Mental Health Blues
Talk to, speak with.
Talk at? Not this.
Or meet my fists.
Love, souls does lift.
The headache feels like bees drilling into my skull.
His hand's on the doorknob. My fingers snake around his wrist.
"Stay?" I plead.
He faces the wall, my hand falls limply. I see his reflection in the mirror, light eyes in agony.
My head tips back, wasps buzzing. Thunder cracks outside. The window is leaking.
My lips part, or maybe his do. Both of us let the rain speak instead. Just falling, dripping, seeping.
He turns. "Goodbye."
I touch his knuckle, because he's still close enough. The door bolts: lightning.
Just me and the bees behind my eyes.
Reflecting the Fire
"Where is that boy?"
The voice is gruff. Griffin knows immediately it is Father, back from work. It's not a good sign, because he shouldn't be home this early. Ten o'clock is early for his parents, and past Griffin's bedtime.
He tugs the blanket over his head, trying to even his breathing. He needs to make it look like he's sleeping, but Father can probably hear the beat of Griffin's heart through the thin walls of the house.
The door to his room opens, and a wave of panic sweeps over Griffin.
Father is not fooled.
"Stand!" Father demands, his hands clapping together. It sounds like a gunshot.
Mother stands in the doorway meekly, licking her lips in a nervous habit.
Griffin crawls out of bed and puts his feet on the cold floor. He stands, his nightshirt catching on a burr on the bedframe.
Father grabs him by the back of his shirt, and it takes everything in the boy not to whimper. Father is in his work coveralls still, smelling of oil and dirt and alcohol. His nostrils flare, and his bushy eyebrows hide the glint in his eyes.
"Have you taken money from me?" Father's tone is dangerously calm.
Griffin squeaks in alarm, his feet scrabbling for purchase as Father, with his great strength, lifts him into the air.
"Have you taken even a goddamn penny from me, boy?!" The room rattles as Father yells. Mother tugs at Father's arm.
"No," Griffin chokes out, clawing at the neck of his shirt.
Father tosses him to the ground, and Griffin skids across the floor, colliding loudly with a shelf. A book tumbles to the ground, and another one hits him painfully on the ear, and an hourglass shatters next to his foot.
Sand pours out, filling the cracks in the wooden floor.
Mother kneels next to him, tugging on his ear. "Griffin, you tell him the truth now," she says evenly. He breathes in the scent of her: firewood and earth and lavender lotion.
Griffin eyes his mother, and she nods at him. He remembers when he was nine, and he'd bought her a periwinkle from the flower girl on the street. She'd been angry, but he hadn't understood, because it was just one coin. And he'd earned it. Running a letter across town.
But money wasn't meant for him, it was meant for her. For Father.
"I--" Griffin started, but his throat closed up.
Father yanks him to his feet, takes a fistful of his hair, and pulls him from his room. When Father lets go, they are all three in the kitchen, the fire sparking in the corner still. Griffin shades his eyes from the flames, his eyes not adjusted for the light.
Father smacks the kitchen wall loud enough for the crack to echo in Griffin's head. "Don't you dare lie to me."
Mother presses her thumb sharply into Griffin's collarbone, which might afar look supportive, but from up close feels very uncomfortable. Griffin looks into her face, and she stares grimly back at him.
His body shudders as he realizes what he must do.
He did not take any money.
"I took the money."
All Griffin hears then is the ringing in his ear as his Father takes his first hit. He forgets everything else after that. The only things he can't forget is the soft padding of Mother's feet as she leaves the kitchen and climbs into bed, and the way the blood from his mouth drips onto the floor in a sticky, fire-reflecting puddle.
I dream every night
I always have nice dreams
in them doing ordinary things
I often dream about giving seminars.
I also have a reoccurring dream about a house
I have it so often I can draw the house
but keep finding new rooms
that sounds like it means something.
I often dream about dead people
I know they are dead but it is at a family gathering
aunts, uncles, cousins, parents all going about this alternative life
busy talking to each other, putting out pies and getting spoons for the salads
I watch them
when someone dies
I'm happy for this dream
when I see them there
I feel good
knowing they made it.
