the 14th poem

The hardest part is turning the music off
It’s getting the lyrics to stop dancing between your ears
All you hear are those melodies 
Whether or not anyone else can tune in
You don’t know
But you do know the hardest part is turning the music off
It’s that moment of silence before anyone says anything
Or a car drives by
Or your cat jumps into a wall because your phone reflected sunlight
What kind of person would dive into sunlight?
And yes
You give your cat more human characteristics than you care to admit
But the hardest part is turning the music off
It’s making the piano keys in your mouth stop singing
Stop ringing 
Stop bringing the beat
It’s that moment you feel when you can’t stop moving your feet
When they swing side to side
When your thighs start shaking
When hands find the wind 
And the music within dances with your movements
You move into the music
And then someone asks you to turn it down
Someone tells you to “hit next”
That’s when you really know the hardest part is turning the music off

day 11, 12, 13

11:
I got dressed today
In the same clothes I wore yesterday
Same grim on my face,
Chalk on my teeth,
And sweat in my palms
I got dressed today
In the same clothes I wore yesterday
Knowing damn well I was going to see the same people
No shame in this second day in a row swag
I got dressed today
In the same clothes I wore yesterday
But I’m not ashamed 
Because I changed my underwear

 

12:
Hello,
Spring
And all the allergies you bring with
I missed your light
Your sunshine
Your greenery
But I did not miss these tears
You see,
I’ve been sneezing every since the snow melted
I’ve been sniffing in synchrony to my heart beat
I’ve been snot-nosed running towards upper lip
Worried that I’d have to eat it if I didn’t find some Kleenex
It’s not pretty
But your blossoms are
And your warmth sure does feel good on my skin
I’m so happy to soak you in again
Even if I can only do it in between sneezes

13:
I’M most often hated for who I am.
LUCKY for me, I have positive self-esteem 
EVEN if you don’t believe me,
IF you say I’m immature
YOU haven’t seen me handle this kind of situation
SAY, have you thought about all I’m worth?
I’M not some dime piece or nickel
NOT that people like you even carry change.

9 and 10

Relative:
There are some people who bend like rubber bands
They stretch themselves thin just to hold everything together
There are people who break
They snap with the weight of it all
I don’t want to wear my failures as a bow tie
I don’t want the lines in my face to tell any story besides my age
And even then
It’s all relative
I’ve been 80 years old hunting for antiques and tuna melts
I’ve been 4-year-old bruised knees from learning how to ride a bike
I’ve been newly 23, searching for the place my mind goes when I’m all alone
There are some people who dread silence
They surround themselves by bodies in hopes of finding friendship
Or maybe just a distraction
Sometimes people need to be distracted
They might have misfortunes rummaging through their memories
They might need a break from all the breaking their rubber band ball heart does when everything inside of them explodes
Sometimes people are not play-doh
They are glass
They are wood
They can shatter
And split
They can fall into a pit of disaster if you let them
Don’t ever let them
Everyone can learn to bend

 

Image

I bought this painting at a local art show.

I am that painting:
A picture of me
Curious as she
A painted key chain dangling
Left hip swaying back
Cuffs rolled mid-shin
The one within me
I am that painting
Two wild children questioning
Leaves collecting in their hair
Who is she?
The turquoise one who follows me
Who shadows my mustard yellow skin calmly?
Are we traveling?
Or wandering…
Either way
A bubble is an awfully fragile thing to be riding in
I must trust her
I must be willing to share delicately with her these breaths of bubbled air
So can you tell me
When do I find her?
Because up to now, I’ve just been exhausted with the search
And you painted that picture of me so perfectly
I admire your ability to physically capture me
So I’m sure you captured her just as precisely
Can you hint to me just who you had in mind?
I’d like to meet her
Like to greet her with an adventure or two
So we can have a story or two years from now
Nostalgia back to our bubble-floating ways
High days
Young-age mindset
All while surrounded by Evergreens
And we’ll realize that bubble is our dreams and we’re still floating

 

 

Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

So I guess I’m not so good at this whole poem a day thing…Maybe this makes up for it. Maybe not. But either way, here are some poems.

