Poetry

Countdown, 1 (366.)

Oh shit, the sun’s
come up again. I mean
oh yay, the sun’s
come up again.

I have not yet gone to sleep.
Another example of bad habits
getting the badder of me.
Did I write that right?
Oh well, you know what I mean.

I mean to say,
I had a few great resolutions
a year ago.
Something about sleeping more,
and speaking my mind,
and not wasting time –
I can’t remember,
exactly, but I know
I’ve become sorta lost
as of late.

So now that we’ve suffered
one awful planetary revolution,
can we promise
to actuate a few awesome
humanitarian revolutions?
Something like,
equity, fair treatment,
and time for personal projects?
How about billion-dollar fortunes
sundered into care packages
for the disenfranchised?

Hell yeah.
Will we finally celebrate
a year of communism?
Please, sweet people,
let’s strengthen our communities.

I’m rambling again.
I make no lofty promises for the next year.
I’ll keep on writing,
and keep on living,
and keep on
trying to do better.

Thank you.

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Poetry

Countdown, 2 (365.)

Leap years are funny,
but that’s not important right now.

What’s important is the time that’s ticking away
faster and faster every day,
I can hardly keep up
and tasks pile on by the hour.

I have a problem
whereby I tell myself
“This surely won’t take that long”
and I put it off
only to find it leaping onto my aching back
three days later,
along with all the other tasks I put off,
until there’s a tower of work
crushing me beneath its weight.

I put this on myself, quite literally.

Yet I’m sick of complaining.
No, I swear, I am sick of it.
I’m sure you are too.
So with this whole new year approaching,
it’s time I used my time wisely.

I shall dismantle the tower,
floor by floor and
piece by piece
until there is nothing on my back
but hopes, dreams, and joy;
I will live the life
I want to have.

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Poetry

Countdown, 3 (364.)

Top 10 Ways to Succeed on a Dating App

1. Love hiking.
1.b. Sweet Jesus, love hiking.
2. Love dogs.
2.b. No really, if you don’t love dogs, you have close to no chance.
3. Follow at least one sports ball.
4. Be the funniest person alive.
4.b. You’d better be good at typing messages.
5. Keep things brief – no fluff.
6. But also, go deep as fast as you can – small talk is a dime a dozen.
7. Be quirky, but not too quirky! ThAt ScArEs PeOpLe!
8. This one is actually #1 or #2: LOVE SKIING AND/OR SNOWBOARDING. NOW.
8.b./1.b./2.b. I’m not joking, get outside or die alone.
9. Grow 6 inches taller. Yes, be tall, or die alone.
10. Be yourself, but only the best, most presentable version of yourself.
10.b. Your self had better be at least semi-successful.
10.c. Missing paperwork, life skills, or other bullshit western milestones? Die alone.

There you have it: a definitive guide to dating apps.
If you can bring your well-loved dog on a hike while cracking jokes
and getting to the core of important issues at a brisk pace,
as you discuss your favorite sports ballers
on the way to your favorite slope,
and you’re tall af along the way,
with all the right gear that looks expensive
(but also well-loved ’cause you’re REAL
and you ACTUALLY GO OUTSIDE),
then congratulations: you might go on a second date.
Thanks for reading, and good luck out there.

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Poetry

Countdown, 4 (363.)

It was a gift card kind of Christmas,
and I’ve got a lot of Barnes & Noble dollars
and some Dutch Bros. dollars for coffee,
and some classic U.S. dollars for anything else I might need.
I ate pumpkin pie, chocolate cheesecake, and coffee
for breakfast, and yes, I’m diabetic,
but I promise this isn’t a death wish.

I should take better care of myself, though.

Anyway, I speak in Reddit more often than I’d like to admit.
We translate memes to each other
and try to teach the language to folks outside it.
It puts a damper on conversations.
The holidays are usually sort of strange,
but they’re even stranger this year,
I thought to myself
as I wrapped my heaviest coat around my
sweater arms and
plopped a beanie on my head, pre-
emptive strike against the cold.

The book money is much appreciated,
but I’ve really got to buckle down
and finish the books that sit on my shelf.
In past years, I’d blast through three in a week, week and a half,
then sit for months wondering why I hadn’t read anything
in such a long time.
The new knitting needles sit next to the bookshelf,
as though they know
I’ll have to war inside myself
and make a decision
to pick just one pastime each evening.

My problems persist, because, verily, I persist.

The thing about existence is that once one exists
for a long enough time,
it becomes harder to alter the terms of that existence.
In other words, old habits die hard.
I’m not an old habit, I promise – but the sleeping in,
the indecisiveness, the reckless energy for new experiences
that fizzles out just when I have to work hard,
the putting off work for fun instead, passivity,
these, these are all bad habits
that I would like to kill, slowly and surely,
pillows pushed over their startled-from-sleeping faces
as the last breath leaks out,
and I breathe that in deep,
because I may finally,
once and for all,
definitively
start on something new and substantial.

These lofty dreams I deliver to myself
in the hopes that I’ll finally work out the rough edges
of my reality.

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Poetry

Countdown, 5 (362.)

