The next generation

This isn’t a pity poem

who the hell wants to read one of those?

but if I’m honest

which I’m not very often

preferring to put on a mask and sit mutely smiling on the outside

it’s sometimes harder to pretend and say nothing

than let it out

if I did let it out

what would IT look like?

am I really so bad for having an urge to share?

the empty feeling inside

surely that’s how we hope to fill ourselves

with something other than hot air or quiet despair?

one thing worse than peripheral is rejection, so usually

we stay quiet about how we really feel incase it’s true

nobody really gives a damn once you’re grown

how I got to this juncture is the easy part

a girl is born, her gender is already

a strike against her in a world easier on men

we don’t treat girls very well

maybe there should also be a rule against small families having smaller families

call it what you like, I call it diminishment

I was diminishing before I was born

when there’s nowhere to go, you usually strive to go up

but I was bad at direction, turned into a box turtle and hid in my shell

hoping someone would pry me out

that was my second mistake

generally it’s worth noting, people do little for free

if I could tell myself that I’d have said; Don’t rely on anything but you

you end up staying inside too long by yourself

before you know it, even the language you speak

taints your chances to pretend to be normal

I look

at photographs of other people

they are surrounded by people, fitting in like

well crafted pieces of puzzles I do not fit

I was the kid sent off to eat with other families, never my own

it felt like a kick in the shins then, and everytime since

feeling ackward in a crowd

because I didn’t learn how

to belong

so this isn’t a pity poem

i’m not chafing with self imposed isolation

not the girl who smiles when she’s crying, or maybe I am

or the one who feels more alone when amongst a crowd

everything is so quiet when that’s how you’re born

it takes a fortitude I don’t possess to break the cycle

erase the twenty years forming a tongue without social skill

I hear the sounds of a party rising over the walls

a party I could be at though, I know

i’d be pressed against the wall without a way out

though all I’ve ever wanted is to learn a way in

i whisper

i am irrelevant in this scenario

self worth is tied to others even as we know it comes from ourselves

i didn’t generate any faith

so I don’t believe in God or me

but I do believe in you

if this was a pity poem I’d ask

why you didn’t help me learn how to live?

though I know the answer already

you couldn’t do it yourself, what chance for me?

we’re cut from the same cloth, you and I

that’s why we both hide

like the man in the high tower

did he ever feel as lonely as I do?

why didn’t he need

the things I cannot seem to reach

it’s like I am stretching out for them

but the betrayal of beginnings and everything after and before, is too deep

we betray ourselves most of all

in trying to be what we just aren’t able to

a teacher once told me you can be anything at all

that’s a lie I know it

we each have chances and some of us have fewer props

so we stand ackwardly by the side

trying to be someone we’re not

until the inauthenticty feels like a curse

we revert to type even as we dislike who we are

this was set in motion before we knew

we’re just the next generation of lost

not self pity, no, more like a pain

a mere poem cannot do justice

Reawaken

thThe things we hide on the inside

become necklaces

of gilded ears

sharpened by arrow heads

daring to leave the shingle

for swollen mouths of water

big and discolored

the sound of anvils

aching to strike

If I could I would

reach into decoupage

pull out damp envelope 

with large words and self corrected emotions

cutting through paper made of souls

read your varnished secrets

let them roam

beyond lacquered confine

of what is safe and secure

until they pulp our learn

split, break and reawaken

even without wings, chewing ourselves new

we can glide on thin papier-mâché tips

glimmering in linseed oil, to Kashmir and back

if we believe

The year was 2005

oooo-burnThe year was 2005

an explosion rocked

the quiet neighborhood

of my emotions

afterward, wiping debris off

seeing my reflection, a soot covered mask

I could not hear anything anymore

except the ringing of my heart

which beat far too fast

anxiety

got me

by the throat

and choked

the peace

out

like a burlap bag and lump of coal can still burn in snow

it took years to mend

like piecing a broken bowl with slim chain of gold

smoothing cracks that have become so used

to remaining fissures

and even then, a hair-line fracture exists

permitting a little light

disturbance

felt in darkness as you turn

trying to dream

when trauma

explodes bombs

in your quiet space

it’s not the sound you lose

but the belief that anything

will ever

be okay again

yet there is a lesson learned

in suffering we survive

in survival we know

next time

if there is a next time and there always is

we may lament and hurt

fall to our knees as debris rains down

but surely afterward, we will stand again

that is the enduring legacy

of survival

and even betrayal

and even death

does not contain enough

to outwit our yearning

to outfox the determining

steel hand of fate

slapping us down

we rise like Atlantic waves in August

will conjure wet inferno, juxtaposing

energies like herculean warriors

in great walls of dark water

hitting each other until there is nothing

but smooth glass remaining

and a fever tells us

it is over

for now

with wobbling legs we

survey the wreckage

of ourselves

realizing with pain comes

a long after-tow and if

you hang on long enough

the sun

breaks

through

low-lying

cloud

warming those

who believed themselves

expired

Of horror & humor

kitsune_noh_mask_by_tiggytuppence-d5zp6nb.pngI lied and the lie was more honest than the truth

I’m not bitter I said

and it rolled off my tongue like peppermint lip gloss

I’m not bitter about anything

my nails digging deep into my palm do not

give me away

my grotesque sham

remember that ardent denials are always the ones

keeping disgraced secrets in over-size boxes

those who protest the loudest

usually guilt-ridden

I was guilty of detesting myself

and wearing too much make-up to show my artifice

I was guilty of saying I felt nothing

when it crawled up my neck like a necklace of shame

branding me queen of fibs

you see, it’s easier to be a boy

you can talk dirty, masturbate on trains, act like an asshole

and forgiveness will find you Joel

but a girl is supposed to be on a higher plain

we’re not expected to be so filthy minded or prone

to indolence

one mistake and you’re out

easier to call a girl a slut

than a boy the equivalent

what is the equivalent?

