Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Comfort of Christmas

My family sits around the
dinner table, smiling and laughing,
talking happily & regaling one
another with stories of holiday's past,

& I stand in the kitchen, a waft of
scents and aromas float in and around
my body, wrapping me as if I were in a
soft, fluffy blanket of joy,

& I bumble about, stirring,
pouring, chopping, & then,
finally, plating the Christmas

We eat & they rave about its
decadence - I beam with pride,

& then we all sit around a Christmas tree
to listen to the tale of Christmas, baby Jesus,
three wise men, & a sparkly star one clear-skied

That is always when the moment freezes,
right there, just for me - it stops - as if to say
"this moment will never happen again, so drink it
in while you have it."

& I always do, for the presents are appreciated,
the dinner was a success, but the real comfort
comes in having my entire family
around me - as if I were the most beautiful
Christmas tree of all - and so I watch them,
drink them in - because by next year - who knows
where life will have taken us all,

But in that moment - I am comforted

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stokenham: First Impressions

     Stokenham, England: 

     You arrive at the train station, alongside your boyfriend who, absurdly, has brought you here to England. Foreign, yes. Beautiful, yes. Grateful, absolutely. But who would have ever thought? The train pulls up to a rickety station that looks salted with rain for the past, oh, five hundred years or so. You have seen more train stations in the past six weeks than in the past twenty-four years of your entire life. Before England you had never even stepped foot on a train. Now they are one of your primary methods of transportation. The other being by foot. But Stokenham, where his parents live, is far too great a distance to walk. So, the train. 
     Quickly, you gather your things alongside a handful or two of other passengers. You note, subconsciously, the garbled words of the train driver as he comes over the intercom speakers, mentioning something about a farther distanced location in the next few minutes or so. You don't really pay attention. Once you've grabbed all of your things you bustle (politely) off of the train. English people are strangely polite, and when you'd first arrived, you thought they were aloof, pompous, assholes - when really they were simply raised to mind their own damn business. Your friend, who had been here before, had to let you in on that secret. Otherwise, you would have likely gone the entire trip thinking "assholes" every time one of them passed you. Just out of spite. 
     You are greeted warmly by the kind smiles of his parents, who are, undoubtedly, lovely people. His father swiftly packs up the car in the spitting rain as the rest of you file into the car and then you drive off. 
     "I hate trying to get out of this station," his mother remarks, and soon, when you come upon the odd, noodle-y roads, you see why. You quickly note to yourself that, unless you have a baby, you will NEVER drive in England. The roads are far too difficult to maneuver for an American driver. At least that's what your anxiety riddled mind has decided for now. The thought floats away, though, once you see the rolling, patchwork-quilted hills, speckled with small white sheep. You fall in love instantly. In the background you can see the faintest glittering of the sea. You fell in love with the Sea in Paignton, which, he said was part of the original English Rivera. You had made a mental note of that because 1.) it sounded impressive and 2.) it sounded old and you, being yourself, love old things. The older, the better. 
     You drive deeper inland and find you are lost and don't know which way is up for the strange brush that towers above you. Something about vikings, his father says. They all make small talk amongst themselves but you are lost in a fairytale in your head and thoroughly enjoying watching it blossom into a tangible product before your eyes. You somehow feel as though you've been ripped from the hell that is your home in America and plopped, quite softly, in this delicate, pillowy place, suspended in a time that you can't quite put your finger on. 
     You drive around a corner and are greeted by a cheerful, pink house with a slate grey roof. To your immediate left is a large, old barn that you later come to find was initially for horses, but is now for storage. In front of it sit several dozen pots of various flowers and vegetables producing their last harvest in the final weeks of October. His mother mentions something about courgettes that had been overlooked and makes you all promise to remind her to collect them later. You climb out of the car, noting the scent of farmland and seaside, and look at the various trees, plants, flowers, etc. Just to the right of the barn is a path leading to the garden. The garden is enormous and reminds you of Beatrix Potters' fairy tales of Mr. McGregor's garden, complete with more flowers, apple trees, vegetable plants on their last legs, corn in the very back, and other odd flowers that you don't know anything about. You fall in love with it instantly. It's wild, relaxing in its unkempt beauty, and positively glorious. 
     To your right is the front yard, spare and neat. Bushes and flowers, but not as many as the garden reside here. You love the spacious feel of it in comparison to the gardens lushness. You will, one night, walk out with your Love and smile up at the sky to see a giant spill of stars above you. You will never see that many stars back home. The milky way is so vast and grand you could almost reach out and touch it with your fingers, swirl them in it's whiteness, and then lick the cosmos off of your fingertips. It will remain in constant battle for your heart along with the Sea. You don't think it's a war that will ever be properly won. 
     You collect your things and walk down the old, stone steps to the conservatory. No one you know back home has a conservatory. This one is special, though. You walk inside, it smells like apples and plant remains. Like earth-caked, rubber Wellingtons. You note that it is completely glass and that there is a beautifully spread white table set to your left and a shoe rack to your right. It holds hiking boots and wellies and strange socks and plastic bags. When you glance outside your breath is taken right out of you, for you can see glorious rolling hills for miles and miles. In the distance is a deep, blue haze that his mother says is the sea - but you can't see it for the rain. It will, as you will come to note, do that. When clear days come and there are only a few clouds in the sky - you will be able to see clearly, the white-tipped waves lapping on the surface of the water. Then on days when it's rainy and cool, the only thing you will see is a blue blur in the background and it will force you to focus on the gorgeous, patchwork hills that roll forever and ever. 
     They mention that England is not putting its best foot forward what with the rain and all - but you have no idea what they're talking about. You will never figure it out, not for the life of you. You have never seen anything so fabulous and you may never again - but who cares? You got to see it! You will, one day, sit out on that white table set and type about the house that you grow to be very fond of with it's sheep and flowers and unique smells and beautiful people. Or at least - the outside of it...and you will leave the inside for another day... 

