When my brother
On the cabinet
His arms on my neck
It is the fault of our cultures
The years we’ve spent chipping at each other
He with curses and volume
Me with ivy vined words
When I come back from the Ivy tower I’ve gardenened
When he come back from his wall of sound
My words are more poisonous
His anger is more violent
We tear each other apart.
Though you may go off to become an adult, by sad alchemy you may grow to be even more skilled at being different. Seeing each other again you transform into children with adult bodies and deadlier weapons.
The man invites me to his midnight walk
He’s having a rough night.
We walk through freezing cold
To a destination never right.
The circles our feet pace
Mirror his spinning mind.
And I am kept heart running
As I match his pace in kind.
I’ve walked too many of these walks
To think yours is benign.
For I can say, that none have ever
Left us healthy fine.
Don’t lead me on another chase
After the shadows of men.
I’m putting my foot down firm.
I will not walk again.
The aliens who had teleported into my room asked me a question.
When had I last seen the stars?
I answered truthfully that I’ve stayed up late many nights, when the stars come out.
“But when had you last seen them?” They insisted.
It wasn’t for stargazing that I was up late, I admitted to them. Besides, there’s too much light in the city for the stars to shine here.
It must have been several years ago, when I was a little girl and my father showed me Orion’s belt, the last time we were camping in the middle of nowhere.
They teleported me to space.
The stars were gone. And I hadn’t noticed.
They teleported me back to my room, because there was nothing to see. I went back to my studies. It was still night.
Three tears dripped out of my eyes. I finally stared out of the window as they fell.
Orion’s belt shone brightly back at me.
Forget houses or apartments
I call three cities home.
Drop me in one of these
Disparate points on a map
And I know I belong.
Just as I can’t commit to one life project
Too in love with everything I do
You can’t receive a straight answer
When you ask me to choose.
Where do you call home?
Why not call everything on this planet home?
Why not call my loved ones my home?
Why not call the slivers of neighborhoods
Forests, mountains, deserts familar to me home?
Why not call it a state of mind, not of place.
Though the three cities are thousands of miles apart,
They form one map for me
It’s sad to leave home again. At the same time, it’s good to be back home again.
Leaving them never gets easier
Friends and family, teachers and babysat kids.
When you live apart from them
You live in two different worlds
where you are
where your heart is
When you love people and things in both worlds
Remember you'll visit the other
Forget that their lives will have changed
You have to keep your mind here for now.
I've wanted to write something for days now.
What's worth putting to pen?
What matters to me now and here?
What matters at all?
A paper that will never be published.
A song that will disappear into the abyss of music memory.
A website for a startup that could never take off?
Countless countless research papers to read for a research project that I'm not supposed to work on yet.
How should I be spending my free time?
Is there something inherently wrong in asking that?
But really, I need to know. Is it correct that I'm spending my vacation finishing projects?
Perform a song. Move on to practice a different song. What song? Except I need to practice something an hour a day.
Meet a friend for coffee. We go to a museum we've both been to too many times . Why are we here? Except that we want to be together.
What does it mean to want to spend the day with someone but have no idea what to do?
What does it mean to have so many long meaningful conversations that you can't remember the subject of?
Is it the people that matter?
The common agreement to keep a bond?
Is it the exploration of creativity that matters?
The continuous honing of skills into activities I enjoy and take pride in?
Am I perfecting my projects? Am I perfecting myself? Is that what is correct to do on vacation?
Perhaps this poem was just another item to check off an arbitrary to-do list.
I feel like I need a break because none of my projects give me that feeling of MATTERING anymore. But I don't know what to do with this break except work on projects.
There are warnings
You are always warned
Don't eat the candy
Stay in at night
Lock the door.
There are always warnings
Always warning you
But for the second
You are tempted
You remember vaguely
The constant background warning
But you were never given
The stories behind them.
You are tempted
You fall, and end changed.
Now you are a story.
Now you warn.
There are always warnings.
Vaguely Neil Gaiman-inspired. I love the little vague creepy stories he sometimes does in the prologues of his short story collections.