My Name

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My Name

My name is proficient, businesslike.
It has the ability to be punctual.
It requires little effort.
Yet when sighed in pleasure, or called in happiness,
My ears gloss over the familiar corners of my identity
And turn my name into a new conglomeration
Composed of unfamiliar vowels and consonants.
I cannot hear my name spoken in joy.
It sounds foreign, a strange sound of exaltation.
That surely cannot be my name.
You cannot be referring to me.
That would mean that my name has other capabilities
Beyond my standard identifiers.
Who is this person you speak of?

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4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 for Good Measure

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The past few days, I’ve been toying with free-form verses that have a vaguely hip-hop aesthetic. I’m usually terrible at this, but then that’s the point of practicing, right? And that would be the point of this monthlong endeavor – to practice stretching out muscles and learning some new tricks!

Enjoy!

Post-Booze Brainstorm (4.7)

Buzzed with booze, a brain
Firing neurons terrified to lose
The wisdom of cups and relaxed blood flow
Is not done thinking
Chasing the siren song to dawn
Tied to the mast of exhaustion
Sinking in the unknown

Falling in Rain (4.8)

In Japan, it rains so heavily,
umbrellas are barely a remedy,
Rainfall patters out a melody where
I fall like a drop into reverie
Mess with the rhyme scheme
and pay a heavy penalty.
Soon words wild in anarchy
Make forms flown to thunderstorm cacophony
Little April showers ripped of all their piety
Best use that umbrella to fend off your anxiety
Lest you run down gullies of depravity
And settle into puddles of stagnant mediocrity.

Grey day Walking (4.9)

My mind is a Jane Eyre grey
Pinched in, cinched in every way
Until my voice goes quiet
And I lose the need to speak
People become my visual cues
Not to cross the streets
Muted eyes rest on blind sights
Unable to recognize my own fights
With attic-dwelling feelings
And a hollowed chest sounds a lone note
Suggesting fiery heights
Of deeper meaning
Lost in the repetition of day-to-day pattern
I do not wonder or wander, yet I do yearn
And hear the premonition
That the destruction of my worldly goods
Signal a break from Jane Eyre grey
And the woulds, coulds, and shoulds
Give way to brighter days.

Sakura Haikus….Part 1?

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Sakura Haikus…Part 1? (4.3)

Sakura sending
Friends into a frenzy of
Instagram photos

Under the blossoms
Spring up gardens of people
Faces turned upward

These weeks in Japan
Of well-organized madness
For tiny flowers

My supermarket
Has a sakura section
Tents, blankets, and booze

Stopping at each tree
At this rate we will never
Get to work on time

Each blossom must fall
Fragile, fragrant, and fleeting
Treasure the moment

Gunmetal Eyes

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Gunmetal Eyes

Unfair, those grey and blue eyes!
Like naval ships cresting the waves of the sea.
Enough to send my lovely morals and scruples
Tumbling down like crisp autumn leaves.

How can you possess such cruelty?
Blithely blink them about without being aware
I’m ill-equipped to fight beguilement right now.
My heart’s whisked away, all devil-may-care.

Maturity’s grand – thank God for my years
I can keep my giddy young skipping steps in
And you, well-removed, cast your gaze all about
Breaking hearts in the wake of your gunmetal sin.

I must force my feet forward from you
Lest I break this plum silence with words
A visual dalliance is good for a gal
Conversation is a step too absurd!

Have you ever been captivated by a pair of eyes? I’m in my thirties – I’ve seen a lot of eyes in my life so far. It’s rare that a pair get my attention a la a high school flirtation level. But at GenCon this year, I met a French illustrator with the most swoon-worthy eyes. And unlike this cheeky poetical version, I did summon up the courage to talk to him (and show off my rusty French language skills!). I think that is something I really like about being in my thirties – I’m not afraid to go up and speak to people. The high-school version of me might have done it, but more than likely would have just stared and blushed and walked away, silent.

2.18 – 2.20

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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!

Brunch Sonnet

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A Sonnet about Brunch

(Because poets get hungry for fancy mid-morning meals)

Do not deny me my sweet Benedict-

On muffin toasted with a slice of ham.

Nor keep from me the fruit bowl freshly picked-

I must consume while still in the a.m.!

A bloody Mary at the table place

And fill the plate with creamy béchamel!

Let crumbs of croissant gently dust my face

Give me a sampling of the jams as well.

Slice the cantaloupe so thin and sweet

Bring me the juice, the cheese, and rich honey

I will take all the pastries and the meat

But portions at the peak of modesty

You never will from brunch avert my ways

For I will eat until the hollandaise!