Drowning

Posted: April 9, 2015 in poetry
Tags: , , ,

We’re drowning our sorrows in coffee and cigarettes
But the problem is, we are
Two miles apart.
If I wanted to,
If I was desperate enough,
I could drive up and touch you;
But I’m scared that
You’ll be in Philly or Boston
Or some other distant city. Or worse, you’ll be too busy to talk to me.
You’ll be locked to the computer screen or
Calling some person you may never see,
A person who is business savvy
Unlike me.
You’d rather drown, though, than feel
The pain of breathing.
With every cup and drag I take
I pray I am one step closer to salvation because, afterall,
We are drowning to survive.

My dad has always been quite a character- never short of a sarcastic comment or inappropriate joke. In fact, sometimes I have to remind him that he is an adult and long gone from the days of being a rowdy teenager. I’m used to finding pictures of him acting his usual charismatic self. We are not short of photographic evidence of him shoveling his face full of my grandmother’s homemade Italian cooking (a nice change of pace I’d assume for him after years of Greek food). I still laugh at the photo where he’s standing in just shorts behind a bush in my grandparent’s backyard and it appears he’s gone for a quick streak through sunny suburbia; or the photo where he stole my mother’s camera to take a shot of his wild and large eyes, disheveled hair and Miley Cyrus style tongue (of course, I say this with 2015 retrospective as this photo was taken in the late 1980s). These are candid shots of my father being himself so, as much as I do appreciate them, they do not hold special significance to me. The only photo that draws me in is the simplest one, the one where he is just standing and smiling.
The Polaroid is dated February 1990. It was taken somewhere in Chicago, where my mother had moved years earlier in order to be with my father. The apartment is basic, with white walls and the classic three-lock system on the door that is found in most inner-city apartments. My father is sporting dark facial hair which actually made him appear his age (when clean shaven, my father always looked five to seven years younger than he actually is). He is so close to the door and is smile is weak with disappointment of having almost made it out. His leather jacket has a dull shine under the poor apartment lighting. Underneath was a practical blue sweater and gray dress pants. The leather jacket was one of the remnants of the former rock star lifestyle used to lead; a time before he wore a suit to talk to investors and followed his friends’ bands around with my mom. I imagine my mother giving him a stern look, trying to get him to take a nice, serious picture for once. Her ego probably swelled when he actually listened to her.
Despite the photo not correctly capturing my father’s exuberant personality, it reflects the transition I am facing as I enter adulthood. There will be a day where I can no longer wear my lip-ring, or dye my hair pink or purple or the like. No matter how much the professional world may bog down my style creativity, I can always hold on to my leather jacket, though. It will add a tough layer to, what will eventually be, my somewhat practical exterior. Like my father, I may not be thrilled with it but I will at least smile and take it with grace and dignity.

It cackled at me as I walked in
Overpowered his genuine, “Good morning, sweetie.”
The black and purple ringlets circled his neck
Just like how his ring once circle my finger
But that was a long time ago and this is happening now.
He kissed me eagerly trying to heal my freshly opened wound.
Was it good, I say to myself, Was she what you needed
To get your through the night
Since a shot of Jack Daniels clearly wasn’t enough.
He saw his reflection in my eyes and
Looked down in shame
Like a puppy who had been reprimanded for chewing something he wasn’t supposed to.
My gaze was locked on him. I thought that maybe if I stared at it long enough
It would disappear like the Cheshire Cat’s grin. The teeth marks only mocked me more
With its malicious smile.
People began to question if I was a slut or just plain stupid;
I’d rather be a slut because then at least I marked what is mine.

He made me breakfast when I wasn’t looking.
He approached me cautiously, like a puppy with a leash begging to be walked
And said so softly I could barely hear,
“I made you this, sweetie.” I’ve always hated breakfast but
He was the only one that knew how to hit the spot.
He attempted to draw a heart on the plate with extra hot sauce but
It was runny and distorted.
He didn’t make himself any food that day.
I couldn’t eat it right away- I had to swallow my pride first.
I found him sitting on a crate in the back, head down and defeated.
“It was delicious,” I say, “But it’s dangerous to give hot sauce to a woman who’s already fired up.”
He laughed.
Laughing is a sign of game over, you won.
He hugged me tightly,
“I love you.”
“I love you most.”

Your eyes became dull and hazed
Overused razor blades
Tearing, scraping, pulling my skin.
You lost that smooth electricity in your gaze
That caused every fiber of me to stand on the edge of eternity.
Every breath you took became labored, trying to find a reason, any at all, to carry on.
And your reason was harder on me than the pills you swallowed.
I know living is hard to accept when you can wallow in alcohol and self-pity.
So I threw my ring at you to try and break
The circle we had been living in.
A year and a half I had to wait for you to climb back up
From the underground. The journey down is a lot easier than the one back-
It’s a slip and slide
Just down on your knees and
Go.
But after that year and a half, I don’t know if I’m ready yet
To accept the fact that
We both have changed.
Your eyes are no longer dulled but I still see
The reflection of pain staring back at me.
Your forehead is still wrinkled from all the time you spent worrying about
Where you still get your next fix. My bags are darker and heavier than you remember.
The problem is, there is only so long we can rely on the clowns to pass the show
Before we have to make the curtain call.
Sooner rather than later
We have to decide where we go.
Do we hold hands or do we
Walk blind and alone?
You tell me.

