Friday, December 30, 2016

Fear cannot be the founder

An author cannot be afraid to write the bad guy in like an actor cannot be afraid to dress in the enemy's clothing.  How can I get past this?

For me, it's something like stained glass windows and voices crying from the inside.  It's something about the poor effects of masks and how somehow mine still fits.  I'll write something beyond a few lines some day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AAST

When I fall in love it's obsession.  It's "all things go, all things go."  Just a couple days ago I thought I was slicing hearts and homes in two.  I thought, "I have to leave this before it becomes me.  And, "I have to abandon ship before I choose mutiny."  Now I feel the emotions bubbling and as much as I want to embrace it, I also know that there is a time for it and love, after all, is first of all patient.

It seems to sometimes be this time of year.  Suddenly I hear you.  Or out of nowhere I see you.  My caterpillar heart grows wings in this chrysalis called a chest.  I fly far away and hope you'll catch me in your net.  Still, somehow I know me.  Perhaps because I've been around myself more than anyone else.  Maybe because absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Whatever it is, it seems to work best one way most of the time.  I don't want that this time.  Then again, have I ever wanted it to be an exclusive one-way street?

If that's what my desire was then what of the holding?  Something inside seems to always stretch outward.  I always want to reach out.  I want the holding the happen.  I want something beyond words.  I want to show you that there is something here for you.  So here are your first words.  Here is your poetic prose.  Your poetry that is not set up to perfect timing.

You and I will sit together.  I don't have to hold anything back.  Then again, I will be patient.  "I will be patient," speak to me Head.  I want to hold you with words I want to embrace you with arms.  I have placed your name in capital letters and as I allow myself to dwell too long on it, I sense the nonfiction of feeling and the fiction of your letter postmarked to me.

Patience.

"Patience," I say.  "Perhaps if you'll just wait for many days passed yesterday, you'll find a letter postmarked to your heart.  Give me time and I'll show you, it's not all one-way.  These words feel like so much more than inked emotions.  Hold me Heart, I can't trust my emotions but I feel the warmth in your arms.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

What (or Where) is love?

I needed you and I wouldn't let myself believe it.  I felt you inside me poking around and filling the holes I'd created myself.  I began to open up to you.  I felt the darkness disappear.  I didn't know you were picking at my scars to heal me where we were until I told you enough to push you away.  I pushed you away just in time to not know enough about what I was leaving behind.

...

It's been long enough.  Hasn't it?


You barely even know me.  I fall fast but I'd so much rather do so than stay buried beneath these dead leaves.  The shards of broken hearts create small slivers but sometimes the smallest wounds hurt the most.  Can I tell you anything?  Can we even just communicate?  Is infatuation okay here?  I'd like to escape this lonely togetherness.  What are you looking for?


And everyone else: you don't know me anymore.  I have opinions.  I have ears in high places.  My heart lays low among the brush and rubs sticks together that only create forest fires burning homes and habitats in their way.  I'm a disappearing mosaic of atoms descended from Adam.  Do you read poems like an almanac?  Do you force-feed your seed the secondhand stories you've heard?  Do you verify your sources before you pass along the chismes?

Why does this always happen to me?  Here?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A son of Peter

I came here because the words were bubbling up inside and now they're just runaway wheels.  I fell asleep nine times before I woke up this morning.  The atmosphere I live in is so high above the ground that I can't seem to find myself anymore.  I listen for self-defining, not self-confining, lyrics and get lost in magical thinking.  My culture says, "No that's not allowed.  We will not permit you to be yourself."  Your culture says, "Here's the box we made for you.  Come crawl inside and fit the mold we carved out in our minds.  If you don't fit there's something wrong with you.  Don't question my assumptions; trust me, I know who you are."

A son of Peter cannot be an immigrant.  He cannot understand my story.  No, a son of Peter cannot speak for me; he hasn't lived my life.  No amount of books he's read will ever convince me that he is more than just a well read man of ignorance.
A purebred pale complexioned Caucasian is anything but complex.  If we're being scientific, he's not even Caucasian.  His green eyes, pale skin, and clean-shaven jaw may have been in for centuries but he isn't who he claims to be.  You may find him under a fig tree but don't trust the olive branch that he will offer you.
Politics say he's red.  History says he's right.  His pockets are never light.  He finds his satisfaction in others' plight.  Do. Not. Trust. Him.

So yes, to a small extent, I do know how you feel.  When you open your mouth only to close mine little pieces of my heart disappear.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trauma is a run-on sentence

It's like gently nodding off with a full stomach and a light heart in your beloved's arms on a train bound for Paradise and suddenly being forcefully awakened by a violent shiver piercing from your insides outward, only to slowly realize the only clothes you wear are darkness in a frozen Hell crowded by your fiercest foes and most profound fears.

Trauma is a run-on sentence that's always on the move.  We insert pauses, semicolons, periods, and commas.  We vigorously try to erase words and fragments or add proper punctuation, but the marks remain, the paper tears, and the whiteout leaves us emptier than before.  Our Stockholm syndrome runs back to hug the cactus.  We introduce it to our friends and neighbors and feel their eyes on our souls as we whisper sweet nothings to the plant that somehow thrives in a barren land.

