Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Thunder Cake and Roses

I remember, now, how long ago it was that I knew you,
How long ago I loved you the best a child ever could.
I remember how you always protected me without having any idea of what chivalry was;
You couldn’t have wrapped your head around that word, then
You weren’t much more than six years old.
I remember how we could live in our dreams then,
The boundaries between this world and that were mere curtains of gauze
A gentle mist that barely blurred the way.
You were my prince, my hero,
A knight with sword and shield who would defeat my every demon without question,
And I, your fairy queen, knew not yet the weight of worry and of expectation,
Of dark nights and dirty fingers.
I remember the kitchen and the smell of baking Thunder Cake,
Your broad smile and beautiful lips
And the pathetic kindergarten jokes that used to make us laugh so much.
I picture you now not the last time I saw you,
What was that, second grade?
But as you looked in a certain set of pictures I still have
You all in black,
Me dressed as a fairy, wand and all, blessing the flowers in the back yard.
We were pure then,
More or less untainted by society, still believers in ourselves however we wanted to be,
In love with the misty green expanses and ever-blooming roses of our fantasies.
You are, perhaps, the only person I ever shared everything with.
I was too young to know that pretending was silly,
And you, in a rare and beautiful stroke of luck, shared my love of dreaming.
Do you remember me, I wonder?
Do you remember playing in the dappled shade of the old olive tree,
Reading stories to the sound of the rain?
I wonder if I’ve glorified you in my memories,
If we never shared all the things I think we did,
If you would laugh reading this now
And wonder how that little blonde girl you used to know turned into such a poet,
An abstract writer who makes so much now of things that meant so little then.
But I hope beyond hope that you would remember,
Even if you didn’t admit it,
That you would remember one sweet thing about me,
One day in our world of dreams and freedoms
So I would not be lost to you.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Seven Deadly Sins

I recently did a project for my high school Faust class which involved me writing a poem for each of the seven deadly sins.
I don't really like them all, since they were for a project, and not for myself, but they're kind of incomplete without each other. So here goes.

lust n
1. The strong physical desire to engage in sexual intercourse with somebody, usually without associated feelings of love or affection

I cannot see your face but I feel your body moving near mine
My heart is pounding and my mouth is watering
My body is liquefying beneath my skin
Nothing is said between us, nothing has been said at all
I do not even know your name
But I know your intentions
Your body brushes against mine and I suck in my breath
The charge between us is electric and I feel desire surging through me
I want to feel you
I want to grab you and hold you and gasp with you in a fit of passion
To know you want me as much as I want you
To strip you down and feel your naked skin against mine
Writhe with you and feel our separate hearts beat in single pulsing time
In lustful unison
And when our night or early morning ends in sheer exhaustion
I will kiss you one last time,
Bite my lip,
And walk away.
And let our perfect night of fervor remain
Unscarred with pleasantries
Or the search for something deeper.

pride n
1. A haughty attitude shown by people who believe, often unjustifiably that they are better than others; conceit

She tosses her head and pretends to get a piece of hair off her lip,
She knows she is prettier than anyone else in the room
Because she bought her outfit on Rodeo Drive.
She smiles and her teeth sparkle like her diamond earrings
She speaks confidently but disdainfully,
Patronizing with every word.
Her wealth is her pride even though she has not earned it herself
Her parents have lavished her with gifts and compliments for so long
She now believes every word of it and believes it is true.
She will show you her wealth but not share it,
If she pays she will never let you forget it.
If you spend the night she will show you her family heirlooms
The priceless treasures and the big-screen TVs
She has received the best education
The most expensive training
In every art and dance and sport she has ever wanted to learn.
She has never had to work or worry,
Never had to see the other side,
And she doesn’t realize that she is lucky to live the way she does
She thinks
She deserves it.

envy n
1. The feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by the desire for someone else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions

You are so beautiful, so sweet
You have everything you could ever want
Everything I could ever want
You’ve never had to work for anything
You probably never will
I spend my days working tedious jobs that pay my bills
But don’t afford me new cars and manicures
Those things that come with the life you were just born into on a fluke of fate
Why do I have to work so hard and so long just to get by?
I want to tell myself it builds character to have to earn your own life
But you are perfect in every way—
You are polite and kind, flawless on paper and in looks
How could I ever compare to you?
How can you live so effortlessly
While the rest of us have to work for our simple comforts
You smile at dignitaries with bleached porcelain veneers
While I brush my teeth at night
Nobody cares how your teeth got so white
Only that they are
I hate you for your uncomplicated life
You don’t deserve it.

