Failing at Self-talk

(Author’s note: this poem actually features specific line breaks and spacing choices that are not reflected in the final piece because, well, I can’t get WordPress to display them properly. It still reads okay here, but it’s meant to be just a little different. I’m sorry it’s not in the state in which I envisioned it.)

and that’s usually fine,
but damn,
am I getting through to anyone,
noofcoursenotyoufool, youdon’tsaywhatyoumean,
what does it take to be wanted,
you need to want

I didn’t catch that.

youneedtoloveyourselffirst, orit’sallmoot,
I really don’t know what I’m trying to tell myself,

It’s so quiet in here.


I think I’ll read a book
and get sad ’cause I don’t know
who wants me to read to them.


Oh, he’s gone.
If he would just hug himself for once,
and tell himself that he’s awesome,
he wouldn’t feel so sad.


Daydream Song

There’s a short time
when music is just music,
before it’s your coat,
your smudged lipstick,
the way you cradle
all the self-deprecating things I say
and teach them to love themselves,
until I love myself,
and it’s no wonder I
listen to all the you-adjacent songs
on repeat.


Another Bottle

I read the article that links
the virus to potential maladies of the brain,
pardon me,
“neurological disorders,”
and I wonder
why I read such sad facts.

Because despite the vaccine working through my veins,
I want to prepare for the worst.

Because I know you’ve had it,
the virus, I mean,
and I haven’t gathered my courage to say
I love you.

Because even if you never feel for me
the same way I feel for you,
I want to take care of you,
and do right by you.

What do they call that?
I’m falling
further into
this unconditional love cocoon.

I’d love to grow and fly into your soul.


Night Thoughts

Chris, I says to myself,
why are you loading the dishwasher at 2 AM?
’cause look here buddy, myself replies,
our brain is running from uncomfortable truths.
Our back is getting crookeder by the day,
and sitting at home isn’t doing us any favors,
and you talk to too many people,
so forget about Steam sales,
and remember the patient books,
and box up the gifts we’ve saved;
only send the best of ’em.
Dear lord, I says to myself,
only send the best of ’em?
Damn right, myself replies,
for if we’re to share ourselves and our lives,
we’d better make sure we only give as much as we can.
Is that a lot or a little?
It’s everything.
Our best thoughts, our truest feelings, our finest words,
arrayed like a coat full of medicine,
or a belt holding swords,
to heal the good people
and repel the rest –
ay, there’s the rubba dub dub.
How many in the tub?
Sweet Jesus, I says to myself,
we don’t even have a tub!
I know, myself replies,
but if we’re gonna dream a team effort,
we gotta get the biggest ship available
and fill it with the sharpest minds
and truest hearts the world over.
Now wouldn’t that be grand?
Here’s your ticket –
not mine, not myself’s, but yours –
a person entirely distinguishable from me,
and beautiful in myriad ways,
with strong legs and eager eyes
and thirty-thousand questions
that each take around thirty years to really dig into,
so we’re gonna fly that ship all over
until we’re all over, you feel me?

This might be a message in a bottle,
addressed to a particular personage,
but hey, the sentiment applies to a lot of folks;
go, see the world with your friends,
and for the love of all,
leave the place better than when you found it.


Soundwaves and Empathy, or, Crushing on Phoebe Bridgers

I looked it up.
Phoebe was not born under Scorpio skies,
rather, she’s leonine
and I, alas, am a Pisces.
So I looked up the compatibility,
as though there are only
twelve types of people in this world,
and all kinds of other factors
just don’t matter.
Yes, I am me, but I become fixated
on being some type, part of a larger group,
and maybe my group
fits well with some other group –
but how do I fit in with other individuals?
Could I sit down and have a coffee with Phoebe?
If I made eggs or soup or sandwiches or something,
would I share them with Phoebe, even if (heaven forbid),
she told me my cooking was meh?
Could I read poetry out loud to her
without feeling too embarrassed?
Would I slip into goofy voices
and have a rollicking good laugh?
If I am indeed a solitary puzzle piece,
where are the pieces who fit with me?
The picture is already here.
I already connect to a lot of good people.
I’d like to make the picture more vibrant,
and our connections more vivid –
so could we
splash more color on the whole thing
and have a dance party?
We’ve never met,
but Phoebe’s music
makes me feel things.
Sad, happy, thoughtful …
we’ve already connected
on some level, thanks to soundwaves
and empathy,
and that’s amazing enough
for me.

Poetry, rambling


I’ve been injecting insulin into my stomach in the hopes that the bumps on my arms disappear.

I woke up early every day last week to drive to the office. Then I stayed there and worked for at least 8 hours before going home, more tired than ever before, hoping that I’ll finally fall asleep at a “decent” hour.

