A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Month: April, 2014

18/30

HIGH & DRY

All the cars     go somewhere     this makes you think
you should too    makes you wanna gamble your morning
breath     away      on   your 8 AM playlist    a shuffle so sad pours
replaces the sugar in your coffee with       Radiohead
and now this suffering refuses to skip   I am sobbing songs out to an audience
invisible from the outside in but oh        I don’t just sing    for nobody   now
Ya see?     I remove the stirrer now a tongue and the thickness of it
curdled the cream    degreased the deadbolt  that keeps the best thing
 I ever had           whole  and no one knows
or remembers how to gather gone glory    even after you showed them.      It’s ok, though.          
‘Cause this morning       I can sing     about wishing to make love
without my inside falling to pieces      again.

Anyway       you are not in your car yet and you think still
to step out      in such an environment     will make you        imposter      
or maybe just impossible  or maybe      opening the door
will affirm           what is waiting         and what is waiting  is what is   not yet
yours but that     will always be       waiting    so
what’s the rush? Maybe now      you are the open door
Welcome!   you think   to the world  whose constant availability
vindicates   the time it takes for you to          open so true      maybe
none of this is what you thought would happen by noon but
It is Friday   nonetheless       you have now drank two cups of coffee
finishing neither but your breath says otherwise and now you are awake
now you are in your car              going somewhere        but you still haven’t left.                                                                            

17/30

THANKSGIVING
or
How I Let You Go On The Most Depressing Day of the Year
and Feel Pretty Good About it

I burned all the leftovers. The pie too.
It is as horrible as I am making it seem and
more. I am used to more but there is no stuffing left,
nothing left to stuff but silence.
When stuffing is the love you shove
into your mouth, what happens when you
run out?

It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving
when I last saw you and when everything
didn’t happen like it was supposed to.
When asked what you are grateful for
all anyone hears is hesitation, air taken by teeth
and you leave a silence so grand I bow
at the base of it. Is that what giving
is?
No, thanks.
The rain came like it was supposed to
and I am still smothered in mud, my
god.

Driving home, I am my own soundtrack
Words like why, again, why, again, why, me
again, why is there always an again
are lyrics
the speakers are familiar with.
Driving home, I am my own carwreck.
I exit the highway onto a country road
which then turns into a mouth of mud
and I am stuck and sad and so oh very
sad at being stuck.

If I count all the times I asked you to come back
I could not trace my way back and oh to be stuck like that—

All it does is take and that is a terrible
and true fact.

A stranger tells me a fact I go home to Google to make sure it’s true.
The first Monday of the New Year is considered
the most depressing day of the year. Something about
having to begin again but this time with follow through. Something about
having to show up and mean it, on a Monday
no less.

Driving home, we are on the phone. Most of the talking
is by me and I forget what I said but most assuredly
it rang to the tune of me promising a safe place to crash
or fall or call home, even if we are all bones or blown to
little bits of I told you so, oh don’t you know
I would have showed up and meant it
every Monday?

Driving home, we are on the phone when I run out of gas.
A stranger helps me push my car to the side of the road.
It is the coldest day of the year, which means it is the first
day we felt our skin sting and suddenly I cannot help but
count the coincidences. This same stranger brings me hot tea
and tells me
Waiting all alone is the worst.
Tells me today is the most depressing day of the year, and how he hopes
how much that isn’t true.

I call you later on the phone, and you showed up but
we both know you didn’t mean it, and so I tell you then
like I tell you now, the last words I will say to you are
I love you and goodbye.

It always ends the same.

16/30

“Mama. What’s vacation?


Vacations when you go somewhere…and you never come back.

-Forrest Gump

TO THE WOMAN I LOVE, WHO IS STILL ON VACATION

I changed my mailing address, but I don’t think that matters.
You can forget about the refrigerator magnets. Something tells me
the magnet wouldn’t attract anything anyway.

What is left of yours remains in the lost and found of who
we once were. I rummage through it at least once a week
to keep the dust a dance away from deluge.
I went weeks deluded, convinced the months would
run out of ways to move forward, pretended my bedroom
would become baggage claim, and you would see me convulsing
on the conveyor belt like being yours made my blood
want to leave too, so perhaps I can’t blame you
or perhaps I just wanted nothing more than your touch
to topple me to pieces, for your hand to burn through the wreckage
and wake up a bird perched against the worst of it.

