I have begun serious work on my first poetry anthology, scheduled to be released this summer! Scouring over almost 300 poems is no easy task :/ I know what my favorites are, but condensing them down to an appropriate chunk is proving difficult, not to mention the work of spit-shining them for publication. Blahhh. But […]
It must’ve been cold fish lips
and a slamming door.
I must’ve really missed leaving voicemails
for choice males who couldn’t pick up,
men with smoking habits and nightmares,
dirty socks they couldn’t pick up.
It must’ve been the bruising I was lost without,
the strangulating futures that we talked about
the end of all my freedom that I railed against,
the work to solve a puzzle that just didn’t make sense.
It must’ve been the lying and the screaming quiet,
my therapy bills and my pain pill diet,
the disgust and the sorrow for the way we were.
It took so long to leave that by now I’m sure
it must’ve been cold fish lips
and a slamming door;
they must’ve been the things
that I was cryin’ for.
I’d like to think we’d all get hungry
after starving long enough
but some of us never do.
You may have been born searching,
a feigned agony of looking and fighting,
and I thought that the hunting
was a valorous career for a lifetime, but
I think you found something,
and I don’t understand what it is,
why you don’t look anymore.
Is there really reason out there
to be still? Is there something to
keep us full forever?
Am I the one gazing in a shop window
not comprehending the surrender at all?
It’s the attitude that saves a man
from lying down and dying,
saves a heart from ceasing,
saves a soul from fading,
that I would rather hurt than quit,
will ache before I’ll stop.
It’s the knowledge of our particular wounds,
the throbbing mess we face, eyes wide,
that proclaims for us “it is not in vain,”
and powers us further on.
I know where my bruises come from.
I know what they’ll always be.
I know that this knotted sore in my chest
will not heal, and I do not try.
But I will crawl if I have to,
in order that I will one day run
leaving a trail of blood, if that may be.
Like clover in the pond water,
there’s a tangible essence
I sense in these bubbling days.
These days that drive me mad
with foresight, that hiss and brew
so splendidly on schedule.
They’re teeming with what’s to come,
they’re frothing with the hope of me,
they’re giggling and trembling in fear
The ships will be here in the morning,
the train at the station at noon,
and some kind of new-fangled flying machine
may just as well take me after that.
These bubbling days are ready for me,
churning impatience while nights make their rounds,
boiling fiasco to be eaten up
after fasting has had its fill.
If you wanna write a poem,
LET ME TELL YOU,
it’s super easy.
There’s really only so much
dressing up you can do
with the same things
over and over.
Just think about your day
and pick out something good
or something bad
and describe it.
But use words that aren’t
that often seen in print
because you will want to be
unique and say things differently
than everyone else.
That’s one way to do it.
You can also tell a story,
one that points out some
inconsistency of life or
something true that
doesn’t make sense.
Or something that will
make people sad, because
people love to cry.
But the very easiest way
is to give advice.
Figure out a problem
that people might have
and then tell them how
to fix it,
like what I am doing
If you want to make it
more meaningful advice,
tell them the opposite
of what you mean to say
so they will really understand
what you don’t mean
and that you’re
but they’ll get the hint
about what you do mean.
It’s not lying if you do it
in a way that makes it mean
But I’m not using that trick
when I tell you:
don’t ever write haiku.
The secret to giving up
is to do it when no one’s watching,
as often as you can,
when no one sees.
Make a quiet habit of quitting,
no parties, no big deal,
because it’s natural that you bow out
when you need to.
(If you stop doing things,
are you shrinking?
If you prune a bonsai
does it wither?)
You will cultivate a life
when you collect your resignations
in a heaping mound and climb it
to the moon.
And you will sit down on the ground
and breathe the air of time allowed
if you continue to persist
in giving up.
On TV they say my feet
belong in the sand,
lullaby me that I deserve
that if I can’t get tan
they can help with that,
silver gladiator shoes
and gold toe rings.
They never count me.
But I have an island
so few have seen,
a solitude of business carpet
and free air-conditioning,
no one to say
“put your sneakers back on”;
just the holy of row upon row
of bound paper
and the muffled padding
of pale, bare feet.