Ashley Wylde, A Rusty Tinge (via dontgobreakingmyhart)
You chase me down
to warn me not to linger
how far did you have to run
to catch me
to tell me
Every couple of minutes I push the button and make it light up. I am the dreary sort of hopeful which is already defeated in it’s hope. It is so smart, the phone. With it I could call almost anyone alive. It makes it very much more lonesome to see only the time every time I light up the little screen. The button is worn. I am worn. When will loneliness not be the dagger?
Why is it that in these moments I always feel the most alone? I supposedly surround myself with people whose shoulders are soft and open and then there are times when I need to cry and I cannot find a comfort in the world. I have learned to sing my own lullabies. I wish that my singing voice were prettier but being able to soothe myself has taught me two things: First, we do not need anyone else to be whole. Second, we will always, always want someone anyhow.
I don’t think I would be wrong if I said that you have made me feel every single thing that a body can feel. I have spent a lot of time writing about the things that are inside of me and I don’t know if it makes you a poem that you are all of them. Missing you is a little bit like dying, I think. My body remembers all the sweet soft gentle loving things and when it misses them it hurts like emptiness. First it was tears and then it was sleeping and now I feel as though I could puke. Missing you is like needing to be sick and never getting there; it’s physically painful. I love you so much it hurts.
The sun is rising and I have fallen onto bruised knee and scabbed palm in the silence. It’s embarrassing to me how high I can get on your voice, even when it is telling me the god awful truths of weapons and wounds. We were warriors. I will always wish we had won. Even now I’m composing lines of self defeat and though the shovel is in my hands and the dirt is on my shoes I can’t admit that I have been digging the trench. There are battles ahead and I will wage war, but in the bottom of the mud soaked hole in my love there is you. I enter any new fight crippled, six feet under in a grave I half wish was closing in. I am watching the sun rise, hoping I can ride this high until the next one arrives.
If I have to learn how to breathe deeply through staccato keystrokes of all the millions of combinations of letters that flow from my fingertips, then I will do it. If I have to learn patience through painstakingly dragging myself through the motions of the days I don’t want to get up, then I will do it. If I have to write a poem every single morning just to juice me up enough to smile at customers and say hello to my boss and then write a song at lunchtime to tide me over through the unending waves of monotony then that is what I will do. I will teach myself to persevere by the skin of my teeth. I will win. I will win.
I ignore my body when it is hungry and since I will not let it speak, it listens. My body has learned to feel sick if I eat, and sick if I don’t, and it’s all relative as long as I’m in control. I think this is what it feels like to be insane. I don’t leave it empty always, it’s just that I won’t let my body tell me what to do. So many people spend so much time telling me what to do and how to feel and I will be fucking damned if I don’t get to decide what goes into my body, and how much, and how often!
I wish my pain was more beautiful. I have seen anger shatter into a million tiny reflective pieces, like a mosaic of physical anguish, and it was breath taking. I imagine more than anything, my problem is that I have always found destruction to be more worthwhile than creation, and when I can’t find either inside myself I feel void.
Between the walls of most hearts there is affection: love and the need to be loved. Hers can be found between her vertebrae. Between her toes and behind her ears and between the skin on her palms and the weight they carry through the day. She is love, and though frequently tormented by it, longs to become the present tense. She doesn’t need much, but she needs a forever. Every movement is that of folded paper cranes and she is delicate and gentle and bold, and she is a stark contradiction to the storybook princess but looks for her happily ever after all the same. She is fighting and on fire and only when you juxtapose her flames with the ever soft calming of water can you imagine what it is to see rain.
If you are equal parts good and evil, the sum of you is zero. I have become a monster because I could not bear to be nothing.
I do not have an eraser, and no one ever taught me to turn the page. My life is a series of tragedies, hand penned, one on top of the other so every consecutive one becomes uglier and makes less sense. It is so ugly now. The mass of hurtings that barricade themselves on my page are thoughtless, angry enemies. They do not care that they are no longer words, they fight together now. It all hurts. It all hurts, always, all at once. One cannot read any single letter anymore than one can feel any single loss. It is all loss now, no matter what it once was. I don’t think I have a notebook full like most people. I think I am just this old, sad page.
