A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: texas poets

22/30

 

Waiting for the bus in the rain
sounds like a sentence that belongs
in a story about nostalgia, you know.
Trying to remember, as if the mere
mention of memory does not make us a history book?
This doesn’t take that much work, though.

I am waiting for the bus in the rain.
With little effort, everyone avoids drowning.

Except me, and that exception applies to the entire
previous sentence.

With much effort, I am still no one avoiding nothing
which to say today is Thursday and I am waiting for the bus
in the rain.

Goodness, now it sounds like I’m trying to remember
but memory for me doesn’t work like that. What happened
is still happening, as always with me, an unhappenable being
and this mostly gets confusing due to the speed at which
I speak and that has to do with memory, too.

I’m afraid if I forget what I want to say, I will lose my tongue one day.
Once the letters and words begin to pinball I don’t want them to drop
like jaws. I want to say everything all at once.
Oh, my mouth is my mistress
and I want to make love like teeth
and fresh banana bread. Have you ever had fresh banana bread?
Well if it’s a no, you haven’t made love with your teeth like I know
and let me tell you, that’s a love you have to show. What’s the point
of being able to speak if you ain’t gonna sing? What’s the point
of being able to eat if you ain’t gonna make the food sing to you?

Goodness, now it sounds like I forgot what made me remember
which I didn’t because I don’t have to remember,

I was waiting for the bus in the rain and nobody drowned
except me but that’s mostly because I was born next to the ocean
and my father was a sailor and you know there’s something about apples
falling from the shipdeck and boys getting apple flesh
caught in his anchors, well that’s me.
The only brown boy who made himself a ballast and still drowns
in spite of it. In spite of the buoyancy he was built with.

I am waiting for the bus in the rain when the bus stops
like I don’t know how to do and now I am
on the bus with the rain outside when I look up and see a poem
by Jill Wiggins. The ending it went something like this,
“Into dark water—
I could drown
in words”

 

21/30

21/30

THINGS FALL APART

The last band we saw together was Built to Spill
over at Stubbs, when November was its nastiest
and Winter felt so true. Thirty degrees and dropping,
I pressed my body so hard against yours, I expected
sparks to consume whatever it was we could not control
like the weather
like each other,
and each of our expectations filled with what we
both wanted, which was not each other,
I learned that from the aftermath
and that is the hardest part.
To be a lesson and not even know it
until you have to.

But oh, if I had to do it all over again,
I’d do it just the same. Even if I know
our sparks won’t stay long enough to last
through the winter of each other, I will
still build the a fire for you,
even if I have to burn myself down
to do it.

“We’ve all seen enough, now it’s time to decide
The meekness of love or the power of pride
It doesn’t matter if you’re good or smart
Goddamn it, things fall apart

Let’s go for a walk, yeah, let’s go for a drive
Don’t know how to say thanks for being alive
Let’s go for a lifetime, let’s go for a fling
Don’t know how to say anything”

 

 

 

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.