I have the easiest time connecting with people who read my writing. Because in my writing, with how I write, there is no place to hide. If you are afraid? Write it. Feeling something? Write it. Thinking about anything? Write it. It’s all there. Years of me. Thoughts and feelings. So people come to me past all my defenses and pretenses. And I think are probably surprised. Because all that writing is just me. Without exaggeration, but at a distance. In person it’s more. Without the intercessor of the screen or the page, how can it be helped but to be even more real?
Too tired to wake up
Back hurts from work out
Stomach empty and cramping
Back into a groove of hurting to be normal
Loving all my people
Fumbling to help
Hoping to hear from people you’ve reached out to
Never really expecting an answer
But stopping myself from wandering down that razor blade road
Just wanting more sleep
Just wanting to get going
Get the day of work over with so that I can get on living
Hoping when I get home that someone will be waiting
Knowing they won’t be
Physically gone or physically distant
Talking on messenger
Only connection from day to day
Broken lines of communication
Needing to hear from you
Knowing it won’t happen
This is my normal
Slight smile on lips
But not intruding
Going home alone
Calm strength hiding the churn of yearning
But it’s normal
Ready to be broken again
Have you ever remembered something that changed how you thought about your past?
I know that many of my readers have. Generally those memories rip you apart. They are wounds hidden by scars that the mind has hidden.
My dream this morning featured a man from my past I hadn’t thought about in a long time. We fell out of touch. Basically because I felt he was using my generosity too much. Something that was probably true but I never told him about it. I just let the friendship drift off.
But this man was someone who I was kind to for no ulterior motive. No profit was to be had from helping him out. And we used to hang out and talk and go to raves monthly. This was when I was much younger.
I’ve always thought that the man I was prior to Morgan was a monster. And, viewing things from a certain, even common, perspective that’s true. But there were also this man and a few others who I was generous with my time and availability.
My friend had a bad home life. He was homeless most of the time. I can remember, at the end of some nights where we had gone out, that me taking him home consisted of taking him to a particular dumpster behind a office building. Because that was where he was living.
I would buy him food. He would shower at my house when we would hang out there. For a couple of years there he was one of the few people in my life not tied to family or the job.
One day he told me that his uncle had died and left him a place in Hawai’i. I hope that was true and that he is living there off his uncle’s money, like he said. After he told me that, I never heard from him again.
I can picture everything about him. Where he lived, all the various places. His presence. His laugh. The sound of his voice. But I can’t remember his name.
That makes me sad. Like he’s lost somehow.
But he was in a dream tonight. And despite the content of that dream, which is complicated and I won’t get into. Despite that I woke remembering all the little things that I did to try and help him. And this was pre Morgan. So, the generous, kind man. The man I’ve thought for years was the product of my harrowing. Existed before her.
Maybe that’s who I am. I won’t say that I am not the other, the man of darkness and blood. But that it was, apparently always tempered by light.
I’ll never be a sunlight creature. My heart and thoughts churn too heavy and turgid. But neither am I a creature of absolute darkness, nor(apparently) was I ever. So here I am. A creature of the twilight.
The grey. Between one thing and another.
But knowing that if I fall, it won’t be into complete darkness. Instead, there will be a path out. Forged of the things that I am.
Knowing your experiences, your memories. Accepting them. Sometimes they burn away who you are and break your mind and world. Sometimes they remind you that the false image built on fear and despair is just that, false.
I think I may be bad at flirting
But not really bad but just because
I’m not flirting
Or I am but I’m not playing games
I’m just talking and saying what I’m thinking
And what I’m thinking is that I see you
And in seeing you
I see something wonderful
And I say hey, this thing about you is really awesome
But I don’t follow up because I’m not flirting
Not to say not interested
Just not playing a game
I know that sounds like bullshit
Or like a game in and of itself
I’m just being sincere and people say kind or nice
And I am just like, ‘huh?’
Cause I’m just saying what I feel
Not trying for an outcome or to be seen
I’m a weirdo
Waking up regretting the decision
Mind churning for what it doesn’t have
Reliving past mistakes as a movie reel
Drawing out the time before getting out of bed
Cool air conditioned fan sped wind
Dreading the day
Flipping up out of bed
Padding into the bathroom
Shower almost hot enough to burn
Water off reminded of the difference between winter and this artificial cool
The difference between dreading that forgot to turn off the fan and reveling in it
Sitting on bed
Combing out hair
Losing time to jotting down just a few words
Feel of cloth on skin
Smooth and welcoming
Dry and warm
Button up dress shirt
Scuffed shoes needing a shine
Heart heavy remembering waking up to a text from you
Nothing today, yesterday
Diet coke in a metal tumbler
An extra for later
Brief war with self
Music, too heavy with emotion, no time now to rage, scream or cry
Audiobook, lose self in another’s fantasy problems
Truck idling rough
Engine problem? Simple or expensive
Or just old
Core self falling away
Sharper edges press forward
Existential pain hides beyond alleyways of doors
Come against me now
Know painful failure
People I love being ground away
Bad people rising to the level of their incompetence
All a slow burn
Dreading going home
Going home means empty
Means that this powerful version of self slips
Piece by piece
But my cat is waiting
At least she loves me
I’ve been reexamining things. What I want and what I want to do. And my thinking is this, maybe I won’t be a commercial success. Hell, how many poets are commercial successes? And that’s what I am. A poet. Sure, I write short stories and erotica but that’s not what I come back to. It’s poetry. It’s always poetry.
