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LMS VI: 22: commitment



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Mon Sep 05, 2022 4:39 am
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LMS VI

22: commitment is a word with double letters but i never remember which



LMS starts on my 22nd birthday this year, so of course my poetry is going to be themed around anxieties about the future, questioning past choices and paths ahead of me, the feeling of standing on the brink of two (or more) worlds and trying to decide what I'm going to commit to.

(AKA, a real-time foray into the unknown future).

Also going to explore themes of religion, finding a home (whether that is a place or a person), figuring out what love means but not knowing how it will end, questioning if pursuing learning has led to an inescapable loss of innocence.

Maybe there will be a definitive outcome, but who knows? I think mostly the poetry is about the journey. :)
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Mon Sep 12, 2022 1:41 am
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heart-roads and head-colds


speeding down a dark road with no headlights,
the adrenaline feels nice but
eyes are dry in the quick-cooling night:

it’s hard to see our way ahead.

I tilt my head back to feel
the wind whipping my throat raw,
pouring in through the cracked window,
pushing past my cracked lips into my lungs;
my nose begins to run.

I’m used to my hand on a gearshift,
5 speeds and reverse, but you drive an automatic
so when you ask, “Is this ok?”
the only answers are “gas” or “brake”.

“pull over,” I want to tell you. “hold me,
but not too close.”

cough drops held between our lips, medicine melting
on our tongues and dripping down into our lungs:
we would kiss.

but my voice is gone,
so I nod my head in the darkness,
feeling the warmth of your hand as you press mine
into the steering wheel,

neither of us knowing the curve of our road.
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Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:14 am
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Keeping Time


I get so tired of these
twenty-four hour days
until even the hour I spare
for you slips knots of anxiety
around my throat,
until my smile tightens like a
rubber band
and you’re the one
who feels the backlash.

Held-hands and
the first-fall leaves I’ve
always loved
sing wordless lullabies
to the tune of “you’re all right;”

but evenings spent in your arms
become a check on a list
of chores, an hour blocked out
of a day composed of homework
and tutoring and meals
and blinks and
breaths.

I’m paper-thin and crumpling
between your fingers in a flurry
of discreet glances at the clock
and a sigh of excuses
in place of a kiss;

for the time-checks that keep me
from falling apart
cannot sustain a life and a heart.
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Mon Sep 26, 2022 3:51 am
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Accepting Autumn


In this weak, wet autumn I dream
of a New England fall,
yellow leaves slowly spiraling
to the ground,
small children kicking through
the crunchy golden piles and
laughing as they hide
behind the trunks of trees.

And I think:
I am a tree
without a forest.

It’s the thought of bringing
the family you rarely see,
to take tea, or hot cider,
to chew over politics close to
the fire; to move into the kitchen
where the gossip resides,
and laugh off old grudges,
wiping of the smudges
from the dishes in the warmth
of steaming water and laughter,
the dishtowel spread by
waiting hands.

We would rustle like leaves,
discuss and disagree,
but end our arguments with a
smile, an invitation to
walk in the autumn breeze,
and come over to dinner next week.

No more caustic judgements and
cancellations; just be

together.
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Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:38 am
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I watched a burning ship on distant shores


I watched a burning ship on distant shores
She had torn the heart from his throat
Leaving a wake of screams and broken oars.

She silently and stubbornly ignores
While he sets fire to her well-worn coat;
I watched a burning ship on distant shores.

He eats peanuts until they sink into his pores
“Because she’s allergic” he says, to gloat,
Leaving a waste of hives and broken oars.

She says, “I didn’t want all of me to be yours,”
Sentiments it took her 11 months to note;
I watched a burning ship on distant shores

Night-long sobs replacing loving snores,
Separate across the ruinous waves they float,
Leaving a wake of sighs and broken oars

And when the ripples reach our core,
They whisper “look to your own boat”
Lest ours become that burning ship on the shore
Lost among our tears and shattered oars.
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Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:04 am
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Que says...



Silent Sundays


Me: Hey

Me: No one coming to tutoring tonight

Me: On the whiteboard to my right
Me: There are notes for the essay I turned in today.

Me: I wonder who wrote them.


Me: There’s some shirtless guy
Me: in the hall across from me. He’s flexing

Me: I can see him through the window
Me: plus the girl on her phone in the room above


Me: If they looked outside of themselves they could see me


Me: I can hear the band we missed, btw.
Me: (they’re not very good)


Me: how’s practice? :)

Me: Do you ever think about the buzzing sound lights make
Me: I’m not even pretending to work anymore

Me: just… sitting.

Me: Why doesn’t anyone come in for tutoring
Me: on Sunday nights?


You: Come home soon.
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Mon Oct 17, 2022 5:42 am
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Ctrl Freak


When I was young I didn't understand
the way my mother's acceptance 
wasn't weakness. 
In time I learned to gauge
my father's temper flares,
to sooth or ride it out
in silence. 

Mom and I could look at each other:
"Here he goes again,"
do our best to de-fuse. 
He's a rational being, staying true
to the dictates of his internal logic. 

Fully adult now, I grow tired
of playing my role,
so I play a passive-aggressive game called
“exposing hypocrisy.”

I thought this disagreement
meant I was different. 

My friend tells me
he’s more like his father than he thought,
and I realize, so am I.

Maybe years of being the
stable one when plans come undone
pushed me to the brink

until I'm the one to flip my lid
when anything falls short of ideal;
I watch now as my friends approach me
with caution, and I wish I could
laugh off their emotional support.

But though I always was the
patient one, I find:
my fuse is fraying and
so very, very flammable:

I don't know how to come to terms with
being a control freak like my father. 
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Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:20 am
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Hellscape


For weeks, fires.

