Poem: Namaste

Sometimes when I look in the mirror,
I can’t help but see your face looking back at me, yellowed with jaundice,
Eyes puffy with lack of sleep.

When you died,
People worried my baby brother would follow in your footsteps,
That your demeanors are the same.
But I know it’s me.
We got along well because we understood one another.

I see the light in you that sees the light in me.

I know your numb. Your death gifted me that.
I try to remember how to smile.

But I just want to Nyquil away the nightmares.

Sometimes when I walk down the road,
With the cars blurring past
I imagine stepping out, on an impulsive whim.
I try to feel what you may have felt,
there on the self-serving tip of insanity.

People say you didn’t pause to think of us, that you wouldn’t have done it.
But what’s worse is I know you did. You thought enough to write down a name, a number,
A pretty little printout as if to say “Call them. They’ll clean it up.”
But we weren’t worth the effort of breathing.

I don’t believe in heaven like you do.
Just the random disbursement of cells and energy, the recycling of carbon and matter.
And I once believed in love, before it shattered into crushed bones and blood somewhere along Highway 78.

You’re everywhere. And I hate you.
But I can’t let go of you for fear of losing myself.
So instead I breathe.

Source: kewlwallpapers.com

The Vanishing Point

I’ve spent the last umpteen hours and days and months

driving towards that pinprick in the horizon,

that neat little microscopic point where everything comes together.

There, that “vanishing point,”

that’s were everything makes sense.

It’s my rainbow and I’m constantly chasing it.

How am I, amateur navigator that I am, to know when I’ve reached the destination?

I need a tour-guide, a wing man.

I push harder on the accelerator and set new records,

I blow past signs and lights and detours and alerts,

my vision so narrowed and tunneled.

I never bothered to read any of them.

And I missed the turnoff.

too busy hurling myself toward some impossible pinprick of a future.

You were my poor, lonely dirt road,

poorly marked but ever-so-promising.

You could have been my super secret detour to happily-ever-after.

And I blindly blew past.

Insomnia Poetry

I started writing more poetry during the excruciatingly late nights in the news room. While I waited for edits, I brain barfed uncensored poetry into gmail drafts and lazily sent them off to friends and critics. Some are more eloquent than others, some more passionate than others. Some rhyme, most don’t. What I could extract from my gmail “Sent” folder is included below.

What If
Insomnia and loneliness dance through my veins,
And I let them permeate my brain, let them taint my thoughts.
I watch as my potential lives play like movies across the backs of my eyelids.
All the parallel universes that couldawouldashoulda existed… There as a reminder of everything I never did.
All the forks in the road, all the ultimatums, all the conversations I never had reclaim some remnant of reality there in my 2am brain spaz.
I carry on both sides of the conversation…
Things I wish I had the wit to come up with without forethought,

Things I hardly admit to myself,

Things I wish I had the guts to say rather than feverishly type them into a document that still exists only on my desktop and in my mind.
Words you know, but only because you know me. Words I never could say.
Because having that conversation in real life would mean relinquishing my control over the outcome.
Shouldawouldacoulda…
Here, in my half-lucid not-quite-dream world, I dance the tango with two dangerous words.
And let the possibility of what could have been color my darkened room.

Toes

I’m all wild
Red hair and leopard prints
Independence and big talkin’

I “dig” my own holes
And tread on your pretty little toes
With my garishly painted, toe-ring studded ones

Sorry if I offended you, dearest Napoleon
Sorry if you met your match
I’ll fight logic with emotions
I’ll fight your tactics with my words
And win

But winning is really losing, isn’t it
This isn’t litigating here
With you, toe to toe

I just scare you off
God forbid I not be some prim Southern belle
But mayonnaise with Jell-o?
Gross
And debutante balls?
Archaic displays of long-lost virginities
Complete with frills and baby’s breath

I’ll stick to my beer
And my outspoken, underdeveloped opinions
Sorry I scare you away, kid
But this isn’t the 1940s

I’ll let you let me be the girl that got away
But I promise you, Ace
I will not go quietly

A Taste of Fall

It’s like savoring a childhood ice cream cone,
when I watch the northern sun set.
After 72 hours of cloudy-with-afternoon-showers,
it’s a long overdue apology from Mother Nature.

