personal, poetry

retrograde

my libra moon makes me a dreamer crucified on a wall, using my upturned palms  to hold all the lives that i’m not living

my capricorn dominance replaced my bones with quartz to match the forests in my eyes and ice in my heart. it replaced the passive river that used to be my mind with clusters of raw ambition, amethyst stones where my gentleness used to be

my gemini rising coated my tongue in shards of silver. i am the dark side of the two faced creature, using words as my armor and fists as my sword – the blood trickling down my chin is from all the times I bruised someone else. it allows me to contain more than one life in a single body (it tears me to shreds, it’s a brutal tug-of-war between all the versions of myself)

my pisces sun that hangs her jacket up in the 10th house wears headphones to jump start the engine that lives in my chest .

she’s anger and memories of late night races and bathtubs filled with books

she’s a tattoo needle, a craving, black hair dye

she’s ethereal, strong; she’s capable of holding all the other signs in her arms and only collapsing when no one is looking.

she’s the two fishes bathed in mercury, a death sentence to everyone she touches

my mars in leo is a molotov cocktail,

rage that bleeds into every other emotion

it’s looking to someone with a snarl instead of a smile, not seeking to destroy anything but myself.

it’s a burnt out match that catches on every exposed vein, collarbone, jawline

my scorpio north node painted everything in black to fight along side my sensitive pisces mercury . it says “this is who you were, who you are, and who you’re going to be” . it helps me rely on adrenaline to keep myself upright , took me from tarot cards and birth charts to ouija boards and bones. i needed a tidal wave to uproot my grief, it helped me become avalanche

(i am a tsunami of cracked knuckles and solitude)
my aquarius venus is why i laugh when others cry.  it’s a cold exterior, lightning in my pulse, a void below my ribs. it makes me concerned with what i’m not and where the red strings are tied . it’s a growl when you get too close to someone i love, it’s hidden intelligence. the human pelt i wear over my wolf’s body is gone, i only care for others who don’t need me to speak – who understand the ache in my howls, the blood of a man who cared too much staining my teeth

i am exhausted from carrying their weight under such decaying bones

 

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personal, poetry

a love poem (not really)

I don’t want a love poem, I don’t want a sonnet about the moss in my eyes

or the edginess in my smile

or the way my shoulders hunch from disinterest.

Give me a poem about how the roots of my hair are now stained with the roots of the Celtic heritage that I dug my nails into the soil and unearthed

(my hair started growing in red after I learned about the whiskey and famine in my veins)

give me a poem about the spiderwebs of witchcraft I carry between my fingers, a cat’s cradle of Romanian heritage

a poem about heartbreak and grief will appeal to me more because “love” is just an endless cycle of leaving and tears will forever stain the back of my throat

a poem about waking up and not remembering the body you used to inhabit would be as familiar as the knowledge that I sleep next to the ghost of myself

I would write a thousand love poems for my brothers, my grandparents, my father.

I have clung to how it feels to love them by painting my skin with words that I cannot tear off

Writing  a self-love poem colors the world with shades of red; I have never abandoned myself, except for all the times that I have

“Loving myself” is a hundred needles, building an armor for me against the world, carving a soul into my bones

“Loving myself” is going over, over, over the speed signs until the ache is replaced with adrenaline and I can pretend to know myself, again (oh, god who am i)

“Loving myself” are books perched on the edge of a bathtub, a tarot card tucked in my back pocket, bruises on pale skin from picking a fight

“Loving myself” is a snarling ‘fuck you’ and an ‘I don’t need anyone’

“Loving myself” is chewing a hole inside my cheek so I don’t snap my jaws at the next person who is getting closer and closer and closer

“Loving myself” is solitude; its the rasp of smoke and laughter contending with  a song for ‘most misunderstood’ in the yearbook of someone who only loves herself for the lyrics she knows

“Loving myself” is not an option because I’ve given it all away to people who will never know what it feels like to love me back

 

 

 

 

 

 

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poetry, Uncategorized

the truth 

Today, I cried for myself for the first time since last year.

This is not a poem about strength or optimistic hope. It’s a poem about how my tears tasted like

before, before, before.

It’s a poem about how I can’t even remember what before was because I spent the last eight months carving it out of my chest with the serrated edge of a Jack bottle.

I cried for before because I was someone who spoke in cotton candy and sunsets instead of with acid and cyanide. I cried for the fact that I finally, finally resemble myself but I traded the tissue between my ribs for gasoline

and smoke

and anger.

I cried for the gashes down my shoulder blades where feathers used to be.

I cried for how sharp I wear my grief and my fingernails; I cried for the phantom pain where I clawed holes around my sides.

I cried for how I carry violence between my fingers instead of gentleness; for the fact that I didn’t know how to stop giving so I became a husk, a hurricane, the snapping of jaws.