We try to fall asleep but can only fall apart.  We paint over the feelings and convince ourselves they are accurate representations of our own failings and then silently lament over why no one wants to see the original coat and color.  "Look what I've done," we smile proudly; and when they compliment our fa├žade, our structural integrity trembles silently, "why can't they see me?"

When you insert your story do you take away mine?  When you tell me everything's okay, do you mean to soak my scars with tears and lime?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cleansing Fire for a Deceptive Heart

Deep in the furnace passed the places where desire deceives us there is a flame that burns freely.  A flame that burns selfish ambition away and leaves nothing but freedom and obedience.  It is a place where pain is temporary discipline and love is sincerely true.

I fall into deep despair and find it difficult to regain my footing.  There are mines all around you and they so closely surround you that if I do not fall for you I simply explode into countless pieces.  I find myself looking down and not being able to take my eyes away.  My heart deceives me in the most uncomfortably pleasant way.  I dream of faces attached to fingers and search for specific words that seem to only be clouding the map in front of me, if it's even a map at all.

I don't let you say a word because I have already chosen them for you.  I don't want to choose them for you but my heart has its way and it's deception feels so right and still somehow I know it's wrong. You can dance in a cemetery but that doesn't change the fact that you are surrounded by death.  You can play a joyful tune through your headphones in a desert, but will not cure your thirst or call for welcome company.  Batteries die.  Flesh fades and wrinkles.  Eyes swell, droop, and become dazed in a blur.

These jigsaw puzzle pieces do not fit in the empty spaces.  They will not turn the key that opens the door to logos and Paradise.  These pieces don't hearken back to the times in the Garden when we walked together.  Quite conversely they resurrect the serpent's whispers.  The deceiver has deceived you and as you attempt to argue in protest you just prove to us that you're buried deep in his lies.

Still.
       Somehow.
                       The.
                             Fire.
                                   Is.
                                      Sufficient.

                       &.
Still.
       Somehow.
                       It.
                          Burns.
                                   You.
                                          Clean.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rushing into Nothing

Another quick episode.  Yes, it may not be mania but my mind sure runs fast on nights like these.  All I can think about is everything that's been on my mind for the last few days.  Everything runs fast while my mouth yawns wide.

I begin to sense the tears of a gradually approaching sleep that may somehow arrive suddenly.

I forget that sometimes the child sitting in the chair in front of me is me.  I sometimes forget that eliminating all traces of judgment is not just being generally vague.  It's also not quite possible in this fleshly mind.  I cannot be completely free from bias.  I am sitting across from me.  I am the sad, the downtrodden and depressed.  I am the confused, alone, and isolated.  I am the faces that struggle to make eye contact because they're not ready to face their fears.  I am the hidden frown beneath the nervous laugh.  Why can't I see myself?

Why is my goal to be free from bias?  Life and work, and social work in particular, are more than ethics.  People are not numbers and statistics.  In the same way that I do not wish to be morphed into a number, neither do those that sit on the other side.  I am more than just a voice box and they are more than just sponges.  I must give them more credit than I have.  They are former, future, and present me.  Perhaps I have been shame, maybe I've been a blank wall, and I don't know what I've been most of all.

What am I other than a slightly larger lump above my sheets?  I only do what others ask.  When my soul or stomach reach for something my superego smacks my arm away.  I'm something short of nothing and jogging slowly in place.  Not even jogging, I'm sleepwalking to nowhere.  I'm not sure I could even make it there.  Where will any of this even go?

Dear Google and the world beyond me, the future without me and the people that read me,
     I do not know the significance here.  I'm not sure why some of this rambling continues.  I fall asleep with my eyes open.  Meanwhile my waking hours are spent with my eyes closed to the world around me.  I don't show myself the time of day.  I disappear into the background of my life as others look through me like wax paper.  I'm not quite transparent but they can see some form beyond me.

Do you trust me?  Will you let me hold you, know you?  Will you take me to the place where we can fall asleep together and wake up in each other's dreams?  How do we get there?  Can we even go back?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Maybe some day is sometimes somehow today

I'm a new thing.  A soul in repair or under construction.  I'm in between nap time and nighttime.  I'm learning to be present today rather than dreading tomorrow or regretting yesterday.  I'm not perfect, (far from it) but I'm trying.  I'm not trying to be perfect, just trying to be more in the moment than I often am.

Because waiting five years for everything to remain the same including my heart and her name is erasing the precious present moment.  Why does my heart look longingly in her direction?  The fresh perspectives, the different stories.  There is just something there and I can't quite taste what it is.  I may have mentioned this before, but I do not think it is the fondness born in absence because I recall the memories of who we are and how we are in the moments together.

Is it too much to ask to just be able to hold your hand for a moment?  To be able to sit quietly with you under the stars?  The thoughts you expel from your head move me.  You hardly speak and my heart falls into your lap.  Barely a word leaves your mouth and it's all somehow enough to keep me intrigued.  Even the so-called "depressive" thoughts open me up to something further.  Can we just try something?  Can we try it some time?