I am a coward when it comes to claiming
But still bury myself with so much baggage. This body
has blackened into a fisted ballast, a broken knuckled
ballad that probably sounds like elevator music
repeating forever, the pieces picked apart, a part
of me is still wishing you were here a part of me
still wants to be the place where you go even if it
is only to take what is left of yours

I can’t be in a room with an open door anymore.
Ajar. I know what a jar is. It’s where I pretend our love preserves itself
only the lid is always open and you are always going
bad, or back, or ahead.
Ahead. I know what a head is. It’s where I hear myself
raise the worry into bread. Our love,
a spoiled loaf, an oath that tore like a one-way ticket
stub that said everything but stay, or sorry, or
I’ll be back for you.

I don’t know where people go when they leave a place
or a person they never want to return to, but I hope the exit
wound is clean. I cannot keep caring about maps and the lines
they leave for me to follow. As far as I am concerned, they all end
the same. 

15/30

ARGUMENTS AGAINST MYSELF II.

Again, with this?

You go to bed gnarled by how long it has taken to see what is not there.
You sleep quiet, ignore the other half of the bed, and this pretending is
now a lullaby. The brim reach of solitude has spilled, flooded and
and now everything you own, occupied by lonely, a piece of driftwood
refusing to go to anywhere and what do you do?

Why we all know you sink, precious. By morning you surface possessed
by love, more porous and less afraid of blisters, more aware of bursting
than ever and oh this means you are a shipwreck, or a ghost, or simply
a remainder of what the world forgets the most. But the sea is yours to
suffer with or against, and sleep drifts like a quiet anchor, afraid to choose
whose heart to sink its teeth into.

Oh, alluva sudden you undid your faults. Just done, like that.
You make yourself joy
sink your teeth into displeasure
drag your mouth in the mud
And this makes a meal?
How many words have you made a meal with
before you washed your hands?
You want to be the river but know nothing of clean water.
Is this why you boil so gently?

 

14/30

I am drinking Vietnamese coffee
Iced, cream heavy
As the night
I need to drink
Up.

It is easy this time.
The girl across from me
nods the night through the
roof of her voice box.
Fills her mouth with hot air and fire.
Reaches into me by keeping the heat
off her hands. Skins me by the teeth of her
smile so now I am as thin as
her hair galloping by
on a breeze, either leaving or returning
or both. Either way I am exquisite at the
fickle way her lips fissure.

Above her an EXIT
recommends itself, but the night
and the moment is too heavy to leave
just yet. The coffee
is sweating against my palm,
I cannot help but let go of
what is already melting. Besides
I have my hands hung in neon,
my palms forever glowing
OPEN and I don’t think she notices.
but oh, I hope she knows.

13/30

 

ARGUMENTS AGAINST MYSELF

You busy yourself with the trouble of translating disaster
as if there is something dear to dismantle besides
yourself. This does not make you a writer. It makes you a
chump, another darling calamity caught. You have hooked
the raw of your jaw against a silent cat call. Only you know the phone number
to every ringing heart and you still long for everything. The longing calls
and the answer lasts. This makes you question your own warranty.

Now you are worrying.
For what? You cannot collapse the loudness belonging
to a body born a boom box. The volume knob gnaws like a
crappy chorus I cannot help but swallow along to. Since most of me
is made of tremble, I cannot help but scatters decibels when
someone spits a licking so loud I lash from the way happiness
and sound both open my mouth, how sloppy song step out
in suit and tie my tongue into a tune.

This does not make you a harmonica. I tell myself again.
It makes you a hoarder. Yes. People are plentiful creatures,
but they only distract. With all they profess, their plenteous
confessions come in waves and sometimes they stay
too long, sometimes they hover in the air
the hot air of a lost lover or was it leaver?
The hot air of a lost leaver now porous
now a perfume performing overhead using the headboard as a stage,
your bed head is heavy with what you keep losing. Aren’t you
listening?

I overheard you complain about who’s in your head
and how it is impossible to get over her, and you cursed
your body for being a river instead of a bridge. You lose
yourself in relationships already lost, convince your tired heart
that loving is alive because you remember it. But don’t you remember
the night time? How you forgot love, and washed whatever you had left
in the dirt water of what you remember. Is this what you meant by
giving yourself to tremble? Boy, you are so in your head, you haven’t
heard any of this, have you? Aren’t you
listening at all?

 

12/30

There is nothing in my stomach and the only thing unusual about this is my surprise at the growling. What meaty emptiness I provide for myself. What myth of fullness I cannot help but cavil against. It’s not that I abstain from consumption, but that I confuse how much force I must use when I am swallowing food and people, so I withdrew my tongue because I still have a hard time choosing. This is nothing new. I am history, repeating itself. Have I said that before?

