A portion of the proceeds go to fund immigrant housing.
Found in an old journal.
We are standing in the heat and talking about our moms. Hers is crazy and mine too. Sometimes when I talk about my mom with other girls we try to top each other. Mine used to do heroine, but hers really beat her, so then I have to lie a little just so she knows I didn’t get off easy. You don’t want to look like a wimp.
I’m not doing that today though because this girl is really cool and I don’t want her to think I’m weird. I’m trying to smoke my cigarette without looking lame and I’m trying to feel okay inside my skin but I feel like a fat wad of tissues held together with snot and in serious danger of blowing away.
We smoke in silence and I want to press my skin against hers. I know that I’m nothing so I could fall right through, past my empty clothes and into her. Just by looking I know that she has substance, and if I could just press hard enough I could fall into her skin and have it too.
I stand on the summer sidewalk and I daydream watching the smoke drift into the air. I wish I could figure out how to disintegrate or solidify. The bus comes and the girl leaves to live her real life. I stay and wait. I feel like there’s nothing holding me to the planet. You’d think all this sadness would bring me down.
December 30, 2010
I want to sleep in your arms.
In our bed.
Wrapped in the L.A. heat
Sweating expensive lubricant.
I want to fuck on a table
Surrounded by strangers,
In a fancy restaurant
By the beach.
I want everyone to know
The things I say
In that exquisite tension
Between me being yours and you being mine.
While I was going through my closets trying to find shit to give to goodwill today, I ran across a journal I kept between 2005 and 2007, my sophomore to senior years of college. Some of this stuff is pretty great.
Ben says that he’d rather amputate his cock than an arm.
He says it only gets him into trouble anyways.
I say that if he had been systematically denied any manifestation of a sexual self by a misogynistic culture he’d feel differently (as I do).
He says that, in a culture that makes him a misogynist, it would be a relief to no longer be an oppressor.
I read this to Ben. He says he still feels the same. With standard Ben practicality, he stated that he does lots of things he enjoys with his arms, and only 2 things he enjoys with his dick. Then he said “Man, you sound so fiery and idealistic.” Then he sighed.
I come, at heart, and in my entirety
From the gutter.
Who could have asked for a better jumping off point?
Everywhere else is clean and sparkling
And when I’m overwhelmed with the fresh-smelling, bright-shinning world
I know where I belong.
Even if I never go home.
Every night my boyfriend checks the locks
He checks because he thinks that the danger is outside.
He doesn’t seem to think locks can also keep you in.
My mother calls, I wait for voice mail.
You never can tell.
She’s detoxed again, was out of control.
My mother calls and tells me to look at the moon.
It’s beautiful and we look together.
My mother at Christmas tried to fight me on the front lawn.
I could feel the neighbors watching.
My grandmother calls, I wait for the voice mail.
You never can tell with that one either.
After the fight, I was driven back home.
Tell my grandma I love her.
Tell my mother I’m sorry.
Call me, and maybe I’ll tell you I didn’t mean it.
Maybe we’ll look at the moon.
My phone, and your phone, and the moon between us.
Let her. Let her turn out like her mother.
That bitch never listened.
Don’t tell her.
Let her fail.
And she’ll learn.
I wanted to work hard
So hard I ached
I wanted to drive home with the sunrise at my back
And tobacco in my lungs
And my shitty radio
As loud as it could go
I wanted to be good
But only because I was good
I wanted to sleep the whole night
Naked with my love
I wanted to be smart
And I wanted people to think I was smart
I wanted to be important to myself.
I always wanted crazy hair
And thrift store clothes
An old truck
A little red car
An old clunker
I wanted to be fiercely independent
And I wanted to move away while I was young
I wanted it all
I am the nothing that has no seat in this house
Hurtling across the west coast
I am the nothing
Alone on this plain
on this train
on this greyhound bus
I am the nothing inside of me
That prevents me from you
He never chases me into the yard
I was not a child who was afraid of the night
And I was not a child who was afraid of the dark
Old rooms in old houses are dark
Old rooms used for storage of unwanted things
Old dark storage rooms are to be fled from
Overgrown yards of old houses
Covered in moonlight and mongrel dogs
Hold no danger for running little girls
I bathe in moonlight
I’m sorry that I laughed
When you said that your people came from dirt
I really should be nicer to ignorant white women
If your people came from dirt
It was dirt they stole from mine
Sorry again for the outburst
You were only talking
Just a minority moment
Where I get to blame you
For everything that went wrong
Grandma left today, and I spent the entire day running around doing last minute errands, catching up on the shopping I didn’t do this weekend, taking care of work stuff, and playing video games while trying to pretend I don’t have to deal with real life. So I will leave you with some more of my terrible poetry. I have lots to say, no idea how much of it will actually be said, and a sadness that could almost be exhaustion hollowing a pit into my heart.
Anyway, I just went through some of my old notebooks and typed up every poem I even remotely liked. The date is when they were written.
August 27, 2009
I’m going to swim under the surface of real life
And I won’t come back until you’re gone.