So what do I want?
I want two primary things for my life. I want to be with someone who falls as deeply in love with me as I fall for them. And I want to be with them. I’m pretty good at finding the former, it’s the ‘be with them part’ that gives me trouble.
And my complicated love life notwithstanding, I want to write. I want to write poetry that has people saying, “yeah, me too.” That causes goosebumps when you hear me speak it. I want a poem I write to be some piece that lives with someone. That is what I want. Money and fame are not worth what we ascribe. I want to be impactful to the lives of the people who read my work. Maybe not all, probably even not most, but to the few that read and this poem is what they needed. This resonates.
I suppose I want to create beauty. And connect with people who connect to my work.
Emotions don’t create change. They merely express it. They inform it. But they are the result of creation not creation itself.
Creation is the act of seeing the shape of things as they are. As they might be. Of describing what is seen. We feel an emotion but to write it, paint it, draw it, sing it, dance it, we must first observe it. We must embrace it and trace its lines like a lover. We must touch it and make it seen. Then through our own inadequate sight we describe it, transform it, connect it. And in the end, it is no longer emotion, but the thing of creation. And it moves out from us, inciting emotions in those who choose to perceive it.
I worry. I worry that whatever I am. This creature, this person I have chosen to be. This person I have actively defined by my choices.
I worry that when you finally see me, all that structure and facade will fall away and you’ll be left with what I am.
And all of that is a lie. It’s a lie that my fear tells my heart because it needs to maintain its control. But it is a lie.
I have constructed myself but it was like chipping away at a hunk of marble. I didn’t build a structure on top of a structure. There is no facade. There is just this false feeling of being an imposter. Because if I’m all that I am and then I fail it will be because I was not enough. Or because what I am is not what is desired. And that is my fear. Not that something I’ve done or not done will be the cause of rejection but that despite it all. Despite who I am, I am somehow not what is wanted.
That’s the fear. It’s not that I am an imposter and will be found out. It’s that I’m NOT and despite it all will still be found wanting. And I can’t do anything about that. I can be me. I can show up and put all the tools and processes and everything I am and if it’s still not enough, then we’re just not meant to be. Not meant to click and choose each other.
And seeing that now, I wonder at what I was afraid of? Afraid that I’d be rejected by someone who won’t, who can’t see me? Can’t value me?
There might be pain because I will have invested emotionally but if you can’t love who I am, why should I allow that to hurt me. It should instead free me. And it does
I feel my stagnation, a hell of creation, founded on my dreams that crumbled away while seeking damnation
I’m a false poet, or do I mean prophet, lost on the way to all that was get,
I founded my life on violence and sex then foundered on the shoals of a love that Pierced me, broke me apart and reworked me, she traveled through space and time and unearthed me
I was buried in the dirt of my own ambitions, trapped by admonitions, saying make money is the way to be happy even if it comes at the expense of your soul, these fleeting lives all have a price and a cost and I have paid for it all in bloody coins
But pulled from the ground I was raw and without skin, so used to trapping my heart in stone that to feel her hands was blood on the blade pressed against lips, and last dribble of false desire fell away and it was this pain, this agony that I needed and yearned for but trapped in the earth there was no way to feel the wind and the rain
She comes a storm and I break beneath her until her name whispers through my heart and I see the truth behind the veil and I know, and I reach that tremulous control and hold her storm in cupped hands, so easy to break her now, but instead I breathe power into her swirling winds and a maelstrom breaks to freedom and waits like outstretched hands to be joined and like that
The storm ends
And I am left broken in mud, covered in blood and bone come pattered back to too still earth, no longer stood astride like giants, just broken and soft and dreaming, dowsing, seeking, looking for a hand to see and know and wake
I have made a garden of bones, of sinew
Flowers of synapse sparking lightning to the chill night air
Pathways of blood mark the dark ways wending to the heart
Sits beating a slow rhythm of hope
Topiarys of muscle expand and contract
Exposed nerves shiver in the wind
Thoughts and dreams play out across a storm strewn sky
Broken arrow teardrops fall piercing this exposure