It’s like this {poetry}





It's like this

It's like this

Imagine

Your favorite band is on stage

Now

She says

Come up and slow dance with someone

This, of course, is when you are inexplicably alone

They all slow dance in front of you

Reminding you of what you do not have right now

And the moment

And the song

That could be a happy memory,

Is just there.

Others are alone

But you only see yourself

Distorted in a funhouse mirror.

Now

You are always lonely in a crowd

You are always lonely

Even when you are on stage

And they are cheering you.

Now

All of a sudden you cannot see

And a woman moves so you can

But there's no gratitude in your heart

Because you are empty

Of everything

And have been

As long as you can remember.

Now

All the emotions

You haven't felt for the past hour

Hit you

In a moment

And it hurts

The pain and happiness and sadness and anger and frustration and worry and anxiety and love and and and and

You close your eyes

Because it is too much.

Now

You walk alone

And should be afraid

But are not

The shell of a body

Could be beaten tonight

And you'd feel nothing.

Now

You are on a train

It's late and tomorrow will be long

You took pictures

And had a seat next to the stage

For every reason

You should be happy

But only want to close your eyes

And be alone.

The thing you have hated all night

Is the most comforting.

Now

It is heavy.

It's like this

No matter what joy or sadness

Comes your way

You are heavy

With numb and nothing

And can remember nothing else

A weightless thing

That has dragged you below

Now

Do you see?


Today

the sky is on fire

and I don’t know if I’ll make it past today

where can we go from here

when the rain has past

and all we have left is the debris

of everything I’ve broken until now

a stream and regrets and lost items

no one wants nor will ever retrieve

I’m sorry if I did everything wrong

its the only way I knew

 

the sky is grey again

because everything moves forward

what more is here for me

when up never feels higher

and around only feels lower

 

The lights push against the emptiness

bound by wires and fate

full once but never again

on the concrete it’s alone again

waiting waiting to be picked up, filled and emptied again

what shopping cart lives we lead

 

the clouds are back

but maybe the rain has stopped

and I’m edging closer to the door

why clean up again when I could just leave my arms open

and breathe

just

one

more

time

 

 

The White Helmets {poetry}

Covered in dust

Digging with bare hands

They search for the living the dying the dead

Each day, watching the sky, for the woosh and what comes after

A country where tears have long since dried up

thousands of dead

and they watch the sky

follow the trail of pain with only hope

Searching

for the last bit of life buried under dust that used to be walls

walls that used to hold families, paintings, signs of joy

but now hold fear and inevitable numbness

Shock has long since passed, perhaps after the fifteenth shockwave felt

We watch the sky and do nothing

They watch the sky

and hope.

Not quite summer {poetry}

In the crack between toes
the bleak sun finds a grip
on the stained windows
and curtains that were just scraps of clothing yesterday
the fig tree out front
its fruit weighs heavy
the birds shout with glee for gluttony

It's been ages
since they were out front under the fig tree
to do anything but move the old car
it only moves in neutral you know

But hope finds a way
Ever since her sister gave her the sapling
and yes, the curtains need be washed
and yes, the other dog died again
and yes, the helicopters circle overhead
and yes, something somewhere is leaking

But the heat is fading
and the night is cooler now

They walked away… {social prompts}

I'm trying to remember to write more, so this little experiment is the result. I got some prompts from Twitter and Facebook. This one is from @roeberg

They walked away from the spot silently – side by side – looking furtively forward, as if each was walking alone.

It was about time they forgot each other anyway. They needed to for the better of everything.

It was funny how it started. A bet, a drink, then another, then another. When they woke up in the morning, each thought, "Did I really agree to that?"

And they did, they were serious, each on a different level. John was worried. He was worried that no one would remember him after this life. It was o the peril of a gay man who didn't wan't to commit to anything at all. The last of his line, his father had said, and he decided to waste it on men. As if it was his fault that his family was dying out. He was unapologetic to this father. He shoved it off, like he shoved things around on his plate, but in his mind, he couldn't.

He was the last. His life, as wonderful and glamorous as it had been, would wither and die some day and no one would remember him. No one worth while.

