For the Old Guys
When I was boy I wanted to be a cowboy;
I wore the hat and boots.
I talked like John Wayne
and walked like The Duke
... and I dreamed of saving the day.
As an adolescent I wanted to be a cowboy;
I read Louis L’amour, and Max Brand.
I learned to tuck in my shirt
and to work like a man
... while I dreamed of riding away.
As a young man I wanted to be a cowboy;
I tore down saloons on Saturday nights
loved some fair maidens
and won some fights
... and stayed true to the cowboy way.
As an old man I long for the old days;
Back when good guys wore white,
when our cinema heroes
didn’t have to wear tights,
... and the day was worth trying to save.
there lies within me
/ a sense /
a feeling of
(planted by a god, perhaps?)
for it lies
/ intrinsically /
or does it?
/ conforms /
with the expectations.
/ concedes /
or have I been convincing myself that I'm like everyone else?
/ congeal /
/ dissipate /
they create a / disjointed / narrative
if I can finally find
a word to explain myself with,
does it define me?
is it / true / ?
can I be sure that it's not
a passing feeling,
that I was right all along,
and time will change me,
mold me into
that p erf ect l ittl e ch rist ia n g irl i was always supposed to be
is this who
i am or is
it a result
of what i've
lessons boiled and baked and spat up in a disfigured and perplexing heap
cause it feels
/ right /
and I want to be
/ right /
more than I want to be
can someone just shut up
this / sense / in my head
orchids come in arsenals of speckled colors
and porcelain vases splinter when faced with
move to pick up the shards, girl, and will you
slice your palms?
will you bleed monochrome or rainbow?
you burn your hands on coffee shop string lights
and sip rosy tea
all you taste is daffodil, prickling your tongue
teacups shatter under pressure and the strain
chips your nail polish
and your nails are painted lavender but
which hands will you clasp?
your eyes are lined in muddled-black kohl
and you wonder if your lipstick will be smudged
capillaries burst inside the undecided
and erythema toils with your foundation
orchid petals fall from your mouth,
entangled in your gums
and you try in vain, but your eyes cannot decipher
how the rings interlock
who are you?
who will you be?
a split sense of self
sometimes i stay in the darkest corners of the room,
between the sliver of space where my two shadows meet.
here, they blend into a singularity, a fusion of my competing
superlatives. this is where the light does not reach me,
where it cannot expose me for my incongruences. in this
i am but two sides of the same coin — you flip me to find
my tail ambiguous in value, my head as blank as cold static.
but conforming is what i do best, and i contort my body to fit
into the littlest corners, fleeing to my refuge with abandoned
rays nipping at my heels. luminous laughter trails to my ears,
taunting me relentlessly as i play this inane game of coin flip
over and over, each time desperate for a different outcome.
my shadows place their bets as to when i’ll brave the light but
odds are, this seclusion will claim me before the coin lands.
even the tiniest
to go in
home from school
when she finds
calm in the
she's true to
she does what
and i feel
i'm a pretender
it makes things
but is that
what i really
wanted at all?
they're the same person, yet so different.
who do i choose?
third-person bios & other selfhood crises
the spirits of wicks burn out as midnight oil seeps into unwritten letters
to shadowed souls as necromancers dance before my glazed eyelids
and i could sit here, morose and awash as verses flash lightning
pulling back the curtains of this fated soliloquy
the task lays before me: gargantuan but what i perceive it to be
“along with your submission, please include a brief third-person bio of yourself”
and it’s a sliver at first- a crack through daylight, a heavy foot out the oaken door
doubts swiftly arise from the earthen floor and form storm clouds- penetrating
and the sweet irony hits me- a tidal wave of questioning beliefs [inner self, really]
to define to not to define, i sift apart grainy interests, needles prodding about
among mounds of hay. simplicity eyes me out of her darkened corner- i dare not
face her. shrivelled up, tantalus embodied and silken fruit just before my reach
crumpled papyrus lies and half-truthed rants lie at my bedside
and the lamp flickers, violet and resplendent but does not die out
perhaps resilience wasn’t elusive, but inanimate. oddities and quirks
i weave in, grasping at memories, could they water these barren limbs?
and words, i yank them out one by one
i am no magician, a scarf at my sleeve as birds flock to my unfaithful side
and this- the result-
name, age, profession [student, writer, poet?]
in the kitchen
of a little girl
i study the
single taps sets
in the sink
at me, its
there’s something primal
about the uterine fluid
we were both born into
and there’s no amount
of reality that will
make this encasing
something I crave
for there is nothing
in this world
who you are
like when I walked
into Starbucks and
gave them the
a new identity
a fresh mark
on a cup
turning me into
someone I am not
like an eternal
we are trying
our way back
to when we were