011p: lethargy traps my confidence.

lethargy traps my confidence.
an ague of sadness forms
like condensation on a cold glass,
slowly slipping, curling down
to the pool below.
the battle between sad and coffee
rages, every morning a fog
i sift through slowly, thoughtfully,
for bits of what make it worth
living. i always find it:
– the smile of a friend.
– the caress of a lover.
– watching the impressively large
murder of crows fly to their nightly roost.
– remembering how much my parents
love me.
– my cat purring in my lap,
looking up expectantly at me for pettings.
the gnawing subsides
to a toothless gumming.
everything will be alright.

010p: petrichor

i am laying in tall grass
inhaling musty petrichor
wafting from the earth.
she is beside me (in dreams)
our backs wet from fresh rain
soaking into shirts and dirt.
clouds above roil in whites
and grays, pale blue sky
peeking out from above.
a soft breeze reminds us
we’re breathing.
her hand is in mine (in dreams)
we laugh and talk about nothing
and i remember to tell her
i love her more and more and more
until it spills out of my mouth
like fresh rainwater from a drain.
words i bore into myself
i attempt to dig out,
thoughts i had forgotten
are dug out instead.

008p: mt.st.hlns

from my seat at work i see you,
one of many earthy pimples
on the northwest face of america,
a gargantuan reminder
that this whole place could explode
any minute now.
you lost your head, and someone
in my seat nearly 38 years ago
watched it, reacted, pressed their face
to the window, turned to their coworkers
aghast, agog–“this doesn’t
happen in america! active volcanoes
are for tribal polynesian countries
in the middle of the ocean!”
and you provided proof to the people here
that the earth quells for no mortal being,
so that every time i see you
i make a mental note
to put together
an emergency bag.

007p: shower on a sunday

sometimes when you shower on a sunday it feels like a great achievement
and you liberate the built-up grease from your hair with cheap shampoo
and it’s a long shower, you take your time, the warmth reminds you of feeling.

sometimes the weekend is where you leave yourself to stink
and you watch youtube from a dark living room
and eat nothing but cereal you bought for too much at the convenience store by your apartment
because you are too sad and discombobulated inside to resist temptation.
the korean man who owns the convenience store, he understands
and will make money off of your sadness,
but he also will not judge, at least to your face.

sometimes shit gets done and you are in love with the world
but the love for yourself is like pushing through thick brambles
and you wonder: “will i ever be happy?” and spend hours trying to decide
if you can even answer that question when you don’t know the definition.
everyone else does. why don’t you?

sometimes the weekend is less fun than you would like.

006p: pen

tried and true,
this blue fountain
pen glides ink
across the lines
of an empty page.
it’s summer–
broad, wet summer,
hanging over us
like an olympic
gymnast ready
to launch into
a routine.
this letter, a
missive to you,
handwritten
to prove something,
to prove my hands
believe my heart,
to prove that
ink is complicit
in flights of fancy.
yet in all these
chicken scratches
no word is suffused
with anything more
than worry and
contempt about
myself; no honor
to you, no love
no decency. i am
afraid, and i
swerve to avoid
it, but the pen
never allows me
to lie.

005p: breathe.

my depression manifests as
“you’re not good enough.”
my anxiety manifests as
“nothing you’re doing is right.”
together they scream
a cognitive dissonance
like a banshee shrieking
into the pit of hell.
one line in a contract
that i agonized over
and was too nervous to
talk to the attorney about
because i ask too many questions,
i am over-burdensome
they are busy and important
and i am nothing.
i should know things,
every thing, all the time.
the sun reflects off koin tower.
behind it a wall of gray
dominion of clouds.
remove my glasses,
pull my hand down my face.
           breathe.
search through the labyrinth
for a fragment of solace
inside myself. something.
it’s friday, at least.
i’ve got that. i can hold that.
“this poem sucks” i think
as i write it. you might agree.

004p: stickums

bright vibrant colors on thin squares
–we draft notes in thick black ink
upon your waifish pulpy paper hairs,
bold medallions of what we think
in languid moments of lucidity,
between the mulchy drone of living,
acting with intense perfidity
to feign a penchant for forgiving
errant thoughts among the turbulence
of being alive. each thought a lesson
brought to you by the letter C,
the number 6, the papal blessing,
a twine-bundled copse of sage set free
with fire and oxygen and astronomy.
      we write this on you, you see.

003p: kissed

i was staring out
at the brilliant
orange sunrise when
i realized i hadn’t
been kissed in a
very long time.
suddenly the dryness
across my lips
felt more potent.
time flies when
you’re depressed.
next thing you know
it’s 2018 and
you glance back
at the hole you’ve
been climbing out
of. you imagined
several feet but
it’s just a couple.
and then, like when
you remember you
have a thick,
muscley tongue
in your mouth,
i remembered the
press of soft lips
against my own,
the half-open mouth
and awkward angling
of two protruding
noses. the innocent
occasional clacking
of front teeth.
the laughter.
the moment in-between
when you lock eyes
and share each other.
i realized i
missed that.
i felt embarrased
by it, like i didn’t
deserve it. tried
to shake it off.
failed.
the sunrise is just sun now.

002p: broke lament

they say
“trust your gut”
and
“travel more”
and
“follow your heart”
these people
born from coffers
of money.
they say
“take risks”
from a trapeze
over a safety net,
each failure
a tumble
into waiting arms,
a brief respite
into a savings
account,
or a desperate
phone call
to a parent.
they get jobs
to see what
it’s like
to be people,
and quit as soon
as it’s hard.
they wonder why
you’re always broke.
no–
not they–
you
always wonder
why you’re broke.
& it’s because
you never had
money to begin with.