10 reasons i can’t write poetry

  1. i’ve never had a natural gift for this. the words, yeah, they never came easy. they stumbled off my tongue onto the page and i hate the way they look, i hate everything i say. i wasn’t born for this. everything i know i had to learn, bit by bit, intuition gagged and blindfolded somewhere deep in my subconscious.
  2. but the only thing i hate more than myself these days is the people who read the wretched birds i make. who love them. who really, really try. they are just like me, doomed from the start. to trip and fall and ruin what little life they had. we won’t make it far.
  3. i can’t sleep at night, these days. just lie awake, churning. everything seems scarier in the dark. like university, like working, like selling off my dreams for 11.45. there’s no good way out of this, i think, with deep circles underneath my eyes.
  4. i can’t sit in my head too long without scaring my thoughts off. i never know, where the monsters hide these days. i never know, what to do when they come out of hiding, tails between their legs. what to say.
  5. the dreams that seemed so bright two years ago, they are burnt down in my palms like matchsticks. call it depression; or call it growing up. it is what it is. i am too tired to string these sentences together, and yet somehow still i can’t fucking quit.
  6. maybe i like the attention. maybe i’m five years old and burning, and maybe i don’t know what’s true anymore. what the hell is wrong with me. it’s spinning and blurred-out in some kind of sleep-deprived haze. everything i’ve worked for, what has it come to? it’s all dust in the wind these days.
  7. and baby, baby girl, i am not ready for all these grown-up things i’ve lusted after my whole life. i am gone before i’ve left the gate.
  8. i’ll get through it. i have to. but i’ll tear up some relationships along the way. call it collateral. call it irrelevant. hope you’ll find a way to forgive me for every crash-and-burn in the parking lot, every bruise on my knees. when i trip and fall, i don’t want to take anyone down with me.
  9. my throat aches and my eyes are fuzzy. i haven’t been feeling well of late. and they say depression is just another sickness, but it’s one that might never go away.  even though i did everything i should. i went to therapy, i poured my heart out on the floor. i tried every pill the doctor had to offer, and i still feel like shit. i don’t want to be miserable for the rest of my days.
  10. i haven’t been sleeping well of late. even though sleeping is all i want to do these days, close my eyes and blot out the stars. and never write another word again.

I wrote this while dealing with some pretty bad depression. I don’t know what to say–winter is rough, man. There are good and bad days.

happier (sunday afternoon)

i’ll be happier once i graduate

once i buy my parents’ car with all that money i saved

from working in the heat

and drive off into the sunset

my teen movie bullshit playing on repeat

i’ll be happier once i finish

with my big fancy degree

i’ll be happy with a certificate

to prove that i’m stronger than they thought i’d be

i’ll be happier when i can finally breathe

when my life doesn’t flash before my eyes

every time i go to sleep

when i stop eating leftovers for breakfast

and leave the house more than once a week

i’ll be happy when they clap for me

when they kiss my cheeks and touch my hands

and tell me they love me

when the people in the crowds scream my name

they say we’re proud of you, and everything you’ve done

so i don’t have to get my hands dirty

no wait

i’ll be happy when my grades go up

another number on a screen

i’ll be happy when strangers on the internet

figure out how to fix my self-esteem

i’ll be happy when i fix the fucking pimples on my skin

with multivitamins and a fake new name

when my clothes are nicer

when my hair curls just right

i’ll get better with time

i’ll improve because i have to

there’s nothing else to say

i’ll be happy

when you fix me

with true love’s kiss

and make all my problems go away

until my stomach aches

and my callow bones begin to crack

yet again

and now it’s sunday afternoon and i just want

to take it back

i want my neon god

i want my mother’s lap

i want cookies and cake and hummingbird food

i want the world upon my back

and then i’ll be happy

then, i’ll be proud of me

i’ll be strong and smart and good

always

good

a quiet death

turn off the lights with shaking fingertips

and go to bed, you don’t have a fucking clue girl

close your eyes, and search your soul

’cause you’ve got work to do

claw out your heart and set it down in the kitchen sink

that won’t be good for the septic field

dissect the little veins, close your eyes

and sleep it off, cast your mind to that funny place

where you’re five years old

and everything is okay, ’cause it sure as hell wasn’t then

rearrange the memories in your brain

until it’s all blur

turn on your phone, and put it all out there

in exciting headlines

and advice columns

’cause i know, i know

how to make it pretty

make it sweet

crush the ligaments between rubber tires

and don’t think about the things you have to do to survive

even when the bass feels like it’s going

to crack my skull right open

lay down the flowers along the rows of graves

but it’ll take you a lifetime to get to know the dead

but it’s fine

it’s all just in the name of progress

isn’t it?

and in the end, we’re all gonna be grateful

for a hundred thousand quiet deaths

cupped in my palms, running through my fingers

like bathwater

sticky-sweet, and so alive


I’ve been watching a lot of dystopian TV shows, with some pretty disturbing imagery–which is not a good idea for me (at least in big doses, so I’ve been trying to limit myself) because my brain is not too great with dealing with violence and gore. I would pay so much money for a streaming service while any blood or gore is blurred out, or it gives you a warning before a jumpscare, because I cannot handle it. I can read it, I can listen to it, but if I have to see it I will not think about anything else for weeks. It’s like, the media equivalent of eating a ton of candy, even though you know you’re gonna feel gross later, and you kinda feel gross now, but right now you just can’t stop. Anyway, it’s I think this is where that piece came from, but I’m honestly not 100% sure.

nightmare

let’s paint a picture: it’s 12am, and i am in my head

tossing and turning

heart crashing into my ribcage like waves against the shore

and suddenly, all the empty spaces on my walls

have never ached more clearly

and what if they see me? what if they don’t?

what if i fuck up? what if i’m alone?

what if i run away to paris? what if i say no?

’cause maybe in another language, my heart would sing clear this time

clear, like the morning

clear like progress, one step at a time

clear like a green lawn, and the good life we all chased after

even when paradise started to rot in our teeth

when the walls began to sing

and the staircase buckled under my weight

and the songbirds looked more like vultures

closing in around me

and maybe i’m dreaming; i don’t even know

’cause i don’t trust my mind; not in this shit-show

you know that picture of you and me, from way back when?

and we’re sitting on the rock, looking out at the ocean

i thought you were the whole world to me

i thought you were gravity, you were freckles and sharp teeth

like the kindest daydream i had ever met

depression in e minor

have you watched yourself sink?

have you felt the fog surround you

for years and years on end

watched your art wither and crumple

and blow away in the wind?

and have you painted the past in a rose-pink hue

everything soft, and kind

and beautiful

and god, i want her courage

i want her pride

in a bottle

i want her desperate state of mind

’cause i have ground my dreams up like coal

i have given up before i’ve tried

played depression in e minor

to c major

to d

and all it’s given me is calloused fingers

and sleepless nights

i mine my cheeks

for silver and gold

but there’s nothing left to find

and begged silently

for a kiss, or a hug

or even a brush of your hand

but most of all for you to tell me,

tell me i wasn’t born this way

tell me imagination is endless

tell me there’s the slightest chance of escape

tell me these hands around my throat are gonna get bored eventually

tell me it’s not too late

even though all i did today

was sit in the corner

and drift through a haze

and if the world doesn’t make sense, what does it matter anyway?

i’ve got my back to the wall

and my hands against the glass

i play depression from e minor

to c major

to d

i don’t cry, i don’t laugh

and i don’t feel much of anything