Lily, on the other hand had no such excuse. When she was in her 20s, it was about getting ahead. She was the youngest executive. She was awarded this. She was given that. She traveled with her friends. After a while. she forgot what it was like to be touched by a man. After a while, she pretended she didn't need the touch of a man. And now, here she was, nearing the end of her possible child bearing years and no one wanted her. Now she was left to the leftover men, the divorced, the weird, the playboys. None of which she wanted Men were intimidated by a bank executive, or turned on by one. The wanted to fuck her, touch her, but never be with her. Never marry her.

So that was it. Two friends, drunk, decided to make a baby.

It had gone along so well for a bit. They would get drunk every Sunday, and then they would fumble into teh sheets. John would feel awkward, he didn't know waht to do with Lily. She was patient, and for fleeting moments, she thought that it wasn't about the baby. It was about…something else. Something they both needed.

"John," she'd say, pushing him off of her. "John," she'd slur, "You've got to think of this differently. I mean, it is like a job, we've got to get something done, but at the least, let's pretend it's not. Let's pretend we're anyone who we're not. Fuck it, let's pretend we love each other. Do you find anything about me even remotely sexy?"

He looked at her blankly. Then sighed.

"This is so weird."

She waited.

"OK, so I've always loved your neck. It's a regal one. You seem to stretch out of yourself, into something….oh shit, I'm drunk. Look, I like it. It's pretty."

OK. She could work with that. She moved his hands to her neck, letting his hands touch her, pushing them to grip.

"Here. Feel me. Let go of who you are for a minute. We're two beings, on some other plane and we're happy to be here."

He moved his fingers along her clavicle, the softness of it was something familiar, yet so different than a mans.

That was the night. Thank God it had only take a couple o months because they were about to go to a doctor and get a turkey baster, which seemed….inhuman to both of them. Clinical.

As they walked away from the spot, she remembered the best part of labor. When it was over and she was sweaty and gross and angry, but then, then she was there. She was beautiful. And so, so, so small.

Lily had stared at her fingers. Amy had tiny, tiny fingers. Untouched by the world, left in a box, with only a white blanket to replace the touch of her mother.

John watched her eyes. Sparkling with wonder.


It had lasted the better part of two weeks, in which the two of them had said almost nothing to each other. Friends before, now they only reminded each other of their own failure.

Lily tried not to cry. She looked back, for one moment. The stone shined in the sunlight, warming whatever was left of their hopes and dreams, buried deep beneath.

I tried to forget what he’d said, but I couldn’t. {social prompts}

I'm trying to remember to write more, so this little experiment is the result. I got some prompts from Twitter and Facebook. I'll try to do at least one a week.

This week: "I tried to forget what he’d said, but I couldn’t." from Kelsey Proud.

I tried to forget what he’d said, but I couldn’t.

He didn’t know me, so why place weight into what a stranger told you, much less a stranger who seemed like they didn’t have all their faculties.

It had been an odd day. A rainstorm in the middle of a drought, the kind of day where you walked out the door and immediately forgot what you were supposed to do. My mind has changed since the fall happened, not that everyone else’s hasn’t. What once was great was now…forgotten. The cities buried, the lives as if they had never been. The dust, though, was everywhere.

As were the men who relished in the end of days. The ones you used to see on TV and laugh at. I remember the guy who kept moving around the date of the end of the world, like re-scheduling a dinner with a friend you didn’t actually want to see. They were living it up now. Perhaps he was one of them.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had read more. I wish I had spent days in libraries and bookstores, or on the lawn sprawled out on a blanket. The dust, the bare earth is just not as comfortable.

“The worst is yet to come, girl. And you know more than you’re letting on.”

He is right. But I don’t know how he knew. Is there something in my eyes? I’ve looked in the mirror, at the grey with whirls of gold. It’s not there, the truth. I’ve hidden it away as best I can. I do not want to be one of the recollectors. I don’t want them to know I remember. It was not my choosing, to remember. To know where we’ve been, instead of thinking this is the best we’ve ever had. Memory is a false and tricky thing. It lies to you. You want it to be as solid as a rock, as granite that will never chip, but it’s as malleable as play-doh. It changes and takes the shape of whatever you need at the moment. Something terrible can become wonderful if you just insert the right word that was never said. You can remember things the way they weren’t.

I didn’t want to remember and he knows.

I tried to forget what he said for a week now, and I can’t.

I can’t forget the sound of my mother’s laugh, and what it was like when she was gone. I can’t forget the day of the fall. I can’t forget him. I can’t forget him looking at me, telling me he loved me and closing my hand around a single pill neither of us should have had.

