Month: October 2015

Being sensible doesn’t suit me

“What do you bring to the table?”

I bring myself.
Rattling cans attached to strings will follow behind me,
They clang, bang,
And some sang the blues of my insecurities.

“What can you give to the world?”
I give myself.
Shoes in hand,
I stare out into the busy intersection with cars that flash by
And think here time has raced me to the edge.

“What do you bring to the table?”
My pocket change.
Collect calls of entire minutes where I said nothing at all.
I bring the crackled plates and put them  on the decorated dining table.

“What can you give to the world?”
Doubts that run track relays,
And high jump over aspirations.
Hopes that fill entire auditoriums
And sports stands,
Where I am silently cheering how to get better.
I hug the water cups as I run to the others –
Letting the water slosh out
Onto the artificial grass.

I left the rectangular boxes blank and looked out of the window.
Whoever I would be
And whatever I would bring,
Will not fit the confinement of being everything all at once to the world or to someone

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Tangible invisibility

To understand desire,
I peeled the fibers out of flower petals
And pressed them to my mouth.
One by one,
I rubbed their scent on my skin.
Yellow pollen,
I was decorated in –
Began to attract the bumblebees.
I feared the job they must do –
Extract from me what I have taken.
Patches of sun formed lopsided shapes on the grass,
With the sun lowly present,
The shade covered most in its path.
Like a tattoo gun,
Bees vibrated against my skin,
The hairs on my arms pulsed to their rhythm.
I closed my eyes and kept my mouth shut,
This is how I want to vanish.
This is how I want to overcome what scares me the most,
Intimacy.

Campus

The tips of the leaves were fiery orange. Closer to the stem, a faint trace of green remained. Fall had settled in the pavement. Its mark was permanent as the dusty brown leaves being crunched under our shoes. In each direction, I turned and saw people absorbed with their phones and heads tucked down. Others tared down at the ground ¬†and tried to avoid the whiplashes of the cold air. Excited conversations stirred through the campus of the plans being made. One young woman’s voice rose to meet the branches of the trees. Her family would come from upstate Maine to participate in a weekend full of activities -the thrills of the hayride that her younger brother loved and the joys of having the family all together again would give her father pride.

Others like myself, walked in solitude or looked longingly into the distance where the middle of the campus was. The obscured view of the symbolic bell tower drew my attention with its rusted copper etched with green. The hedges seemed uninviting now – no one sat at the benches placed directly in front of them. The change of the frigid air had pushed all of us to stay inside. Some days being inside felt terribly crowded. Lunch and dinner hours, people were almost on top of each other with their chairs around the tables. Long lines formed to enter the cafeteria and cascaded into long lines to get food.

A few of the leaves would be swept into the entryways of each building. Their presence left an ominous feeling of dread that midterms were here. Students scrambled to attend every extra credit opportunity and professors fought with overbearing colds.

A stipend to enjoy freedom

Far off,
Where the oceans collide and slosh against their imaginary borders,
I imagine a love that sails weightless –
Tapered to ships
Carrying survivors of many wars.
Far and near,
Amber and walnut brown eyes
Find ways to interpret that their homes are in each land.
The sounds of waves crash into our ears.
Chin deep,
I come back to the fading in and out of dreams.
Closer and closer,
Salt air fills our lungs
And imaginary borders cease to exist.
Lands with statuesque trees,
And
Transparent streams with fish darting to and fro,
Run through our minds.
Far off,
The chain links of fences,
And
Concrete blocks of towering walls
dissolve mid air.
Far off,
The lines in our palms are like maps to places we haven’t been to yet.
Find me,
And we shall run barefoot against hot sands,
Bob up and down in raging waves,
And find where is it we are free.

