My addiction is spelled out in iron:
Words have been stomped into my fate by elegantly gargantuan feet of Greek goddesses and
in the metal lies every pretentious metaphor and ink-soul-splatter that will define the rest of my existence.
There is no going back
The poetry is here to stay.
the changes the letters have wrought are now normal.
I have become used to looking in the mirror and seeing none of my features for the quotes clumped across my forehead
knotted around the contours of my cheekbones.
My morning coffee will never again just be caffeine and warmth,
but a complex metaphor for love-("being burnt by what you also cannot live without").
Now, I only know what my soul looks like
after it has been typed into pretentious metaphors
and ever since that shivering Thursday afternoon I first picked up a pen-
I look at the whiteboard and cannot absorb the continuing inadequacies of various white men because the stanzas are scattered too thickly across my vision.
But I have adjusted.
I accept that every chemical reaction my brain sets off will have words, a story, line breaks, and lonely Friday nights spent editing my soul into prettier pieces
Working on poems and homework will forever struggle against each other on my priority list
And there is simply no denying the fact that behind everything is words and in front and after there are letters and when glancing sideways and upside down you will find quotes and little sayings and poems,
but it is all perfectly fine.
I will breath in each linguistically-caused tragedy with grace and gentleness
because words are the only way I feel at home in this madly spinning world.
I have never felt cozier snuggled with any human or bed than when I am nestled in the dips and dots and curves of language.
"So," you ask, "what seems to be the downside?"
well, dear reader;
if we are being honest poems aren't real therapists.
and they lend themselves well to madness and isolation
But I cannot bring myself to care...
If words were alcohol I would be that horrible mother they whisper about at the PTA meetings who comes home after work and chugs biccardi on the couch, ignoring her children as she runs around the house screaming and throwing things descending into a state of such lovely and intoxicating madness that she cannot resist another page, another pen, another shot.
If words were meth instead of meth sores I have little holes all over my organs where I have drilled down as deeply as possible, hunting for even the smallest hint of feeling just so I can lovingly string letters together like pearls and polish them until they shine with the brilliant lights of tragedy and love and hate and sadness and nostalgia and anger and lust and frustration-
all of these chemicals we fuel our pens with
because numbness is not an option.
I engage in this substance abuse because I am bloated with so much longing, filled with a desperate ache for all the beautiful things I have not yet experienced,
for those brightly lit 2ams and screaming laughter and being drunk and high and kissing and yelling and the because in this moment we are young and alive and breathing and crossing lines and who gives a shit about anything else?
I write in half-crazed scribbles, wondering,
"Maybe writing about friends and laughter at 1 in the morning as I am surrounded by only netflix and tumblr will make me feel better?"
I am always wrong.
It only makes it worse.
My words are glorious escape and icy blades of stark reality.
Clarity and obfuscation.
Pancreas-cracking pain and model-tall joy.
So if words cause me to ache, beat the world into pieces, sob, and ignore my responsibilities,
why am I so goddamn in love with them?
Because my words are mad
but people are too-
so one cannot look down their poorly-described noses at poems and smugly snort that it "doesn't make any sense"
as if they have brilliantly solved and debunked an art form.
They would be quite wrong.
The words are just a reaction and reflection of the world their letters were conceived in-
and so this fevered world and the expression of its insanity are inextricably linked.
(at least for poets).
the difference between poems and people is that humans are
in addition to the insanity,
horribly unreliable and capricious creatures.
They never stay.
They never stay
But metaphors will always be there to cuddle me in their warm arms on lonely weekend nights
Why writing? you ask?
Because when everyone is gone, annoyed, asleep, or dead and the whole earth has been blown apart;
every city destroyed and great moment reduced to nothingness,
I can still trace poems in the ashes.
Shouldn't we all be studying?
dedicated to M M Jones from Montana,
where I guess big skies make people think
about big questions and young poets thrive.
the butterflies of child-awakening
to the certainty
that school and
shame and embarrassment
were only minutes away,
is as fresh as
the flowers my love
buys every Friday,
fifty plus year later.
I would awake,
climb into bed with my mother,
telling her I did not feel well,
stomach felt gray.
I could not tell her that
the mocking I received by
my richer classmates at the
multiple lines in the fabric
of my corduroy pants
where she let my pants down
made me cannon fodder
for what we call now
I could not tell her
of the heartbreak
when somehow the parents
of my supposed suburban friends
pick me up for the weekly swim,
leaving me to watch
the sunset fall as I sat
on the stoop of our old house,
tucked away in an out of the way,
the shame still wet.
I could not tell her
of how two bothers tortured me
as I sat in the back seat
of their station wagon,
on me like curses.
Their older brother died of cancer
when that was still unusual,
and the mother wrote
a beautiful book
about his life.
I still hate them, those two,
fifty years later and it gives me
unusually great pleasure to
announce it to the world.
So I studied.
Not my schoolbooks,
but lovely and junky literature.
Friday afternoons, three children,
me the baby brother,
(anonymous, for they nicknamed me
brother as if I was nothing but
checked off category)
to the library went.
Five, five was the max
they the austere librarians
and their coda of holy silence,
would let me withdraw.
(god I can see my library card still).
By Friday night,
I had finished one or two,
ruining my eyes in
the lousy lamp light
in the living room,
falling asleep on the couch.
this, reading addiction,
which afflicted the entire family,
I did well into my teens.
