Jan 14

anxiety

i'm so sick and tired of this. 
it's been a little over two years
and i still can't breathe right. 
sitting doing nothing 
doing anything but freaking out
but my body fights me
and i can't breathe. 
can't seem to draw in a deep enough breath to calm my head. 
then i can't think straight, 
i start to panic
and my heart beats faster
and then i actually am freaking out. 
i'm tired of this. 
not sleeping for hours at night
because i'm too busy twisting and rolling 
sitting up and staring into space
trying to breathe deep enough to lie down and sleep
but it never works. 
and i'm tired of people telling me
that it would go away if i ate better and took deep breaths and got more exercise
because i don't have time to get more exercise
and no matter how deep a breath i take
it's never enough.
and anyone who says that i just need to tell my brain to shut up
Jan 05

it's been ages

more music! for a while i couldn't finish any of the songs i started for some reason, so obviously i didn't post them. here's 2. 

the first one isn't all that remarkable but it came out sounding almost exactly how i wanted it to, which is really rare with my music. 
Dec 31

i shouldn't write this late at night

i don't think of the new year
as anything special. 
the most exciting thing happening tomorrow
is that we change our calendars
and have to learn to completely rewrite the date. 
and yet i have this funny fear
of missed opportunity
as though i'm supposed to be doing something tonight
other than making pizza and getting into yelling matches with my family
and then staying up til midnight downstairs
not really because i care all that much
but because the new year is something you're supposed to notice. 
like i'm really only writing this
to say that i'm doing something of significance. 
well i hope 2018 won't be awful--
maybe a few good things will even happen--
that maybe i'll even make peace
with being the kind of person who just stays up til midnight
to watch the new year come in
because it seems polite. 
but until then i'm just me 
sitting here as the clock ticks on
Dec 13

chickens

"um..." i've been trying to get a word in edgewise for the better part of an hour or so, longer than it takes us to eat dinner but we usually sit around the table talking for a while anyway so i don't think there's anything too strange-seeming about me lingering here. except me lingering here is useless if i can't gather up the courage to speak, and it seems like every time i'm about to open my mouth my father will come up with something new to say. he and my mother have been swapping stories about their childhoods. i'm still living my childhood and honestly am trying not to make this a moment that i'll be telling to my children. 

Dec 07

i realized last night

a writer is a person
who delights in other worlds. 
a writer is not a person
who uses other worlds to hide
from her own. 
a writer is not a person
who strings together the most beautiful sentences
to hide from what seems like ugliness outside. 
writers do not grow up to live in their dreamworld, 
cos you can create all you want of those
but you only get one shot with reality. 
if i can't learn to grow and live within the real world 
then i'm not a writer, 
i'm a coward. 
not any better than those people who play video games all day
because they're too afraid
of real life. 
the fact is, 
everybody dies and everybody starts out alive
but not everybody lives
and i might be creating worlds that'll go on forever
but mine won't
and i won't. 
and i hate feeling so lost
and not being able to find the words to explain it
because i gave them all up to another world.
Nov 27

quiet

i can't write
in the quiet. 
without music to listen to, 
my fingers freeze
and my writing turns wooden. 
i tell myself that it's because i can't write
unless that one little part of my brain
is distracted and focused on something else 
but sometimes i wonder whether it's because
i'm afraid of what i might find in myself
in the silence. 
like how when it's really silent out, 
my ears fabricate the noises of crickets
in december
or become even more attuned 
to the tiny creaks of the floor
(convincing me there's a creature slinking across my floor
ready to eat me alive)
anything to hide from the quiet. 
then i wonder if it's that i can't write
when it's quiet
or just that i write differently
when it's quiet. 
wonder why i'm hiding
from silence. 
i ought to know how powerful it is. 
 
Nov 24

musical dissonance

i'm trying to write
and listening to irish religious choral music
turned all the way up. 
in the next room over, 
my mother and brother are watching curb your enthusiasm
while i have sanctus domine deus sabaoth in my ears, 
lots of low-voiced men expressing the deepest sorrow
and am thinking about all the incredibly depressing lives
i've crafted here,
i'm aware of disturbingly cheerful
bouncy band music in the next room over. 
stories never seem to have lives 
unless they're in misery. 
interesting, 
how comedies mask the misery under bouncy music
and endearingly messed-up people 
(now i'm just guessing here, 
since i don't actually watch curb)
while whatever the hell you would call what i'm writing
is just people, 
being miserable. 
maybe the comedies are right...
life can be hilarious. 
or maybe they're both right--
Nov 20

this morning

i woke up a little before five o'clock this morning
and there was a dusting of snow on the picnic table. 
it was still dark, 
and my mother was thumping around downstairs
but the snow-coated graveyard road
and roof
seemed so still. 
part of me wanted to be a little kid again
and run down the stairs to look out the window
but instead, 
sleep-deprived zombie that i was,
i went to bed and forgot about the snow. 
when i got up for real, most of it was gone. 
there was still a small dusting
but the roof was dripping. 
by the end of the day it'd all melted. 
leaving me with just the memory
of five o'clock stillness
and a quiet snowy graveyard. 
 
Nov 13

toymaker

if i lose everything that's okay
i'll pick up the pieces and have them rattle around in my pockets
jingling bits of all the things i've lost
try not to crush the bits
i didn't want under my feet
(never know when you might need to pick something up)

i'd get back to the workshop
bit of glue and a welding oven
stick the broken glass on its side, stick it together
melt it into something new. 

new friends to follow me around
never leave me, just lay to rest in the crevices of my mind
when they're sleeping. 
sometimes the sharp edges cut too jagged
a bit of the person who was screaming
to be let back 

but i wouldn't care
because i'd already said i didn't mind
losing everything

#cow17
Nov 13

Substitute

this is from a workshop at the celebration of writing. then i got an idea for a clearer way to express it and wrote a new version, but here's this anyway. it probably sucks, but ... 

if the little cars came empty
the busy streets went silent
and emptiness was reflected
in the curve of every metallic horizon

i would stroll through the empty kingdom
and smell the absent whiffs
ghosts of little lives bigger than mine
craft a universe of people to fill the holes

this lonely city would be full again
bustling with people and i the queen of it all
the raving madwoman
locked in her house won't speak to anyone

says she'd rather not see the ghosts. 

#cow17

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