i am a fighter. the most competitive and the most unforgiving. my heart is wilted, but i will take it. and so will you. my punching bag. worn from my incessant bickering. torn from my attempts to rip apart your spirit. but you. you roll with the punches. you feed my fire. and i ask you to feed my fire. crumple my insecurities and toss them in a waste basket. relentless but restless. persistant. insistent. why. why do you brace and watch. me. crossing my fingers. hoping the ice will crack. take us down. make us drown. i fall and will fall. into a million pieces. again and again. pathetic and needy. wanting you to need to me. wanting you to leave me for someone else’s taking. someone else’s breaking. but you don’t. you get down. on your hands and your knees. with a magnifying glass. looking for the pieces that fit together. every bit and every glimmer of my complication. my skeleton of a soul. why. why when i leave you to find me in the dark. my ruthless game of hide and seek. to find me. to unwind me. catch me and grind me. the ways i grind you. leaving you without any light. without a way back to me. do it yourself. i am relentless but restless. persistant. insistent. but still you play. you stay. why, why do you stay. waiting until i decide to switch the light back on. until i decide to give up. you think you will win. but i am the toxic type. the no missed calls. the watch you fall. the wants you to hurt. become bruised. and become used. become just like me. the needs to push you away. but wants you to stay. my heart is hard. my heart is tough. and you will never, ever understand. that love means surrender. to you. to me. and to all that i am.
Nothing is permanent.
Trees lose their vitality; their green leaves turn orange, crumpling into hard brittleness. Eventually they lose their grip and fall from what they've always clung to for life. They hit the ground, vigor and greenery gone from their veins. Soon a little girl who loves the sound of cackling autumn leaves beneath her feet will trample them into nonexistence, turning them into little more than indiscernible pieces that comprise the mosaic of a forest floor.
People are the same. Youth makes fools out of all of us, but with that folly comes the beauty of innocence and naivety. Youth makes the world around us blur, sharpening only the lines of the loveliness we see in the midst of ugliness. But in youth we don't notice those displeasing to the eye. Vitality, vigor thrums in your veins the moment you realize you've climbed so high up the tree you can see above the gates that surround the only world you knew. It doesn't come to your attention that you might fall, that your fragile little bones might break into so many pieces you forget childish joy. But you don't think about this, because you can see beyond your boundaries. You can see the sunset as its reddish glow sinks seemingly into the earth, bathing your whole world for an instant, in glorious light. You want to climb higher, to see more, to feel taller than everyone else. It doesn't occur to you that this increases danger, that it will be all the more painful for you. Because in this moment you don't know pain. You don't know danger. You don't know fear.
But that's what parents are for. Because they've seen it all, done it all, and they know pain, they know danger, they know fear, and they know that the sun doesn't actually set. They've witnessed the beauty of dawn and dusk you gaze at with so much wonder so many times that they began to see it only as part of time.
They know that some day you will change. You will grow up, and that your eyes will lose their innocence. You will know pain, the kind that doesn't only refer to the little cuts and bruises you get from stumbling and falling. The kind that feels like a black hole has suddenly sprung to life inside you, eating your heart from the inside. You will know danger, the kind that doesn't only mean risk of getting bruised. The kind where you know the full implications of what you are doing, that there is a possibility that you might lose a part of you or the whole of you. You will know fear, the kind that turns your blood into ice, that freezes your heart into eternal immobility; the kind that makes you break into a sweat, that makes every instinct of yours scream for you to run, run as fast as you can.
As you change, as you grow up, you will realize that not everything people say should be taken literally.
And like the trees there will come a time when you will lose your vitality, when you shrivel up and crumple into hard brittleness, full of bitterness and wistfulness. One day you will look at the sunset and tell yourself, "I wish I could be a kid again." Eventually you will lose your grip and fall from what you've always clung to for life. You will fall, vigor and suppleness gone from your veins. Soon your children, their children, their grandchildren, will stand over a coffin-sized hole as they lay you down for your final rest. Soon the earth you've walked on for such a long, long time, will trample you into nonexistence. Decades later, you will be nothing more than indiscernible pieces that comprise the richness of the earth.
Nothing is permanent, but we are all here to create something that is.
As the fog piques my vision my pen trembles.
Papers crumple and my head is weathered, I think to myself:
"I wish I could control what I write, tho...
It'd be unusually droll to decide to
Just rhyme about what excites to kill time.
I don't know anyone who would trade lives for picket signs.
To tell the whole world of all those who lived and died.
They're content to check themselves out and stress over ticket times while wondering which way to tint their eyes.
Their sick inside.
A fickle kind.
But in a world of cause and effect with laws in effect,
Did we ever control anything?
Including the applause during sets."...
...And as the fogs pouring in, just beyond four am.
I ask myself, "am I lost? and how far gone is my pen?"
No answer leaves me wondering on til the end
And As the paper crumples I move on to my bed.
The paint on the canvas
never had a chance to fully dry
before you painted on another layer.
You couldn't quite stay between the lines,
and an acrylic became a watercolor
when tears stained our so called masterpiece.
Days spent debating
whether to paint over the wreckage
or crumple the paper,
but I've never been much of an artist.
She was f-u-l-l and stuffed to the brim.
Not another thing could be shoved down her throat
She was silent though,
Deathly quiet because she was in actuality
Empty of food, that is.
She was full of emotion and feelings and
Her wrists whispered those attempts
And her legs moaned those failed tries
Her throat ached with pills stuck there
And her neck was ringed red with burns
Her blue nails wailed underfed
Her blue lips screamed lacking.
So she took a k-n-i-f-e,
A big, butchered blade
A laid it flat against her sewn on skin.