Autumnal Reminiscing

I stare off into the distance, 
mind floating away from me 
like a gown unravelling - leaving 
threads to billow off on the breeze of 
an autumn day, 

& I think of you, 

I always do at this time of year
I believe, 
& there is nothing I could say that would make me
justify or understand my cognitive 
cycling back to you and our past 
days together, 

Especially since we swore to stay in Wonderland 
with one another, 
Never leave the other alone, 
But then when a yellow brick road 
miraculously paved itself 
before you - you clicked your heels three 
times and were gone, 

& I was still there with my Cheshire smile 
painted on my face, 

& though I tried to invite you back to 
a "better" and "nicer" version of tea - you 
didn't ever seem as satisfied as you did before, 

The teacakes were stale and 
the Earl Grey scalded the roof 
of your mouth, 
But we still tried to suffer through, 
did we not? 

Alas, the day finally came 
when the pages of your life 
and mine - were no longer 
written together as part of the same 

& so I ripped myself from the binding 
of your world to search for a new book 
in which to attach myself, 

& finally, all this time later, 
I think I have finally found it, 
& truly, I wondered if I would stay 
in Wonderland forever, alone, but no,

For it was not a yellow brick road
that rolled out before me but, rather, 
a red carpet, 

& somehow I became Cinderella 
and somehow I found a Prince, & yes, 
parts of me still wonder if I will be able to hold onto this 
or if I will slip back into Wonderland when the 
clock strikes midnight, 

But truly, darling, who cares anymore? 

Or at least, who cares right now? 

Not I. 

No - I am in Merry Old England, 
sitting in a house that overlooks the Sea, 
crusted with glorious, swirled red cliffs, and 
a shoreline dotted with tiny cafes that serve 
fish n' chips & tap water with no ice unless 
asked, specifically, 

& in front of that sits a patchwork 
quilt of fields, flecked white with 
tiny bits of sheep in the distance & 
apple trees & a kitchen hosting
toast & jam & bowls of fruit & jars of honey, 

Yes - you are happy in the Emerald City with 
the Wizard & I am happy as Virginia with Leonard, 
so really, we all lived happily ever after - & the teacakes 
are moist and the tea is fabulous... 

