Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looking for that special something...

I want a poem that will make me cry. Weep, in fact at it's depth and sorrow, or maybe love and happiness, or possibly at it's survival and heroism. I want a poem that will give me goosebumps once I get to that line. You know the one - it is the line that brings the poem together, into a full circle, moving the poem above the average and into "you've got to read this." I want that poem.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Postcards by Sarah Kay

This post links closely with the previous blog. You may take something different from it, but for me it is a reminder that we should each live our lives in the moment - if we feel something, do it. If we think it, say it. Holding back because of our insecurities will only end with regret.


I had already fallen in love with far too many postage stamps.

When you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard promise.

No, appear is the wrong word. Is there a word for sucker punching someone in the heart?

Is there word for when you’re sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster and you realize that the climb is coming, that you know what the climb means, that you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you’ve even moved?

Is there a word for that?

There should be.

You can only fit so many words in a postcard.

Only so many in a phone call, only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness.

It is hard to build a body out of words – I have tried.

We have both tried.

Instead of lying your head against my chest, I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me.

Who stays up all night long practicing his drum set.

The neighbors have complained. They have busy days tomorrow, but he keeps on thumping through the night convinced, I think, that practice makes perfect.

Instead of holding my hand, you tell me about the sandwich you made for lunch today.

How the pickles fit so perfectly against the lettuce. Practice does not make perfect.

Practice makes permanent.

Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer to Carnage Hall, even I know that.

Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer! You never get any closer.

Is there a word for the moment you win tug of war?

When the weight gives and all that extra rope comes tumbling towards you.

How even though you’ve won you still wind up with muddy knees and scratches on your hands.

Is there a word for that? I wish there was.

I would have said it.

When we were finally alone together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say.

Still now, I send letters into space.

Hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the descriptions in my poems.

That he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you “There is a girl who still writes you. She doesn’t know how not to.”

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dear Regret,

The time it takes to let go of you seems to drag on forever. You creep up in moments when least expected and crowd in on me when I am most vulnerable. Whether I think of you each day or only once a month, the years I have held onto you don't seem to be ending. The level of "i wish I had, I should have, I would change" is different each time it comes into my mind - I wish I had loved him more, I should have taken more risks, I would change how I ended "the" relationship. BUT I can't do anything to change what has happened and honing in on my mistakes and the "could have beens" is not going to create happiness in my life. There are things I would have done differently - there are times I wish I would have opened up - there are changes I would make to how I treated you, but "it is what it is" and accepting the past for what it is, is the ONLY way i will come to terms with the present.

I am still struggling, but maybe writing this (possibly confusing) message is another step in my healing/acceptance.

Thanks for the life lessons,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious"

This poem called "Private Parts" by Sarah Kay speaks to me at a very deep level. I feel very similarly about the "first love of my life" - we may have not lasted as long as what we could have, or seen each other "naked," but I stilled loved and continue to care for him very much. However, I've never said all the things I'd like to say to him - too afraid, too shy, too much pride. It doesn't matter what it was that kept me from being honest with him, but I do hold that regret with me. Our relationship ended abruptly and too soon. We may not have ended up being "soul mates," but at least if I'd been honest and open with him, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this. I wish him the best in his life and that he finds true love; I know that someday I will and that maybe someday I'll stop thinking about him.

The first love of my life never saw me naked.
There was always a parent coming home in a half hour.
Always a little brother in the next room.
Always too much body and not enough time for me to show him.
Instead, I gave him my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knee.
I lent him my corners, my edges.
The parts of me I could afford to offer.
The parts of me I had long since given up trying to hide.
He never asked for more.
He gave me his eyelashes, the back of his neck, his palms.
We held each we were given like it was a nectarine.
Could bruise if we weren't careful.
We collected them like we were trying to build an orchard.
The spaces he never saw, the ones my parents had labeled "private parts."
When I was still small enough to fit all of myself and worries inside a bathtub,
I made up for by handing over all the private parts of me.
There was no secret I didn't tell him.
There was no moment I didn't share.
We didn't grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, molding each other into perfect yings and yangs.
We kissed with mouths open.
Breathing his exhale into my inhale.
We could have survived underwater, or in outer-space, living off only the breath we traded.
We spelled love G-I-V-E
I never wanted to hide my body from him.
If I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me.
I didn't know it was possible to save some things for myself.
Some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious.
He is across the world in another woman's arms
and the years I have spread us like dandelion seeds,
sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other.
He drinks from the pitcher on the nightstand.
Checks the digital clock, it is 5 am.
He tosses in sheets and tries to settle.
I wait for him to sleep before tucking myself into elbows and knees.
Reaching for things I have long since given away.