Category: poetry


Dispatches from old journals – various years and locations in the January New Year/Birthdayish time frame…

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” -e. e. cummings

***

Him: Are you still in love with the universe?

Me: Quite

Him: I think you are in love with ME.

Me: You ARE part of the universe

Last night, I dreamed about a zombie apocalypse. Lots of running & hiding. I found J in my dream, and we teamed up and found a way out.

I called J today to tell him. He thought it was funny. What I didn’t tell him is that we made out in the dream. Towards the end, I remember what his kisses felt like. They were hard and thin of lip.

Discuss, discuss, DIS-GUS. Discusting.

I’m living in an alternate reality. An alternating duality, fresh from free modality. Sensitive in its design, by nature. Designed. Maligned by creature comforted by none. Rewire. Rewire. Retire.

So chaos comes rolling in. Roiling. A haphazard retrofit toiling. Group gorilla going. Left hand albatross flowing. Supine supine never mind realign.

I am crossing over, crossing back. Redesigning, keeping slack. Semi-automatic, semiotic plague. Plaguing me. Reprobating me. <Sending Leave intimidating me.> I am rock, flowing, water. I am rock of disaster. I am missed opportunity. I am endless hegemony. Instituting harmony. Refill refine ignominy. Endless ever after.

This journey I have traveled. Will require. Will require. Will require…and equation. Forming mandibled collusion. Replace heaven with contusion. Inevitable confusion.

Pistachios in bed and Cherry Dr. Pepper. My hands are covered w/eggplant paint. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with my toilet. And it’s a new year. I hope it’s a good one.

“I’m in love with my walls” -Lester Bangs

He said one day all the walls will fall & it will be just us.

One day all the walls will fall & it will be justice.

~One day. Falling walls. Just us.~

One. Falling Us.

Just Us.

Justice.

Us.

The 1st hr of my

kid & housemate independence,

I made a plan to be productive

The 2nd hour was spent buying

“supplies”

Which began w/organizing

furniture and ended

in potato chips & soda pop

The 3rd hour was spent

laughing w/a friend

The 4th spent @ home

eating an extra cheesy

grilled chz sandwich

and watching yesterday’s

PBS News Hour,

and writing in my journal

in sharpie marker

w/out first having had to

tell anyone, “I’m writing in

my journal…please don’t

disturb me

for 30 minutes

and retreating to my

room

And locking the door

And flopping on the bed

And beginning to write

And…

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

*MOM!!!!*

(being interrupted.)

I scratch daily words on paper. How trite to describe my life the way I have. A million pages of reverie – just to see what sticks. Last year was the year of meta. The overarching. Sans details, nuances tell a story. This year will be the year of micro vs. macro. I will take small things. I will practice the art of magnification. I can’t be contained.

The thing is

that it is such a

long rope

and such a

velvet noose

You don’t even realize

you are choking

until you are

well, well, well, well

Hung.

****

I know what I want for my birthday and I will never get it and the worst thing is that it’s probably best that I not.

***

The way the world turns bokeh when I’m lying in bed staring at a sunlit tree until it breaks down to the smallest elements. Dots and lines and bark and vibrations.

***

My boyfriend knows the Dewey Decimal system. He tells me to stop watching television and go to the library. He says to go to the 811 section & find a random book of poetry. He recites to me with sweet voice and joy-brimmed eyes while his strong hands bring me to the edges of lucidity.

***

There’s something about the deconstruction and the reconstruction. The pulling things apart, re-mapping, and putting back together. My mind wants to hurry through process and get to product as quickly as possible. Counting minutes even still as the days linger into one another, leaning casually back into the day before as they tiptoe forward.

***

“Sociability is a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth.” -Jack Kerouac

(Dispatches from an unwritten novel…)IMG_0473

SHE’S NOT THERE

Well no one told me about her…

I am laying on my back in my bed and I am surrounded by thoughts of you, only they dance around my head like notes on a staff. Sharps and flats whole notes & halves. No one told me it could be like this – to meet someone who causes chords and melodies to spill out of every crack & crevice – every indentation – each and every ideation. This approximation of love. Once wanted, then wounded, then wound and unwound. Reaching for something never to be found. She’s not there, but she is. In every thought. Every plucked string. Every beat of the drum. I am lying in this bed full of no words to describe only music. Each touch splinters into sonata. Every tremble a tremolo.

 

I go to sleep these days, my guitar next to me like her body should be. I strum her as I slumber. I stumble out of bed in the morning, temporarily displaced. Disconnected from my amplifier. I find notes from her, strewn in out of the way places. She’s here. She’s not there. She is everywhere.

***

All Hail the Non-Custodial!

He who reads your journals,

and holds their fatalistic contents against you

For THIRTEEN.

FUCKING.

YEARS.

