At least to me,
I have many personalities.
They fight and squabble in my brain,
But you believe it’s just a game.
When I talk to different people,
There seems to be a sense,
Because everything I say,
Doesn't always make sense.
Although some people who understand,
Find keeping all the personalities,
A quite difficult task,
Do you care to ask.
I guess I confuse myself,
Before I lose myself,
Especially when I’m by myself.
What’s the difference between the two,
Well why the hell am I asking you.
I like the different months
How each one brings new experiences
And holds the birth of those
That mean the most to me
Bringing in a new year
And a fresh start
Just as my father taught me
Out with the old, in with the new
How it reminds us of love
Filling our hearts with joy
Just as my best friend
Does for me daily
Along comes March
Oh, sexy and brilliant March
The start of a new season
Just like she sparked something new
Inside of me
Followed by April
Bright and colorful April
Showers water the flowers
Just like my soul sister and I
Relish in fun times together
Next is May
Shiny and strong like the sun
Marks the beginning of summer
My brother and I kayak
And bond in the deep heat of Texas
After May is June
Marking the longest daylight hours
Of the whole year
My mother is a June baby
And she is my light in the dark, my pearl
Scorching July rolls through
Fast paced and chaotic
The peak of summer
I recall Camp Longhorn
And all the girls I got to enjoy it with
Autumn begins with bold August
New opportunities arise
Who better to experience them with
Than my favorite twins
Wake me up when it ends
This month reminds me of how
I no longer have my best friend
Once always older than me
Now it is I who takes the lead
October brings orange and deep reds
Soothing hot tea and cuddles
Almost as soothing as both my grandparents
My true greatest examples
Of what it's like to be a warrior
Thankful for November
The time to reflect over the year
Thankful for being alive
Thankful for all who was ever born
And blessed my life
And last but not least
Oh what a weird time
Since the birthday celebrated this month
© Peyton 2013
tell me I'm too depressed.
That it's better to go out than to see me.
Your judgements hurt,
I feel like Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook,
"I opened up to you, and you judged me."
I thought you hurt me before,
but your insensitive judgements hurt worse than anything else.
I can't believe you judged me,
even worse I can't believe you said that to me.
If I ever judged you,
I kept it to myself.
I never wanted to break you,
I guess we're different in that way.
Literature lulled the longing; left some life.
Eliot spoke of hollow men that could be mutilated but whole. Tempting!
Auden lamented that despite the wish to turn back time we cannot stop clocks,
Volatile as we are: love does not last forever.
Every word etched upon the page made me realise I was not
Miss Haversham; but in my pusillanimous dress I kept close
Every touch and promise, and the deepest secret nobody knew.
Heaney enticed me with warm thick slobber; yellow in the sunshine, but
Eyes not mine own met me in mirrors and I felt sad that
Reality is not a poem, or a piece of prose and despite looking deeper
Each desire reflected back at me were ones I dare not meet in dreams.
Tennyson's Lady of Shallot weaved its magic but not enough for you to keep an
Old wife. I lost my glow, although even now, my lights still twinkle on dark nights in
Dicken's London. Red lights in dark doorways telling tales of a wronged
Rebecca, Jane or Moll all with different dimensions and
Each with her own story to tell, like me,
Although none of it really matters in the end does it?
Maybe now it is time to yield.
One in the morning
haven't slept most the night
feeling like a restless fool
wide awake but still so tired
Wanting to go to a happy frame of mind
a different space in time
I'm stuck in a realm of
and it's cold tonight
The frost glistens and sparkles
and I start to think of your eyes
and my smile
It's cold like my soul
The cherry in my cigarette glows
It burns so bright in the night
It's still tonight
like my heart
The wind blows and it rustles my mind
Thoughts start coming in waves
The world is asleep
but not me
I'm wide awake
trying to get these feelings out
before I explode
I light another cigarette
as I stand in the cold, alone
What am I trying to say?
Do I ever really know?
