Category Archives: poetry

Piece by Piece.

As I spent some time looking through the pages of my notebook this morning, I found an unfinished poem that’s probably about a year old. And, as it sometimes happens with writing, it felt oddly appropriate at this very moment in my life – maybe even more so than back when I first started writing it. So I decided to finish it today. And that’s what I did – here it is:

Piece by Piece.

Words, words, words —

so stuck in my mouth

and then all of a sudden they fall out:

tiny milk teeth, white and edged

I must have touched you

one too many times

lost my fingerprints

all over your skin

they ran out of my hands

like sand out of shoes

it’s the curse old women

have always warned me about

I lost myself –

but does that make me free, liberated?

Now I’m no one

(to you?)

Take my hand, would you?

Or my eyes, my legs, strands of hair –

you can have a piece of me

if you don’t want it all

these are merely moving pictures

and it’s hard to hold on to something

that’s always on the move,

in motion, motion, motion

sometimes it strikes me:

we’re nothing but cold light

we’re already dead

but too busy to notice

My heart is flip book —

I —

love—

you

you

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Scattered.

First: The obligatory apology for having neglected my blog for so long. It seems, I have been quite the neglecting being lately. I may have been neglecting not only my writing but also some people over the last couple of weeks. My apologies for all of that. I didn’t really mean to, I have just found myself being somewhat – scattered…

...when thoughts scatter like birds...

Scattered.

Coherence! – an angry voice is yelling, somewhere in the back of my head: Coherence for crying out loud!

A number of thoughts are twisting and shouting in my mind – freestyle – while some are standing by the punch bowl (spiked, f*** yeah…), holding on to whatever there is, staggering, trying not to fall over. Other bits and pieces of me are hiding in broom closets and niches: getting high, making out, writing their last goodbyes before jumping into the darkness…

Coherence! – was lost somewhere down the road.

I’d like to twist or shout or get drunk or get high or make out or write my last goodbye – I don’t feel any need to jump, though. I’ve been collecting my own darknesses in a shoebox since I was four. They come in all shapes and sizes. And different shades of dark. They are, in fact, pretty to look at and feel quite nice. Like tiny pieces of velvet. Coherence! What’s one got to do with the other? She asks.

This angry voice again; it sounds like my second grade teacher who I was scared of.

Shut up! I’m feeling scattered.

Sometimes, it is a nice feeling. Sometimes, it smells of empty roads, summer rain, the sea – of i-can-do-whatever. Other times, it feels heavy, like sinking. It feels like missing a piece, a limb; lacking. Because there are parts of me scattered all over. I’ve been leaving them behind like pebbles – to make my way back, someday, in the moonlight. In spite of monsters lumbering. In spite of the dark.

Coherence! – has been annoying me ever since writing my first essay in second grade for the teacher who I was scared of. Coherence! – is highly overrated, for crying out loud!

I’d like to do a million things at the same time. I’d like to be in a million places at the same time. I’m dreaming a million dreams at the same time.

I want to be there for my friends and family whenever they need me I wanttobethere for myfriends – my family – whenever (Coherence!) I want to be a writer a teacher I want to make adifferencein childrenspeoples (Coherence?) livesatleastforsomeofthem I wanttoteachand notbescaredIwanttoteach and not scaremystudents I wanttowrite astorypoetryanovelabook. (Coherence?!)

I want to be.

Coherence!

Shut up –

I am scattered. And sometimes, it is a nice feeling.

Un-Magical.

I) January, 8 – in prose…

The New Year (capitalized, to show it’s genuine importance!) is already a week old by now and therefore slowly taking off all the holiday make-up and fancy clothing – a very un-magical moment. It’s always a moment that leaves me missing things: all the Christmas lights, the smell of cinnamon and the anticipation in the air. Because, of course, by that time I’ve already pushed aside the rush and grumpiness of the few days before Christmas, along with the exhaustion of the let’s-visit-the-entire-family-and-all-of-our-friends-in-less-than-24-hours-marathon (while, year after year, thinking: how sweet it would be to catch a ride on Santa’s sleigh). However, what is even worse is the feeling when there’s someone you can’t visit, for whatever reason. Then, the missing hits in early – an even less magical feeling. The least magical I can imagine.

This Christmas season, the missing did hit me quite early, it just snuck up on me behind my back and suddenly there it was, rearing its ugly head out of a pile of Christmas wrappings. It’s been living with me ever since. I don’t mean to complain, I’ve been wanting a roommate since I moved into a new apartment last summer (but I’d really prefer someone less sneaky, Santa must have gotten me wrong there…) leaving behind three roommates (a school, a city, a country) in the process – coming back to what I’d left behind a year earlier to find that I couldn’t have it all back, not the way it was. Of course, you never can – but, of course, you always hope.

