YOUR FATHER IS DEAD
And yet you will not let that dead man rest his dry bones
In the dirt, in the grave where he belongs.
YOUR FATHER HAS BEEN GONE THREE YEARS
And yet you speak of him like he sits up north still
In his cabin, smoking his wretched lungs to flame.
YOUR FATHER WAS ABUSIVE
And yet despite every beating, every murder attempt
In your mind he was the greatest man to ever live.
YOUR FATHER DOESN'T DESERVE YOUR LOVE
And yet even though he never told you what you wanted to hear,
In your head you make up his words: "I love you."
YOUR FATHER FUCKED YOU UP
And yet you tell me about the lessons he taught you like a saint;
In your life you repeat his brutalities, his learning legacy.
YOUR FATHER LIVES IN YOU
And yet you are blind to his quirks you repeat, that
In your daughter you have made a new you:
Blind, quivering, trapped, choking on tears
She is everything you were and you try to make her
Everything you wished you were
But in your repression, your denial --
When you cling to his grave and the things you made up about him
Like a leech, like a disease, like a haunting,
You let him live again in you.
And he was not a good man.
He was a hurtful man.
A proud man.
A bad man.
A killer of your precious, finite vitality.
And just like he destroyed you,
You will destroy her.
I think I made the mistake of trusting you, sir.
I think sometimes they tell you people
That teenagers have nowhere to go and no one to talk to,
So when one speaks to you
You are the only one they have ever spoken to,
And they only one they will ever trust.
You, sir, are the light on the hill!
And yet I never saw a brightness die so fast.
I told you about the depression first.
Yes, I admit it, I was scared;
There had never been enough people to tell me it was okay
To be mentally ill, that it wasn't something I'd chosen,
It was a flaw of chemistry not of character.
Yet I clicked that door open for you and let you in,
That was step 1.
I didn't tell you about her next.
But to be fair, I didn't know about her, either.
I came to you about him, when I was lost.
You berated me for my trust issues;
I swallowed it and knew it and you told me to stop.
He was supposed to be the next good step.
My fault, and I know it.
Step 3 were the voices.
When I told you there were voices in my head
I tried to explain to you that I was not crazy
The chemistry between me and my brain may be bad
But it's not insanity:
Only memories, only torturers,
And I didn't need another one.
When I told you that my sexuality was not straight like a pin
But waved and diverged to both sides
That I was not a het, I was a queer
You were more kindly than the congregation
And I mistook a warning as a welcome.
I was troubled but not condemned so long as I did not "practice."
Well I did not practice for it but when I kissed her and when I kiss her
I remember your words and look into her eyes and think
That there is no practice in her or in I.
Our lips meet and I feel her warmth and her hands are on my hips
And I tell you there is no "practice"
There is no practicing for love,
Not a single rehearsal for passion and commitment.
Sirrah I would do it again and again
Like the waves I will continue to touch her shores,
No matter how many times others may pull me away.
If you meant to abandon me for me,
You should've told me sooner.
i don't know how to explain it to you
this white skin is a canvas and i want to make it red
the trails of scarlet trailing down my skin,
the gouges in my skin, the crevices
they comfort me
when i see the canyons in my flesh
the hatred is eased and my mind is easier to please
there's a voice in my head that bays for my blood
and a gurgle in my heart that wants to swallow my life
me i bargain with the devil:
the body still lives but it will be broken
and he nods and lets me go and i am free
when the knife comes out and i drag it across my skin
my heart slowly starts to ease
the pain the confusion the frustration
the agony of being awake and aware in this head
it all becomes so much easier when there's some comfort i can see
it cannot kill me it heals with time
pink white faded lines across my shoulders
feel so comfortable and familiar when i'm gone
and my hands start floating away from my wrists
and there's a space in my head where my mind should be
i can't feel my body where is my body
what time is it where am i what was i doing why was i trying
to feel the scabs rocky and hard
i think clearer feel better know more soar higher
when the monster calls and i feel the itch in my fingers
i will do it again and self medicate
to cure the agony in my soul
and my breath will ease out into a relieved sigh
every part of me will cry for this bliss
i had this dream
where i was locked in a glass room,
gasping for air with
thick fingers wrapped tight
around my throat.
the streets outside were crowded,
people stared and screamed,
but no one ever tried
to break the glass.
that's how monday mornings feel,
walking down halls filled with
well-meaning people who would
help if they knew how.
i am a butterfly pinned,
broken and bright and iridescent,
and you cannot look away but
what can you do?
i cannot ask anyone to stick
shattered shards into their skin
just to step between me
and an oncoming train.
i want no one else's knuckles
broken for my safety.
sometimes the wolves
outsmart the shepherds,
and i am softer than i seem
and not built to fight forever.
in my dream,
i kicked my boot bottom-first
through the glass
and sprinted a path through the crowd,
bloody and breathless and bruised
and alive because
i know when to stop waiting for
things to make sense.
sometimes the monsters are
stronger than you'd hoped
and some things are not worth
i stopped seeing the shame in
running for my life
the day i ran out of other options.
I am God
I AM WHO I AM
There are none like Me
The strength of My might is immeasurable
The breadth of My knowledge unknowable
My children I protect
My followers I love
None whom I take into My hand I forsake
Blessed are those, O Lord, who hear Your voice!
