This blog is a collection of poetry, musings, and wounds that reopen at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m., sometimes with no discernible forewarning.
Pain is a universal language and the human condition is its most intricate medium.
Whoever you are, you matter, and this existence is a shared thrill and agony; my hand is holding yours with a pen that writes in all our human blood.
A revisin of the original written 18 april 2020.
Dear whisper at the heel of my soul,
I have to ignore your instruction.
I have to hold him from an arm’s lengths away
because truly, I hear you,
and I know we want to be close to him
and we want to stargaze in a quiet space,
and maybe we aren’t dreaming of kissing him yet
but you’re dangerous,
and I’d rather give somebody wings to fly
than ever hold them captive.
I have lived and I’ve suffered and grieved
and laughed and cried long enough to know
that I am (dangerously) impermanent;
that I can’t be a fixture in someone else’s life
when I have so little life left to live.
Unlike honeybees, the yellow jacket stings more than once.
She boasts aggression, is territorial,
and her mate dies after he’s outlived his use (to her).
You’re frantic, buzzing at the mosquitero,
chewed up by the years this house was laid to waste
because you couldn’t stand up to another ex
who found someone else to use.
And, my breathing is wheezing,
you’re still around in my peripheral,
while I’m passing out, the world an angry watercolor,
my throat swollen, I’m drenched in sweat.
My laptop recently died and I am not good with typing on mobile tech which hurts my joints. I have been focusing energy on reading andself-educating and did not update the site in regards to the laptop debacle, which I’d more or less foreseen two weeks ago. I have additionally been going through serious personal hardships, both emotionally and medically, that I have been having to deal with. I have not abandoned this site and plan to return. Thank you for your patience.
Dream journal. This entry carries a trigger warning for emotional abuse, trauma, shame, and guilt, along with survivor’s guilt.
When I wrote Dear Persephone as part of the Jean-Marc Lederman Experience’s anthology album, I acted irresponsibly in my writing. I had been reminded of the editing window and instead of rereading and revising, I let the window pass, endeavoring not to think about the project itself for private reasons. I owe an apology to the BIPOC communities for the misuse of the closing: “rest in power.” It was inappropriate, and as someone who is a survivor and LGBT but not directly affected by systemic racism (as I am a white-passing non-Black POC), the phrase was still not mine to use, and I’m sorry for appropriating it and furthermore, my irresponsible negligence up to this point.
Additionally, I need to note that I had not yet come to terms with the traumas I endured in the last few years of my life prior to this collaboration, and that I was unwise and hasty with multiple decisions I made within the context of this project. Through further distancing from my past environment, I have grown in both my self and social awareness, exponentially even in just the past few months, and for my own healing and for private reasons, I cannot support this project. This is not me excusing my negligence but instead explaing there were other problems regarding my involvement in this project for extremely personal reasons.
Moving forward, I deign to be more conscious of how I use language. As a writer, survivor, and someone whose (re-)connection to their own voice and identity has been integral to their own recovery, I respect the power of words, the importance of identity, and the role of both in either fortifying or dismantling unjust systems.
This apology was written prior to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis PD officers on 25 May. I would like to add the following articles, civil rights resources resources, and organizations in the wake of the recent killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis PD officers:
https://eji.org/ -> https://eji.org/news/tragic-death-of-george-floyd-reveals-continuing-problem-of-police-violence/
“[…]But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”Margaret Atwood
The best mariners love the ocean,
respecting that the seas are beautiful
navigable, as long as they retain the knowledge
that the ocean cannot be controlled.
So remember this:
if you and I are a right fit in a present space & present time,
I’ll become whatever energy we hunger for;
I am an orphan,
with blood ties by family tree only—
by varicose vein roots
that were long-poisoned somewhere
in the power-struggle
of an ever-warring eastern Europe;
I am part of a tree that cowers tall
grown with branches
too feeble for the weight
of disease carved by trauma
no one ever talks about
even when the storms come screaming.
A tribute to my first inspiration as poet and prose writer, Edgar Allan Poe, (1809 – 1849) whose “mysterious death” was likely cirrhosis of the liver from years of steep alcoholism and opium addiction. Most historians agree that his grief over his late wife’s death was ultimately the nail in the coffin for Poe, as he subsequently started a fast downward spiral. While “The Tell-Tale Heart” was reputedly derived from a bad opium trip, the guilt and shame after the narrator’s delusions of grandeur and self-assuredness echoes the manic depressive episodes in Edgar Allan Poe’s own life and is reminiscent of the bargaining stage that often consumes those who grieve: “I should have been more present, more aware.”
The cracks in the plaster used to help me rewrite stories.
As the wounds whispered curves down the ceiling’s edges
I remember watching couples waltz,
saints love sinners into lovers
though unhealed still
(I was never one for leaps of faith)
as their paper skin
unraveled to reveal hearts too damaged to resuscitate,
but if I followed the right lines,
I could delight in their happiness—
at least, for a little while.
I then imagined lovers, crying in the corners where rain came in,
their mourning in the toilet ring in the bowing ceiling
that only reminded me
that in life,
there are no saints nor sinners, not truly,
& no devilish seraphs envying human passion.
Like a house with a cracking foundation,
there are limitations
and there is only so much time,
just as there are lungs,
and just as there is blood,
and sometimes they are both at once
and still so little time.
Every dance ends with a final bow—
a single dip of the shoulders or hips or the weakest wall,
after a choreography of sentiments and storms
sometimes on a cot, feverish, and with blood on our lips
and sometimes with the smell of whiskey
but how naïve—or, maybe just poignant—
for the poet to cry “the heavens were jealous of us”
and the coroner to sign “cause of death: unknown,”
and the child in me to still write with the damages of another broken home
in an effort to bandage everything with dreams of what should have been
and if a single variable were different,
what things still could be.
I grew up on the riverbeds of the River Styx,
where the parched grays of starving soil
felt like soot between my toes;
where my breath, staggered, still existed—
and writings on the cavern walls in ancient blood
quietly reminded me I was only ever wanted for my pulse.
These words created cracks in the cavern cold
and I saw bodies brimmed with heat and life and blood above me.
The few who stopped, their skin was kissed with daylight,
their nailbeds flush with rosy life as they tried to reach for me
but too often,
I didn’t let them.
Co-inhabitants made promises in their stagnant water
& with curled fingers made of ether,
they beckoned me to the river’s edge.
I often took the hands that felt too cold for mine,
even in the sting of tears of the friends who tried to reach me.
What body could ever stand being close to mine? I’d think,
with my body made of fire, and my fellow prisoners demanding
I no longer be so blinding;
but the passersby who stopped to save me
who wished I wasn’t blind
understood before me
that my mouth was not full of victims’ blood—
but my own
and pomegranate seeds.
A revision, originally written 7 January, 2020, and this poem carries a trigger warning for substances, addiction, abuse, and neglect.
The days we are apart are the longest of my life.
Her lips are dew-dipped when she calls,
and I come to her, legs trembling
and I fumble as I fall again into a kind of trance for her.
I wander with her into a missing child’s bedroom
strewn with strangers’ dirty clothes
where she, so alive,
is wild with a smoke-and-floral fragrance
as the setting sun stirs the dust among the long-forgotten diaries
of hypodermic ghosts.