A Jazzy tune for Trudging

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A Jazzy Tune for Trudging

Under the soles of my feet
These Yokohama streets roll by and by
Ants in a rat race
Rats in a shark tank
Watching all the people scurry by
Pressing, pressing,
Onward and ever upward and outward
Pressing, pressing,
Onward and upward and outward
And sky high

Through the souls of the streets
A hundred thousand feet walk by
Goodbye
Jumping for the brass rings
Jostling in the straightaways
Eyes never looking to the sky
Pressing, pressing,
Forward and up toward with eyes cast downward
Pressing, pressing
Working till the bones run dry

Under the soles of my feet
These Yokohama streets pass by
Goodbye

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Jinxed

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Jinxed

The day when door handles have malice
Is the day to stay very still.
Be mindful of stacks, for they will fall off even the most stable of surfaces.
You will find you are out of everything you need in the moment.
A day when Headphones fritz and bluetooth fails.
When you walk to buy groceries, walk back for forgotten bread,
And walk back again for the forgotten umbrella
(The umbrella thanks you by folding repeatedly in the wind)
The day when the noise is too loud, the sky too grey
Is the day to sit in one place.
Wet spaces are treacherous.
Voices are grating.
Doublespeak and double meaning are doubly amplified
In ears that are incapable of hearing melodies.
The day when the oranges belie their color,
The day when shoes untie themselves ad nauseam,
These are the days of sprites and revenge,
Days to avoid scales, avoid lovers, avoid pens,
And huddle quietly for tomorrow.

Doki Doki

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Doki Doki

Mock poetry at you own risk.
Poetry proves that in words
We see the souls of others
Ripped free of constraint.
This may lead to violence, broken bones,
And out of focus eyes that shine a bit too brightly
In sunlit classrooms.

Poetry, oft-maligned, self-aware poetry
Is emotion deflected with cute words that wrap around and protect us
In soft, soft, crushingly soft language, muffling our voices till they are only unintelligible sounds and gasps for air.

We cannot look at poetry breaking down
Without seeing the person breaking down in tandem
This is horrifying.
Self-reflexive preservation pushes us back
From meters that make no sense, sentence fragments, bits of math tumbling from a demented mouth.

And all those short skirts, bright hair, scripted sighs
Won’t save you from the poetry.
Beautiful, broken poetry that daintily reels you in and snaps your neck
With the efficiency of a full stop.

Mock poetry at your own risk.
Learn the lessons of language young.
Save yourself.

***

I did not play through “Doki Doki Literature Club.” I watched a GameGrumps let’s play, so I got to watch this unnerving game from a distance. Even that was not enough to save me from being affected. So, if you like games that will make you uncomfortable, go check it out. I guess, for the rest of us, there is poetry to save us.

Awareness

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Awareness

By and large, our bodies are neutral.
Diligent, methodical, invisible.
We know we have joints, muscles, tendons, bones.
Until we look in a mirror we forget about the whole
Because it is not critical, not present.
Impact and illness are rebukes.
We do not feel our feet until they strike the ground.
We are not aware of our skin until it is hot, cold, or being caressed.
My throat sits silently under my chin, until it is in pain.
Then I am made fully aware of a tube in my body pushing air painfully in and out.
I hear you body.
I have made contact.
Fingers to throat, tender and aware,
Suddenly finding thin skin and gentle bends
How long have you been this way?
And how do I make you invisible again?
That is the goal – to keep the whole from fragmenting.

One Place to Start Loving Myself

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One Place to Start Loving Myself

Today it will be the top of my calf.
It’s a good place to start.
A place to start loving myself.
You’re not so bad, top of calf
You have an elegant curve.
You haven’t been sore today.
You let me jump a few inches off the ground in cardio
With you on my side,
I might not be so bad
So unappealing
So doomed…

It’s a start.

Burnout

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Burnout
I can see the silent prayer in your shy dog eyes –
“Please do not see me.”
I try to meet your gaze, but you side-eye anything else, face blank.
Anything but visually confirm my looking at your blank paper.
I can see the subtle jitter of your fingers texting under the desk.
The promise of attention, or at least the facade of practiced indifference,
now lies broken at both our feet.
As I plaster on a smile and grab a piece of chalk
I turn to the board
Chipper as an axe
And announce for the twelfth week in a row
“What kinds of music do you like?”
Three weeks from now, you will roll your gaze to one side
and ask, monotonous
“What do you like music?”
Then I will snap your pencil in my mind, smile, set it down
like a trophy for my patience, and hope for brighter things.

Tough Feet

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Whenever I touch the tough patches on my feet,
I wonder if I could pass as a lady.
I have soft arches, spots which have rarely touched the earth.
But the balls of my feet are solid.
I can tap on them and they talk back to me.
I remember The Moon Lady, Gone with the Wind,
and that episode of the Simpsons.
A rich girl’s feet, a lady’s hands, a seamstress’ finger.
Where am I on this spectrum of skin?
Am I Girl of the Limberlost solid?
Am I Grapes of Wrath durable?
What do I get to aspire to be,
When my feet are hard from walking on gravel
and my hands are tough from climbing up trees?
I tap my feet and wonder –
Do ladies get to have such fine things as callouses?