Selection from Fall Poetry 2016

Hokey Sounds

This poem will be the most cliché of pieces
Speaking only of heartaches and the common woes
That befuddle our mad little universe
That stub our pink baby toes
What do I want to tell you?
About the oscillations of my swollen life
I’m going insane with the hot flashes
That instantly flip to nights of ice
I want to tell you how much I miss Him
Even though I know he’s dead and gone
I want to scream at you until you taste
My pickled bewilderment at where I went wrong
Until you taste me and my tootsie center
No one’s licked long enough to reach
The ugly underbelly where souls sit
Still slick and damp and unbleached
I want you to get it! Got it?
I want you for five seconds to be me
Slither inside my off-the-rack skin
Smell the colors that I see
I’m through trying to present something new
Something original and daring and sweet
I’ve discovered I’m a human being
And those things aren’t new in the least
I’ve always been 87% Target
With less than 2% Anthropologie
The remainder is 11% grocery stores
With occasional touches of dusty library
I can offer the usual fare
Breakups and fat mistakes and shit
Pretty family memories and blue proms
Dizzy love spells and losing it
But for my palette being all cliché colors
It feels terminally uncomprehended
All my efforts appear futile
All my romantic ventures ended
I am chronically common and
Chronically feeling as though I’m rare
Paired with a simultaneous awareness
That these emotions are all shared
We’re each driving our own bubbles
Down side by side lined lanes
Headed toward one united direction
But feeling totally isolated in our pains
My mind stares across the ocean
Furious, as it glares at my distant heart
Divided they are by such a storm
My heart equally furious on her part
Bon Iver released a new album
And I guess I’m vapid since I think it’s dumb
That all his titles are symbol swaths
My enlightenment has yet to come
My best friend committed suicide
Tripping on shrooms and LSD
And yet I’m still backwards
Cause I don’t think you need drugs to be free
My country is voting for low life slimes
The kind that change colors constantly to please
We’re electing genuinely bad people
Who reek of lies and narcissism, greed and grease
There’s millions of other girls
Feeling trapped in their own bubble cells
But for a moment, just care about me
Just care about the clichés I have to tell.

Touching Glass

When we first met I forgot your name,
But I remembered your eyes and I’ll remember those
For the rest of my moments and walkways
Buttery warm browns that had ‘smeyesing’ down to a T
I adored your colors and ears
and feet and
Words that were always poking me and pulling
sighing about those fairy pools in mist laden vallleys
Two heartbeats and 1000 miles later I was
more in love with you than any other being
But we both knew we were too slippery
To stick to one another
we needed a rock, not a second storm
So instead we traced thoughts in the clouds for hours
happily arguing over morality and
the possible duality of truth, plurality’s possibility and relativity
vs. universitality
of thought and music and monogamy and
Legend of Zelda or maybe Fire Emblem
(I hated Sothe and you scoffed at Mia)
I always thought you were me but flipped
My mirror image
I’m trying to get all my paints down before they fade
before you fade, or the memory of you does
I’m terrified of that
So please let me pin your movements into this paper
I’m desperate and anxious and
you were a dancer and you spent way too freely
and you agreed immediately to let me drive
your reeking Subaru to Atchinson when I
was crumbling
You knew about crumbling
I miss you, and crumbling together.

Being Little

Tell me what you want to do
My own bright will has burned up black
Give me instructions for how to move
Or feed me a line to lead me back
I’ve tied a string to each limp limb
I’m begging you to animate me
Bring me goodness, keep me from sin
I’m tired and hollow and frightened you see
I ran out laughing into the storm
And realized the sky was looming and dark
I wavered and quaked at the booms that warned
The daisies were dying and their death was stark
My shaking hands smoked and smoldered
As my clothes disintegrated into ash
The witching wind whipped only colder
Within my skins my bones were smashed
So I’m begging you I’m pleading
Take this freedom that carries such pain
I want someone else to do the leading
To carry me in from this icy rain
Coddle me up into strong warm arms
Wrap me safe close to a glowing fire
Guard me from all the world’s snarling harms
And I swear to obey your every desire
I’m tired and I’m fading
So please tell me what you want to do
I’ll be here weak and quietly waiting
‘Til you come, and I’ll forever follow you


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