A Few of My Poems

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

These are revised versions of several poems I wrote and edited in my poetry class last semester. They are some of my personal favorites pulled from a larger completed portfolio.


you and your gaping mouth
eyes clenched tight
with me walking by
on a street I never bother to
transfixed on something
I fall in
sliding (stumbling?) into warm darkness.
I am the cold-weakened creature
preparing for hibernation
with my backpack on.

I’ve tried to understand
but can’t
something about
the black hole on
your stranger’s face makes
an escapist of me.


Inside my darkened cave
I grumble and whimper
and wait for the sun’s
sweet return.
As salty rays trickle in
you may feel me clambering back
out of your yawn

back to the forgettable street
where I watch the strange faces pass
and forget yours almost immediately.


As I walk on frozen
hoof-feet numbed by slush
my heart feels frozen,
but not by subzero chill

every face I pass by
reminds me that every-
one is in pain too
and I wonder where
their hurt lives

whether they’re like me,
hiding it behind smiles and loud stories

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:a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned

Alt. definition: the speaker

The modernists tell me I should be happy when I look around and see a world of progress, innovation and momentum

But all I’ve found is progress polluted by suffering and the sweat of the people with bosses standing on their shoulders, pushing down with weighted shoes, eyes desperately scanning for the next big thing

I see people with translucent ropes of technology around their necks and wrists, their nooses tightening slowly so they have time to adjust to less air in their lungs and pressure on their forearms

I see a culture that blames the person and never the root—he should work harder, she asked for it, someone has to be at the bottom, I don’t want to be at the bottom

I see a world filled with people who don’t know why they fight. Maybe they do it just to feel like something is happening, that their fists and guns have a purpose, that they have a purpose

I see young people, raised to doubt their neighbors rather than love them. Raised not to look people in the eye, but to keep their eyes locked to a screen where I’m sure they feel so much safer

I see a lack of everything I know past decades. Simple kindness, simple joy, simply being present.

Am I wrong to feel unsatisfied?

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Train People

Across from me a man leans against the train door with 20 pens clipped around the collar of his shirt,
a colorful plastic necklace with a chain of dirty cotton fabric

A man in a wheelchair takes up the entire aisle,
bright pink hair and seven layers of sweaters catching the eye of every other passenger

Once in a while there are people clutching cats and every time there are others who stare blankly or lustfully. Once, there are homeless men fighting, throwing words and fists that startle us, the new college students sitting across the aisle.

The assholes trying to “secretly” take pictures of that girl across the way don’t surprise me and I’m sad that I’m so accustomed to things like this, sad that I don’t feel comfortable enough to say anything, because any other day I might be the girl getting my ass photographed. I wonder if that girl would have stood up for me.

Probably not. The train doesn’t feel like the place for courage
I’m a turtle in its shell and she probably is too

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Real-Life Princess

What bodies with blurred faces
and meaty hands poised over
their keyboards
dragging and formatting
the perfect women
decided that these were
what we wanted all
every girl to emulate
for generations

Did they ever think to give
Jasmine a weak chin
thick legs and a soft
supple belly from
years of living without want
or the frizzy hair of
a girl in salty heat

Is it possible that
Cinderella developed OCD
and refused to leave a room
without turning on and off
each light ten times
or wiping down the door
knob, perfectly trained to
self-destruct after years
of slave labor and confinement

I assume Rapunzel
would have anxiety
disorder by now, being
held like a zoo animal
in one small room and
constantly lied to.
would you live that way
And still sing and dance
rather than panic and pull
out every hair you have

What if Belle had PTSD?
Snow White could be a schizophrenic
Sleeping Beauty might need pills
to manage her depression
and maybe if all of them were
a little less polished

hair not perfect every day
waist not unreasonably tiny
and eyes not grotesquely oversized

All of the little girls who love them
would love themselves just as much

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