Its been way too long! This is a poem a wrote about my time in Chile. I have a bunch of poems I wrote while I was there, so I’m going to be editing and polishing those over the next few weeks. Hopefully I will be posting more very soon. Enjoy!
Inside me is a boxing ring. Inside me my thoughts and responsibilities compete, all noble fighters, battling for my time. Each with their own strengths, they duel head to head, sparring sometimes for hours, until a winner is declared. Round after round, from early morning until the moment I fall asleep, contradicting messages work their way to my brain.
Round 1: At the breakfast table, interest in my family competes with concern for my friends. While my father attempts to engage me in stories about his workplace, inside me the first duel of the day is beginning. Attention to my family is slowly weakened by thoughts of my friend’s new boyfriend and what I overheard at lunch about them yesterday. Friends hit family with quick frequent punches. Friends win round one.
Round 2: In the locker lounge, attention to my friends competes with preoccupying stress over school. As my friend talks to great excess about the person that’s been annoying her recently, inside me another fierce competition heats up. My interest in the life of my friends is now being slowly overpowered by the worry that comes along with my math test next period. As formulas and practice problems flood my brain, schoolwork wins Round 2 with a powerful knockout.
Round 3: During my math test, academic focus competes with fear of the future. Staring blankly at a word problem that I am completely unprepared for, the threat of failure towers over my ability to complete the assessment. The future is the most intimidating of all the thoughts that live inside me. The desire to do well on my test shrinks in the presence of fear of the future, shriveling up without even putting up a fight. Tall in stature, the future casts a dark shadow over school, family, and friends alike, mysterious in its form but certain in its dominance. The future then stands alone in the ring, champion.
May 17, 2014
Lame by nature.
I’m sorta the lame excuse.
People with underlying fears say,
"I just don’t like to drink!”
But I guess I wasn’t made for this age.
Wasn’t made for this stage of life.
So you could understand my concern,
when I was told I peaked my sophomore year.
I like to tell myself I was made for coffee shop mystery at 2PM
and beautiful romance in the park at noon.
I’ve been told there’s nothing cool about that.
I don’t know. It’s 10:30 pm and I’m tired.
I can’t write without sleep.
Apparently that makes me not a writer.
I’ve felt the pain of caring more again and again.
I’ve told myself I would never be on the other side.
Here I am.
With your caring I’ve come to know just how easy it is to be unfeeling for those who feel endlessly for you.
Because all your devotion and time leaves me with not much space too fill.
My lack of notice and attention would never leave void for you.
Our conversations do not have awkward pauses because you want to continue them.
I don’t feel guilty wanting to see you because you ask to see me first.
I don’t think twice before showing an interest because I know you have one too.
I know that inside you is a fire for me that burns, maybe a little longer and brighter than mine ever will.
And I hate myself because I think this is what I always wanted and I feel nothing.
Here you are caring and talking and smiling and approaching and filling that empty space I always felt I must be the one to fill and yet the space where attachment collects in my chest is empty.
You fill the space between us, but who is to fill the space between my heart and my head.
Only I can, and the trigger I get to do so from careless shrugs and thoughtless encounters has not been pulled.
The tall blonde boy was empty so I filled him and myself and the space in between us with my own love.
You are not empty. You are full of real thoughts and life without me yet you still chose me.
But you aren’t empty, so I have nothing to fill, so I don’t.
You are too good to love.
There was a type of pleasure that came with feeling. And I know this should hurt and your absence should make me ache but it just made me hallow. A part of me wants to cry so I can feel myself bleeding out the toxins you injected into my veins with your hurtful words, but my ducts ran dry long before we severed, and now I am here alone yet unfeeling. Your constant verbal manipulation has made me immune to it now. Your distinctive clomping exit from my life came like just another day. I suppose you’ve made jaded to heartbreak. And I guess I could thank you for that. But I don’t know if brokenness would be easier if I felt it. And I worry that this emotional nothingness isn’t really closure but rather a mental hurdle I can’t yet overcome. If it is, I’m certainly not trying to overcome it. I’m a little too comfortable being stuck here.
Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye of Project V.O.I.C.E. perform “When Love Arrives,” a poem about the expectations and realities of love. The poem was co-written by Sara…
My body’s coping mechanism with fear amplifies my reality and worsens its aftermath. I cope with fear by ignoring its inevitably. The problem is I fear confrontation with fear, and by avoiding it I only affirm my reasons for worry. Waves of realization come and go, accompanied with painful shivers down my spine and tensed shoulders. “Just make it go away” says my brain. And then I once again resume telling myself that it won’t return, so I can successfully convince myself that these shocks of pain aren’t reoccurring. Of course that isn’t true. It’s funny how I prolong my suffering due to my fear of suffering.
What’s weird about being newly single is for some reason it’s hard to do.
As if I wasn’t born this way.
As if waking up to an empty phone was a foreign concept.
As if your face is all I’ve ever known.
And when I see you walk past me head down with big clomping strides I wonder why
Why is that easy to do?
As if you didn’t buy me a stuffed monkey for my birthday.
As if we didn’t lie in your bed for hours on a Sunday afternoon.
As if you’d never seen me with the lights off.
Why are these changes so simple? How can they be easy or hard?
This seems so simple.
What I felt for you was so much more yet now…
It never felt simple until now.
To me you were laughter and tears.
To me you were shelter and isolation.
Now you are a boy with bad posture standing in my fucking way.
Being newly single is simple.
There is no us and what of it and why and what are we doing and how is this working and why am I crying and why aren’t you calling and what are we doing what are we doing what the hell are we doing.
It’s just me.
Get out of my way.
The romantic and the realist.
What’s crazy is I knew it from the start, and it was still a risk worth taking..
… poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind… .
—From the Preface of Lyrical Ballads
It will never be easy… but I think it’s worth doing.