Whenever I ran out of lunch money, I refused to tell my mother. I feared the things my mouth might say when I tried to tell her I am empty today. Thought hunger could be helped if I kept it to myself, so the boy in me became a king of self-consumption. Craving kept me royal. How majestic must one pretend his breaking is? I eat, sure. I do. But don’t you know I can’t always stop myself?

There is nothing in my stomach, but this stopped being strange. It has become something like familiar, or was it similar? I guess it is both, or either, or neither, or even now as I dive deeper into my belly, I am biting my tongue at all the terrible, even now it is dinner and I am still appalled at all the room left in my mouth. Have I said that before?

11/30

LOCAL MAN GULPS STATE’S BEAUTY OVERNIGHT Last night, local poet and native Texan, Zachary Caballero, watched the sun spill into a field of bluebonnets, when he decided to open his mouth and gulp the beauty of it all before it set, devastating his body, scorching his throat, all in an attempt to store his chest with heaps and heaps of gold, his closest friends report. Mr. Caballero’s mother found the twenty-two year old optimist passed out drunk on her front lawn this morning, when thousands of Texans woke to find the sun weeping. Nearly every river ran scared when they woke to an empty bed for the first time. There is nothing left to sing about, as swarms of Mockingbirds roam the bruised body of God’s country, searching for life in the belly of a man, for what remains is not due to what is left, but who is left? The sun set last night at seven twenty-six p.m. The temperature stayed a faithful seventy degrees, while the entire day tried to stay awake, until all the petals, and all the trees, and all the people that spend most their time trying not to leave, arrived in the thirsty mouth of Zachary Caballero. Friends of Mr. Caballero claim he has always had a big mouth, with an even bigger heart. They know this because he swallowed himself whole once, and came back by Spring. They know this because he weeps at the grocery store whenever the mangoes go away. They know this because he has kept the grey of every day, and refuses to say so. So they say. Numerous attempts have been made to communicate with Mr. Caballero, as thousands of Texans are wondering when they will look at something beautiful again. It is difficult to tell how the wildlife have been affected, but it is assumed that unless the state begins again, even the predators will have to pray.  When asked to comment, Mr. Caballero opened his mouth without a single word falling out. Instead, the water returned to their bodies, and went back to bed. A chorus collapsed half of West Texas as mockingbirds heard the silence turn to stone. He took every part or particle of God from his oddly-raptured body and gave the gulf back its grief, scraped his bones clean of mercy and saw the devil towns disappear when he was done dancing. When his mother discovered her son, she saw him wearing the smile he was born with, and when asked about her son’s peculiar behavior, she simply replied, “He does this all the time.”

10/30

I loved a woman made of white noise for so long
It wasn’t until I threw my heart into my mouth
for the last time that I realized her static song echoed
the loudest whenever I decided to leave.

When the good left, and nothing but the bye remained
I burned the last of her from me and drank hot tea in the dark
to calm the scattered static that greets me whenever I am hungry for her again.
The tea didn’t tuck the storm happening inside me asleep
so I built a ravine out of bed sheets and burned books,
caught the rain water between stories that were not afraid to melt
and thought myself sturdy like that too.
So I boiled most of my body down to brass
’cause even though she, my once darling darling,
picked me clean from her teeth like rotten meat,
I still like what happens when I cool inside another’s mouth
how melancholy breathes an impossible beat
how my tongue is tearing its skin into miles of brass in the heat
and even though I am singing the blues back to the sky
I am reminded that loving a  woman made of white noise does not make me a songbird,
it just means I love without thinking, it just means I did not need to think to love her
I just did.
And even if the static she left made me second-guess all the color in my breath
I still got the blues burning through me and
though I know it though ain’t much,
at least I can finally get some rest.

9/30

What strange hum fluttered inside this
featherweight of a boy
when he found himself falling
with the wind?

It was the everything that
made me music.
It was the everything that
made me howl ‘til I ached
myself away.

I tell myself
nobody owns my wilderness
but even that feels false
too.

I do not believe in eternity
per say,
but I do know that most
of me will be forever translating feeling
from fiction or fact or ash
and that I cannot ask questions
without second-guessing
what is said next, but isn’t
what’s next always a guess?

Tomorrow is there as it has
always been but it does not
begin until we say so and that
is a terrible truth to swallow.

The swallow of everything is terrible
but only because not everyone thinks
it is music and so they do not lose themselves
in the falling, but I know now
to land is to know love
again.
I know to be a featherweight of a boy
is to feel the fall days long
but it ain’t as bad as it seems.

Whenever the wind leaves now
what comes out is not a tired
sad strung but a humble hum
that I refuse to let leave
my lungs.