avarice n
1. Showing an unreasonably strong desire for money
2. An overwhelming desire to have more of something than is actually needed

He is destroying a company and selling the pieces for an incredible profit
He is obliterating thousands of good jobs
Jobs held by the same people for so long
Jobs they will never find a match for
But he doesn’t care.
He is overcome with the desire for the kill,
For the money he knows will be transferred into his account;
He doesn’t need the money
But he wants it desperately.
He does not think about the wives that will cry when their husbands come home
Without paychecks
Or the children that won’t get what they want for Christmas
He thinks only of the money
Of the size of his wallet and his bank statement
He is driven by the search for the most digits anyone can have for his
Gross annual profit
And he will have it if it is humanly possible,
He will have it even if he is the ruin of so many others
His heart is made of cash
And his soul is made of credit.

gluttony n
1. The act or practice of eating and drinking to excess

He tosses and turns under the sheets
He is filled with desire, with longing and cannot help himself
He must have it
He rises, throwing down the covers and heads to the kitchen
His most visited room of all
He searches, slowly at first and then frantically
He must have satisfaction, he must stop this craving
The refrigerator yields little to him
Some leftover pizza and breadsticks
Devouring them, nearly choking in his rush,
He cannot explain this obsession
He cannot feel hunger anymore
He is always full, but his appetite is never satisfied
He is addicted and he knows it but he cannot stop it
He has given in to it and has stopped caring
He has accepted it as his fatal flaw
Unalterable, a hopeless cause,
Something to ignore about himself
He has filled himself to excess
There is no more room,
But still, he needs more.

sloth n
1. A dislike of work or any kind of physical exertion
2. Laziness, indolence

I am so tired
What have I been doing lately?
Not that much, I guess.
Watching TV until there’s nothing else good on
Sleeping in
Thank God I work from home
Don’t have to get dressed
Who else can go to work in their pajamas?
I don’t know
I guess everyone can because of the internet
Ugh. I’m hungry.
I’ll eat later. The fridge is too far away.
Maybe in a couple hours.
Can’t go back to sleep it’s… almost 3 pm,
There’s probably something on TV now.
I should probably do those spreadsheets…
Nah. It’s too early to think about work
I’ll start them… between Jeopardy and Extreme Makeover
Yeah, I’ll do them then.

wrath n
1. Fury or anger often marked by a desire for vengeance
2. The vengeance, punishment, or destruction wreaked by somebody in anger

His blood boils and his hand are shaking
He sweats and gasps for the air he cannot seem to find
He is overcome with anger and desperation.
He hits the bag once, twice, three times
Wishing he could hurt the man who hurt her
Each time picturing his head in the path of his fist.
Sweat is pouring off his body
He convinces himself over and over to stay where he is,
To let his rage out this way.
But what he craves is something more satisfying and
Much more drastic
He wants to take the grizzled face and smash it into a table,
Take the scrawny body and knock it to the ground
And slit the throat of that disgusting excuse for a man
Who took her dignity,
Who tainted her perfect soul and perfect beauty.
He takes off the gloves and throws them down, no more composed than he was before
A shower, he tells himself, and nothing more
He hopes warm water will calm his livid nerves
And stay his hateful mind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

From a Generation Yet Unmoulded

Be careful
You hold our minds in your hands
We give you our attention and a piece of our
Very soul
Don’t shout
Don’t try to give us all the answers
A mind filled suddenly has no room
No time to grow and it will burst
Pieces on the floor of a puzzle far beyond our understanding
You are powerful more so than you may comprehend
So be aware
Give us room to breathe speak decide
A word of utmost importance let us
Who what why
We will be

Don’t judge us yet
Don’t shut us down
Don’t tell our minds not to grow
When you say that’s what you care about
Tell us of freedom then give it to us
Don’t impose your version of that sacred thing

We each need to find our own

Be careful
We are listening.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Milk Carton