I make my lunch the nights before I work, so I don’t have to rush so much in the morning.

I bought creamer for the apartment and the office so if I want to sleep in just a little bit, I can make coffee at work.

I started setting my outfits on my extra chair before I go to bed, so I don’t have to throw things together in the morning.

I’ve still set alarms for 7:30, 7:45, 8:00 AM, as I try to readjust to the mornings.

I can still stay awake until 3 AM, I just make sure I’m in bed long before that, and no matter how tired I might feel, I still get out of bed early the next day.

Some days I won’t start work until 10 AM, and if I do, I still stay until 6 PM or even 7 PM to get my hours in.

I set out a glass every night before watering days, so I can just fill it up and give hydration to my thirsty plants.

I’ve been answering texts faster now, not always immediately, but when I have time; I don’t want to forget and leave someone waiting.

I pick up my newish knitting needles and practice casting on. One day I’ll finally figure out how to make a stitch.

I open the thousand-page novel and read at least ten pages a day. I aim for fifty, but if I’m tired, ten pages suit me just fine.

I get emails from a website dabbling in mysticism, and I’ve started using them as a sign that I should practice reading my actual Tarot cards.

I follow music threads on Spotify and listen to bands I haven’t heard of before, in the hopes that some will stick, and I’ll expand my musical horizons.

I’m not drinking coffee after 6 PM, not anymore.

I’d drink coffee after 6 PM if social gatherings were safe, and we planned on making a night of things.

I drink my whole huge water bottle every day, twice a day.

I don’t turn on any video games after 11 PM, ’cause I know they’ll suck me in until my eyes are bloodshot and I say to myself “You should have gone to bed two hours ago”.

I initiate conversations in the hopes that people want to know me better; I want to know them better.

I’m trying a lot of little new things. They might make my life better, a little bit at a time.


The Foreplay Play

Oh dear, forgive me for saying it, but I might be decent
at writing erotic fiction.
Every action
has an equal and opposite reaction,
slow breath in,
long look out,
fingers walking over our skin
with care,
we are new celestial bodies
and we are astronauts.

Is this all right?

I yearn for your murmurs in the night.
If you say it’s okay,
I’ll go there. Where is it?
All the way.

Lips slide
Fingers clutch
Legs wrap
Flesh shifts
Air runs, leaps, flies from our mouths,
it’s hot in here and somehow
I don’t mind the sweat.

That’d be a pretty good time.
Now it’s all erotic fiction, just film,
spinning over and over in my head.
I have nobody.
Just my body, and these
depraved beautiful somethings.


Dreaming in Birdsong

Some days I feel
like a superb fairywren,
with the most beautiful plumage
you ever did see,
though I don’t want
to flit around
from partner to partner.
Make me into
a monogamous pretty bird
with a bird friend who understands me,
and methinks I’ll
sing songs to wring teardrops
from the stoniest hearts.


Messing Around With Missiles

It’s the ticking of a clock before midnight. A slow capitulation to misery and ruination. The atmosphere says tornado but the limbs won’t go. It’s the upright barrels of wine turning to barrels of vinegar in the basement. Things look fine from the outside, the same even, but a transformation opened a rift. It’s the seeping of one universe into another. Possibly there’s a Pepsi universe to balance out this Coke one. Maybe even a Mountain Dewniverse for the truly mad. It’s that sound an aircraft makes as it streaks by. Not really by, more like ‘bye because the aircraft is flying so fast above us. It’s that sound an aircraft makes as it cuts the air above us. The slow screeching that heralds incoming bombs in the movies. I’ve mentally told myself to “Hit the deck” when I’ve heard that sound. It was just a plane passing by and above, goodbye. I would never strike an inanimate piece of wood in my life. Okay, I’ve knocked on wood before. It’s the galloping in the mind as you try to fall asleep. A mad rush to nowhere while your body begs for sheep. It’s the counting of the day’s overturned phrases. If I look at it from this angle, I might have been an asshole. I didn’t mean it that way. It’s the imagined session in a confessional somewhere in a remote mountain town where the church is the biggest building you can find, followed closely by a weirdly successful hotel. I’ve never been Catholic, but sometimes I want to ask for forgiveness. Forgive me, Someone, for I have sinned. I said this neutral phrase that might have been misconstrued to cruelty. How many mea culpas is that? It’s the flogging of an ailing spirit that’s too tired to acknowledge pain. Each lash a pen stroke tallying debt. It’s the stark realization that one day all that pain must be felt. There’s no denying the payment due for living. It’s the avoidance of admission that sneaks into lying. I have crushes on most everybody, I say to people to whom I most likely feel an attraction. It’s the tongue somersaulting over hard facts and real statements. I like you. I want to know you better. I could probably love you. I love you.