“Sorry for the messed up makeup,” she says,
“the never knowing what to wear outside.
Sorry for the mud-stained boots, the chill,
the loads of wet, moldy laundry, the pneumonia.

Just sit with me a while, friend,
And enjoy your colorful consolation.
Pour some hot cocoa, pull up a seat,
and share some silent, sweet conversation.”

And I sit there, cross-legged and cold,
and stare into my her eyes a while.
I pull my Snuggie in around my goose-bumped legs,
and share a stolen moment with my new frenamie.

The conversation transitions seamlessly,
from tangerine to peach to pomegranate.
In the most delicious, sherbety goodness,
that my eyes have ever tasted.

And then she fades away too soon into the black,
the gray, the shades of winter cold.
And I’m left with a lingering fruity sweetness,
clashing with my hot-turned-luke-warm chocolate.

My Life in Lists

If I ever had the guts,
to just up and quit everything
and write a memoir,
it might not be that interesting…

Probably a female angsty
version of some Salinger story.

But I’d call it: “My Life in Lists.”
Because I have the annoying habit
of breaking everything down into
bite-sized lists.

I blame my mom.

Word documents fill my desktop…
Bucket lists, Christmas lists,
lists of boyfriends and books to read.
Ideas for a story, words I think are pretty.
Lists, lists, lists.

Somehow, writing a list feels productive,
organized, constructive…
when I know its just procrastinating,
not doing the things actually on the list.

But it looks so pretty. All the check-less boxes,
There’s so much damn potential.

Sometimes, I put things on the list
like “Wake up” and “Breathe air”
just so I can feel the satisfaction
of putting a tick in that tiny, perfect square.

If I ever die and someone gets hold of Lloyd
(that’s my laptop),
they could dissect my whole personality,
my hopes and fears and dreams,
from the contents of my desktop.

Thought Soup

Sometimes, in our instant-message society,
The words we mean to say become scrambled
Like a Denny’s breakfast (noms).
I try to fill the awkward silences with
Gilmore Girls-esque brain barf, unscensored nothings.
And my hands come alive, dancing.

I always speak with my stupid hands.

As a writer, my whole life revolves around words,
All the whos and whoms and whichs and thats.
I explain away the unexplainable,
And my head spins with song lyrics and stories.

I so seldom stop to listen to them, though.
I mean really listen.

I’m a Gemini, through and through.
There are so many different ‘Marians’:
The tomboy Marian, the writer Marian
The sister, the daughter, the scholar
The friend, the baby girl, the child.
I hardly know who I am, anymore.

I’m not comfortable sitting still and making peace with myself,
Whichever version of myself myself really is.

“I have so many problems,”
I say while sitting in a lonely newsroom at 3am,
Turning my psychological thought soup
Into sloppy, haphazard poetry.

No edits, I tell myself.
Let the stream of consciousness run its course,
Eroding away my sense of comfort.

Heck, maybe this is me:
Half finished thoughts, strung together.
All the pieces
With emotion and 3am logic.
(Whatever logic there is at 3am)

Poetry: “Shades of You”

For some reason, I was writing last night and the phrase “shades of you” came to mind. I liked it, so I ran with it. Twice.

Shades of You (v.1)

Shades of you,

Lackluster faux-mances without the inside jokes and comfortable silences.

Poor perfects don’t stand a chance against your unkempt mess of a personality.

The way you try to use your psych talk to analyze me.

You kept quiet but I had to brain barf all over Tyler’s shoes.

Sorry.

I can hide 3,000 miles away,

But my 2am insomnia misses you.

Me too.

Shades of You (v.2)

You loved me,

Once.

I caught on a little late.

I told you you were smarter than I.

As usual, time wasn’t on my side.

Impromptu drivebys turned to awkward mornings.

Life’s not a romantic comedy…

No climactic music and kissing scenes.

Oops.

I used to think that putting “us” off,

Meant that I was in control.

I’m such a control freak.

Now,

I’m trying for “hopeful” romantic,

Even if it’s a challenge

(It is).

He’s great, you know.

He gives me a headache.

And his hair…

And he kisses my head like I know you would.

