Indie Author

Finding & Creating Beauty in Unlikely Places

Month: January 2017

Atheist

This poem was part of a writing assignment that I gave as an exercise in empathy, the idea being to choose someone who is the opposite of yourself and to write from their point of view, without belittling or arguing. Since God is at the very nucleus of my being, naturally I chose to write from an atheistic point of view. So I dedicate this to my atheist friends who–ironically–care just as much about these issues as I do and who–I hope–I’ve presented with understanding.

Everything depends
on me
When I fail
you say
don’t take it personally
wanna label me
Type A
Meanwhile
forests are burning
icecaps are melting
children are running
blind down machete-laden
paths
monks are being beheaded
the hydrogen bomb still exists
Holocausts aren’t a myth
AND they’re plural
I have to lock my door at night
carry pepper spray when I walk
around my neighborhood
I’ve seen rhinos crying out on
the news footage cause some
savage sawed their horns off
for chump change
fathers are still raping daughters
and wars are still stealing sons
I could stay up twenty-four hours
a day
go without eating
march in every pride parade
still could not
pry artillery weapons
from steel perceptions
from blinded eyes with
fingers dripping blood diamonds
scepters sifting
red seas of skulls
Kant
where are your comforts
Descartes
why aren’t you answering
Nostradamus
your stars are darkening over
in this Olympus of Madness
who will show us the way
if we keep stumbling back
paths of our own misguided
footsteps
Darwin
I fear we are devolving
drunk on our divinity
drowning
in the flood waters
of this hell we’ve created
and no one is listening
to our cries for help
So help!
cause I can’t do this
on my own.

Monsters

Really there’s just
this one
She lurks in my bones
like poison in the marrow
I can’t fully extract
this journey of
spiritual transplant I’m on
makes her
more phantom
than
poltergeist
but she’s the
scar of Morgoth blade
wound that keeps on
wounding
resurrects like those
mythic demons who take on
childlike form
she is the small girl with
terror tears who
sits
abandoned
in that
space
you said you needed
Frozen
waiting for you to
come and claim her
She whispers that it’s
all my fault
all my fault
all my fault
I’m too much
or not enough to
ever win first place
in this
war for hearts
but now I’ve circled
back to sawing souls
in two and whether I’m
hacking limbs or
letting go of you
still she whispers
the issue
is not what I do
to show
I love you
Failure
is that I’ve already
lost you
or found my value’s
ringing up expendable
on your price tag
And It’s not just you
If it was she’d relinquish
this power over me
instead she
laundry lists the
loved ones who’ve
chosen someone else
over me
I carry every
forfeit
like it’s become my DNA
this catastrophe of complex
I cannot reconcile except to
accept her accusations that the
summation
of these incidents
the
Common Denominator
is
–Me–
so I went to my husband a
month ago
sobbing
asking
why is it always me
who gets chosen over
even if the other person is
clearly
blindingly
wrong!
He’d know
Even he
chose someone else
over me
Maybe that’s what makes
this monster
so complicated
that it’s not some
distorted vision some
illusion in my head
He paused
and said
“I can’t speak for —-
but
with me
it’s because I knew
You were the one who
wouldn’t leave”
Maybe
if I thought enough
of myself
to believe that this could be
I wouldn’t be spinning this
neverending mindfuck of a
web over you
I wish I thought enough
of myself
to believe such things are true
But she pokes inside my bones
reminds me I’ve come up lacking
Again
and
to see her for what she is
maybe I just need to
Accept it
maybe that’s
Just okay
to be the
one person
no one has to worry
about losing
because I love you all
too much
to raise a fuss
Learned to keep it inside
not let her out much
–You–
turned me inside out
and woke her up
and I’m sorry if I’ve
expected too much
from you
deafened by her whispers
I’ve been busy banking
on grace
to make me less
of a headcase
and part of that
is acknowledging her
so I can let her go
Love
the way she’s supposed to be
and make less of a
Monster
out of me.

