,the thing they forgot to mentionabout being a writeris that we all live the longestand die the fastest.we feast on metaphorswith numb fingers and heartsuntil we crawl under a half moon to sleepand just don't wake up,because everything we areis arranged in our workand we start to becomeeverything we've written about, slowly but surely. and now i'm not so sureif i want to be a poet.i just knowthat i want to be a writer.
how to be a poet: the basics.kiss all the peopleyou know you shouldn't,solely for the reasonthat they look goodin stanzas. look at your scarslike mothers peer into cradles. then makemore; make yourself intoa symbol for infinity,or at least try,because it never works. patch yourself up. say, "darling, you're okay," while staring at yourself in the mirror with your hairdamp and your lipschapped (refer to stanza one). change. grow. it's what we like to read, isn't it?miss the people in your lifeuntil they leave,and then miss yourselfas well. screw everything up,and then write about itlike it had to happen.try to believe it, ignorethe voice in your head that hissesand groans in your sleep,behind your eyelids."baby, you're a fuck up,you know it know it know it".try to carve the hummingout of your bodyby exit way of your veins. be hospitalized. give in, give up,play along, stop writing. get better. but then you start writi
an ode to winter, to her.i.there's a mixof cheap cigarettes andJanuary coating my lips.ii.all the scar tissuecan't make upfor everything i've lost,and everything i will gain.iii.i have never met someonewho distracts memore than metal and pot, but i guessthat there's a first foreverything.
imessedup.eons pass him by.starsget caught between his teeth, fingersand woe; and this is my fault.there was a timewhen he broke me to piecesjust like everyone does to me.and he does it by asking what's going on with me.i can't talk about it. why not?(because i think about offing myselfon a regular basisand i feel less than human,like a self destructive whorethat likes to play with thinks that aren't toysand i've become everythingi promised myself i wouldn't). i just can't. it's nothing.
i was doing so well at this happy thing.from age fiveto twelve, it was the constant voices (at homeand in my head) telling me that i wasfat. and then for 3 yearsi was nothing.i was the child that dyed her hair andtold her dad thatshe didn't want to get marriedbecause it was alltoo much.for 3 years,i was the girl whowrote stories and folded them up inpaper cranesto hang above my bed. now,at 16 years old,my dad tells methat i'm too thin. i don't eat enough.and i know that it's nottrue. i eatwhat my body needs. and i had finally gottento the spot where i felt comfortable. no-- fuck, i felt good.but nowwhen i look in the mirrorall i see is my dadtelling me that i am a mess(even though he never said it) and that when he was my age,he didn't have anxiety attacks and my brothermay be a fuck up butat least he'smentally capable (sort of).no matter what,my dadwill always be betterand so will myalmost-dropout br
and i am a poemi think that her scarsare more like words than they areold flesh- she is prose.
summer, 1999.my earliest memory of my motheris after my father hadalmost hit her in the kitchen ofour new house.yellow walls; shehad hung glass portraits ofherbs on thewindows. they rattle when the front door opens and closes.i am hardly two, white blonde hair androsy cheeks, andi don't understand why my mother is smiling while she cries. when i ask her,she doesn't wipe the tearsoff of her cheeks.she tells me that somewhere deep inside,she is happy, but she's just a little sad, too. she tells me that sometimes love hurts,but it's a good kind ofpain. it's the kind of ache we fight for.i am too youngto understand. she picks me up andcarries me to my bedroom(the first time i had a bedroom andnot the laundry room) and puts me down for a nap,but turns on the radio
control freak.it started withband. that firstperformance, when i dropped something and everyone's eyesburned into my back (i swear, i still have thescars). and theni realized that whenmy notes fell flat,i was the problem with the ensemble.that coxed me intoa steady stream of drugsand new pencil sharpeners. but that was lastyear. that was a lifetime ago--i should be better.after all, i'm perfecton the field. never missa move. hardly miss a a note(you don't want to be in my headwhen i do). now, it's gottento the point where i need to controleverything.i evaluate my life in segments.i know that i can't sleep because i'm unableto let go of thefact that i might die tonight.i know that it's okay to like girls, too-- my mom alwayssaid that peoplewere made to love, notto judge. i know that if i get hit head on by anothercar, that's okay. life hasto end for everyone. iam not excl
for ellie, always.it may be too latebut i want to drop kisses onto yourstomachand tell you that you're beautiful at 3:17 amor pm,i don't really care.