Friday, October 25, 2013

PTSD Nightmares

Madness knows me well 
& calls to me by name at night, 
When black velvet encroaches upon 
the lily white of me & rakes 
spindle-thorn fingers through 
my tangled hair - 
   matted with sweat from thrashing in my sleep, 

The salted drops of fear trace
lines through the remainder of my 
clown paint & soak the cotton 
pink of my night clothes
that cling to my skeleton, 

I am covered in the filth of memories - 
the ones that caused me to be 
this devastatingly sick inside, 

They have rammed their fists into my 
rib-bones with every flashback that is
played, facinorously, in my dreams - 
warping them with malevolent heat & 
melting my nerves to nothing more than 
a shrill scream resonating in the dark,

I would escape this fear 
if I could, 
But there is nothing that can 
save me from the repugnant 
stench of my own inner torment
as it burrows beneath my veins 
and drips from my skin-holes 
at night, 

For that is the worst and truest fear - 
the kind from which you cannot escape... 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Coffee, Cigarettes, & Whores

* This is a re-post of an older poem that I did back in 2009.

Red-tinted smiles,
Shot eerily over leather-bound love,
Can you breathe?

You feel the lollipop lust eminating,
So sweetly fraudulent from her candy lips,
Mezmerizing you into stupidity like the thought of your morning coffee,
So cloudy with it's addicting liquid reverie,

And tempting you now with her malicious adoration,
Strung so brightly above you like the array of holiday lights at Christmas,
You have become a junkie,
Lost in the motel-room of her embrace,
Empty-eyed like the other Washington Street whores,

You just need one more fix, right?
One more sugared-up, neon injection,
One more toxic acid rush flowing warmly through your brittle veins?

"Does she make you feel alive still?"
I ask you over coffee at midnight,
The little white clouds still astounding you,
But you ignore my plea for healthy sanity to bleed into your broken down mind,

You're lurking in love's graveyard, buried inside the coffin of her love,
Beneath the weight of her will,
She has broken you completely I fear,
Tumbling down, spiraling as quickly as a ciggarette burns,

You're all too happy to be blissfully lost,

As we chatter endlessly into the morning,
The feathery lightness of her fingertips seduces your mind,
So locked within the prison of your own heart,

I try in vain to rip the indigo sash from your throat,
Constricting your heartbeat to nothing,
I am too late...
She has captured you again from me,
One final time to my violent dismay,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


is an oddity,
a foreign & acquired taste
to the tongue that has never
sampled it before,

For one who grows
accustomed to devouring
the bitterest bits of life
its sweetness can be
entirely overwhelming,
& yet, almost addicting,

It hits the senses sharp
and thick, like the aroma
of Christmas dinner, heavy
to the mind and overwhelming
at first,

& God it can be painful,
Like pouring rubbing alcohol
onto infected wounds, clearing
the disease from your flesh
and curing the sickness in your soul,

How can this be that you have come upon such
a miraculous remedy to your maladies?

Slowly, so painfully slowly,
you adjust and re-adjust to the
possibility and reality of happiness
being 'forced' upon you,
& then you grow to enjoy it,

But God it takes a long time...

People look at you strangely,
as if they have something on you,
these 'happy' people, who spent summers
seaside with family, on vacations, being
supported with love & kindness,

& all the while you know that it
is them, in fact, that is the oddball,
For who really lives like that?
Not one of your friends could recall a
family vacation that didn't end in tears
and abusive words being thrown about
carelessly like an old duvet,

But oh, the sweet savouring of
this whole 'happiness' business
is too delicious of a morsel to pass

So you don't pass it up at all,
you simply stay silent, all the while
secretly giggling and giddy with glee
down inside like a child who is
seeing bubbles for the first time,

For, in fact, you are seeing bubbles
for the first time, in a way...
and how delicious they are when
they pop on your nose and tongue!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fairytale Nightmare

