momebie: (TRC Ronan's Halo)
[personal profile] momebie
I spent a long weekend in Florida and it was all kinds of incredible. It was warm and sunny and beautiful and I got to not wear boots for five days. I read a very interesting book that [livejournal.com profile] theemdash shoved into my hands when I got there. (BOYSGIRLS by Katie Farris.) I got to see a whole bunch of wonderful people I'd been missing. We went to hang out in the Harry Potter parts of Universal and I took a million and one stupid pictures of my own and other faces. We celebrated [livejournal.com profile] myras_girls' birthday. I had the BBQ I adore. And for the most part I just felt very settled. I spent the whole time going 'I DON'T KNOW, I'M JUST SO HAPPY.' Because I was, and simply so in a way that I'm not usually.

I did the right thing leaving Florida. I like it in Boston. I'm not even unfond of our 100" of snow. But Florida is and always will be home. I wouldn't be surprised if I decided to move back eventually. Once I'm finished purging all of the anxious possibility that had been building up in me for the last 13 years. As I was discussing with Em before I left, Florida is in my blood. It's the only possible place that could have made me. I am fond of it because of that.


And then on my planes home I read another book--The Barracks Thief by Tobias Wolff--and drafted five poems. It was a productive bit of travelling. It was actually a productive long weekend over all, even with all of the other stuff we were doing. I'm going to do a poem dump under a cut. Because I don't know, I like feeling like I've shared them even if no one reads them. It's probably just my vanity talking. (They have more editing coming, but they always will.)



Please God, Give Him My Strength (Tree People)

There are worse things
to come from than weeds and dust.
Stronger red oaks than us
have been seeded from less.
The leaf tips of the branches
closest to the sky
shouldn’t waste their energy
worrying about the soil,
as long as there’s enough water
to make it possible to survive
until the next storm.

I know your roots, twisted
and tangled as they are with mine.
Take my water. Take my sun.
Reach up around me and take my sky.
Just keep looking up, grasping
at the wind with your scarlet tipped
furls. None of that common blue
is worth a damn if I have to stand
watch over these hills and valleys alone.


Hope Heart Ghost (ghost hearts)

You read about it on a Sunday,
taking communion as you often do
with curiosity’s blood and hope’s bread,
magazine folded in half, the oil
from your warm fingers eating through
the ink, coming away smudged.

It was a perfect white organ, a heart
with the mess of humanity taken out,
reflecting all those conversations you’d had
about the inevitability of the clean white Apple
version of the future. It was one of the most
beautiful things you’d ever seen.
You tried to wrap your mind around it.
You wanted.

But you wanted with a heart that was built
on the foundation of an extinct future,
one caked in dirt and cables and neon lights,
and this future knew wanting was not needing,
knew needing was never the answer.
Stick to the middle ground, your weary heart said.
Stay within reach of your charge,
your battery wasn’t made to last that long.

Then that weekend he let you go,
and it was impossible to comprehend it,
what a heart could mean if it wasn’t damp
and lousy with the burning shame that kept those
ink smudged fingers running through your hair.
It was the worst pain you’d ever been in,
it wouldn’t go away no matter what you tried.
Not even flooding your blood with alcohol managed
to sear away the tattoo he’d beaten into you.

One evening, as you looked up and up and up
through slitted eyes at your white walls
and the shadow riddled cancerous clumps
on your ceiling, pretending that in the dusk
of your eyelashes they might be stars,
you remembered it: that perfect heart.
That pristine vessel thoroughly cleansed
so that it might open itself up to anyone.
You went to work hollowing yourself out.

Once in your hands it seemed so small,
a Pollock-painted drone straddling
the future that was and the future that had become.
One side soaked red with lust and heat.
One side soaked white with virtue and necessity.
The lines of color edging together, never mixing
down into an exploitable shade.

It took longer than anticipated to scrub the lines clean.
Every time you thought you’d carefully wiped away
every last bit of you there was another
small speck to find, one that had escaped you.
You had to go down to a microscopic level.
You saw more of yourself than you’d ever
known existed, then you rinsed out your brush
and washed it all away.

Now you’re smooth, and you’re clean, and you glow
as white as the stars against the hulls
of the irreproachable spaceships that you’ve
come to admire. Like those ships you’ll ferry many
hearts back and forth across the black,
but you won’t ever again know what runs through them,
or that it is and isn’t always the same.
You wanted, but wanting isn’t the same thing as desire.


Heavy Wool Prisoner of War (The Barracks Thief)

Beat the back of the barracks thief, until he's
black yellow purple blue, laid sallow on a
low slung cot with his own blood smeared
across his teeth. Teach him that brotherhood
is fierce and then leave him to lick himself clean.

Rest your hand on the shoulder of the victim,
not for too long, don't give him the wrong idea,
but make sure he knows we protect our own.
Recover his wallet and his letters from home.
Teach him brotherhood is unforgiving and let him go.