I have stopped reading
which amazes the very few
who know and care.
do let us re-pose,
let us repose,
Shouldn't we all be studying?
the answer of course is
yes and no.
my studying blue period
is long since ended.
now, my biographer,
will call this my red period.
for red are the memories that my remembrances
come back to me.
crystal is the clarity
of the indignities
I recall, though red,
is the anger
at the shame and
abuse I took.
now I can write what I have always held in my heart.
those two awful brothers,
who loved to torture me,
I was glad their
wonderful brother died.
so this is my red writing period,
when the studying of a kind,
has long since ended
but the smell,
the memory of
fresh textbooks still can
make me nauseous.
Yet, I still study life around me,
as I clean countertops,
walk deserted beach isles
in early September...
is the product of years
of studying the inside out
of me, and turning that study
fruitful into poetry.
why am I writing this at 2:00 am on a Sunday morning?
I did not pose the question.
but it posed me,
and the dialogue in my mind came
sugarcane fresh and tumbling out
and will be both
recorded and recoded
("in the truth will out eventually" file)
after a fashion.
these days I sometimes study
my older poems,
whose titles I recognize,
but whose content
I cannot recall.
so double digit delight
meet again old words,
wondrous and trite,
that make believe
that all my studying
somehow paid off after all.
I want to know the love;
The love that feels.
Holds you in it's depths-
Don't think, feel the way our skin meets.
Your eyes hold the world in their glossy depths
I wish the feelings inside me would be more easily expressed.
Your arms carry my dreams in them,
You take away the pain with a touch of your fingertips.
These close moments hold the depth of my soul in relation to yours.
These words I write are the life I need to stop the pain now...
In the day I fear little; in the night I fear your god-
The power he holds over you.
Homesick for your missing hands,
The thoughts leave my mind in slumber.
The pure white blankness of my dreams-
Dreams aren't always blank.
To hope never to die with a scream on my lips, but beneath the weight of your love is all I can ask.
Dear, release me from this coma of passionlessness.
Watch me til you're gone
The soft little words you've left will be my life vest;
The perfect acceptance to believe your sweet heart and it's devotion, my buoy above the water's dark depths.
Moments with my hands in your hair; your hips on mine, are the only ones that I feel the pleasure of purity.
Isn't that ironic?
When there's snow on the ground,
you are the ocean
you are too large,
for frost to move
more than polar parts of you.
You will struggle to swim to the equator,
but once you get there
suns are high,
and you will be warm and cozy;
But, more than once
the tide will drag you to your arctic.
and I will kiss you through your shivers
but nothing I can do
will stop your blood from running cold.
but baby, it will pass.
You are the ocean,
and ships have recked
to kiss your curves
and love has been made
inside your blood
and one day
you will love the way
you shudder without cause
and you will find beauty
in your hurricanes,
even if that day is not today.
I could right a thousand sonnets
about the way it feels
when your blue hands hug my hips
and your salty lips brush my neck.
So when your lost
in your dark blue,
remember that there are those,
dreaming of your turquoise.
and I am wading in your shallows
to brace your raging torrent,
and remind you
that baby, you are the ocean,
and the storms will always pass.
Now I'm lying on the ground
I tell myself
Remember there's more to life
Just keep looking towards the sky
Only then you'll be one with the sunrise
There's only one way out
And that's what I'm going for
Isn't that what time is all about?
Now the seasons over
And the weathers changing
I had a whole lot of time to think while I was falling
Things never stay the same
There's only today
Forget believing and faith
Life's an art
It's whatever you create
I don't know much about love
All I've had is hate
But I'm still learning
And I'm not afraid
I have feelings I don't even know how deep they run
My hearts been numb
Ands it's always back to the same conclusion
For all the wrong and right reasons
I looked down today,
down past the cracks
in the sidewalk,
into a clear sheet of water
unmarked by time
and I saw you.
It sounds so poetic,
but it's true;
the chance to speak your name
and give life to the past-
it felt natural, and
in a way that scared me,
settled there among the new snow
and the crowded room of strangers.
Your smile, just the idea
that I should defend you,
within which fault could be found
was laid down before me
and trust me, I know
how to look past each twisted corner
and make the edges fit
and see you there before me
as if you'd never folded yourself
in the first place.
Unbend, I want to say,
unfold your wings and fly
If I look up to the stars
I think I'll get lost
And never would I have thought
That I would meet someone like you
It's almost too good to be true
And I'm sorry to say
That I've acted this way
I've been caught up in my mess
Still that's no excuse
Please don't think any less
Giving up is something I refuse
Love is something I will not lose
you've left my bed,
I know this because your shadow has crossed the sheets,
and I can't help but think and wonder
where you're going.
you tell me that you love me
while we make love
but I can't be sure,
for I don't know if you're talking to me
or my body,
or more importantly, my soul.
I know I am far to young
and my backup sources would disapprove
but I am so in love with you
that I think no one could stop it.
not even the boy in english class,
or the girl that is my best friend;
or even my own parents.
i just hope
you feel the same way when we make love, too.
How can it be that whatever wrong we do,
You always forgive and find the silver-lining.
The things you do, we cannot repay,
So we spend our days just trying.
Possessor of unconditional love,
The world will bow down to you,
Out of respect and loyalty.
In a way, we're saying...we love you too
That smile of yours is infectious,
Somehow we can never stay mad.
I'll do what I can to make sure
No one will ever make you sad.
Keep smiling because the world will smile back at you,
You know that I only speak what is true.
Madame, you come from God in heaven,
Everything will start and end with you.
If I had to explain it,
I'd say it's a chemical imbalance.
But you don't get it
I'd say I'm sad and I don't know why
I really hate explanations,
Because they always seem made up
Over-thinking each word and
Where each comma and period goes
If I could explain to you why I do it,
You'd be worried.
They say one cigarette takes a day off your
Since suicide is not an option,
I'm taking the long way out.