I could have collected the tears I cried in a milk carton
A plastic bottle filled with salty water from an ocean much closer to me than the Pacific
Enough salt to kill the jungle of my front yard
I don’t know how to tell you what I learned about myself
How I can’t see myself or the world the same way anymore
I can’t see you the same way
My eyes are clearer now that the brine has been wiped away
I’m sorry I was closed to you and let my hurt seep through my skin and into yours
I have accepted it now and it will never poison me or you again, I promise—
The carton of tears ran over as I wrote that line.
The tears running down my face wash away my make up
Show my imperfections and remind me why I should wear waterproof mascara
But my eyes are beautiful when they are wet
They are vulnerable and green and wide open
Like my heart beneath its armor
You saw that heart once or twice behind my painted eyelids I’m sure
You always looked a little deeper.
So what do I do with this container filled with tears?
I’ll put it on a shelf under a window where the sun will suck away the water
And leave me the salt to season my scrambled eggs
Even bitter tears can be put to good use, right?
You would laugh at me for saying that, but you would be proud of me.
I’m proud of me, too.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

My Star

There is a star who isn’t sure how to shine hiding in my back bedroom
Letting her light fall to blank faces and empty paper
Watching the world through eyes so much like mine
Eyes that try to see the hope but can’t ignore the pain
And I know the sorrow held within us may never go away
And I know the faith waiting in our hearts waivers sometimes
And I wish I could tell her that I suffer too, not just on the surface, but deep inside,
But I want to tell her that the world has enough for both of us,
For all of us,
Because I hold this truth in the deepest parts of my being.
I want to tell her that she is beautiful and talented,
And that it’s alright to be unsure of life sometimes,
To wander without purpose no matter how uncomfortable that may make us,
And I want her to know that if she’d open her heart a little more
I’d give her a little more of mine
And I want her to know that I care
And I want the best for her.
And I want her to know that I’m always here,
And that my arms are always open.

So to you, my little star,
A speck of perfect white in the night sky feared by so many,
I wish you hope.
Life is full of opportunities, and if you can’t stand the number of closed doors
Run away with me.
I will be your friend your confidante and sister always
In times of despair, doubt, and hope
So know that no matter how lonely life may feel
You never are alone.

May your life be filled with dreams and aspirations to be
All you want to be.

With love
Your poetess.

If I Die Too Young

If I die too young, remember me.
Remember me as a girl who felt she had to yell to be heard, and so
Respect my quiet passions.
Please don’t let my poems end up in a dumpster,
At least burn them if no one wants to save them
They are the words I could use only once.
They are rarely altered,
Never edited.
If I die too young, sit with me.
Sit around a table and speak one thing you loved about me, shared with me,
One perfect time you spent with me
But do not speak of me with regret
For that is one thing, of all things, I have tried to live without.
If I die too young, learn from me.
Learn about yourself, your life, and make it how you want it to be,
How you’d want it to be if you died too young,
For that is how I would want it to be.
If I die too young, keep me.
Keep me in keepsake, in writing, in memory,
Hold me just a little in a secret part of your brimming heart,
For if you keep me there,
I will never die.

Center of Me

I wanna be loved
I wanna be fucked
I wanna trust someone implicitly.
I want an easygoing smile
With a scintillating sense of humor
On an airplane back from NYC
An affectionate, passionate, honest soul
To share my life, my heart, my body.
Someone who will love my naked form
And hate underwire,
Someone who only hurts me when he knows it’s what I need.
Someone who will be the center of my gravity,
Who won’t know how to live without me,
A man who sleeps best with his head in my breasts,
Who keeps time with my rhythm and respects my rests,
Who lets me hold his fingers when were walking,
Who lets his head and heart both do the talking,
Who appreciates me and the little things I do.

If you’re out there,
Look for the girl with love in her eyes,
Passion in her heart,
And open arms,
And when you’ve found her, you’ve found me.

Introduce yourself.

Portrait of a Girl

When you took the photograph I knew I wasn’t smiling
I never can when I’m stuck in a pose.
But you insisted, impatient for an identity without a soul;
I warned you, but it was just a reminder, you said,
The real me would burn in you forever.

When the pictures were developed you found
The passionless photo of me and sighed,
You could not see the fire in my eyes for
It was hidden behind glassy lenses.

But do not fear for there is something yet that you await
A picture unexpected, to be sure.
A moment when you caught me without armour
When my spirit was not expecting to be snared
Part of a head with one gleaming eye
One half of a heartfelt smile
And a bit of golden hair blowing in the wind

You have my joy forever, now,
In a print that none but you will ever know,
A memoir of a moment none but you could ever see.