I think, it might have been already then, that this idiotic thing moved in with me, hiding in my luggage – the little parasite. Or maybe, I brought it with me from my holiday visit to one of my beloved roommates a few days ago. Anyhow, I’m planning to kick it out soon. I think, it has to go with the decorations and the last bits of candy (ha! I ate the last cookie this morning!). It’s really a poor replacement for all I’ve left behind.

II) January, 8 – in poetry…

A Puzzle.

I know: it comes like breathing – unconsciously and delicate.
An inflating and deflating, rhythmical, in four-four time almost:
Say, is it dancing, can you feel your heart dancing?

You know, it’s the dance of death, or at least
the dance of coma – a deep delusional sleep:
you’re only imagining things, always.

It’s tiring, truly exhausting – and there’s nothing that can be done.
I’m afraid it’s not a mood, it doesn’t come and go like seasons do.
It’s a state, it’s something chronic – the diagnosis?

Well, it’s not yearning, it’s less dramatic; nothing emotional, I think.
It’s quiet like falling snow and just as cold and it
also muffles all the noise coming in from the world outside:

You must be missing
(something, someone.)

III), January, 8 – in song (thank you, Miss Madeline Ava)…

Retrospective: The Ghost of New Year’s Resolutions Past.

I)

Cheers, we say –

to the New Year, and

let’s hope it will be better

than the last one,

we say:

 

No more

burning bridges

crying tears (all in vain, always)

gritting our eyes

with ashes –

ashes everywhere.

 

No more, we say

as the old year miserably

drowns at the bottom of

our wine glasses –

we don’t even try to save it.

 

We shoot the New Year

into the stars and say

that’s where we want to be:

Walking through the ashes

collecting our tears in a box

hiding it in a secret corner of the closet

(a secret corner of the heart).

 

Let’s build new bridges, we say.

 

II)

But old acquaintances, they forget and

new year’s resolutions hit

the ground just one minute

after midnight, along with

the last of

the fireworks.

 

Cheers, I say –

to an old acquaintance

that forgot, and I

wonder why (after all)

 

you

 

collected the ashes in a box

legs knee-deep in tears

 

why you

 

walked right back onto

your last burning bridge

 

why

 

III)

Cheers, I say

drinking the old year

from my glass of $3 wine.

 

Cheers, I say

looking for you

among the stars.

Out of Joint.

“You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. (…) [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the other.” – Martha Graham

 

Whether it’s always blessed, I am not sure – but there’s been a lot of unrest lately. Everywhere. And it still keeps people marching. Often, however, I do not wonder what it is that moves the masses – I wonder what it is that keeps so many in a state of (blissful?) ignorance…how come, there are people that are less alive than others?

 

Out of Joint

 

and the scary thing was

not that the earth

would not stop

trembling

or even

all the salty

water flooding our doorsteps

and hidden corners of our

hearts (like widow’s tears:  bitter. angry).

 

it wasn’t the nauseating fog that

grew around the city – a second skin

covering up:

plague-spots

memories

tumors

extremities (misshapen or simply redundant or odd)

dreams that lay dead:

 

                               – there goes the stuffed bear you just bought your babygirl – it almost seems to flinch…

                                                        – there goes your babygirl – motionless like a stuffed toy…

(and all the time this irony, mocking you, a grimacing gargoyle)

                                                                                                      –  but say, did you hold her too tight so she couldn’t breathe or maybe it was the fog or perhaps…

— there goes the answer…

 

now, the scary thing was

that still, there were

many that (while

we were

 

kicking.

screaming.

praying.

loving.

 

for our

lives) didn’t even

try or seem to

notice they had

to do

anything.

Of Virginia and Jack…

Once upon a time: Two fairy tales.

I.

Virginia and the Wolf

She’s so sick of me, still

I stick to her like a growth.

I know she’s been

hating me, ever since I

wormed my way into her.

268 days and 11 hours – nesting,

eating away her laughter, the snow

white of her skin, the blood

red of her lips, the ebony black of her hair –

now all she is: limestone and brittle.

I’m the reason he

left her, she says, I’m the

reason he left, even though she

tried to drown him with her

salty tears, the entire Dead Sea.

You wanted to kill him, Virginia –

almost as much as you wanted to

kill me – and when you couldn’t

you wanted to drown yourself.

What were you afraid of, Virginia?

