Its been 8 days since I last threw myself into a breath
Ripping apart my lungs, only to throw them back together
Over and over again
Sipping cool silence on my tongue
Letting it saunter into my chest
Filling a hole you can't vouch for in a colored creation
Selling my teeth to pay for a smile
Sewing my lips on the christmas tree, to remember holiday cheer
Violent wakes of silent water
Drowning my lackluster advances
Its been 8 days since I last threw myself into a breath
Punching holes in my ribcage
Stuffing them shut for the winter
In My Real Life (IMRL)
In my real life,
not a poet,
just an astronomer,
an observer of
named and oft,
Some never find true love.
Some never fly first class.
Some of us
never see the
South of France.
Some of us wear
and never forgive
of the shame of it.
Some never experience
Some of us are
and never forget,
and never forgive.
Some of lose
avanti nel tempo,
before their time,
the anger is both
Some of us
were raised by
someone else's parents,
and never rest
the abandoned taste
Some we can pass
over with ease,
new tissue grows,
cuts marked -
But the ones that scar,
the ones that visible scar
that there is a real
promised land of
peace of mind.
Peace of mind -
not even for a second,
a biblical myth,
a promised land,
a capitalist paradisal hoax.
Some never feel
always wearing the T-shirt labeled
Property of Someone Else.
Most of us remain
cloaked in bills to pay;
Living a triumvirate of
heart ache, loneliness, worry,
our normal table fare
of hand to hand
into the mouth
just stay alive.
We are not digitalized,
our faces hidden, and
in no one's heart book
are we recorded,
yet our viewing habits,
purchases, secret sites
are enumerated, captured.
Some of us live
in the real life,
never to escape to the
province of Wifi,
in the landscape
of the electronic mind,
an option for which
Perhaps sanctity of separation,
safety of text, email,
avec the cocaine intrusion
of tweets are
the real life today,
games are always won,
and what we don't enjoy,
we just delete away
But In My Real Life
getting up is trying,
the trying is trying,
delete buttons don't exist
in the keyboard
of our brains,
all we have is a
measly twenty six aleph bets
to find new ways to say
that living is striving and
what we feel is
oh so real,
when I laugh out loud,
beat the walls,
registering their feelings
in my face,
in my book,
so to speak.
I got a friend,
all I need,
voices to help soften
the 400 blows of RL.
Their synthesized silence
of their breathing
on the phone
is precious unto me.
limp from Friday
a bottle of Medoc
my weekend reward,
my bedrock cushion
in order to sleep.
After all these years,
gains and losses,
conversations with God,
I look up,
see the risk,
the slightest breeze
hanging above me
swaying in living color,
is no legend.
But what I have is
to let anyone know
in my real life
anyone who touches me
with fine and good intent,
a momentary glancing blow
or a gunshot to the ventricle,
is part and parcel of
my real life.
This makes you real too,
savior, and hereby notified,
that you are not
just an observer, but
a poet of me,
an astronomer of my heart,
and namer of
a secret universe
inside of me.
Sept. 1, 2010
US Army jargon: meals ready to eat
The feeling I can never explain something just ingrained within you.
I can't explain what I never could understand.
We are the dreamers and suffer those who are awake.
Tragic are those who lack vision, misfortune is yours please spare mine.
The blade is now a pen my blood now Ink .
For whom it is lost is more found I.
The rejects of night are but misfits of my day.
As the poison seeps in as my creativity flows unto a void created in chaos none of which
was of my choosing.
Were all dreamers caught within a nightmare's grasp, losers of a game we chose not to play.
But we dam sure tried in spite of it all.
The blank page remains a suicide note to the forgotten chapter in a dust collected manuscript.
Secrets are best left buried like shipwrecks on the ocean floor.
Why be the judge when none are innocent or ever so guilty as I.
Dam the nights for bringing the memories upon me ,
and curse my thoughts for remaining after all these drinks.
Haunted are the souls of the living simply empty vessels that fill the streets.
Many years have passed.
Yet these thoughts never age .