Dim sun dissolving
into the dark haze that burns my throat,
stirs dust into my lungs. Lurching for breath.

At the crossroads,
factory lights bare their bright teeth
through the shroud of black smoke,
winking in time to the eerie growl
of crunching metal;

evil never sleeps.

crane claws raking, breaking, grabbing,
snatching trash and lifting, sifting and resettling:
landfill.

Dogs unleashed frolicking on the train tracks—
hear the whine as it echoes down the rails—
car motor thuds, headlights rise from barren ground—
course, collision, collide.

My eyes scream: fire.




Garden of Eden


And finally, it breaks rain
rolling down the house-side
painting my hair wet, the world: 
green. 

Gentle.
A light tap is all we need
to wake up and breathe. 

Tell your children that
late October rain smelled of spring,
that fall meant damp and dew,
that we saw hummingbirds in
November. 

Water flows, flowers. 
Steps splashing, necks dripping,
dipping down to sip:
raindrops. 
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Mon Oct 31, 2022 2:45 am
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Que says...



Stick the Landing


I don’t like [ ]s
so I’ll just snake my sentences
around in circles without periods;
semicolons are my favorite
punctuation anyway;
but my beginnings are my [ ]
I grew up on a cul-de-sac,
with the autumn leaves falling,
moulding under winter rains,
sprouting into spring, I think
of graduation and that
wherewilligonext?,
where will I [ ]
up, maybe anywhere but a dead-[ ]
job, I want to do something good,
start over (again);
I want to have a kiss that
won’t turn sour on my lips,
an adventure that
isn’t tinged bittersweet,
a story without an [ ];
I don’t like [ ]s
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Mon Nov 07, 2022 3:36 am
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Que says...



Cuts


set aside your lovers quarrels
we’ve entered a war zone,
professors up in arms;

we want to fight but we don’t know how,
don’t know what.

they hide behind emails and legalese:
don’t spell out what you’re doing until
it’s too late—

cuts.

my freshman year dorm is empty:
graduation is an act of
self-preservation.

10 million dollars at play
and we throw it like a football.
(hint: no one is there to catch it.)

they say “be excited,” “big changes.”
as they cut us off, cut our programs,
cut out the heart of us.

“disregarded, demoralized, but not defeated”:
we are rage.
our unity is powerful,

but I don’t have the faith.
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Reviews: 495
Mon Nov 14, 2022 2:39 am
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Que says...



Black and White


You play and I’ll write,
lost among the black and white.

Back to back and hands on keys,
we work our muscle memory.
Eyes scan screens or music stands
above our fitful, working hands.

You play and I’ll write:
yours are letters A through G
and I take all the rest
to write my melody.

Lost among the black and white,
ah, you, the Steinway to my Steinbeck,
the music behind my rhymes,
the sonata to my sonnet.

Back to back and heart in hand,
writing doesn’t go as planned
and on stage, fingers slip from keys
but your song stays in my memory.

You play and I write,
lost among the black and white.

Spoiler! :

Loosely recalling these two almost-poems from a very angsty 2020 Q -- I thought borrowing some of my favorite comparisons to use in the 4th stanza would bring it full-circle a bit. c:

Ah, my friend,
you write a sonata and
I’ll write a sonnet.

*

You turn pages, sitting at a Baldwin;
I turn pages of a Baldwin;
While you attend to your Steinway
I pore over my Steinbeck.
Your fingers dance over black and white
and mine skim words printed black and white.
You accurately play each key and
I match you keystroke for keystroke, typing;
where you glissando, I stroke the spine of a book,
where you compose melodies I compose memories.
We're both creating, feeling the flow of ??? inspiration ???
Music and writing, piano and reading

>> something something
You read the notes from the page
and I read words from mine
until we both know our pieces by heart.
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Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:07 am
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Que says...



Homesickness


The days drag by, they tug
at me, begin to tear,
and sometimes
they whisper this:
“Go home”

But where?

For it can't be the place
I grew to the height of the corn,
dreaming every other second of
leaving,
where my parents drew together from
two sides of the map and
landed flat in the middle.

And certainly not the
little house in France where I
was but a guest, a stranger,
little more than an educated
tourist,
excited and enchanted but
too shy for the fast-talking French.

Hardly could it be your house,
where there is always comfort but
not a true return;
I don’t mind that I don’t speak
your language, but
your little nephew made it clear:
I am not family. 

And here,
my heart-home by the sea,
I am physically, finally, here—
and yet—

I don’t feel free enough
to make this my home,
but I don’t know where else
to go.

So I dream of elsewhere,
like I’ve always done.

I dream of a little house
on the sea

and someone I love.

Spoiler! :
I was listening to some of Grieg's lyric pieces and trying to pick one to play, and stumbled upon one called "Home-Sickness" which is beautiful if you have a chance to listen. I decided it might be the right one for me to play, and also ended up being really nice to write a poem to!
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Gender: Female
Points: 5891
Reviews: 495
Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:46 pm
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Que says...



Guest House


I am a guest here
in my own house

They want to treat me,
want to take me out,
show me around
my own city.

I want to crash,
melt into the floor and
sigh — home — bliss;
but this…

I can’t fully relax
between family chores
and “family fun” and
“put your phone away”
and I really try.

But I have another life now
and this one doesn’t fit;

I’m your daughter but I
don’t live here.


Spoiler! :
I really wanted to rip a line from this song (“if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born in then it’s time to go”) but it didn’t quite fit! Kind of the same essence though.
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Light griefs are loquacious, but the great are dumb.
— Seneca