Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Here comes the sun

Poetry Month always comes at this time of year: April, when I'm weighed down with school work and coming out of (hopefully) the stark sad of winter. 

I must admit, I haven't been so inspired. 

This winter has been long and cold and snow-filled. I think we've all taken a beating, you know? Amidst all the funk of below-zero temps and incapacitating snow, my job shifted a bit and granted me more freedom to feel... that loneliness. 

I'm not trying to complain here, maybe just reminisce about the winter behind (because I'm only going on and up), but after last year's loss, I think there is a hole that I still haven't learned to fill completely. 

The good things have been monumental really: poetry readings with amazing friends and colleagues, a lovely partner who supports and understands, selling art and feeling proud for it, connecting with photography, beautiful skies and concrete, all of it. So much of it. 

The hope is in the weather breaking, the renewal of life and love and getting something back from the world. Always. 

So this note is just to breathe and digest. I hope you are all doing the same. Especially all my local peeps... We've earned it after this winter. Be solid. Hang tight. The sun is coming...


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The house across the street

I look. 

I can't help it. It's right across the street. It's a worn white house with ugly brown trim. Looking at it, I can't quite point out exactly what it is... why it looks as if it's caving in on itself. But it does. 

When I moved in, my roommate told me the story. 

A man lived there, a big man, with no family. Nobody really knew him. Middle-aged. He shot himself a year or so ago. Pretty sad. Could it be any sadder, really? And since then, it's quirks have haunted me. 

It's been only about five or six times, but sometimes a car will be there. On a Sunday. Once I saw a small gathering, a few men and a woman, purveying it from the sidewalk. Solemn. 

Sometimes, a light will be on outside. I'll run a few errands, come back, and it'll be out. I don't think it's motion-activated. I've tested that theory. Sometimes, and this is the worst, the screen door will fly open. It will stay that way for days, flapping. I don't dare close it. I've never come that close. 


A small driveway, severely sloped and stout, falls into it like an open mouth, a garage tucked neatly below. And, on a morning not too long ago (aptly during the deep freeze of this winter), I heard a gushing sound emanating from it's eerie cavern. Water line, I'm sure. And I had to call the cops.

"Who owns it? Does anyone live there?"

And somehow I was explaining my haunt to a policeman, leaving out all of my paranoia. 

I don't know what it means or if it will ever be sold or demolished. But it's part of my (nearly) everyday. And I just wanted to say it somewhere. I'm sure we all have these things. I've even dreamed about the place, the man inside who I've never met. 

Do you have something like that? Something that scares you, a constant reminder of your mortality? 

That's just one of mine. 

mt

Friday, January 3, 2014

Post-holiday meditation

The holidays are over. It's officially 2014. I know I said it last time this season rolled around, but I'm so ready for a reprieve from the bullshit. Was 2013 been good for anyone?

It sucks because there were so many good things and good people and good, good adventures to come in 2013, but it seems it was overshadowed by the worst: loss. I've abstained from writing about D, because I'm sure it is old news. But I miss her. And 2014 hit me like a bag of potatoes, square in the gut.

And then there's gram.

It is harder to watch those you love grieve than to actually grieve yourself, I think. This Christmas we spent at my uncle's—something new entirely. But it was ok. I mean, as ok as it could be for my family who desperately missed their matriarch.

On a bright note, I made many gifts this year. It wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. I took my time and I really planned it out. Block printing is a new love of mine. I made this guy for my mom. I painted that frame too! (: I hope to get better at it... it's just so-so. But boy how fun is it! Abbie and I both have gotten into it.

...

I know you're waiting for my resolutions. Every year I railst on about all the things I want to change, how I want to be stronger, etc. Boy, do I have some resolutions. Everyone should, right? I think you have to keep growing, keep trying to grow. So by the time you're 80... you can be awesome. HAHA. I mean. (;

I did make a little doodle, but I have a real list to come. We're going to save that for another post. I still have some mad reflecting to do.

What are your resolutions? Have you reflected on the year?

Soon, kiddies. <3 p="">mt

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving thanks and feeling cranks

In my adult years, the holidays are somehow always plagued by ailments, warring family members, work or my period. I've been secretly coveting a severe case of PMS this Thanksgiving. Good food and laughs have helped. The game Cards Against Humanity is like the devil's version of Apples to Apples... if I believed in the devil. So more like the naughtier, funnier, adult version. You can print it out for free, I believe.

