I sit in the sun room, I am shaded for the sun
is only newly risen, low slung, just above the horizon,
behind me, over my shoulder, early morn warm
Slivers of sun rays yellow highlight the wild green lawn,
freshly nourished by torrential rains of the prior eve
The wind gusts are residuals, memoirs of the hurricane
that came for a peripheral visit, your unwanted cousin Earl,
in town for the day, too bad your schedule
is fully booked, but he keeps raining on you,
staying on the phone for so long, that the goodbye,
go away, hang up relief is palpable
The oak trees are top heavy with leaves frothy like a new cappuccino,
the leaves resist the sun silvers, guard the grasses
from browning out, by knocking the rookie rays to and fro,
just for now, just for a few minutes more,
it is advantage trees, for they stand taller in the sky
than the youthful teenage yellow ball
I sit in the sun room buffered from nature's battles external,
by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization,
and my thoughts drift to suicide.
I have sat in the sun room of my mind, unprotected.
with front row seats, first hand witness to a battle unceasing
Such that my investigations, my travails along the boundary line
between internal madness and infernal relief from mental pain
so crippling, is such that you recall begging for cancer or Aids
Such that my investigations, my travails along the sanity boundary
are substantive, modestly put, not inconsiderable
Point your finger at me, demanding like every
needy neurotic moderne, reassurance total,
proof negative in this instance, of relevant expertise!
Tell us you bona fides, what is your knowing in these matters?
Show us the wrist scars, evidential,
prove to us your "hands on" experiential!
True, true, I am without demonstrable proofs
of the first hand, my resume is absent of
razors and pills, poisons and daredevil spills,
guns, knives, utensils purposed for taking lives
Here are my truths, here are my sums;
If the numerator is the minutes spent resisting the promised relief
of the East River currents from the crushing loneliness that
consumed my every waking second of every night of my years of despair
a denominator that is my unitary, solitary name,
then my fraction, my remainder, is greater than one,
the one step away from supposed salvation...
Yet, here I am sitting in the sun room buffered from
nature's battles by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization
I am a survivor of mine own World War III,
carnaged battlefields, where white lace curtains,
were not buffers but dividers tween mis en scenes,
variegated veins of colored nightmares, reenactments of
death heroics worthy of Shakespeare
Did I lack for courage?
Was my fear/despair ratio insufficient?
These are questions for which the answers matter only to me,
tho the questions are fair ones, my unsolicited voyeur,
they are not the ones for which I herein write,
for they no longer have relevance, meaning or validity,
for yours truly
I write poetry by command, by request, good or bad,
this one is a bequest to myself, and also a sidecar for an old friend,
who asked in passing to write what I know of suicide,
unaware that the damage of hurricanes is not always
visible to the naked heart
These hands, that type these words are the resume of a life
life line remains scarred, but after an inter-mission, after an inter-diction, an inter-re-invention
in a play where I was an actor who could not speak
but knew every line, I am now the approving audience too...
But I speak now and I say this:
There are natural toxins in us all,
if you wish to understand the whys, the reasons,
of the nearness of taking/giving away what belongs to you,
do your own sums, admit your own truths
query not the lives of others, approach the mirror...
If you want to understand suicide,
no need to phone a friend, ask the expert,
ask yourself, parse the curtains of the
sun room and admit, that you do understand,
that you once swung one leg over the roof,
gauged the currents speed and direction,
went deep sea fishing without rod or reel
and you recall it all too well, for you did the math
and here I am, tho the tug ne'er fully disappears,
here I am, here I am writing to you,
as I sit in the sun room.
Memorial Day, 2011
there is poetry in dirt
in greens, in beets,
especially in rutabagas.
you are a symphony of compost
with which an old man’s teeth are smitten;
Rosemary sprig, beneath all your flavor
you are the staff-lines of a madrigal written
in loving anticipation of the mason jars, weighed down with water
where you will grow and swell and bud and spread out strong purple flowers which say
that you are part of a song which sings
a little louder.
