Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some phrases I just can't get out of my head.

Love isn't never straying.
It's staying.

Let love be sincere, or let it be.

So I'll make my choices,
and I'll carry
no regrets --
except for all of them.

No one is complete if they've ever loved.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This grammar doesn't do me any good.

Sometimes, I still try to put into words
what made you leave.
Searching for a construction
that leaves out me.

But no matter how hard I try,
I can't get the syntax straight.

Because these adjectives --
these penny words --
no matter how good,
aren't worth a god damn thing.

Headstrong. Independent. Scared.
Heartless. Broken. Found.
Oh wait, that's a verb,
And it isn't right anyhow.

So I'm back to the kernel,
the basic of basics,
no complex modifiers need apply;
our details were always blurry anyway.

And of course, my pronouns are all wrong.
He, She, You, Her, Me.
Would it be you verb word me prepositional phrase?
It was you who needed the change.

And what you didn't need
all keeps coming back to me,
regardless of what I do.

Because the subject of this sentence is still you.

To grandpa, on what was almost my wedding day.

I only said yes
because you were dying
a slow death,
a death that left time for the planning.
And more than anything --
more than the flowers
and the cake
and the white dress
that still hangs in my closet --
the detail that really mattered
was the matter of you being present.

Persistence makes perfect.

I was recently told that I needed to make my poetry accessible to more people than just, well, myself.
So I'm working on getting most of my work up here ... eventually.
With that in mind, I apologize for all the random posts of poetry, and the snippets of lines that are sure to come in the future. And then the edits and re-edits I'll be posting thereafter.
Bear with me.

And please, give me your honest opinion on the things I'm posting.
Input is essential.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Metal heart, you're not worth a thing.

It's always so much harder when there isn't anything tangibly wrong with the relationship. Because there is nothing to fight about, nothing to dwell on to keep one fueled and determined.
There is just the stark and sad reality that two people were not right for one another.

No matter how much they may have wanted to be.

More oldies.

Warrenton, V.A.
revised 11.14.06

I spent all day reading road signs --
green, like your eyes --
and telling myself I didn't miss you.

Not one bit.

Exercises in moving on
Spring 06ish

Thick smoke curls, you
whirl, and dance, and sing,
and breathe deeply,
breathe softly.

Burn your fingertips,
burn your throat and your lungs.
Burn the pictures and the letters --
but the moments are burnt into your memory.

Now breathe faster, sharper, with
heavy pants and frantic whispers.
His hands are on you, desperate.
You're so desperate.

His grip slips with sweat,
sweat earned, sweat you've, wait.
You've got it.
Gasping, uttering phrases and lines.

He doesn't care that you think.
You don't know what you're thinking
...They're thinking.
But that never mattered at all.

And now you're here at 3 a.m.
Cold bricks. Dark night. Sloppy memories.
Be patient; thoughts whirl, and dance, and sing.
Time is waiting,

and you're moving on.

A couple "classics"

Parting is bittersweet, but this makes bitter obsolete.
Spring 05ish

So simple in all its complexity,
and I'm dreaming in shades of green.
One is never enough,
let's do it in sets of three --
all eyes on us.

Four bags and a blanket
and our arms are loaded down
But I'm struggling with words,
not luggage.

And each visible gasp
for just the right ... everything
acts as a formidable barrier,

between all the things I'm thinking,
but would never dare to say,
and all the things you're seeing,
and staring back at me.

And jaded thoughts,
born of those same green eyes,
accompany a patience I've never portrayed.

A flutter of hope --
I'm so nervous, strange.
Then there's that smile.
And we part ways.

It isn't home when you're alone

I came back to an empty apartment tonight
and I've never needed you more...
but what's the point.
if I'm not afraid, you are.

On the bed, your t-shirt,
crumpled where you tossed it this morning
as we rushed to get ready for church;
we slept in way too late again.

The sheets are still piled at the foot of the bed
where you kicked them off
in your fevered sleep,
waking every few hours to cough into the sink.

Coughing as I held your hair back, out of your eyes,
while you threw up into the toilet last night.
I knew that meal was bad
before I even served it.

And on my night stand rests your glass of water,
beside a bottle of pills and the wrappers of Riccola.
The alarm clock I rarely use when you stay over is silent --
and it reminds me of our recent phone calls.

My pillow is still stuffed behind the head of the bed frame,
but it did nothing to stifle the sound of me screaming your name
all those nights that we sinned ourselves
into one another's hearts, one another's movements.

And there are no photos of you here.
But on my desk, a trinket box you gave me when I moved in --
You will always have my heart.
But not your body, or your trust. Not your future.

How would you even begin to describe us?
Simply, a mess.
But it's never so simple as that,
as your friends can attest.

Although now, I think you could only call us over.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fables never go out of style.

So today in my ancient Greek class we translated one of Aesop's fables from the original Greek.
I deciphered sentence structure, looked up a few words I didn't know, and muddled my way through a children's tale -- no biggie.
But it's a little overwhelming when you think about what that actually means.
I took a story that has been passed down from generation to generation for more generations than I care to count, a story that has been translated and re-translated, and I read it in it's original Greek form.
And I understood it.
This, this is why I work my ass off in these classes.
I'm becoming part of a much bigger picture.
A picture generations, centuries -- entire civilizations -- in the making.
And I mean, who doesn't love a good children's tale?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Coming home.

It's been too long since I've written in this blog. It's been too long since I've written at all. And writing used to be my life.

So it's time to come home.

Lately my head has been a jumble of words and phrases and places and mistakes. Not a day goes by that I don't find myself frantically writing something down, be it 2 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. I've got an ever-growing collection of tiny scraps of paper -- strips of tests and homework assignments and receipts and restaurant napkins -- folded and double folded with a few senseless sentences written within.
I can't wash clothes without finding more thoughts and feelings than I know what to do with.
My desktop is a maze of untitled TextEdit documents just waiting to be opened and sorted through and ripped apart to be reassembled into another document, only this time, titled.
I'll continue to edit and re-edit that piece too.

But is editing about perfection, or about censorship? Aren't the original mistakes within a work part of it's beauty? Those mistakes tell you more about the creator than any amount of afterthought can. But this, coming from a die-hard editor and over-analyzer. I've backspaced and rewritten more than half of this entry already. I guess the only people who can really appreciate the beauty of a work are the people who have seen it grow from a tangled mess to something sensible and tangible and real.

I wonder if that's how God sees us. These visible messes who have fully grasped our free will and continually progress from what we once were to whatever we have chosen to be.

That's one beautiful mess.

And what if that was God's big plan for us all along?
God doesn't have a grocery list of ingredients for each of our lives. He has an ultimate goal, happiness, reached through a single means, love. What if he doesn't care how we attain that happiness, as long as we do it with love at all times? Love for Him and for others and for ourselves. An honest, passionate and forgiving love.

Let love be sincere.

And I've spent the past two years of my life trying desperately to wring purpose from the words and intentions of the people around me. I've begged God for direction, and gotten full scale silence. Or at least, what I thought was silence.
But it was just me brushing off his response, and making things more complicated than they are.
Happiness. That's the bottom line.
Happiness at all times.
Overflowing joy.
And now I'm ready for that.

So I'll begin by going back to where it started for me.
I'm going back to my love of language, both written and spoken.
Back to my love for people and their continuous, surprising ability to both break my heart and complete it.
I'm coming home to my love for words worth writing, and days worth living.
These days are always worth living.
And I love that, too.