Scratched On a Receipt, Then Found In The Bottom Of My Bag:

My entire day
engulfed in words

gulping at verbs
grasping for adjectives
and at the end of each sentence

is you

with a match
ready to burn
all effort.

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Do You Have This In Black?

There it is, the New Year, standing on the front step. Patiently waiting for you to open the door and usher him in from the cold. You can see the fresh hanging onto collars and dangling from earlobes. Grab the coat of the previous year, while helping her into it, one arm at a time. Kissing each cheek, a fond farewell. Perhaps not.

They brush shoulders crossing over the threshold. One gives a nod, the other a glare.

All that you didn’t do, walks out.

All that you want to do, walks in.

You embrace the New Year in a familiar way. Taking his coat and draping it on the good hanger, the black felt one. You properly place it in the hall closet, behind the red dress you once looked stunning in and the suit coat that no longer fits your son.

Welcoming new friends, your arm opens to show him the way into the kitchen, where the finger foods of meat and cheese are slowly warming on the kitchen counter. The half drank bottles of whiskey and scotch are bunched together, as if they are huddled in a secret meeting of sorts. You pour one for yourself, one for your new friend.

You rest your chin in the palm of your hand, while your waist leans over the granite.  You ask your new friend, with a drunken star sickened look, if this will be the year.  He takes his glass and raises it a bit before taking a small swallow. As he smiles, you feel the burn.

Between laughter and cries, you catch a glimpse of the previous year. She’s out in the yard, standing with her face held upwards towards the sky.  In between branches extended like bones from torsos, the stars pop out like pin holes in velvet.  You catch yourself staring too. Your own face held up to the sky, waiting for cold kissed cheeks and a runny nose.

The New Year taps your shoulder.  No place for you here, out in the yard, staring up like this.  You go inside, pour another drink, sing another song, raise your glass again–but not higher than your heart. Never higher than your heart.  The New Year grabs you by the waist and twirls you in slow circles at the bottom of the stairs and you catch your elbow on the banister.

You’re too drunk to notice the pain.

The evening pushes on, into late night. Everyone moves into the living room, kicking throw pillows out of the way and anxiously shaking bottles of champagne. We are all carrying the stars in our eyes, at least the twinkle portion. Toothy grins and high fives. As the countdown begins, I glance one more time into the yard and watch the previous year slump off.

With a twinge of sadness, I mutter under my breath.  A stack of words that I half heartedly mean, a few I instantly regret and a tiny bundle of dreams that never had a chance to materialize.  The New Year comes closer and whispers at my neck, right below my ear. Words that get tangled in my hair and gold hoop earrings, “The words that leave your tender mouth are my only curiosity this year.”

I raise my glass, give a slight nod and suggest the New Year have a seat.

It’s going to be awhile.

Give the Gift

Post Christmas blues
even more so when you find yourself driving into the office
a skeleton crew meets you, sharing that same glazed face
the heat comes on sometimes and you find a constant chill hugs your frame
while you type and type and type

The detox begins
from plates piled with decadence
cookies and pies
full wine glasses and frivolous spending.

The cheer is seemingly wiped from our chests and into an empty gift bag
to possibly be used again in 365 days. Unless of course, you opt for wrapping
joy with paper. Maybe a bit of twine.

The coffee isn’t strong enough,
the breakfast isn’t leisurely

Right now,
you’d like to kick your feet up
and close your eyes

Instead, you watched the morning break
while shaking a crick out of your neck
and sipping coffee in the middle lane
of the freeway

There is no gift receipt for a Thursday
that feels like a Monday
when you’ve used up all your
vacation time.

Comparision and Fire Protection

I wanted to write you out today, but I wasn’t sure how to begin.

Should I compare you to:
dried fruit, crumpled leaves, broken glass, perhaps a groggy morning.

I thought maybe I should go this route:
dirt under fingernails, gum on the soles of rubber bottom sneakers, reheated fish

Yet, none of those seem to apply.

You are constant though.

Like the beep of a smoke alarm at 4 am
With pauses long enough to drift off,

but not before you screech again

souring my mood

and chilling my skin while I stand on a chair

to knock you from the ceiling

into silence

To Do: 2014

Before the wrapping paper has even made it into the trash, there will be talk of “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Another barftastic trickery of words that we all succumb to.  We’ve all made the lists. Maybe some of you are better at keeping to those promises. Maybe you absolutely refuse to make a list.  In either case, someone at some point in the next two weeks is going to ask you what you plan to do better in the New Year.

