not here by choice, contrary to belief.
It’s not a product of laziness or lack of responsibility,
yet you don't hear my explanation and continue to chisel away my exterior with your daggers and blades, attempting to form what you deem a perfect human being.
My armor exists, in part, as a symbiotic response to your misguided needs;
A habitual overdose to fill the void, to cover the pain, and to ignore the hate.
My Armor Protects me.
There’s no need to go any further, as I am more than just on the surface or skin deep.
My whole body is molded with perseverance and shaped with the idea that one day
I will be happy. I am happy.
I am not a freak.
Look at you, looking at me.
It seems you are vicariously living in my shoes trying to man the helm,
when it's you who's lost at sea.
I am not a label, a bruise, an illness, or what I eat.
Despite what society deems to be proper, at the end of the day, I am Unique.
There is no difference between you and I. We just view things through a different set of eyes.
There's no need to go any further.
what makes me
yet i still
cannot afford them,
going into debt
i can pretend
that i am nothing
yet even still
i find myself
for a truth
that doesn't exist.
i can't even accept
ghosting the universe.
and i did not
i danced my way
if i can
yet even as i
i must make
i have to decide
who i am
or else someone
will do it for me
and i'll choke
on their words.
i need to find my own.
if the words
i will invent them
because without them,
and nothing else.
what makes me tick
oh what flick
youll end dead in bog
Poetry in Pieces Week Twelve w/@ledlevee
This is the latest installment of the week-long poems I co-author with a fellow Proser. Each morning I write my verse then send it to @ledlevee for his responsive verse he writes at night. We alternate who begins the poem (and who posts the completed project). This week he started.
I see all I’ve been through
As I look backward:
All the heartbreak,
All the love gained and lost,
The drugs, the lust,
The births, the deaths, the struggles,
And the miracle is I’m still here,
And I look ahead
And maybe I’m starting to see
Blank pages waiting to be written
Rather than dark, looming storm clouds
I feel all I’ve been through
As I move forward:
All the heartache,
All the trust extended and lost,
The drinking, the sex,
The pregnancies, childhood struggles,
And it is a miracle I am still here,
And I forge ahead
Flirting with the precipice of abandon
Writing my life story in the same storyline
Wondering if I should start my rewrites
And I try to forge ahead
Filling the first new pages
Of old friendships,
New friendships being forged,
Reading poetry in bars
And coffee houses
Wowing the crowds again
As I come into my own again
finding the poet who’s been hiding,
Finding new adventures,
Writing and sharing,
And searching for the love
Hiding underneath layers of scar tissue
And I try to pay attention
To who is reaching out
I try to allay
The burgeoning doubt
That life is what it seems
That I’m not falling into seams
Like the spare change
On life’s couch
Not to be found
Until something more important
But if I was looking for spare change
And found a diamond in the lint
I hope I’d be smart enough
To know what it was I found
I’d like to know
There was something far more valuable
Far more priceless
And I’d shine it and polish it
And look at it in the mirror
And see if its reflection
Could shine back to it
With the inner beauty I see
Instead of something with an exterior clouded
By years of wear and tear
I like to think
The years have clarified
Refined the fiery center
Into something palatable
But as I listen to myself
The fear still in my voice
Causes me to question
The years have done
I like to think
The years have strengthened,
But then a nuclear explosion
Rocks you to the core
And it’s almost like
I have to start from scratch
But as I rebuild
I am reminded of the strength that’s there,
The fire and the gemstone,
Refined over time
And it’s still there
Once the dust settles
Perhaps that’s my issue
I never let the dust settle
When it gets close
I agitate it all over again
Wittingly or un
What would happen
If I let the dust settle?
I often have the same problem,
Jumping from land mind to land mine,
But I’ve been forced
To learn to stay in one place
With the help of a chemistry lab
Full of medications
Because my hand has been forced;
I can’t move on or rebuild,
And I have no shelter from the storms.
I’ve had to learn to tread water
And I’ve had no choice
But to let the dust settle
Though I sense more explosions ahead
If you feel you can’t move on
Must wait to rebuild
At least you can still fortify
So when the explosions come
You will have protection
From the shrapnel
This long gestation
Of your after life
Can be used for growth
So when the time comes
You won’t feel as small as I did
And I feel I’m growing,
I’m not sure what I’m preparing for
Or if I’m just perpetually journeying,
moving forward towards nothing,
But in the meantime
I can better myself any way I can
So whatever happens
In the days, years ahead
Maybe my best self will be there
To meet them
There was a time
When my ex husband spoke to me
All I could hear was pain
My son’s father
All I could hear was heartbreak
All I could hear was sympathy
As if I were dead
And they were offering condolences
I felt dead
But they were speaking actual words
Perhaps they should have been writing them
Maybe they would have sunken in faster
All this to say
I can hear now
It just took some time
I am here now
It just takes some time
I feel dead
Like a ghost
Floating through life
But maybe I’m starting
To slowly become corporeal again
Maybe there’s something that’s real
The beginnings of a heart or a mind,
The part that feels pain
The part that remembers the past
The part that starts pushing me
To move forward
I feel life
Like a survivor
Battle tested and scarred
But still standing
Handing out hope like candy
Because I should give
What I want to receive
Here’s to new beginnings
And all the pain survived
And all the joy to come
What do I know of truth
With two eyes that see
A heart that feels
And a mind
That logics out
Whatever I desire
What could I know
Always finds me
No matter how many miles
Or au’s I put between us
What could I know
When I look one way
But was raised another
But if truth
Then how can it be
And if truth
Is subject to my beliefs
What’s the point of arguing?
Thoughts past Midnight
I'm not an insomniac, but I can't sleep, tonight
It's the second of August
It feels like i'm sinking if I lay still, a cataclysmic fall backwards in slow motion
When the only thing you hear is ringing in your ears, the feeling of pressure only seems to press even closer than it dares to in noisy daylight
It's strange, thinking of all the people awake on the other side of the globe, working and busy in the sunlight
There's a strange comfort in staring at the alien abyss of countless stars - A comfort in knowing that over countless lifetimes, others have stared at these same stars.
I wonder what they thought of them
This night is one of countless others, the sun on the other side simply an interruption of one eternal night, one comforting darkness, stretching back to the beginning of it all