This coming September, I will miss you dearly.
I will be days of travel away from your roots, your mist,
your six-in-the-morning-before-classes tonic of rain
which saturates my skin so good I’m surprised when I shake the dirt from the leeks
all over my bare feet & you don’t crop up green & white from between my toes,
that my arms don’t grow heavy with peppers
after they cake with jalapeno & bell seeds from all the half-rotten
to whom I have given baptism to in shallow plastic tubs of water
floating like elations of fire
in the grayness of the morning.
Know how to tell if a pepper’s rotten? Wash it & shake it
& if you can hear the water swishing inside,
if you can make a maraca of its innards,
then give it back to the dirt.
This is the wisdom of peppers:
when you grow soft
when you have been chosen
& thoroughly loved
when you have called out like fire
beside your brothers in a basin,
lay down in the compost
the kindly compost,
& listen, just listen,
(there will be nothing left to do
to the poetry of dirt.
Where's your make up honey?
What happened to your hair?
That's a different pair
New attitude ; that's cool
Realization that the new trend is rude
Huh? What you say?
You said at this rate the next fashion statement have to be nude
No more clubbing?
You tired of sharing spaces in places where you have to refer to Men as "dude"
Strangers steadily attempting to intrude
Now you making plans with family and friends
I heard you saying that you rather enjoy yourself with the people who been with you since the long ways
Recollecting the old days
I'm glad that the feeling is now mutual
And that you are finished with trying to be cute
Because you are already simply beautiful
around and around
the merry go round
carrying the children
around and around
as the adults stand and watch
the same old rutine
everyone and anyone
that the adults are not happy
when they were little
they would make wishes
at the wishing well
and then they grew up
had their own children
the wishing well was filled
up with dirt along with their wishes
round and around
without any sound
the merry go round goes
but little do the children know
underneath the merry-go
is all buried wishes
around and around
the merry go round
over and ontop the
everyone and anyone
that this isn't living
this is hell
Today I made a sad attempt to die
yet I had no rope
To make my thirteen loops
like an old man showed me to do
I thought about where I could find enough
to hold my body above the ground
Where my feet just barely touch
my hands limp beside thick thighs
Failing at my attempt at life
there seems no better time
When I have no hope
this is costly and for naught
I've nothing to offer here
and I have no want to
No being pulled apart and shoved beneath the rug
yet I lack motivation and drive
Even in this
so no progress will ever be made
I made a sad attempt to change my life today
I have been reduced
and I really do not mind
The world is nothing but a mass
and the sky is perfect nothingness
I'll reach my hands far beyond
any physical restraints
to a place where time is tracked
by cigarettes smoked
and old calloused feelings
that are still stinging
The sky opens up
The light comes shining down
and I am in love
I am in love with nothing
Nothing at all
My hands are covered in blisters
My face is covered in scars
My body is a well of pain
My emotions are fading away
Apathy is a cancer
and it is malignant
and the vermin in me
just won't die
The fireflies appear
as distant stars ignite
if only they could share
in this empty feeling
goodbye - my light
She said, "You make me feel like I'm in the wrong skin."
And as he sat there in contemplation of this newest revelation
She told him about Thursday
And how he'd kissed her that way
And how it made her feel whole
As if they were one being meant to be
Joined at the mouth,
But had snapped apart and were together
She told him about the way her heart
Raced with anxiety
And her fingers shook every day
But when he kissed her everything went numb
And her brain thought slowly
And the world kept turning
And she wasn't afraid it would stop anymore
Finally, she told him about the skin
She told him that being away from him
Made her snap back to reality
But she had finally tasted happiness
And her old reality felt all wrong
She felt all wrong without him
She asked him if he loved her
She couldn't bear to leave him
He didn't hear a word
"But your skin is so beautiful."
And he leaned in and kissed her.
Somehow I always seem to forget that I am not your everything,
I am not your life's story
But a mere chapter.
Perhaps a only page or two.
And it's this that worries me, because what about all this time I'm invested in you?