Five years is too long to wait.  That's almost as long as it's been since we first met and barely longer than the last time we saw each other in person.  We can take turns cradling each other in open arms.  Your innovative thoughts tuck me in at night in the best way imaginable.  Your words ignite filaments in the lightbulbs above my head.  They restore ink to my once dried pen.

I know you're not the reason for all of this world.  I know there is life outside of you.  I know you're not a goddess.  You're not to be worshipped, but would you give me a chance to be present with you.  Let me follow you around as you step through challenges and successes.  Can we share life together at some point?  Is it possible to see you for longer than a couple of days?  Is it possible for the extent of our relationship to be more than passing tourists on vacation?

I want to experience your presence and know who you really are.  I want to know you truly.  Will you ever give me the chance?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Who am I if I'm not myself?

Maybe I'm just naive.  Do I just do what other people say?  Can't I think for myself?  Am I a shadow of the women and men that have passed by this reflecting pool?  Am I ripples in the pond that just allow others to extend further from the place the lost their lockets?  The stone at the seafloor is covered in moss.  I'll carry your message for you so that you don't have to get up and stretch your legs.

Why won't I stand up for myself?  Is it because I've had others carry my message for me in the same way I hope to carry yours?  Is it because my childhood only encouraged authentic expression of a limited number of emotions, thoughts, and points of view.  Is it because my personality airs on the side of half empty rather than half full and I'm beyond repair.  Is it because every seven years my body is brand new and this brand is bruised?

I want so desperately to live inside the profundity of another.  I want someone to dig deep into my chest and cradle the cavernous heart from this cadaver.  Lift my life source from my body and place me into a new machine.  Surely I'm breathing; my heart is still beating, but where is my arrow pointing?  Who can I ask about myself if I don't even know me?

I dig so early without even surveying the land around me.  I spill into all surrounding land without a second thought as to where my mess is landing.  Do I stain the souls of sisters and brothers?  Do my words fall on deaf ears?  Are the words I'm saying paragraphs that are better saved for intimate spirits?  Am i picking apart my scabs only to bathe in dirty saltwater baths drawn by strangers?

How can you know?  You don't know me?  Still, that won't keep me from asking you.  That won't tell filter my face further.  That won't teach me to lay still and consider myself truthfully.  When I think about who I am, I often overthink or don't think at all.  I'm a walking corpse, a zombie with an appetite for beating hearts with just enough brains.  I'm a work in progress that's somehow already complete.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Too Little Too

I woke up.  I didn't have to. You didn't have to offer me anything.  I didn't do anything to earn it.  In fact, much of my life is more evaporated vapors than glimmers of life shining in the shadows.  I don't know why You do this, but it sure does help.

Why do I only ever seem to bleed at night.  I can't be the only one who sits, lonely in the shadows.  I can't be the only one here.  The blank wall doesn't capture my reflection.  The empty sheets are a greater reflection of my fulfilled purpose.  I've woken up with enough time to tell myself I'll get up soon only to fall asleep while Saturn's rings spin around me.

You all spin around me.  Though I endlessly search, I have yet to have found me.  Pay 50 cents and try to grab me.  I'm out of reach but not for lack of trying.  Reaching for a hand when you're unconscious is less than grasping for straws.

Now I'm writing into it instead of writing out.  When I'm too tired the ideas are flooded and when my fingers work the graphite in my mind needs sharpening.  What gives?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Not just me

Thank God for the women and men who did not say, "Amen."  For the people who did not sit in complacent silence as they were lulled gently to sleep.  Thank God for the change makers who stood not for themselves only, but for the perishing rights of the lives around them.

Too often we are tucked in with horror stories to flood our nightmares while the people we ought to trust teach us to pray for peace and unity.  They tell us the world is a place filled with hate and darkness and we must hope and wish for peace, love, and unity.  I say, yes there is darkness in the world, but we cannot wait and hope for it to be banished by others.  Nor can we hope to eliminate it by becoming the very incarnation of the evil we are taught to fear.  We must seek understanding.  We must choose to love and to stand out and we cannot do so out of purely selfish means.  Yes, we are selfish beings by nature, but we cannot be controlled by our flesh or the delicious venom of others.

Oppression begins sweet like a delicious apple but by the time we realize it has poisoned us, it is too far enmeshed into our system to just regurgitate easily.  We must work together.  We must fight with peace.  We must enter with our arms open to embrace our sisters and brothers instead of erasing their faces, allowing others to invent their personalities, and marching forward with clenched fists and sharpened swords.  We cannot let fear be our leader.  We cannot let ignorance be the blister that we ignore on our lips.  Neither can we speak alone without acknowledging criticism.

I will not lie down while swords spew from the mouths of men.  I will not turn in fear of embarrassment while my sisters and brothers cry themselves to sleep.  I cannot be still.  I must take action.  I am only one man but together we are enough.  I am not just me.  There is justice.  There is love.  There is mercy.  There is grace.  There is unity.  We have pieces of the multiverse's birth in our innermost cells.  We are one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

If Found Please Return

I found your heart on the passenger seat of a minivan in a used car lot.  The moment I approached it, my own heart skipped a beat.  Though so many would seek to put you in a box like a cadaver for them to make their own judgments about, you are stronger than that.  Your heart knows it was made for bigger and brighter things.  It looked out the window and saw the world beyond our scope of vision.  It saw other hearts driving with passion instead of being fueled by others' confining words and wishes.  Your heart looked past the horizon and into the potential of your life and that of others.