Goddam the nights and winters empty chill!
The fire now only seems to smolder a dragons bluff to wolves such as I.
I hear the others howl I simply choose to ignore the sound.
Taking refuge in my thoughts and torment in scars past.
Empty are these thoughts that I unearthed tonight.
I hear the howls outside my door.
They are my burden and none else to understand.
In witching hours of lost hopes and broken dreams I find my solace.
I've ran with demons and slept with many angels, to burn only in the cold of ice.
Tomorrow is always a dream as from this nightmare maybe I'll wake.
Treasure the silence in it we find our true selves.
I hear the howls I simply choose to no longer answer.
My thoughts racing
For forward they go.
Until I get To pause
If only for a moment.
And taste life.
As colors and scents and emotions roll over me
Like a an icy dark wave blasting off the dirt
I consume the moment. Thirsting for purpose and passion.
And so it leaves me.
Most likely I leave it.
My thoughts racing
For forward they go.
I long for someone to share their path
I need circles. Not lines.
She steps so softly in fallen snow
The woods whisper words just she will know
Lying loosely arm in arm
Bathing in silence
Her spirit draws circles in the snow
Leave of absence
Silence for me
for awhile at HP
wintry season intense
I'll return when I'm able
to cruise with my muse
and absorb precious words you have written
a little water churned by acids:
internal stomach sounds
jaw clicks mash
repetition of noises
fading into never
mind the gash in the wall.
brick pieces falling—
one for every two moments
of hushed time—
tiny little whispers
chronicling each and every
there is a void—
silence where your
voice should ring
the quietest words are the loudest
knowledge and open eyes to the real world
through prose i speak and speak alone
nobody encouraged me to be outspoken
i was a shut-in, trapped for months
like anne frank, with only power in writing
i found power in words, nobody taught me
how to live, but i learned how to exist in
a world lost in it's sin, a mediocre society
lost in it's power of indulgences and faith
with paper and pen, i can capture honesty
the most brutal tragedy, the most beautiful love
i've never felt intense fear, like hanging off a cliff fear
but i've been pushed to that cliff one too many times
i've always been scared of heights and losing someone
but my fears are all in my head, my heart is power
my heart is courage, my heart is love
it is the first and last thing i have
an analytic mind
this translates into an over-thinker
thinking that the small details that make this world
are all connecting and all crashing down among us
every potential gear slip
twisted metal in a field of flames
the no's spoken
the fists thrown
the off switch is gone. lost. broken.
living life is an instinct
not a thought process
but some voices are hard to silence
A Self Portrait
I Stayed Honest
“I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings.”
-George R.R. Martin
I’m the explosion and throwing things when I fight with my mom about money or what is or is not appropriate to bring up in front of her parents.
“You’re not the only who misses him!” Screaming was the only way to get through to my mother when my dad was deployed. It was like she entered this other world that was nearly impossible to pierce, even by the people who needed her most—her three children. She was a strong woman when she left the house, but being in her living room without her best friend, sleeping every night without her husband, it took a toll on her as a human. When my dad was gone there was no music allowed in the house, because it made her cry; same with movies and TV, even board games. Joy of that nature had to be hidden away in our bedrooms. Having friends over was almost always out of the question. That held true even when my dad was home, because he finally was, it was ridiculous to want to interrupt the little time we had with him. I remember distinctly a night toward the end of my freshman year of high school. My mother, two sisters and I were sitting in the living room talking. As it often did, the conversation turned to my dad. Mom’s eyes started getting watery; she talked about how difficult things were with him being gone, and with money being tight because of the move and the new house and school uniforms and supplies and Amber starting college. I’m still not sure why I was so upset by it, her concerns were legitimate. Maybe I was angry that she was telling us this in the first place. I was fifteen, I wanted to worry about military ball and boys and school, not having to eat stir fry and beans and rice for the next seven months because it was the only thing we could afford. I didn’t want to consider the hours Amber worked at Johnny’s or the pizzas she purposely messed up so she could take them home to feed us. I threw down the pillow I’d been clutching and yelled viciously through my sobs the only thing that made sense at the time, “Would you just shut up?! You’re not the only one that misses him you know!” I didn’t take the time to look at their faces, I just went to my room, locked the door, and laid face down in my bed to cry. She came by later, knocked, but let herself in with a barbecue skewer. I think she apologized the way a parent always does when a child lashes out wrongly, but with understandable or even pitiable emotion.
