L'oiseau

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The Summer of Twenty and Four

We get our Indian summers in October sometimes

This year was a little different, but I was yours and you were mine

And when the sky was feeling sad he could only offer fog

So our days felt old and restless, but we would walk and we would talk.

 

Back then I wrote a lot of songs and you rode a lot of trains

We would bike around this town, ocean water in our veins

And the moon would be our friend, and on the sand we drank

Starting fires in the dark, making plans for better days.

 

I was yours and you were mine, our hearts were intertwined

Like the rope we used to swing on that we found when we were high

And we listened to the rain, as it called outside your window

We were addicted to the night because it told us where to go.

 

I stayed inside my room, making plans for better days

Listening to blue and yellow songs that shaped all of my ways

And you sat inside your room, making space for all your thoughts

Knowing someday we would become what we knew that we were not.

 

You watched me do my drugs and I watched you make your cuts

And we made a secret pact to never let ourselves grow up

I was your Peter, you my Pan, in our cold and foggy Neverland

But we knew someday our endless summers would no doubt have to end.

 

And so I drive and drive and drive, always thinking of those times

Of our tales of love and woe, of the beauty of our lives

I miss you more than ever, I regret letting go of your hand

I’m sorry I stayed Peter when you kept on being Pan,

I’m sorry I grew up and you stayed in Neverland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Only

If only.
If only, I think, as I look back into my past and push aside the dark curtains that cover up memories and poke them like a cold stiff blanket, I think, if only.
If only, on my wedding day, had I known to be careful, cautious of vows that were written hastily, carelessly? Had I known it would be this hard, would I. Would I have stopped and put my finger to your lips and and shushed you, whispered,
“But do you mean it?”
If I had dove deeper into those wild eyes would I have seen things that have happened now, would I have seen into the future. Left to sob alone on our honeymoon, ignored like a paper cut, like something you wish you could tape shut and put in a box and stick in the closet when you get home. Like that. I just wanted you to hold me.
If only, I had paid attention. If I had seen the signs when we were kids. Your habitual pattern of leaving physically, emotionally. My habitual pattern of being fucked up. We live like ghosts, former versions of ourselves in our glory days, child and wild and free. I want, I want, I want so much for you to like me. Maybe to even really love me. To come home and tell me you want me, I’m the best thing that ever happened to you, that when I mess up you forgive me, you’re so happy you married me. I repeat those words over and over in my head, like sucking on hard candy. I wish, I wish, I wish. If only.

If only I didn’t make you mad. If only I didn’t make a sound. If only I didn’t hurt you. If only I were prettier. If only I were more adventurous. If only I were whole. If only I were quiet. If only I were incredible. If only I were perfect.
If only I were not I.
Then you would love me.
Oh, if only.

I sit and write and write and want to vomit the feelings that you tell me are wrong. The feelings that you tell me to get over, to learn how to handle, to grow up. But I cant. I cant I cant I cant I cant but I try I try I try I try I try so hard to be not me. Because thats what you want, right? You want me to staple my mouth shut and say all the right things like every other girl you should have chosen instead. But you made a mistake, like you tell me all the time. I was the wrong choice. I was the wrong one. I am wrong. And as if you know me, as if you can simplify me you sum up my life in three words,
you are broken.
you are wrong.

If you knew, if you knew if you knew if you knew what that does to a little girl who just wants to be loved, to be liked, to be right and not wrong. If you knew. If only. I never thought I could break so badly, so mutilated and crushed and broken like you name me. If only, you couldn’t break me. If only.

It’s like I’m dead but I’m still breathing.

 

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If God were to stop thinking about me,
I would cease to exist.

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On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions,
who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting–died.

-George W. Cecil

 

 
01

Draw Long Read

We baked you nine to three
You scratching little beans
I took maybe five of those last three
And from the state line we came growing yellow sleep
It was a Draw Long Read.
A hundred slow infinity, stay a while, stay a while
Throw your threshold ’round the fires of the first small meal in town.
Self-help story was a little in between
Tell this day down
It was a Draw Long Read.

Winter’s bones have gone
Summer’s finally come.

I took about twenty in the past eight years
Such work is for the farm type in the backbone fields
I will answer to most of where the country runs
In the brown grass meadows where the river churns.
Every winter, every summer I could press another down
And every winter in the summer, oh it all burns down.
Such is life by the food and ripe we roam
I was never too big to find a grain in the large, fine ground.
High and low we build and sow
And on this winding country road
We Draw Long Read.