 

1:
I am guiding myself
I find serenity in silence
I discover paths alone
I tour my soul on a river of traveling
I am my own song
Sometimes I slip out of tune
Lately
I’m flat– 
      –No mountains in my chest
But sometimes I scream sweet sounds of togetherness

 

 

2:
My trunk rocks steady in the wind
Unlike trees
I can tuck my branches in
Cover them in cotton and wool
Shivering in my bark
Skin burnt cold
Blistering red cheeks
Snow rests on these evergreens
Freckling them through winter
Spotted white like blurred vision
Foggy horizons in my eyes
Cloud covered sunsets
I’m rocking
Steady
Waiting to fall out of winter the same way I fell in

 

3 (this was a response to another poem titled “revolution”:
You say my revolution won’t happen in between those thighs
But what if my revolution is really adorable?
What if this revolution isn’t filled with lies
And what if I’m a sweet talker
Smooth walker
What if charm flows from my hips as I sip white wine like a lady
My revolution won’t happen between your thighs?
But what if you just gave it a try…
What if you dismiss those rising dicks and catch a fist instead
And I mean that gently
Because remember
I’m a lady
And my revolution is not an illusion
I’ll make you hot enough to smoke
Stop choking on the boys
Grab some toys
And set your life to vibrate
It’s not too late to evolve
My revolution is kind hearted, I swear
You say my revolution won’t happen in between those thighs
But what if I lay there for days and only ask to play with your hair
What if respect
Is revolutionized

 

 

4:
I haven’t written you a love note in a while. Like when I would sit at work and every coloring page reminded me of you, reminded me of something I wanted to tell you. Well, I have something to tell you that’s not spelled out in Crayola. I know I haven’t texted you right when I wake up in a while and I’ve rarely said goodnight. You’re not my first thought anymore. My attention is divided in a divide and conquer sort of way like, you do you, and I do me…and her…and her…And I hope you find a “her”, too. I haven’t make time for you recently, although I’ve had more time than I say. Spring time is alway a growing period full of new leaves, new trees, and new roots. Warm nights are the perfect excuse for a cigarette just to get away from the chaos created inside from spilled shot glasses to tipped fifths. From drunken make outs to roof climbing face plants. Spring always makes me want to get into something. I was into you but you gotta understand my heart is a wandering man easily distracted by a chase, by fate, by bumping elbows and knee tapping couch sits, lingering fingers passing lighters between bowl hits. My fingertips crave hips and lips and sips of sweet rum. I haven’t written any love poetry lately. It’s all about me and my own discovery. It’s clear to my you mean something. You are something. You are my someone. You are not my everything and I hope I am not yours. I don’t deserve it all. I’m not nearly worthy of caring for a blood pumping, life-saving muscle. You’re my something. My someone. The one who knows me all. You’re taller than me. Your head is higher than mine and I’ve tried to stop smoking so much per your request but regardless of if I do, I’m not quite sure I can go on loving you like you love me. I love you, yes, but you see…I love the moment. The present time. The one time get down because we’re both lonely. Not that I love it more or you any less. It’s just that my chest expands with other’s breath. I can’t breathe easy anymore without strangers blowing compliments down my throat. I’ve choked on break up speeches before. I’ve lost myself in another person’s flattery. Instant satisfaction is how I thrive and I could drive 11 hours to see you. And I could keep my schedule clear so I could skype you. Or call you. Or make any sort of effort at all but the fact that I haven’t….The fact that my days are only freckled with you when I used to wear you as a coat concerns me. It worries me because I’ve done this before. I’ve had girls fly into my life eager to by wifed up and at first, I encouraged it but when it comes down to it, birds never stick around. I’m not worm grounded. I’m flight ridden, flight driven, hawk, solo flyer. I have this crazy desire for new. For nights that are unexpected and you’ve become my usual. And I usually do this. And it usually ends in tears. Some people call it dump. I try to call it letting someone else fly. But I’m sorry if I clipped your wings. I’m sorry if I gave you false wind and hopes of everything. I’m interested in everyone and you have been my one, but I’ve begun to get lost again and I actually like not knowing where I’m going. Or where I’m stepping. I’m gonna step on your toes. I’m gonna trip you up, make you fall and hit rocks with a solid bottom broken heart beat. It’s what I do. And I really didn’t want that to happen to you because I know it’s happened before. I’ve witnessed your sulking sadness first hand, but remember, this has all happened before and you still found your flight. You found it in you to fight for the lover you hope on– the love you wish for and envision. You have this perfect vision. And I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’re wishin’ as one.