Chaos Deux

Hey Love, I know you probably know this by now but most of the poems I write aren’t solely about you. This is just me, dealing with more of my inner shit which, whether for better or worse, you’ve made me aware of; that I put myself through this hell with the people I love the most, and I gotta work through that. So, this is me working through and also ( if you read this ) reminding you of what I probably don’t have to tell you, which is how much I effing love you, like my own flesh and blood, like family. And I always will. 

 

I’ve learned
Love and Pain
are cyclical
they are kissing cousins
ashamed of the way they
can’t keep their hands off
each other
seemingly cannot exist
one without the other
Love
you built like a storm
gathered just noticeable
on the horizon
Moved
too quickly for me to
take any cover
–You–
were the
swell that cracked the levies
the grandmother who let the
wolf in
I feared to feed him
knowing that when he’s
fat and comfortable
he’ll awaken to heavy
stones sewed into his belly
Shocking
Irrevocable
where once he had only felt
Full
where Pain crowds space
like a dance partner stepping
out of tune
tattered slippers
bloodied toes
I have
felt that Weight
–too full of your Absence
to move–
scraping my soft insides
against sharp edges
Sutured in
where your once
coveted
I love you’s
had been
Now I learn to exist between
Chaos and Calm
those Stitches cradling
Quarries of regret come
tumbling out
when I
loosen the ties
I try
to Bind you with
feel less heavy
if I
Splinter the box
I’ve Fought
to keep you in
I replace
Fetal positions
with Faith despite the
marshes of
demon whispers
I’ve fallen
in
Learning
Pain is the
Love child
of Expectation
things Hoped for
or
things Lost
Cannot Be Replaced
only Found again
and before I
clung to
any of that
my Love for you
was the Same
as it was
will be
has always been.

One of the Reasons I Love Charlotte Eriksson

“I was younger then and easily fooled
and the ocean was deep and dark and blue
and I took off my shoes to let the water freeze my bones.
I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but
still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the
difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I
had not yet learned how the task of moving on is a muscular task,
a skill you need to learn,
as necessary as survival.” (Eriksson, 12)

–from I Go to the Ocean to Say Goodbye

P.S.

If the choice is to move on
or not survive,
I’d rather be food
for the fishes
than to
love you
or miss you
less
than I do
in this moment <3

 

Jen Lindley

***Shout out to everyone who grew up with Dawson and the gang on the Creek***

Sweet Jen
sweet sweet Jen
You and I would have
been best friends
that sister love you
always wanted but
Joey, Andy, and Audrey
fell short of
(and don’t get me started
on Abby Morgan)
You
were a fresh breeze
over the creek
You were a mirror
I could see my fate through
if things had gone a different
way
At your core was compassion
You saw beauty in the most
abstract of places
in the broken
rejected
and when apple green eyes could
not see past the black wool of
the yesterdays they never let
you forget you combed through
those tangled matted labels
You were a phoenix
told them in the kindest way to
go to hell
keep their ashes
You knew the cold truth
of friends and loved ones who
could not look past the pain to
see the wounds
I cry every time you show up on
Jack’s door and say “I may
have been wrong
but what you’re doing to me right now
is killing me and say what you want about
me but I would never be this cruel to
anyone and especially not to you”
I’m paraphrasing of course but
sister, I reached for you
on the other
side of that mirror
having tasted the bitterness
more than once
of un-forgiveness
or maybe just cruelty
from the ones I depended on the most
that same cruelty
you felt again a year later when Jack
discarded you like outgrown shoes
this boy
who called you sister
this boy
you took into your home
whose greatest fear he once
confessed to you
“I’m afraid I’ll never love someone
as much as I love you”
turned out to be true
but only after
Years
of abandonment
of stretching that soulmate tether as
far as it would go
You always took him back
and when you died you gave him
your daughter
A girl
and a boy
who never knew each other as lovers
but loved each other like family
Man, Jack did not deserve you
He needed you and
you needed
to be needed
and so
I gaze through the mirror at you
feeling the tug of my own
kindred spirit tether
hoping happy endings don’t
only exist in fiction
Jen
it pisses me off to no end
that they killed you
Did the writers know that your death
would be the most tragic because it
was the least deserving?
You broke my heart again with the poise
and resignation of a princess
leaving a peasant’s party
because she was never really
welcome and didn’t belong
there anyway
You who were always third wheel
to the people you loved the most
Jen Lindley
I look through the mirror
and see what might have been
if things had gone differently
Jen
sweet sweet Jen
You were nothing short of a
heroine to me.