I’m like a bird exiled to the ocean
Away from her children on the shore.
I’m like a solder alone in the mountains
Never knowing the end of war.
November 3, 2010
This is not a starvation, it is a rawness
Weeping defensively, lacking options.
There is a fear of callousness
A loss of sensitivity characterized by early abuse.
Does this wound require licking
Or would that spur infection?
November 3, 2010
What new flood is this?
And all my cups were empty.
But both my eyes are dry.
No number of lives is too many to waste.
December 30, 2010
I am an empty ball of jealousy underneath a layer of sweaters three inches thick.
I am impetuous and difficult, and I have run out of defiance.
I have “yes” and “yes” and angry silence.
I pull solutions out of my blood through my eyes.
Bottles and bottles I make for the world,
Always forgetting to take for myself.
September 11, 2011
When one is raised by wolves:
Dinner is never on time
Bed is more of a feeling than a concept
Hygiene is spotty
Manners are scarce
We’ll get to the sex in a moment, but first there’s some more drama breaking out about my grandma, and what’s going to happen to her. Or, more specifically, what’s going to happen to her money. Years ago, when she was making her will, she asked me what I thought of the whole thing and I told her in no uncertain terms that I have my own money, that I’m not at all interested in hers, and that there would probably be drama about it that I would actually pay to stay out of. So, she gave me two of my great-grandmother’s rings, and that was that. I am not in the will, I have no dog in this fight.
Now my only interest is an emotional one, and I’m struggling with where and to what extent that emotional interest requires me to stick my head in the Tasmanian devil style hurricane that is my family sometimes. So far, I’ve mostly kept my distance. I don’t have the money, time, or energy to be in the middle of this. I have concern for my grandmother’s well-being, but she seems to have no interest in anything. I’m going to stop by the house on Sunday to check in, hopefully nothing crazy happens while I’m there. Because we’re definitely in the crazy-times danger zone with that crowd. As recently as today, there was apparently a high pressure area (read: yelling and tears) hanging over the house.
On top of that, I took the day off work sick today, and I slept from about 9 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. The stomach ache that grounded me is still hanging around, and I have no idea what’s up with that. I’m not puking, there’s no fever. It doesn’t get better or worse, food or no food, it stays the same. Honestly, the only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’m in the middle of eating. So if I can figure out a way to constantly eat from the moment I wake up to when I fall asleep at night, I’ve got this beat. Oh if only I were the obese stereotype so many people think I am!
It feels like I swallowed a large stone. And my body kind of wants to puke it up, but knows it’ll take a lot of energy, so isn’t really trying. It’s weird.
Anyway, in the spirit of making the whole world feel my pain, here’s some sex poems I wrote my awesome boyfriend.
You’ve reached inside my chest, up through my cunt and wrapped your hands around my heart.
One simple twitch makes me your puppet on metal strings pulled through my head
Put your mouth on my throat, rake your teeth on my skin
I’ll dance for you. I’ll dance for anyone you tell me to.
Make me beg for my own salvation
Push my face against the wall
Work my reflex
Hold my arms back
Take the things I wouldn’t give
Grab my hair in angry fistfuls
Pull the whimper from my throat
Know my truth, and make me pay
Teach me the lesson I never learn
Skin, blood, lungs, sternum
Out comes my heart to sit next to yours
Lay with me in this bent bed
Wound to wound under the plaster sky
So I’m sick. Which is why today’s post is a horrible poem I wrote my boyfriend back in May.
One day I saw you onshore
I slipped through the water
And crept through the sand
All I want is to be your creature
My only dream is to slime your arm
If you don’t want me
At least take pity
Bring down your boot
On my monocle head
Put all your weight into my demise.
Smash me to sea bits, and leave me to silence
The world has no use for domesticated monsters
Sorry about that.
In Honor of Labor Day, here is a re-post of this blog from 2006. It’s a poem I wrote for my awesome boyfriend, and it’s still true all these years later. When I’m around him, I can be myself. The insecurity and anxiety I experience in the real world doesn’t apply inside our house. If anything, this drama with my family has reminded me of how amazing he is, and how unique it is for someone who comes from what I come from to find a partner that makes my life better instead of worse. I wish everybody had something so special.
Sometimes I forget,
While I’m sitting in the sun.
While I’m sleeping close to you.
I forget, and then I sink
Into the glowing warmth of flesh
Into the blood inside my veins
And I forget myself.
My difficult, hungry self inside my skin.
You’re the best, babe.
And if you’re saying to yourself, “hey, didn’t she promise a more mature attempt to deal with the fact that she saw and talked to her estranged mother for the first time in 5 years on Monday? And isn’t today Monday? What the dick?” You’re not wrong, I broke my promise. Unless you count this as an attempt, in which case I kept my promise and my attempt is just shit. Honestly, there was even more drama after the tertiary drama of me seeing my mom. In fact, me seeing my mom was the least dramatic thing that happened in the last 7 days.