Here’s mine:

1. Be nice even when I want to throat pinch you (or possibly curb stomp you, depending on my level of rage).

2. Submit one poem a month for twelve months for publication.

3. Stop trivializing emotions.

4. Enjoy every bite.

5. Stop making lists.

6. Bring back spontaneous.

6a. Renew passport.

 

There. It’s a decent, normal size list of things I need to do more of, be better at or take the time to appreciate. Especially the passport thing.  I won’t jinx any part of possible travel in 2014, but it was brought to my attention that I needed my passport ASAP.  Which gives me butterflies everytime I think about it.  So maybe 6b should be: quit shelving your dreamer and bring her back.

So, there you have it.

Now, you know I’m going to ask, so tell me, “What’s on your list for 2014?”

Written Word, Lists, Gifs, Links

You know that poem I mentioned a few weeks back? Of course you do. All five of you who read this blog know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I think I killed it before it had a chance. That’s right, I lyrically jinxed myself on that son of a bitch.  Everyday I pull the words out and fiddle around with them.  I conduct research on my back story to make sure I don’t sound like an asshole.  Turns out you can still sound that way even when you think you know what you’re saying.  Basically, I’ve been forcing this poem.  From previous lessons learned, I know not to pick at a festering wound, so I’ve properly shelved the poem for the time being.  I still believe the potential is there, that it’s still the “one.”  I’ll just have to wait a little while longer I suppose.

The other day I shared a poem with my buddy Joe (what up!) and do you know, he said it was really, really good. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t kissing my ass either and that he meant it (and Joe, even if it sucked, thanks for being awesome anyway!). That feedback gave me a little extra boost and I spent a few nights after that waiting till everyone fell asleep and then staying up really, really late.  And by late, I mean I’ve been running on three hours of sleep a night.  These poems I’ve been writing have a great, solid feel to them.  So this afternoon while I was at work, I took Joe’s advice, combined it with everyone else’s advice, well wishes and support and started doing a little research on how to go about putting some things in motion.  I ordered a few books, scoped out suggested websites and guidelines and felt pretty good about my “dream” so to speak.

I’ve been writing everyday, even if it’s nothing much.  Of course, I could write more on this blog in relation to what’s really going on in my life.  Some days nothing goes on. Some days, everything goes on.  I like the mixed bag days most.  So here’s a quick break down of what’s been up:

– The hair brush fiasco

– I hung out with my best friend and drank tea last week.  After catching up, we decided we’d meet up every Wednesday. Guess what today is? Guess where I’m not? The coffee shop hanging out with my best friend. I hate schedules, ugh!

– At work today, a coworker tapped my shoulder and shocked me. Then the shock traveled through my headphones and zapped me in the ears. IN THE EARS.  Honestly, I couldn’t make this shit up.

– I have only had one fun size thing of M&M’s today.  It’s been tough.

– Crosby, Stills & Nash are coming in concert. This means it took six tries for Siri to understand my muddled/lispy accent while trying the talk to text. Finally with close wording, I let my Dad know.  Tickets go on sale Friday and I hope to square away a set!

– I’m listening to Cher.

– I’m sipping on whiskey.

– I am out of cigars.

– Last Sunday I made roasted lamb.  Here’s the recipe for the coating:

6 cloves garlic, S&P, 3 sprigs Rosemary, 2 Tablespoons butter.  Toss this in a food processor with a steel blade and blend. Pat on lamb. Cook as you see fit (rare is best though!)

-I’m still in my work clothes.

– There have been several days that I’ve been so angry and the pain leaves me speechless.  I try to work through it by either painting, sketching or writing. Although sometimes it’s good to talk it out with your best friend over tea, because she’s going through the same thing.  Also, she gives the most incredible hugs ever.

– Why does laundry never seem to end? It’s like the worst party anthem put on repeat for the remainder of your life.  After awhile, living on a nudist colony sounds better and better.

I read this Top 40 and nearly fainted

– Also, if you’re wondering what my second favorite song EVAR is, here you go. My ALL time favorite song is THIS. Seriously. I cried when I heard it live the first time.

– Don’t we all feel this way when faced with opening a can of biscuits? This is why fresh is best!

– Also, I managed to buy a few Christmas gifts. I still want to go on a destination vacation during Christmas.  Or as my husband likes to remind me, “You mean, act like Christmas With The Kranks?”  Yes honey. YES.

– How is Train still making music?