A few years ago I realized my sexuality was not what my parents considered normal. I never really told them, figured I’d just leave it be until I started a serious relationship with a girl. Then, a few weeks ago, I was telling my mom a story about how my (female) best friend and I pretend to be dating to ward off annoyingly persistent boys.
My mother warned me, “You should be careful Emily; people are going to think wrongly of you.”
I was taken aback, “Mom, you know I don’t care what people think about me right? And… what’s wrong with dating a girl?”
She sighed. She knows I’m a huge advocate for equal rights, “Not everyone is as liberal as you are Emily. People aren’t always kind and accepting. I’d hate for them to think you were something you’re not and do something.”
I wanted to lose my mind. “Mom… you know I’m not straight right?” The silence on the other end was deafening.
She said something about her phone beeping and not hearing what I had said. I repeated myself. “You know I’m not straight right?”
“What are you then?” She asked, confused. I’d been with guys all through high school.
“Well, I identify mostly with pansexuality. It means I’m gender blind, I experience attraction based on looks, intelligence, whether a person makes me laugh or not as opposed to being limited to one gender.”
“So you’re bi?” She asked.
I recited my well rehearsed explanation. “No. I’m pan. Bi means two, pan means all. There are more than two genders.”
My dad said something in the background and my mother responded, “Oh just the fact that your daughter likes boys and girls.”
I remember putting my head in my hands at this point, just silently waiting for her to say something to me so I could end the conversation.
“Emily, could you just not bring this up ever again, especially in front of my parents?”
I’m the falling for someone who seems to want me too, when I’m already committed to another.
The distance between the Francis townhouses and the rest of campus may not seem like much, but combined with the distance between a second year undergrad and a graduate student, a long distance relationship of sorts is created. Said grad student may be absolutely perfect in every way you’ve thought of, but if he cannot grant you the attention during the week that a new relationship requires, you start to feel like a booty call. Before you clarify your exclusivity, you flirt like mad with the people who can grant you the attention you seek, because what’s the harm? But, even after you clarify if, you flirt like mad with those around you because, how will he ever find out and it’s not like you’re actually doing anything? You’re just trying to get the attention you require as a needy human being, that’s not a sin. But… another person comes along and they’re wonderful. They’re just as fantastic and understanding as the grad student, except they’re a senior and their townhouse is open to you during the week and the attention they give you is innocent but overflowing. What more could you want? When you start falling for the senior… what can you say to the grad student? Then, when the attention from the senior grows less innocent and you think less and less of the grad student when the senior is looking at you from across the table or helping you with your poetry, you realize you and the grad student were doomed from the start. Are you a terrible person? You tell your roommate you are every single week night you come home from “harmless” cuddling with the senior and every single weekend morning you come home from snogging the grad student. She tells you you’re just human.
I’m the two ales, three shots and half a bottle of wine later, declaring my love and sobbing about my past into a shoulder.
This past midterm break was the most story-book-like episode I’ve ever lived. I had met someone almost exactly a month before. Everything about him was perfect. We got along so freakishly well and were compatible in every way we had had time to discover. He was fiercely passionate and book smart, he cared about what I had to say. He was everything I’d been looking for in a companion. All his housemates were leaving for break, but he and I were staying. We spent the weekend in a hundred cliché romantic ways. We walked the river trail holding hands and talking about our lives, sat on benches cuddling and listening to the wind and the ducks. We stayed up all night watching movies and kissing. We also did a lot of not so cliché, but romantic things like eating pizza and watching cartoons naked. We ordered AJ’s and ate while drinking ales then finished the last few shots of someone’s liquor and then, because I had mentioned never having it before, he let me drink nearly an entire bottle of wine. We ended up on his couch, cuddling, but then I started talking. The alcohol had stolen my ability to shut up. I kept going on about my freshman year here at Bonas, about how terrible it was, how depressed I was, how many times I tried to off myself, and how I have a history of self harm. I started sobbing, he cried too, shared his secrets. Then I told him not to worry because he was loved, he said, “I love you too.” I had only meant it in a way like, God loves you, your parents, your friends, but I went with it. Why not?