Birds of a feather flock together and
In much the same fashion
Mad people gather.
Clinging to each other
As they try to scrape together a sense of normalcy
While laughing at their abnormalities.
They lie through their Cheshire cat teeth
Sharpened to points so they bleed whenever they smile.
Every word they speak is a lie
And they speak often.
“Pain is best when it comes from within,”
They say, blood dripping down their chins,
“After all, those who smile often have something to hide
And those who smile brightest hold the darkest secrets inside.”

The Wanderer

Posted: July 28, 2014 in poetry, Uncategorized

It has always seemed to me that everyone has a nitch,
A warm place to call home,
Until I met this man.
I don’t know who he is-
He left with the wind before I could find out his name.
Constantly in movement,
He lives hour to hour
Because tomorrow is too far away.
Places that one exited him
Quickly fall to gray.
The one time he spoke,
He only had this to say to me,
“Sometimes, I get the feeling that
I’m never meant to sty anywhere.
Maybe I was predestined to wander for all time.
So, as long as my feet can carry me,
The road will be my home.”

For the longest time,
I sat in the dirt you left me in
Trying to compile reasons why I needed you.
But when the dust cleared,
I could see the trail of my wasted time and energy.
I was released from the spell of your eyes and I could see
You are nothing
But a leech whispering sweet things until
The veins run dry.
You are a curse,
A vampire with no direction, no purpose.
You have nothing to offer but a smile,
So you prance and giggle through life until you get what you need to survive.
You leave nothing but bodies in your wake,
With scalpels in their hearts because
You had always swore it was a needle and thread.
But now it’s on to the next;
There is nothing left here.
I got you to the point you needed to be,
Because Christ knows you would have never arrived without me.
But leaving me is the best thing you could have ever given me.
There is still enough blood in my veins for me to carry on.
I survived your killing spree.
I’m not entranced by your pretty face because
I now know the demon lurking inside.
Now that you are on your way,
All I have to do is wait
Because the day is coming when you will fall.
Then the corpses will rise from dirt and ash
And drag you back to Hell along with them.
They’ll pull away your porcelain skin so the world can see
The monster buried underneath.
And as you claw and plead for me,
Beg to help save you.
I’ll just laugh out loud and say,
“We’ll talk later.”

Ever since I can remember,
We would meet in a special place made for only you and me:
A bright, green field with nothing but a lonely sundial.
At the start of each spring,
That is where you would be waiting for me.
We were young and had no concept of time,
Or the consequences it brings
So we thought nothing of playing around that single sundial.
We were content just to be in each other’s company.
Then when the summer would fade,
We always promised to meet back in the same place at winter’s end.
We were naïve to think that
We would remain unchanged.
We were too stupid to see that youth melts away.
Our naivety died on the spring day when
We saw each other and realized,
We were two strangers meeting for the first time.
We were shocked to see a single winter could change everything.
We tried to smile through the grief but
It only made the hurt worse.
So the next day,
It was only me
Staring at that sundial.
I was made to realize
How much time had actually gone by.
Seven years never seemed like much until it was glaring me in the face.
I was forced to reconcile that
The shadow on the sundial’s face and I are one in the same-
Soon we both will fade away and be nothing
But a distant memory.
We used to chase butterflies but now
We are chasing dreams, trying to find where we’re meant to be.
Yet, I still can’t help but hold onto my childhood hope
That you will be brought back to me.
So, if your dreams do lead you to try and find me,
Meet me far from the sundial,
So we can be naïve again and try to outrun time.

There is a place people go
To illuminate all of their deepest fantasies and
Make their misery temporarily disappear.
A place that exists on the edge of reality,
Supported by the dreams of those who have long since
Left them behind.
The citizens are of a special breed;
Their history clearly marked on the same sleeve as their heart.
It is not by chance that this is where we always meet.
Bellied up to the bar,
You confess that all of your dreams have been watered down.
And, from what I can see,
You’ve pursued happiness with every fiber of your being.
But you must realize one thing:
You need to move on.
Take it from someone who knows,
This type of comfort is deadly in high doses.
After eight years of living here,
This place has nothing left to offer you.
It’s not that I am unsympathetic,
I understand better than most
The fear you feel
And the lull of this sweet sound but it is clear-
You need to leave.
Though she may be beautiful,
This seemingly peaceful town will only drag you down.
So run while you can,
While you can still be free,
And find peace anywhere but here.

Where to begin.
How could I start to write in words the way that I feel?
I’ll try my best but,
Promise me,
You won’t laugh when it comes out wrong or sappy.
When we first met,
We both agreed that
The simple life is overrated and
Life is better when it’s complicated.
So we blurred the lines and
Blended our colors to make a
Lovely, passionate gray.
You were my knight rocking black and blue and
I was your maiden tied up from behind.
We didn’t care what people said because,
For that moment,
We were the only thing we had.
When I was with you,
I shone brighter than any star
But maybe that was only because of the glitter on my eyes.
Yes, there were girls with nicer makeup and
Expensive clothes but
None of them cared about you like me.
But, from the start,
I knew this wasn’t meant to last.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is:
Thanks for all the laughs
And for all the great memories, and, most importantly,
Never making me feel alone and letting me
Know, it doesn’t matter what people say or think of me.