Buffy

What I loved about you

a second secret skin

how you knew

eventually

you’d lose him

but loved him anyway

He asked, “Are you still my girl?”

You said, “Always.”

Hearts held impossibility

like fingers tangled in each others

hair like palms anchored in

holy water his presence

a constant burning

you forgave the marks
his teeth left

his metallic knowledge
within your veins
forgetting the way
you glowed in him
forgetting
how many times you
saved him
grown insubstantial as
shadows in the black
trench coat that turned
towards the moon and
turned towards you
just before your light
became a casket door
to close
a home to walk out on
You tried warmer arms
like sample drugs
sharper teeth
made passionate
distractions of enemies
fooled yourself into
sympathy pains for
ones you convinced
yourself you craved
them
misshapen puzzle pieces
scraping against the tender
edges of his heart-space
The Truth
shape-shifted
into something you didn’t
want to recognize
That it was never the demons
or vampires
witches’ spells
wrathful goddesses
or harbingers of death
that had the power
to break you.
Only love
Could do that.

Just So We’re Clear

I never want you
to think the
silence on my end
means that I’ve stopped
caring
have forgotten
or don’t miss you
I’ve been thinking
a lot about King Solomon
and the two women who
came to him
arguing over the same child
both claiming to be its mother
The king orders the baby to be
sawed in two
the first women says Yes, that
will satisfy me
The second cries and pleads
with the king
give the child to
the first women
but let it live
Growing up I was taught the
moral of the story was how wisely
the king solved the problem
but that conclusion misses the
whole point
it misses everything
The second woman loved her son
enough to let him go
rather than see him torn in two
that was the mark of the true mother
That is the mark of true love
For child, friend, brother, parent, or lover
I’ve spent my whole life
sawing babies in two
Fighting over fractions of hearts I felt were
due ME
hearts I helped to break between choices
they should never have had to make
child vs. spouse
daughter vs. son
I was not whole enough to let go
of my end of the wishbone
of selfish dreams that would never
come true
I have learned enough now
been loved enough now
to know
that I cannot do that to you
So I will never ask you to choose
even if others do
But just so we’re clear
never doubt for a second
how much I love you.

 

Chaos

The past few months
have been some of the most
painful of my life
Horror made flesh
thinking I’d lost you
my heart and head in
constant combat
warring over footsteps
traced back overgrown paths
that led us here
I dissected every fallen branch
fleeting white bird
trying with my fingers to feel
the indents of footprints
where I’d misstepped
was it too many texts?
not enough space between
my exhales to give you room
to breathe? did my desperate
attempts to keep you
smother your lungs with shadow?
was my imprint in your heart
merely an inlet
a temporary crevice
to let the light in?
Truth is
none of it matters
I dream a life so impossible
wanting to fold you in it
wanting to reinvent home
a place to call yours and
this connection of ours to
stretch in symphonic chord
eternal
always calling you back to me
I never stopped
to consider
that I made my steps rocks
at your feet
my tears tidal fetters too
vast of an obligation to
wade through
These past months
I’ve cried enough and
died enough for
both of us
lost in the labyrinth of
this nightmare I feared would
put on human skins
of
losing you, losing you
losing you, losing you…
but love, you are not mine
to lose
and you never were
and love
damn…I miss
calling you that
telling you good morning and
wishing you goodnight
Sometimes the need to
tell you I love you
swells in my throat like
panic constricts my lungs
and so I say it to a piece
of jade to forsaken air my
prayers become pleas
God, let him know how much
he’s loved today
my sweet wonderful gift
I tell you that too often
but that
is truth
mirror brother
whose bond I feel
deep as blood
that space you carved
is always yours
and I hope you have room
to breathe now
I hope from now on
to love you truer
to my word
no strings attached
setting aside my covetous
self
allow the chaos
to have its course
I’ve never doubted
for a single
minute of it
that you’re worth it.

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