A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: writers

8/30: POEM BEGINNING WITH A LINE MY MOTHER WROTE WHEN SHE WAS FOURTEEN ON THE BACK OF HER HIGH SCHOOL PICTURE IN 1979

Please help me
understand
the things
I need to know

I am not always
who I should be

How do you know
what you know?

How do you know
when to keep going?

How do you
name your pain?

How do you
word the secrets
you keep?

I am in the middle of a story
I do not remember telling

Please help me
understand

Nobody tells you the truth
unless it’s easy

I don’t know how to say what I think
without sinking into the ground
like a seed out of a season

In my head, all the heroes are dead
But I want to re-write the ending

I keep holding on to every little thing
that has happened to me it still feels like
it is happening to me

Please help me
I wrote a list of questions with no
answer and all I want
is your voice
to be a whispering map in the madness

2/30: LESSONS FROM THE SAGA OF LIGHT

God bless my bluebonnet heart opening Sunday morning
Like the last laugh of wildflowers in my grandmother’s garden—
God bless the by-lines of beauty multiplying in the dark, growing
overnight, springing from everlasting ash like a blunt wrapped
in phoenix feathers. I found I do not fear what I cannot learn
and I cannot learn what I do not witness. The lesson is this:
We’re still learning to love the lessons, no matter the teacher.
I once wrote, if you lose hope, try forgiveness. But I did not
Trust the teacher, so I chose neither. In the interest of justice,
I ask that the universe reverse the grid-lock of my grief.
Though, I know this is not possible. My brother taught
me how to box-out. This was the first time I learned
to put a perimeter around the pain. As a creature who craves
the hunt of the heart, I ask for hands to hold the slippery
silver fish of suffering. Remember the rebound. In the interests of joy,
I ask the voice of vulnerability to self-govern. In every poem,
a crossing collapses and another bridge begins. Please,
despite the dark doom of destruction, accept this invitation.
Wander into the wilderness. Witness what work it is to stay.
Though, I know this is not possible. In the interest of Self-
Preservation, I ask the secretkeeper to switch to bees.
Why does what I keep never feel like honey?
The lesson is this: I cannot define what is unfinished.
“If I lead you through the fury, will you call to me?”
I sing fleet foxes in red boxers when no one is watching.
Last spring, I spent all my love making time, just like
The Eagles taught me. But what happens when I run out?
Imagine the eye of the storm. Now imagine your eyes.
Whose eyes are lying? If I want the answer to my question,
I’d give it. The lesson is this: the wood in me is not for building.
I used to borrow the best parts of my boyhood to understand
the misunderstandings, wishing, I did not know what I know now.
I used to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. Though, I know,
This was not possible. After offering my body into the wrong church’s
collection plates, my lover tells me, I am no longer a safe-space.
The teacher taught me: whatever I gave, I took away. Like a carousel
of untold truths, I spun my tongue away from the end. In the interests
of time, I ask that the clock restart. I ask for one hand to join my hand
and hold whatever part of my heart is most bruised. Though, I know,
this was not possible. The lesson is this: even pain has limits.
For years, all I wanted as a boy was to be loved. The world gave
me many things, but I still wanted more. First, desire, then lust,
Then greed. At twenty-five, I ask each dark seed to leave. Though,
this is not possible. The earth is strong and I am not ready yet.
For a while, I forget most terrible things I’ve done or did.
Then I remember the wild foe of my woe, guilty as green grass.
I try to mow the misery growing into a sanctuary city.
Do not pity the fool forever failing to find the spark in the dark.
Though, I know this is not possible, I still bless my bluebonnet
heart opening up, like a faucet I fixed in the dark. God bless
The lessons I am still alive to live through. At twenty-five,
I have lived through one-hundred seasons. Through every season,
I have left what I cannot forgive in the fury of the past. Is anyone
Left to call to me? Though, I may not always answer.

22/30: a poem to the sun written in instagram captions OR Happy Earth Day

This isn’t a song about the moon,
or a bird, but the sun and you.
If you could only hear this moment.
The sun is a cure
Divine medicine.

I am the sun’s shine.

How many times
have I walked beneath a tree,
only to be greeted by
sweet light?
Oh, sunlight of mine,
who is always reaching, knocking
against the dark in me: yes,
this is our reminder to shine.
Yes, I have yet to love the light less.
Where the sunlight sifts through trees,
you’ll find me. I walk outside
to the welcoming air, what a perfect day.
I see the sun flickering over the horizon.
The light is a lesson I continually learn.
Even what trees do to light is wild.
Scary, isn’t it
to scatter upon touch?
Though, it must be lovely:
falling to the ground only
to find nothing missing,
the kiss of morning light.
Goodbye Sun,
the setting,
still surprised by the simplicity
of a moment that makes us stop.
In the summer, a man sits beneath
these trees, finding solace in the shade,
reads aloud to himself, to the world,
to the sun.
I see the gold in the air.
When the sun shines
on all that you do,
what other choice
do you have, but shine too?
I think the light likes me,
as in
I’m rolling solo con el sol.
juntos. I know, I know
Light grows over
my body, so when I say
I shine just by showing up
I’m really saying, look at me:
finally less alone—
all these sparks
for bones.
Now, look at me:
stripping the shadows
from sadness.
I’m lit with so much love,
the darkness
dare not disrupt.
I catch the sun
until my heart runs
with light
Oh, how the light reflects,
grows in every direction.
Again, the sun is a cure.
A setting sun kisses my face
even when I turn back,
when I do not face its face,
even when I am faceless,
when faceless turns me nameless—
I reach for it,
store the light in my cheeks.
You should watch me speak,
you should watch me
bad mouth doubt,
you should see
how I dismantle
the dark
between my teeth,
you should see
what light can do
for you and you
and you and you.

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”