Indie Author

Finding & Creating Beauty in Unlikely Places

Month: April 2017

Evoke

Foreign Fields
you played in a cold cabin
five am on a
November morning
while my husband & brother
were hunting I
waited in darkness
to run the deer

in a green army jacket
and an old beach chair
staring at a still black
sky through pines & a
dirty windowpane

I could not cry

until I imagined
resting my head
against his collar bone
evoked gray eyes
messy hair
mischievous grin
I mourned
like morning was a
hope I’d never feel on
my skin again

November taught me
Loss
is a living death
the blade points inward
and if You hadn’t come back
I would have grieved you
eternally.

Cobain
you neon angel
we both smelled like
Panic in the days that
He who was dead
yet speaketh

it took trauma
in serrated edges
& night sweats to
bond us
we escaped into
Pearl Jam, Bronte &
backwoods streets

He gave me Mira, a locket
filled with his blood
mornings I’d hold my breath
on the other side of a
locked bedroom door wait
for him to wake up
my bed
was the safest place
for him to sleep
during the day
and he gave me a reason
to rise from it
someone I wanted
to be strong for

You
were my first true Phoenix
& we know what it means
to be beloved
brothers in arms
we proud two
me & you
we survived

Jon BJ
Oh my!
I used to kiss the
shiny paper tattoo
on your four sheet
foldout daydream
before I fell asleep
at night
& she & I
broke our hearts
over your fictional
seductions

idealizing the kind
of love neither of us
knew from fathers
had enough of disgust
or indifference

She & I were two
halves of a have-not
playing at placing
fairy tales in beautiful
bodies long after Barbies
got old

Sister
I want to tell you
that the love at least
was real
we carried it in stars
under our tongues

And Brandi
for the boy who
grew up too fast
and knows the lines
across my face

are only for him
for me
to tell them to

I struggle to find
words to evoke the one
I belong to
so long my second soul
that we move in single
breath

I don’t exist as I am
without you
oh yeah well it’s true
that I was made for you

Poetry Is

“Poetry is what happens when I can’t say what I want to someone I love.”—Nicole Blackman, NYC 1968.

And if you’re curious
to know
Love
ask me sometime.

Stranger Than Fiction

Sometimes I feel guilty about using poetry as my therapy. It’s a certain kind of exhibition, masquerading all this pain in the catalyst of art. But what else do I do with these words? I don’t know if this poem will move past this blog, or if I’ll just let it rest here. I don’t know if this is me “becoming the enemy instead of making peace with it”. Maybe I’ll hold back the truest pieces for myself, and God, and who they’re really meant for. Regardless, it’s my truth, and here goes:

Dad,

This week you gave me a story you wrote. To edit, you said. And I’m still reeling from the backhanded slap into the past you just dealt me. I gotta hand it to you, the element of surprise was pure artistry, and even as I devolve into the flaw of these rhymes and lines I hide behind, this much needed distance from the truth, like the one you orchestrate while re-writing our history into fiction. See, I’m trying to shield you from facts right now, and together we spiral down the rabbit hole that never seems to end, does it?

So here’s where the poem stops. Let’s have an end to it. In that story, you wrote about your ex, things I never knew and I was fascinated to see this whole new dimension of you, even to see the level of awe and reverence you gave Mom.  So then, you get to me and I’m all built up for some revelation. You say your ex brought you closer to God and Mom taught you devotion. What role did I play in your life?

Well, I was born with blond hair and blue eyes, and one time [lines cut out of respect that I don’t know if the recipients deserve, but it’s not about what they deserve, it’s about the respect I choose to show by cutting these lines] I spent the first fourteen years of my life as a puppet, a living doll, a hairdresser’s dummy, a show child, a talking, movable mannequin, a porcelain plaything, a living, breathing lie. I was a terrific actress, wasn’t I? In that Stepford daughter alter ego that you (and she–not you Mom!) forced me to be.

And even though I’ve long since resigned myself to the sad fact that the prototype is all [she] has ever wanted of the actual ME, at least I thought you and I were more than that. So this week, reading your story, knowing that my value as a daughter, as a human being, in your eyes, lies in the lies…Well, what do I even say to THAT, Dad?

I’m sorry for you? Furious with you? I’m here to declare that I cut those puppet strings long ago, and it’s no use trying to fit me back into that plastic pink Mattel packaging. My heart has grown too old and too brave to fit anymore. You and she have taught me that the ugliness of truth is preferable to your fiction.

But you’re sliding back into the glitter with her. Crawling in the cobwebs cluttered with  the pieces you and she invented. It makes me feel as though I’ve failed you, and any proud words I’ve spoken about how far we’ve come are sticking to me now, like spun silk. I won’t reinvent the truth, or even tell it in its entirety. Maybe because I’m like you, I’ll only remember from here on out the pieces I want to remember:

When I was three or four I played the drums while my dad sang Born to be Wild and played the guitar.

My dad taught me the right way to wash and wax a car.

Dad used to play kickball with us.

I used to watch Rambo and Westerns with my dad.

Dad’s the reason I know Dylan, Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Zeppelin, Deep Blue, and Kansas.

I love hearing Dad’s stories about growing up in the 60’s and 70’s.

Dad always tells the best stories.

See, that wasn’t so hard. Was it?

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