To enlighten you on some of the shenanigins that took place this eve with Abbie's brother and dad and brother's girlfriend... some of the "answer" cards read as follows: "Justin Bieber," "trying to pick up girls at the abortion clinic," "Taint: grundle, fleshy fun-bridge," "Daddy issues," "inferiority complex," "Rush Limbaugh's soft, shitty body," ...ah. HAHAHA

So aside from those fun times, I've been slacking on the blog deal; honestly, it's because I can't say much on here. I refuse to speak about either of my jobs, because I mean... it is the internet and it's all up for grabs. Just frustrated with the state of things. I'll leave it at that.

About the Poem-A-Day November contest (with prompts provided by Poetic Asides on WritersDigest.com): I've been keeping up fairly well. I've been writing about strange topics that I haven't thought about in years. It's like finally realizing why your shoes have been a little sticky after miles of walking. Like you just noticed it. So you stop and find there's a piece of someone's chewed up Big Red stuck under there or something. Maybe it was time to stop and figure out what's been sticky for me—namely, things from my distant past. No one wants to confront that garbage.

Today's prompt is to write a "bird poem," whatever that might be. So, you know, if you like to write for any reason at all... consider this your reason to write today (whenever you stumble upon this blog.) Stop EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! And write a damn bird poem, ok?

And, of course, I can't have Thanksgiving entry with some sap tangent on what I'm thankful for. There is so much to be thankful for; I wish there was more than one day a year to remind me of it. So... in the spirit of Thanksgiving:


  • I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my friends and my roommate. I'm thankful for my friends who have stood in as family, with whom I have shared countless holidays and meals and bonding time.
  • I'm thankful for warm socks and boots and soft scarves. I'm thankful for the snow that makes me feel cozier. I'm thankful for my bed and all the things in my room that I have been meticulously making and designing and "perfecting." I'm thankful for my tiny tree.
  • I'm thankful for my time. I'm thankful for the time with people that matter. I'm thankful that I got to spend time knowing someone super special, even if she passed away this year. I'm thankful that it's given me a new perspective, importance. I'm thankful that I ever met her. I'm thankful that I got to be a part of the last year and a half of her life.
  • I'm thankful for getting to know who is true this year—more than any year yet. I guess I realize how crazy my life has been, and always seems to be, really. I hope that it gets better and I can get better for everyone. I think I'm on the right track. This has been, by far, the worst year of my life, as far as tragedies and betrayals and ahhh. Just so much. And the people that you think will be there for you forever... are gone. Everyone needs to hug each other rightthissecond.
  • ...but you know what? I'm the best me I've ever been. And it's because of all this. So. Thank you. Thank you for hard times, somehow. And strength that I don't ever believe I have. And thank you for those that have helped me see things in a clearer way. My friend Kelly and lady Abbie in particular. And thank you, Mister Dexter Doots for supportive, understanding cuddles and soft paws and letting me dress you sweater vests and hankies.
  • I'm thankful for not needing anything material-wise, for being self-sufficient and for accomplishing so much in such a shitty year: finding a love, having an art show, getting a book published, sorting so much of myself out, not jumping off a bridge.... ah, for reals on that last one. I can't say enough: thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me, everyone that has.  We'll make it through somehow. <3>


I'll stop blabbing. Maybe I had too much to drink... (;

Much love to you all,
mt

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's with weather

The sky has been loud.

See, most days the only way I know how to feel is from this: sky, weather, the way the sun hits and colors. It's not that I don't wish it could be more personal, but lately the sky has been steering me, been more demanding of me. I'm not used to it.

Just this year have I become unlike myself, my self. I'd like to split them. "Self" as a word seems hokey, but recently it hasn't felt like mine. This shift, I like to believe, is my trying to be healthy, the idea of relying on myself (my self?) for happiness, because this is what we are told to do. This is what I have resisted my whole life, for various reasons.

You shouldn't depend on others for your happiness. It's unhealthy.

I know, I know, I know. Really, at the end of it, there is nothing or no one you can depend on. "Depend" as a word seems faulty now, as does "loyalty" and "whole."

So I'm sitting here in my button-down and my sweater and my khaki-colored corduroys asking: now what? I have shut down. I have shifted. No one has that ability now--or barely. Now that I have lost some sort of connection with "others," or more aptly the "underworld," I have begun looking up for answers? Not for some omnipresent guide or god or being, but for something as simple and surface as weather. C'mon... what's worse?

Today when I stepped outside of my office, around 3:30 p.m., the world seemed at war: grey clouds huddled on top of each other like walls of puffy sandbags; the darker greys poked from beneath and east; and the sun, in an overwhelming orange, surged to topple it all. Every minute or so, a tentacle of light would peek out from its cage of clouds to grab me with an orange fist. I just stared. I don't know what it means... what? But I knew that I felt: "hope." And that pseudo-tangible thing called "sky" could mean things without words or touch.