 

 

5 inspired by my old basement:
It’s the sound of broken bottles chucked at basement walls before their contents are chucked into toilets
Chipping the concrete with gritted teeth
Shattering like shrapnel
That chaos is in me
Lingering like a lost bomb searching for a light
That spark of a moment that ignites the match
It’s more than a flicker
More than a tick tick
Or a boom
It’s the bang
And the rage filled fists
The scratched throat from the body-filled scream
That anger is in me
It’s the dynamite trapped in a mountain side
Insides,
Tunneling outward
Jetting towards infinity,
Wherever y’all thing that may be…
That outer space darkness is in me
I’m high off galaxies and that shit doesn’t come cheap.

 

 

6:
There’s a certain ripple that changes things
It’s few and far between
A ripple that casts it’s wave on you and makes you gasp
You’re not drowning
Ripples don’t make you sink but ripples complicate things
Confuse things, even
Ripples are like elmer-glued paper or sheets that have been slept in
Ripples like dream bubbles, frozen in winter air
Ripples ripple things,
Rip them from calm
Rippling
This is my rippling song

 

 

7:
I tie memories around my ankles,
Strap them around my wrists,
Slip them onto my fingers, 
And find the perfect spot for them in my hair
I’m a walking scrap book

 

 

8 inside the anxiety i don’t have:
stress to stress because i stress myself to death
worry worry
worry worry
paranoia creeps in
i turned that light off
i know i turned that light off
who turned it on
who’s here
someone is here with my
following me, watching me
anxiety
nothing has been easy
easy
easy
breezing by days isn’t how my mind flows
tornado
hurricane
that’s more like it
worry worry
worry worry
mental madness
heart sadness
head heavy
chest sunk
eyes red from stoning myself to death
i’ve been stoned with the best
fallen down with the worst
i’m hurting here
I’m worried here
worry 
worry, worry
anxiety fills me
depression oozes from my lips every time i sip conversations from another persons hypnotizing calmness
i’m the eye of this storm
i’m a whirlwind
a twirl in sanity
don’t worry
don’t worry they tell me
i don’t have the energy for this
i’ve felt cold steal to temple
i’ve held a bottle of pills in my hand
worry
i worry about the missing i’ll miss out on
i won’t be around for the misery and that’s disturbing to me
i am your misery
why would you miss me
worry
worry
don’t worry
i’ll stress myself to death
so you should be worried about having to dress for a death
not about my stress because that is definite
it’s infinite

The First

Here is the first of (hopefully) a poem a day for a month. Happy National Poetry Month, people!

 

I didn’t wake up with the birds today.
It seems the birds have flown away again.

The sky was a cloud-covered gray today.
It seems the sun has gone and fallen in love with Winter again.

Spring time had fooled us,
Hopefully just because it’s the first of April today.
Yesterday I got to sit on a roof top again.

Yesterday my jacket rode in my passenger seat instead of around my shoulders.
Yesterday I was warm.

I wore a hat today.
My head was cold again.
I just want to feel the sun again.
If not today since it is now night,
Then tomorrow.
Tomorrow, sun, alright?

Ready to Ripen

Blink 182 taught me long ago that nobody likes you when you’re 23. Today, as I turn the ripe age of 23, I wonder what validity was in Blink’s statement. Hopefully people don’t like me less. In fact, I would hope they like me more as I prove to them I can survive another year in this chaotic place we call the world.

Yesterday I had a visit from a friend. He came by shortly after my parents left (they so graciously took me out for dinner for my birthday) and I’m not sure what time he left, but it was after a swarm of people came to celebrate before going downstairs to the bar. 

We sat for a while. No music playing but we were full of ideas. He’s convinced we’re going to change the world, he doesn’t know how, but he knows it’s going to happen and, honestly, he has me convinced as well.