He who gives you

Just what you deserve

and more

He who stayed up countless nights,

witnessing crying jags

of an anxious infant

from across the room

on the couch

in his unemployed haze

while you begged to be relieved

so you could sleep enough

for work in the morning

Hail the non-custodial!

For never reading a single book

about parenting

or education

but who is just sure

You are doing it wrong

Who doesn’t want you

to bother him

with the details…

Unless he does.

Hail the custodial!

who complains about

discriminatory courts

Who enjoys custodial rights, but never

custodial responsibility

Who never questions

why birthday celebrations

slumber parties

and pretty much all relationships

exist at the home of the custodial.

Never considers the cost

of creating a welcoming home,

but enjoys the privilege

of not having to pay it.

Hail him! Bow before him!

Prostrate yourself for the crumbs

that barely pay the grocery budget

of a house with two

Growing

Teenage boys.

The same amount

that supported

toddler diets and

grade school needs

can now certainly be stretched

to cover

adolescent appetites

and extracurricular

activities.

Throw roses in his wake,

as he tells you

that’s all you’re getting.

Curse your inability to understand

non-custodial math

as you foolishly add up the costs of lodging,

entertainment,

education,

and logistical expenses.

Make sure he knows how special

and holy

he is.

And always. Always. ALWAYS.

Find a way to make do

without his assistance

Because those in custody

should not have to want

for his wanting.

p.s. The subject

of this poem

is FICTIONAL.

Because

Maude forbid anyone

EVER

besmirch the

good name

of the

non-custodial.

 

The Art of Unsticking a Window

 

You must be thorough.

That angry purple paint

you carelessly splashed

onto walls

over baseboards

globbed onto sills & casements

won’t give easy

Having solidified

In your

Living Room

for a decade

while you’ve craved

open windows

never time to

break the seal

 

Though you wield a hammer

You must be gentle

The glass, already

hairline

fractured

and delicate

a window is more

vulnerable, even,

than it seems

Surrounded, as it is, by

impervious, swollen

wood

 

You must be innovative

When a hammer doesn’t work

try a paint scraper

& if you can’t find

a paint scraper,

you look for a

screwdriver

And if your last housemate

stole all your tools,

use the metal spatula

floating in the

sink’s lake of last night’s

fetid dishes

 

You must be persistent

get at every single

crevice – slicint, pushing,

pulling, hammering,

BELIEVING

with all your might

that you will get this

fucking window

open.

You will feel this autumn’s

cool breezes in your

Living Room

 

You must

write poetry

in your mind

as you work.

 

You must stop

When you are done

and celebrate

By writing down that poem.

 

You must not

be discouraged

by the fact that there are

Three more windows

waiting

to be

Pried Open.

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photo 5

I’m beginning to really resent technology.

Reminding myself again that a day out on a boat in the middle of the lake is a goal. Within the next month or so. It needs to happen. I would actually prefer a frosty mountaintop, but a boat on a lake will do for now. Jesus. Even a fucking rowboat at this point would do. I don’t fucking care. Hahaha.

Things have been far too stressful, and while I”m tempted to say I’m not handling the stress well, I don’t want to pile self-loathing on top of the stress. I’m doing the best that I can. I’m finding moments to relax. I’m trying my best to control the things I can control and not let things get away from me. But it’s just that both of the children need ALL OF THE THINGS. And all of the things are breaking. And I keep settling down into a groove at work, only to have that groove interrupted by another “opportunity.” And I can’t turn down opportunities because all of the things are breaking, and the only way to pay for things that break is by taking advantage of opportunities. And you can’t really have opportunities without some degree of disruption and discomfort.

And I’m all for temporary discomfort for more permanent gains, but it would be nice to settle for a bit. It doesn’t look like settling for a bit will be happening until after December, so I need to find a way to settle within the discomfort.

Poetry is helping, for the most part. I should say, Plath did not help. Plath made things worse. But today, some Gary Snyder nature poems fixed me right up. Gave me reason to drift. Realigned my soul-spine. Reminded me of that Kerouac quote from Desolation Angels, “When all is said and done, it doesn’t matter.” Also, “You can’t fall off a mountain.” (though for some reason, I remember (and prefer) those quotes as “When all is said and done, nothing matters.” and “You can’t fall UP a mountain.”)

Because I sure as shit am not descending any time soon, so I might as well find a way to appreciate the labor against gravity.

 

 

That’s no way to say goodbye

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This is all I have to say,
and normally I shy away
from these cryptic posts,
but I’ll call this my poem of the day

As a parent, I expect to have
my children take me for granted.
As a friend
Not so much

And while I understand
The nature of the man
And don’t expect a
“Thank you”

I expect more than I got,
I expect more than vitriol
I deserve better than a temper tantrum
And a scrawled note.

And I’m not going to list my sacrifices,
Though there were many unspoken
and unacknowledged
I’ll just say
You’re Welcome.
All the best.
And take care.