Sunday, July 7, 2013

Secrets


My fear has teeth that sink deep in
my chest, burrowing into my heart.
In the dark hours of the morning,
imagined phone calls, deleted texts.

All things I hope never see the dawn.
Pushing the monsters into the corners
of a too-small apartment, stuffing
the secrets into dresser drawers.

Surrounded by socks and headbands
that are so rarely used, they have
a fine layer of dust around them.
A halo raining on the discoverer.

In the morning, pushing everything
into the sunlight.  Fear fades like old
photographs with the aid of coffee
and soggy cereal with sugar packets. 

I’m carried by half-hearted dreams
that someone else misplaced.  By
day-old sandwiches left on the counter
until only the center is soft .

I’m on a hunt for the ordinary now.
Giving all my secrets to people at Denny’s.
Trust the thing that least resembles my
fear, and live my days with lipstick gloss.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday Morning


I’m looking for something that won’t unravel
like a sweater when I hold it.  I’ve tried the
usual, and only end up with wince-worthy
shadows of memories the next morning.

When I go to the beach, the rainstorms
felt like pinpricks on my skin.  Even in shadow,
SPF is a useless shield for my burning skin.
But I live where the sun knows no compassion.

I thought I would have more understood.
but I fill my apartment with skeletons,
motivation, and the memories of
almost, bloodshot eyes, and hangovers.

Don’t move too quickly when
you stand next to me.  My flinching
can only be explained with stories
that nobody has time to hear.

Life is less the graceful surrender
I assumed. Growing roots down
 to the floor, looking for a foundation
 that won’t crack without warning.

Please, don’t tell me compliments
or fill the room with silence.  I’d
rather not hear myself think today,
or find myself in tomorrow’s texts.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Yesterday, I was all fidget and re-check:
the stove, my lipgloss, perpetual pieces
of cinnamon gum.  check, recheck, triple
check reflection in the mirror, the cellphone,
the windows of tilted buildings.
 
Sheepishly meeting the eyes
of similar rituals for passerbys.
Neither admitting that this inordinate
fascination of appearance, this
illusion of control is about seeing
 
only my face in a mirror.  Erase the
shadows of you like an iron on
wrinkled linen.  An ordinary panic
from an ordinary breakup.  It’s only
unusual after the eighth grade.
 
I’ve finally begun to find a new narrative.
To smirk, instead of melting.  To stop
analyzing your statuses for hidden meanings
and finally hide your strategically
manipulative musings…
 
I take back my fortune cookie futures,
my worst knock knock jokes, and
all my secrets shared over melting
Italian ice.  Find someone else and
start your routine over again.

It's more effective on a younger audience.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bed Song



I'm not sure what it is about Amanda Palmer, but she always succeeds at making me cry...
The Dresden Dolls pretty much got me through undergrad, but her music
continues to be meaningful to me.

Friday, April 19, 2013


When we wake, sometimes I
still see the ground-up dust
of stars and spiderwebs when
I squint my eyes into the light.

Leftover dreams have a way
of complicating the workday.
Broken hearts hang around
for far too long, and people

are beginning to notice.  Don’t
ask for the fax by noon.  And
reports will have to wait until
the tears stop falling, darling.

With all the genius of engineering,
why is so much broken? 
They’re putting up barriers
on the side of the roads.

My teacher told me about
entropy, and I used to see
exploding stars in my sleep.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Closing Thoughts


It’s the last day of the month- and I’m looking forward to April.  I want to keep this blog.  The slice of life challenge was so much more than I anticipated.  Sure, I didn’t write every single day, but each blog post I posted was one more than I ordinarily would have.

And I’ve never shared my poetry with anyone before.  The kind comments were very reassuring, and made me want to keep writing.  I’ve learned about so many great projects- like my one word, National Poetry Writing Month, and National Novel Writing Month.  And ultimately, it’s about being good models for students.  If we ask students to write and read, they need role models who write and read as well.

Some blog posts this month were submitted at 11:30 pm.  Some I can’t look at without wincing, because they could use a few (hundred) more edits.  But I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, and what I’ve seen an amazing community of people accomplish.

Thank you to everyone who commented.  And to everyone who dared to share part of their lives through blogging. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Musings


I grew up in church. Every Sunday, without fail.  I didn’t even bother to ask if we were going on Saturday night; I just handed my dress to Mom so she could press the wrinkles out.  Life’s like that when you’re a preacher’s daughter.  And then, I suddenly wasn’t. 

The context changed, but the routine stayed the same.  Until high school.  Older brother went to college, and attendance was no longer enforced.  Still, I put on nice clothes and sat in the back row, because I knew my parents wanted me to.

And then, the context changed again.  Away at college, I didn’t understand how to hold religion and my own beliefs in the same set of arms.  So I let religion go.  Learned to meditate.  Tried yoga.  Graduated with a 3.96. And got into grad school.

Grad school was a new set of classes, same struggles as before.  And with Easter approaching, my heart is quite conflicted.  The Dalai Lama (who’s my favorite llama of all) said that the religion you were raised with is where your heart has roots.  And I miss the community.

But I don’t agree with much of the doctrine, or the leaders.  And I don’t like some of the people.  I’m pretty sure that makes me a bad person. 

There’s no conclusion to this essay, because I haven’t reached one myself.  Maybe this is something I’ll continue to struggle with.  For now, I’m just trying to be the best person I can- give help where it’s needed, offer kindness and understanding, and never be in too much of a hurry to listen to others- even the words they’re not saying.