I’ve never been one to really plan things out. I can plan a party, plan a road trip, and plan a dinner, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t usually have any idea what my future really entails. Lately, however, I have sort of developed this “three year” plan. Maybe it’s because I’m getting closer to graduation. Maybe it’s because I was forced with the reality that I’m not going to be living here next year and my residency will be elsewhere and I’m not sure exactly where that is yet. Maybe it’s because I have started to see life without school as I come to the end of my final semester of classes. Whatever it is, I can see the future. I can feel the freedom to choose – to have a total choice of what I want to do and when/where I want to do it. 

As I sat there with my friend, who is turning 23 in June, we talked about how it just feels different. Every year people ask me if I feel older on my birthday. I always say, “not really…” but this year I do feel different. I do feel older. I feel like I’m growing up again in the same way I did when I left High School, left my home town, and became “independent” in college. It’s another one of those vital time periods in a persons life. We chatted about how we feel 18-21 is a time within itself that we develop in so many ways but it’s only minute compared to what we have to do to prepare ourself for the “real world” or whatever there is to come after we graduate, after we don’t have guidelines for every assignment and we don’t have assigned readings. We talked about how scary it is that we have to be our own motivators and we agreed that we are going to be the chains that separate one family link to the next.

Like me, my friend dreams of other places. He said, “If I don’t like it here, I’m gonna go here…and if I don’t like it there…I’m gonna go over there.” All the while he stressed that his mother and grandmother would be in the same house they grew up in. In the same neighborhood, same city, same situation. There’s a sense of guilt for continually moving. There’s a sense of wonder of whether or not that relationship between family and friends can still exist but I think the basics are always there. If I know that I can travel wherever it is I desire, but then I can turn around after however long and my family will welcome me back into their house with open arms, then that’s how I know a relationship won’t fail between them. Experiences separate people but they also give everyone a reason to share and come together.

I feel old when I talk about family. Because I talk about it like it’s something that has been existing for so long but now the outline for “family” is changing. I’ve made friends that are family. I’ve had family that turned into friends. It’s all relative. But I know whoever I call family will welcome my new year with a smile. I don’t think my family will hate me when I’m 23. I’m 23 and I feel just as lost and just as found as I did yesterday or the day before. I feel older in a sense that the age gap between me and my younger friends is growing. I feel older in that I have to think about graduation and living situations. I have to somewhat plan for my future, and I’m actually looking forward to it. 

As my friend said last night, “We’ve been growing, now we’re ready to ripen.”

 

Sunday

It’s Sunday morning
And from the looks of it,
It’s sunny.
From the sound of it,
The birds are happy,
Chirping,
Singing even.

I haven’t been outside since Thursday morning. Not really by choice but by necessity. An illness came my way when I woke up Thursday with a sore throat, head ache, and foggy mind. I didn’t mind leaving the middle school I tutor at early, but I did mind not being able to swallow. Uncomfortable is cold sweats and frustration is sleepless nights spent turning from one sore side to the other.

Some people blame the change of weather for sickness.

I blame my excitement for spring.

I haven’t been sleeping a lot. Not because I can’t, but because there’s better things to do. I stay up late because my friends do and I like to be around them. The bars seem to be filled with spring-eyed drinkers and summer-plan thinkers like me.

It’s the sun staying out past 7 that makes me long for an unexpected night. Right now I want uncertainty. I want clarity, but certainly not consistency. I want days to pass and nights to last.

Four days in bed and I’m about ready to run out my front door, down the street, and meet the sunshine with open arms and an open heart.

I’m eagerly awaiting summer. I would say spring, but spring is already here. It’s been here since blue skies became a regular and birds became my alarm clock. It’s been here since the snow piles decreased to little mounds of almost unidentifiable brown sludge. I can’t stop thinking of everything I have to look forward to.

I passed my elementary education test. I’m going to Denmark with two kick ass professors and a group of exploring students like myself. I return to the states only to wait a week then drive back to Rocky Mountain Village summer camp. I can’t say it enough. I can’t picture it enough but I’m so pumped for the future. 

Spring always makes me want to get into things. Explore things. Create things.

Spring is always new.