A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: odes

5/30: ODE TO SELF DOUBT

I hear you
talking shit.
I see you
in the comment section
of my greatness
Taking up all the space in the room
of my possibilities
As a person
As a poet
As a lawyer
As a husband
As a son.
You never want me to become.
Every day
I see your face
imitating my own,
wearing a crown
of What ifs
Doubt, your majesty,
You are the King of What Ifs!
The opposite of optimism
The opposite of me
Yet you only exist because of me.

But you know,
your voice is the loudest
only because I let it be?
You’re a failed plot, fool.
I’m the proof
Regina Spektor
sang it best
I’m the hero of this story /
Don’t need to be saved

Doubt you’d understand.
This story is mine.
I do the saving,
The swooping in,
The super hero landing!
Like any good antagonist,
you are the reason
I never quit
Arch-nemesis,
I will take every opportunity
to prove you wrong in this old song-and-dance.
Shit-talking self-doubt,
I hear you yammerin’
I know what you’re about.
But if this were show and tell?
I’d be the hammer,
and you’d be the nail.

5/30: ODE TO THE OLDEST I’VE EVER BEEN

I left the bar after one drink to roast squash and sweet potatoes. On the drive home, I talk to my girlfriend on the phone and hold the story of her day in my head. My bed is proud to announce I’m sleeping through the night. The calendar on my phone reminds me to look ahead. Oh the beauty of a budget. Student loans make me feel less alone. Meeting deadlines make me feel alive. Oh, to organize my socks and not find a single one missing. The joy of being together. Oh, electricity of cancelled plans. Right now, I am building a sanctuary of borrowed time. My plans for the future include fresh bread and compassion. Every day another lesson. Every day another guess. Every day another mess. Another year passes, and the mirror holds who I am with who I was. Tracing the lines on my face I arrive at different places. Oh, how the love I have to give covers the ground like pollen. If anger ever enters my bloodstream, I catch and release like a trapped bee. Calling my mother, I ask about my brothers. I watch from afar. The joy of being together. Oh, to be a witness to my own troubles. Life unravels and I turn my heart into a shovel. If I have a question, I ask it. If I know the truth, I tell it. I don’t know when all my pants will fit again. I’m learning the principle of infinite consequences. I was told a poem is a seed. So I praise what is still growing.

30/30: ODE TO JOY

In this episode, my mother and I
watch Lucy pretend she is someone
she is not, again.

In this episode, Lucy and Ethel
work at a chocolate factory
to prove
their worth to the men
in their hearts
and they work,
until

every bone in their body
is called defiance

the two women
braver
because
they are together

And together,
they are failing

Life
happening
faster than
the pieces of chocolate,
passing
through their hands,
one
by
one

until at once,
there is too much
for them to hold,
and

In this episode,
hope
is the only
delicacy

In this episode
my mother and I hide
behind
our laughter,
in the black and white
half-light,
me and her,
unbothered
by Lucy’s helplessness,
which, to some extent,
is our own,
me and her,
astonished
at the
the control she lost
which,
does not stop
her

it is a moment
where everything
depends
on the next moment

where
the space
she found
inside
her mouth
taught her
and me
to doubt
the chaos
neither of us
created
but in this episode
all of us
learn to escape
one way or another
and is this not
the definition
of a miracle?

the television became
our invitation
to pretend
together,
where I’d sit still
in the afterglow
of my mother’s
favorite show
and
every night
we’d chase
re-runs
until we
memorized
the sounds
in our head
line by line
the laugh track
cracked our
hearts open
just like our
lips, and
then and now

I learn,
in the low light,
the mouth
is no place for defeat

and joy is this—
realizing,
I am a mystery
even to me
that
everything I wish
to say has always
begun
in silence
before
it ever
became a script,
and again,
I refuse
to give
in.

In this season
of my life,
I would laugh
my vulnerability
into white noise
I would destroy
the darkness
just by
smiling —
& to this day,
I am
performing
for joy

The curtain call
of my body
falls
and I am a boy,
again,
and I love everyone,
again, just like
I Love Lucy,
just like I love
the love inside
my heart,
part
chocolate
part
factory, and
in this episode—
Joy is my only
choice, and everyone
I love
is watching me
disassemble
all of me,
until
nothing
is left to tremble.

24/30: ODE TO SUBRIDENT, SORT OF

I can’t leave my street/ without turning into an Ode/ I want to write beauty disembodied/ then proceed to explain/proceed to blush/ at my deconstruction/ devastated by the simplicity of my lust/ but before me/ A form I recognize/ Breathlessness is what the afternoon brings/ Praise my lungs/ unafraid to bloom/ Praise the colors of spring/ beauty embodied/ unafraid of gloom/ Wouldn’t that be something/ But I have left my street/ The name of my neighborhood is the Shenandoah Valley/ I do fear evil/ I do fear death/ The road before me is callous with wind/ Among this vast expanse/ Darkness goes unrestricted/ among the Storm Systems/ siphoning faith like the wounding of color/ The sweeping exhilaration of thunder/ unloosens the stitch/ in my side/ My toughness collapsed/ My collection of light/ cracked open/ for all to see/ the nucleus of marbles/ each particle pinballs to create a stronger thing/ Have I spoiled the mystery/ Has anyone seen me before the warm heat rises/ before the cool air quiets/ before the sun riots/ before the masquerade of the storm/ has made you forget your own flesh/ but this too shall pass/ but not before the spell is cast/ Look/ up ahead/ the horizon is unhaunted/ Look/ before you/ my heart/ Unhunted