the veil, lifted

I see it now: I was never
the one. she was always
the bright-eyed doll, the queen,
the evanescent moon around which
you orbited. I almost can’t
blame you. she’s blonde, she’s
pretty enough. she fills out
her clothes nicely. she plays
a mean guitar, and wields
her voice like a weapon.
no, it’s myself that I’m mad at
as usual, for daring to think
that your dark weirdness
was directed my way. I
could not know, but I
should have known.
it’s never me.

sacrificial rites of passage

I’m done
sacrificing myself on the altar
of those who never truly
loved me.

I cut out my heart with a knife
and gave it to you, and
you discarded it like
a dead bird you found
outside your window. okay,
I said, and turned myself down
a notch or ten.

then I crammed my hollow body
in a box and mailed it
C.O.D. to my mother,
who refused delivery.

so when it comes to
the old Aztec ways,
I’m over it. give me a
hot new death and a cool,
clean slate, maybe a
scalpel this time.
tell the gods they’ll get
their pound of flesh,
but the contents of
my skull will stay
a mystery.

solipsism

the world doesn’t really
revolve around me,
and mostly I’m glad.
that way lies madness,
something out of a sci-fi
movie when you turn on
the TV and the anchorperson
is saying your name, but only you
can hear it, and tinfoil hats,
and on the other end of that is
Kanye West.

all jokes aside,
he’s quite obnoxious and
if I were to be as egotistical
it would really be quite boring.
the world is actually far more
interesting when it’s not
all about me, I tell myself.

yes, there is a certain appeal
to the idea
of getting everyone else
to sing my praises so I can look
modest and outwardly deny
while inwardly urging them on.
the problem with that is
there are only really two ways
to make it happen: pay them,
or just become so undeniably
fabulous that they are compelled
to acknowledge my genius.
both seem like a hard row to hoe
with no guarantee of success.
I guess I’ll just carry on
being a tiny speck
in a vast uncaring universe.

what’s that? it’s not
all or nothing? I’m neither
God Empress of Dune, nor
a sandworm’s leavings?
well that doesn’t sound
nearly dramatic enough.
I’ll be both. just try
and stop me.

last wishes

you were having problems
and I said, “that can kill you,
please don’t die” and you began
to joke about dying, telling me
your last wishes. I rolled my
eyes and started upstairs.
you said, “you’re not even going
to kiss me. this could be
my last night on earth”
I turned around and said,
“my kiss does not
signify acceptance
of your death” and then
I kissed you four times
and then three more times, and then
I sniffed your mouth
like an animal does, like my cats do to me,
to see how close you were
to death. you smelled fine.
you made fun of me for it
and you’ll be sorry if that
was the last thing you
said to me before you died.
but you’ll be sorrier because
I will never forgive you for
dying on me like that, when
what ails you is so easily
remedied by modern medicine.

square peg

I used to be that girl,
the one with the knife in her heart
slowly twisting it
getting off on the pain
and the slow poisoning,
using it to make my art
because happiness seemed
in such short supply. I was angry
at life for tormenting me
and at myself for letting it,
but mostly I was wallowing
in sadness. and then
someone offered me
a way out. and I realized
that it was my choice
all along, and therefore I could
choose to feel differently.

all those things
that made me feel
like I was not good enough,
irredeemably flawed, broken,
gradually transformed
into what made me me
and seen through
different eyes, became
lovable.

if you’re out there trying
to hammer that square peg
into a round hole, just
walk away. all that energy
will come back to you threefold
once you release it
from its fruitless labor.

the word

there is a piece of data
I am not able to obtain
that would be relevant
to my interests, were it readily
available: what word
(or phrase) did a visitor search for,
to find that poem
they remembered and
wanted to read again?
of all the words
I strung together, which
were the one(s) that
spoke to them and
were unique? this is a secret
that is surely known
to some entity or
algorithm, other than
the querent themselves.
WordPress, Google, hell, I’ll even
ask Jeeves.

Continue reading the word