– Over Thanksgiving, my Mema and I passed Keith Urban. No one was around him, we were just strolling through a quaint part of town. He winked at us. It was pretty awesome.

– I bought new underwear and bras. Which means for the first time in hell, I don’t even know, I match.  Achievement: UNLOCKED.

I’ll leave you all with this: GO BE AWESOME.

SMOOCHIES!

It’s Just Hair, It’ll Grow Back.

Last night after getting home, supper and homework, I started cleaning up a bit.  MD jumped in the shower after playing drums and I was in my room, under the blankets, frozen.  The past few days have been cold with rain.  That’s just the worst combination to me.  You’re already chilled, the wind is cutting through you and oh hey, let’s have it rain down and shake your bones.  Ugh.

I was listening to a Dave Brubeck Quartet album I found at Great Escape, Jazz Goes To College, dozing off and trying to stay warm. There is something entrancing about the sound of a record to me- the music combined with the grumbly white noise, that just makes me feel cozy and relaxed.  However, I was still chilled to the bone, so I decided to take a hot shower.  It still took me another ten minutes to convince myself to get out from under the covers though.

Back a few months ago when my brother dyed my hair red, he said I should use sulfate free shampoo, to keep the color set.  At least, I think that’s what he said. Sometimes I don’t listen and wind up fading my own color within a week. Thankfully, my brother still loves me.  Anyway, I have some of that shampoo left, so I figured I’d use it up.  After I got out of the shower and was toweling my hair dry, I realized that this shampoo had given me instant dread locks.  And not the cool looking, fit inside a bad ass tam either. What I was dealing with was more like an Aqua net prom hair fiasco.  Only wet. 

Growing up with this mane has been a constant battle.  One month it’s perfect, the next it’s wavy, then there’s a week where it’ll lay flat. My step mom says my hair isn’t as curly as it used to be because I’ve straightened it so much over the years.  That’s probably true, but for any of us with curly hair, the ability to have slick, bone straight locks feels … exotic.  At least to me it does.  Hell, I have certain outfits that even look better with straight hair.  As a young girl, I can remember sitting on the floor letting my Mom brush my hair out after taking a bath.  Granted, I wasn’t always well behaved, but in my defense, that shit HURT.  Thankfully all it took was a few taps on the skull with my hard plastic Strawberry Shortcake brush and I got back in line (love you Mom!).

So, last night, after my shower, I’m looking at my hair and having flashbacks.  I know it’s going to suck to brush my hair.  Only this time, I can’t tap myself in the head to sit still. Well, I could, but why would I purposely hit myself? Exactly.  I was able to mix in some conditioning creme and then walked to my bed to get to the task at hand. 

I hadn’t even brushed through two strands of hair when what happens next? I GET THE BRUSH HUNG IN MY HAIR.

You guys, that sucked.

It sucked worse than getting stuck in a cocktail dress in a fitting room.

It sucked worse than trying to shimmy into spanx.

It sucked worse than getting your period while wearing white pants.

YES.

My instincts told me to yank and pull with mighty strength! Then I talked myself out of it, for fear of going to work with a bald spot.  I gave a tug, brush still stuck.  I gently pulled, brush still stuck.  I feel the panic start to fester and I have to take a few deep breaths.  Sitting cross legged on my bed, I started laughing.  I was reminded of the time I spent the night over at my girlfriend Ana’s house. For whatever reason, Ana and her sister Patti thought it would be awesome to trim my hair.  This was also the year that I thought wearing giant, cloth head bands was awesome (it was not). I can’t remember exactly how it happened, maybe I moved, maybe someone’s hands were shaky, but regardless, I wound up with a half mullet and crying. Thankfully, the both of them talked me down from panic.  Also, I was already horribly awkward, so the hair cut sort of suited me. You know it was a moment, when we’re now all in our mid thirties and just talking about that night brings us to tears with laughter.

So my worse case scenario is that I have to cut my hair myself. 

Another option: wake my son up and have him help me. 

Best option: work through the pain.

I chose option C, but really I wanted to combine A&B. I’ve seen MD handle scissors, I’m sure he would’ve done just fine.

After twenty minutes of tugging and deep breaths, I was able to free the hair brush without losing a large chunk of my hair.  As soon as the brush was free, I yelled, “FINALLY. For fuck’s sake!” and then tossed the brush across the room.  I spent the next hour combing my fingers through my hair (what an exhausting task that was) and then adding more conditioning creme.

And this morning, when I hopped in the shower, I took that sulfate free shampoo and chucked it over the shower door and into the trash for three points.