I saw your heart driven by ambition while you kept one hand on the wheel,not for fear of crashing but rather to guide the journey.  My key won't turn the ignition and somewhere deep inside I know that's for the best.  Still, the recent todays make it feel like the absence of any sparked concern may endure.

You don't know it and yet somehow, thankfully, you do.  I don't know if it was courage or foolishness that offered me the opportunity to share with you, but for now I am thankful.  I remember that more often regret stems from inaction than from missteps and mistakes.  So at least I'm learning to use my words.  Whether I have acted in a moment of courageous boldness or a whisper of premature openness, it's a new experience and a new way of becoming myself.  I'll be myself for the rest of my life so I might as well learn to live as me.  Thank you for encouraging to live my truth.  Thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Only Parts of Me Shine Through

I was born into this culture.  Into this setting and all my surroundings surrounding me.  I'm a product and a processor.  I cannot change where I'm from.  I can deny who I am but that doesn't seem to help much.  I can wish to be someone else, but then what of those who do identify as I do?  What of the white male who cannot relate to the portrayals of ignorance, belligerence, and excessive hatred on a daily level?

It is true that I am often uncomfortable with who I am because of who I seem to represent to so many in this world.  Still I cannot paste a new identity on who I am.  I cannot become someone that I am not.  I can love others and try and speak for others, but I have learned that it is much more powerful to learn to empower others to speak for themselves.  We can all only relate our own experiences to those around us.  Even the second- and third-degree stories we share our filtered through our own lived experiences.  To say that you know the feeling of sexual assault because you witnessed the effects it had on your cousin is to lie to yourself and your listeners.  You may have a more complete picture, however you cannot fully understand the impact unless you have lived it yourself.  Even then, everyone's individual experience is different for a number of different factors, including environmental, emotional, mental, physical, cultural, level of ability, etc.

So, although it pains me to have to paint on others, I have to speak my truth.  Please do not tell me that there is no such thing as an individual truth; that is just a misinterpretation of reality.  I am not above reproach, however I have had a long time to think critically about not only my views and opinions, but those of others as well.  I am confident that I do not have it all together.  To put it another way, I am confident that my points of view and perspectives are fickle and fluttering.  Nevertheless, I am tired of being (sometimes) slowly shoved into a box.

I recognize that the boxing is nothing new for minorities and many people who do not look like me or think like me.  I know that I am not the only one who gets filtered into a container that doesn't fit my way of life.  There are generations of groups of people who have spent lifetimes and even given their lives in attempts to break even one side of their societal box.  I believe that as this world continues to diversify, as it is only doing more and more, we will all have to increasingly learn how to make room for the unique, the abnormal, and the unfamiliar.  Most, if not all, people have had moments where they were assumed to think, act, or be a certain way based upon broad generalization.  This feeling can be hurtful, and I'll admit that sometimes I have often been the painter of these broad strokes.  However, I am asking that when the words I say, the comments that I make, or the jokes that I allow to fill the silence are interpreted as walls being built around who you are as fellow human being, please gracefully offer me correction.

I can be ignorant, I can be hurtful, and I can be insensitive.  However, if I am not taught in a manner that doesn't widen my wounds, I may never learn.  Meanwhile, I will try to remember that discipline is painful today, but the scars that it produces prevent deeper wounds in the future.  World, let's practice grace, mercy and forgiveness, all the while not forgetting to be open to teaching as well.  Love is in the air if you will just pollinate it in season.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"All the things I [did] say to you before you moved across the country"

"It's all possible, don't worry about me," the voice in my ear was a gentle whisper.  I saw signs in the distance, or was it the far end of the cavern in my head?  Was I seeing visions projected from my heart's paintbrush?  Was I just opening my eyes to the brilliance of the colors all around me?  I'm Forrest running after Jenny, but only in my mind.  Outside of these walls she's dashing away from me.  I want the unattainable, to grasp the unreachable.  I want to touch a heart that beats a different rhythm.  I've shown her the stairs but she has to take the elevator.  My feeble arms complementing her passionate, nearly careless and somehow so caring spirit.  My fumbled words and her rhyming couplets.

All the fire in my bones makes kindling of my insides.  These unrequited passions aim to fool me.  They tease me in the direction toward authenticity or at least joyfulness, but I know it can't be.  I know it's not "we."  There won't be regrets this time.  No, at least not the typical ones.  The words poured from within me before you flew away.  I'm a lost plane circling the sun and we don't need to make an emergency landing to refuel any time soon.  Though so many thoughts flood through who I currently am, I'm already feeling like more of an ellipsis.  So now you can fill in the dots with your own thoughts and visions of cloud-kissed rainbows.

Good night then.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Here comes summer

Everyone is political and love is not politics.  The picture I painted of you in my mind is more perfection than the poem that I can touch.  My heart invents fairytales to my head's dismay.  I fall asleep with the blinds closed and hope to wake up with sunlight peaking in.  It only takes a spark.

