2.25 – A Freeform Verse with Anger and Birds

Standard

2.25

A Freeform Verse with Anger and Birds

You dive bomb like a blue jay
You’re as faithless as a crow
I watch you peck and rend and bend
The old things that I know

You screech just like a magpie
You’re catbird cruel in show
I watch you peck and flick and prick
The old ways that I know

You frighten like the night owl
You’re a wasteful, spiteful sparrow
I watch you peck and shake and break
The old joys that I know

So where did I misplace my dove
Where is my cardinal true
Who took away my joyful thrush
And left me here with you?

Perhaps I am the grackle
The junco deep in snow
Perhaps it’s I who let you fly
Away with what I know.

****

I think I’ll work on this one. I love birds, and I don’t know why I went to such an angry place with the bird imagery.

2.24 Rosaries

Standard

Rosaries

For my first communion, my Grandmother bought me white shoes.
Shiny white shoes, and white socks with ruffles.
At a store I ran my hands along the rows of rosaries
Watching the light catch the faceted beads
Of so many, many Hail Marys.
Now it’s your turn.
I try to pull up the location of that crystal curtain
Try to remember something more adult.
But all I can remember are my tiny hands,
running fingers along the future prayers of others,
Looking down at my new ruffled socks
And imagining that the right pair of communion shoes
Would make me popular in church.

2.23 – A Fleeting Thought

Standard

2.23 A Fleeting Thought

I had a really good line earlier today.
Something about poets.
Something about…the heart.
A poet is the patient soul
Who picks at the knots of the heart
Spinning out the twisted strings,
Lays them flat to better expose the bruises
And admire the bright beating glories.

Was that it?
Not half bad.
Except I think at some point it rhymed.

2.21, 2.22 (All Caught Up!)

Standard

2.21 Tell Us Something that Makes you Unique

Here is my name.
Here is my address.
Here is my employment history.
I snuck into the temple of Artemis once.
Here are my salary requirements.
Here are my references.
Here are my transcripts.
I cracked a cinder block on a man’s stomach with a sledgehammer.
Here is my Microsoft proficiency.
Here are my administrative skills.
Here is my payroll background.
I can catch snakes.
Here is why I’m applying
Here is why you should hire me.
Here is who I am.
I am nothing like my papers.

Lately I’ve been noticing job applications that ask for the applicant to say something “unique” about themselves. I’m not sure how I feel about this. You have potentially hundreds of people, all already trying to impress with all the things that they were *told* would get them work (internships, degrees, certifications, etc.), and now you want them to stand out by being quirky? It strikes me as a little unfair. Students fresh out of college, mid-level executives – they’re looking hard looking for work to pay their bills and support themselves, and now they/we must also do a little dance. And I fail to see how my stint breaking cinder blocks on a man makes me any more or less qualified to answer phones or run Quickbooks.

2.22 Strong Garments

You’re always telling me to
“Put on my big girl panties and deal with it.”
I assume by this you mean a thong,
Because when I was little I wore practical underwear.
There were trees to climb
And games of kickball to play.
A thong is not going to help me deal with anything
Except visible panty lines.
Which, I guess, is a pretty big crisis.
Isn’t it?

2.18 – 2.20

Standard

2.18  Soul Holiday

We all have times when we have nothing to offer.
We all endure hard internal silences
of profound depth and horrifying stillness.
In that panic, I have decided
That my soul has not left me.
Rather, my soul is on a holiday.
Enough, she says, of drudgery,
And off she goes on a spiritual retreat.
It comforts me in times when I reach down deep
And fail to even inspire my hair to grow.
When I feel empty and hollow,
I assume my soul is somewhere sunny,
Where there is uplifting music
With a whiff of mint in the air.
If I’m lucky, she’ll bring me back a souvenir
When she settles into my heart once more
Her gift to me is the desire to dream once more.

2.19 Paper Thin (a Negative Response to Getting Shellacked in a Forum)

We are encouraged to have thick skins.
Mine was always a little transparent,
And so I worked at it.
Layer by layer.
Thickening up my mental scabs.
Rejection, insult, dismissal.
All making me impervious to harm.
Surprising, that my armor
Proves to be so brittle
In the fury of unquenchable scolding!
How fragile I am!
How easily bruised my ego!
It turns out that growing a thick skin
Does absolutely nothing to protect your pride,
Which rides on your back like a hero’s cape
Fully capable of getting sucked into
The void of anonymous criticism.

2.20 – Oh, Internet! (a Goofy Response to getting shellacked in a Forum)

I upset the internet today.
I forgot how touchy it can be.
I thought you read the book, you see.
I gave no major twist away.

