thorn bird

It has been a long few months, and I have not had the words to describe it, to fully summarize the exhausting mucking-through that has been the bulk of my writing hiatus. Writer’s block is an awful affliction and I am clawing my way out. Tonight I was feeling a bit bristly and I picked this out, each word a little razor in my brain. Ever stepped on a prickly fern? They burn, and itch, and they’re impossible to see when they’re lodged in the thick skin at the bottom of your foot and therefore impossible to remove. More than ever, I am seeing various aspects of my life and feeling very similarly toward those variables in my life that I do with those goddamn prickly ferns.

So I wrote this out of frustration and was so relieved that something that was not complete and/or literal shit came out of me that I wanted to share it with someone.

Thanks for sticking around, and please tell your friends. Sometimes I write poems, and sometimes I try hard and write poems that might in some way suck a little less than others. I’ll let you be the judge and I’ll appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

 

 

Thorn bird

 

I will sing the song of swans for you

To prove

I possess a worth

To be proven.

I’d die to live, and lived only to die

By appearances,

Expectations and the infinite looping

Of what I think you think of me.

Be seen and not heard, suppress

The song and dance

Only when the world sleeps.

I took too long to arrive,

Born in the fall and kept going.

Flitting, unwittingly,

Mostly just unwillingly.

From rooftop to ledge,

Cliffs of my own creating

Could wings keep this heavy heart aloft?

A lack of faith, most disturbing,

In the simplicity of the wind;

Invisible strength, yet seen and so felt –

These things, in myself –

Mere melody without audience.

Every thorny poem

Until the words cut deep enough

to feel.

My song will be worth

Those words.

 

 

-xoxo

the legacy he’s leaving

Tonight has me feeling sentimental. Not the good kind, where I remember all the good times, the crazy friends, the shenanigans I fell into and scraped myself out from. The kind that makes this living room look dark, makes my ears perk up with the faint echoes of a sad song, makes me feel like I need a beer or seven to make this go away. But then again, that’s something my father would say.

I always thought, like a child, that when I was taken from my mother, I was someone’s victory. Because she always treated me like a loss. She valued me when she had me because I wasn’t hers to keep. He made it very clear that I was his, that he was the one steadfast thing in my life – imagine that, a drunk being steady!

He has always been a terrific liar. A narcissistic demi-god in my life, controlling every aspect of my emotions with the ease of a puppet master. The terrible Zeus wreaking havoc on Greece to meet his amusements and vengeance. Tonight, I am angry. Tonight, I am defeated but not knocked down. Tonight I’m striking back, in the only way I’ve ever known how. With words he’ll never read, feelings he’ll never validate, and a rage that only he would understand because the dark side of the soul I inherited is his legacy.

Untitled: a poem for my father

The child you never wanted,

The woman you couldn’t get back.

The screams you wouldn’t swallow,

The heart and soul you lack.

The lullabies you never sang,

The secrets you couldn’t keep,

The habits you’ll never change,

The faith –  you’d never leap.

The embrace you never gave,

The steps you never took,

The words you never said,

The pages you tore from the book.

The past you can’t deny,

The future you can’t face

The names you claim to forget,

The things you can’t outrace.

The time you never spent,

The rage you never held,

The chances that you lost,

The remorse you never felt.

The river you sold us down

The dollars in your eyes,

The loneliness you’ll feel

When you know we’ve realized.

There’s more in there. But this is a start.

-xoxo

Manifest Destiny

I have the words in there somewhere, those beautiful utterances that are strung together so delicately that only the prettiest, most flowery words are produced. I just can’t seem to pick them out without breaking them down into ugly pieces of “love, heart, key, soul, happiness…” etc etc etc. Those have to be my most overused words, and as much as it kills me to rely on those old things, I feel like the other ones, the pretty, sensitive, honest words are stuck in there somewhere.

I want to be willowy and sinewy and lit up by the bright sun, but I find myself fat and dumpy hiding in the dark of my cliches and rhymes. Where are those words?! I am the poet, and they are mine! Why can’t I ever seem to catch up to them, no matter how long in the night I stay awake keeping chase?

I wanted to write a poem about the meta universe that two people in love find themselves in. I wanted to write about the very real, yet intangent, world that two lovers create and inhabit in and around each other. I’ve started something and I like some of these words, but there’s something better in there, I know there is. I was reading Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet” and love love loved the part “On Love” where he discusses belonging with, but not to. On how to be separate, yet together. How to be different, yet one. After reading it, I asked myself how I could apply that to my own relationship. How I think of my Fair Ginger Lover as mine, and me as his, yet know full well we each have our own goals and dreams, our own Before and our own versions of what could exist should we ever encounter an After. When two hearts become one, how does that work? It’s something I’m meditating on right now.

But here’s the start. Because while I’m not finished, I’m not ashamed of the draft.

Manifest Destiny

I have always envied those

Whom dance in the space between souls

The purgatory of circumstance, caught

In the closeness of two people.