I don't want to be inside all of this evaporated guilt and a point and click universe.  I don't want to be live where forgetfulness is happiness.  Some days you wake up hungover but at least you know there was something to regret.  Here under my unmade sheets I lie awake, but only in consciousness.  My eyes are open but my feet don't function.  My heart beats but ever so slowly.  Every doodle I draw is someone else's.  Nothing really draws me but clouds whisk by me like the years in life.  I gaze at them with curiosity, take my eyes away for what feels like a minute, and they're gone.

I'm the shadowy figure of a balloon's reflection.  A colorful shadow, but a shadow nonetheless.  Whispered darkness carries me away and any hope of light is overcome by the distracting noise of dying flowers.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

After the rain

The blue moon glow hides behind the the clouded ceiling.  Most of the street is blinded save for a cone of wet asphalt flickering in and out of the forward leaning streetlight.  My window is soaked in condensation and leftover rain drops from the storm only a few hours before.  Inside the air runs consistent, but the second floor struggles to find a cool enough temperature.  At least the thick muggy air is locked outside.  Toads croak in the bushes, sharing little tidbits about where the mosquitoes and lizards are hiding to each other.

My head presses against the glass but only mentally.  In actuality I sit with a gaze through more than just the window pane.  My thoughts and vision pierce through the soaked pavement and into my own illusionary present future.  I see joyfulness far away and contentment in the distance, though the latter is attached to a string that starts inside my chest.  I see love tied up on a branch too high for me to reach on my own.  Imagined futures flood into my present.

Then I reinterpret the past and come to a new line that's supposed to be rusty.  Like misremembering the which subway you took home two nights ago.  My conscious lies awake and pushes me to dream through reality.  Anything we can conjure up or find to distract us will serve us much better than this alleged patient love, it tries to convince me.  You're asleep anyway, what's the use in pushing the dreams away?

Still, I know that love is patient.  I won't be swayed so easily.  I may fall asleep with my guard down but every morning I wake up with renewed skin.  The muscles surrounding my heart grip me tight and loose.  My lungs fill with breath and fluid.  I'm not drowning but walking toward the sun with shades.  I'm a daffodil leaning outward, following the Light.  My roots are learning to tangle themselves in the solid ground around me.  I'm trying desperately to try.  It's interdependence and inward acceptance and motivation.  Step by step.  Day by day.  People don't grow in one day.  Stems aren't always green.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Three in one

I heard our song on the radio tonight.  Or rather it was the song that never became ours.  The one we would've sang into the wind with the windows down and the volume up.  We used to hold hands to keep me from falling apart by myself.  Remember the night we walked down the train tracks and got caught by the security guard as we lay on the tracks?  I used to reach for your hand so I wouldn't have to feel the wind pass me by.  Now you're thousands of miles away and the only thing between my fingers is the moisture from the thick gulf stream air.

I still hear your voice at the far end of the dimly lit tunnels.  I still reach for your hand while I'm driving and my heart stops.  Why couldn't I tell you when you were in my arms?  Why couldn't I hold you when our arms were tangled vines?  Now we're friends and nothing more though my heart's arms are sore from trying so desperately to reach beyond the shore.  You've wandered off to recollect your native tongue, but we used to speak in Romance languages.

As you walked away I could never say anything that would keep you close.  You saw an image of me that I thought I was.  You saw what I thought I wanted to be.  I'm still becoming myself, aren't we all?  You saw the ripples of a man still dripping holy water.  You saw a preteen in a young man's body.  So maybe now I'm just going through different motions.  Yes, perhaps now these are just my teenage lusts that I'm grasping after like vaporous dreams.  It could be that these memories are just that, memories and not a preliminary chapters to my love story.  Maybe.  Maybe I'm just wasting both of our time.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I'm Still Here

Faith is not stutter steps.  It's the opposite, or so I would posit.  It's jumping across the creek without seeing the other side.  It's not hearing the whisper but know that it's inside.

You are just, I know that. Anything that I could think to put forth from my mouth out of my mind is slivers of splinters in a crooked sculpture.  We try to correct our systems but neglect to remember that they are birthed out of broken tools.  Our lives are invisible whispers in the breeze on an Autumn evening.  Here today and gone tomorrow.  We welcome each other and attempt to hold the other's brisk wind in our palms but it always slips our grasp.

We fall asleep one day and wake up with gray hairs tickling our ears.  We wake up one morning and the birds have flown.  We open our eyes and our lovers have left with less than a sticky note.  Stale fragrances of cheap perfume and bloated livers in full bloom.  We wake up and the casket that we buried years before calls to us.

No one will believe me, we tell ourselves and we thank the soul that swept away for purchasing the darker shade of blinds.  Our eyes slip back inside ourselves, hoping we can hide ourselves.  Another morning like this and they'll need to turn me over.  Or perhaps another week like this and it won't be the burden I'm bearing, just a pole that the only ones left are sharing.  It was years ago we made that pact and though our words barely skim passed common pleasantries the agreement is sealed in stale blood that will soon be leaking.

