Tag Archives: thoughts

My Idols are Dead and My Enemies are in Power: 2016, a Summary

Death has soaked this year to the bone,
leaving me wide-eyed,
shivering, wet.

Enough. Enough,
I beg with my palms,

but this year was a hyena,
killing for joy rather than
need.

It took my starman, it took my space princess,
it took my American dream

and just when I was beginning to feel
there was nothing left in me to take

Carrie Fisher took my heart
out to the stars somewhere
far, far away

leaving the rest of my body on Earth,
wide-eyed, shivering,
wet.

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Tell-Tale Head

My mind is a light with no off-switch.
On nights like these it leaves my body
and hovers like a ghost at the end of my bed,
kneading my sheets with restless knuckles
and staring at me in anticipation.

I want to tell it to calm down, to stop pacing,
to quit twiddling its thumbs and scratching at the door –
I’m trying to sleep here

but sleep, like an agitated cat,
never comes

and when it does,
only nudges my fingers
before darting again into the shadows.

My head is a heartbeat under the floorboards.
I grow familiar with the noise

but like Poe, am driven mad
by the drumming sounds of my own
hysterical body.

Musician in More Ways than One

Sometimes I forget I am a musician –
the way an ant probably forgets
it is an ant.

It comes as postscript,
once I’ve already introduced myself and the words
“I’m a writer” have been repeated
to the thousandth person to ask.

I wonder why I consider it
a P.S. at the end of my autobiography –
this ability to hold a violin
and somehow convince it to speak –

and then I remember how it feels
to hold a pen over paper,
so much like holding a bow over strings,
and I realize there is more than one way
to make music.

Poem-Picking

I pick poems from my mind
like berries from a bush,
reaching to where they grow thickest –
those far-up places they can stretch out
and whisper to the sun.

Some days the bush is bare,
leaving me to scavenge
the spoiled and rotten fruit
at its base.
Some days the berries are
bursting with juice and
I’m just too tired
to lift my arms and
harvest them.

And some days,
on a day like today –
when the sun smiles
and the breeze lingers –
I emerge triumphant
from my garden,
a basketful of them
swinging by my hips.

Greetings! If you are reading this, I am currently in France, where I will be exploring and picking poems for the next four weeks . My blog will remain active, as I have four more pieces scheduled to publish themselves, but I will not be here in person until late July. See you then!

The Person I Meet on the Last Page

“Right now I smell like old books. My hands scented with tired words and broken ideas. Right now I smell like paragraphs and one too many adjectives.” ~Tyler Knott Gregsonbook

There is always someone at the end of each book I finish, standing casually at the corner of the ending and the next beginning, one foot up on the wall, waiting for me with a smile and a cigarette between their fingers.

Whatever they are, they seem human. Humans made of words. They are the people who evade me at every turn as I chase them down, one exhausted, rattling breath away from giving up, one tiny thread of insane curiosity driving me forward. They’re always a step ahead of me; I, at their heels, always a fingertip’s length away from reaching out and grazing their skin. I don’t know why I run after them. I just do. It’s the only rule in this mad reality – the only routine.

The words move us forward. Each sentence tumbling on after the other is another footfall on the cold, concrete ground beneath us.

We run and we run and we run. We run in circles, we run in long strides, we run in slow motion.

Until it happens. Until my fingers slip under the paper of the last page and pull it forward, summoning a great something from the depths of the novel. Until they slip out from the words like a shadow, a shadow with a face and a name.

We meet. We might shake hands. Or we might fight and kill each other. We might simply stare into each other’s eyes and question the other’s existence.

Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes there is blood. Sometimes there is sorrow, happiness, or betrayal. But there is always something. And that is the whole point, isn’t it? We read the story for that something. That little, tiny something that either makes it worth it, or doesn’t.

There are so many people living between the sheets of parchment paper that sit on my bookshelf. So many voices calling out to be heard. I am afraid my life is not, and will not ever be, perhaps, long enough to satisfy all the hands that long to reach out and touch me, change me.

There are so many heroes to be found there. So many villains.

I want to know them all. I want to learn about their parts in this mad, forever-shifting reality of ours. I want to ask them how their stories can be so complex and yet so simple, so impossible to break down and yet so completely breakable. I want to understand the layers and layers of good and evil, mystery and fiction, romance and tragedy, and how they all pile up on top of each other until they melt like wax into our twisted little world – a world in which good people die of cancer but children build snowmen, a world in which poems are written but the lovers who write them grow cold, and a world in which sad stories are told right along with the beautiful ones.

Maybe it’s all beautiful. I’m still trying to figure that part out.

All I know is that I am a reader because I enjoy the chase. I enjoy the mountains and the waterfalls and the valleys I find myself in during my travels. I enjoy the thrill and sensation of running towards my next discovery, my new understanding. Moving from one moment to the next, dancing through an eternal string of moments, both light and dark, that brighten these hallowed halls of ours.

Because that is what we are all doing – whether we are readers, lovers, writers, poets, artists, musicians.

Running. Towards what, no one really knows.

Just keep running, and maybe someday we’ll find out.