Month: October 2016

Self

You can’t arrive at yourself through a road map of other’s opinions.

Selfhood is not the sum of external perceptions.

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Nice to Meet You

I don’t do small talk,

the language of first impressions,

Our eyes unable to agree on a meeting place.

I reject staccato answers spaced in polite pauses.

Your story isn’t one I’m willing to dilute by chopping it into palatable pieces with digestible phrases.

Be brave enough to bear your truth to a total and undeserving stranger.

Stand in the wake of their reaction,

Say it without the practiced grin you don’t dare to deem a smile.

Don’t waste my time with small talk.

Tell me your art–

how you say both, “I love you” and “fuck you” to the universe–

that’s the only way I can get to know you.

Involuntary

Even when I don’t want to–

when I want anything else but you,

Any name but yours–

I see my hands reaching for you.

My entire body is an arrow to yours.

Craving your terrain and the way my hands sink into it like teeth.

 

You are the falsest of norths,

A hometown I am ashamed to claim, and yet, refuse to leave,

A direction made entirely of memory.

I beg my heart to pick another rhythm.

Pick palpitations over this purgatory.

It refuses.

So

Here I am,

like so many times before,

ensnared in the desolate paths of you.

 

 

What I Gave Up– Sacrifices of Privilege

Submerged in student debt, I traded my desire for privileged peeves my entitled ego cannot vent in anything other than verse.

I picked my path,

Do not make excuses or apologies for how I exist,

And yet, I am wrestling myself to release my wild.

Here is how this woman has banished her wilderness:

  1. I chose comfort over creativity, complacency over courage.
  2. I am my own axis, and what if I cannot keep myself spinning?  There is no one to rev my momentum, no pushes or pulls into progress.  I am my own inertia.
  3. What if I’m not good enough at what I love?
  4. I had to feed myself.
  5. I’ve creatively starved myself
  6. I am in debt.
  7. Debt substitutes for excuse in my mind, fills in for fear, is the explanation for all the things I do not possess the courage to command.
  8. My soul is art.
  9. My ego is convention.
  10. Deep down, I don’t believe I deserve the life I know I am capable of living.

I lament all the things I have the power to change,

All the talent I have, and all the gall I lack to do something with it.

I am a tragedy of privilege.

Fleeing the fear of normalcy,

Of wondering how many substitutes I can swallow before my life becomes sub par.

How do I not settle?

Not sink into something short of self?

I feel the tracks to regret beneath my feet,

I feel the intersection splitting where my heels used to meet.

In my rumbling, riveter gut, I know the answer.

I know it in my bones,

The ones with my grandmother in the marrow,

“Revolution.  Set yourself on fire and make soil from the ashes.”

So You Didn’t Read My Stuff

I send loved ones this link,

volumes of poetry,

excerpts of novels I can’t commit to completing.

To them, I surrender everything I’m too coward to realize elsewhere.

 

They do not know how intimate it is for me to share.

My poor patchwork of phrases is the best I can offer this world,

the rawest roar of myself.

 

They don’t know the neglect I feel when it goes unread,

when my text gathers dust and falls into the well-intended never-done.

 

I don’t feel loneliest when I’m alone.

Lonely arrives in the aftermath of unshared intimacy,

in overestimating connection,

Allowing myself to hope dangerously

in the direction of you.

 

And I know

they’re just words to you.

The difference is,

you put emphasis on syllables,

I place it on meaning.

 

Don’t worry,

My words have been written in invisible ink before,

known past lives as silent screaming symphonies without a future concert hall.

I wonder if what I regard as diamonds in the rough

are little more than pedestrian pennies at the whim of foot traffic.

Perhaps that’s why my words and thoughts and feelings are always passed by.

 

 

 

I don’t write for you

or them

or even because I want to.

Writing and sharing it

is a need.

To see myself, I write,

And therefore, to love me, you have to read me.