how I lost without even playing

that goddamn scorecard has been up
in the back room
for months on end now, if not
a full year. I fucking hate it.
every time I see it I am reminded
of how I didn’t go
to the games night and instead
went to a women producers meet up
because there I could share
my latest work, an outlet for
the other side of my art
that I can’t get out at
the open mics – and I remember
how when I finally arrived
when the game was almost over
and gave my wack excuse,
saying “it only happens
once a month”, the game creator
snapped back “this only happens
every six months!” and I was
duly chastened. I haven’t
been back to the women
producers meet up
since. and now this scorecard mocks
my pitiful excuses and
how I’m always trying
to have my cake
and eat it too.

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.

imposter syndrome

I don’t deserve
to take myself seriously.
I’m a fraud, a fool, a dilettante, a dumbass.
taking yourself seriously
is for winners.
that’s why I make sure
to make lots of faces
after I play a song.
just in case anyone thought
I was sincerely hoping
to deserve your serious
attention. I’m just anticipating
the critique that has long since
stopped coming. it now resounds
only in my own head. if I admit
all the flaws first, will I escape
the put-down?

no. there’s no point.
might as well pretend
that I don’t hate myself.
maybe if I do it long enough,
I’ll finally start
to believe it.

what a difference

three days ago
I thought I had something
to tell you. it seemed
very important
to my sleep-deprived brain.
now I think
maybe it doesn’t matter.
it won’t change
a thing, and you don’t
care. I’ve gotten
some sleep, and my
blood has cooled, and
I’ve seen some things
that made me think.

why do I bother
to torture myself
over things that don’t matter
to anyone but me?

if I knew the answer
to that, maybe I’d know
what a difference
those three days
made.

waxing

I can feel the madness
coming on:

it creeps
like beetles in my
blood it cranks up
my brain higher and
higher it makes me
so high that I don’t
want to sleep
even though
my bones are weary
rest has to sneak up
on me and knock me
out I wake up
too soon
by midnight
I’m off again
the leash on my
thoughts gets longer
I can shoot my mind into
the stratosphere
with ease
even as the cells
of my body get
more electric
I am full of moonlight
but down below
lurks darkness waiting
to hold me in its
slow death embrace.

I’ll dance as long as
these red shoes
hold up.

the glare

I can’t tell you
why I glared at you
that time in the midst
of the crowd. I
hope to take that secret
to my grave.

all I can say
is that your crime
was not at all
the one you thought it was,
and in fact was no crime
at all. and yet
it made me
truly furious.

chalk it up to the mystery
of the human heart,
file it under women,
inexplicable behavior
thereof, just don’t
ask me to explicate
my pitiful, pointless rage.

it’s all I have left.

not-so-superpowers

sometimes I feel invisible.
sometimes nothing feels right.
sometimes my bones ache
with the knowledge that
I’m not good enough.
sometimes this living
hurts me. sometimes my
x-ray vision shows me things
I’d rather not know.
sometimes my adamantium claws
carve up my own heart.
superfriends, save me
from the kryptonite
of my infinitely expanding
sadness.