Stretching the Song – National Poetry Month – 4/10

I’m so sorry

If i’m reading this book all wrong

I’ve been flipping pages

And I swear the song they make could’ve been our song

I can’t help the way I fall

I’ve got a Pinball for a heart

But you’re the first girl in a while

To put a quarter in the slot

Sure I’ve known plenty of hands

But they tend to skip that part

But still, I’ve read this book

Played this game

I know time is almost up

But until it is just hold my gaze

Don’t look down or up

And if I cry

Know each tear is a day I pictured us together

And every other

is a year of them

I’ve given up

Everyday

You take my breath away

I’ve bit my tongue

Hoping to stretch this out even just a little ways

But even if you left right now

I wouldn’t call it a waste

If the flower was too much

I hope you at least thought the color was in good taste

And that it wasn’t overkill when I left it for you in glass

i aint been too good – National Poetry Month – 4/11

I ain’t been too good

At all of it lately

Ain’t never been things that go well ever

Me

All of it

But I’ve always given myself more

If a net only catches 2 fish of a whole school

Then you’re ought to always be tryna find more schools

What I mean is

No matter how little I do

I’ll never be good at all of it

So I do all I can

So the some I am

Is as much as it can be

But still that leaves me with all of these weights to carry

Leaves me with alot of dropped pieces of metal

It isn’t that I go anywhere else

I’m just better at imagining here

as something different than what it actually is

When I stare out the window in class

It isn’t because I don’t care

It’s because I’m imagining a world in which I can actually keep up in class

Or even picturing a plan to make it real

But then my teacher calls on me to answer a question

And there are five more I have to answer for myself before I can get to what she is asking

And she looks at me like a failed project

She says its the simplest thing

She asks someone else

and that

Is how you discourage someone from wanting to actually be where they are

 

Decatur Ain’t My Spot – National Poetry Month – 4/9

Decatur always been good to me

A long drive, but my love has always come with at least a few mile markes.

I’m starting to think it ain’t my spot though

Not that I ever did

But I’m just thinking now more so that it aint

There’s something here though

And maybe that’s why I’m always showing back up

I’ve always been the one willing to go out of their way for the things they love

And for a while that seemed noble

But I’m running out of gas money

So perhaps in the next chapter

I go out of my way to build something with what I love

So no one else has to just to get there

Decatur been good to me

But these days I ain’t much of a player

But a bulldawg

and I’m slamming my way back to the classic city

Musical Theatre Love Poem – National Poetry Month – 4/8

I’d carry a bomb out to the football field for you my love

I could make it Beautiful too

Full of beats and melodies

I’d belt my final verse for you, and actually hit the notes for the first time in my life,

