A Fault, a Seed

The flaw runs along the length

of my pale, clay and shale torso.

A tectonic fault

brought about by wanton weather patterns

iridescent shifts

fffin the eyes

fffin the palms

forgotten hymns remixed within

embalmed Toonami psalms.

 

I learned how to plant trees as a child.

Often they grew, thanking me for the soil.

You’d think, after years of building life by

filling spaces for the betterment

of the (immediate) world

I would know how to re-purpose a shovel,

I would know that one needs to add each single, solid, soft layer

of earth, of mineral, of sand and solar love

one at a god damn time.

All the way from the bottom

up through the star

hidden in the bridge of my nose.

 

Instead, I took a 2 dimensional spoon from some cartoon on the tube
and slammed it against the surrounding edges of my canyon
smiling at the delirious, dehydrated state of the being I was, laughing at the deepening, increasingly busted state of the psyche I toiled to correct.

Shrugging sunburnt shoulders and exclaiming, with no certainty and no care for it aside, “hopefully the dust settles such that all is well and fine, the hole is filled and once again we can think about sunshine, or perhaps even a solitary emotion rooted in more than air and empty arcs.”

Would you like to know why, dear writer, you will never be worthy of the sun? Of that last cup of water, of a kiss beneath a crimson blanket as the song you hate most plays and you forget to care about the overly crusted chorus?

No matter how long you spend dreaming up a field of molten love and distant skies fit to brim with salubrious storms, no matter how many drinks you can fit behind your glazed eyes before the night is done, and no matter how few times you say “I truly despise your character”, the smoke will always fall off of that same balcony beneath the same moon and it’s neighborhood stars.

Friendly?

Ah, but no one said friendly.

It was always assumed.

Your heart is gold and your hands are cold, Halsey.

But my heart is a weak and fearful sponge, and my hands are too recklessly uncreative to find a way to say anything better about that which pumps them full of purpose, second in and second out.

I know what you’re asking, dear writer. It’s what you always ask on nights like this. Nights where, you feel you’ve finally beat enough dust into the air to hide the fact that there even is a canyon anymore. A gap of any sort. One can hardly find an uneven surface, so long as they refrain from wincing.

“What do I do? How do I finally do it? Why am I still like this, even though I am no longer like that?”

I will never have an answer better than this. This. What you are doing. Actually thinking about helping and doing your best to go and go and go until there is some sort of brighter future on the horizon, for you, or for anyone really, to chase.

Keep going. Create the horizon. You know you want to because you keep looking at it, asking, pleading, knowing it will not answer. So make it answer. Create the horizon, and dye the storms with your eyes.

I cannot help with the canyon, however. I’m a poem, not a therapist. Get a therapist, and make sure they have the right kind of shovel–the short handle one with the nice plastic grip surrounding decent iron, the one you used to plant 100 trees in a single day. Let them toil away at you, as you toil at the world. Everyone needs help. Get help.

Get help so that you yourself can help. So that you yourself can finally, maybe, perhaps at last, sing the song buried at the bottom of your canyon, the one that needs good top soil reaching all the way to the surface. The one that yes, will then need water every single day after the hole is filled and yes, the one that will need sunlight from each separate dawn until the dawn’s respective end and yes, mulch that will not simply be tossed away by the next alcoholic breeze.

You want to finally sprout? You’d like a tree that means something? A day where you finally feel worthy of a kiss, of sweet songs written with the quills of the moon?

Soil. Water. Sun. Mulch. Love.

Love throughout.

Love instead.

Love even so.

Love, in rest.

Now play me out with the droopy notes threatening to end the concert of your eyelids earlier than expected. There are jobs to do that tired folk should not be doing.

photo credit to lunacameo

Phone Poems Meaning

Alright, we will start with the first, “A Mess of Me”.

Really, to me, these poems are all about the somewhat complicated relationship Cassie and I once shared. It was a friendship fueled by…a lot of things. We needed each other. We both had neglected hearts, and though we hurt each other on multiple occasions, we were there for one another when no one else was. Don’t take that as a time thing–there were certainly times we weren’t there for each other. It was more of…emotional spaces. Places in our souls we wouldn’t share with anyone. Places we felt vulnerable. That was really the heart of it. We each allowed the other into the most vulnerable parts of our hearts. It isn’t an easy thing to do, and if you’ve ever done it you’ll know. It took time. So, now, you can apply time.