Winter’s bones have gone
Summer’s finally come.

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__________

Sometimes when I’m in a group of people and we’re all shooting the crap and I’m leading the conversation I’ll stop mid thought and just let it hang. I like to see what people do with silence. I like to watch how the uncomfortable comes out in others when there’s no one to spoon-feed them anymore. There’s usually only a couple seconds before someone has to make a noise. Someone will cough. Someone will go, “Hmm, yeah..” like they’re trying to drag back an empty thought that vanished a moment before. Someone will chuckle. Some hum. Some will eventually just walk away.

Silence does things to you.

I always hear people say crap like, “Silence speaks to you.”
I don’t think so.
I think that silence provides an opportunity for your real self to speak to you.
Because what you think about when it’s quiet reveals a lot about you.

I learned this the hard way in college.

I was in a city that I hated, getting burned out by school, work, and an unstable relationship. I was full blown anorexic. I was struggling with suicide. And it was loud.

It was always so loud.

So I started reading. I read some of my favorite books; The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar.

There is a common thread that runs throughout those three books, and if you’ve read them I’m sure you know what it is.

If silence and sanity are best friends, then silence and insanity are their evil twins.

I would read until my eyes hurt and then I read until my mind hurt and then I read until my heart hurt and then I stopped reading. I went to school the next day and was sitting at my desk in the back of class listening to my teacher talk about how the blues scale is the foundation of all music and how Yo Yo Ma is overrated but all I could think about was how the walls were orange and the carpet was blue and about how much I dislike that color combination and then I started thinking that maybe I was crazy because I was getting so frustrated with those two colors and how it really shouldn’t be that way and how distraught I was because of it and then whatever side of your brain that thinks logically sent a electronic message to the other side of my brain that thinks creatively and it said something like,

“Well, maybe you’re insane.”

And that’s all it took.

And from that day on, I accepted that I was insane. And I kept reading the Wallflower book and then I finished that and got really close to Holden Caulfield and then I finished that and Sylvia and I became closer than we ever had before and then it all became very clear to me that,

“Yes, you are insane.”

And all the while it was silent, and I made sure to keep it that way.
Then I went home on winter break and was having dinner with my family and some old friends came over with their kids and we all hugged and exchanged Christmas presents and it’s my favorite holiday because it’s the only time of the year you can smell memories and everyone tries at least a little not to fight and we were all sitting down by the fire in the living room. And it was when everyone was talking but I was just sitting there blankly, smiling quietly, that I looked over and I saw him looking at me. And he just looked and looked so I looked back and our eyes locked and I then I saw it. I saw in his eyes the same thing I saw in my own head and at that moment I realized that I both was and wasn’t alone.

And then we looked away.

I think because we could handle the silence.

To this day I wonder how it is possible that I crave silence so often. Is it something instilled in me from my mother’s womb? Is it some inborn knowing that tells me that silence is where we question, where we get questions answered, and where we figure out that questions don’t even matter? The quiet is so interesting. There is so much to discover in silence that I think people don’t want to know because it genuinely scares them. And for good reason. Where noise is void is where you discover who you were made to be, not just who you are. And maybe that’s why a lot of people are never truly happy… because they never took the time to open that dark door, to step out into the cold, shivering, whimpering, and then to start walking.

‘Cause like I said, silence does things to you.

And every morning she made him a sandwich.
But she wasn’t there to clean up the mess so somebody else did.
And they had two sandy tanned girls
With hair the color of ocean foam that nobody likes.
And sometimes they would go on vacation
And at the rest stops the girls would fight over corn nuts
And he would be tired because work hardly gave him breaks
So he would walk over to the park benches
And roll a cigarette
And she would sit in the passenger seat
And watch the condensation roll down the inside of the car window
And cry for a white picket fence.

I’ve been thinking today. Here’s all I could come up with.

Does life always stay this shitty or does it get better?

Will I wrestle with new angels or did my young demons just grow up?

An experience or encounter can lead to a relationship. If I have no encounter, then I have more trouble with the relationship. If I do not have the capacity to receive love in that relationship, how can I give it? And if I cannot receive love at all, then what’s the point of living?

Do questioners ever stop questioning?

Please let me know if you have the answers to all of life’s questions, I would like to meet you.
If you can hear me God, I could really use some help right now.
Feel free to call and leave a voicemail.
Beep.