There are shadows in the world and I am one of them

Only in the places between do I feel comfortable
Not quite city
Not quite wilderness
Not yet night
Not yet dawn
Stuck in a moment of transition
Changing
Re forming
Again and again
Putting the pieces back together in new configurations
Hoping each time
To find myself
In that easy camaraderie
That fierce ease
That kiss of proclamation
Not just that you are mine but that I am yours
Dash and damn consequences or barriers
To choose
To step fully into light or darkness
But here I am
On the periphery
Not by my choice
But
Perhaps
By my hand

What was is lost, what will be is unknown

We were all unbroken once
All dancing our way through lives without fear

Maybe I’ll break enough to be powder
And I’ll know what it is to be again unbroken
Different pieces suffused into a whole
Strong again

No longer sifting bloody hands through broken glass
Trying to get enough pieces to put back together
But whole
As this new thing

No longer trying to get back to a was
Seeing what is
And accepting a way forward
As this
My new self

When is a decision not and instead a cell, open door afraid to walk through

Mind tendrils reaching out
Never quite touching the ones I’ve loved
Words caught in throat
Thinking not to impose
Not to make known
Thoughts always seeking
Touching
Seeing
Still there?
Still living
Never cared for the holidays
Feeling hypocritical asking how you spent it
As if those minutes of minutia excuse the month or more of silence
Time stretches
Stories left untold
Wishing even the scritch of the pen would come
When sound catches throat
But even there
The hesitation grows

Wanting to say
I love you
Not that it matters
Stretching out just to say hi
But failing
Happy Thanksgiving?
No
Cast instead
Voice to the ether
That it be just as lost as I

Aimless contemplation

I keep waking up
Can’t tell if it’s the waking that’s the problem
Or the songs playing in my head
About being as in love with you as I am
Or declaiming that I’m the freak of the fall
No words for the possible
Those roads all look so promising before you walk them
No certainty
Wish I could just enjoy the journey
When I’m in it
I do
But outside
In Contemplation
I know too many endings
Like pain that echos back from the future
As if pain can cross space/time
Finding a way to me before it happens
Friend tells me I’m kind not sweet
Finally a truth I can accept
Say I’m a shameless flirt
Not out of aimless play
But my heart tries
Even when my mind can’t see
Can’t help who I am
Even when who I am keeps falling in love
And coming out the other side
Charred and broken

Inexorable conclusion, perhaps

Your hand on my arm
That simple touch
Means more than I can ever say
No hesitation

I hesitate
Wanting more
But stutter

Brush by you
Touch
I see him watching us

Circling each other
Wondering if maybe
Give in to passion

But there is a right way
And I need more than a few hours
With you

And I see him looking
His eyes like coals
Daggers into me
Do you see?

You belong to you
Keep his opinions to himself
I’ll not allow an insult

Slow steps
Make the dance
And perhaps a symphony

Or perhaps I hope for more than
More than can be given
But I know
Now

Not more than I deserve

Poets journey

I have been a poet since I was in middle school(grades 7 and 8). I remember in high school actively shoving my pain to higher than it was so that I could write more. I remember my Spanish teacher being very concerned and I was sent to the guidance counselor because of it.

When I graduated, I tried college for awhile. And there I met a poet. A published literary writer who was also a poet. And he thought my work was shit, until I told him which pieces had been published. But his sheer derision…I let him get to me. This writer whose talent had cast him adrift until he found himself teaching creative writing at a junior college. I suppose now, I can see the bitterness. To have a multiple books in print and to have this be the result. Now, I get where he was coming from. Then, it crushed my desire to create.

And I focused my energies elsewhere. Having tried and been told that I wasn’t good enough to be a writer. And I lost my poetic voice. I wanted to write but nothing would come. I’d silenced the part of me that needed to be torn out and shown. I’d sacrificed who I was for what I wanted. The true me only peaking out when I gave in to abandon.