My point is, however, that we held a bond outside of time. How is that possible? Well…late night phone calls. Teens don’t need much sleep anyway, right? (They do. Parents, make your kids get proper sleep. It’s important.) You wake up, you go to school. Interactions are blurry, filtered through insecurities related to all of the open eyes and ears around you. Adults, the bane of our existence, ready at all times to silence any sort of conversation, regardless of how it could affect us to have finished, to have had that time, that exchange of words one can only share with those they hold close. After school? Parents, either forcing us to do things we didn’t want to do, or coming home early to interrupt, as if the sunlight of the dying day were etching a warning into our skin, “whatever safety you feel, it is temporary, and I will see to it.”

The moon. It gave us a light in the darkness, to be cliche. It realized, even in the shadows, there are those that need a night-borne warmth. This is where we hid. This is where we convened. Cassie was probably always the initiator, calling me in the dead of night. I would awaken to a ringtone I had set for her number alone. Either my heart would race, or my mind would set aflame, depending on the luck of the draw when it came to my mood. I would respond angrily, and Cassie would joke until I was in an okay enough mood to talk. Or, I would respond sweetly, so relieved to hear her voice, her true voice. There is something to be said for hearing the voice of a person so dear to you, when all other sounds are far away and asleep, when all lights but the moon’s have finally decided to give you space, allow you peace. It could be nothing at all, that we spoke of. It could be the most meaningful string of sentences ever related. It really didn’t matter in the end, because it was all equal. It all occurred in our world. No one could touch those words, and no one ever did. It was the one piece of our lives that wasn’t ruled. Our secret. No one and no thing had command over the beginning or the end, aside from our physical capacity. It was a world outside of time, inside the space between our hearts.

The problem oftentimes was…well, hormones. Among other things. I wanted more out of the relationship, ignoring the clear signs that this would, in fact, ruin everything. Cassie knew this. Both sides of it. She used it to her advantage at times, and I fell for it. There is nothing to hold against either of us there, mind you. We were kids. We were kids who were in love with the idea of someone else being there, who would truly be there. She experienced loss like I could never imagine, and abandonment beyond. I had no one but my mother, who, for a time, emotionally abandoned me for a man who hated me. No other friend could understand. No one knew the kind of loss Cassie had been through, and certainly any male friend I told about my problem would respond with something along the lines of, “maaan, I would just beat the shit out of him”, as if I could punch away the one person who let my mother live without the aching hole of loneliness. No, we were two kids–people, really. Only limited by our age and, consequentially,  developmental processes–who finally found someone to trust. No matter how angry we would get at one another, how painfully we would lash out…we still knew we had each other. Through the failures and the silences, if the world were ending and asking for blood, we would die for one another. And, at the very least in our minds, this was more than anyone else on the planet was willing to sacrifice for us. I wish I could explain the feeling…but true love, in all its various forms, has always proven difficult to translate.

I believe that covers it, at least enough to understand what I’m talking about when dissecting these poems, which weren’t even written by us. Our phones seem to be pretty wise, or the universe in all of its infinite randomness just so happened to make sense for once. Here we go.

 

 

“I wanna be the best friend

and you can be

a mess of me.

A forever,

and I never repent your heart.”

 

It is important to note that this first poem is one of two voices, mine and hers. This part, I believe, is in my voice. I would profess to want to be the best friend to her, forever and always. For that to happen, she would have to deal with everything that was me and my issues with commitment. It is clear, here and back then, that I wanted more, even though I would say I only wanted friendship. One has trouble hiding their heart, especially as an awkward teenager. The last line goes into how I believe I never hold it against her heart that it never reciprocates these “hidden” emotions.

 

“…but,

you know “that” would never dream.

You have to be the god of me

to be a mess

because, God–

Mother is my life.”

 

Her voice. In response to mine. “That” being the idea of me never holding it against her heart, she clearly knows is not true. I expressed anger towards her many times, and some of these times were certainly due to the frustration with our relationship not going where I thought I wanted it to go. She is at once putting me in my place, and consoling me. It would never “dream”…she keeps it in the night, our safe space. “to be a mess” in this poem translates to being in a fullblown relationship. To be in a mess with her, I would need to be the god of her. I would need to be everything and beyond to her. Which, whether she knew it or not, was simply something I could never ever have given at the time. Not even a little bit. “because, God–” she shouts to the heavens something that is the most true part of her soul. She needs redemption. “Mother is my life.” Motherhood, her mother, her being a mother. All of these things, in one. It spells death and life intertwined within her timeline, on multiple occasions. She needs to be a mother, to be the mother she never had, to give a child the life and the love a child deserves. Otherwise, her heart will never truly be whole. As such, she professes this to me, knowing full well I am not the man to help her realize this yearning in her soul.