I need to talk to my best friend
need time to spend
Craving your intellect
and warm touch
I'm missing you so damn much
I need time with you
Need to talk all this through
Need to sleep next to you
The morning is starting to creep
dawn is breaking and I'm still lying awake
No problems solved
just questions still remaining
weighing so heavy on my tired mind
What am I going to do...?
Just keep trying to close my eyes...
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez room. It was not a heavy frost, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.
He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.
"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "Booze and Johnny Cash."
Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.
Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.
Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his ass would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.
Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.
Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.
"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.
Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"
"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.
"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.
"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.
"That's good, that's good."
"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.
"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, dirty dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.
"Take the dogs out to pee," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."
"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.
"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."
Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to pee. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.
"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.
Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.
A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.
On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.
There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.
After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."
He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.
I am wondering if you can overdose on language.
too many whispered ‘i love you’s and soon
they become inky ‘I.O.U’s and debt has a different meaning
when it makes your ribcage feel empty. Soon the loan sharks come for your wasted tongue.
I wonder if you can overdose on language, if
the dotted i’s of a letter can become swords after a while and
suddenly you do not care if the pen is mightier, only that
you do not want to read these promises anymore.
i wonder if maybe too many best wishes can be deadly too,
so i have burnt your letters but i am laughing because
maybe i am an addict of your words and maybe it is like
throwing out the substance after it has killed you.
It was a sunday,
that I remember like it was
and I wished,
I could kiss your lips,
and feel you emotionally.
But the problem,
with intimacy is,
it’s mostly a two way street.
emotional or physical.
So I stand back,
and look at the lights,
as they hit your soft eyes,
and tell me things about myself,
I never really knew.
I took pride in the fact,
I wanted nothing,
and life gave back the same.
But as you entered,
I soon came to realize,
that everything will change.
and it did,
good or bad,
I still can’t decide.
But I wish,
I was as simple,
as coloring a page,
and colors and detail.
anyway you want,
anyhow you want.
But I am a jigsaw puzzle,
with the pieces thrown together,
most of them missing.
You came to me,
when I needed it most.
But it’s not enough,
to rid of my ghosts.
Insecurity is a burden to be,
which is why i cling to independency.
I wish it were different,
but you are you,
I am me.
It is impossible to be in two places at any given instance.
An example: I live in the little house on Valley Road. All my possessions are in my room on Lancewood Street. I live with my (chosen) family. My relatives are related to each other, as they also happen to be related to me. The love of my life exhales, soundless against my neck, while I inhale the memories of a homeless Californian who found home with me.
I am awake yet I am not dreaming.
Observe: if you cut yourself up and entrust these pieces to the farthest corners of the universe, only one of the following can happen:
1. You could stay just outside and encompass the whole universe along its perimeter (e.g. she encompasses the universe);
2. You are just you still, and is within and inside the universe (e.g. she is among the stars in the universe);
3. Your pieces will no longer be different from floating debris, ‘these’ are x number of pieces, and these pieces cease to carry your identity (e.g. ‘they’ (not she) are scattered far apart).
One cannot be all of these at once.
My heart belongs to one. It yearns for another. It believes in the one. It knows of no other happiness but with the other. I want to go, I want to stay. Distance is only too relative, yet both are, regardless, so far.
she left when i was four
no explanation or anything more
it cut me straight to the core
you may think i was too young
to understand but my heart tore
my baby sister she was two
she barely could walk without falling
down onto the floor
now I barely see her
she's growing up too fast
she doesn't remember much of that past
she remembers calling me "Sissy."
And that she loved saying "it's purple."
I remember so much more
The smell of my moms sweet perfume
how she always had these really good cookies
her hugs and her kisses
but that day when she left it hurt me so much
because a girl needs her mother
a mother cannot leave her children
but my mom she was different
she never said "Good bye."
She never taught me to fly
she didn't see Jillian become the beaut she is today
she won't be able to see my sixteenth birthday
or be there for graduation
or my wedding
but whatever at least I have my dad
and my little sister
and family and friends
at least i have you guys/girls
because i know if you were going to leave you would at least say