Monthly Archives: September 2009

not a smile

This poem is written in the style of the poet Chelsey Minnis:

This is the flower in the vase that turns out to be fake…
Like wrinkles that are airbrushed out on a magazine…
You’re as real as your blonde highlights darling…
Don’t cry that makeup was expensive.

This is like the kitten you bought to comfort yourself that turns out
to be a total jerk…
The mud you got on the new carpet…
And the soggy sandwich you brought to work that was stolen from the fridge.
I’m a selfish hoarder…

Sometimes I feel so broken at night…?
And that’s when I miss you the most…
I like your scarred and scraped hands…
And how you are not at all like dirty laundry.

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Inequality

I’m the girl with bruises down her shins,
the scars like exquisite honors.
You’re the only one who’s seen the sores on my heart,
where the pain hurts the most and lasts the longest.
I show you it all
in hopes you’ll return the trust.

The words you never say aloud
are sealed inside you so tightly.
The secrets creep to your lips
but you refuse them any exit.
Breathe in, breathe out,
you hold it all within.

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I updated my about me page that you can read when you click on the link at right. I’ve been working on this list for a long time and it’s nowhere close to being done but I still like it.

stay a while longer

You shouldn’t have let me leave that night. You should have stopped me before I walked outside into the cold and empty night. You should have taken my hand as I walked away and pulled me close to you. You should have kissed me right there in front of the others, then told them you could take me home later. You should have told me that you wanted nothing more than to be with me. You should have led me back to your couch in front of the sparkling fire.
We should have sat there staring at each other and wordlessly said to each other that this was perfect. We should have really told each other how we felt. We should have stayed up all night appreciating every second together. We should have run away from everything that was trying to keep us apart. We should have watched the night sky as it changed from bright stars to the crisp light of morning. We should have said everything we were keeping inside.
I shouldn’t have even moved toward the door. I shouldn’t have put my coat on as if it were the only option. I should have held you a little tighter as we hugged goodbye. I should have kissed you right there in front of the others, then told them I’d go home later. I should have told you I wanted nothing more than to be with you. I shouldn’t have left that night.

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it’s just you and me

We took thousands and thousands of pictures together. Pictures when you were sad. Pictures when I was sunburnt. Pictures when we were curled up in bed. Pictures when you were looking for your shoes under the bed. So many moments of our life were captured forever. You always insisted that we print them out because you believed photos that weren’t tangible were worthless. We printed every single one. Our closets were filled with boxes of photos and after a while they filled every nook of the house. You’d open the silverware drawer and there would be a picture of me trying to hold a spoon on my nose. It was all so entertaining to us. One summer we traveled to Europe and when we came back we looked through our pictures and noticed that there wasn’t a single picture of the famous places we visited. There were only pictures of us together. When we were together it didn’t matter if we were at the Louvre or in front of Big Ben. Nothing else mattered, nothing else existed.

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looking stupid

With her electro music blaring from the large black speakers on the desk she didn’t hear him knock at the door and come in. The lights were all off except for a small light in the corner and she was dancing in the way that people only do when no one is looking. It was pretty clear that she was enjoying herself so he decided to sit down in the corner and watch her for a while. As the techno beats finally quieted, signaling the end of the song, he said hello. She jumped and color rushed to her cheeks as she saw him. She asked him how long he had been there and he said he’d been there long enough to know she had some mad skills. She lowered the volume, sat down on her bed, and told him that she was ridiculously embarrassed. Don’t be embarrassed you’re a good dancer, he told her, but he knew it was going to take more than that to make her feel better. She covered her face with her hands and he sat down next to her. He pulled her hands apart as if playing peekaboo with a little kid, and smiled at her. He told her he would make things better and went over to her computer. He turned the volume all the way and backed up into the center of the room. He started dancing ridiculously and he watched her face light up with a smile. For the next few songs he danced in the same manner until she begged him to stop with happy tears streaming from her eyes and complaints that her cheeks hurt from smiling. He laid down on the bed and jokingly squished her into the corner, complaining that she was taking up the whole bed. She laughed and told him he couldn’t lay down just yet, pushing him back off the bed. She picked a new song from her computer and said he had to dance with her now. They danced around the room looking as stupid as possible and laughing so much it was hard to breathe.

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sylvia

It had been years and years since he’d thought about Sylvia. He had realized he was in love with Sylvia Woods after he was married but then there was simply nothing he could do. He loved his wife Jen very much but he was not in love with her. Sylvia always wore the same french perfume every single day and it had scented their time together like a soundtrack to a movie. Every time he would be in a department store he would search for her perfume, just to relive a few memories. One time he even bought a small bottle and kept it hidden in his side of the closet. Jen had found it right before Christmas when she was doing a bit of cleaning and had assumed it was for her. He could do nothing but pretend to be angry that she had found her present. But Jen never made the scent her own, it would always be Sylvia’s. He had tried to train himself not to think about her after a few years of marriage and it worked most of the time. He never told Jen about Sylvia and it became the first of secrets he kept from her. It was probably part of what led to their divorce after fifteen years. And now here she was, after twenty years, sitting at his kitchen table drinking coffee and smelling like french perfume. At first he had a hard time looking at her, she was so much older than she was in his memories, and now he couldn’t stop looking at her. She was more beautiful than before in such a different way. Her almond-shaped eyes knew more about the world and her hair was shorter than before. He didn’t know what to say or how to act around her so they spent the day in silence, drinking coffee. She talked about her life all day and made dinner from things in his fridge. Only at night when she was headed into the spare bedroom did he clear his throat and tell her he had missed her all those years. She paused at the doorway and told him that she had been waiting for him the entire time. Then she closed the door and he was left in the quiet again. He didn’t bother sleeping that night, he was too excited for what was to come. At seven he opened her door and lay down on the bed next to her. She opened her eyes and didn’t look surprised to see him. He whispered that he wanted to go away with her and never come back. She whispered that nothing sounded better. They left in an hour with a small bag of their clothes and her perfume. They had never felt so certain or happy about their lives.

