My name is

My name is

My name is

And I don’t understand why

we’re hugging

Why

we’re in a circle.

Why

we’re here.

 

My name is

And I don’t know you.

Or you.

My name is

And I don’t understand why they didn’t show up again.

My name is

And I’m bored.

Tired.

Hungry.

Walking in with McDonalds in my hand.

My name is…

And we’re late again.

 

I can’t talk to my friends.

I can’t play in the rooms here.

My name is

And I know the serenity prayer.

My name is

And I

grew up

here…

 

My name is

As I stick my right foot in

Arms wrapped, holding other people tight.

My name is

And this is how I spend my Friday night.

 

My name is

And I’m fourteen.

Watching a whole room of two hundred people get clean.

 

My name is

And I have a little sister

By the age of 12.

Her name is

And we stare from the table at the “12 Step” books on the shelf.

 

Our names are

And we grew up in the collective of NA.

Narcotics Anonymous

In rooms that would

Remember our names.

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Monster

Monster

he hides under my bed

he hides inside my closet

he hides within those blankets

those pillows

those jackets

he hides within those jeans

he hides

here

let me set the scene:

 

there’s an abandoned home

where it’s all colored monochrome

a layer of dust has turned the colors

and now turns away any others

 

who would step foot here?

who would dare live here?

who would dare come here –even to move out?

 

when he hides

sucking even the walls dry

of memories

of feelings

preparing you better for the leaving

 

he has decided it’s better this way

if you don’t even want to come to move out

surely the move would never be blocked by doubt

 

he hides

in the mattress

in the wave chair

in the dresser

in the headboard

and in all miscellaneous personal treasure

 

who would dare step foot in his room?

who would dare come and face him?

when you’ve run from him for so long

this is no longer a place for you –so go along

 

he hides

in the cabinet

in the spot where the bed used to be

where the Christmas tree used to be seen

 

and he controls

in fear

in dread

in that lump in your throat

in that turn you make to walk away

 

when you finally have no other choice

you have to stand and fight

and you stare right into the face

right into the face of that Monster –that you created.

 

he’s inside the closet you’re cleaning out

he’s inside the drawer you’re cleaning out

he’s inside the bathroom that’s a dingy white

he’s inside the shower you slept in that one night

 

he’s inside the window you now have to close

he’s inside the stuffed animals and stoves

he’s inside the litter box that was feared to be cleaned

and inside those fire alarms, your old fiend

 

why?

because he lived there too

through good and bad

he was the memories made

 

so you wait and wait

because if you’re at a distance you know someone else has to do it for you

you know you have to move out

but if you’re not there to help then someone else has to come

and they have to clean it out instead of you

so you can avoid him a little longer and make do

 

but now –he’ll live there forever

the Monster has won

 

he’s packed up

what wasn’t dealt with was thrown in a box

“i’ll face him later”

with pitiful fists and rocks

 

and now he’ll be moved into the new house

this old abandoned one will be sold

and he’ll be a ghost to anyone new

but when you…

oh if you step through

that door he’ll remind you

that:

 

“I live in the closet”

“I live in the place your bed once stood”

“I live in the place where I ended your childhood”

What if I quit?

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What if I quit? : A tribute to Mount Saint Helens

It starts with a memory

of trees in a haze.

Black and white and drizzling that day.

Playing and skipping

with Jesse himself.

Two kids laughing among everything else.

Oh how I’d begged,

and pleaded to go.

Ten years in the making was this very show.

Continue reading “What if I quit?”

Enzymes 1 Through 3

Enzymes 1 Through 3

Alcohol dehydrogenase

you hide your face.

Acetaldehyde

alcoholism comes from the inside.

Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase

with a whole life to deface.

Glutathione

but this is your last one.

 

Enzyme number one

and the cap comes undone.

Enzyme number two

your blood becomes an alcoholic stew.

The result argues to me,   that

it was fresh-brewed you see.

Enzyme number three, supplied in short

and you’re passed out on the floor.

 

Alcohol dehydrogenase

to breakdown drink once you’ve had your taste.

Acetaldehyde

toxic ethanol still to be modified.

Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase

are attracted in a haste.