And she shaved off the first layer of shield
And then she swiped off the second layer
To reveal nothing but words underneath,
Crawling out like spiders and centipedes.
She screamed and shook them away onto the floor.
Then she took that k-n-i-f-e,
That big, butchered blade,
And pressed it to her battered heart
And let it slide in with slow precision.
And she didn't feel anything because there was nothing there.
And she let the words crumple to the tile
Along with those bright red droplets of
By the time she was found, she was no longer
But rather very very
I know you are there.
I put fingertips out to feel
But only in my head
There are not any moments
where our hands touch
our lips meet
the words mingle
I only hear the shuffle
of your soles
the stir of your cup
when my eyes land
On your nose, your ears
I experience symmetry
I want to crumple the paper
so we could overlap
(since my recall isn't as lucid as yours):
i'd like to imagine that these
wires and terminals traverse
and meet at various odds and ends
like laundry powder and the crumple
of leather on the floor,
summer room industrially cold
and spent curled up
from 9.40 a.m., running on four hours
though was wildly, wakefully inspired
you used to say that sleep is overrated
in the company of
pages and nightcaps, repeated and
withheld goodnights worth more
than a hundred, five times over
now i greet the ceiling away
from milky cloud and skies
in some blinkered awareness, sheets creased,
folded in a mocking design
in-between vistas of
my fingers which you clasped like instinct—
present tense, clasp
—remindful of things that are still here,
that i am no longer fiercely alone.
long-distance is tough, ducks.
- For Fear of Returning Home
I curl my hands up into little balls,
small concentrations of the frustration I'm boiling in.
I fold in on myself like a sheet of paper
I crumple and wrinkle
and I haven't spoken to you in a while, now.
I am a sad excuse
for a great many things.
But he loves me anyway:
saying those things are just things,
even if I have been through
"more than most people should."
And he still tries to talk to me
He still feels the need to tell me
things I would be better off not knowing.
"I liked cuddling with you,"
he tells me.
I collapse in on myself and forget how to exist.
We are traveling at 70 down I-55
tire treads and wooden crosses forgotten on the shoulder
and I think of the monks in Vietnam who
walk two thousand miles around a lake
falling prostrate at every third step.
And I think of how much easier that would be
than to pray at the side of the interstate
falling prostrate every third step
onto broken glass and all that litters
and glitters in the headlights--
and catches your tires as you slip into the shoulder
late at night when the moon is new and absent
and you are tired.
I think of how much easier it would be
falling prostrate every third step
down the fifty miles to my bed
than to promise myself that I will
wake up tomorrow at all.
I slept all day today, my love
and I know you are disappointed--
but sometimes, most times,
it doesn't really seem worth the effort.
I wonder what motivates a seedling to keep striving
for the surface at the promise of sunlight
after spending so long in the dark.
Is the sun even shining, my love?
Can you promise me that one thing,
that pushing through whatever
hell this is
that there will be sunlight when I break through?
I don't want to tell you--
your love scars the side of my leg worse than
his rape ever did--
but he haunts me worse than
anything before him
and I am afraid of going back home to look at
the God-fearing family that sleeps
Let me rest.
Please, just let my mind rest
Away from these words that twist and crumple,
And fall listlessly onto the page.
I need a reprieve
From these thoughts that spiral
And catch on a loop
Which will then echo infinitely in my brain.
The wind falters
As bad blood settles back into the air
In the promise of another spring
I’m not sure what this poem means,
And through the tides of time
These words will be no more
Than a speck of a speck.
But for now your eyes are upon me
As I hide behind the spaces between the words,
More than human,
Less than air.
And I love you
For simply being there.
As with most men, it is easier for me to give hugs than to accept them,
Let the truth be known that men are nothing more than emotional skyscrapers,
built with glass infrastructures, spray painted the color of steel and nicknamed "Strength"
Strange, isn't it?
What walking contradictions are we called men...
Men are taught to colonize at the age of 5 through games like cops and robbers,
cowboys and indians
At the age of 8 we are given helmets and told to hit each other on the head with it,
Bleed but do not bleed,
Cut but do not cry,
Be a man, join the military,
Die for your country, and if death comes to you,
Look it in the eye and say:
Bring it on, mother-fucker, I fear nothing but intimacy.
When it comes to intimacy men quiver like fault lines, crumble like cities
What walking contradictions are we called men...
Men sign peace accords while abusing their wives,
Accept the Nobel Peace prizes while reducing health care,
Pledge to rid the world of terrorism while simultaneously denying government aid to any country that defends a woman's right to choose
During the 1970's the US government forcebly sterilized an estimated fifty percent
of the indigenous population of America's Mid-West telling them the process was reversible
Can you say biological terrorism?
In a global war against terror, maybe testosterone is the real terrorist
And if so, how many of these Star Spangled singing, flag waving citizens would
continue to do so If terror was not racialized, but gendered?
Would the US military turn its guns on itself for a sex trap across Southeast
Asia, Africa and the Americas?
Would MTV be firebombed for its subjectification, hyper-sexualization of our women of colored bodies?
Would we stop looking towards the muslim world for misogyny and instead
turn our sights to Madrid, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles?
And I understand my sisters when they say every woman has a story that's been told a maxim of one soul, maybe less
And that is why you'll never hear me call a woman slut, bitch or a dyke,
No matter what she does, because I do not blame her
I blame the men who have emotionally and physically raped her,
I blame these corporations whose images tell them they hate her,
And I put my arms on her shoulder and tell her how great to life and
to God that SHE created her
Men, take note, this is how you give love,
This is how you receive hugs.
Press flesh to flesh till breast crumple,
Like emotional origamy.