I cried for the loss of companionship, the what-ifs, the potentials. I cried because the one who lived in before would have snatched her clawless hands at any kind of love and I just scare it away. I cried for the fact that family tastes like blood pooling in my mouth, like getting curb stomped.

I cried because autumn is running away, taking my ability to change, and leaving a casket with the bones of before rattling around in my jaw.

I cried for my curled lip, a raised eyebrow. I cried because I am apathetic, unapologetic, choleric. I cried for the hours I’ve spent chasing pain like it’s my own tail because my patron saint has fallen. I cried because before was a land of so much catharsis and now there are want and fear battling inside my veins.

I cried because it feels like I am being followed by my own shadow and she is not happy to have met me.

I will never cry for myself again.

(who would cry for something that sold their soul for an oil spill)

 

 

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poetry

rage and love, wings and claws

you’ve always been able to hear words to see them, picture them behind closed eyelids but i can taste the syllables and feel the letters, their thorns and petals                           trace my hands over them like they were the notches in your spine

you could look at me and say “coffee” and it would taste like burnt Folgers and mountain air                                                                                                                                                 and salt running down my cheeks

it would feel like running my fingers over the rocks on the edge of the river i was raised in                                                                                                                                                              it would feel like getting splinters on the bottom of my feet from sitting on nostalgic wooden porches

you say “coffee” like a cacophony of broken memories and i can feel the vibrations in my bones

i can run my thumb over the people i’ve learned, the people i’ve been. their stories bend open like they were a book and i was prying apart the spine.

you can say “grief” and mine will be unparalleled to yours. they’ll have the same meaning, same consonants, same iambic pentameter                                                                   but yours tastes like honey and mine is whiskey that burns the back of our throats

it tastes like i cut myself on the crown of thorns over my head, on my fingers, on my wrists
(blood drips over a sacrilegious cupid’s bow, my knuckles are stained red)
it tastes like forgive me, forgive me, forgive me
it tastes like the smell of gunpowder wrapped around a cerebral lobe. the cracks in my ribs were born from recoil and haphazardly decided soulmates. (there are crystals forming where my heart used to be)
it feels like bruised kneecaps from falling

to

the

floor when you watch a heartbeat for the last time

now, it feels like tires screeching on 2 am pavement and the sting of a tattoo needle,       (if you look close enough, you can see blood and ink collide in the water, a war that’s been raging for years)
it feels like a muscle reflex, a flick of a finger, anger blooming where love used to be

it feels like a point between awake and asleep; smoke curled up around tired eyelids and electricity humming inside veins                                                                                                 now i’m an electric lover; the lightening and then the thunder

when you say “home” i can taste the saltwater and the rain                                                        i can feel pavement under my body, a beacon to the lonely and the restless; home is a fluid place with the consistency of syrup

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poetry

But you, Oh God

You cannot raise a child with spell-books tucked under her arms or superstition carved into her skull and expect her to not wear her pride on her skin. You cannot show her the wilderness inside her and not want her to grow wings. You watched her, with dirt under her fingernails, blood coating her knuckles, as she found magic; you stoked the love inside her until it burnt her to nothing. Now she is here, a cacophony of the people who rebuilt her, a dragon among the men. She has been to the cathedral and learned the words in Latin. She engraved them on her heart and when they rejected her, she found a different god. She wears a crown of thorns and destroys herself so that her flesh can match her blood. You made her, you made her, she made herself the ravens scream at night. You gave her a name that meant “light bringer, light carrier” and forgot that mythology has bestowed those creatures of death the same burden. You gave her compassion and a need for solitude; you raised a wolf in place of a girl. When she laid her soul bare on her skin, you wept for the innocence lost and she wept because it was finally unerringly visible. She is part of the cycle, the thread that runs through the circle of time. The day she was born was a day that signified the end, the beginning, and all the other pieces thrown haphazardly in the dark. Shards of the people before landed on ribs in a way that turned her into a weapon. You tried to contain her in one universe and found that she cannot be restricted to a single space.

She grew up learning tarot cards as an extension of herself. The moon and the carnivores are her companions. She hurdled over her fear of the dark, embracing it in scarred arms. She became a book witch, a bone witch, a water witch. She changed her hair, her blood, her voice. There’s a rage inside her that you wouldn’t believe, a love inside her like you couldn’t imagine. She learned that she felt everything all at once and that it was her ultimate undoing. She understood that it would destroy her, so she tried to destroy herself, instead. She loved so outstandingly hard, with such violent fervor, that she ripped holes in her chest that had to be sewn back together with ice and fire. The people she loved tried to take her wings and forgot she had claws. There’s a restlessness inside her that sings for home home home but she chose to be an ambassador of change – she has no home except herself. Her soul is a haunted house broken, broken, rebuilt. 

Grief and rage carry themselves like matches inside her veins. She turns to words, tries to create poetry, when nothing is left – when everything has been burnt away. She is a piece of stained glass, a religious experience gone wrong.