closets are no place for secretslet us repent now, my love,the homeless mandown the street told methat the end was near and you know,one of these days,it will be.and i can't stand the thought of usbeing vanquishedin the anguish of fires of adamnedcirclein helllike our mothers and their mothersand their mothers said.we didn't have any time toarrive --only just enough to knowthat the end is only nearout of spiteand i know it isn't fair, hush now,i know it isn't fair.remember when i told youthat my finger tips were paintedeach dissected colorof the rainbowand my parents didn't find ittill they walked in on mebetween her legs?she died that day, remember?and the worst part was nothearing her screams when my father beather for being a cheaterand defying nature as if she wasthe only one responsiblefor the balance,but the part where i didn't leavewhen she did.darling, i didn't meet my endbecause i still had to findyour rainbow-tattooed finger tipstapping table twoin a deserted coffee
monster in the closet.anxiety ripsthrough my bonesevery night when I pull the blanketstight around me.it's not thedreams. those ican handle;there's just somethingthat's burrowed deepinside my ribcageand clings on withgreedy fingers,inhaling my mindwith foul lips.my heart climbsto my mouth;and i choke (andchoke and choke and choke)until i'm a messof tangled sheets anda thousand differentways that i could havedied. but here's thecatch-- i am notafraid to die.i am afraidthat i have alreadydied.
toosoon.this year,it snowed in October;the leaves hadn't turned yetand westood outside in a blizzard,still stuck in July of last year.
Tom Doesn't Say MuchTom Doesn’t Say Much “Hey Tom, what’s up man?”Hey bro’, nothin’ much. Just tired. I was actually think--“Aw damn, that sucks. Gotta go.”Oh…okay….“Hey, I’m gonna go out with friends, wanna come with Tommy ol’ boy?”Yeah, sure! That sounds great!“Ooooh, sorry Tom. I didn’t think you’d want to go.”.…But…I told you I did.“Oh really? Damn, I’m sorry. Maybe next time.”……*sighs*……“Hey Tom, I’m gonna run an errand really quickly. I’ll be back in a couple hours.”Alright, cool. So, I’ll see ya’ at 3? “Yeah, catch ya’ then.”I’ll wait for the next 2 hours, not doing anything.‘Cause hey, I wanna hang with people!“Aw damn,
these patched lungs want release.you've been smoking likethe world was gonna end -- (and maybe, it already has. we could've plunged to hell and wouldn't have noticed.)but now, your lungs igniteinstead of the cigarette.
carry on.i count milesby the cracks in the sidewalkthat i try to step on(old habits die hard)andby cigarette buts thrown like Hansel & Gretel's crumbs down main st;count them by how many times i think of youand how many timesi wish i hadn't (those numbers are neck and neck).someday not so far from nowi know that i'll wind up to bethe monster i always said i wouldn't,and i'll sit back, mind a million miles away because i just want to keep going.
2.i pick and choose my thoughtsuntil i am left with nothing morethan worn out wordsand small town hatred.
bomb broker.there's a boydown the road;and at night, when the bombs fall like snow,i imagine him thinkingof anything butthe walls shaking.the people acrossthe street hid a Jew, and the boy down the road(i don't know hisname, only thathis hair is the colorof candle wax, the moon, thesand) cried when they took the womenhiding awayand shot her outside of the church. sometimes when i'min class, i sneak glances at himand wonder whathe thinks ofthe war and the stench ofdeath (it's so heavy in the air, now).he salutes likeit's no trouble, buti think he's just smart. two years after the war is began, he kisses me while hedies. it's the first timei've ever been kissed, and i tasteblood on his lips andin his words as hesplutters out hislast request:"don't hide, Leslie. don't you ever hide."
don't love me until you've seen me bleed.i think thati'm falling in lovewith you.no. no, no no, don't you say that, because you've never seen meat 4 amwith my eyes glazedand my mind a battle field (and my arms paying for the weaponry).you haven't heard mechoke back sobs after midnightbecause god dammit i can't sleep,and the screams in my earsaren't helping matters,and i don't thinkyou will ever see me bre a kand shatter andfall into the greedy gripof a panic attack and then try in vainto claw myself back up. but there is that hot hope in methat tells me that youare different. youcan look pastthe scars and the tearsand the screams and the nightmares. andmaybefor once in my damn lifei'm praying that i'm rightabout someone for once.
i apologize for taking after youdear mom,i wouldn't know the first thing about sharing a man. i do, however, know what it is to share a part of your body that you had to let go of after nine months of being a knapsack for it. you always told me that you never really stopped being one; your hands were always full with my preschool worries and bully-stories and somehow there was yet still room for me to hold on to you.i would clutch on to a different colored, chiffon dress you assorted to each day of the week; blue for mondays because you knew going back to school always made me feel insecure, green for tuesdays and wednesdays because the insecurity then succumbed to, "everyone is prettier than me," purple for thursdays because you said it's the only color in the rainbow with two shades and yellow for the rest because you knew the end of the week was more than just a liberation for me. it was the last day at the battlefield and i had made it through another week. it meant that yellow days are the happiest and you did
if being afraid is a crime, we hang side by sidethe future terrifies me,so i'll continue todrag my evisceratedcorpse under yourdecaying ballroom.don't you worry, there'salways more room inthis neverending jail.