Sometimes I don’t write because what if I sit down to write a love poem and it comes out ugly. What if I aim to spill my soul, and it comes out all a mess, and then I’ve got to sort out whether I am the mess, and I get so wrapped up in the details I can’t hardly navigate my way back out. Sometimes I am too afraid of the truth to pick up my pen; I cannot escape the truth there. My lips will lie and my eyes will hide but my pen is a noble and strict soldier of my reality. Wouldn’t it be so nice if realities all lined up just right? Imagine the fun that would take out of suffering, though. This is aimless, as most of my poetry is, but at least if I am a poet it is commendable to be open and broken and empty and raw, so long as something pretty can be said about it all. I wonder if I would have survived at all if I wasn’t exactly what I am. Or perhaps I was created from my survival. Tonight I am worried, and you are worried, and when we are both worried our worrieds mix, and it becomes very difficult for them to result in one calm. So I will write hurried lines under my breath in hopes of being able to sleep tonight. This isn’t worth its weight in salt, but to me this says it all: sweet dreams.
One of the wonderful and terrible things about healing is forgetting your nuances. I am not often burdened by the way you swallow when you are nervous, the way you position your shoulders when you are comfortable, the curvature of your worried forehead or the kind of laugh you laugh only when laughing is the lightest, most natural thing in the world for that moment… except of course when I am. When I am burdened by them, it is sudden and sharp and leaden and eternal and sinking and in a moment it seems like I have come from nowhere and that I have nowhere left to go. When I loved you, I was an unhappy person with a happiness in my life. I am a happy person now. I am a happy person now. I am a happy person now, and it is liberating beyond my dreams. Still, I am a happy person with an unhappiness in the corner of my room, crouched, playing marbles until he thinks I am not looking. You sneak up on me with your endless intricacies. All at once, I am desperate to forget all your details, and ripping my heart out to preserve the way you had to numb yourself to say goodbye. I am all the mess I have always been, but I open my eyes to new possibilities every day, and I can see them now. They flicker behind my tears, but I can see them.
I am awkwardly placed in a world where seemingly arbitrary things make me feel uncomfortable; constantly I am forced to consider whether something is truly uncomfortable, or whether my ideas about it are incorrect, and sometimes I become very weak or even exhausted. I was once on a porch, standing, slightly leaning against a beam and I was looking out… and I won’t even tell you what I saw because you couldn’t understand it fully, and it deserves to be more than that. On that porch I was whole and I remember thinking, “I am whole,” and so I forgot about pieces and puzzles and walked on. It’s a dream, do you understand? I wake up one day and I am unhealthy again and I have to take a deep breath and break all my mental bones and reset them. Casts and splints. See I have been to so many life-changing places that I can’t keep them distinct anymore, and it is kind of like that. Finding your mind is not nearly as important as making sure you have it still. I’m out here searching again and I will have to find a new porch on which I can think to myself, “I am whole.” There are many lessons to learn, but this time I want to learn to remember the lessons I’ve learnt already.
I am either empty, or I am emptiness. Every time I think I have it figured out for sure, I remember that crazy wouldn’t ever truly suspect itself of craziness and I am straight back to square one. If I were weaker, I would wish for it all to be over. Instead I am bid farewell with a smile and a distant breath of good will because whatever I am, whoever I am, I must be good for something somewhere. It is hope that both strangles me and keeps me alive.
I used I trick myself into believing that inspiration was a whimsical fickle woman after whom I was constantly lusting, and lust can lead to many great things, but honesty is rarely one of them. The longer I spend alone the more I realize that inspiration is more a part of me than it is a distant or mystical creature. The more often I put a piece of paper in front of me the more often I create, and it’s almost scary to think of all the things I could have made if I believed in myself instead of believing in magic and miracles and circumstance. No two moments are the same and do overs are bullshit- life is one big FIRST chance. Today I will choose creation if it kills me. I’d rather be destitute with a world at my fingertips than comfortable with nothing at all.
All day, over and over again, I notice that my relationship to the world around me is foggy and I have to pop my ears to clear them so I can hear. The pressure in my head is too high. I wish the irony of that wasn’t so readily apparent to me but I am a poet and I have to carry the ironies of the world like so many tons of iron on my back. What clears my ears is when I open my mouth as wide as I can, extend my jaw, close my eyes and… Isn’t it funny how much that looks like a scream. I’m screaming, silently.
