Indie Author

Finding & Creating Beauty in Unlikely Places

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Reborn

You were the first
to interpret me other-worldy
though I have no reason to
claim garments of divinity
For you
my love transcended this plane
of unforgiving ground
and electric sky

For you
I would puncture
my palms to
spare you pain
a winter before you
loved me I understood
why mothers make targets
of bone and back to shield
their sons from shrapnel blasts
I would gladly slip those slivers
that fashion the aftermath
internment camped around
your heart
under my flesh

If I was indeed heavenly
I’d still your demons
with a word
And all your ever afters
would be peaceful slumbers

If you hear nothing else
from me
let this prophecy wash away
your self-loathing
let your doubt be made clean

Your worth is in
–Existing–
I could not love
A blood son or
creation more
Simply because

You ARE

This is not some religious rhetoric
This is a Cypher of holy tongue
You were created Beautiful

Remember
once you told me
“I was never supposed to be here”
but God
defied nature and reason
to fashion you
How much more proof do you
need of how irreplaceable
you are
Your very breath is a love

Believe
that you are meant to be here
Hear
that even though these months
without you have been hell
You
are worth crawling through
all of Dante’s levels and I am
searching you out
offering you my hand
singed hair burned flesh
and flame to light
your way to peace

Know
if it’s still too complicated to
speak to me you can
reach for me across that elastic thread
alchemied between us before I
could even put a name to those eyes
I will hear you
same as I see you in my dreams
Or sense you before I turn a corner

You are always with me

You
have known too many tears
my love
let mine
mingled with prayers
Sail you Home
I am  never giving up on you
I’m  waiting for you there.

Ride

For the girl whose given name means danger, speed, go. I hope you know you’re worth SO much more than that. 

My given name
is a prophesy
I wonder if when
my mother first
held me if she
could feel the
searching
already stirring like
the hum of engines
high speed down
Route 66
desert winds
choking gravity and
blurring the peripherals

I wonder if she knew I’d
forever be running?

These goddesses give us
celestial aliases our toes
trace through cyber forests
where wolves craft more
clever disguises they are
the Huntsmen
shapeshifted into Father’s
long-forgotten scent

They
plunge axes into
unblemished trunks
we bleed sweet as maple
swelling in all those
arterial holes meant
to be paternal

I still played with Barbies
the first time I was cuffed
to a bed
You beat me til my bladder
burst like the ecstasy I’ve
yet to own from any man’s
touch

Now
I mix pink barrettes
with spiked collars
and chains but if the
grease marks from all
those soiled thumbs that
grow harder with each
spit-soaked plum
could scrub off maybe
I’d be tender enough
not to need these serrated
tips tracing scars from
nipple clips see I can

Break just as well
from the force of my
own bitter disappointment
Love
has not come in any of the
shades those stories
promised me
no gifts of rubies or jade
afterwards just the tiptoe
to that
other toilet
my belly a soft Voodoo cushion
for the Crone with pad, paper, &
spider plant to fashion pins in

as I fold further back
until seeing beyond myself
is an astral projection
the love of a man
as foreign and as longed for
as those neolithic cave dwellers
who never saw the sun
but coveted jellyfish light

despite the sting I still awaken
to the Red Room
to axes and selfies I tether to
chafed ankle bones
along the floor of this vacant sea

I wonder why the boy with the
ocean gray soul was the only one
who’s ever been delicate with me
the only one who ever saw me
yet could not want me

Bleach & Bristle won’t scrub
out Blemishes of mistakes I’ve made

I wonder if
when my mother first held me
blood-soaked placenta splattered
delicate as if my innards read like
Tarot
were my eyes pooled reflections of
the gravel laden highway she’d
already known?

Or did she fashion
my name
from an intuition
arms & heart too pillow-soft
to be a father’s
An inhale too hypocritical
to be a prayer?

