Nothing Is Wrong

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Go on.
Ask me if something is the matter.
And I’ll answer the best way I know how.
Nothing is wrong.
Everything is right.
So right that I question my own soul
I’ll pass the blame to society
For teaching me about fear and disguising it as realism.
They know the best course of action.
Right from wrong.
Safety kept me grounded for so long.

I abandoned my ability to fly
I watched Icarus’ demise, thinking he was me
But my wings were always permanent.
Coated in Phoenix ashes.
A being with power from the Sun
And I was scared of burning them.
I blame philospohers
Who taught me Mythology
Disguised it as cautionary tales.
They know all there is to know about it all
Except for what ledges are really meant for.

I viewed cliffs as places to fall
Instead of runways for takeoff.
For so long, I had wings tucked,
And believed my back pain was from weight gain.
Or age.
“I’m getting older.”
I blame doctors who taught me about my body
And disguised it as anatomy.
I can’t move like I used to.
I began to accept my gliding days were over.

This burden on my shoulders
Felt like an obstacle not meant for me to get over.
I blame scientists who taught me to limit how high I could get
And disguised it as gravity
What goes up
Must drop.
Organisms with weird masses will not stay airborne.
Explain that to bumblebees.
Genetically supposed to be too heavy
They look at that rule of physics and openly defy
Yet here I was,
Content to be earthbound, settling.

But I still walked everywhere
Let my eyes stare into every place one could think of
Except the mirror
Scared of what did or didn’t reflect.
Afraid of the Sun
My own light.
Icarus undead.
I blame myself
Who taught real fear
Disguised as fictional horror
Make-believe monsters living inside
Caused me to believe I wasn’t really alive.

But no more.
I soar next to clouds
Proud to have overcome senseless lore.
Fables come with lessons.
But history teaches freedom is so protected, it’s written into law
My feathers penned that amendment in the sky.
Wings spread like stories throughout time.
Go on.
Ask me if something is the matter.
And I’ll reply the best way I know how.
Nothing is wrong.
Everything is right.

4/8/2013 Freewrite

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(Editor’s Note: Seven minutes and funk rhythms.)

I wanted to write
So I did.
So I am.
Without any direction, deadline, or dedication to theme
Other than making words stick together
Even when the glue is oily.

It’s funny how we call these sentences
The words are forced to obey these lines of imprisonment.
But it’s for my freedom
I snitch through them and they take the fall
Or cushion mine
Or add to the impact.
It often depends on their whims.

These words are birthed from the place I fear most
Their existence astounds me.
How strong are the bonds between letters that they survive such a chaotic place and exit when they see fit?

I want to write
They want to be written.
I don’t know whose ego is winning
Mine for believing I can control
Or theirs for forcing inspiration whenever they wish it.


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I had to remove your attachment to words in my vocabulary
Like “Baby”
And like infants who aren’t named yet,
Or memories tragically faded,
I don’t know what to call you
It’s scary
Because amnesia is frightening
But it was developed as a defense
To keep from being reminded of what was
So I try not to recreate it into what is.

When I sketch my feelings for you now,
I draw the prettiest blank.
Detailed outlines of emptiness.
Nothing erased
I just don’t illustrate the past
Art is historic because of time
To the artist, it’s the present
In the future, I don’t want the dark side of us immortalized
I’m not going to make our tragedy famous.

So I leave you nameless
Made you a pronoun, therefore
Replacing the specificity of lover
With the generality of being someone I care for.
Sweet nothings lost their flavor on my tongue
The taste is numb
And I struggle to make sense and get a grip on whatever this is like four fingers without thumb.

Intended slips of mind
Tired of running from memories and stumbling on broken dreams
I won’t fall again
Be enthralled again with the sound of the reverberation of your name bouncing off my walls,
And then scrambling to pick up pieces of you and I
Looking for digits to dial
I’d rather be unable to recall them.

No replacement fits
Anything else as a substitute
Doesn’t ring like that used to.
I don’t know what to call you.
So I don’t.
I call someone else, “baby,”
Since it’s the only title I use.

The Creature Below

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(This is a flip of this poem by Ms. Bellum. I loved the idea and decided to play with it.)

She likened me to Leviathan.
Feared, yet enticing.
Darling, you must have read up on my past life.

I show you just enough to lure.
Never has there been a creature so pure
That you ignore the “Beware” sign miles before the point of no return.
You’re fascinated with everything you’ve learned
My fathomless nature challenges you.
How dare you treat me like something that can be slain?
Once inside the belly of this beast
There will be no voice telling you to pray.
You’ll just dissolve away.
I am not a whale.
I have the Book of Revelations written in my scales.
But no matter the warnings,
No matter this cautionary tale,
You continue onward anyway.

I know you can feel the waves intensify.
It won’t belong until your ship is wrecked.
I will strip you of your rations
Turn around.
If not, be prepared to swim with all the strength you have left.