For a Friend who Must Believe

If you listen closely you will hear your heartbeat in the wind,
And you will see that you are everywhere.
And in that moment you will find that your pulse is merely one of many
Not so different from the rest
But yours, just yours.
And you will know that your grace is drawn from the stars
And your passion from the fire of the deepest reaches of the Earth.
And when you have heard your voice as one of many
You will know yourself.
Everyone is whispering your name,
You are stirring the hearts of the multitudes already.
But if you have faith in yourself, immeasurable faith that nothing can deter,
Then you will find the murmurs become words, frenzied words that will
Rise into a cry—
Touch me with your fervor, they will say, and make me beautiful like you.
For you are beautiful when you are whole.
When you know that every action is a stone thrown into water
Every moment ripples into a thousand others and you must remember
You have power.
And that power can be a weapon or a tool—you must decide.
Believe in your choice, be it right or wrong,
Believe in your might, be it soft or strong,
Believe in the gentle words your heart sings to your soul.
You will change the world.
Believe this, too.
You will change the world.
And I will watch and smile from the front row and know how you sent a ripple
Through me.
Never forget the honest things and the broken dreams—
In time you will use the truth to repair fractured heartstrings.
When you are not afraid of you there will not be a ripple but a
People will find themselves in your courage,
And you must be a leader to them
So live each day conscious of yourself and the world and the power in
Each and every person.
And respect it with utmost reverence
And remember that of all the softly-glowing souls upon this earth
Within your sphere the most important light of all
Is yours.

Monday, July 12, 2004

For a Hero

I guess I’ll never know what you really think of me
I thought I knew that you respected me and my opinions
You believed I was talented and true
And now I don’t know
Your vision of me has changed, as mine did of you
Only in your fall from a marble pedestal you became
So much more real, delightfully sincere in my new eyes
Someone I respected, not idolized
Someone I could relate to as a mentor, not a preacher
But perhaps you didn’t like to take that fall
You didn’t realize that you became a champion
Herakles, Perseus, Bellerophon, Jason, Ulysses
Ancient heroes were not Gods but men
And as a man you are much more to me
I pose questions only to those from whom I wish to know
Tell me what happened where did our understanding go
And can time heal need we prove ourselves again
My mind is tangled with regret.
And so I pray those lips which spoke so much
Of the beauty of my words and the manner of the world
Will not seal themselves to me
But rather kiss me again with compassion
And breathe to me new inspiration
I pray that hand which wrote so many messy words
Of admiration for my truth and the splendor of a single phrase
Will not lay clutched beside the pen
But rather take my arm and lead me to new worlds
And touch my fading heart with faith
And I pray the man I found in you will unearth the truth you found in me
And I pray that you who helped me find my voice
Will hear my song again and help me learn it in a different key
So I may grow and glimmer anew
A brilliant star in a vast night sky
Knowing that a wise old moon keeps his watch over me
And will nod his encouragement when I’m not sure how to shine.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Angels of Los Angeles

The Angels of Los Angeles are dying
They are becoming blank-eyed and tired of life
On the streets and in the tracts and mansions throughout this place we call home
The youth are getting bored.
Prepackaged everything at hand no need for each other anymore
Leaves them detached from life in an unhealthy way
They look for trouble to pass the time which seems oddly to repeat itself
Day after languid dismaying day
Same lessons same buildings same roads same people
And when nothing seems to change and gossip is the most interesting of news they rebel
And the old white men shake their heads and wonder why so many nasty things go on.
The middle aged and boxed-in rush to make it seem as if they had much to do
Traffic gets worse because they always drive as if they’re late for the last train to Paradise
Gone are the days of open roads and wind flooding through sea-foam green convertibles
Gone is the knowledge that Paradise will wait.
But there are yet some with the fire in their eyes
There is a boy now on the street with that blaze in baby blues
A smile plays on his lips and his skin glows with hopes and dreams and aspirations
He walks along, one strolling in a hurried world
Watching from the middle of it all and soaking it in and making decisions for his future
He will live at his own pace instead of losing the simple beauties that nothing can destroy
The ballet of cars on the highway and the faces of the poets in the clouds and the way the pretty girl with freckles blushes down her neck when someone whistles at her.
He will not forget the simple truths that so many have let slip away
How smiles are contagious and love is wide-eyed and children are the most honest of all
And he has a sudden secret smile that no one seems to understand
For he knows that in every moment something gorgeous is about to happen
And when he’s lived a life of dreams without losing the simple things
We will rejoice
For one more Angel will be saved.