WRITTEN WORK

odds, ends & extras
shorter pieces, musings and arbritrary works

SALINE

Music over the speaker blares
like a blender but,
I prefer my margaritas on the rocks- actually
I prefer them in a shot glass without
the mixer, no rim, and I don’t
need a chaser,
I’ve gone most of my life without
training wheels and besides,
my tears have enough salt in them anyway
and sometimes tequila makes me cry,
but not really
because I already cry- just
sometimes tears and tequila happen
at the same time, and
life is sour enough
that I can leave the lime
on the cocktail napkin.

CRYBABY

hanging around funerals and hospitals

staining clothes black

walking with sickles through pearly gates

Saint Peter is so familiar with tears

but what about


yogis? meditation and mantra

free water from the eyes

                    suspending  body and spirit


what about distance?

tears travel on the backs of welcome

                                    cling to the ankles of see you soon


what about comedy clubs? cat videos

poetry about dandelions

brownie sundaes barefoot

souls barefoot soles barefoot

strolls flower petals

sunshine peace moonlight beauty

they too walk in hand

with tears


tears pick at the seams of clothing

remove the thread

l

e

  a

 v

e


b

e

  h

    i

   n

 d


c

 u

   r

  v

e

s


of naked truth


if you're a man tears pierce

holes in   con ver sa  tion s

send     people    r u n n i n g

in the            other direction


men are expected to stand

tall against pain

hush tears into handkerchiefs

stuffthemdown into the tradition

of uncomfortable silence


tears deteriorare m u s  c l e m a s s

shrink testicles

wipe away beard hair

soften calluses

tears are for women


but occasionally permissible for men

  • on their wedding day

  • at the birth of his baby

  • beside his mother's casket

because men

are white knights

and when wounded

in battle they are expected

to slam whiskey and walls yell

at television sets  lift weights and

fuck   the women   whose tears

they   were put   here to stop

but     also sometimes    cause


men are to be  statues amongst

fallen ruins   remain the last tree

standing   through deforestation

be atlas holding the globe   steel

beams in fire    expected to erect

their own dam  to hold back the

tears   without consideration that

they    may one    day drown

WHISPERS

My body makes people uncomfortable


it’s my favourite.

I love to laugh as they stammer

when I declare

my weight, own

my stretch marks, flaunt

my size twenty-two jeans.

Their clumsy words aren't needed,


I am comfortable with my body


the way ballet dancers pirouette,

the way yogis handstand,

the way moss grows on stone.


I am comfortable with my body

the way a house groans and settles

after years of weather and wear.

I’ve spent nearly 30

moving in, decorating the walls,

arranging the furniture just

right to feel at home


the way sand belongs at the beach,

the way cats nap in sunspots,

they way toddlers sing like nobody's watching.


I have finally grown

into my curly hair and dimpled skin,

the circles beneath my eyes,

the glasses in front of them.


I allow the notion

that I can be tall and feminine,

pierced and professional,

fat and beautiful.

Pull me under

and I emerge new.


My body makes people uncomfortable


not because I like to flaunt it

though sometimes I do

but because I like to flaunt it

and I am not a size 4 or 6

but honey, oh, I am a 10.


Proud of the woman I became

once I realized I was here

for more than other people’s eyes,

though I have learned that people

don’t know what to do with me.


Outside of the bedroom

they seem to prefer women who

speak softly, complain

about nothing, pose

as arm candy


but, I am loud, sometimes

disagreeable, almost always

a beautiful mess.


I am both cocky and confident

in my comfortable body, a bit

like gin and tonic, an

acquired taste, plenty

to be said about me


I am not for everybody

but, that sure don't

take away my fizz .

EMPATHY

A bottle of red cranked

the stereo another decibel,

each sip taking me closer

to midnight, in a basement of

hazy twinkle lights looming with good

intentions, cheering on tannins

and fermented grapes

to take me over.


My body begging

to be overcome,

to be novocaine,

to be xanax,

to be someplace else,

to give in.


Deaf while sleep oozes through floorboards

notes plug up cracks in

spinning ceiling unsure where

the green felt of pool table stops

and my hurt begins.


Nerves suspended painlessly

in the empty

bottle alongside numb

fingertips, tingling lips.


With cerebral cortex still in tact

it turns out the bottom of that bottle held

more questions than answers.


Questions lift my limp body

into the passenger seat,

cheesefries the only answer

I can push past drowning tongue.



Her mouth says little,

her face everything.

She knows I am busy choking

down my povern pitcher,

pouring from empty

left only embarrassment

there was nothing left,

though nobody asked

me to quench their thirst.


Now my cup

the pitcher

the well

the whole goddamn river

was dry

‘til months of tears eroded

the dam, saturated

car seats, rose to the dashboard

turned my arms to driftwood.


