A lot of this week's poems were written last minute, in the dark, on the notes feature on my phone right before I fell asleep. This fact alone got me thinking of one of the most common responses I get when I tell people I'm a writer. People tell me how great that is, and how they would love to write if they, "only had the time."
The funny thing is that every person who tells me this seems to dismiss the implication that I somehow do have the time. That, somehow, my life is less busy and less demanding than theirs. And I don't think they realize how insulting, or how hurtful, or how wrong they are in saying that.
The truth? I don't have time. I make it. In the same way that people make time to get to the gym or watch their favorite show or go see that movie they've been waiting for, I block out time in my schedule to write. I'm not just lounging around all day, or perched at my computer for hours on end pouring words onto endless empty pages. I scrape out minutes and hours. I scrounge up spare seconds wherever I can find them. I carry notebooks with me, or make sure that I have my phone on hand. I email myself one-liners and have countless notes stored in my phone of stray ideas sparked throughout the day.
I'm passionate about writing. I love writing. I wish I had more time to do it, but I have to settle for what I can get. I don't have endless time on my hands, but I do have early mornings and late nights and spare minutes in between. I choose to make plans around my writing time, and not the other way around. I choose to spend days off parked at a Barnes & Noble cafe to get work done. I choose to block out time every day to get research done. I'm working with what I have, and sometimes that means fighting autocorrect as I frantically type a poem onto my phone before it leaves my head.
And with all that said, I can now proudly present you: A Year in Poetry 2018: Week Seven!
THIS IS NOT BREAKING | February 12
This is not breaking;
this cracked-heart feeling,
this head heavy eyes low empty chest -
these fine-line bones,
This is not what broken feels like.
I am not porcelain doll shattered pieces on
the floor waiting to be scrounged up by
frantic hands, waiting to be stuck back
together; I am not jigsaw puzzle
complicated, a perfect picture on a box to
replicate with ragged fissures left on a
coffee table to sit while you hum and hah
and think on it. I am not something to
think on. I am not something to make
or unmake. To fix.
I am not breaking,
I am building a life story out of scars,
I am weaving a tapestry of all the tears I
never let fall, and the ones I did but you
didn’t see, and the ones you heard
through bathroom walls and shower head
I will pour gold in these cracks,
and maybe it will blind you and you’ll
thinking about how beautifully broken I
because broken is not beautiful,
and there is only one b-adjective
to describe all that I am.
STILLNESS | February 13
There is stillness, but only for a moment.
Only in the dull shine of the early morning,
when the sun peeks pale rays over the
horizon and turns the sky a hazy pink. That
is the first and only stillness. That is before
the yawn of sunrise and the golden light
through the curtains. That is the quiet
that greets the day –
the moment, singular and solitary,
when the world is soft and silent,
and I forget for that single solitary,
soft and silent stillness that there is
one less heart in the world to love,
one less soul – one less pair of eyes
to greet the sunrise as it brightens the
sky and pulls the day out of its
restless slumber –
ADRIFT | February 14
I used to wonder what it would be like to be lost at sea. Out there, with no roads to check the map for, telling time by the sun and navigating by the stars, getting more lost than found – or being both at the same time. The rock of the waves to lull the panic, or maybe to stir it, as the gulls flew overhead, cocky because they, unlike me, would know where they were going.
Blue stretched out to the right and left, the front of back, and in a dome around the sky. Blue, endless and fast, flowing up and down and every which way. Blurred lines of sea and sky. The moon dipping toes into the water until the sun plunged her under.
Would the fear give way to the peace of solitude? Out there, where no one can want anything from you. Out there, where there are no bends to guess around. Out there, where the city lights are too far away to compete with the stars and muddy the view.
And maybe there would search parties in motorboats, churning water just to find me. Making waves where I tried to smooth them out. Would I want them to find me, drifting there, sunburnt and starry-eyed, learning the language of the tides? Would I see their bright searchlights and turn away?
Most of all, I wondered if the sounds of home might feel too overwhelming if they did shuttle me back. If I might sneak to the shore in the night and dive down, find home in a shipwreck – and never return.
INHALE, EXHALE | February 15
pay attention to your breathing,
pay attention to this moment -
live here. live now.
feel the air in your lungs,
the cool of it – let it fill you.
here, now, in this moment.
count the beating of your heart,
let it slow – quietly,
be here, and feel what it means
to be here,
and only here.
THIS IS NOT A LOVE POEM | February 16
I wonder how many people
will think this is a love poem –
will read into the way I write about
1. your smile
2. your laugh
3. your voice
unaware of this different kind of love,
and this different kind of
because I don’t miss you like a breakup,
and you’re not laying on a bed somewhere
with soft rock in the background;
I can’t win you back
with an 80s movie montage stereo-trick,
I could try, but the longer you’re gone
the more I find
Heaven is not so easily wooed.
REST | February 17
I will fold into the sleepy silence
of this evening haze,
curl my back to the
wild day – to the fuss,
to the rushing winds and
worries piling high in a heart
too tired to hold them,
and fall asleep to:
cricket songs –
the sounds of
the cool of an
and the calm
of the world settling,
FROST | February 18
You were like fresh frost:
a world painted in white –
quiet, and soft, and
radiant in the pink
the snowfall we
didn’t know we
didn’t know we’d
until we saw it in
the veil of purple
and, like the snow
the more we loved you,