Self-Medicating

Sometimes
I pen these lines
to keep my fingers free
of Smartphone keys

I’m always the one
to reach for you first
it seems
I’m bad at taking hints

though your silence reads
like neon strobe light
signs in rain

this metamorphosis
I’ve made
tear-soiled
castaway
outgrown comfort object
cast into the back of the
closet
Maybe useless
Maybe an embarrassment
Maybe too sentimental to
throw away

Just
tell me
someone
is wiping your tears with
their tongue
someone is soothing
you with maternal hymns
trading nightmares for sage
is there for those 2am texts
I still check for

It’s true
I remain your
guardian angel on
the back burner
hoping your back has bent
to fit the shape of feathers

Tell me
you’ve drifted into a
breeze true enough
to carry you
Tell me something real

Something you’re Afraid to

Anything True

give me –Something– to hold onto

Free me of this Addict’s lie
that pain is the only sure thing
I have left of you

I’m bad at taking hints
and Time’s
falling slack on this whole healing
all wounds instead she’s compounding
how much I fucking miss you

at least
I’m running out of ways to say it
hoping that means I’m closer to
accepting it
though I don’t feel like I am

How can I be?
How do you force your soul
to stop loving someone
or needing to be needed
once you’ve been on the
other side of that altar?

Do you know I still can’t
listen to that Jaymes Young
song?
You’re still the first person I
give to God in the morning
ask Him to watch over you
while you sleep

Tell me that
— Once–
It was Real
For now
that’s all I need.

Resolve

I’ve been trying to
force myself to be
okay

as if I can
rearrange my
spiritual insides
through sheer will

as if filling my
days with endless
tasks tasked to
prove I deserve to
exist can somehow
make me worthy of
what can only be
construed as gifts

meanwhile

my brave smiles
feel like frauds
I cry from exhaustion
on the drive home
feel unworthy of
thank you’s
ask constant forgiveness
when I pray
Most of all I feel
Guilty

How can I be
sheltered
in such a calm
sea of blessings
yet
acknowledge this
broken limb I
keep trying to
kick with

It’s like maybe
if I stopped trying
to force myself to
be happy
I could stop
hating the truth
that I’m not yet
healed

If I
stop tugging on stitches
mending
my heart could
beat free of this
antiseptic sting

Maybe if I
can just accept that
I loved someone
enough to upend my
spiritual insides
and I don’t want to
reinvent again

Because hope dies
last
and I’m still standing
with scalpel in hand ready
to donate heart, arms, voice,
this pen, sleepless nights,
tear-stained streets, yoga mat
cries and heavenward pleas

Maybe if I can
forgive myself for
mistakes
I fear I must have made

Then I’ll make space
for redemption to
enter in

It’s true
God heals us when we’re
broken
It’s equally true
I have to let Him

Rupi Kaur-Inspired Thoughts

I wonder
why it is
that I don’t afford others
the same capacity for love
that I possess

why I constantly
doubt who truly
holds me as
irreplaceable as
I do them

How arrogant of me!

Am I the only one who
lives like this?
constantly calculating
heart rhythms
like profit percentages

I
who with my
hypocrite tongue
profess that true love
comes with no strings
attached yet I

can’t stop trying
to earn it
can’t stop wondering
which flaw will
unravel devotional threads
leave me
open wound
abandonable

I
suffocate in
red tissue suspicions
that my expendability
renders heart temple
homes for me
as wind changeable
as forest fire
or dandelion seeds
I am the reed
who bends to mask
the fact that she is
broken

blinded to what she’s
spirit known for lifetimes
her brothers and sisters
bending with her
all along a breeze-
battered sea

the Irony
is bittersweet
in reality this
not so temporary
insanity
has
nothing to do
with any of them
and everything
to do with
what’s wrong
in me.

so why is it
that even when I
gaze through unclouded
lenses
fresh scrubbed
redemption cleansed
identity
I can be loved loudly
by God himself
and still be destroyed
quietly
by my doubt
by inner frailty
by your earthly
silence.

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.

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