who the heck knows anything, anyway

Friday, February 13, 2015

a poem on a weird, emotional day

I don't usually share my creative writing online, because the way that the publishing world works is so insane and I fear the plagiarists. But (1) I am becoming less uptight and more rebellious in my attitudes towards publishing, and (2) this is a finished poem and not a piece of fiction that is still in-progress. So, here you go. A rare gift of artful (not just spontaneous) words from a month or so ago, which I am finally presenting to you on a day that's been a little too heavy for me.


In the grass, there are white stones
small enough to swallow.
Bitter powder.
Don't let them touch your tongue.

Saint Joan,
I was only twelve
and already pinning windows shut to keep the eyes out.
Telephone poles, pulling hair out by the roots.
Teach me how to bear the pain of the burns on my back--
I never learned my lesson about sitting in the sun.

Eight legged creatures crawling into me,
For Every Car You Pass
You Must Lift Your Left Shoulder
(feel the wing bones flex).
The airplanes take off and land.
So vividly
I watch them

O, hot flash of light
O, sound that lags behind;
I forgot to kiss my husband goodbye.
Instead, I wait on my elbows--
still half in bed--
to be burned alive.

There are poems that benefit from having a little explanation--I find them more enjoyable when I know what led the poem to where it is. This might or might not be one of those, but if you prefer a little concrete beneath your feet: it's about having OCD. This is the closest I've ever come to conveying what it's like to be in my head on bad days.