I’m the stillness of not knowing what to do next.
This past weekend was the strangest I’ve ever lived. A boy at school, in my year, went missing Saturday morning after midnight. Found dead Sunday evening. The explosions death drops in our world have never landed so close to me before. I feel shell shocked. I wrote about it. I want to keep writing about it, but I feel like I’m not allowed to, like it isn’t my place. I don’t know. I’m sick with what I can only guess is grief, but it feels more like a poisonous concoction of many painful things locked in my intestines. I’m heavy with the news of him. I feel like I’m going to sink away at any minute. Everything feels like needles in the wound. The snow and the cold (loved parts of this time of year) make me wonder why he didn’t wear more than a sweatshirt, but how do I know if it would have mattered? I was out that night, well morning, Saturday, before two a.m. I was on the exact opposite side of campus though. We were walking to Walmart; I was beyond drunk and so elated. We rolled down the hill with the ST. BONAVENTURE bushes, got ourselves covered in mud. We sat at the bottom and laughed and laughed. We walked and discussed sex and books and plans for when we got back to campus within the hour. …He never made it back. And I wonder if he had plans. I wonder if his girlfriend had stayed in that night, if she was waiting for his return so they could screw, or cuddle, I didn’t know him, at least not well enough to know that. I wonder if he liked the cold and that’s why he was in a place where people couldn’t see him. The snow didn’t start until much later so others returning from parties would have seen if he was closer. Or maybe they did, maybe they thought nothing of a passed out drunk guy, isn’t that a normal thing in college? Maybe their veins were tricked warm from their strong drinks and they couldn’t imagine he was cold, they didn’t feel it, and there wasn’t even snow on the ground. Not yet. Maybe they thought it would be funny if he woke up outside. Or maybe the rumors are true. Maybe there was a fight earlier that night. Maybe he wasn’t even that drunk. Maybe some boy-men, foolishly angry, were trying to prove their false superiority. Maybe they didn’t know they’d hurt him so bad and that someone else would come along to help him. How can we ever know? I see nothing when I close my eyes except his. Looking, but not alive, his lids frozen open, his lips slightly parted, the cold paling his skin, fashioning him to look more ghost than human. I suffer in the fear that he died knowing he was going to, knowing he was alone. How afraid he must have been. How could he have known what was coming next? How can we go on living knowing his life was meaninglessly extinguished? He was undeserving of an end so lonely. I’m haunted by the image of him being trapped in that loneliness forever. I’m haunted by his face, he always seemed so happy, but don’t the dead always seem more shiny in our memories? Will he be remembered fairly or only as a good who died young? And the guilt of feeling that hurts me, eats at me, but the doubts are trying to kill me. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel about this? I hardly knew him, am I allowed to feel so blindsided? Is this allowed to send me into the tailspin I feel I’m already lost in? If I fall back into the bad habits because of the weight of what’s in my head will anyone understand or will they shame me for “wanting attention?” If I cry often, because I will think of this often, will anyone be there to comfort me? Is it selfish to ask for these things? Is it wrong to have partied Friday and Saturday because I didn’t know Sunday would pack such a punch? Is it valid to be distraught by the death of someone less than even an acquaintance? It’s just that… he was nineteen.
Assignment: Six page self portrait.
As we walk side by side in late Autumn,
The elegant leaves drift towards the ground like confetti in Summer
But the leaves are the solitary movement
Our mouths remain sealed, not a work is spoken
My mind is driving me crazy
I'm the confetti being lured to your heart by gravity but you're simply love-impermeable