Self- conscious

It is rude to walk ahead of someone else,
But I should open the door for them
Or I could let them lead first.
If I raise my hand,
I should formulate my response articulating my stance clearly.
The person who went before me has already stated something similar –
That might be repetitive if I speak.
It is important to not make eye contact.
I should not initiate this conversation
But I want to speak with this person,
Who is unaware that I find them – interesting.
Two times
Then one more time,
I must make sure that I appear immaculate.
Again I should
Smooth my skirt,
Rub the sides of my mouth,
Where I think food would be…
Another six times.

I looked up and almost said something.
No, I can’t.
They are walking with a group of people. Today –
They are alone but if I do say hello –
Will I bother them?
I looked at their face and immediately tucked my head down.
It is rude to stare.
(Only 5 seconds have passed)
It is cowardly to slump back and not say anything.
Shallow breathing and a pounding heart,
I avert one more time.
Do not look eager –
It could be portrayed wrong.
Follow the leads of others and you might fit in.
I carefully evaluated how fast I walked alongside my friends.
I hesitated to…
Reach for the door,
Look up,
And
Tremble out the words that lunged in every direction inside of me.
I fought with my “calmness”
I tore at it violently –
Only to plead subservient again.
It is rude to think of only myself.
Yet,
I looked in the dust of where my footprints were and saw who I really was – limping behind me.
This is what sat in my eyes,
Shifting from what time it is
And
Choosing the right thing to say
I became – a state of being
Self-conscious.

A couple of stacked boxes

***Forcing myself to write through the writer’s block…

My mind became a storage unit similar to the ones the POD companies dropped off, in parking lots of apartments and giant yards of suburban homes. Neatly, the cardboard boxes aligned the walls and started to fill out the middle of the confinement. Boxes soiled with the thoughts of last year wouldn’t close all the way. Limp cardboard flaps would not contort in ways similar to origami. Some days, I sat on the stone cold floor and folded myself in again. The air siphoning under the space between the door had numbed me then.
This is for my own well being.
Childhood flashbacks of building blocks laughed at my acquired cubes. Boxes tucked away from the world surrounded me. As I laid my head against one, my outstretched legs rubbed against other boxes. The smell of old books permeated the air, entire renditions of my life and familial history brought little or no comfort. With my past words, the tunnels I crawled through slowly closed – as does the light exposure in 35 mm cameras. Seventies style wooden furniture, bulky and clunky as platform shoes, filled each corner. On top of each piece, scattered papers of my identity were across them. Some folders were completed and stacked as tall as the ceiling in other areas.
With my knees hugged to my chest, I wondered if I would be found. Would I find myself in the wreckage? Does the recluse befriend it’s other side of being a participant?

Steadfast, we could be

Take from this heart what you will,
Lay the weapons down on the floor,
And find it in yourself this inkling to survive,
To live despite persecution, destruction and mounds of uncertainty.
Take it all,
Lift up your palms and shout,
That what moves through the trees,
As brisk as wind,
Can flow within us.
Lay the weapons down,
And
Place your hands upon one another’s hearts,
May you feel the heartbeat resound,
It’s beat shattering the silence.
Lay the weapons down,
And come home trudging through open fire,
Fighting away the unbearable heat.
Lay the weapons down,
As you look through the streams,
Rocks glistening at the bottom,
Fish darting in all directions.
Lay the weapons down,
And
Move your lips to utter prayers.
Call for forgiveness,
Place your swords in the dirt,
Let the wind kick up
And hide them as the many tombs of past ones,
Remove the guns from your hands,
See the lines running through your palm,
See the veins connecting,
Entire roads that can still go somewhere.
Somewhere that is not here,
A place that transcends all that we know.
Come now,
It is time to no longer wade waist deep in these waters.
It is time to fill our vases with water and give to those who do not have much.
Lay the weapons down,
Letting the earth take from us,
What we have created to destroy ourselves.
Come now let us sit in the rain,
Clouds shrouding overhead,
Icy drops
Tantalizing our skin.
Come now let us remember or try to,
That to lay our weapons down,
We could save ourselves from the monstrosities.
Lay them down,
Fall with many to their knees
As our prayers swirl within the wind.