 

“You will make my day,

(God bless her).

and, I hope you’re happy too, because,

I am

eventually, happy.”

 

Both of us. The first line is hers, the second mine, a soliloquy. The rest are shared. She lets me know that any particular day will be made brightest because of me, but as a whole, I am not the one to light up her entire life. I concede this, hoping the God she may or may not have faith in, blesses her as he/she has failed to in the past. We both realize the other is not truly happy, and that we can only do so much for one another at this point. Time has passed, clearly. But we assure each other, that happiness will be found, at some point.

 

You came, you.

So I could be happy too.”

 

The old Harry Potter/Voldemort duality, but much more sweet and much less “rawr I’m a bad guy look at me and my evil!” Both of our voices. Thanking one another for their respective existence, for coming into being as nothing more than who we truly were as naked, vulnerable individuals. If not for the time and secret space we shared, we might not be alive. Yes, we lack true happiness where things stand. But, despite that, because we had each other at one point, and still do to some extent, we have a real chance at happiness. We helped forge each other’s hearts to live this long. The poem ends with mutual appreciation.

 

Now, onto the next poem. The response, “Those Games”.

‘Those Games” really is a response to the feelings I felt that went without reciprocation. It is an acknowledgement of her desire to be what I wanted, and also that she could never be that, or trust me to fulfill my role that would be much needed in such a partnership.

 

“I wanna play those kinds of games.

haha…

That’s been my life.

and,

I was wondering

what you want.”

 

The first line on its own is a playful response to me wanting more. Emotionally, sexually, she acknowledges it, and lets it slide away with neither reciprocation or, really, true affirmation. Maddening for the teenage boy, necessary for someone who wants the love of a nice young boy but doesn’t want to push him away by outright telling the sensitive little miscreant, “I do not want you in that way at all, not even a bit”. Then, she laughs a humorless laugh. Her life has been  a series of “games” for her, because all she can do is play her part and hope she survives. She says and does things she doesn’t truly believe in, just to survive. It is truly a modern and tragic appropriation of the human condition, in all its unfortunate failings. She allowed me the knowledge of this pain, the existence of it. Not the full story, but the effects. It was all she could part with. I was lucky to have that much. Then, she addresses the real problem with my “desire”, but also asks a question from the modern day us. “What do you want”, teen Billy? What do you really want? What can you provide, in exchange? How do you think it could work? You haven’t considered it much, have you? Just your dreams. Blurry, unrealistic, unsolidified feelings. “What do you want”, modern Billy? What do you want out of life? What drives you now? I am as lost as you, and as one whom I allowed so close, I was just wondering what you thought of life, and of your purpose within it.

 

“…and then I get home and honestly,

I think it’s best to

listen to your heart, and

soul into

…a lot of patience.”

 

She falls back into her comfort zone. Her home. Her family, with her reliable husband, her adorable child, her faithful dog. A perfectly non-perfect zone of normal life. One must simply listen to their heart here, let it release its secrets. Then the soul, and the verb form of soul, “To afford suitable sustenance”. One must fuel the patience in this regard. It may, and will, take a while to find what needs to be heard…but the pause. The pause gives pause. Even she is not certain. What if no amount of listening, renders her dreams truly heard?

 

“With me–

and we have a lot more than “once”, so

I can just stay by you and I love you–

I just don’t think

I’ll ever play this game, though.”

 

She explains her point of view on the entire issue of “us”. We have had more than one altercation, concerning this issue. I told her my feelings, and she hugged me, telling me she didn’t want to lose me as a friend. The time we were on the phone, and everything I said was right, and the way she said “…Bye”, with a slight pause, with a voice that said, “in this moment, on this day, I am yours, and you are mine”. The time I was in college and we confessed more physical feelings. It all dances around, teases the notion, of a real, tangible, all-the-way connected relationship with one another. Because of this, all that we have weathered, she knows she can trust me enough to stand by me, to always feel confident in looking me in the eyes and saying, “I love you”…it just goes back to the game. The game she played with me. Now we playfully call back to that. It isn’t a game she is playing anymore, and…the true form of the game? Us, actually together? It isn’t something she will ever do. Hell, it isn’t something I would do. I’m sure, reader, you want to know why. Well, let’s look at the next lines. The final lines, of both poems.