Knowledge is easy, my Internet
You give it freely every page
It’s difficult to fully gauge
What will make you swear and fret

But apparently today it’s I
Who got you foaming up in rage
In a single line on a single page
I made you hate me, made you cry

I hope that you’ll forgive my wrong
You’ll recover from my vicious ways
That in your future, virtual days
Oh, Internet, that you’ll be strong!

And something tells me I’m already gone
That in the space of a poem’s time
By the time I’ve finished my silly rhyme
You’ll have already moved on!

Time heals all wounds they say. I got yelled at for a very minor thing on an internet forum. I usually try to not involve myself online in any way that is confrontational, partly because I have a visceral dislike of the extremes of internet voices, and partly because I want to be liked and the easiest way to do that online is to be unobtrusive and vague. I got excited a couple of days ago and apparently “ruined” a plot point. I’ve never had a group of people turn against me that fast – it went from “Amazing! I agree!” To “EFF YOU YOU STUPID ASSHOLE HOW DARE YOU EXIST IN THE WORLD?!” in the space of ten seconds.

I’ve been confronted by people in person, so I recognize in my body the signs of feeling like I’m in a fight. The difference here was that there was no real target, no opponent. These were faceless strangers, intangible but full of anger. Probably what Hell will be like for me – just a bunch of loathing, patronizing strangers hating on me for all eternity.

Having had a couple of days in which to ruminate on the horrid culture which has spawned within the context of “online culture,” I recognized that ultimately it was a small matter in a small place which will probably never impact my life save for the night of stomach cramps I had over wondering how or if I was supposed to respond. Which is why I wrote the sillier, second poem. I rhyme because it makes me feel better about things. The symmetry of rhyme gives me closure, in the same way that planting flowers puts things in perspective. Oooh, I should write some more gardening poetry! Gotta jet!

2.17

Standard

The Value of Sadness

In our quest to never be sad
We saturate ourselves in corgis playing with balls
Pandas rolling off logs
Bats stretching
And cats failing to be catlike.
In our quest to never be sad
We SQUUUEEEEEE
And LOLOLOLOL
And have “all the feels.”
Because we have decided that feeling sad is the pits.

And it is.
And it should be.

There is strength in sadness.
Sadness is empathy.
The ability to see that all is not shiny
Proves our link to each other.
Happiness is a lovely thing,
But to drown in happiness is ignorance writ large
in an unending stream of sloth .gifs

Sadness forces quiet.
Screech joy, whisper condolences.
We fear seeing hearts in pain
Lest we be reminded of our own scars
Lest we be reminded in moments of quiet
That we have our own interior ash piles,
Remnants of fires we savored and lost.

—-

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of animal videos on my Facebook as of late. And by all the caps lock joy from my adult friends who simply “Can’t even!” with “all the feels!” That lack of specificity, that need to be exuberant always strikes me as unhealthy. Almost as much as the flip-flop between overly joyful and needing hugs posts that populate my wall. It’s as though we’re now operating on this extreme teeter-totter, where on the one hand it’s screaming unintelligible sounds of happiness, and the other is sad emoticons and over-zealous counter emoticons.

Just feel sad – let yourself feel sad. It’s not like you won’t feel happy again. And maybe feeling happy after feeling low will feel better than being made to feel like your sadness is not wanted.

Desperately Catching Up Part II

Standard

See? I can write poetry every day! Seriously, look!

2.13
Rooster’s Translation
(Sung as a sort of folksy tune)

Cock-a-doodle-doo
And how do you do?
The sun is up and shining bright!

Cock-a-doodle-doo
You know it’s true,
I do not sing at night!

Cock-a-doodle-doo
And how do you do?
Have you seen my lovely hen?

Cock-a-doodle-do
I’m feelin’ blue
When will I see her again?

Cock-a-doodle-do
And how do you do?
I’ll sing another song!

Cock-a-doodle-do
Here’s what you should do-
Come on and sing along!

2.14
Sitting in a Balcony

When the lights come up I realize
You are the not the handsome fling I hoped for.
I actually know you.
You know me.
We’re…alumni.
Oh, cruel house lights!
You signal more than the end of the play –
You are the end of a double daydream.

2.15
Old Chair

You’re sitting on my mother’s chair.
I folded socks on it.
Pouted on it.
Watched “Willow” a dozen times on it.
When we moved, we donated the chairs, ottoman, and that green couch.
And now you’re slouched on it.
You, with your blue sneakers,
Unruly hipster head of curls,
Furiously twitching on your phone
You’re sitting on my mother’s chair.
At least unbend your knee off the armrest.

2.16
Cloud Bank

Above the night cloud bank
Cities shine pale grey.
Like light sonar pulses, gently calling
We’re here.
We’re here.

I see you and smile.
You’ll catch me one way or another, darlings.