Just to sing my last words almost falsetto soft

Then I’d slip into the river and go swimming off into the sunset

Gills, fins, and all

The chorus singing me out

But then I’d jump out of the water

Backflip through the air

Landing center stage

Hitting my mark perfectly

As a spotlight hits me

Dripping wet,

In a full tux

Everything stops

and I snap four times

On the last, my head whips towards you

And I reach out my hand

You take it

I spin you

And suddenly we are all black and sequin and that jazz

The whole stage, steamy

The river straight up evaporating away

But not before I grab my gondola

Cover my face

And say hop in

We take our exit

Not to the catacombs

But out to the stream

and the woods

And by the brook you stop to drink

But I say there ain’t no need

Cause with you girl I could already last forever

So we take off

Going deeper still through the trees

To find, to have, to get, to keep

And home before dark

And ya maybe it takes two

But it can be us, and only us

But not yet

Because that’s all Act 2 material

Right now

My blocking doesn’t even have me on stage with you

Cause I’m outside and in the rain

On my own

And that’s ok

That’s where I need to be right now

I’ll get to you by intermission

Just meet me at the dance in the gym,

At the opera,

The circus

On a bridge in whatever country you like as long as it isn’t in Ohio

And trust me

There’s a duet waiting for us that I don’t even know the words to yet

But I got time

Cause you’ve still got a solo left

So sing it

Like no one is watching

Because they are

But this whole world’s a stage

All of us merely actors

But as far as I’m concerned

My whole world is in black out right now

Save a single spotlight

And girl,

You always knew how to hit your mark

An Eve – National Poetry Month – 4/7

I rush to sleep tonight

as others of similar youth as I rush into the night itself

I will no longer call it wasted,

Instead perhaps I will find me

calling myself rested tomorrow

That I do call a gift

Today

There is always more gifts under the tree

In the morning

I will wake

And say to myself

I am me

And that is enough

Then I will leave my bed

And become so much more

Tonight

I say to myself

Sleep

You are the best version of yourself

You have ever been

In Which I, Too, am Kendall Jenner – National Poetry Month – 4/5

I.

If this is a poem in which I, too, am Kendall Jenner –

Young, white, liberal,

Concerned about things –

Then during a week in Manhattan

I drink nothing but Pepsi and

It is somehow revolutionary, as though

I am the first person to ever discover it exists

II.

I join a crowd and immediately walk to the front

I tell the story later

Add something about never being a follower

Or having a fear of lights

III.

I happen upon the wave by accident

But how warm the water is on my skin

Like floating in the Atlantic

Birds, white and glinting in the sun,

Flying above me

And dolphins swimming in circles like

It’s a ship route they learned years ago

I tread water and

Never dive any deeper

IV.

I go to the march.

Not sure what the signs say,

The white dripping all over them and

Words get turned into other words,

But the aesthetic works

V.

While I’m in these streets

I do everything I can

To make everyone here

Be seen.

I don’t even try to speak.

I never say a single word.

VI.

I go home from the march

VII.

I go home from the march with my skin,

as far as I can tell, glowing as much as ever

But when I go to check again in the mirror I realize

There isn’t one at all.

A whole day spent looking at other people and

I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror in

Probably years.

VIII.

I tell myself

I can stop being concerned about things and rest easy

Knowing that I helped break down this system of

Benefitting from the oppression of

Other people.

IX.

When I wake up in the morning

My room smells

Tropical. Like sugar cane

When I get dressed

I suddenly get the worst case of cotton mouth

I get to the restaurant for brunch

Order a black coffee

The waitress says

“We’re all out. Is Pepsi ok?”

And I say…

I could keep going

But if this poem is one in which I, too, am Kendall Jenner

Then it is in fact all of my poems

And when I say

In which I, too, am Kendall Jenner

I was not talking about this

To begin with

I was talking about reality

Which this, too, is

Yesterday, and today, and tomorrow, and the next

If this poem is a case of performative allyship

Then it is all of my poems

It is in fact all of my allyship

If this is the end of the poem then it is, too, the beginning

I drink an ice cold soda

And if you asked

My youth

My whiteness

My privilege

What it tastes like

We’d say

I Want to Write a Poem for the Men on Long Island (After Olivia Gatwood) – National Poetry Month – 4/3

I want to write a poem for the men on Long Island

At least, the ones I know

To most of whom I’m related or as good as

And then there’s the one always playing the piano

Who makes music that’ll warm you as much as the embraces of all of the men I know from Long Island

Who hug like a house and a home cooked meal

Though,

I have seen them raise with anger the same hands used to welcome

I want to write a poem for the men on Long Island

Not because they need it,

But because I need to

And I wish I could only write of warmth

But too often has it also been followed by heat for me to do so

I want to write a poem for the men on Long Island

Who give me most anything they find lying around

But whose gifts I have accepted less and less readily with time

And these days never without sifting through first to pick out all of the stuck on masculinity they leave everything covered in

I find it in the coffee in the monring

Covered in sauce in my pasta at the dinner table

They sign the check with it when we go out to eat.

I want to write a poem for the men on Long Island

Because once my grandfather told me to cut my hair,

He only has one granddaughter he says

He won’t have me turning into one too

I want to write a poem for the men on Long Island

Because if my grandfather saw half the things I wear

or a small part of my closet

He’d raise his hand

And I know it would not be in welcome.