So on my recent trip down memory lane, I dug up some of the worst shit my high school poetry journal had to offer, and much to my surprise, I found a couple of pieces that weren’t complete and total shit. Yeah, they’re not really my style anymore, but I liked them, so as an offering to the gods of my writer’s block, here they are for your reading pleasure. Pleasure’s a strong word. Anyway, here’s poetry.
April 11, 2003
I used to be a warchild
Hatred filled me up like a hungry dog
I used to think of you
What they did to your heart
Those strings of hypodermic lovers
Each taking so much
And giving so little
Grams of black tar
To fill up your eyes
And coat your veins
Your teeth are rotting now
And you live, zombified
Without men or needles
You work your job
And keep your home
But it’s always less
Than the rest of them have
Because the holes in your arms
Aren’t meant to be filled
Bad, broken Spanish and big tits
This is what my ancestry has left me
Latin hips and chola mouth
Lip-lining long gone
Licked away by white boys
This poor branch
Never had to suffer
Like the roots
And ever do I suffer
For my lack of suffering
I am too much
And not enough
Never say I don’t know what it’s like
Y nunca mas vuelvas a despedirte de mi
I won’t come back next time
Bound to you like the earth you value so much
Like the crow and the highway
Miss your voice
Miss your eyes
Who is older
Girl or man
Artist or poet
When you write to me, apologize
And maybe I won’t grow away so fast
Someday I’ll have a house
With rooms to lure you into
And closets we can fuck in
With the Mormons at the door
So they can hear it and know
That God loves fuckers
As much as he loves them
You can never take what I don’t give you
But you know that it’s all yours if you just ask
In the morning we’ll go to work
Like all the other people
But in the night, take it all from you
And every day, give it all back
November 23, 2003
I want to write something to you, Rose
Bud, bloom, grow, and wilt
Drop your petals to the ground like blood
Fill up the air with your smell, unafraid
Start all over, bloom again, die again
Live forever, like a spirit
Stay sharp, rose
Always hurt the hand that grabs you
Try at least to draw some blood
Beautiful and angry
Grab my skirt as I walk past
Never let the world forget:
Behind the bloom, there is the thorn
January 28, 2004
Daydreaming in the parking lot
With my shirt half-way off
Beautiful is the wrong word
For what I have become
February 19, 2004
I am Marina’s violent death
I am her middle age
I’m everything you ever wanted
Twisted and deformed
I am the beach and the sky
I am your body in revold
I am the gaping birth canal
They replaced your precious cunt with
I’m even all the favorite words
You can no longer say
I’m a juicy, dripping twat
With motherfucking on my mind
I am the end
Every swim you take in the ocean
Every song that makes you dance
Every protest that you go to
Every other youth you fuck
Take a little bit and lock it up
Because this is what you become
Editor’s note: Obviously, I felt hopeful about my future.
This is how it always goes:
1. You think your heart belongs to her [right turn]
2. You can’t believe it’s got this far [right turn]
3. You’re leaving now without a word [right turn]
4. You see a girl across the room [right turn]
I’ve been having a spell of writers block, and while I was looking through my drafts to see if there was something I could just put the finishing touches on and move out, I found this, the second installment of my bad poetry from high school series. So, here it is for your enjoyment, the fruits of my adolescent turmoil.
Since we’re leaving for Oregon on Thursday morning, an I am literally in the middle of packing and cleaning as I type this (a task made so much more difficult because we couldn’t find our microphone cases and tore the house apart, to no avail,) it’s time for more terrible poetry from my youth. I’m sure you’re ecstatic.
We’re actually getting to a place with these that reproducing the whole thing isn’t a war crime, so these’ll be longer, but don’t worry, they’re still quite bad. Like this limerick about trying to get laid:
You make me ache
You touch my soul
The way my skin pricks
The way my stomach sicks
I think you can teach me
The things I forgot
Then it ends; no response
Left alone, and ensconced
With the doubt in the dark
No more you, I go without
I’ve gone before
It’s no big deal
Still the virgin
Never the whore
Always the mother
Tying me down
Cutting off air
Doing for others
Losing my hair
Drawing a lot
Head all in knots
Looking for God
When I stop breathing
I’ll start to rot
In addition to taking the standard high school curriculum, I participated in an independent study program that focused on masturbation and self pity. My faculty adviser was Jello Biafra
If this isn’t how every day of high school feels, you’re doing it wrong.
Although I stay the way you left me
There is no part of you that knows me
You have since become a person
While I stayed a little child
Is it just me, or is that actually kind of good? It must be all this packing. I’ve got suitcase fever.
I think I have cancer
I’m going to die
Before you get back
You’ll die after me
And we’ll be reincarnated as Indian royalty
So we can speak with lovely accents
Being rich and together
We can go to college in England
And never come home
So we’ll have beautiful kids
With silly English accents
And we’ll both die together
In a fiery Metro crash
At least I’ll have one lifetime
With you always by my side
Not like this one
In which tomorrow
Will be our last
Me (turning page after page): “These are all so bad”
Ben: “Isn’t that kind of the point?”
Me: “Yeah, but this is a level of baddness that even I’m afraid to admit.”