Will you see me in the condensation on the window?  Will you remember me where the shadows used to fall on our bedside table?  Will you reach for your blanket, the one with the blue and white stripes that you used to cling to when the wind grew claws?  How will I see you?  How will I see?  Will I see?

If instead of now my face disappeared two years before, what windows would I have not been privileged to peek through?  Pop culture slang and celebrities reaching farther to extend the daylight like we all do.  More teams winning, some for the first time and others breaking barriers.  The Courts courted the people with new acceptance instead of old grievances.  Politicians paid for power.  The populace believed what it wanted or put on their dilated glasses.  The judges fell asleep long enough to let the thieves get away.

The sun came up.  The sun went down.  The moon circled the circling Earth.  The dead stars danced and the ant-like people let the illusion of their light guide the dark country nights.  Field mice ate seeds and were taken by winged thieves without sight.  The world awoke and sleep with one eye closed.

The world continued to spin.  Go to sleep little child, the world's a dark speck spinning without our force.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Stretching the Daylight

God turns the lights off and the sun goes out.  Then we blast our music, hoping it'll last long enough that we won't have to hear ourselves think.  We don't want to have to turn our eyes inside out and see what's inside.  We drown out the voices inside or numb any feeling, trying to keep the echoes of the day inside for as long as possible.  We don't want to go home to our evaporating souls.  We don't want to have to confront the whispering shadows in the dark.  We're scared of who we might see when we gaze into the mirror.

We don't know how to live at night so we either stretch the temporal joys of the day or numb the loneliness of life among the stars.  The longer we avoid the silent whispers, the more challenging it will become in our future tomorrows' nights.  We don't know who we've become because we're afraid of losing who we've been.  We'd rather forget today than take it head on.  We know tomorrow must come but until then we'll hold the breaks or drink yesterday's pleasant memories.  No one can stand to be around us because when we're around us we're not even ourselves.

We talk to others to keep from having to hear ourselves think.  We ask about our neighbor's life with the hopes that our own troubles will fade into the background.  We desperately try to neglect ourselves but always find the same two eyes staring back at us in the mirror.  "It has to come from inside," they tell us, but the irony is that they're speaking from the outside.  We don't know who to believe anymore.  It's easier to fall asleep than it is to feed ourselves the necessary nourishment to survive.  Our motivation to survive is barely stronger than our desire to live.

We live in a dark gray hole that is far from feeling whole.  "No one can make you yourself and nothing can control who you are."  Still we become the trees around us.  The soil we've been planted feeds us minerals or masked materials.  The foul fecal fertilizer somehow nurtures our growth.  The discipline we so quickly avoid knows what we need and is there to supply it.  As we keep moving, it tells us that it's okay to slow down.  We must slow down every now and again.  We must slow down and be content to not know everything.  There is hope in the distance with roots spreading close to ours.

We're growing up and down.  We're spreading all around.  May it be ripe, juicy fruit.  Pineapples that make mouths water and satisfy not only our cravings, but the salivating mouths of our sisters and brothers.  Sweet citrus nourishment; food that satisfies the cravings of the minority masses.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Attempt 1

What is the core?  Who is at the center?  I can't be so simply defined, can I?  Do I really have to ask others who I am, or even how I am, to know myself?

When it comes to knowing myself it all just seems so superficial.
I like orange.  Meaningful lyrics.  Designing.  Building Relationships.  People.  Relaxing?  Engaging conversation.  What is this a sad excuse for a dating profile?  Get me out of here!  I don't want to hear about myself from my flimsy fingers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Safety from False Security

Would you rather be complacent or compliant?  Would you rather someone speak for you in moments of silence or be lost in the shadows?

There is darkness in this world but we're not made of shadowy figures.  No one is all absence and we cannot be completely present.  I don't know everything and neither do you.  I'm trying to practice compassion but when I hear you saying it's one way or the other my ears become clouded.  I'm trying to practice grace and mercy, but I don't hear it in your tone.

I'm trying to practice unification though I know He said He said he came as a servant's sword.  Family values is not the gospel that I follow.  Though I may often travel the way of least resistance, I am not seeking to walk down padded hallways during my stay on this planet.  I just haven't figured out how to be vocal without being a condemning voice.  I am trying to be the incarnation of the Incarnate Word and it's not an easy task.  I am seeking to be hands and feet but I recognize my heart is flawed.

You may say we make mistakes but I know the truth.  I do more than make mistakes, sometimes I'm just downright hurtful.  The pain I've caused isn't always inadvertent; sometimes I'm transferring the bloodstained message of death.  Sometimes I'm ugly there is no excuse but sin and selfishness.  To say that I've made mistakes is a vast understatement.  In the moment sin doesn't feel like a misstep or a stubbed toe.  Rather, it is a moment of temporal self-gratification that I must recognize as the ugliness within me.  It is not something imposed from the outside, nor is it something that I can wash clean myself.

