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”

Extinguishment of the Ballad

The Extinguishment of the Ballad

There’s two different rooms

In two different places.

 

Two different pirate ships

On the same lazy ocean.

 

Each holds a different human being,

Each human waiting on the other.

 

Two Voyagers separated,

Temporarily. Temporarily.

But only Temporarily my dear.

 

The horizon still extends endlessly before them

Their destination still out of sight.

 

But they’ve reached this checkpoint in the lazy waves.

It’s called:

The Extinguishment of the Ballad.

 

That missed opportunity,

It’s arrived,

And it’s a beauty.

 

While nothing else is certain

Two Voyagers are sailing together

Their ocean extends before them forever.

 

Two poets, two writers

Each piece of work with a new form of cipher.

 

Each ship has its marks.

Each ship has its scratches

Each ship once housed it’s own old assassins.

 

And they’ve been rebuilt, patched,

Somehow preserved.

After all that was once thought to be the worst.

 

And two Voyagers sail on in part two

Because in part one, I already made my vow to you.

 

You asked what we were headed for,

I told you Paralleled Voyagers never specified.

 

But here in the water we’ve found something,

It’s resting between the opportunities called ships.

 

Here in the water there is a checkpoint.

A canvas palette.

And it’s called:

The Extinguishment of the Ballad.

ThE RobOT

ThE RobOT

I don’t recognize my parent’s divorce.

Its impact is something I refuse to acknowledge as a force.

Because I am a Robot.

And I do not wish to feel things.

For what if it’s a bad feeling that clings?

I am a Robot.

And I stay in shut down mode,

In case something terrible comes barreling down the road.

 

Instead I construct firewalls made of mortar and brick.

To keep you all out.

Constructing massive fortresses that seem pragmatic.

 

I am a Robot.

Strong where I stood,

Fighting off your offenses and falsehood.

I am a Robot.

And I feel this that stings,

But God no, not those other things.

I am a robot.

With a tin exterior that doesn’t tarnish,

And massive fortresses you won’t demolish.

 

With medieval catapults at the ready,

Do your best to hack,

These firewalls hold steady when under attack.

Do your best, I dare you.

Bullets glance off me in this nasty debut.

 

I am a Robot.

With firewalls built callously.

So when under siege,

Under causalities and catastrophe,

It’s better built with barriers than to suffer defeat.