I may have laughed to myself. I do this sometimes. If the cat isn't around to join me in my tangled thought processes, I talk to myself (which is also new). To be fair, he talks back. Er... meows.

So now, hours later, I'm thinking again (surprise), but... if "hope" were an image, it just might be that sun trying to boulder its way through the clouds--all that brightness and warmth slamming its back against the grey blanket of Earth. And why, then, I hadn't thought that way is beyond me. I mean, it makes complete sense now: maybe the sky is a way of feeling and telling and not really touch, but touching.

And so I thought of the day, the sound of my chiming alarm (one of five alarms set) and the sleepy sun that comes at us earlier than before... I imagined it reaching in with that same fist to shake me awake, to rattle me alive. Why am I resisting?


mt

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blue hour

Yesterday, I reluctantly turned the page of my work calendar from July to November.

That pretty much sums up the last few months. I think I'm still stuck there... in July. I wish I were going backwards. Like I've admitted before: everything in my world is split into before's and after's. Anytime I find a letter, go to trash an old email, find a photo online, or open up to an older entry in my journal, I think: What's the date? Oh. That was before. And I sit in awe of my younger self, because—albeit months—I am so much older.

I think this experience has dated me to, at least, 50.

Maybe it is the change in time, "falling back," and the earlier sunset, or simply the missing. Not only do I miss a friend, but the pain of "without" seems like it will never let go. And do I want it to? Maybe I'm just sick of the pain. Either way, things have been extremely difficult lately [i.e. getting out of bed, conjuring motivation for responsibilities, breathing].

So there's that, as my roommate would so aptly mimic me.

Last night, as we sat across from each other at Panera, Kelly blew my mind.

"Like twilight?" she asked, after I tried to explain the part of the day that is the hardest.

"Well, I call it sundowning, but... yeah, I mean, yeah."

"Hm. You know, all day long you're body is in control. At night, your soul takes over, so, during twilight, you're most vulnerable. You're in transition."

I think my jaw dropped, for real.

My soul takes over...?

"I'm scared of my soul, then," I answered.

Rather than go on to explain or rattle off a list of the whys [I'd rather smush myself into a tiny hole for the rest of my life and never emerge], I'll stop. I'll just stop here.

mt

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ain't nobody got time for pain

This is what I do know:

It's nearly 5:00 p.m. on Friday, payday Friday, that is.

Binging on Halloween treats makes me feel like a trash bag.
My life feels a lot like Tetris.
It's November. Bring it on, November. Can you believe that?

The only super exciting thing about November, besides the true death of everything colorful outside (I kid), is the November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2013. If you don't know, it's a little poetry challenge. You're given a prompt every day for a poem. SO YOU WRITE ONE POEM A DAY FOR A WHOLE MONTH. You can do it; I dare you.

It's inspired by the more well-known, NaNoWriMo. This challenge is actually where you attempt to write a WHOLE NOVEL in a month, since November is apparently National Novel Writing Month. (Get the acronym-ish title now?) But I don't know about writing 50,000 words in a month—unless I was suffering from verbal Dysentery.

Anyway.

Ain't nobody got time for that [pain].
I had this very serious post in mind. It was about pain. The kinds of pain, reaction/action... etc. I sat in my car before class on Tuesday, before I even went to the hospital to see my mom, writing about it. "Pain is subjective." "No pain, no gain!" "You're a pain in the ass!"  "I haven't got time for the pain..."

Wait. That last one is a Carly Simon song.

I guess what I'm getting at, or what I was attempting to get at, is that we accumulate pain, maybe, like scratches on a wall. But it's not just one type of pain; there are so many shapes that pain can take. Some are more triangular, some round and heavy like an oversized marble. And each pain, then, elicits both a reaction and an action. The reaction being more of the "involuntary" sort—auto-spat. The action seemingly becomes a way to cope.

Example:

John's dog dies.

Reaction: He cries and loses his appetite.

Action: He doesn't tell anyone, and he never gets another pet.

See what I mean? For me, this helps me to look at my pain. It's good to find the source, of course, but also define it in my terms—the "subjective" part. I like to examine what has changed because of it. Perhaps, I am doing this because so much of me has changed—not just my living sitch, my relationships, my creative endeavors, but my core. For the better, I hope. In ways. It's just been a dynamic (geez, that's being kind) two years. YES, TWO. It's like an obstacle course. Maybe, just maybe, making it to the other side is what has changed me and not the events specifically. Maybe this will show me that, not matter what, I can do obstacle courses.

Except for rope climb activities. I suck at that.

Happy Friday/Weekend/November, everyone!
Oh, and don't forget to write your poem!

mt
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