idol

I read a book
about Sylvia Plath
and despair. it seems
so much easier
to write poems that
scorch the earth
when you’re not planning
on being around when
those cruise missiles
touch down.

well, I do not plan
on dying, ever,
so where does that leave
my stabs at poetry?

blinded,
broken, Oedipus at Thebes
could relate.

maybe I’ll just wait
until everyone I know is dead
before I document
what I really think of them.

manifesto

don’t tell me it doesn’t matter
if this person understands me.

as a poet, all my writing
is a constant attempt at
self-defense before the
uncaring judges of eternity,
I’m always arguing my case
in Anubis’s eternal court –
THIS is why
I am the way I am
this is why
I did that thing I did –
I do this even
(maybe especially)
when
the only person I’m trying
to convince
is myself.

so this is why
I did the most recent thing I did:
there was a little girl
whose father left
when she was seven years old.

she didn’t understand
why
she didn’t understand
that her mother did
the best she could
in an impossible situation.

she was told
her father loved her
but still he left.

her mother smothered her
and told her lies
about her nature, trained her
to abuse, invaded her sovereignty
so that she had no space
to be herself.

is it any wonder
she grew up thinking
the ones who really care
are the ones that
walk away? and the
ones that stay
can’t be trusted?

is it any wonder that
she doesn’t know how
to take care of herself?
she only has two models:
never there, or always.
so she ricochets between
extremes, craving togetherness
until it gets to be too much,
and then needing more space
than exists in the entire
universe.

weigh my heart
against your feather, and see
which one comes up
guilty.

demons

for two years
he lived in my heart, I thought of him
constantly, he took
over my mind and could
have had me
many times over, if he
wanted to. and yet
we fought all the time,
for every positive
interaction there must have been
at least three negative
ones. (and no, I’m not
counting the times
where I thought he
was being distant
and it turned out it
had nothing to do
with me. I asked, you see,
and found out what was really
going on.) no, I’m talking
actual, deliberate cruelty
inflicted from one to the other,
often both. he was usually
full blackout drunk
and didn’t always remember
later
what he had said and done.
I, on the other hand,
remember every bitter detail, much
to the detriment
of my mental health.

I cast him out
of my heart
like the demon he was
three times. in magic,
doing something three times
means something, shows you
mean it, makes it stick.
I can only hope
that this time,
the third time
is the charm.