Elastic Limit

Elastic Limit

I’ve never heard you laugh like that
he said as we swung
from the end of our rope
tied up and together
working with one hand
for all of us

The ethereal dentist hears you smile
and will check
your teeth
for cavities
before you open your mouth
again

Pull your cheeks until
your lips crack
from neglect
as if you have time
when you keep losing
your balms
easy when you
carry so many bags

Stretch
and give
and ache
and will another inch
because they need it

It’s going to snap
and your skin will                                                                                                                                           bear the blister from the shear

Buy another chapstick
Stack another box
Load another worry

Pray the elastic holds

and the limits forgive

Immovable

 

I stopped moving

That pile in the corner
crepitus
became locked

base of oversensitive and
siding of overreacting
ten penny nails of
insecure
hoisting the whole thing
just shy of collapse

because that where the real fun is

the disaster

splinter and crack
that’s where you can ooze in
squeeze between every
fiber
so the rust can set in

looks bright and copper
at first
gleaming

when the very sacs of
air that brought back life
are twisting the oxygen
to bring ruin

The next morning
I put my shoulder to the works
and get pushed away
no headway
with the machine
must be because
I’m so fragile
levers frozen
joints clawed
into each other

immovable

A wonder
why I can’t move

on

 

If you would like to read more of my dark yarns, my new poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now out on their own in the world.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water

Hides

Hides, it does

Tucked in forgotten drawers

Cozy under the bed, warmed by dust and lint

Sometimes I wipe it clean and hold it in my hands

The hurt

Nostalgic remembering

When we were thick friends

On the pillow together

Faded Polaroid

From a mistaken photographer

The image was meant to mollify

It murdered

I dig up

Bones and flesh

Surprised by its

Incorruptible

Resilient

Buried

But

Not dead

But there is wine

For the cemetery picnic

And cake

To feed

The happy living

When they learn

So I plant it back

Among the webs

And smile

Knowing I’m now the keeper

Of the hidden rest

 

My words are meant for hidden reading. My poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now available.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water

Kill That Fucking Clock

Just get through one day

Day One

Minute by minute

By one minute

Clock says it has been

Two minutes

Fill the space

Alone

Like forcing liquid insulation

Between the support beams

And the skeleton

My ribcage

Good bones

Waiting for the foam

To harden

Empty rafters

Leave space for

Air and rope

How can it only be two minutes?

I’ve gone through the entire script

Of Gone with the Wind

In my mind

Me playing Scarlett

My anxiety answering with

Rhett Butler

Scoundrel

Lazing like that clock

Always late

Making me pay for my

Ego and desertions

Stoic in my flirting

For an easiness

In minutes

I can’t find

Great balls of fire

How has it only been two minutes

And not another day

Another day

Another way

Not one by

One and then

One by Another

And then My Other

I can’t do it alone

Unless these next two minutes

go faster

than the last

Kill that fucking clock

It doesn’t understand

My new poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving is now available at Amazon. 

The Gone Side of Leaving

Be Nice, She Said

Be nice, she said

screamed, 

flailing, pushing

Hands flat, open, extended

In avoidance

Wondering why
He didn’t come closer. 

Be nice, she said

Cried as she brought up

imaginary, claimed forgotten

Perceived slights

From a year and a lifetime ago.  

Which never were,

But damned if she won’t use them

As an excuse to bury herself

In the dirt of hurt

Than she’s planted and tended

On her own 

Better than any lover. 

Be nice, she said

Hid behind her own 

Insecurity

Asking for kindness

Despite, undeserved,

Unreserved 

That she begs for

Without words. 

Warmth 

In her ice. 

Forgiveness

From her homicide

And her crucifixion 

To her own cross 

I can’t be nice, she said. 

I forget. 

I locked it away. 

Lost. 

Be nice, she said. 

Forget with me. 

Help me remember. 

Be nice. 

Stand

 

Stand

Good evening.

Please.

Come sit down.

No. Thank you.
I’ll stand.

Well…
here we are.

Did you want to-

Okay. That’s fine.

I’ll start.

Are you-

Okay.

Are you okay?

I don’t know.
Doesn’t seem…

I’m okay.

Fine.

How are you?

No. Thanks.
I’m fine standing.

I’m still
and I’m happy
standing.
It’s a lovely stand.
And I don’t want
need
to go anywhere now.
But I know
you’re not one
to sit.
Unless you’re
working,
writing,
making,
creating,
perfecting,
entranced
and I’m afraid

I’m not entrancing.

