HOW TO SAY IT

I’m scraping
burnt crust
off the pizza pan.

Wishing the same
were true
for life’s mediocrity.

Tan walls.
Brown floors.
Feelings neither here
nor there.

The current brings us
in and pushes us out,
but I only recognize
back and forth
or around in needless circles.

Take a rag and polish
the moon and sun
for they’ve been dark so long.

Tan walls.
Brown floors.
Tar on my feet.
Jealously swept up
with the starfish and salt.

Back finally broken
from cracks that were
never sealed.

Healing becomes
a metronome of back
and forth.

This record skips at the scratch.

SOUTHPAW DREAMS

As a child, I was jealous of kids who were left-handed. They seemed like such an anomaly. They had special scissors to use in the classroom and exceptions were often made for their seating arrangements. I had a couple teachers who talked about how the left-handed kids were more creative, more inclined to be good at the arts, because they used the right side of their brains when performing so many daily tasks.

I never wanted attention called to myself when I was younger; especially negative attention, but I did want to be an artist. I felt that if I were left-handed, I would have a greater chance.

Around the same time, my Granny, with whom I spent quite a large amount of time, broke a bone in her right arm. She ended up having to sign checks and write appointments on her calendar with her left hand for the next several weeks. By the time she was able to use her right hand again, she was already quite adept at using her left hand. I’m not going to say I wished for a broken wrist, but I won’t say I didn’t.

During high school, one of our art teacher’s favorite assignments was to announce that during this class period, we should hold the pencil or charcoal in our non-dominant hand in order to craft a drawing. My pieces always ended up looking like something a four-year-old had hastily sketched.

Despite my current rather portly build, I was lean and muscular for the first 18 years of my life. I loved to play tennis, basketball, volleyball, and softball. One day while I was watching a baseball game with my dad, he mentioned that many famous pitchers were left-handed, and that several prominent baseball players could switch hit, meaning they could bat equally well from the right side or left side of the plate. My envy for those born as southpaws continued to grow when my dad and I were watching a PGA tournament. One of my dad’s only hobbies at the time was golfing. I’m quite certain that had we been in a better financial position during that era, he probably would have been a member of a club where he could golf daily. I noticed that an unusually high number of professional golfers were also left handed, and my heart sank, as I realized that I would probably never be amazing at my dad’s favorite sport.

In the last decade, I’ve met several right-handed people who are excellent artists, and I’ve watched many right-handed golfers win the PGA tournament. My husband recently purchased a set of golf clubs for me. We will see how I fair, given my right-handed proclivity (handicap). Perhaps I can turn southpaw dreams into right-handed reality.

RENAMED GLUTTON

I don’t know why
I disapprove of this so much.
Out of blackened, seared, ache
come the best words,
tasting like wasabi.
They scorch and will burn,
if I hang onto them too long.
Cry your putrid heart out.
Closed fist
punch the wall.
I’ll smile over this later.
This is a distorted reality,
however.
I’m currently taking self-portraits
red-faced with tears of anger.
I’ve made myself a glutton
and my eating habit
has been thoughts of you
that never materialize
into more than sentences

here

And here

And here.

ADHERENCE

There are so many rules:
Don’t say you have chubby thighs
in front of your teenager,
Eat your kale and quinoa,
In fact you may as well be vegan,
Put down your smartphone,
but be sure and call your mother daily,
Feign interest in what everyone has to say,
But don’t let all those perfect, blissed-out,
Facebook pictures & vacations impact your mood,
Listen to music,
but not that kind, and not so loud,
it’s bad for your ears and gives you cancer,
A glass or two of red wine
every night is good for your heart,
but then again that makes you an alcoholic,
so don’t drink,
Speaking of drinking,
let’s get together for coffee,
Orangemochafrappuccino,
Mini, non-fat, less than 100 calories,
wait…don’t talk about calories or carbs,
Get to the gym,
but don’t work out too much,
like the 96-pound lady who is there every…single…day,
with the leather-like-too-tan skin,
big hair, and 80s legwarmers,
She’s a weirdo,
looks like she may have an obsession,
with the older gentleman,
Now that you mention it,
date someone who is just the right age,
No one knows what that means,
but it’s part of the rules,
he should be moderately wealthy (at least),
however, if he’s a dick to you,
or if he looks strange when he chews his broccolini,
dump him immediately and date someone else,
It just wasn’t meant to be,
you’ll get over it,
don’t mourn for too long,
nobody likes to be around:

complainers,

downers,

depression,

so happy, happy, happy,
that’s the most important
rule to which you should adhere.

OBSERVATION DECK

We stopped in Rexburg once,
to get gas
on the drive to Yellowstone.

As we proceeded to the highway,
there were water-skiers
on the pond.

Wyoming was frigid.
We almost lost our way,
the darkness enveloping
with only dim lights
and engine hum to encourage the
press forward.

Pine trees hadn’t regrown
from the burn
years before.
Fires that had turned Utah dusk
into brightness of sunset.

My legs prickled
to the touch
after a morning
around the paint pots.
I had worn shorts in May,
a fool’s mistake.
My skin so cold
it felt hot
and only time blanket-wrapped
was a momentary cure.

I saw a moose
run in the rain.
It trotted along,
soaked fur
and thin body revealed
beneath the majesty
of large antlers.

I wished I could ride Old Faithful
away from existence.

Up
^
Up
^
Up
^
its 130 feet of power
every 94 minutes.
I was stuck as an observer.

THE WANT ADS

He didn’t like poetry.
“It’s just cat, hat, this and that,”
rhymes — he said.
The crux of the issue though:
he didn’t understand much
about self expression.
His walk seemed laborious,
but he could safely make it
from first to second base.
The color of his eyes
akin to oozy tar
in August.
I used to scan
the wanted section
(back when
people read newspapers).
I figured he might
take out a personal ad.
He wanted a girl who:
didn’t curse,
would watch NFL games,
and who loved to eat
(but never gained weight).
I didn’t tick any of the boxes.
He tore me down a peg
the first time he heard me say,
“Shit!!!”
NFL players are overpaid douches,
and I told him as much.
I gained a “freshman 50”,
just to spite him.
They had 99-cent bottomless fries
at Red Robin,
and I was on a college-girl’s budget.
That situation could never have worked.
Poetry makes more and more sense
all the time.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHTS

When you take leave of (me) this place
and your plane flies over the (Pacific) ocean,
pretend you are looking for something (better).

We can take this game (of charades)
and you’ll guess “bloody, dripping art”.
I’ll cup my hand around my ear (for sounds like).

I think about the (bustling) city under you.
The novelty that you’ll be.
The breath of litterless, (squeaky) clean air.

Go (already)!!!
The music is ringing and it’s your last chance (to board).
Good, good, good (bye)……….