 

“I was just hoping to get to

the secret of the world.”

 

We…were unlike anything else to one another. The secret meeting in the moonlight. The unresolved curiosity. The lovers who were not lovers, yet loved deeply still. This part can actually be from both of our voices. We saw true beauty in one another. Unending. Something we saw nowhere else. The secret of the world, written between late night conversations.

So, the answer?

The answer here is the answer she gave my silly desires.

No. No, and. Do not ruin true beauty just because your base desires long for more. If you want to find what makes life beautiful, keep looking. The secret of the world is written there, somewhere, in between the lines. Let your heart break, let pieces that should fit together fall apart. Nothing is so simple. Love is the path to the secret of the world, but what they don’t tell you is all of the twists and turns love can really take. Let them. Let love, in its infinite beauty and chaos, leave your life in its wake. Keep doing that, until you find the answer we are all looking for. And then–only then–report back with your answer.

 

 

 

The Clouded Sun

(This is a piece about a character I have previously worked with. I believe there are other pieces with him on this blog, but it has been a while. Anyway, hope you enjoy!…Mark pieces are always strange.) 

Mark knew it was time to hang up his coat, but he just could not bring himself to release the fabric nestled firmly between his fingers. Both hands gripped at the shoulders of his medium length brown jacket with the aspiring-to-truly-be-wood buttons. It was unclear to him why he would feel such an attachment to this coat on this particular day, as the snow had finally ceased for the time being.

Mark decided to simply wear it. Then, halfway to donning the oaken fabric, he paused. Mark returned to his previous position–arms in front of him, fingers gripping the shoulders of the coat. The warm coat. The dustless, soft, burdenless cloth…

I am unable to release the one thing in this world capable of shielding me from the least bit of harm. You see them, hung across the mantle of everyone from tall and gray to portly and crumpled up on the sidewalk. What is the average being to do without a piece of fur to call their very own? The sun is the great betrayer, promising us all warmth and comfort, only to leave us without so much as dry land with which to bring about sustenance. The crippling anxiety of the End, creeping up all around us as the trees breath their final breaths and the animals hide away from the world, damning it for all it has taken from them. Why are we so cursed? Why must the crusted ice of the sill spell so much doom in our deepest of hearts? We do not grow from the seed that sprouted alongside the brightest day, nay. We are the forfeiture of a long forgotten failure, we are the final product of what lived through death and kept going despite all signs of the Apocalypse posted around our parking spot. We brush the snow away from our windshields to live our normal lives and forget that we are the seed that held out. We are the cave dwellers and the food hoarders. We are the fearful, the murderers, the intruders. We are the seed that survived by any means necessary. The world tried to tell us our time was up, and instead we devoured each other, we devoured our own kin, and for what but fear? We know not what lies beyond the gates of the dying woods, and so we quiver and tremble and viciously grasp at scraps and tangle with the desperate need to let go, and the urgent flow of blood and marrow telling us “NO”. Thus we lived and what have we to show for it? We tremble yet but subtely so, behind our coats and our cars and our lies of fine days. We do not care for the planet that tried everything in its power to get rid of us, as we are a parasite and always have been. Yet we lived, and now in spiteful greed we strike back, living as best we can even in the seasons of slow demise. We do everything to take from the planet what made it green and lively and great, and we cover it with gray, the staunch and silent gray it tried to silence us with. We are a mean, hateful entity. We do not live and forgive, but try to make this great round beast feel the pain we felt long ago. Some disagree and try to reason with those of wallets aburst, but they are truly the lucky ones. Those with the most look at all their surplus and all they can see is what their deepest heart truly fears–their stockpile freezing over, decaying, leaving them alone and cold and quiet. Thus they are louder, more greedy than ever, and they–we–will not stop until we have the impossible number, the very soul of Terra torn from the flesh of the Earth in our grasp, giving us the sun itself, bottled and tame. All we wanted was warmth and peace, and in taking that from us, with each passing orbit, we became evil. We are born with the knowledge, the silent hatred of powers outside our grasp. You made us this way, and now, though you are stronger, we will make sure you come down with us.

