i am sorry that i cost you so much gold
as if you are a bank and i am only taking out a loan
i am sorry for being so **** expensive
my mistake i should have not been so ******* intrusive
formal apologies for forgetting the business expenditure
in place of my birth i did not know it was in the picture
i am sorry i didn’t check
family is actually synonymous with piles of debt
my mistake, my bad, i was too rash
so my worth can be paid to you in ringlets of cash
i will have the check written by noon
your rightful mortgage returned to you soon
but remember i did not choose you
how i do owe you
I am from piano keys
from steel strings and sticky wood.
I am from the sheet music under the stairs.
it felt like old age.)
I am from the vinyl shelf,
The stack of cassettes
whose voices I remember more clearly
than my own.
I’m from van Gogh and Klimt,
from paint spills and ink stains.
I’m from sketchbook enthusiasts
and color pencil hoarders,
from More contrast! and Less lines!
I’m from stacks of canvas
with pastel faces
and a charcoal line to connect them all.
I’m from Grandpa’s radio and Grandma’s paint set,
vanilla melodies and citrus colors.
From my sister’s hands over my own
on the keys,
on the brushes with bent handles.
Between my fingertips are a
slew of eighth notes,
an abundance of contoured figures
to slip in my mind.
I am from these things—
painted and composed through—
a casualty of family art.
This was an assignment for English class. Our teacher had us emulate the style of George Ella Lyon in her poem "Where I'm From".
it smelled like musty news and
clairvoyant spines and
so maybe you
were behind the seaweed and sea
of pages all this time.
it sounded like breaks in the index
so painstakingly prefix that
i wish you had
please called before venice.
it tasted like wrinkles but
not for sale
the ones that take ages
of glass and ink to retail.
please rid the library of myself
you sit here weaving words into stories like the sea;
while i fumble with alphabet soup in the corner.
there’s something incredibly annoying about it all, this urge to be better than good enough, the columns of highlighted plans, battle strategies for a eclipse that’s unlikely to happen, picturesque visions of murky scenery; as if we’ll be here in a century or as if it will matter what lips skin eyes we had or the number we got on a test in junior year. it’s all sinking by so fast and you and i both spend the better of it worrying our insides raw and closing our eyes, preparing for the final blow – as if that hasn’t already whistled by with the christmases. they tell us to get our numbers up, they yell to have fragile figures and stand out be different, as if that’s even tangible now in this phoenix cycle where 98 percent is the new 2 percent and different is the norm so to be different would be to be the norm and all we can do is shrug our hearts up to meet their pleas. but it’s so so hard in a world where everything wrong and wicked is romanticized by screens and statistics are emphasized by angry mustachioed men from behind beautiful architecture and our skeletons groan under the weight of it all, as if as if. you and i are stuck in this fork between dusted roads and they know it, they say they were there, but how is anything the same three decades later when it’s added to this spider web of standards? so we are lost until the new sands come and when they do we will already be in the next desert over, spinning in the next yellow kaleidoscope until the day we mix with the sand ourselves; and do you see what i mean: numbers and pictures and this is our life.
i do not think about
the persian gulf or
the turkish avenue and i
do not look at the sluggish part of
my heart that is on
the ground. instead i am
content with piles of taffy
and tired eyes
tied like ships,
soggy chamomile tea and misty pieces
of noise. i laugh
in the spots where
there are none and
i choke on holograms
during intermission like
holding fast to the smell of salt.
(they made me think of you)
sometimes/ it is hard to inhale through this mess of standing sentences and polite posture; the blue of a background and proud dimensioned paper – when it should be blue ink on you and i. the words here are selfish and greedy and angry, they throw darts and smile with emphasis but the ones i write with you are like f eathers and drowned beneath the corners. i want to rearrange them flip their coy glasses and fill them with warm water but i do not think my english teacher will corroborate and the magazines say no. my heart thickens like yours and i worry for the words because isn’t it hot where they are? aren’t they hungry or thirsty without their ribs? the pen shop is just across the street i want to tear them from dusty shelves and online guides and put them in our notebook without commas. they do not know spaces and i think - stuck in history it must be lonely;