The room stays dark in the afternoon
’cause I sleep in and keep the blinds closed.
The food bowl stays empty ’til the afternoon,
my lord, how does the cat stay happy?
Poor thing, she sleeps until the afternoon,
though I suppose she sleeps most of the day,
yet this is no excuse for strapping her
to my bad habits.
The coffee maker stays cold through the morning
’cause I’m not there to use it,
I’m asleep and ignoring the things I must do
to make new habits for myself.
Anyway, for me, the universe was created
in the afternoon,
and I’d like to go back
and do it all over again
so the morning is my new start.
Sleep at night, wake at daylight,
dance all through the day.

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Poetry

Countdown, 6 (361.)

I’ve got the needles now,
and yarn,
and crocheting hooks;
I’ve had cards for a while now,
and a reading mat is on the way,
and the guides to reading them
are everywhere;
I’ve kept journals for years now,
and I always have a few pens handy,
and I just need to sit down
and work on all these things
because, to be frank,
they’re the only things that keep me
sane, and grounded, and okay.

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Poetry

Countdown, 7 (360.)

Time to unwrap
a bundle of wild west dollars
and use them to buy
a satisfied sigh
while I send shots in the dark
and cross my fingers
to will them the right way.
If I don’t miss my mark,
I’ll be on the road again,
through tangled woods
and rose-kissed briars,
hoping to draw a map
from here to your heart.

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Poetry

Countdown, 8 (359.)

I’m eating coffee chocolate chip ice cream at 1 AM.
Holy shit, it’s 1 AM.
It doesn’t feel like 1 AM. It feels like 11 PM, or midnight.

Somehow this is supposed to make the food choice all right.

I somehow dislike writing that now, because it sounds like alt-right.

I’m sorry for putting this connection in your brain.

So yes, now I think it might be alright to write alright.

I don’t feel like food is filling me the way it should.
Weirdly hollow, and cracked and broken.
That’s me my body.
Tired, with terrible posture that requires too much energy to fix.

I remember her from a relationship she shared with a former friend of mine years ago.
I remember her from a relationship she had with an acquaintance of mine years ago.
I remember her because she dated an old friend of mine years ago. I call him an old friend because we’re not friends anymore.
What the hell do you call a person with whom you were friends once, years ago, but with whom you haven’t spoken in years, because you never made the effort to remain connected, so your friendship fizzled out naturally, over time, and it really isn’t a tragedy but it is an indicator that things change on their own?

For that matter, let’s get to her.
Weird aside: I’m pretty sure I followed her on Instagram a while back, but unfollowed her for some reason or another. Maybe I thought it was weird that I was more interested in her than my old friend.
Is that actually weird, though? What’s a better persuasive element than some kind of attraction?

’cause that’s what it is. Attraction. You (I’m pointing at myself here) found her attractive, even when she was with that old friend. And in your brain, that’s bad, because you were also in a relationship with someone at the time. “Oh no, how could you find someone who’s not your significant other attractive or interesting?” Massive sarcasm attack.

That’s the thing, isn’t it? That’s the thing that’s bothering you. That you’ve harbored countless attractions all these years and never spoken them aloud. Because they’re seriously like raindrops in a storm. There are so many, and you just … don’t know what to do with them.

So they sit. Unspoken. Festering. Waiting. For nothing. Because you’re too cowardly to say them.
SPEAK. They’re real, aren’t they?

You’ve said it a million times. You have crushes on everyone. It’s not a lie. It’s kind of your one shining truth, actually. And yet you worry about it. Why worry now?

Because the one bridge to her is someone you knew.

Did you really know him?

No. Of course you didn’t. You didn’t know anyone apart from your now ex-girlfriend and your family.
So why is it so hard for you to move him out of the way?

She hasn’t been with him in like five years, dude. You’ve been single for, fuck, three years now? Go. Be attracted to whoever!

Anyway.

It’s bullshit. Is there a word for all the connections that go unmade because we think that people can only be shared with one significant other? It happens all too often. Someone you know gets a girlfriend or a boyfriend, and they become that person’s other half. To the point that you don’t really know where one ends and the other begins. They’re not really individuals, not anymore.

Or maybe that’s the lie you tell yourself. Maybe you should make better efforts to build bridges.

Yet monogamy is super important around here. Even you want to learn one person, inside and out.
So like, be careful with bridges. Sometimes people make boundaries so their bridges are the most important. And you need to respect the bridge builders, above all.

Where the fuck was I? Oh yeah.

So yeah, I remember her. She likes video games and books and all the nerdy shit you like. And you always thought she was pretty. She is pretty. You’re attracted to her.

That’s right. Present tense. You’ve seen pictures of her online, recent ones, and she’s still pretty. So you have a crush on her.

You have to reach out to build a bridge.
You have to use your hands and your voice to summon that first stone.
You have to make yourself known to build something.

Do it. Speak it. Say it. “I’m interested in you.” That’s all it takes.
“Hey, do you wanna grab coffee sometime?”
Just do it.

Please.

Do it.
It’s okay, to desire another person.

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Poetry

Countdown, 9 (358.)

Once again, I am asking myself
to roll the dice,
and it’s always
always
always scary,
but it’s also sort of exciting.
It could lead to something,
a place filled with lush greenery
reaching super hard for the sun,
just trying and succeeding
and thriving all at once,
this dice roll is actually the culmination
of a lot of work
to hedge these bets.
The work can pay off,
and hoo, if it does …
I’ll just feel pretty good, you know?

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