Here,
you’re
standing.
And I’ll stand with you.
But I’m not good
at standing.
Better at standing
than sitting.
Not a sitter.
But not good
at standing.

I need to move.
I like a path
sprinkled before me
to find me
back.
And I see too much
Pollock
to find the straight line.

You’re a sprinkle,
a splatter,
a far and wide,
see what you can
reach
where can you spread
your colors.

I want to spread
and I can’t
keep up
with your chaos.

A gift to watch
a joy to inspire
to muse
to see
as the first spectator
past the ropes.
But there’s a rope
and that means
I stand on this side.

My colors aren’t
ready yet.
Where we stand.

Where do we stand?

If I can’t get beyond the rope
I’m standing alone
agape
glassy-eyed
at your beauty,
careful of
the taped-off edges.
Laughing,
nodding,
pretending,
at descriptions,
words,
intentions
I don’t understand.

Stand.

I stand.

Staring across the rope.

Patron.
Genius.
Applauding on my feet.
Begging to be seen.

From where
I stand.

 

 

My novel Drowning Above Water is now available through Amazon. 

Peeling Away

 

I don’t make resolutions.

I have trouble enough keeping my head above water without a list glowering at me, smirking at my inability to achieve any item scratched there on a late night in December.

Once I made a vision board. Five years ago. I still have it. I realize now, this isn’t a good supporting paragraph, as I actually achieved most of the things on that piece of cardboard. My whole thesis could be flawed and maybe I should shush, stop writing this and make another vision board.

Maybe later.

The paint on my living room ceiling is peeling. Has been for a while. I haven’t fixed it. I don’t know how to fix it. One of the troubles being the only grown up in a house is that shit breaks and you’re the only one doing the fixing. Another of the troubles, is when you don’t know how to fix shit, so you just try whatever comes into your brain for whatever YouTube says and those results range from fair to middling to disastrous.

My ceiling debacle is no exception. I’ve never repaired paint. Painted, yes. Repaired nicks in a dorm room wall that we covered with a homemade fix of Colgate and mid-spectrum foundation, yes. Actual wall repair in a room where actual people might sit?

No.

That’s for adults who know things. Capable, stalwart, accomplished humans. But, none of those  live in my house.

I tried. I scraped. I mixed. I dripped. I dripped some more. I blended. I swore. I managed to get paint everywhere in the room, including my mouth.

My mouth. I got paint in my mouth.

I’m learning to draw. (The verb learning is a stretch. Despite excellent instruction and demonstration, I now am responsible for a  handful of skull stretches that could only have a place in an Itchy and Scratchy episode.)

It makes more sense after that comparision that those skills did not translate to the ability to paint a ceiling.

I tried. I failed. I didn’t cry. (I really, really wanted to.) I didn’t send a self-deprecating text where I flagellated my self and ran myself over with my truck of personally directed hatred. (I really, really, REALLY wanted to.) I didn’t break.

That’s what I do. I get upset. I direct that sadness and disappointment back onto myself. My anxiety builds. It crests and relaxes. Then the depression gets its boots on and I deal with that for a while. Until the next metaphorical ceiling needs painted and I do it all again. It’s gleeful fun for everyone, I assure you.

The new year is made-up. Completely random selection with no consequence delegated by a pope. Probably slapped on top of a pagan holiday to ease the transition and soothe some disenfranchised group. I’m guessing. But that seems to be how these things evolve.

Old layer of paint off.

Let’s try something new.

Yes. I fucked up the ceiling.

But, it’s not broken. There’s not ice rattling down onto my couch like a freezer-built living room. I learned something. Someday this week, I’ll go back to the store and try something else. Maybe I’ll learn something else.

What I don’t want to do, is keep this pattern of bruising my spirit and drowning my soul with my own kicks and hands. It’s not fair. Not to me. Not to the ones I love, who sit under this fucked up roof with me.

If I can do that–a single choice of  kindness and forgiveness to the little chubby-cheeked blonde-haired girl that turned into this bigger, chubby-cheeked, blonde and brown and streaks of white-haired girl– a single step away from the instinct to hurt and instead looking to learn– a single instance of giving myself a god damn break…

Well–

That’s better than any resolution.

Want more stories of peeling away and looking for a better layer? My novel Drowning Above Water is available at Amazon.