If you would.

But…

(Gosh, I hate that word)

But shades of you,

Will never shine quite as bright.

For what it’s worth,

I still love you.

Painted Art to Written Art

The last post had me searching through Lloyd’s archives at some pretty old stuff. I came across an assignment from my 10th grade humanities class. Mr. Cottrell (who is on the list of people who influenced me. He’s awesome) had us look at various styles of art… Surrealism, Dada, Futuristic.. and write poems inspired by several pieces. I definitely had a specific poetry style (or lack thereof?), but it’s fun to go back and read them. Below, I’ve compiled some of the art and the corresponding poems. Some also include reflections/explanations.

Picasso’s Three Women

Seeing the heavens

Boxes and shapes

All distort

Defining themselves

In the fires

Cut like rubies

Turn blind to that

If it burns

They wring their souls

Envious of emeralds

Smothered in sin

Their naked selves

Precious as gems

Screeching hymns

In the dark cave

Eyes closed to the fire

Marc Chagall’s The Falling Angel and The Pregnant Woman (Mary)

Remembering a time

Of music and ghostly beasts

Where light disappears

And faith dwindles

Flapping wings fail when

Innocence protects sin

Rather than expose it

And hope is unsuccessful

Madonna holds her

Fallen angel, but wings

Repair and beat and rise

And she remembers when

Messengers bring news

That sends the flocks

Into the heavens

And draws hungry eyes

Nestled in orchid beds

Sleeps a possibility

What hole is born by fear

Is filled by faith

Hole-y conception

Bears shining fruit

That transcends color

Species and race

Paul Klee

Fireworks, flowers, fruit

Explosions of color are

Too cliché, simplistic

It is more complicated

Craving comfort and warmth

Amid confusion and pain

She falters upon mistakes

In her careless haste

Smorgasbord of emotion

Indistinguishable in pink

Mistaking lust for love

Mistaking stumbling for

Falling

Towards the definition and color

And squirm away from that

Hidden behind closing curtains

A different kind of stage

Fluid limbs wade and twist

In blood and raw emotions

Poker face hides any and all

Weakness in blank stares

Disappearing details define

What a picture cannot

All felt and experienced

Is inexpressible in words

Or paint

Initially, none of Paul Klee’s pieces struck me, but the third piece made me think, especially with Mr. Cottrell’s question of whether or not the subject was moving towards or away from the viewer.  When I started to write though, everything I produced implied hints of sexuality, so rather than resist it, I embraced the concept.  I feel the free verse method and vivid visuals accurately mimic the modernist style.  Overall, I probably spent the most time on this piece, rearranging stanzas and lines to convey my message in the classiest way possible; it’s my favorite.

Hannah Hoch’s Grotesque

Bubble gumball Cosmo

Hepburn lips and cashmere legs

Cut and paste perfection for

Barbie doll disco

Einstein crimson hangover

Bushy brow alfalfa scalp and

Chicken knobby knees bring

Death to sunshine

This piece draws its contents from specific details from Hannah Hoch’s Grotesque.  I noted the stark contrast in the two subjects of her piece.  In addition, I tried to portray the collage style of the picture through the arrangement and diction of my words.  I really like the style of Dada; I feel it is a refreshing contrast to the other styles of the era.  Furthermore, the use of actual pictures from magazines and photographs makes the pieces more realistic and easier to interpret and relate to.

Poem: Ode to my morning paper

Here’s to you, old friend.
Here’s to our mornings together
	Latte in hand, feet propped, reading.
Here’s to my black-stained hands, my saliva fingers,
	Evidence of our daily love affair.
Here’s to the quick, finite snip of scissors,
	My sad, hopeless attempt to keep you with me a little while longer,
	Or to shyly share you with others.
	You don’t mind, do you?
Here’s to your limp, lifeless form.
	Your words, so timely when I read them, are never timeless
	And they yellow and fade with age.
	Only archives can save you now.
Oh, you.
	You bring life to the dead and left-wing truth to the people.
Biased you!
	I read between your lines.
	I made you.
	I know.
But I don't mind,
	Like it even.
        We look at each other and share knowing smirks.
Here’s to us, good friend,
And our happy future together.