In response to the Beauty aisle in Target.

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as if

beauty is a quantifiable commodity
to be purchased with the swift swipe of a debit card
and the word applies only to female bodies, where
everything’s a problem, but wait-
there’s a solution

if you2014-11-01 11.49.18

hate yourself, erase yourself
scrape yourself raw
you can
paint yourself, fake
yourself remake yourself

a mask.

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unbearable

There were words spoken
out of turn
and a sharp twist of truth sprang out
ugly, unwanted, embarrassing- the very thing
that was supposed to be disguised
appeared boldly and she-
left voiceless and without
the opportunity to shift
her weight in preparation
for attack- tripped backwards, slipped
behind her words and left
without us noticing, while her body remained
at the table, quietly listening
to nothing at all, her eyes
carving alibis
into each breath

She said,

“We ran
away as kids, but now
she leaves
me alone with
the horrors
of a shared childhood
and how can I
blame her, really, except for
when the nightmares come,
tearing a scream
from the fist-like place
inside me
where even I don’t dare
explore.”

(For the record, this is not an actual quote.)

Soul on Fire

[The title for this poem was inspired by the Ferdinand Foch quote, “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire,” as quoted recently by The Better Man Project Blog (here). Everything else is my own.]

First, the recurring
Exposure. The residual
Re-experiencing of a scene
Witnessed. Directly.
Lived. Personally.

The correlating stress:
Reactive. Dissociative.
Persistent. Intrusive. A heightened
Arousal.

A diagnosis: internalized.
Acutely disordered. Insecure.
Inhibited. Restricted social
Engagement. Avoidant attachment.
Neglect(ed).

She is remembering her
Self. Her soul is
On fire and this
tumble
of words
can’t describe the inflammation
caused by the friction
of her
still burning
trauma.

IMG_6949

for the light

There is a girl
sitting
in front of me.

There is a tear
slipping
down her face.

We meet each other here-
across a low table,
beneath a large clock.

We are repairing
something invisible
that only she can touch.

We are deciphering
a code
we can only read together.

Every week,
another teardrop
soaks into her cheek

and I imagine
it traveling
deep into her core,

where a small tree
is growing, and thirsting
for the light.

thirsting for the light

Slightly neurotic, easy going

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This is another found text poem along the same theme as the previous post, this time using only the first lines of women’s online dating profiles. Again, the line breaks are mine, otherwise the sentences are copied and pasted from the profiles.

 

Slightly neurotic, easy going.

 

Well, where to begin. Born

and raised in the center

of the universe. Interested,

I suppose. Slightly neurotic, easy going

girl..err, woman, with

too much charm

for the average person to handle. Rabbit

rescuer. By day, I’m a

mild-mannered

accountant. Once I was a pig

farmer in Italy. I am a transplant. I have all

my limbs. I have

a weakness

for tattoos and dimples, but neither

are necessary. When I was young

I wanted

to be a trapeze artist or

a taxi driver. Basically,

I spend 90% of my life feeling like I’ve got this adulthood thing

down

and the other 10%

eating nachos for dinner

three nights in a row. What is anyone

doing

with their lives?