dying to self

Tried to be so many things for so many
Tried on different personalities and
Lives to please others, never myself

And like ill-fitting clothes, these
Personas billowed about me like rags and
Drifted away

People said I’d changed; that the other
Me suited them better, but my life can’t
Be tailored to popular opinion anymore;
It was killing me to be jammed inside boxes
The well-intentioned has constructed; it’s always
Safer for those kind of souls to go with
What they know and dispose of all else alien

Before I was never enough and after, much too much
Too big to handle, too complicated for easy understanding
So the many trickled away into the few; the ones who stayed
Embraced my bigness; they knew all along what I was, but
Had been biding time until my blinders were loosened
And the final straw had broken me into pieces

It’s been a slow, heart-rending, soul searing process and
I’ve wished myself at the bottom of the nearest ocean
Wept buckets, cursed gods and scared children

I’ve stayed true, or as near to true as I can be
With these jagged pieces of the old self
Cartwheeling inside me


Black and silent in the aftermath
I tend to my wounds like a veteran soldier
After a battle
With my legs and arms marked
With the latest in my mother’s delusions

I ease on my coat, gingerly
Sneak out of the house, carefully
To walk under the nightlights

I have no destination, but need to move
To restore the battered groove
To its original position
To whisper dreams and nonsense
Until some dented calm resumes

Then back to the dark house again
Quieter than death
Making my way to my bed
To lay still and wait for another day

like a mad thing, laughing

I remember that tricycle
It was a shiny, blue green color
And I rode it up and down the driveway
Like a mad thing, laughing as
I pulled my feet away from the pedals
And let the momentum carry me
Almost crashing into the garage
But stopping just in time

And I couldn’t stop chattering, asking
The adults’questions, pondering, then
Hopping onto my trike to take me to
Wherever small children went in
Their imaginations

So you sit across from me now
Years later, saying
You ‘knew something was off’
Because I stopped asking questions
Because my shininess diminished
Because my flying trike machine
Was left to rest by the backyard fence
Among the honeysuckle
To rust and catch spiders

But you said nothing

What does this say about you?
Telling me now that you suspected abuse
And did…nothing

I don’t remember that shiny child
She only exists in others’ memories
I don’t remember anything
After the pain

the country cousin speaks


i stand and sing
 caught between winter

is there a way to cross this landscape?
 because i am scapegoat trying to escape

tears dried white
  and i walk
bled dry by tiny vampires

a famine of the soul is in control

this is worse than empty

people pass through me
 and i don’t feel them
i have become cold
  a corpse
as i grasp for a niche
my thin hands hold nothing
not even a prayer

 i could feed my pain
to the gaping mouths
 that try repeatedly to find me

but why be a martyr?

  i was not called to it
i will not go because

and reveals nothing at its destination

  i have been bested by diseased philosophies,
burning wombs and virgin crosses singing
    ‘holy, holy’
though i have not gone insane
  i am on its crusade

a wild man in wolf’s clothing

whistling through

There are coiled screams in the center of me
I must move carefully so they can’t be released
They tickle the back of my throat like waiting vomit
Restricts any loving gesture I desire to make

My bright smile hides gritted, worn teeth
And I have to remind myself to breathe
In, out
Wind whistling through the coils, making noise
Like rattling bones, whipping me like a tsunami

This grief
This grief
This grief

Pierces my eyes like nails, forcing me to see over and over
What happened and what is happening to me
Held tightly in the grip of acid memory, I can’t sleep and if I do
My dreams are crippled
Miserable things

like progress

Most days, I float away and leave the shell
To take care of the mundane and the polite

I drift through memory, sifting, trying to glean
Understanding from remembering, but mostly
Cutting myself on the jagged edges of recollection

And I am told: this is better than before
As I attempt to push this new, battered, bloodied soul 
Back into the person I am becoming

Some days, it doesn’t feel like progress
It feels alone and burdened
As if god told the biggest cosmic joke
And I am the punchline

a few flew over the cuckoo’s nest

It was as if children were trading baseball cards or
Comic books

What are you in for?
I snapped and attacked two people
I don’t feel safe
Skipped meds a couple of days…couple of months…
There’s a spaceship landing on your book, you know
The judge sent me here
I tried to exit the planet by using a hose and car exhaust

Comparing gaping wounds
Touching our respective speared sides
Not doubting, but processing that there are others
Like us: lost prophets babbling in the desert

And there you are, playing pinochle with familiar strangers
Stranger than angels
A motley collection of crazy, lined up in rows
To be inspected, judged and boxed up
Then turned loose on a world ill prepared for us
As we are for it

And as I place my paper bag suitcase
Into the waiting trunk
It began to feel like a joke pulled on me
No consent
An unauthorized trip to underland
Without a white rabbit as pilot.