In honor of the one year marker of Charlie's death, I have compiled my National Poetry Writing Month poems into a collection for anyone to purchase! The copies are $8 a piece, and I will donate every penny I receive to Charlie's daughter. Check it out and order your copy here!
my version of a love poem used to reconceptualize my relationship with someone who is no longer in the flesh...the italics are from an except from Story People.
I carry you with me
into the world,
I carry you with me
into the world, and you carry me with you through the world.
into the smell of rain
I can always smell you
in the petrichor because Portland rains endlessly, and you cannot visit
Portland without developing an appreciation for the smell of it’s luscious, wet
and the words that
dance between people,
I carry you with me
into the love that dances between people.
and for me, it will
always be this way,
And for me, it will
always be this way.
walking in the light,
But are you the light
in which I am to walk?Is that the
reconceptualization of our relationship—you are now the light in which I
walk.I think I can learn to understand
and cherish that.
To remember being alive together means ripping
off the emotional scabs of your memories so many times that your skin never
gets the chance to heal into a gnarly scar.But I don’t want you to be faint scar on my heart, so I will gladly tear
that scab off every chance I get if it means remembering you
i've moved on from this but i wrote this not too long ago when i was struggling with deciphering what it even meant to have desires after tragedy:
do you remember what we wanted?i don’t, but i know we had it.we never even had to articulate it.i don’t think i ever put it into words, but
we had it.we had it all.without ever having to ask for it.that was the key, because desire doesn’t fit
into the confines of language.when i
had no idea what i wanted or how to go about getting it, you showed up and gave
me everything i never knew how to ask for.that’s why i get so frustrated when people try to tell me the only
reason my life is not how i want it to be is because i don’t focus enough
energy on manifesting my own reality.fuck you.if my reality is all in
my head, why does it suck so bad?don’t
you think if i had any fucking control over this piece of shit reality i would
have exercised that control and made some goddamn changes already?if i really only exist in my own mind, why
can’t i think myself into nonexistence? why
is my masochistic mind so set on creating some sort of hell on earth?if i really only exist in my own mind, and my
mind has obviously collapsed, how am i still here?it’s all bullshit.everything.everything i believed.everything
i thought.everything i knew.everything i loved.and the fact is, if my mind were really
powerful enough to create an entire reality, it would be powerful enough to
destroy it too, and if that were the case, there’s no way in hell i’d still be
walking this wretched earth.if i had
the power to create my own reality, i’d be living in it with him right
now.don’t you see that?don’t you see that there are things that rest
outside of our control?our minds are
limited.we cannot change the order of
time.we cannot fly.we cannot breathe under water.we cannot we cannot we cannot.our endless limitations assure me this reality
is not of my creation, and if one more person tries to make me feel better by
preaching some new-age hippie bullshit about choosing my own happiness through
intention and meditation, i will throw up.how dare you sit there and tell me it’s all in my head and i have the
power to change it.do i have the power
to bring him back to life?because if i
don’t, then i don’t see what good all this mental power does me.and the worst part is, for the first time in
my whole fucking life, i can easily articulate what i want, and there’s no way
in hell i’ll ever get it.i want to be
his wife and the mother of his children.i want a future with him, but no matter how much i meditate, i cannot
change the fact that he only exists in my past, and no matter how hard i try, i
cannot live there with him.
we experience our own existence through five, common senses:
i miss your voice.i
miss the melody of your stories, the rhythm of your breath, the beat of your
i hear you in the vibrations of every subwoofer, in the “om”
of my singing bowl, in the crescendo of your daughter’s laugh.
i miss your lips.i
miss the sweet elixir of our saliva, the mac ‘n’ cheese you used to cook me,
the chemical burn in back of my throat.
i taste you in the smoke of burning herbs, on the lips of
other lovers, in the back of my throat.
i miss your sweat.i
miss the faint scent of your aroma lingering on my pillow, the sweet pungency
of your natural body odor, the intoxication of your pheromones.
i smell you on your dirty shirt, in my armpits when i wear
your old deodorant, on my smoke-soaked sleeves.
i miss your face.i
miss the faded green of your eyes, the arabesque shape of your smile, the maze
of your freckles, the veins in your pale hands, the hair on the back of your
neck, the way you used to look at me.
i see you in the flicker of a yellow candle, in my kitten’s face
when she watches me cry, in the eyes of those i love.
i miss your skin.i
miss the electricity between our touch, the heightened vibration of our
energies together, the ecstasy of contact with you.
i feel you on the back of my neck with your arms wrapped
around mine, in the stillness of meditation, in the siren song of sleep.
but we also possess a sixth sense that extends beyond the limitations
of the physical manifestation of our existence:
i love you now, then, and always.
i love you past, present, and future.
i love you here, there, and everywhere.
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world
Whatever you do, make sure to get sufficient rest and
exercise and fill your body with nourishing food cooked with love.Whatever you do, don’t run on empty and
definitely don’t replace sustenance with substance.Drugs may erase your hunger, but underneath
the chemical façade, your body cries like an infant in need of milk from its
mother’s nurturing teat.As a baby
develops during her nursing period, her mother’s milk also develops, adapting
to the baby’s dietary needs.First, the
milk runs thick with vitamins and nutrients, but as the baby grows and begins
the transition to food, the breast milk changes to provide the baby with
whatever nutrients she doesn’t get from the food she eats.No breast milk is the same, and every time a
baby latches onto her mother’s nipple, she drinks a new variation of milk,
whether it be thick or thin, sweet or bitter.But when a mother weans her child off her breast, she trusts that her
child will soon learn how to care for herself, nurture herself, and adapt to
her own changing needs.Weaning begins
the process of growing up, and as the child grows, she learns to cook for
herself, clean herself, and take care of herself without the help of her mother
or her mother’s breast.
