There are many ways to tell a story.

Invader (Open)

Out. Out. Out.
Get out of my head you unwanted interloper.
You intruder, invading my thoughts with your
Alien sounds and probing touch.
You entered my inner sanctum and sat down
As though I welcomed you.
Then you refused to move.
What was it you said?
“You seem…
Open.”
And I was.
Open, grinning,
And I did let you in.
I didn’t see the bags at your feet.
I didn’t see the hearts you carried.
I was enthralled with your face, lean and
Open.
Your eyes, shining in the dark,
Told me that you spoke truth.
I laid myself bare in front of you,
Honest and willing to show you the world inside of me.
Aching to give you what you had not asked of me,
I offered myself before I even knew your name.
It happened so fast.
Even now, reason escapes me.
And as I lay suppliant, you revealed your secrets.
Already intoxicated by the taste of you,
I swallowed them down and told myself it was fine.
I tried to hold them deep inside where they could hide,
Mingling with my own fear and shame
And the secrets of all those who came before you.
Deeper and deeper I pushed,
Begging them to just stay down.
Let me have my fun.
I didn’t know that you were doing the same.
I didn’t know how long you’d carried your secrets,
So I didn’t see how heavy they had become.
I didn’t notice the shackles on your ankles
Nor the lock on your heart.
Selfishly pulling and clawing,
I tried to rip away your bindings.
Crying and screaming,
I wanted to free you.
For, you see, your secrets had grown within me and mutated.
Somehow, my freedom, my greatest possession,
Began to fade as I found myself
Imprisoned by you.
Your baggage became my bondage;
You held me.
Just as quickly, you turned away,
Telling me that you didn’t need me to free you.
You didn’t want me.
I refused to believe, still reaching for you.
You had infected me.
You couldn’t see the fresh scars and bruises
You’d already left on me,
Tattoos of our fleeting love.
You didn’t know that
When you danced into my inner being,
Parts of you would attach to me.
So focused on carrying your old baggage,
You took no notice of the things you left behind.
You walked away, your chains leading you home.
But your shadow is still here.
Confusing me, taunting me with
Those same alien sounds.
Your voice and the memory of your touch,
Burning me.
Your shadow, laughing at me,
An unwelcome guest.
We sit together, locked in a prison of my own creation,
Unmoving.
We sit and wait,
Somehow both sure that you’ll return.
Dust settles, darkness falls,
And we sit—
Hopeful,
Patient,
Open.

-Fall 2015

Duality

Here’s the start of the same trip over,
First she’s happy then she’s sad.
It’s too hard being sober,
She’s too soft to ever stay mad.
There’s no cold that’s colder
Than the darkness behind her light.
First depression, then it’s over.
Each phase is day and night.
She drowns herself in lovers.
She’s poison in human form.
No secrets under covers,
First so cheerful, then so forlorn.
Through misery, to joy with vigor.
Through a thousand pills,
To drugs and liquour.
Always under Mania’s heel.
Begging Hypnos to take her under,
Morus whispers in her ear.
Death sometimes asks for her number,
But Love tells her not to fear.
She’s filled with some angst and wonder,
Enlightened and chaotic soul.
A child who loves the gods’ great thunder.
A woman afraid she’ll never be whole.
On this trip, her life’s endeavor,
To find the light that’s strong enough
To truly cleanse the dark inside her.
But it’s been there since birth.
She begged for years for a heeder,
No one heard her call.
She asks the gods to heal her.
She fears the coming fall.
Today is just a starter,
Tomorrow she may smile.
Each day, though, it gets harder.
She fears her number will be dialed.
Up and down, under and over,
Always broken, but now often glad.
Striving to find peace and answers,
Something she’ll still have once she’s gone mad.

-Fall, 2011

Idiosyncracy

I can’t write a poem.
There are no longer words
to describe how I’m feeling.
I can no longer tell you a story,
Or illustrate that same sad picture.
I fear that I’ve lost motivation.
I am uninspired,
And in being so, maybe a little inspired.
I’ve grown from a time when
I forced words through choking tears,
A time when teachers, friends, and family
Proclaimed me genius.
I was broken.
Perhaps I still am.
But once I gave up expecting,
And began simply accepting,
I lost my metaphor.
The syllables inside of me
Float, unconnected, without sense.
I’ve become content to be complaisant.
Or complaisantly content.
I make impetuous decisions,
No time to sit and mull the darkness.
I’d much rather sit and mull my wine.
I’m intoxicated by the taste of my smile.
Surprised, by how long my pillow’s been dry.
It’s disarming,
How I’ve built this beautiful reality with such dexterity.
I fear I will never again be aroused in this way,
Though, I seem so often aroused in many ways.
I told you, there are no longer any words.
I told you, I cannot write a poem.

-Spring, 2011

Siren

Never had motion sickness
But I feel like I’m swimming in my own body.
Every time I close my eyes, another wave hits me
And I wish I had a lover’s arms to keep me steady.
Yet, I shunned all lovers’ advances,
Took no prisoners, just struck them down.
I played no games and yet was still called a player,
God forbid they called me a whore.
Never lied to get my way,
Every “I love you” was truth
And courtesy led me to the follow up,
“BUT, I’m not IN love with you”.
Of course, after all the faces blend together,
And the names just turn into “Baby” or “Lover”,
I always end up sleeping alone.
It is then that I close my eyes and realize
That I am the reason I’m alone.
Once it was my preferred state, but now?
I don’t know.
With these closed eyes I embrace my ecstasy.
I don’t need to know your story,
Just that I’m what you need right now.
Every inch of my skin burns with love,
Pure, deep, real love.
And it’s only for you, for now.
Don’t ask me to give my life to you,
But accept that I belong to you right now.
The ocean I swim is turbulent,
It is the essence of chaos
And it is me.
Don’t ask me to share who I am.
I offer truth, but will not offer my heart.
I am wholly yours when you can see into my eyes.
But, once these eyes close and I am once again in darkness,
Once I am swimming alone,
Do not try to save me.
You will drown, and I will find another.

-Summer, 2009

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