A Faded Crosswalk

There seems to be more ghosts than demons, less like a hand gripping at every scrap of flesh and more like helpful, guiding hands. I’m not alone and I’m not together. Somehow it’s okay that I have outlived more than I wish to count. Even with the idea that an early grave was in someway bought and paid for.
Hope you kept the receipt.

I remember the car, I’m sure you do too and that actually goes for all of you. Strange to consider the importance of the thing most take for granted, more than anything else. It’s a weapon of mass destruction and a safe haven, a thrill and a fear. The wearer of many skins and roles. But do you remember the car we sat in? And all the things we said, all the plans and theories and discussions. It’s like seasons, years even, of my life are encased there. An entire year as one night. Ever ready to be replayed in fractured, minute blips. Memories like raindrops in a storm.

Back then we were invincible; living and breathing and fatally flawed. The easiest handholds are the ones that seem to crumble under our weight. I was a faded crosswalk. Painted lines well worn from feet and tires, and just about anything else that wanted to roll on through. You were a friend when I wasn’t sure I knew the meaning of the word. Here in the after, I’ve repainted the lines. They look a little different but I’m sure you’d recognize me. After all, you’re here. Isn’t that strange and beautiful and fucked and a whole dictionary of things? You’re gone and yet you’re here. I can shake the demons off but I can’t throw salt over my shoulder at the ghosts. My ghosts. I protect you, the way you seemingly protect me.

Every day there’s a memory to time travel through. We are time travelers. I am the paint, the pavement, the faded lines and the ones redone and touched up.
All of it, all at once.
All of you, all together.

From a far, when you
look upon a cemetery,
what do you see?

In the midst, when the
planet looks out at the stars,
does it see the same?

Peace comes to me,
momentarily, a reprieve
from living complications.
Ideas exist outside of progress–
my addiction.

Ashaway

The corner of a building
like the corner of a page meant to be turned
Quickly,
Please follow me back in time
Into a cloud of smoke
So much to burn
So much to learn

We said, we agreed, that freedom is ours
Strange how definitions change
Stranger how they don’t
I set my mind free, truly
and I think, I think now you’ve finally escaped
You see we didn’t know it then
but separate storms were coming to take us apart

There’s a Fort that keeps those days preserved
Everlasting, for always
Because they can’t take the music away
Nothing can take it away
It’s stronger than we are, a frozen moment

Is it possible to mourn something that can’t be taken away?
Because the gift was in your eyes
We barely knew each other then but you saw, you heard
and you believed me
and that was more than anyone else was capable of
That moment changed me
but I couldn’t reach you the way you reached me
Maybe I wasn’t meant to

One way streets are suffocating
Thank you for letting me breathe

Inner Beauty

The loudest of lions
He is the king, even behind bars
and you looked so beautiful
The way you held my hand, I’ve never felt so complete

Interlock with mine
If only we could stop time
Tell me we’ll be fine
When can we speed up time?

Are the loudest lying?
We have our own brand of quiet romance
and I’ve learned so much
The way you care, it’s like I’m finally breathing fresh air

Crawling out of the mine
Your beauty isn’t my only find
Standing with my straightened spine
With you I don’t feel so confined

Hanging On

There’s a desire for a clean slate
because the scars
Scream words we wish they wouldn’t
Instead of showing how far
We have travelled over the years
No I won’t drown in these tears
My mouth is firmly closed
Is there safety from the blows?
How can one, or even two, know?

Yesterday is right here, hanging on
Tomorrow seems like a distant myth
Today, somehow, runs and slows
It’s like speed pleads the fifth
and I truly just want to understand
How can life be both beautiful and bland?
Remember when it seemed impossible to survive?
Remember when it seemed pointless to even try?
I never thought I’d be living beyond twenty-five

Memory is a beached whale, eroding
Sometimes it just can’t be saved
Sometimes it is meant to be
Sometimes the taste of regret
is too much, it’s too much to forget
Sometimes the words hit like waves
Sometimes life is learning how to enjoy the daze

Timorous

Tell me what the thoughts count for
They’re all looking at me
I’m discovered, standing exposed
and my eyes quiver
I’m trapped behind the hazy view
We all know what rhymes with hazy
You don’t have to say it
I already feel it and I’m terrified of that word
Absolutely terrified.

but I’ve shed the solutions I abused in response
BUT I’VE SHED THEM
Why don’t I feel better?
Why doesn’t it count?
Just the thought counts, just the thought
It’s no wonder I don’t like math
There’s too many thoughts that I must keep locked away
Secrete, I don’t want these secrets

Are they still lies if I know I’m being false?
Is it false if I’m making the choice to be fake to protect myself?
Am I the one making the thoughts count by writing them down?

I’m bruised and worn from doubt
Nauseous because I know I shouldn’t think the things I think
but what if I’m supposed to…

I can’t bring myself to finish that thought
but it lives there in the negative space
I live in the negative space
It’s impossible to shield my face
and most of the time I’m not sure that I have one
I know I’ve broken myself
Maybe it’s too harsh of a word but it seems right
It seems to fit and one can’t argue with puzzles
A corner is a corner

I got my first royalty check

I opened the envelope and put it right in my desk drawer.  I’m not sure how to feel about it at all.  Part of me is saying that this should be some pivotal moment in my life but the rest of me is shrugging.  I actually shrugged as I closed the drawer.  Okay yes this was AFTER I tweeted a picture of it, but that was a quiet way of saying “Tell me how I should be feeling.”

A year ago I released My Enveloping Reflection, writing it was more satisfying than this morning’s envelope tearing.  Figuring out how to put together the ebook file and finally succeeding was more of a fruitful experience.  I felt more accomplished in just about every moment related to MER and the followup (Armorless and Afraid) than this one.

Both of the poetry collections were written to inspire MYSELF.  I wrote these because I had to.  I’m a better person because of the whole experience of writing and releasing them.  I don’t look in the mirror with disgust and turn to bottle after bottle after bottle to fix my perception, to lift my spirits.   Is everything perfect now?  Definitely not.  I did get more out of it than I ever expected.  I really just wanted to write a collection of poetry that wasn’t just like I stapled a bunch of separate poems together and said VOILA COLLECTION.  *slaps title on it* and *attaches cover*.  Poetry is as lame as it is beautiful and brilliant.  There’s always a thin line.  Always and everywhere.  I’m losing focus here…

I’m sure there’s many people out there who right from the jump want and expect to be paid for what they write.  That’s not me.  I’ve said all along that I would much rather people download the ebooks straight from me.  FOR FREE.  These poetry collections were about expression and being completely honest with myself.  I’ve learned a lot about myself through these beginning steps of my new life.  That’s what it feels like now, it’s not about regression or fear or anything else it’s about clarity and feeling in control of myself.  For the most part.  There’s always going to be ups and downs.  The hardest part of sobriety is learning and practicing patience in regards to myself.  Being patient with myself is difficult, I have to remind myself constantly to slow down and just breathe.  Not everything can go according to plan and it’s not supposed to.

I was really hoping writing this was going to reveal how I feel about the royalty check to myself.  That’s why I sat down and started the finger tap dance but here I am feeling just about the same.  Shrugging.  Shrugged.  I like the word shrug, it’s fun.

Thank you for reading.  If you haven’t read the aforementioned poetry collections look upward, they are both sitting up under my fancy banner.