We call it love,

to be in suspended orbit, to adore

to touch ever so slightly yet

never let go

To sway in and out of each

Existence, becoming familiar with

the delicious foreignness of another’s mind,

as waves chase the moon,

as the moon tugs the tide.

To have but never to keep.

To belong with, but never to.

Revel at existing in

this personal universe within

the confines of contact

as close as our skin to our bones.

Within and without, we mingle

taking pieces as we trespass,

staking claim on something that

could never be property

calling the whole affair

manifest destiny.

Thank you for reading. xoxo

Cruel and Unusual

I wrote a new piece tonight that evolved from a conversation to a meditation to a freewrite to a bullet list and finally into what it looks like for now as I present it to you.

I’ve had a lot on my mind and my heart has been unsettled lately. Recent uprooting of old buried things concerning family skeletons have created a tension in my slice of the Universe and as a result, my usual management of my mental illness has been impaired. In short, I’ve been a cracking egg for a while.

And I hate eggs. The more I think about eggs, the more I hate them. I hate the way they taste, the thick, slurpy fatty texture of gooey sludge sliding down my throat like all the times my father laughs about our childhood like there was anything we were ever allowed to laugh about.

Normally, I would be more held back and I wouldn’t share so outwardly the fact that I have some pretty deep-rooted issues regarding my father. I know there are people who could “blow my cover” so to speak, but I think that after this long, and after this much therapy, I am allowed to finally say it out loud.

He will still believe he is right, and I am wrong. Because he is big, and I am small; he is smart, I am dumb; he is God, I am Unworthy. Lucky. Ungrateful. In the way. I won’t keep going, I could be here all night.

The poem.

Cruel and Unusual

A poem for my father

I want to know why you text me.

Because you do it out of the blue,

And I feel in that moment almost normal,

Like we could be sipping coffee a world away

In the dining room. With that clock, you remember?

Where do you get the nerve?

I want to know how you sleep at night

while I still have nightmares set in that barn.

I want to know how you’ve turned down

The volume of that scream,

The impact of anger against innocence.

I want to know how you get to walk away

like it never happened, how you get to

drop

eight years of my life into a bucket labeled History

like so much garbage.

How you get to burn the evidence.

I want to know how you smile at my daughters

like you never cursed their mother’s existence.

I want to know how you played us like pawns

in your hateful game of Custody.

What did you hope to build

from our demolition?

I want to know how you hid everything,

how you brainwashed them all.

How you smiled and shut the door

And opened a floodgate

Of accusation and education:

Reality redefined into ridiculous.

I want to know how you changed all the rules.

I want to know why you never answered,

will never answer,

for your actions.

I want to know why I held out my hand for as long as I did,

why you never looked down to take it.

Why you kept me;

why you let me go.

I want to know why you wake up,

each day a new day

while I find another yesterday

for every tomorrow I am given.

I want to know where you bought

your immunity,

to whom you sold your soul.

I want to know how you still manage

to guilt me into a Father’s Day card each year,

how you make me miss a man you never were.

I want to know how

you think you still deserve

a daughter,

why I still think

I deserve you

at all.

Naked in an Overdressed World

I’m working on a new poem but I’m not quite sure where I stand on it. It’s a bit of a battle between my many selves. Thanks for reading.

Of course I am self-conscious.

I have self-respect. I just don’t.

I own an awareness, a conscience.

I am quite aware of the disappointment.

Do not think I cannot feel your cringe.

I am more than I thought I would be

and more than you thought I would be

Yet not, no, never enough

To be what we thought I should be.

I wear myself all over my skin

And under it, inside the belly

That held sacred things,

Sometimes secret,

and each a stark reminder

of our differences.

Raised with great expectations

Such a deep well of words

And the tallest of dreams

For the smallest of shoulders

A wildflower with seeds to sow

A Thursday’s child,

With so far to go.

You are not in my face,

Nor my heart, nor my blood

But in my soul, where you stain

And my ear, with every single

Pavlovian response I cannot deny.

Be seen, and not heard, and not

Caught in a laugh or a whisper

Or a second plate or a little dance

For no reason.

Because everything has a reason

And a place and a rule and a law.

‘Be wild’ they tell me,

Dressed in my best with the biggest holes.

I made them myself while I earned

Street cred, with my careful aim

And my scissors and safety pins.

Be as you as you can be

until you don’t remember who you were.

I will pose in every picture,

take in every scene

and wear them on my sleeve

Until I find a face I fit in,

that feels like mine.

a little poem about a match made in Heaven

Not titled, nor is it finished. Or maybe it is? 

sunmoon

She is the moon,

howling

Vast and vacant

in a stardusted quilt of darkness,

holes where the sun

shines through.

He waits in the dawn

chasing her through daylight

with such love that,

sometimes,

he hangs her shadow in the sky

just to be near;

if only to admire.

To wonder

if they ever could be,

while she lights up the night

a beacon. Seeking

her beloved, the one

who illuminates her,

doomed

to elude her

but for the eclipse;

the collision: a kiss.

Because if I were the moon, and he were the sun, and we only passed each other 2.4 times per year on average, I would spend every possible second of that time kissing him, you can be damn sure. ❤