The answer is, very well indeed. Over 54,000 words for nanowrimo and pages of notebook jottings that I may be able to pull together into poems for the Poem-a-Day challenge.
But I wrote most of it so disjointedly, between moments of studying, or after I had finished when it was already late and I needed to go to bed an hour earlier.
Today is the last day of class so I will have all of next month to see what I can salvage. In the meantime, I skimmed through what I wrote. Some of what follows are fragments of poems, sometimes a single line. Some of this is memoir but some of it is not. In other words, don't rely on first person perspective to define what is me and what is merely a character I created. None of this is revised. Perhaps none of it is even going to be worth revising when all is said and done. But nothing is ever wasted and I offer it to you as proof.
Proof of what? I have no clue. I hope you enjoy!
He was so damaged though and with good reason. And these stories that came out like threads were only woven together in hindsight. Even now, I cannot remember which I knew first and which I inferred and learned by asking questions, treading lightly, careful not to reopen wounds that, frankly, I can’t know were ever healed.
For all I know, they are even now bleeding.
he said “you’re so angry”
I said “your heart is the size of your fist”
watched as he curled his fingers,
looked down at me
lifted up his arm to look
at me beyond his fist
It was, at first, a disconnect. Random misspellings or typos. Nothing that a quick edit couldn’t fix. But small miscalculations added up and making change in the checkout line was too frustrating to even try. Using her debit card was a casual compromise. A debit card didn’t come with GPS and the ice cream was mostly melted by the time she pulled into the driveway.
You who came to me with questions and tried to dry my tears
Diamonds become unbearable burdens, pressured into sharp edges,
Shining too bright and blinking, the fire frozen gem falsely refracting
And all of this would be funny if it weren’t true and happening. It’s hard to know where one resentment ends and the other begins. In some ways it does feel like history repeating itself but whose?
Do my words look like I’m panicked yet?
When your best is not good enough, what do you do?
What I remember is that I fell in love with him because, in spite of all this horrible history, he was a gentleman. He’d hold the door open for me, hold my hand, and even walk on the “outside” of the street, a gesture most men don’t even consider any longer. No doubt it’s rooted in days when streets were merely dirt roads and when a horse or horse-drawn carriage would pass by, it was not unusual for mud to be splashed onto pedestrians. And how he would dance around to the other side of me to be on the side of me that was closest to the traffic. It was distracting and confusing, but I eventually become so accustomed to it that I would just adjust along with him.
The month of June was very sympathetic.
“You know, if I’m going to be kicked when I’m down, that’s fine. Kick away. I know I’ll get up. Maybe not today but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stay down. And if I’m going to be kicked around more than once, let it all hit me on one day so that when I do get up it will be once and I can move on.”
Anger feels better than fighting back tears.
How easily your uneasy hand could have staid itself, stayed silent, and yet
I am the keeper of who you were
Many of his stories were connected to his scars.