The seeds I planted in your chest have bloomed,
But my fingers will not be the last to pick from them
And my hands will not be the last to graze across the meadows of your skin
Nor will my lips be the last to kiss away your imperfections.
I forget that eventually ,
you will find another girl.
One who's lovely and prettier than I,
One who can tell you how she feels
And who can make decisions.
Who doesn't hinder but help.
One who can give you everything you've ever wanted in the world,
Not just her heart.
And I can't help but feel that I'd be happy for her
Because if it wasn't me at least it would mean you were happy
And then maybe you'll feel at home in her embrace, more so than mine
Perhaps the words she'll speak to you will be beautiful flowers,
instead of the weeds that seem to fall from my mouth.
And I suppose that eventually you will invest your time in her, your future
And that's when I'll become your past,
The ink blots and coffee rings,
Along the old yellow papers,
Or maybe an old flower pressed between the pages,
I think I'd like that
Because maybe you'd remember me as something beautiful
And if not that at least you'd be happy
I found a wise old man
over the weekend.
He was not condescending;
the wise man was my friend.
And I did not climb stairways
to meet my learned elder,
I fell o’er a threadbare cat;
listened, whilst I held her.
He crooked a swollen finger,
for he was hard of hearing,
far off eyes, a vapour blue;
not empty, and not leering.
And he chuckled in my ear:
All the answers he had found,
which the flowers chinese whispered
across the foreign grounds.
The way he told it showed me
how his gentle life solutions
were distorted and quite faded
after those emotional ablutions.
Yet each tale was a comfort;
marked one pretty girl, long lost;
beside him, pretty, every day,
despite the draining cost.
Then the blue sky clouded over
his eyes scruted the garden
I questioned ‘Are you well…?’
see the flesh cracks harden.
“Who’re you? Leave me; GET OUT”
for I was not his friend.
And then the nurses came,
though his confusion did not end.
I walked down to the front
for the afternoon was finished;
he no longer knew my name,
though I’d seen his mind diminish.
What a panging pain it is
to share with him cream tea,
whilst his mind is being taken
by that calm, corrosive sea.
I am so tired of chasing love, so tired of begging and pleading. I am just tired.
You can tell me you love me over and over and over again but it makes no difference to me.
I can see it in your eyes, feel it in your touch, you don't mean it anymore. But still I beg and I beg to feel like I am anything at all and with every cry for your attention, I grow more tired. I lost trust in you long ago. Maybe you slept with her, maybe you didn't. Maybe it's all in my head. But even so, it's there and it's a nightmare I dream every time I close my eyes. This has happened to me before, I've been cheated and lied to time and time again and I want to believe you're different. I want to believe that you're the one that's going to stay. But I can feel you leaving, every day I wait for you to say your last goodbye. And mean it this time. I love you so goddamn much and I hate myself for it. I hate myself for wanting you so bad that I'm willing to get hurt in the process. I've built my life around you, I've created a future in my mind that I don't think I'll ever have. Maybe everybody was right, I'm too young to fall in love but if I'm old enough to get my heart broken than how can that be? I'm sick of seeing love letters to my friends, I'm sick of reading the words that they write. "I'll always love you", "we are forever", "you are the only girl in the world for me", you used to write these things. These are the things that made me feel safe and secure. Now I'm always watching my back in fear of turning around to see you writing these things to somebody else. I'm tired of waking up every morning asking the same questions, Am I pretty enough? Am I skinny enough? Am I good enough? and I always give myself the same answer, no. Because I'm not any of those things and nobody can tell me otherwise. I'm just tired of hurting and you telling me that you've been trying. You want to fix things. But what you've done to my mind isn't easy to fix and you don't have the time or patience to deal with it. And you're tired too I bet. You're tired of me constantly asking you to love me, constantly not trusting you, constantly being upset with you and I know that. I don't want to do those things but you have to meet me half way. Treat me like a queen and I'll treat you like my king. It's really as simple as that. I'm so tired of hoping things will change.