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Nothingness

The noisy little boat had taken us far out into the ocean yet the water was still clear enough to see straight down to the sand. The water was a greenish turquoise-y blue like they always show on commercials for tropical vacation spots. Our hired tour guide/captain told us that this was a great spot for snorkeling so we put our masks and fins on. I was the last one to jump off the boat. As I plunged into the water I felt terribly numb. I wasn’t excited to see the fish, I wasn’t delighted by the warm waters, I wasn’t even happy to be on vacation. As everyone swam around pointing furiously at all kinds of fish I just let the salty ocean carry me. The best part about the snorkeling was how quiet everything was. I was free to feel nothing underwater. No one could ask me what was wrong or why I was scowling. The mask hid my expression, the snorkeling hid my lack of activity. If I could have stayed there forever, I would have. When a sharp blow of a whistle sounded I felt like I’d been sleeping for a year. I pulled my head out of the water and looked around me. I was far from the rest of the group physically and mentally. I didn’t want to go back to the boat, back to the hotel, or back home but I started swimming towards it all anyway. The ride back to shore was as quiet as the water had been, all the snorkelers were exhausted, and I pulled the silence around me like a soft blanket. I spent the rest of vacation in my hotel room with noise-canceling headphones, allowing myself to be numb and alone. On the plane ride I realized that I couldn’t stay in the numb ocean forever and I knew I would feel sadness like no other when I arrived at my empty house. I wasn’t ready for it, but at least I felt the apprehension.

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mixed messages

1.
There’s no need to make teardrop tea my sweet. Things are not as bad as your little mind seems to think they are. I know “everything is going to be okay” seems like a lie but it really is true most of the time. Pick your head up off of your hands and let’s find some happiness. We’ll frolic through the fields like hippies and find animals in the clouds. I know your favorite songs and we’ll blast them through your car’s speakers while we sing as loud as our vocal cords allow. Life is too precious to waste time at a pity party.

2.
You stare so deeply into my eyes I feel like you’re seeing too much. I should look away, my mind tells me, but I just can’t. I need to stare back into yours and pursue your depths like you so eagerly pursue mine. I see compassion, honesty, and love right away and I wonder what you’re seeing. Perhaps you’re only focusing on my pupils to see if they dilate when you take my hand. I’m sure they do.

3.
In the morning I wake up clinging to wisps of dreams. Sometimes I can recollect my unconscious memories and think about them for days. They’ll puzzle me, trouble me, delight me. Other times they float away from me like smoke and try as I might, there’s no holding onto them. Some of my dreams are so wonderful that I wake up with a smile. They almost hurt at times because they’ll be better than reality. I think dreams must be a combination of your recent worries and your creative imagination yet I find myself putting a certain amount of trust in them. I’ve done things in real life because my dreams made them seem like good ideas. I guess that just makes me an optimist, planning my life around a dream.

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here we are

You drink your cigarette and take a drag of coffee at the café down the street from your 2 1/2 bedroom 1 5/9 bathroom apartment. It’s just you and your aunt living together. She’s only a couple years older than you so she’s more like a cousin. You get along well most of the time, but today was an exception. That was why you were here, ignoring everyone around you. You stare off into the parking lot as if waiting for someone to arrive and wiggle your right leg impatiently. The waitress comes over and asks if you need anything else and you shortly respond that you are fine, without looking up at all. She asks if she knows you and you are forced to interact further. You search her face; which is pretty, oval, and has freckles sprinkled across it, and her bright green eyes lead you to recognize her from high school. Art class, you remember. You tell her this and expect her to go into a long monologue about how high school was so great and seems like so long ago and how she can’t wait for the reunion in a few years. Instead she apologizes for making you recall what must surely be shitty memories and asks if you want to go get something to eat in a few minutes when her shift ends. You accept because really, where else are you going to go if you can’t go home?

After a few minutes she comes back without an apron. Her wavy black hair is no longer pulled back and rests on her shoulders. You think she looks smart as you both walk over to her car, an ancient black Mercedes. She asks what you feel like eating and you suggest getting sandwiches from that place just a little down the street. She tells you to adjust the radio as she drives and you sort through static until landing on an old Metric song. She starts singing the lyrics quietly and this intrigues you. During lunch she tells you how she’s just working so she can make enough money to move to France where she already has a job and some friends and can study art more extensively. You don’t really know this girl but you wish you were part of her plans. You tell her that you’re working on a novel and that you’re writing for a music magazine in the mean time. She seems genuinely interested, even excited, and is the first person to ever react this way to your plans. You take her to the lake at sunset and skip rocks across its flat surface as she tells you about the art she makes. She has to leave soon after, to work her second job, and you tell her you’ll walk home. She shakes your hand and tells you to visit her in France. On the way back to your apartment you think about how interesting the day became after seeing her. You’ll go back to that café tomorrow.

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