Friday, February 12, 2016

i fought the monster under my bed
and won.

sharp teeth and cracking plastic fingers, how soft the addict touches their drug 
and how violent they inflict it upon themselves. 
i study, i write. 
i deconstruct the bomb, i learn its hows
i keep the bomb pieces in an empty shoebox 
that has never known such soft things 
before.

while researching self injury, i have to browse pictures, measure 
the numbers of it (frequency, distal proximity between wounds, depth in correlation to area)
occasionally stop and grab myself, apply pressure to white scars, mimic the
holding together, i shake and grab in moments of weakness, i let the craving 
leave no marks. a long time ago i learned
to fear my own hands but 
they've become such beautiful things lately. 

i am no longer scared of any dark corners of my brain, 
i understand them,
i tuck them in at night
gentle.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Gomorrah (spoken word performance piece)

she says,
"you should fuck me like i'm wearing a confirmation dress", i pause, less
concerned with the moral ramifications and more logistically on how
to fight my way through a sea of white ruffles.
this is my body,
eat of it.

12 apostles, 14 stations of the cross, 13 years of catholic school,
5 of those spent sexting behind Leviticus,
rolling joints out of bible pages,
burning the parts that cross us out.
she says, "fuck me
like you're pulling in fishing nets, you drive me crazy
on your knees."
i say, "my safe word is "apocalypse",
it's not wrong if we say 'we're sorry'"

i don't know my times tables or the difference between "left" and "right"
but i know that they say i will be left if i am not right.
i don't know my social security number but i do know
hailmaryfullof grace thelord is withtheeand blessedarethoseamongwomenandblessedisthe
fruitofthywomb Jesus holymarymotherofgodprayforussinnersnow and untilthehourofourdeath.

you should see the sheets when we're finished, stained and hanging from the window
like a white flag.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners
now and until the hour of our death,
amen.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

pay attention to the backdrops in which
you pay attention. 
remember that content 
is not an isolated continent, there are things
in these waters,
soft things,
you remember.

it is hard to do long division
with your eyes shut.
you must find 
the common denominators, tuck them in,
keep them 
close.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

i met a man, the other day, who sees towers
everywhere.
[note: delusions of grandeur, pos. symptomatic e. 7 day; diag: unspecified. low risk]


working with the mentally ill has taught me to empathize first and

question later. the boy who has been raised by a gun sits in group and
talks only of guns. [note: possible homicidal ideation with visual and auditory
hallucinations e. daily; diag: paranoid schizophrenia. high risk]
the girl who smiles too much to be completely cognizant [diag: intellectual deficit. past incidence of violence. low risk]
the boy who shakes with the medication but rocks 
back and forth like a pendulum
without it [note: ataxia due to Haldol injectable. symptomatic e. daily; diag: bipolar 1. medium risk]
the boy who was gone for 15 years and now has the youngest voice 
i've ever heard
for a 24 year old. [note: diag: catatonic schizophrenia. developmental delay. low risk
the girl who was hurt so badly as a child that she no longer recognizes the hands
that did it [note: suicidal ideation with hallucinations; diag: early trauma. high risk]

and then there is the man who sees towers, everywhere.

he counts each siren at night, 
1, 2, 3. four means it's bad, 
four means the world is ending and he is
made of fire again. 
the winding wails of police cruisers in new york city are billows of ash and 
pillars of salt, he swears it's his fault. he swears
he looked back. 
he sees towers in sidewalk cracks, towers in the reflection of the spoon to cereal bowl, towers 
in the lines of his own hands,
he stays awake and thinks that, perhaps, hell is towers.
perhaps he is towers too.
[revised diag: post traumatic stress disorder]

i call myself a survivor but

i have never seen towers, 
for me, they were always 
gone.

sometimes i forget to thank new york

for her sun pulled days 
with hot air balloons filling my chest.
for the bitter cracking winter with its nostalgic sadness 
littering the sidewalks like black raindrops, the fossils of 
gum long past.

new york taught me how to listen to bridges,
building stoops,
apartment walls,
they whisper endlessly with
the best kind of
stories.

Friday, February 5, 2016

my therapist tells me to write everyday until i love 
my words again, it is working. my therapist tells me 
that i like birch trees because they have scars too,
each poem feels like brushing dust off a fossil, my fingers are
longer, somehow, more refined like an archeologist's toothbrush, i am 
bruised as if all the bad blood is desperately trying to escape, rejected by
this clean thing. i had to 
dig in order to find the marrow of myself, 
in the dust.