Death hands me a palm
full of diamonds & 
I eat them, almost religiously, 
...Is it sacrilegious somehow? 
My only peace stemming 
from these Magic Beans 
that - once planted in my 
fertile guts - produce a most 
lascivious and beautiful 
One that pierces through my 
core and as it grows to numerically 
impressive heights (I am flying into 
inky, black cosmos!) pops my skull 
from it's resting place upon my neck 
& takes it along for the ride,
Up & lost in space, up into 
heaven's dome along with 
million's of glittering, skeletonized, 
crystal stars that have become 
Christ-like in their whiteness 
to my drug-induced, stupefied 
Tracers flying past me, along with 
the rest of my life, I am forever 
trying to grip time between  
the sandpaper tips of my 
Klonopin-powdered fingers... 
Somehow, though, I cannot, 
For the fine, silken dust causes it to 
slip right through my hands, 
Shattering on the floor the 
moment the clock strikes midnight 
& the spell is broken, 
& I am Cinderella covered in 
her lazy, figuratively spoken 
ashes & flying along in my 
goddamned pumpkin carriage, 
& with my eyes glowing a 
magic-lamp jaundiced gold with a wet, 
red, pill-swollen rim - I fall 
from space & my tattered rug of a 
magic carpet & into the depths 
of the Sea of Depression, 
My diamonds have turned back 
into black, crunchy coal in my 
bloody, juicy intestines, 
& I am drowning with mermaids 
that have turned into sharks with 
their starved, ivory smooth, white 
They desire & crave my salty, crimson, 
medicine-laced blood in all of its awful 
metallic tasting gore, 
& as I am drowning, Death pulls me 
from the deep, sea-foam green saltwater 
and places me in front of Belle's castle, 
Holds out his hand,
In them, the offerings 
of yet more diamonds, & of course, I take 
...Lest I be devoured by a different type of Beast... 
& it is such glorious fun playing Jekyll & Hyde... 


I roam the acid-fried streets of this 
drugged out city, passing citizens 
with mouths' stuffed full of 
Physician's Candy, 
So sedating or energizing 
that one can never truly function 
& I, of course, would be lying 
if I said my own cabinet (or bloodstream) 
were empty, 

& we've all got reasons, millions 
of reasons, as to why our chemicals, 
chemistry, sanity, is so far-fucking-off 
that we consume fist-sized gulps of 
pills in a frenzied, angry crunching
between our teeth - so hard, sometimes, 
that I am amazed that our teeth and 
mandibles don't shatter in our pill-whitened 

One woman - she inhales her amphetamines 
and three pots of black coffee - no sugar or 
cream - for breakfast, slips her lithe body 
into the hottest shower she can manage
for she never eats enough to produce her own 
body heat anymore & heads off to a 12 hour 
long work shift before retiring to the gym, 
where she will run for 3 hours before going home 
to an empty house...

The man in his suit - he takes more Prozac 
than is even healthy, or legally prescribed, 
but his Dr. said that it was alright - because 
he has tried everything else except for ECT 
to jolt him from his soul-crushing depression, 
that wheedles at him daily to jump from his office 
window - or take the rest of the goddamned Prozac, 
so that he can just relax...

& My friend, the housewife, lives for 
her morning, afternoon, & evening doses of 
She swears they keep her sane with her 
five perfectly groomed children and her 
workaholic husband who works late 
at the office with his fabulously blonde 
Of course, I would never tell her 
that most afternoons whilst walking 
by the river I see them drive by, laughing 
as lovers do, in his cherry red convertible 
that matches her cherry red lipstick... 

& myself, personally, I sit most 
days with a bloodstream addled with booze 
and Klonopin, or if I am feeling feisty, 
maybe an amphetamine, 
& I write maniacally in my notebook 
of the people I see, things I know, truths I 
would never tell - to anyone else, 
& rant my Bipolar rants - appreciating 
the fact that I am also drugged so far 
into the sky that I may never have to 
come back down, 

& we all stay up here - like 
angels that have forgotten 
how to fly - so we stay suspended 
in mid-air, the Dr. is God - & we 
pray to him at every appointment that he will 
not cast us out of heaven & return us to the 
bitter, horrendousness of demonic 
humanity...for that would be sheer hell...