So…I am not a poet. I sometimes write it when I have some big, typically terrible, emotions that I have been lugging around for a few days, but I usually go months or years without writing much in the way of poetry. When I am moved by the creative spirit though, I sometimes end up with something resembling poetry and it is always the result of my inability to contain the words. The following are some poems that I have written in such a manner. Each horribly emjambed line, ill chosen synonym, and sloppy image has proven a catharsis for me. I’m not intentionally sharing this as a way to fish for writing compliments (in fact I’d prefer if you didn’t comment at all), but I am sharing because I’d like to live my life with the sense of authentic bravery I encourage my students to live with. So…here’s to leaning into uncertainty and discomfort and sharing some really crappy poetry that maybe might encourage others to write their own story and allow words to name the demons and guide the path.
I Knew My Mother
As her fingers traced lavender
Across the words on the page
And her breath brushed circles
On my cheeks.
As the texture of her voice pitched
To sandy vermillion and her pulse
Throbbed purple bruises
Against her temples.
As she beat her chest and bore (t)
Her throat like a paper soldier
Soaked in prince-feathered power.
As her sweat-stained smile sent tickle
Blues cascading through her veins
to drip spindly kisses into words.
As her battle cry splashed her eyes
Amber and her roar assaulted the air
With magnificent vibrations. (image-agitation)
As she slept eternalized by time
Exhausted by her sins, shadowed by fears,
Compressed by her wrongs, and left
To be remembered, unknown.
The margin of allowance around
is both hollow and industrial.
Banded in iron, the margin’s width
those trying to survive.
The margin carries a ruler to slap
that catch tears out of turn.
The connection echoes, sliding off
colliding with airwaves.
The margin stands ready with its
ticking the molecules left in the tank.
The margin lifts the beaker to
the gasps of a breaking heart.
That. Fucking. Margin.