I wish the wipers were on

the inside as I vomit words

against windshield.


I called it

a learning experience,

she never called me

a mess,

just came to sweep me up

after I crumbled.

Sometimes I call her


I say,

it’s a crank-it-up-to-11-vinyl-spinning-wine-drinking-cheesefry kinda night

because only

she knows

but, I learned my lesson now

I know

when the cup gets low

that water turns to wine and

I am no Jesus but, sometimes

I think that I am a saint

until I remember

how easily I can find myself

soaking wet and swept

into a corner.

NEW NEIGHBOR

5 a.m. greeted with

1 scrambled egg

1/4 an avocado, exactly

15 almonds


only after I’d stepped on the scale


5 hours later mid morning cucumber

sliced into fingers,

1tsp of dressing


4oz chicken breast with lettuce

served over a ceramic plate for lunch,

a whole grain tortilla

squeezed between them as a reward


sometimes dinner:

6oz of salmon,

bland lentils


never dessert


3 hours grunting

up hill to beauty

at the gym every day lifting

the weight I had lost

to remind myself from where

I came, as proud eyes

fell onto me


20 minutes in the sauna

clad in a sweatsuit

‘til wooden slats went blurry, ‘til

I fell down


kept reading labels

counting calories checking

sugar content swallowing

food supplements-

my waistline was shrinking


Mandatory Gym Selfie for Instagram:

1300 calories burned!

more than twice what I’d given my body

#fitspo #icandoit #thinspiration


I dreamt

of milkshakes

cried over sugar

in my smoothie

ate lettuce

at Applebees

brought apples to the bar

with me to chase tequila

because patron burns clean


my body was a temple,

high peaks, stunning

stained glass, beautiful

landscaping


all you heard around town

was talks of the facade-

never a peep

about poor construction,

hastily wired

walls, missing support

beams, or all the

empty rooms.

THE FESTIVAL THAT WASN’T

the rain came down

washed it all away

took the waterfalls

filled them to bursting

overrunning its place

nature does what it wants

what a better way to learn

to live in the moment


to have that moment cancelled

cloudy water would be luxury

for places like Flint yes

half of Watkins is stretched too thin


yes wet to the bones but

us dirty hippies just wanted to jaaammm

man just wanted to bounce around the room

just wanted to take off our suits


ties and heels

pearls wipe off our customer service

face and drown the how can I help you

attitude but not drown it like this just


wanted to let somebody else watch

the kids and the cats and the house just

wanted to worry about the bills next week

not have to set an alarm just


let the sun or laughter or the smell

of weed or the hiss of a nitrous tank

wake us up silent in the morning just

not have to wear a bra or shoes


vacuum a carpet or wash a dish just

let the vibrations of love and light pulse

beneath sunkissed skin

step to the line and dive


into a place unknown unscheduled

undecided undefined

where we

could be free


just a few days

before we

find a way

find a way back home

A POEM IN WHICH I AM HONEST*

A poem in which I am a man

A poem in which I am skinny

A poem in which I am fat

A poem in which I am unjudged

A poem in which I have dogs

A poem in which I am whole

A poem in which I am loved

A poem in which my parents are divorced

A poem in which I am single

A poem in which I can sing

A poem in which I am successful

A poem in which I can speak to cats

A poem in which I use the word Eating Disorder

ayAy oempay inay igPay atLayinay

A poem in which I know how to relax

A poem that changes the thoughts of just one person

A poem in which I open my parents eyes

A poem of silence

A poem in which I am crying

A poem in which I am beautiful

A poem in which I am successful in the way my father defines success

A poem in which I am no longer running

A poem in which my heart becomes words

A poem in which I am

A poem without


*An Emulation of “Poem in Which I Only Use Vowels” - Paola Capo-Garcia

EAT THE WORM

Music over the speaker blares
like a blender but,
I prefer my margaritas on the rocks.
Actually, I prefer
them in a shot glass without
the mixer, no rim, and I don’t
need a chaser,
I’ve gone most of my life without
training wheels and besides,
my tears have enough salt in them anyway
and sometimes tequila makes me cry,
but not really
because I already cry- just
sometimes tears and tequila happen
at the same time, and
life is sour enough
that I can leave the lime
on the cocktail napkin.

