as bad (A Poem) as it seems

•November 29, 2015 • 3 Comments

It seems I am at a loss lately
Half poems
Half truths
Half me
It seems I dream of what I’m not
Full head
Full fool
Full stop
It seems there may be no escape
But to want
But to wait
But to tolerate
It seems, it seems, oh how it seems
And still
And yet

…Oh fuck it, I forget



Artwork: Portrait of a Self Portrait 4,
by Alexa Meade

Going South

•November 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Geese once again
Echo and ascend
I never can tell
If they simply usher seasons
Or portend,
A warning bell



Photograph by Meredith Bell

Reposted because I heard them echoing, and saw their southerly formation, for the first time this season. A warning?

Circus Stays

•November 19, 2015 • 5 Comments

What is it that keeps me pinned
While holding back the rain and wind
Thick ropes tethering tent to earth
Pulling straight my tugging tarpaulin

What is it that keeps me tame
Performing every show the same
Dressed and dazzling under lights
My wild then shoved back in its cage

What is it that keeps me trapped
My face made up, my body wrapped
Twisting tumbling towards the ground
Feigning faith that ropes don’t snap

What is it that keeps me on
Directing rings, attention drawn
Announcing all the names and games
But pulling stakes before the dawn

What is it that brings us back
And keeps us traveling down the track
From this tiny town to next?
Our prickled flesh during the act


(c) John Croft; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) John Croft; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Because, while on vacation, the performers inspired a repost.

My Middle Way

•November 12, 2015 • 2 Comments

Today I sit constricted
My waistband tied too tight
Until I sat down I had not noticed it
Digging into the forgotten flesh
Just below my belly button
But this time
I do not allow myself to fix it
I decide instead to feel it
An irritation around my middle
I hate this
I have always hated this
I have despised the soft center of me
Since I was 8 years old
I have rejected any sensation starting
From this spot
My entire being crawls away from it in all directions
Shattering me and scattering my pieces
I have always had a vague notion why I split
But today I simply feel it and let the thoughts in
And there it is

A memory as clear as the mark it left
HE used to grab me around my middle
HE used our childhood games
Of hide and seek
In a basement, dark and full of horrid hiding things
While the others hid, HE sought me out
HE would take me by my middle
Hauling me off with HIS giant hands
Encircling the entire middle of me
My flesh and guts a handle for HIS gripping

So this is why
I have punished and pounded and pulverized
This pound of flesh that lies
Between waist and once wasted space
This is why I crudely cut a giant jagged hole
And gladly let myself spill out
And happily filled it in with cold concrete
I have been terribly trying to loose his fingers
Trying to pry them off
The memory he buried
In the middle of me
I have been trying to reclaim my own geography
Violence for violence

NOW I return
NOW I am still, here
NOW I sit on solid ground, his hands are not around
NOW I hear the birds sing of safety
NOW after all of this restraint
I decide to forego formality
Before it is officially over
I move of my own accord, free
Not to fix with force but to find out for myself
To feel the spot where he used to handle me
To see if it still exists under there
And as my hands begin to move
The ending bell rings, allowing
Sounding as if to say to me

It is over
His grip is gone
Your center has returned
You may hold your own middle now

And so it is
And so it has
And so I do
Soft and gentle
I take myself in my hands
And I find
Only me


Middle by Patty Maher Photograph by Patty Maher

Reposted because I still struggle with this, this grip around my middle…as recently as yesterday.


•November 11, 2015 • 2 Comments

What are you trying to sell me?
A grill, or a sofa, or drink
A red, white, and blue ideology
That ignores veterans’ lives on the brink

An article of faith wrapped in dogma
Tied with a star-spangled bow
A car on a lot, an appliance
To help us feel part of the show

I sit here conflicted as one who has served
And one who has questioned it all
We do not fit in to your nice little box
That on purpose is fashioned too small

Instead of a sale or a discount
Give us your service and time
Notice the ones that you’ve looked away from
We’ve been wounded, left waiting in line…



Photograph of Tomas Young, a veteran, taken by David Jay as part of his Unknown Soldier Project


•November 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Like axe blade to bone
The thud and stick of The Real
Keeps revealing Me



Painting: Show and Tell by Matthew Price

Apparently this haiku is what happens when you are reading Lacan and Stephen King at the same time.

“Cheer Up”

•November 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We rarely harass happiness
To winnow out its many lies
But we question quick our sadness
Assuming it’s some shit-disguise


image Painting: Master of Disguise series by Jennifer Balkan


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