Granted, I do make mistakes, but to say all of my sin is just like stumbling over rocks while walking a freshly paved highway is to detract personal responsibility.  Sometimes my sin deceives me and I think I'm doing okay.  Sometimes I've convinced myself (and perhaps others) that what I do is less concerning than the (in)action of others and that is false.  Sin is sin and it is self seeking at it's most basic form.  I do not wish to avoid personal responsibility and so subtly damn myself and others in the process.  Instead, I would rather take full responsibility for my actions and turn toward a Savior that says He is more than I ever can imagine to be.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Not Quite Three Years

I fled my comfort
zone for a complacent
home.  A place where
an oasis is a hand
to have and
to hold.

I fell
asleep in Your arms
and woke up to
silent alarms.  My heart
rate slowed as
I managed to crawl
into adolescence and
saw signs painted
with the words
"arrested development."

I wish
I could understand
                              what
they mean but
my brain lay
incomplete,
undeveloped, and
immature.

So instead I fall
asleep and   dream
my courage to speak
                       and adventure
will return when I awake.

I dreamt of cityscapes
and arrived at
off-white
walls laced with personal histories.
Outside faces and names
mingle like dyes
on a gray t-shirt,
while inside my cinder
block shoes hold me
down instead of
arms reaching out
to hold me,
to carry me.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Hastening and Hushed Heartbeat

I wish.

I wish I could tell you I was in love.  I wish I could let our dreams implode and the words in my heart met your ears like a soothing flood.  I wish there was a chance to connect the dots in our minds.  Tie our strings together.  I feel you light as a feather.  A dancing marionette doll that's cut it's strings.  I wish you knew me like these four walls.

Nestled in the distant clouds lies a once forgotten heart.  She told me she'd wait for me and I let her down.  Any words I could think to say just fall from who I am and fade into the distant past of who I've been.  No one hears me anymore except the echoes of the therapist's feathered pillows.  My voice echoes forth and back again and nothing visceral stays within me long enough to plant a seed.  Every seed dies before it grows.

She spoke softly to me so as not to hurt my healing heart.  "You've said too much; hold your tongue before it's bruised by your chattering teeth."  And yet I hadn't said enough.  The problem wasn't too much, it was the distance between words.  Why can't I speak more before the dam is constructed?  All the feelings, dreams, and wonderings become damed behind the structure within my head.  I wish I could tell you more sooner but I'm afraid it's untrue or inadequate.  I feel I have to wait until I'm cool and collected.  I try to fully understand a vaporous string that is constantly whisking with the wind from one soul to a shuttered song emerging from the shadows.

And my life as poetry is more narrative than rhyme scheme and rhythm.  It's more faint whispers in the distance rising from my heart's ashes.  I'm a blowing breeze and she'll never see me the same.  I'm a wandering soul and she sees my chains.  Falling down slowly is a miserable fate.  She found me in an unlocked prison and was too afraid of losing her wings to pull me out.  As I was too afraid of the world outside, I could not let her set me free.  My caged comfort feels like freedom so I lie awake with the weight of my mind's eye rising quickly while my heart's eyes run circles in the storm.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nothing

I used to like the Internet but now I've begun to despise it more.  It's filled me with disgust.  It's brought out our worst.  It's driven a wedge between all of us.  Culture wars cause us to choose sides.  We filter our words because we don't want others to hear are real selves.  I don't know why I'm telling you this.  I'm just sick of all the nonsense.  All the laziness that blames me for my actions but doesn't tell me how to fix it.

One night I fell asleep a slave only to awake a prisoner in a dimly lit cell.  All the walls that held me in were shadows of all my forgotten dreams.  They ebbed and flowed, like early autumn branches that hadn't yet tasted the cool of the season.  Everything I thought I was was just thin tissue paper taped to my face.  I had believed the lies that those around me had spoken to me with smiles, hugs, and cherished words.  I had fallen for the falsities that I was trying so desperately to avoid.

There were holes in my beliefs grander than the self-inflicted stab wounds on my heart.  The faces winked at me and the salt from their eyes poured deep into my soul.  I lay upside-down and all this time I had tried to be inside out for them.  I had tried to share me with them but just became less of myself to appease them.  I fell while already laying down.  I fell asleep though my eyes would never shut.  I had to take everything in like a dehydrated sponge in a sea of filth.

Don't listen to me today.  There are only a few sufficient sentences here.  The rest has filled the room with nonsense.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Discontented Complacency

It was you and
it was me.  It was
all that we could do
to just keep
from falling further,
deeper.

Then I fell
face first into
sparse unidimensional relationships.
Words again became
hidden strangers but those with
familiar voices became stale,
shallow, and more like echoes.

The place
I fell consumed me
like a vortex
in a valley of quicksand.

All the
voices in my head
run away when I step
inside while the phantoms
lull me to sleep.

Every idea evaporates
if you leave
it out in the sun
long enough.

Nothing more,
nothing less;
while
my heart dreams
                           of falling asleep
in your arms.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Sort of Knoll

It's difficult to accept that you may be a wolf when you look back and remember the lush green pastures of your youth.  When you've tasted the cool stream of water, how can you stand to sit under the burning sun?  When you're raised as a sheep, it takes concerted determination to begin to wander into the fold.  You find yourself feeling like a prodigal son that has chained his right leg to a post while your left leg futilely tries to force freedom.  You find your mind wandering while your and try to catch your heart before it gets carried into a the forbidden forest like a balloon afraid to pop, though simultaneously reaching for the maze of branches.

