Remember the first time,
when insistent eyes met mine,
stared deep into my guts and twisted them up inside
with words both wonderful and wounding –
an effort his mouth recognized from a long time ago.
The wounded became the wounder,
and I was willing to be wounded too,
and to wound.
His love created a tension,
alive in my breath,
suspended in mid-air –
a quick inhale
and a slow exhale.
It was a fall from heights I have not been since,
for I no longer desire to heal what I cannot
and then to feign martyrdom.
Hello friends! I know it’s been a while. I’ve had quite the stressful couple of weeks. We found a house and we close on June 7th, so I’ve been dealing with all the inspections, fixes, paperwork, packing, etc. that comes with that. I didn’t realize it was such a process. My pet rabbit is also sick and has been to the vet 3X since last weekend and has a myriad of medications that need to be given, including daily injections. All of that while also wrangling a toddler all day can be quite tiring. But I decided to take a few minutes to finish this poem that’s been sitting unfinished for a few weeks. You know that saying “Hurt people hurt people”? I’ve found that saying to be quite true. I have been the hurt and the hurter, and I’ve let that cycle influence my relationships in the past. This poem is about one particular relationship in which this cycle was clear as day from the beginning, but I chose to ignore my gut about it and enter into it anyway. I thought I was superwoman – that I could heal him and myself and not fall. Two years later and still in the relationship I was more broken leaving it than I was entering it. Thankfully, even in that broken place there was beauty to be found. I am oddly grateful, though I’ll admit that forgiving myself for my bad choices and mistakes in all of those relationships, but especially this particular one, is still difficult.
For whom do you place these mirrors,
filling them up with
Thriving on and
filling your own emptiness with
the perceived faults of others?
Attributing to them transgressions
that only exist as
secrets within yourself?
When you look in the mirror
who do you see
if you are invisible to yourself?
Freud coined the term “projection.” He said it is a defence mechanism in which one denies the existence of impulses or traits (positive and negative) within oneself and attributes them to others. I’ve beemFreud coined the term “projection” to refer to the psychological phenomenon in which one denies the existence of unconscious impulses or traits (positive and negative) within oneself and attributes them to others. I’m not a Freud disciple, but some of what he discovered is fascinating and true to my experience of people. Have you ever been the victim of someone else’s unconscious projection? Or perhaps you’ve projected onto others? Once you recognise the human tendency to do this, you will seriously start to see it everywhere.
I’ve heard/that 95% of the world’s oceans are still unexplored;/that some parts of the Amazon and Antarctic/are still left untouched./It seems we have barely embraced/the complexities and depths of our immense galaxy./Many still believe we never actually landed on the moon,/ and when I consider how clumsy people can be when orbiting their own souls/I consider that maybe the conspirators are correct./I sometimes imagine that those who probe the depths of the massive universe/choose to cope with the mysteries/by living in a state of perpetual surprise./We are always banging up against wonder/and apologizing for our graceless feet./But I imagine wonder wishes we would just stay/and dance with her for a little while longer./I have never dreamed of deep diving the oceans;/have never much cared to travel to untouched territories/where the word lonely doesn’t need to be defined/because the silence says it all;/and only when I am feeling more daring than usual/do I dream of what is beyond the Earth/and reason about whether the glossy moon is indeed just a hologram./The only depths I know are my own./It seems that I cannot/(and perhaps I refuse to)/walk through life without tripping over an epiphany in the back garden of my own psyche./I, like the explorers of sea and galaxy,/am perpetually surprised/- surprised by myself./I do not dare to explore much else but the sea of my soul and the galaxies within my mind,/for I have found that I need an anchor,/even there at the bottom of my own oceans./I need to be lassoed/in the same way that God lassos the moon and places her where she needs to be,/just in time for the sun to go to her resting place,/and my mind with her.