EASY LIFE

fan blades thicken
with dust looking
over folded baskets of laundry
a week clean
dishes unwashed
letters unwritten
taxes unfiled
paperwork dotted and crossed and sent 
to the one who signs
my paycheck
cats fed but the bamboo is dying
the bamboo is dying
how do you kill something
that needs so very little

VOLCANO

Volcano


i am hungry or

i am full, there seems to be

no inbetween

nobody ever opposite me

on the seesaw

i am either ass in the sand or

for a quick moment I am up

in the sky waiting for gravity

to pull me back down


i am hungry or

i am full

yellow dahl and curry i am

hungry

second and third helpings of dinner i am

hungry

dessert, a bottle of wine

a pitcher of beer

hungry


each night i am sacrifice

to the scale

hungry too it consumes me

toe by toe, ascending

past my feet and engulfing

my calves

devouring my offering

ounce by ounce

part by part

must finish me to be

satiated


hungry


climbing to my belly

reaching vishuddha chakra

i want to call out but i am

nearly choking

the scale so close to full but

somehow i escape,

come morning we are both

hungry


breath and tea help

fill me to the brim

until i drown the

hungry


i gaze into the mirror

see a full face hungry

for tacos and soda pop

deadlifts, clean and jerks

just one chin

cupcakes, chocolate collarbones



at noon i am

hungry i

for miniskirts and candy

bars, pizza, pad thai,

swimsuits


by 4 my stomach

rumbles with thanks for being

hungry


i  b r e a k    f a s t

at half past 6

with roasted greens chickpeas quinoa

carrots, nourish my cells

after a long day of being

hungry

at 8 i settle into rice cakes with almond butter

multigrain chips raspberry jam italian bread

by 10 it’s oreos

and before bed

chocolate chips from the back of the pantry


i am full

to sickness

i am hungry

with darkness

try to level my seesaw with new

clothes, good sex,

too much makeup,

push presses, pullups, lingerie


it never balances

and i can't hear my body

asking why

because i’m listening

for the numbers at my feet to tell me

they are full

but, they are always

hungry

LATE '95

born in 88 wrapped

in my father's arms I had fallen

asleep on the way

home from a family party run

late and the tv was on

when we walked in

maybe it was the last time he carried me

a furious white Bronco racing down the highway

he set me on the couch


                                     somewhere between                   


tequila                                                                                  combing the beach


                                                   somewhere


wooden spoons                                                     camping trips I can only remember


through photographs    

we stood

                                                                                 

                                                                                  somewhere


in the dark saying nothing

as the tv glowed and

my mother was     s o m e      w h e r    e

my siblings were

                                         s o m e w h e   r e


the moments before and after

are                                                          s o m e w h e r e

JERSEY DEW

A sampling of some late-night, sweat induced poetry...


Into cotton candy couch cushions

weary bones sink whilst pores perspire

the warm Jersey eve oozing into a puddle beneath wilted limbs


cohorts slumber

nearby chests fighting dead weight

wet, saturated, with nicotine resin and Chinese

food turning slightly in eternal styrofoam graveyards


Was 93 degrees always this hot?

The privilege of frozen air wafting

through bedrooms, traded for helicopter blades

whirring over the trenches as sweat glands fight the front lines

keeping the temperatures below boiling

ORBIT

I drank wine with the ashes

Of my best friends father

Old comrades

In a circle at the table


Haven’t shared a night like this

In a decade

It’s 8pm- feels like 3am

Like 2007

Strewn amongst pillows

Comforters and carpeting

Clad in pajamas sipping Georgi

Vodka chased with orange juice

Hoping we weren’t too loud

That he’d be woken


Now we gather to raise him up

Old vinyls brushed off

Cranked up to 11

Watching each revolution


Drinking wine with foggy memories

Of simpler times


Summers, bonfires, sleepovers

Laughing at high school reunions


How do you reunite with those you’ve never left?


The onyx tomb gleams silently

Between bottles of Berringer

A looming reminder of mortality


Cheers to charred remains.

CRUNCY NOSTALGA

Swallow

crunchy breeze dew

drops crawling on sidewalk

headphone music screaming

drowns out

screaming

hoodie walkman

papercut wrist


school bus to long halls

lockers bookbag fifteen

in for the long haul

footsteps bookbag notebooks

scribbled numb

love letters hate mail


shoplift wine coolers

vodka tequila

couches first kiss

bonfires late night

raindrops baptize

chuck taylors over fishnets

black clothes

black soul

heart of gold

in the end

misunderstood

understanding

cut class

standing under

pot smoke

headphones blaring cigarettes

choke

OCTOBER IS MELTING AWAY

like snow in September
it’s nearly November yet my brain is in March
time stops for nobody no matter how hard
we try to capture stills on film and memories
on paper, the sun rises and falls
through winter and fall summer
spring forward and back the clock ticks
through days seasons years a weekend
gone before you finish blinking
you sneeze a decade
has past fast forward
no backsies as the flakes come from the sky
melt on the tongue that can still taste
the salt from your last margarita tastes
like freedom but you’re behind bars
longing for your skin to taste the sunlight
falling from the sky

 

©2018 by Melissa Marie Imagery