you are what you eatdomine, adiuva mei never wanted thisto happen the way ithappened.it was supposed to be soclean-cut;i was supposed to be gone beforethey evennoticed.cunabula methere wasscreaming and shoutingand vomit andoh-my-godwhere are my fingers?my vision is so blurry,ice cold water rising up,touching my chin.i do not rememberhow i got here.i do not rememberi do not rememberi do not remember when ivomited upon my body,nor when i was lainnaked.diligo mihithere was an openbottle of pain meds when shewalked through the door.three little white pillslined up,the rest missing from theirplastic jail.where are the pills, she asked.where are the rest?she found her baby in the bedroom,lying face downin her own vomit.she found the pills.interficiet mei was not sorry untili woke up the next day,vomiting up bloodand my own guts, and mysister called mecrying.i was not sorry untilshe sobbed, "i was so worriedabout
you should be home by nowlast tuesday the house took my hand & said,it's more of a hurricane than a firesince he broke in & burnedmy curtainsmy floorsmy bridgesmy selfbut sometimes I see her with a lighter& she finishes what he didn't do(I think she's afraidof settling in,being quiet)but last tuesday I realized that she kept the lights onto frighten away the bridges & the peopleso no one will come inside& smash the teacups, steal the pipesbecause since he burnt her beds outno one lives there anymore
six steps to fixing youstep onecry. scream. bang your fists against the wallsthat keep you locked inside.kick your feet in the air. tell your sister she's stupidand wrong and that you've never loved her.cry. scream. apologize via him to you.let your tears catch on your lashesuntil you can no longer see anything but your owndemise. taste the bitterness left inyour mouth from your own bitching and rot in it.step twobreak a mug. break two. kickthe pieces around the kitchen floor and cry some more.break a plate. break a cup. break a bowl.break a finger because nothing can take away thissort of pain. you are empty and yetyou are filled with so much anger.break a razor and paint pictures across your skin.step threeyou are okay, you tell them.you break three days later and you liein bed, unable to move.step fourstart picking up the pieces. clean up the messyou've made and he's left.use windex to polish off the dirt and
we're all drunk and always have beennoi haven't felt smaller than this beforeand it could bebecause i don't breathe poetry inand out -inand out,inand out -i write it under my eyebrowswith the precisionof a drunk snipertoasted into admissionwith irony s-st-tutter-eringdown his throat.you wouldn't take a damned bullet for me.beautiful is a word keptfor the riseand fallof her tidal chest,not my shallow breath,not my sunset, heartfelt,hollow silhouette.i would have disappearedbetween your accusing index andneglected thumb -rub me,rub me?rub herrub herdon't you feel calmer?noi haven't felt smaller than thisbefore.i haven't felt smaller than this beforeand it could bebecause you found a home betweenher stroking index andcomforting thumb -i haven't forgotten,no, i still remembernow twenty two penumbrae in the pastdidn't stop mefrom settlingin one of several crevassesat the bottom of your oceanic mind;you may have forgotten,and slept inon the details,but i haven't,not yet,not ye
Dear LostDear Lost,Hello. I've likely not met you in reality before, butI can assure you that we have more than a fewthings in common. Maybe you like to sleep with thewindow open. Maybe you like to carry a wallet inyour side pocket instead of the back. Or maybeyou walk down the stairs with your feet poised toeither side instead of straight, rigid motions. There'smore, I'm sure of it.But we both are our own person. It's plausible to saythere's much more which keeps us distinct than loopus together. And I'm fine with that. Maybe you single-knot your shoelaces while I double-knot mine, or youfind a cup of tea much more enjoyable when you'realone, with a good book in hand. Or maybe you thinkthe stars are just wispy balls of gas, whereas I find abubble of solace whenever I see the hearty light.I think I can trust you with a secret. My grandmotherpassed away a while back, and I can't remember e
.in the nighttime you arebetter; moonlightembroiders yourskin and stitchesyou up with apurer love, untilthe morning comes,the sun runs histeeth through yourseams again, splitsyou open
.i feel change, the waythe birdsong changes when thecat goes out for lunch
dinner for two.i keep Chinese fortunes and your hopefolded up in my pocket,staying warmhand-in-hand with the worst thingsabout me.