memory, dream and prayer

A slow drive through memory.
The kind of sweet that
shatters in your mouth.
A love like chewing glass,
Every word a chance to choke.
Waking up shaking sand out of my mouth
from grinding your glass all night.

Always misdressed for the occasion,
watching everyone else’s feet,
trying to remember how to walk.
Go where they go, drink what they drink,
smoke what they smoke,
lie what they lie.
Still couldn’t sing the song right.

Pacing the open road to nowhere
and back again.
From your home to mine
more than a stretch of the imagination.
Voice turned inside out with rage
and salted lungs.

Occasionally a face gives me a jolt
of fear and revulsion.
An instantaneous prayer:
no.

One of my favorite ways to write is to put on some strange music and see what it stirs up, so last night, I found this song and produced this poem. I’ve been writing all my life and still don’t know what’s good. I can hear in my mind the critiques my various teachers would give it, and I’m trying to learn to write despite their voices in my head.

 

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the shrine

wpid-img_20140509_111701.jpgAn inspiration wall is forming in my office. Or maybe I should call it a shrine. The portrait of the Dalai Lama I so crudely plastered with stickers is now flanked by Post-it notes bearing abandoned lines of poetry that I kept because I think they’re pretty even if they don’t seem to belong anywhere. Above the portrait is a photo of me with my sister and one brother on our way to the only Mardi Gras ball we ever attended. The people-watching was great that night — a veritable zoo of our childhood friends dressed to the nines and drunk as hell. Each of us in the picture embodies something I want to bring to my writing. Katie stirs up trouble but gets away with it because she’s cute. John is the stone cold badass who sees through all bullshit and thinks you should too. And then there’s me, the sassy one who can’t keep her mouth shut. That’s why I get to be narrator. And finally there are the bunny ears. No big meaning there. Just for fun.

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What I’m Reading: Ada by Gertrude Stein

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Ada
by Gertrude Stein

Purchased at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, MD.
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I don’t want to ruin it by trying to tell you about it.

I think it’s about finding a way to love and be happy. The writing is hypnotic, and Stein’s sparse language points out just how much we don’t have to say. Every time a character says nothing, they say everything.
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The artwork throughout is beautiful, but I want you to see that for yourself.

 

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If You’re Afraid of Disappointing People

A Prism of Shadows: Self-portrait in Front of A Brick Wall

If you’re afraid of disappointing people
come here.
It’s not your job to make them happy.
If they can’t be happy, it’s not your fault.
And by “they” I mean your parents.
And your priest.
And God.
Because if God can’t be happy then who the fuck can?
You don’t need to worry about disappointing God or anyone.
You’re not the only one who ever failed.
In fact, you are just like everyone else.
We all fuck up.
We are all lost.
We are all on a very big adventure.
Decide your life is something you’d like to enjoy.
Decide that you have the right to enjoy it.
Take the appropriate actions.
Go to a fucking yoga class.
Go to therapy if you’re too uptight to do yoga.
Do not drown your sorrows.
They need air.
Catch your breath.
Get grounded.
Imagine growing roots through your feet.
Stand like you believe
you are someone.

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Monday Night Nonfiction: the robot

Robot graffiti

Here is a weird little thing I wrote the other day.

the robot turned her head
from left to right.
it is a she because
it is beautiful.
if this was what they called being alive
she guessed
she liked it
the way her metal joints would slide
she liked the whir of
her electricity.
the robot turned her eyes on
and then she turned them off.
the robot turned her eyes on.
and then she turned them off.
the robot turned her eyes on.
the robot found herself a heart
until she got her own
it would do.
the robot said her prayers.
the robot was Very Good.
the robot did a sad dance
but the body said “joy” with its grace
and the robot took flight.

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