October 24, 2012

this is not what she wanted

i am not experiencing writer's block.

more like my cup spilleth all over the place and it's making a bloody mess and i need to stop for a while. i thought i had a blog post to write the other day. it's turned into four different things.

instead, i will share the poem i was looking for the other night. before finding the final version in my portfolio i found the ones with commentary from my classmates. i was about to start reading them but stopped.

i remember the ones making a big deal about my inability to "show it instead of say it" and the ones wondering who tori was. if you don't know who i'm talking about when i say tori then it wouldn't matter even if i explained.

this summer i went to a poetry reading. when i remember who the lovely poetess was i will update here. she was reading a lot about suicide and mental breakdowns and in one of her poems she mentioned tori amos, by first name alone. perhaps only half the room got it and the other half got hung up on a minor detail and went home wondering who tori was. i don't know, but my best friend and i knew, and i was simultaneously feeling like an asshole and also really happy.

i don't share because of the comments other people wrote on my rough drafts.

most of them are positive. praise maybe. i don't like those ones, either.

i have this idea, half the time, that i should just stop. especially now that i'm painting. as if that's all i should do. then other times, but maybe not the entire other half of the time, i think i'm on to something. decent enough.

truth is, i don't really know but i'm the only one stopping myself.

so here's this thing i wrote nine years ago. revised tonight without classmate input.

this is not what she wanted
in memory of my great grandmother sophia
1912 - 1992

october marked eleven years
and no one has mentioned her this thanksgiving
except when my aunt told my grandmother
not to wear her hair like that

the usual caustic remarks at a minimum
invitations not extended to everyone
ignoring differences is the new
tongue-bite or confrontation

memories of fifteen
when tori was god
and i did not want to die
flood the brain as i drive
of course by his mother's house
on the way to my mother's

it's like ritual, it's why i left this town
and i don't even know where he is now
but old wounds do not forget
forgotten hiding places

like fresh paint over soiled walls
we pretend that nothing's wrong
and i thank god
that prayers were not said at either table
certain now that i am not alone
in my lack of faith


  1. I want to be all praise-y about your poem, but you might not like that. But, well, I'm going to tell you anyway, for whatever it is worth:

    I love it. A lot.

    I also love that you wrote, before your poem, that you're the only one getting in your way not writing your poetry. At the same time, I get how it can be challenging to paint and write at the same time. I've had a go at painting (I don't think I"m that good, but it still makes me happy when I do it); but I can't seem to write AND paint at the same time. It's strange. It's like I paint when I can't find the words. I want to challenge myself to try to do both. I've tried putting my poetry in my paintings. I've done that a few times...but never new poetry. Only old stuff.

    I know who Tori is. And I wish I could've heard that poetess.

    I also think it's so wonderful you're sharing your poetry here with us. I have excerpts only of stuff I wrote (poems) on my page. Some reason, I'm nervous to share the whole poem. I have one about my great grandma, too. Her name was Margaret. :)


thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

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