Do not speak again of the violence
you've witnessed among your own or how
it echoes through you the same as the war.
Do not acknowledge that the platoon victim
would have given what was taken freely if asked.

Do not talk of what the barracks thief stole
or how lust and brotherhood are often dressed the same.


Less the Omen, More the Wolf (The Raven Cycle - Blue)

My unadorned lips cannot kill kings. I do not control
men’s futures. Nor do I launch magic or ships against them.

It is a thorn of a world that would look a young girl
straight in her clear and hopeful eye and tell her that,
because of her pink spring swollen mouth, good men must die.

I cannot be held responsible for the blood and sweat of men.
Their obsessions are no fault of mine.
Not even when I am remade as one of them.

If you sometimes find thorns lodged in the love line ridden skin
of my palms, know I got them from holding up your crown.

Obsession is not an ornament, not a garland hung around
my neck. It is a hunt. It is letting loose the hounds
and then blaming the fox when the one with the most
ambitious pride turns up drowned.

I am not prey. I am not a catalyst. I am not just a girl.
I am not a plot point in a legend about a boy
who simply wanted too much. I demand my own legend.

I am an impossible force. I am a clear black mirror.
If you see yourself as great it is because I have allowed it.

I will be the lilies on your grave, placed there freely in love,
but I will not be the shovel. You must take
responsibility for your own digging.


The Statues Exist, Locked Away (The Raven Cycle - Ronan Lynch/Adam Parrish)

* This one sprung from a passage in that Katie Farris book which reads: He had tried to invent the feather, but the complications of the hooking mechanism that holds the barbs together evades him. He wants to dig out the feather and find a warp to its weft. To invent a Boy so beautiful...

I invented a boy when I was young.
A boy with golden curls and blushing cheeks
a laugh like glasses knocked together and
a nature that would draw the birds from the sky
to see where the glint was coming from.
I invented the boy I wanted to be and I
didn't even know until a short time ago
that I had done it on my own. What I'm saying is,
we're all capable more than we believe. I now
believe myself infinite, but even so I do not
believe that I can invent a boy as beautiful as you.

A rough and strange and sloping boy, born twice
of blood, which I cannot claim. Dusty and human
all the way through, and also not. Also untouchable.
Also graced by a power and sureness you haven't yet
discovered you have. I could invent lightning
the color of the sea. I could invent rose water
that would make us laugh for hours. I could invent
arms made specifically to embrace you, but I will never
invent a reason for you to need me. I have invented
a beautiful boy. I will never invent anything
half as breathtaking as you.


For Those Flightless Few (The Raven Cycle - Ronan Lynch/Adam Parrish)

He looks fine in black feathers,
their blue fluorescent tinge
in the half light reflecting the same
dusty craters as his eyes, always hungry.
Whether he's the monster or the prince,
whether the light is dusk in our mountain kingdom
or a lamp at 3AM in the corner of my room,
broken in terror, whether the
feathers give way to claws and teeth or a
steady, lifted chin and soft hands.
Feathered cape or feathered skin,
they are to be plucked the same.

That's when I knew I was trouble,
when I knew there was no going back.
When I realized he could have me either way.
That I would bare my neck regardless of whether
he intended to meet it with teeth or lips.

Our friends would call them resplendent, majestic,
gorgeous in their power, words meant to disguise
the growing commonness of his difference,
but for me he doesn't need to hide. He's fine.
So fine, with hollow bones and careful movements
and I will never be safe with my heart
so close to his teeth and lips.


Portable Lighthouse (The Raven Cycle - Gansey)

It's the bright boys who always want,
the young beacons who don't allow for defeat,
who pull what they need from the dust cloud of the world
with bleeding fingers and swollen tongues,
who have no magic outside of their fear and hope.

Discovery feels heady and suddenly they can't let go
of the tail of the world's wonders as they try to hide
in their quiet caves, leading these bright and haloed boys
down into the dark with a need to prove
that they too can create beautiful things from nothing.

They too can be worthy. They too are not empty,
in spite of their desirous hearts that will
not ever get their fill. In spite of having
all of everything at their fingertips and still
reaching past the whole of the world, looking for more.


I had a whole conversation with [livejournal.com profile] theemdash, [livejournal.com profile] myras_girls, [livejournal.com profile] brilligspoons, and [livejournal.com profile] sky_was_green about whether or not I'm a poet. I still don't know if I feel like I can consider myself one in good conscious yet, but I promise to read the wiki page about Imposter Syndrome and change my tumblr tag from 'kl is not a poet' to something else. You know, once I get the energy up to go in and manually alter all the links to the wider tag in the poems already posted. I promise, just because I'm not changing my mind doesn't mean I'm not listening. ♥ ♥ ♥

I don't deserve my friends, that's for sure. I don't know how I lucked into this shit, but I'm never giving them back.
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