However, when we experience trauma, our brain has two
choices:fight or flight, but it isn’t
always quite so black and white.Trauma
takes time to overcome, so our brain faces the fight or flight question
regularly during our time of healing.Some days I fight, and some days I flee.Unfortunately, although I try to fight most of the time, a part of me
fled so far away it reverted into infancy when the trauma first hit.Therefore, I wake up everyday and put on my
armor and grab my weapons and prepare for battle, but a substantial part of me
stays behind, curled up in the fetal position, crying and desperately searching
for the teat I left behind decades ago.Some days I can’t even open my eyes.I just feel around for a warm, full breast to latch onto but I find
nothing.My mother’s breasts have long
been empty, and I have had years, decades, to figure out how to nurture myself.So how did I forget?What happened to me when he died that I lost
the ability to satisfy my physical needs?I used to be so in tune with my body, but now all I feel is emptiness,
deep sadness, and fatigue.My body
starves, but I experience no hunger pains.I ring out my body like a washcloth when I cry, but instead of becoming
lighter and more weightless, I only feel the temporary emptiness of the deep
well of sadness inside.When the well
fills up, I am filled with sadness and tears.When the well overflows and I cry, I am a deep, hollow hole that echoes
for eternity.I am either overflowing
with emotion, or I am empty.
i'm realizing i've been writing a bunch of stuff but neglecting this blog so here begins a bunch of posts of some things i've been writing...some of it is super old so i'm not sure how much i'm even in that space anymore but it's all worth sharing i suppose:
I loved the mess, and I think I miss the mess most of
all.What is the mess?The mess is the numbness in the back of my
throat.The mess is the ecstasy and
unexpected love.The mess is the sleepless
nights and dirty money.The mess is the
evil inside me that cannot seem to give up or give in.
We were heathens.I
liked it that way.But lawless lives
lead to loss and listlessness more often than not, and ours was no exception to
But I cannot help remembering the universe favors entropy,
and what is entropy but universal rebellion.We can keep our houses neat and clean, and we can sweep our streets and
lock away the rule-breakers, but at the end of the day, chaos always conquers order.Chaos is human nature because chaos is
universal nature.We do not have vacuums
and brooms to spread dirt or create disarray; that comes naturally.But we do have to work to keep everything
clean.We take showers or baths when we
stink; we brush our teeth when we eat; we brush our hair when it gets
tangled.We live our lives in a constant
attempt to wipe our existence clean of nature’s attempt to mingle with us.
We are missing the point.
stinky.Get weird, because weird is much
more normal that whatever it is we are doing now.
Some might deem my current endeavor to study the law ironic
given my above declarations, but I think it makes perfect sense.See, the law almost got the best of me.The law is what stops us from enjoying the
chaos of nature, but it is also what stops (most of) us from killing each other
and violating each other’s rights.Chaos
may be natural, but it doesn’t exactly lead to a harmonious existence amongst
human beings.That’s because, although
evil may not be the nature of the universe, it is so engrained in the nature of
humans it might as well be law.And
because most of us recognize the risks our evil nature impose on those around
us and ourselves, we recognize the importance of enough order to keep a society
functioning.So we build laws because
chaos, much like nature, is inherently dangerous, and we as a species, are
But I said a long time ago that I fear nothing, and I will
live and die by those three words.And
what eliminates fear?Knowledge.I do not fear nature.I do not fear death.I fear society.I fear people.I fear laws.Therefore, in order to eliminate my fear of the systems society has put
in place, I must educate myself about those systems, i.e. the laws.Law school will empower me to fear nothing,
not even my own government.
And once I accomplish complete fearlessness, I will be free
to enjoy the chaos because what happens to OCD when it’s no longer driven by a
fear of chaos.
I just finished reading for my very first class about Tort Law, and my head is spinning. I understand, or at least am beginning to grasp, the basic concepts of torts--intentional torts, tort liability, etc.--into which over half of the contents of our reading delved. However, the remainder of our reading dealt with the theoretical concept of justice and whether or not justice is natural or conventional, and this is the part of our reading that has driven me to the computer to compose a written discussion of the issues I cannot, as of yet, fully grasp.
I'm struggling with a few basic, theoretical concepts: Does (human) nature inherently possess a universal concept of right and wrong? To what extent do social constructs affect our everyday interpretation of right and wrong? Is there any way to establish basic human rights without conforming to the existing power and consequently excluding some minority? And if, as I have previously held, the concept of a moral compass is a social construct, how does that affect my desire to advocate for social justice? Does social justice even exist? And how do I reconcile my conflicting notions that, although morality and justice are socially constructed, I feel it is my duty as a member (and minority) of society to fight for the deprived rights I believe I, other minorities, and all who are oppressed deserve?
In essence, these questions fundamentally deal with the ancient argument regarding nature versus nurture. I have come to believe that although nature and nurture have conventionally been pitted against one another, we as individuals and a society are, in reality, a complicated amalgamation of both. Therefore, if I apply this theory to my above questions, I begin to see how justice can be considered neither entirely natural nor entirely conventional but must be an intricate combination of both. I think I might have to wait until tomorrow's class discussion of the readings, however, to really get a grasp on how I might maneuver through the intricacies of natural and conventional justice in order to define and advocate social justice.
Although I have in no way reached anything close to an answer to my questions, I'm not going to write anymore today on this topic because I know tomorrow's class discussion will provide beneficial insight into these painfully complicated concepts. A follow-up post will come when I've formulated more concrete answers to the questions I posed above.