“Please, Jen.”

I looked at him, at the one dimple, the sleepy eyes. He was fading, breathing in the fog and we didn’t have much time. The fog was settling in and the blanket we had over us wouldn’t keep out the damp of the night. It was sticky, and cold. But he was soft and held my hand closed.

“Please.”

“I can’t do this. What does it really gain? It’s all happening for a reason and I’m no one special. I shouldn’t be any different than you, Robert. We all made the same mistakes. I’m not important enough to remember.”

“But you are. You are because I love you. I’m afraid of what will happen. Maybe there will be others and you can….I’m not sure, watch over us?”

He smiled, knowing I was remembering all the times I had told him I wasn’t there to be his mother, wasn’t there to watch over him like that. The fog seemed heavier with every breath, not painful, but thicker, like breathing in soup.

“And if something goes wrong, what can I really do, anyway?”

“Nothing,” he said. “But if I got this, others did too, and if something goes wrong you can, I’m not sure throw up a bat signal or something.”

I sighed. “When did our life become a science fiction novel? Or a comic book? How did this all become….real? I thought it was all going to be simple. You love me, I love you, we get married, we have kids, we live a mundane life in a small house, go to work, come home, and then one day die.”

Things had changed so fast and everyone was convinced the fall was necessary to rebuild. Reality had become distorted and suddenly, all those crazy movies and books seemed possible. I had spent the past couple of weeks waiting for dragons and aliens to show up, since everything else we had dreamed up had taken place.

“It’s not simple anymore. Roll with the punches, honey, and take the goddamn pill, give me a hug and remember me. Someone had to remember what we have.”

He wanted me to remember. I didn’t want to. I still don’t. Sometimes, I wonder if he had said any of those things or if I placed them in that memory.

I saw him the other day, Robert. I saw him and almost walked up to him, but then realized that he wouldn’t know who I was. He was standing in front of a tree, looking at it, and the sky peeking out from between the leaves. He seemed content.

I hate him for it some days. Alone, pretending, hiding myself from the world and putting on a face every morning. I hate him for the things that I remember. I hate knowing what a hot shower felt like. I hate knowing what that odd object really does. I hate knowing he is alive, and well, and doesn’t love me, doesn’t know to love me.

I tried to forget, but it’s hard when everyone else has and you remember.

The man, the one who said it will get worse, I think he remembers. I think he is the same as me. The others, they chose to rise above. They lied. They formed memory into something terrible. And no one knows. The recollectors should have remembered, and saved us. Instead, they’re making all the mistakes we already have and that they should remember.

I have to find him. I have to find him again before they find me. Maybe he’ll know how to forget. I can’t stand to pretend another day, and I don’t want to watch anymore. I don’t want to watch the fall after the fall. It has to end.

It was all a dream {freewrite}

187 years ago, it all felt like a dream.

The way things fit together and everything seemed…right. There was a time and a place, 187 years ago when she was sure of herself and the choices she had made.

But today was one of those days that didn't feel like that. Where the self-doubt cast a heavy fog through every thought and put weight into every step. Each past decision, whether years, months or minutes ago, felt like it might have been the wrong one. Always the wrong one.

Should she have turned left instead of right? Should she have said no instead of yes? These were the things that plagued her mind, the things she tried to push away with errands, tasks and busywork until it was no more. But today, it lingered through them all and everything everyone had said that was cruel pushed into the forefront. She could remember every word.

It wasn't intended. It should not have ended up like this.

quiet {poetry}

In a house full of sleeping things

where the buzz of the outside world quietly goes to die

there are only broken pieces here to be mended

tended

the sharpness fills the air

piercing through skin with words

in a way that wasn’t born of razors or knives

just sharp discontent

and pieces

unwilling to be mended by the seamstress who waits

just waits.

Forts

I always worried the clay would crumble
As we were crafting pots from the river
And our delicate fort of twigs and leaves fell apart when I forgot to hold you up and feel the sunlight

When you’re away, I’ll build it up big and strong with memories of past cottages and cities
And when you’re home, we’ll burrow in deep with the twisted pieces of everything we have
Yesterday I forgot to hold it up
Today it comes crashing down and there is no one to blame but myself and the swallows next door

We live in a fortitude of dreams and aspirations
And curled up in the corner a cat purring loudly
The clay crumbles

The clay crumbles.