Be not absent from my mind!
But have patience and be of slow words
For Your servant, Lord, can only write haltingly
I give the dumb speech
To the blind I give sight
The deaf hear again with My touch
My children pass like breaths
But I am eternal
Speak to the God who listens
Oh merciful God, blessed be Your name!
Holy are You that takes the time to listen to my speech
My enemies are forfeit, my mockers destroyed
The God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, of Noah
Graciously, mercifully listens to a babbler, a fool
Humble my heart O Lord
That my words might be pleasing to You
Listen to my prayer, O God
And hide Yourself not from my supplication!
Attend to me and answer me;
I am restless and distraught in my complaint
And must moan
Lord to Your servant David You would answer
Answer now my pleas, though my heart be crude and unfit
Lord do You see Your child?
He is tormented day and night by thoughts of You
Your hands molded him into being
His heart You placed in his chest and it was made to worship You
But he is attacked and harassed
Lord how he despairs so unjustly!
Deep into the mire has he sunk
He is trapped there in agony
And the prince of lies is his companion
Into his ears demons whisper day and night
Lord, do not abandon him!
You made him to love, to worship You!
His heart You love, his mind You made
What gifts You have blessed him with!
Then how now does he suffer?
Forsake me not, O Lord!
O my God, be not far from me!
Make haste to help me, O Lord! My salvation!
This heart bleeds and weeps at his suffering
In my insolence I thought it was I who could free him from his pain
But no, it is You!
God will you crush him too?
Destroy his oppressors and free his soul
He would worship and love You God, this I swear:
These eyes have seen, these ears have heard
All is in alignment, he is made to be your most devoted follower
Let him worship You Lord, for this is right
Forgive him his tresspasses, forgive him his sins
Let him not weep in despair
As he feels Your absence and is tortured still
Are You not his savior?
Are You not his redemption, his healer?
God, Your lover, Your bride weeps to see Your abandonment
She cries to see Your glory
Her pleading will never cease
Till Your mercy is shown
And he is freed from his suffering
And back into the tender care of Your loving arms
She will plead until You are glorified
And Your children love You as one
Hold back not Your glory
Love Your children
Forget them not in Your wrath, o Lord
May Your mercy come down like a cloud
And Your love as a rain
Amen and amen
Glory to You forever and ever, o God
Send some rain, please God send some rain
For the earth is dry and needs to drink again --
And I know not how to speak to You anymore
I’ve run and run and run from You
I have feared, disgraced, shunned, and longed for You
All in single breaths, all in one gasp
There is too much, Lord
This wall is too thick
Too high, too strong
The gate is shut and I know not, remember not, the key
Did I hold the palette knife, Lord?
Was it I that mixed the concrete and placed the bricks?
Who drew those plans?
There is not a day I remember
Where I decided to shut down and shut off and shut away
The people on the outside
Things are safer on the inside, this I know
That this mind is a trap and this body is a bomb
But at least it isn’t as frightening as the ones outside --
But no, that isn’t true
I’ve seen how this mind will break and this body will fail
How the counter keeps ticking down down down
How I will run out of tape and glue to piece
These cracked halves and splinters back again
I’ve watched myself snap, teeth bared and nails out
Primitive and carnal, ready to destroy and kill;
Sluggish, depleted, apathetic, incapable, laying on the floor
Wheezing breath in and out, body crumpled to the ground
He says he loves me
God, isn’t that hysterical?
I have fallen too far for people to love me, o God
I have not quality
Nor quantity to make up for it
I don’t know how to feel safe with others
How to trust and how to love
Perpetually planning, there is a degree of calculation
In every move I make, every word I speak, every breath I take
The alarm bells will not stop -- stop! -- ringing
Everyone is faulty, everyone is dangerous
I cannot make them safe to me
Or this odious warning system
I write to feel
I speak to find help
But I am not better
I am not alright
God, are You out there?
They spoke of You in church this morning.
Every Sunday is another battlecry of you.
The mere mortals moralize and maneuver
They built their society on You,
But lost You in their rules --
Hell is empty, all the devils are here --
The Sadducees live again in this century, o Lord
I know His was only a single ticket
But perhaps there is another plane He could take, God
I was told this wall needed to descend for You, God
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
But I have never reached for You
You know this, I know this
I am looping round and round
This reads more like a child’s diary entry than a poem
A confused convoluted confession
Not a profession, a solution, a heartfelt love
My God, You have got to save me
Medication might save or destroy my brain
But it will touch not my soul
I don’t know how to love
You love me
Could You teach me what it means?
God I would serenade You for Your love
David’s desperation and my muted, confused despair are one:
Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
“You have a lot of pride,” my sister said,
Like always, she cannot tell what’s missing.
My sister, college-fled and parent-led,
You never saw the discomfort lurking.
I ache for the dawn and pray for the end,
Because it’s times like these where I can’t think.
Solitude taught (with me I can’t contend)
That night waits for me, in darkness I sink.
I’m weak and sorry to those I befriend –
Dear God! I pray for blissful rest and peace,
And something for my worried heart to mend.
I’d take a quiet mind, even for lease.
Hush my tense thoughts and please banish my fright,
I just want to make it all through the night.