Even through my bleakness. Through my heartache in which there was nothing but endless pain. Even then I could not write. It was like it was too much. I’d stopped feeling(emphasis) for so long that I just couldn’t. But my subconscious was working. And it was Tearing down barriers. Until, at last, I decided to tear down the last walls. Between what I felt and the top self that was floating above this deep well, disconnected from any way of communicating what I felt because I wasn’t feeling it. Because I was hiding from my feelings.

This isn’t when I started writing. This is when I broke down. When my emotions raged through me. When I was lost and looking for any way out. When I was howling in pain and the only thing that alleviated my pain was inflicting that pain on others. And slowly, after years, I got better. Not healthy. Just clear enough that I could write. And I started writing and it was just for me. I didn’t do anything to advertise. I just wrote and wrote and wrote.

But I didn’t know what I wanted. Knowing what you want is essential. Because hope is a finite thing. You can run out. You can spread it too thin. Spread yourself out, hoping for some kind of epiphany. But that’s not how this works.

You want things but poetry wants things too. And in the end, you serve your art. It’s the only way I’ve found to be. It becomes who you are. And everything else is in service to that. Except people.

People are startling wonderful stars dancing together…and drifting apart.

When you give up pieces of yourself and they spin away, you watch as they are gone, but the poet…
The poet sees the connection and the unbearable sadness of loss and the love and the pain and the beauty. And the poet drags you up. It says write this. In this moment, you are this frozen minute of pain and connection. Reach out to them. Cut your bleeding heart from your chest and show it still beating out its pain.

And be free. And wake. And hope.

Where does the truth lie

Between the me I know and the me people see
They see the second thought, the revised actions
After my first words filter up. Taking control, taking command, no assumption that they necessarily know.
But the second is what I say, what I do, filtered by my rules. There to protect all of you, not myself.
Maybe that I have and will not breach my rules is the good. Or is it something else? There are actions and thoughts that my rules don’t enter into. The immediate reaction to help those that I love, those that are mine, to defend them, to act in their best interests.

Selfish or just human?

I know that I am fundamentally selfish. I see things first through the lens of how it will effect me or of what I want or hope for. I don’t think that is a problem as long as I am aware of it and take steps to compensate for it. But I can’t help but think that, when I see something that might be effecting someone I love, that I hope that’s not why they are interested in me. And on reflection, really only that. The feeling that I might be being used in a way that is beneficial primarily for them while I languish in emotional half states never knowing if a more equitable possibility is on the horizon or if this almost but not quite is all there is.

I think in terms of my self for a slight moment or two before I move that over and think, if they are really going through something, how can I help?

I hope that is the more important part. That despite a reaction of selfish thoughts, I ultimately move to say and act in support.

Musings on a Monday

I find myself constantly wishing that I could do more for the people I love. That the bits that I do, the bits I am allowed to do, are not enough. I want to swoop in and help out. Even if that’s just being there.

I can’t decide if that’s egocentric bullshit or some impulse to be the hero or if it comes from genuine compassion. It may come from a place of profound pain. And by helping them, I get to feel connected for a few minutes or hours.

This may be the tragedy of self inspection and healing. Every time there is a plateau and you think you are good, there is another yawning pit from which demons claw out. They may be polite or you may realize that you want nothing more than to start crying and you don’t know why. Only that it’s easier to do that than to be hurt.

I want to help, to fix, because I am broken.
Hopelessly cliche, I am aware.

I’m not looking for a person to fix. Or who will fix me. But I can’t help but feel that their is a person shaped hole in my heart, and if it were filled, this… All of this life and wondering and pain, would be a bit easier.

Gasping for air

Am I too soon or too late
Stability stanchion
Tie your harness to me
Safe from the maelstrom
Held against the darkness
Let it seep
In controlled bursts
Building immunity
Watching you sleep
Though far from me
A hearts a hard thing to hide
Nor am I very good at it
Not shouting from the rooftops
But great at misreading
I’m left with this churning
As the world sleeps