There is a very specific and certain way I begin to cease feeling whole, and although it never comes about quite the same, I recognize it by the whispers of déjà vu that it leaves on my pillows in the middle of the night, while I restlessly toss. Very often I become overly concerned with a lot of things that either contradict, or exclude my own happiness, the greatest of which is yours. When you are a battering ram and I am a brick wall, I crumble in order to keep you, and always I am a pile of rubble in the end of it. Less often, I become aware of my apparent lack of anywhere to hide my fragile parts from the barrage, because all my brick walls have dissolved into bricks, and all my bricks have dissolved into mud. This, I think, is what they mean when they say I have “a soft spot,” and now, when you strike, I can no longer fall; I can only absorb the blow, and be grateful I won’t bloody your fists.
July 16th, 2013.
Most people… are idiots. Most people, when asked, will agree that most people are idiots. Most people think that the world is largely populated by the inept, and it is, but most people think they are not most people. Most people think that they are not idiots.
I am an idiot. I spend money I don’t have, knowingly go on wild goose chases, run from things that are good for me and give up when it’s hard. My fuse is much too short and my list of excuses is far too long but I am always learning and I have learned that we can all be always learning. I have learned that we must teach each other. So I stand here humbly, not to preach and not to presume, but to ask you to afford me the gift of your open mind. I want to paint you the picture of the experience of my life, on the off chance that something I have seen will translate into something you needed to hear, and when I am done, I too will lend my ear, because I aim to always be a student of the earth.
I have learned that your intuition is both a friend and an enemy, but loves your body with the all grace of a mother. It desperately wants you and your body to love each other. I have learned that the universe is it’s own being, it talks in the currency of love, and it always pays unrealistic returns on investment. The world is a more peaceful place if we spend our days talking about what is beautiful, and not about what is unfair, and there is always beauty to be found, somewhere. I’ve learned that all anyone needs is a person who’ll listen, that plenty of sleep eliminates the need for coffee, and that a problem is also a solution.
I’ve learned that our smiles are not contracts, and a tear is not a breach. You must feel whatever you feel, whenever you feel it, always say thank you, and never apologize when you meant it. I have learned that we must always read, and never stop writing.
If you think you cannot write, then paint.
If you think you cannot paint, then sing.
If you think you cannot do any of those things… then you are being much too hard on yourself.
Eat the things that make you feel good, do the things that give you passion, share your passion with your children, and with all children, and with strangers, if they’ll hear it. Take time to clean your mind as often as often as you clean your body.
Remember that this moment is a new moment, and it does not carry the weight of the past. Nothing exists but now. Love yourself, love each other, give willingly, and never accept more than you can return. These are all the things I have learned.
Maybe you didn’t need to hear any of this, but I have already learned again just from sharing it, and now I will close my mouth, and open my ears, and I hope you will teach me a hundred more things I need to hear.
July 7th, 2013.
The tiny sliver of ceramic mug lodged in the superficial layers of my skin protests, but there is little left to keep me grounded now. Standing dumbstruck with my right foot in a puddle of warm tea I was wondering if the only thing I was still capable of feeling was devastation. My socks are in the washing machine and there is a small bandage around my thumb but more than my favorite mug is in pieces. If I knew a God, I would ask Him for direction through times like these, but I only know the road. So I will go.
May 29th, 2013.
We each, individually, live in a world that is hand crafted by our decisions. The sometimes flippant whims of our hearts and minds are tools used to carve out our daily lives, and it is this that I have been long avoiding. A lot of things make me cry, and I always viewed them as a random assortment of emotional situations, but when I look at them now I can see that every single one was a consequence I didn’t want, for an action I didn’t think out. I only ever cry when I am faced with the realization that my choices are not free and that I alone must carry the weight of my faults. Ever reaching for quick comfort, I have again come to this place, and I am again reminded that I will learn longevity, or I will fail. Those are the only two options that have ever been.
Days so hot I am dripping anxiety still manage to keep me numb like frozen limbs. I think about sitting on the floor in the doorway and counting the carpet fibers with the sunlight crossing the room and fading my eyes into shadow, but my life is not nearly so poetic. I haven’t a clue what will wake me up, but I’m partial to giving rum the first fair shot.