Treat every unanswered text,
Those moments I slip your mind,
And all of the somethings that come up as favors from on high.
Angels are trying to save you, love.
They know what happens when I surface.
Don’t let curiosity be the compass you sail to, because
I have a smile that draws you in, yet makes Gabriel nervous.

Brush off “do not enter”
Because it warns to proceed with purpose.
Soon, your destination will be your only refuge.
Swim deeper.
And see the sea as a cemetary for travelers just as brave as you are.
They, too, were deaf to the pleas from the ocean floor.
Fascinated with what treasure they could discover,
But their chests couldn’t handle the pressure
And I crushed everything in and around their hearts.
Be careful, darling.
Or your pride will get you swallowed.
Once you’re here,
You are as good as gotten.
I’m trying to protect you from what I’m guarding.
The Hell that lies beyond me needs to be extinguished.
But all that have attempted have permanent scars.
Your ego has your hearing clogged.
Of course, you aren’t listening.
They never do.

Communion (In Need Of A Blessing)

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I decided to go to church.
For Communion
I was yearning to be blessed.
There the wine flowed.
Past the esophagus, it goes
Like plaster that’s supposed to fix the hole in my chest that was left.
I feel it burning.
It must mean that it’s working.
I fooled myself I’ll heal this hurting with service.
When I’ll just have more regret.

My heart sank to the bottom of my liver.
My soul was empty
So I turned to the holiest of spirits
Hoping to replenish it.
Seated in the pew, facing the pulpit altar
Paid double to preacher asking for tithe and offering.
Praying that the hynmal had a personalized gospel.
But this sermon was a bad beer:
It tasted awful
And I ended with a false sense of fulfillment.
But there I was, still drinking.
Cups are the needles and I shoot Pinot-scented novocaine into my bloodstream.
Doing whatever it takes to receive the blessing needed to make the pain I feel go away.
At worst, it’ll manifest around my brain.
And after the benediction,
At least I can use the words, “I am over.”


Solve For X

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You are not who you appear to be.
You represent something… unknown
A perfect ten written by Caesar’s pen
Engraved in the Coliseum of my soul, now
An inscription of you remains

Like roman architecture 
Withstanding history
Always remembered for the beauty that you are.

You are X.
Everything about you screams both forbidden, varied.
I am not sure if algebra is what I need for this equation.

An addition sign, sick of being so positive
So much adding and adding…
Seeking the right outcome
Not even wanting it all
Just looking for a sum.
Before the formula was done
You gave up and laid on your side
Whenever I saw you, my problems multiplied.

You are not who I think you are.
You are X.

Not the problem I need to solve
Rather the spot where treasure is marked
I keep searching only to find that you are a mirage.
We are plotting the course on a map
Not a line on a graph
This may not be magic but it definitely is not math
I discovered that by
Realizing that no matter how hard I tried,
I could never figure out why…
I love you.


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(Editor’s Note: the first stanza is a flip of a line in this poem from the good brother Pages Matam. Awesome poet.)

When we made love
When you decided what music to make as we became one,
You dug your nails into my back
And let passion be the DJ.
But you didn’t just scratch.
You made sure to latch onto me
Until the vinyl in my skin has gashes.
And like a good player,
I wanted to always be working when you wanted to listen to your favorites.
Little did I know just how well you turn tables.

You just kept digging
Treating me like a chalkboard
Craving my passion like a student’s attention
Whatever lessons you were teaching,
I wasn’t heeding.
I couldn’t hear them over the sound of your screeching.

But I understand now that I feel the blood dripping.
You sadist with a vendetta.
Feeding on my need to give you pleasure
For no other pleasure than for you to have the power to tear into my flesh whenever.
And I obeyed, thinking I was dominating
But you faked submission so the control would change.
Again, I didn’t know just how well you turned tables.

I still have fresh wounds because you won’t allow me to heal and have scars.
Everywhere from the near first cervical vertebrae to above the last lumbar.
This is a spinal tap gone horribly wrong.
You made sure to paralyze me
So I could never know what it’s like to feel again.
How did you do nerve damage to my heart?

Icarus with wings strong enough to withstand solar rays
But I flew too close to you and didn’t know you were ripping them from my shoulder blades
When did the Sun grow claws?
But you haven’t let me fall.
You let me give my all
My shine has faded
I went from solar-powered to being a satellite floating aimlessly
I didn’t know just how well you turned tables.

So here I am, exhausted
Resting on you because you drained me of my motivation to move.
Your nails still firmly in their grooves.
You Eve with a God complex.
Hands so entrenched in me
That you’re trying to claim the rib with interest
I thought we had a sturdy foundation.
That’s why we made love in the first place
I shouldn’t have believed in the divinity we created.
But I felt Heaven, now I dwell in a Hell I can’t escape.
I didn’t know you were so good at turning tables.

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