…Mark blinked a soft blink. Through his lashes, he could see sunlight through wetness. Dew, and daylight, with oaken warmth beyond.

With a nod, he put his coat on its respective rack. He made sure it was not touching any other jackets in the area, and made his way to his desk, giving a wave here, a smile there.

Clouded, the sun slept.

I Mean, How Do We Know?

People who attempt suicide say they become overwhelmed with thoughts of how they don’t want to end it all. They remember their lives, and think of what they are truly worth.

 

I mean, isn’t that just our survival mechanisms kicking in? I would say it’s our biology taking advantage of our clearly-feeble emotions in order to continue the existence of our being, since like…I dunno, that’s what instincts do.

So how does one know, in that moment, if they really do want to end it all? Someone certainly does, right? It cannot be that every life taken by the one who previously lived it was one worth living. There are some shitty feelings felt by people, and some see no end in sight.

 

I’m just asking, y’know. How do we know?

 

I like how this post is the first in a while, and it’s all suicide-y and lightly seasoned with tin foil. It’s like, when people go through my shit at the end of my life, they can be like, “well here you can see the post where his mind began to truly falter. Sad, sad tale, that one. Such a great man, with his medium height and lack of ambition. He really could have been something!”

 

ART.

Time, the Asshole

What ever made you think

all of the stipulated sun fire

would lash in the shape

of another’s eyeball?

 

How could the world be any different than it already is from itself?

Even if a time machine was born tomorrow

I think it might opt out

stop itself from existing

before trying to fix any of the

leaks,

or shaky columns

stood upon by

shoes with stomped heels and

sockless toes.

 

Stray mountain,

stay until sunrise.

I’m in need of a

blanketed eclipse.

 

It doesn’t really matter to me

that the blue wanes.

The crescent solstice of moody wakefulness

barks madly at every passing misconception.

Startled, the whisper wanders.

Trying to find light in the logic,

fearing, worse,

that it was blacked out long ago.

 

 

What is it when a dandelion sings better than your previous stirring? How can I even write when I fear the very eyes that would be able to tell me whether or not I’m mad? I cannot begin to fathom the ways in which a cloud turns and does not regret turning in the first place. What does it matter if it avoids the rain? A stray piece of lightning, or a thunder’s quiet aftershock will inevitably break apart the majestic puffy balance of the whole. Eleven hours later and there is no need for worry. It is another day, and that day comes with its worries. There should always be a Tuesday part two, where we get to go over the day with a thin pronged comb, try to even out the messes left on the table, on our brows. Even if you feel as if you did all you could, we have always been told to double check our work, just to be sure we didn’t leave any questions unanswered. “But still, I do not wish to look back.” Well some of us do, so why don’t you take the day to get some extra sleep? “I do not think there is anything for me in the land of my dreams.” You are sadly mistaken. Many desires that will forever go unfulfilled lie in wait for the sleeping ball of blue. And so what if the fine tuning of a day lasts forever? Who are you to decide for me that I should not repeat the same day in order to get it just right, just the way I want it to go? Why should I just go with the flow of you? Time, you’re an asshole. You always have been. No one wants to say it anymore, they just want to adapt, as is their nature, MY nature. I don’t want to. I want to go against your stupid endless flow and make my own god damn river, and you’re a huge dickbag for not letting me. I get that you’re bigger and more powerful, and no one can stop you. I don’t care. You’re already going to kill me, so I might as well take some of you out of my day to call you on your bullshit. I can’t believe you.

 

Skip ahead to the final moments when I realize it was all for nothing. You’re just waiting for the final, breathless punchline to tie a pretty pink bow around your perfect little joke. I get it. Haha.

 

You’re so predictable, it hurts. When will you finally get tired of seeing me hurt? When is it my turn? When do i get to punch a clock in its stupid face and hear you say “ow”?

I could drink. I did smoke. I don’t want to do either, really. There are a million things I would like to do. Because of you, I either can’t do them, or am to afraid to do them, for fear of losing my roof and my bread.

People don’t deserve to be evil. You just force it upon them and laugh till your sides split, opening up more room for the bitter, smoke-laden countdown to never.

 

If I had a pocketwatch, I would turn it back and just pretend. Even the idea of stealing back what you’ve taken from me is more satisfying than spending another one of your overpriced seconds.