Reaching higher but only holding onto my previous notions.  The daylight is a waking sign.  Cold water and no electricity reminds me of taking this life for granted.  Luxuries like a warm blanket on a brisk night.  Not knowing who I am but redefining everything and still nothing.  Embracing all but still feeling unaccepted or as one who doesn't accept.

The colors aren't just black and white.  It's not just neon and pastels.  There is vibrancy in a dusty woodshed and superficiality in the glow of the sign that reads "Now Open".  I'll see you on the other side of this and I'm today's a day I'm climbing.  No, perhaps climbing is not the right way to describe it.  Perhaps I've reached the surface in some aspects and have come up for air and to feel the buoyancy of my body anew.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Life takes (only) years

No matter how old you are you're likely to hear some iteration of the phrase "30 is the new 20," but let's be honest, the way some of us are living it would probably be more accurate for some of us to say something like "20 is the new 40."  We live sedentary lives behind phones and screens and long for community.  We hide behind bright, glowing distractions and live like no one can tell us what to do.  The one who will live prosperous life is she who has the humility to ask for help and the courage to push through crippling fear.

I cannot say that I've lived a full life as a 27-year-old teenager.  Rather, my life could be easily compared to an antisocial individual living with paraparesis and mononucleosis at times.  I return from work and stay inside.  I hide under covers and beneath my own selfish judgments.  I long to be longed for, to be accepted, or to be sought out, but all I do is breathe in the stale air of my apartment.  I fall asleep with the lights on because the lights behind my eyes have all but gone out.

...

I've taken myself seriously a time and a half but that's behind me now.  I'm walking around my shadows, hoping to avoid the cold in the darkness.  I'm breathing today and that's enough.  Complacency is dry, comfort is uncomfortable, and rushing through life is frivolous.  I'll write the words here though my fingers have not minds of their own.  Wake up now and then maybe we'll learn to live together.  Atoms overlap and time is a cycle of cycles that seems to move unto infinity.  Still humans are finite and all we claim to know is nothing but spinning for a short period of time.

Do we make the most of it when we say carpe diem?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Instead of an ER

The perfect storm.  The rash on my forearm.  The heart on my sleeve.  The black cars in a line.  The cold air against my cheeks.  I'll distract myself from enjoying life.  I'll choose the controlled silence over the unpredictable rushing wind.  I'll run toward the cliff and then stutter for the last few moments before I jump.  I'll tell you how I feel as soon as I know how high the cliff is and how deep the water will be.  I share more than enough because I have too much to share and no one listening.  No; you are all listening, I'm just not comfortable starting.  Open me up and I think you'll wish you hadn't cut me there.  Perhaps you ought to have aimed for my vocal cords.

The dead skin scraped off of my arm didn't even leave enough for a scar.  I'm afraid of my fingers and the death I live in.  I'm trying so desperately to stop time or reverse it, but my efforts are futile.  My heart is shaking within me.  I don't want to be here.  I want to revert.  I want to stand still and see the clock move backward.  Where are you?  Where will you be?  Shall I write you?  Will you here me?  Is my more than enough too much too soon yet?  Stab me before it's me.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dark Clouds on the Horizon

I can sleep the day away like it's lightning from a cloud.  I can dream my life away and not get an ounce of rest in return.  My days are nights and the knight has left me.  I'm in a sullen state of mind and no tears satisfy the river stream.  I have far more than enough in life and all I want is to not want more.  My desires are stuck on fast-forward while my feet won't budge from this wet cement.  I'm a stunted, shifted, stained glass dream and I have nothing to prove my existence.  I need the commonalities of others around me but I don't let my feet turn circles even.

All the words hover circles around me.  People go about their lives and I ask people to push me.  When the time comes, the push shoves, I cry out from within in despair.  "Do not touch me!  I'm fragile.  Handle with care!"

I exploit my emotions as I'm going through the motions.  I tilt my head toward corrosion and listen for explosions while it's the inside that's convulsing.  I'm nothing short of nothing.  I'm the poison inside and I'm the reason to hide.  The dreams I flee to just leave me wanting more.  The dreams I flee  are shattered fragments of myself.  I cannot fall asleep myself and wake up someone else.  I cannot live a dissipated existence and hope to find indulgence in the mundane.  I cannot meet a dress inside my bedroom window.

The words aren't flowing toward the ocean now; they're pushing me upstream.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Potential

It's the first of the year.  And isn't every day with You?  Not to put on the rosy tints, but I know You've got this.  Nor will I put on these soggy wet goggles.  I've got the letter P coming with me on this journey.  I'm an empty balloon that often thought it had already exploded but I've just had the wind knocked out of me a couple of times.

I'm making it now again.  I'm waking up and preparing to take flight.  Please don't melt my wings unless it's necessary.

To another,
     If you're going to say no, I need to hear you say it, so I can move on with my life and find a mutual yes.  I know I haven't asked you, but the question has been bubbling for months now.  We have been nearing a boil for months now.  Steady streams lead to rushing waters or dry up in empty river basins.