He awoke as he did every day: cursing the gods for the most useless superpower of all time. He slipped out of bed quietly, so as not to disturb his wife, made his way into the bathroom, and turned on the shower. As it warmed, he noticed in the mirror that a large pimple was growing on his nose. With some concentration he positioned the head between his index fingers and squeezed them together. He could feel the pressure release and a spurt of mustard painted his mirror. He let out a sigh and stepped into the shower.
Midway through shampooing, he realized that he had forgotten to urinate. He aimed towards the drain and out came a steady stream of lemon vinaigrette. His wife would not be happy about that, he thought.
After showering he lathered his face up with shaving cream and began gliding the razor across his cheeks. Rushing through the process, he slipped and a small cut formed across his neck. Ketchup welled up from the wound which he quickly wiped away.
It was summertime and the trees were blooming. This meant his allergies were at an all time high. He grabbed a tissue and blew his nose, emptying the thick honey mustard that clogged his nasal cavities. Discarding the tissue he returned to the bedroom to get dressed.
His wife was now awake and motioned for him to get in bed. She was always good at making him feel better, at least for a while. Things were heating up and he reached for the Costco pack of Trojans that he kept on the nightstand...
Some time later, he was buttoning up his shirt, lost in thought and gazing at the discarded, mayonnaise-filled rubber at the bottom of the trash bin. Suddenly his wife rushed into the room urging him to turn on the television.
Scenes of chaos met his eyes as the news anchors showed clip after clip of towns being destroyed by aliens.
"This just in! A species of semi intelligent creatures has invaded earth! They have dropped a giant hot dog on New York City and millions are dead. Their only demands are that we humans provide condiments for this wondrous wiener. Due to the global food shortage, we do not have enough to supply them. They are unleashing their anger upon us. We fear that this could lead to the extinction of the human race if something is not done soon."
Condiment man's eyes widened and he began to smile. It was his time to shine.
10 Poetry Tips
Some people rhyme naturally
I'm not one of them.
I write free verse
it is the way I think.
1. Write your poems
by listening to your own voice.
2. Make every word count.
Extra words always take away from impact.
3. Use spacing
4. Just say it.
Surprise the reader and yourself.
5. Make it real. Make it authentic. Make it yours alone.
Don't write what you've read, heard or seen anywhere else.
Write what only you have experienced be it a sunset or love.
You are an original. Write as the only one who sees things through your unique POV.
6. Write because you must...because something in you needs to be made real. Because something in you needs to press the keys and see your thoughts and emotions appear on a screen...out of your head. Freed.
7. Find your voice.
The one that people recognize in less than a moment as you.
Write as you speak. Write as you think. Write as your observe. Write as you feel.
8. It is never a contest. It is never to win likes. It is especially not to be affirmed by others.
9. Hone your craft. Write. Challenge yourself to write every challenge. Record every moment important in your life. Some will fail. Others succeed. It doesn't matter.
Every time you write, you get better.
10. Take time to reread, correct, edit. Never be afraid to delete or start over another day.
"Are you trying to
kill me?" his mother screamed. "Are
you trying to fucking
He backed away. "Mom, please."
"Shut up! You brought
a cat. A cat! Of all things. In the house!
Knowing full well
of my allergies. That is a declaration,
young man. A declaration
very loud. You are trying
to kill your own mother, you
An hour later he
was in his room
caressing the cat's head
while it lay on his chest
"Can you believe her?" he
said to the cat
"Hardly," said the cat. "She was
a monster though. You made
the right choice, baby."
"When I decided to
keep you?" he asked
"Yes," said the cat. "And when
you stabbed her in
the chest. You're such a good boy.
That's why I love you. And
after I help you calm
down you can
drag her body to the
basement. I'll consume it
a bit every day
until there's nothing but
bones and some
guts that you
can flush down a toilet."
"I love you too," he said
find me on INSTAGRAM:
Merely a Mote
I am a tiny
merely a mote
piece of the universe
I strive to give
with no reward
write from my heart
hope to to start
If there is but one
I have done my job
no thanks required.
pushing the cart looking for schlitz
a foul smelling odor scattered me wits
after lifting the left for a sniff
and raising the right for a whiff
i knowingly smiled—twas both of me pits