Gutathione

to assist number three in this last reaction phase.

 

Enzyme number one

and again you have to do a grocery run.

Enzyme number two

with bottles hidden under pillows just for you.

The result can hardly see,   that

addiction gets quite weighty,   when

Enzyme number three, supplied in short

has you passed out on the floor.

10,000 FEET

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10,000 FEET

10,000 feet and I’m all high strung.

10,000 feet and my muscles are wrung.

High above all else,

Here where the snow never melts.

An even greater achievement than last time,

To make this hard a climb.

Twice I’ve made it with determined intent,

If I am not to go back I think I’m content.

Massive mountains are now mini,

And round trees are truly skinny.

Up here where the air is thin,

And too long a break turns your limbs to tin.

Not quite at my mountain’s top which stands unreachable,

Yet I feel welcome as one of her people.

“Will this satisfy the little girl who wanted to go to the top?”

My feeling of pride knows not where to stop.

For I am 10,000 feet from where you look up.

10,000 feet and blessed with this close up.

Tradition: Thanksgiving

Tradition: Thanksgiving Dinners

Tradition is gathering around a turkey.

Tradition is a loud table with family to spare.

Tradition to send food around that table, casseroles to share.

 

Everyone brings at least one something or more,

Sisters and husbands throwing open the host’s front door.

 

Pies and cookies and brownies all brought for dessert,

But always first,

 

The corn and potatoes and turkey of course.

The young cousins upstairs sing until their voices go hoarse.

And later after dinner that’s been served at noon,

 

With all the men shouting at the football game soon,

We’re called downstairs to look through Black Friday magazines.

To circle and initial what it is we want for christmas.

 

Granna hands out to the cousins festive advent calendars,

While adults fill leftovers into take home canisters.

 

Football and talking.

Laughing while empty cider bottles are set aside.

 

Clean up starts, and we’re asked to pitch in.

The last of the food is pushed away,

“we have too many leftovers anyway.”

 

Tradition at this time keeps us there ’till six or eight.

And then everyone slowly filters out.

Goodbyes and hugs said at the door while reluctant cousins hide.

 

Tradition at this time brings a smile to even the oldest cousin’s face.

Some sit chatting in chairs while the littlest sit on the floor, legs folded in place.

 

Tradition pauses each year waiting for the next Thanksgiving.

This is our wonderful tradition, before the day with sales of no shipping.

 

Being a BUG

Being a BUG

“I wonder if I could be a bug,”

and I laugh and tell her, “yes you can sweetie, you can be what ever you want to be.”

but then I realize,

I just told my cousin that she can be a bug.

for a living.

she’s going to grow up and go into kindergarten and tell everyone that she is in kindergarten and a half-

and when they ask what she wants to be when she grows up, unlike her classmates who might say an astronaut or princess or a fairy or a fireman she’s going to say “I want to be a bug.”

and when they ask why she’s going to say “because my cousin Hannah told me I could be any insect I wanted to be.”

then they’ll laugh at her and look at me and ask the same question “what do you want to be”?

But at my age I know a bug isn’t a logical answer.

by now our parody of Hamlet’s to be or not to be an astronaut speech has hopefully formed an idea of a degree.

a biologist, a physicist, a therapist, or a dental hygienist,

because high school was supposed to have made each one of us a genius.

Yet here she is planning to become an insect,

perhaps a moth or a cricket-

and all thanks to me

she knows now what she wants to be!

my solace comes when she’s grown up I know that won’t be her answer,

because now we’re supposed to be more serious

and anything childish makes us sound almost delirious.

But I don’t want to grow up!

I want to be a bug and tell those stupid adults to shut up!

I want to be a princess and not a college student,

and own the freedom to be a little imprudent.

I want to have recess and sleep with my teddy bears,

and continue as she does still without cares.

Because growing up sucks!

as we prepare to move out and pack up our trucks.

I can’t help but wonder,

What if my parody hasn’t quite ended?

is that really grounds enough for those who ask to be discontented?

to be or not to be a biologist, and if so, of what kind?

they want a real answer this time.

So when they ask again, when we’re all sitting outside,

I’ll stand by Elena and say “I’m going to be a bug until I decide.”