I regretted the day I chose you over the others

we unfolded our crosses and plugged ourselves in

you gauged me most likely to say yes to sin

enshrining stereotypes with the spit of scorned teens

I’m not bitter I said

if you choose her over me I understand

she’s got nice tits and a pretty strong right-hand

tormenting slanted Hannya masks coo

making faces, eating my scabs as they formed their tasty crust

give up your delusion Juno

as a girl your time of freedom is half as much

so bitter I spent so long on my knees sucking you off

again childish hope it would sate spilt outcome

pouring out of black taxis in crotchless hose

did I hesitate when I heard the echo of the earthbound train?

shaking myself free of girdles and suppositories

did the short-lived titilator

licking his plumaged groin

leave cleaner finger prints?

grinding into each other

purgered halves

reckless in gyration

rejoice

I’m not bitter I said

I just want to kick in your fucking head

lay on top the carnage, a maraschino cherry

well masticated and raw

a girl’s muscular jaw

opening to grudgingly reveal

her true Noh expression

of horror and humor

 

Ageing

Older woman holding young maskThe grime that won’t lift from underneath fingernails

is the yellow glimmer of youth

uncaring it is messy and rigorous

when you can live unbrushed

climbing from bed to public without spending

an hour examining your face, patching scars of endurance

when did age, creep so effortlessly into expression lines?

when did light, become so certainly, a foe on certain days?

as if inhabiting mood explained itself in the creases of your skin

you may deflect, somersault and berate

after all so many years wearing your emotions within

bound to spill once the cork is sodden

those hours you thought nobody saw

burning candles between pinched fingers

rubbing sulphur on volcanos urge

how many tears and ache does it take?

to leave emotions wreckage like single moment captured in paint?

who is the photographer who knows how to unearth

our secret selves hiding in wainscoting and plaster

of the past?

I understand why women plump their gaunt hollows

filling their lips with plastic hope, to go a few more years without

showing the world their chapped inside

they seek their former selves, to feel warmth of sun

on unfreckled necks

perhaps it would not sting if love could wear age well

when you are hot faced and tear streaked

wiping in one stroke and smiling

everyone believing the dress you wear is new and unwrinkled

such is the forgiving fabric of youth

succor for the gentle hearted, sugar for the brave

now in unforgiving light you see the evidence of age

lying on your face like a lover will unwittingly expose themselves

in a flicker, in a mere blink, beauty reduced to ungainly

for what we cannot see is more intriguing than

all the dilapidated truth behind our eyes

as much as we may wish to express ourselves

not that candidly, not as if pinned by wings to cork board

spread for all to see every instant of our writhe

biographies of the years, footprints of etched grief

can’t hide the truth as you age, can’t help but reveal

if I leave now without putting on my face

combing my hair over the deepening lines

hiding behind color, clothes, artful turn of head

if I don’t literally prepare myself

like a carefully followed recipe

or posed selfie empty of truth

I will feel as if I am walking naked in public

no skin on my feelings to disguise the years

I have been trying to get well

 

tell me?

is that why contentment is much like a cake

rising beneath warm air

and disappointment a river

shallow and fast

is that why they say joy can be seen in a person’s smile?

and sadness will devour, even the best actor

looking at my fracture, I resemble every melancholy spent

like old wine will eventually revert back to sugar and sediment

settling cloudy at the bottom of a carafe

buoyed no more by light

Regain

love-takes-off-masks-that-we-fear-we-cannot-live-without-and-know-we-cannot-live-within-18I would wear a mask

made of fur or hide

that would mold its outline to mine

until they were fused indistinguishable

you would say

why do you wear a mask?

don’t you want people to see your face?

and I would reply

no not yet

not even afterward

I wish to exist outside of definition

do not mark me with your label

I wish to be and not be

I wish to hide and be seen

in the eclipse we call

reality

no more honest

than compartments

are capable of containing whole facsimile

or props can be used for their pretence

a make-believe globe cannot a world lend

they are hollow beasts, the mounted heads

glaring from faded walls

it seems at night they can

growl but it is merely

a trick of light

like a magician from emptiness

pulls

delusion

we all of us are conjurers of reality

deciding our avatars with fickle choice

and where lies among our pretending

one brave enough to bare

themselves to elements of judgement

without veil

without succor

they are naked before storm

approbation beating their rendered limbs

like headmaster lifts the cane and repeats

swish, swish, say after me

I am not worthy

who shall stand despite the welt

defy the master

revive our guilt

till truth be told and masks set to flame

we need not hide, we need to regain