7/10

I have so many people to pray for
The list gets longer every year
Hold space
Carve out
Hollow
And fill with faces
Each one drops like a pebble in my mouth
And never stop falling
I want to give
To hold all their pain in my belly
Til my heart becomes a smoldering coal
I can take it
It burns and I swallow
Voices float up
Ghosts make their way to the cracks in my teeth
And linger there
With my regrets
The light
The light
It burns
I want them all to crawl inside me
I’ll keep them warm
Like some tauntaun
On the tundra
Make a home inside me
The list gets longer
I’ve filled boxes with names
Say each one aloud
So I don’t forget
So they won’t be forgotten
I’ve got pews for ribs
There’s enough room for you all

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Phew!

I’m still continuing with writing my 10 new poems but I’ve been super busy with other projects, sending out manuscripts, and coaching a slam team so when things die down a bit I’ll be more focused on finishing up this project (also, a new “poets I love” video will be up soon too! Stay tuned)

6/10

“Be the best”
They said
“Be successful”
“but always
Be yourself”

What they didn’t realize
Was success is not the grades
Or the college
Or the wedding
Or the house
Success was always
Being average
Blending in
And giving space
To weep and wilt
Success was knowing
When to stop
And when to move

5/10

Why Lloyd Dobler and other 80’s teenage boys should not be considered romantic heroes:

I don’t care how long you stood
Holding up that boombox
How uncomfortable you were
In the sleeping bag out on my front lawn
How difficult it was to organize “accidentally”
Bumping into me at the mall
While my friends glared at you
And your arch nemesis pulled me even closer
Every note you left on my windshield
Only made me watch my back
I knew you weren’t the type to take no
For an answer
To give space
When it was asked
You said I could say anything to you
Then realized you only wanted me to say what you wanted to hear
Instead of what I wanted.
Boundaries have no meaning
To those who consider themselves
Knights in shining armor
But your idea of chivalry
Felt more like a city-sized prison
I could never escape from.

4/10

On the 6th day I was in Germany
I found a baby squirrel with a broken back
In the gutter
It’s red body wriggling
Helpless
On the cobblestone
Unable to watch him suffer
I sat beside him and watched for hours.

Every night he returned to the apartment from his treatment program
Smoked cigarettes
And slept
And never said a word.

On weekends we would eat at restaurants in silence
He would gather acorns and fill his pockets
While I swallowed mouthfuls of beer
To keep the conversation
Going

Choking
On the smoke of our slowly burning
Understanding
That neither of us were strong enough

That mental illness
Is watching the one you love
Struggle to breathe
To move
And speak
And all you can do
Is observe the suffering

3/10

Taxidermy:

No one will ask you if you’re okay
As long as you keep up the appearance
Of life.
For some
Death is slow
You wear the skin of paid bills
Of drinks with the girls
Of 9-5 job
Of teeth stretched
Until your lips chap
You used to feel pain
Now you bleed borax
No one asks when you traded your eyes
For glass marbles
Where you found the mold to drape your flesh
you’re only just a head
On a wall
And nobody questions where the rest of you went
It is an art form
To make bodies lifelike
To apply lipstick to corpses
To warm coffins
To sew skin back together
And to do it to yourself
Daily
But It was never living
Just an exhibition in decomposition
From the inside
Out

2/10

I’ve been wanting to challenge myself with a mini poem writing intensive similar to the 30/30 I did back in April, just to get my creative juices flowing and to get some poem ideas started. The first poem was my previous post, so we are already on poem #2! Enjoy!

Good morning
What will you build today?
The tide is out
And the sandcastles need new walls
And courtyards
You will fill the buckets
Sometimes they will never hold
What you want them to
You’ll find cigarette butts and shards of glass
On the days you want abalone
The waves slap the shore with a sting
Of smoke and salt
Their hands will leave their marks
On the beach
And you’ll dig and dig
And dig still searching
Until you realize that sand is only the sum of its parts
It’s the little things
It’s the details that keep you rebuilding
High tide approaches and
Everything you’ve been working towards crumbles
This is what things were meant for
Sunsets
And shipwrecks.