And when they told her that she would never be able to love someone until she loved herself,

she replied “Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But him, Oh God, I loved him so much I forgot what hating myself felt like”

 

raven tattootarot fingersz 1tarot fingersz 2

 

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personal

A Narrative; A Character Study

I picked my sister up in the Camry after work. I’ve preferred the Camry as of late because I have more control and more control equates to going faster. It’s not like driving the Explorer, which is all weight and no fluidity. There’s nothing gratuitous about driving a tank. We drove on auto-pilot to our restaurant, to our table – my camera loaded in the back, the weight of feeling everything at once on my shoulders. I had a beer with my lunch while we discussed Camaros and court cases. I had every intention of only going so far out of town that the fresh air would loosen the grip on my lungs. Breathing has been a labor of love the last couple of weeks; staying conscious has been accompanied by nausea and rage. The universe had other plans and I found myself bringing the accelerator to ninety as we careened around the snow-heavy mountainsides. Sometimes you go on a spontaneous adventure – sometimes you lie out of a ticket. Sometimes you talk about books and husbands but the words you need find themselves stuck between your teeth.

I wouldn’t tell her that the only religious experiences that I’ve had revolved around muscle cars, tattoos, and nicotine. The phrase “he was baptized under a stream of self-sacrifice and bare tree limbs but I see a sinner in the mirror when I tie up my hair” would not form itself without leaving the shadow of bitterness behind. I so desperately wanted to tell her that he had learned to love a god that had dragged me through embers and the only worship that I understand is self-destruction. I still have the hole in my palm where I had discovered how to turn their addictions into barbed wire while he brushed them away like sand. I wanted to tell her that he was the color of pine – a source of comfort and solidity – whose branches I could cling onto when the world tipped on its axis. I didn’t tell her that I was the color of a bruise blooming under tired skin, a storm of salt water and shards of stained glass. I would never vocalize that I felt as if smoke and ink replaced vital parts in me, my bones and blood had been insubstantial for longer than I could remember. The world was quieter when I was far away, under the tattoo needle, going too fast. I need substances to stay awake, substances to fall asleep… my own haunted house. I am a fragment of a constellation; the aftershock of a thunderstorm. I am petrified of heights but graveyards make me feel whole. I have bloodied my knuckles intentionally more times than I can count and he has always brought peace to any environment. He is the saved turned savior and I wear a crown of thorns to all my affairs. 

My sister knows about anger. She knows the walk that I make from driver seat to front porch is stained with grief. She knows that when I hear the sound of gravel under my boots that the years are soaking through to my skin and I’m imagining the slick crunching noises are actually femurs and scapulae. She knows of the night terrors that follow me around and the stories I read to make them subside. She knows that I wear oceans inside my veins and frost bite under my nails. 

I do not have to say it but 

she knows.

She always 

knows. 

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personal, poetry

Three Years Later 


Tomorrow will be 3 years since I lost you. Holy. Fucking. Shit. I don’t remember everything about you, and G O D how I wish I could remember everything, but I do remember how you wore your emotions like a second skin. I never had to guess what you were feeling, but maybe we were so close that we felt the same things. In the last three years, I have heard more “she was just your grandma”s or “some people have lost parents, don’t be so selfish”s than I can count. “Just” does not begin to describe what you were to me and I miss you like fucking hell. I miss you when I’m wedding planning, I miss you when I touch my shoulder, I miss you when I sit with Papa, I miss you when I hold Jay’s hand. I wear my anger so close to me now. I miss you every time I fall apart and pick my pieces back up again.  I know I’m supposed to forgive the universe or whoever-the-fuck took you, but I can’t and I won’t. I feel like I was one person, then you left, and I became someone else entirely. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was this late in February and maybe it explains why the last couple of weeks have felt like a sucker punch to the ribs. Grief has never left my side. He clings to me like a stray dog and instead of shooing him away, I let him guide me home. Somedays, I feel like you took up the space of the whole world – you were the sun and we were the planets orbiting around you. You ripped a hole in the galaxy when you left and I have not stopped bleeding stars since. You left in a puff of smoke and mint, collapsing the ecosystem in your wake. I don’t blame you (maybe a little, but those are moments when I am lacking much of myself) for taking my gravitational pull. Today was a solar eclipse in Pisces and I think that’s fitting for how I feel. You are, after all, the solar eclipse and I, the Pisces. I lack words for how badly I wish this astrological alignment would ease the pressure on my heart. You taught me about the stars and their placements in my soul. Do you remember rolling your eyes at Capricorns and scoffing at Geminis? Your death was an explosion and instead of absorbing the shock, I combusted, too.

 I miss your acceptance of me, I miss our friendship. I miss how you were the glue to all my pieces. I remember how you hated Johnny Cash and cussed about him in the car. You hated tattoos and rock music and yet you loved me. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. 

God damn, me. 

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