In defense of the non-believers,/even Thomas had to see and touch to believe,/ and now we call him Saint./Even Peter denied three times,/and Judas Iscariot betrayed the flesh his God would die in./ Even Nietzsche,/ in his insatiable hunger for God,/called himself Antichrist./ Even the heretic,/though mistaken, /seeks after God;/and God,/in His mercy,/can forgive all kinds of mistakes./I myself once danced at the edge of the abyss./A solitudinous dance,/deprived even of God./Where once was heard Heaven’s sweet sighs,/Earths proclamation of something beyond the birds and the trees,/I was crushed by the silence of the cosmos./And right before I could declare that God is dead,/a voice called from the abyss,/or else I know not where./So I dove in and drowned there./I have been the doubter, betrayer and denier./I have been the heretic./And though I’ve never been a saint, it aches now/- the realization that I spent so much of my life/being convinced of my own rightness./And yes, I do believe that I have been an Antichrist./For they are the ones in the churches/with Christ on their lips and judgement in their hearts./And it occurs to me/that the only difference between me and the non-believer/is that I repent every day of my disbelief.
//In defense of the non-believers, 4/24/2019
*Deep breath* I am SUPER hesitant to share this one. This was originally 2 seperate incomplete poems that were just not working, and then I saw the #amykaypoemaday “In defense of…” prompt and somehow this happened. I may identify as a Christian, but I am no stranger to disbelief. Thankfully, it’s not just about whether you “believe” in the biblical God or not. I don’t even know what people mean when they say that they “believe.” The concept of belief or faith has been so watered down that it almost means, at best something one does blindly in suspension of disbelief, or at worse something one does out of ignorance or stupidity. It’s a lot more complicated than that. And listen, I know that people who don’t “believe” don’t need me to defend them. All I’m saying in this piece is that I get it. I don’t always “believe” either. Anyway, I’m curious what people think about this piece, so please leave your thoughts in the comments.
In any meeting,
there still exists anxiety
about the potential parting –
But after meeting you,
and even in our parting,
there is no longer emptiness,
but something that remains.
And I still sense you,
even from a distance.
At first I’ll only reveal a tenth of me/and you’ll believe that I am weak/because I appear so quiet, sensitive, sweet./But I am strong when I need to be/and all of those internal brawls with myself have made my spirit bloody and my soul darn gritty./I have often been described as cute, not pretty./I can assure you that I lived so much of my life feeling plain/that I have learned to harness some complex powers,/like thinking that blooms with gorgeous flowers./But I have grown accustomed to this since I don’t want to be noticed, I want to be seen./And reality is rarely inspiring to me/so when it demands, I flee/through the back door of my mind’s garden./There are flowers and a blank canvas there, beckoning me./I’ll paint you a portrait of my fantasy./I can tell you surely that you will not be in it if you cannot compete with the thoughts that bloom brilliantly there/in my left of center brain./If you cannot undress my weirdness/and yet remain./And I have faith in God, but I also have doubt./Sometimes, the only spirituality I can summon is to inhale the word I and exhale the word believe/right before I drift off to sleep/and dream the dreams only thought-gardeners can dream./And I like to turn the volume up on the feelings others don’t want to meet./Longing and nostaglia are comfortable to me./So if you want to know what self-deprecation looks like,/why melancholy feels deep and happiness feels weak/just ask me./I drift in despondency like it’s a bottomless sea./But all of this is still only a tenth of me.
//A Tenth of Me, 4/22/2019
has captured us
Which of these Truths?
Which will you bind,
which will you loose?
To know is simplicity,
to conclude, to deduce.
To wonder is to first fall on one’s knees.
I do not mean to feign humility,
and perhaps I bruise these delicacies.
For holy things are not for all to speak.
Nor before all can they be told.
It is not so modest.
It is not so low.
Indeed, the task is too lofty for me.
and I belong
in my life.
//Comfortable Love, 4/16/2019
Prior to meeting my husband, a common denominator in every romantic relationship or interest that I had was a consistent feeling of anxiety about one or more aspects of the relationship. I tell my husband all the time that one of the reasons I knew I was going to marry him was the complete absence of anxiety. From the beginning up to now, instead of anxiety, there has been a feeling of comfort and security. When I made this blackout poem, it reminded me of that.
Wonder was a sword,
and I asked of Her,
Crucify my mind,
for I no longer desire
the wounds of doubt.
//Wounds of Doubt, 4/16/2019