You carry around these

heavy stones. What are you

afraid of – are you afraid of the Wolf?

Afraid he will catch you on your way back

home while you’re blinded by luna.

There’s no Wolf under your bed –

he sleeps in it. Did you forget

you let him in?

Say, what are you afraid of, Virginia?

I can’t tell.

I used to think the woods

were home to miracles and fairy

godmothers, speaking trees full

of wisdom. Now I know what’s

really hiding in the thicket.

I clutch my basket – it’s

filled with cake and wine and

black roses. I’m leaving, Virginia,

I’m leaving you alone.

I let go now.

You can have the room all

to yourself, I won’t come back.

Now, will you tell me your secret?

What are you really afraid of, Virginia?

Because all I know is –

I am afraid of the Wolf.


II.

On the Road

(Dear Jack)

Out of the dust, a cough –

Freedom.

It soon dies away.

Following into the footsteps of

the great lady, desperately holding up

a little dignity and belief, a lighter.

Finding these faded letters

someone must have lost down the way –

Freedom.

Struggling through curtains, tightly knit, iron-threaded

and then this brick wall, each crack a whisper –

Freedom.

Sinking the enemy’s ship, no one owns me and

this time it’s a different kind of party, pure porcelain singing –

Freedom.

Taking over my seat in the bus, it is mine.

Tires boast –

Freedom.

Crossing oceans and oceans, running after a fire

that burns like hell, the heavens on judgement day –

Freedom.

Staggering, a fallen angel, cut off wings and in search of

a new paradise somewhere between now and then –

Freedom.

Out of the dust, a cough –

Freedom.

It flickers.

amebas and other things

Amebas, Cooper says, move

by changing the shape of their body, while

a jaded seriousness plays camouflage with

his black, thick-framed glasses – he’s only seven.

He makes me worry, when he looks so serious,

he makes me worry because I’m a woman and that’s

what we do (all the time), so I worry he might grow up too

fast, out of the dinosaur pj’s and into the wrinkled look on his face.

I worry he might find out Santa does not really

exist, just like that far away land (where gramps

hurts and dreams – wishing he had taken him to that

baseball game that day instead of watching TV, a last game)

I worry he might see that it is not always

death that does part the lovers, but that when he

does part anything, he (a hungry mad-eyed wolf) savors

its prey and there is no peace, no redemption.

I worry he might learn too soon that

people do not always keep their promises

but just cross their heart and then die

without peace, without redemption

not because they are bad people but because

good people do bad things just like bad people do bad things,

the secret (the noise late at night under your bed and in your closet) is

that bad things slip out of people’s hearts each time the clock strikes twelve.

Adults, they keep black, black and pasty secrets in

their pockets (they all do) instead of lollipops and gum and marbles

when they have grown out of their dinosaur pj’s and

into the darkness that hides within dusk and dawn.

But most of all, I worry he might not find out. He

coughs until his face turns nightblue and constellations fall out of his eyes.

Tell me more, Coop, I say, please don’t stop.

Please don’t stop.

the Ties that Bind…

There are some odd couples in the history of human relationships: Harold & Maude, Kurt & Courtney, Milli & Vanilli, Chico & Groucho & Harpo (although they’re actually a triple, of course) – the list is endless, really. And not only do they seem odd but at odds, completely and thoroughly. Still, there are some magical, supposedly pink-sugar-iced ties holding them together. I’m guessing they’re pink-sugar-iced, they must be sticky at least. What else would keep them from falling apart? Common interests, common values, common aspirations, a common sense of humour maybe? It’s not common sense, that’s for sure.

Ok, I’m not opening a new frontier here, I could probably do some tie-research in century (or millenium) old literature. But even then, I wouldn’t find the answer – there’s no consensus. It wouldn’t be of any help, because I really want the answer or at least, something that comes close. First, because a writer (even if it’s just blog-writing) always needs the answer. Second, because I’ve been picking and pulling at my very own ties lately. They’ve started to itch.  So I’ve been pulling them very close to my smart-looking glasses, trying to examine the material which causes the trouble (Am I allergic? Is it something chronical?). I couldn’t find out.

Your voice dances in my ears, it’s a slow waltz. Your features, they’re painted across my eyes. I’ve collected your fingerprints in my palm: little  pieces of velvet, shimmering poppie seeds. And my heart? (Echos: Silence)

PS: Some oddity to watch and enjoy.

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I'm Michelle. This is my blog. I write about women and fatness, expound upon semi-coherent thoughts I have in the middle of the night, and offer tough love to those in whom I am disappointed; they are legion.