September

Sitting with him in the dark
parked on the side of the road
I sit rigid
with my eyes so wide
Trying to swallow the dark
and still wear it like a blanket
He cracks open a can and hands it to me
I drink it in 3 or 4 draughts
It fills my lemon-stomach
and gurgles in the quiet
He passes me the other thing
the stuff that loosens my tongue
One rail and in 5 minutes i’m spilling
the things in my brain that gurgle too
The voices
Icy swords and hot daggers
Lollipop lullabies
Zigzagging like lightning
Roiling the sea and Oh
My Ship full of Fools
They’re all crying out
to me and to each other
punching holes in the night
The words dry my tongue
and crack my lips
Falling out like old driftwood
Splitting open and spilling dust
Motes in my eyes
Silt in my lungs
He cracks open another and hands it to me
I chuff out my breath like a bellows
and he tells me it’s going to be all right
I drink in his pale, silent beauty
and try to see the world from his eyes
To hold his hope in me
with the same fierceness that i’m holding his hand
More of the Devil’s potions and powders
More of my knots are untwisted
He gently asks who i am
and i tell him i don’t know
I don’t know

~ Mine, September 23, 2020

IMAGE: Trevor McKinnon

Never Have I Ever

Squelched ocean sand between my toes
or picked my own mussels

Gone houseboating down the Shuswap
and sunbathed on the beach

Crowd-surfed at a concert while
others hoot and holler in celebration

Run through mud and rope-climbed walls
with fellow plucky survivors

Bungee-jumped or whipped down a zip line
or jumped out of a perfectly good airplane

Visited the lands of my forefathers
nor broken bread with those who yet live

*****
Felt completely at ease in a group
even if they’re all people i love

Stood in a line up without worrying
because i know someone must be staring at me

Gotten dressed up for some event
and been completely satisfied with my appearance

Had an argument where i wasn’t terrified
or a discussion where i didn’t feel attacked

Not worried that a man might want sex from me
or a woman was going to hurt me

Felt truly safe around other people
or utterly let down my guard

This is not poetry.
This is a bucket list.

IMAGE: Courtney Moore

Singing in the Dark

Heart of my heart i went down to the water to see you
But i couldn’t
I got lost in the eddies and captivated by currents

Mind of my mind i climbed up the mountain to hear you
But i didn’t
The wind was so loud so i picked a few wildflowers instead

Flesh of my flesh i delved deep in my dreams to meet you
But i shouldn’t
The dreams are lovely and terrible and i find it hard to leave

You are the water that threatens to take me
You are wind that will blow me straight off the cliffs
And you are the dream that will hold me in sleep forever

Song of my song i wrote this to sing for you
But i wouldn’t
And my throat ached at my resistance

Pain of my pain i reached out blindly
And i would
I sat still in the dark tonight and sang it to you

You are the one who gave your life for me
You are the reason my body yet breathes
I will sing to you now and always

I found you here and here you ever shall be

~ Mine, September 03, 2020

IMAGE: Pawel Szvmanski

Alone

Is this a poem?

I’m alone every day
Smiling at everyone
They can’t know
And that’s all i know

Is this a poem?

I make friends
These are my friends — i made them
You can’t see them
They’re only for me

Is this a poem?

You look at my face
You hear my voice and you think you know me
I’m a Russian doll, friend
You don’t know a thing

Is this a poem?

I can’t write for shit
You’re reading how i talk
Every day all day
To people on the internet

Is this a poem?

It most certainly is not
I tap it out all the same
I live my best life
Regurgitating every thought

This is not poetry

~ Mine, August 24, 2020

Time

Time creeps
Your eyes fixed on me
I can smell you
So strong i can taste it
Fear
Hate
Time swells
Lonely and lost
Ugly and stinking
You smile like pink frosting
Sweet
Pretty
Time ebbs
You’re wretched
Drenched in lies
Swollen with the overflow
Want
Need
Time flies
I’m here alone
Your cupcake was shit
I’m not even hungry
Full
Empty
Time bleeds
You’re all over me
I feel your heart
It ticks and trips
Dead
Gone
But i’m still here

~ Mine, August 23, 2020

No More Parties?!

So, today isn’t gonna be the day i start, either. *sigh*
I’ll try again tomorrow, but today my heart is just too low. My energy level is practically zilch. I think the best thing to do is give it 1 more day. The stress headache from Tuesday’s therapy is still thumping away mightily, and i’ve been hit with a fibro flare-up, just to make things that much more fun.
Discernment and flexibility – i haz it.

I suppose if i’m not gonna be Little Miss Getshitdone, i should at least write. My head feels like it’s packed full of cement though, and with that jackhammer going on up there too… i’m blanking out. *sigh *

Perhaps some pandemic not-prose-don’t-make-me-say-poetry? Hm.

**********

Party Poem: External

I show up late to the party
Most of the people are gathering their coats to go home
Piled up on the bed in the spare room
Minglings of perfumes and colognes
Can i take your coat?

I sit down on the biggest couch
It’s the best chance i’ve got at not sitting next to anyone
Unfortunately only the drunks remain
So a guy sits down almost right away
How you doin’ tonight?

His breath is so toxic i grimace
It was involuntary and i zero in on his reaction
I needn’t have worried at all
He’s busy charming the pants off himself
Do you know anybody here?

I mumble out that i know the hosts
He launches into a frantic and slurred tale
My friends are his old college buddies
They’ve known each other forever
How do you know them?

I tell him the woman is my sister
This was the wrong thing to say as it gives him an excuse
Drawing close with his whiskey and garlic laced breath
He acts like he’s considering it
So you’re the younger one right?

I blush and begin to sweat
This means i look red and juicy like a steak
I probably smell like meat at this point
He thinks i’m flattered
Can i get you a drink or three?

I suddenly blurt out Excuse me!
I’m absconding to the bathroom at top speed
I pray that i won’t trip over anything
I’ll go to church tomorrow please if it could be empty
Hullo, anyone in there?

I avoid the mirror and sit down
I already know what i’ll see on my turgid face
The flat-out wide-eyed panic
I quietly convulse in a sob or three
Hullo, anyone in there?

I force my voice past the stone in my throat
I let them know i’ll be right out
Swiping furiously at my eyes
I look at my hands and remember i put on mascara
Oh geez are you kidding me?

I fix up the mess as best i can
I knew i should’ve worn the waterproof kind
Using toilet paper and water i work quickly
Keeping my head down i walk out and apologise
I hope everything’s okay?

Now the panic is bubbling up
I don’t know why such a stupid thing just came out of my mouth
I make my way to the spare room and then dash to the front door
Made it a full 20 minutes this time, i say
Why do i have to be like this?

Party Poem: Internal


Swinging door sucks in the cold
Pulling me in with fingers of air and flesh
Flushed skin and frantic smiles
Boozy air with a note of sweat
Smile, dammit, smile!

Pillowy couch threatens to eat me
Perching birdlike i puff out my feathers
Staccato bursts of laughter
I ruffle fluff and side-eye the room
Oh no, don’t sit here!

Open mouth saying smelly words
Fevered lips and hungry teeth wet with a swollen tongue
Yellow paste from cigarettes
My belly hitches and my pits itch
I’m overheating already!

Eyes like hungry mouths move over me
The stink of him and the pounding air
His words like syrup left out with no lid
Too thick and sticky he drowns little gnats
I don’t want this, go away!

My responses trickle out like an old creek
Tripping like i once did at hopscotch
I draw to one side with a lurch and a terrible squeak
I am that one shopping cart
Back up buddy, you’re too close!

My face fills up like a balloon
I’m hot and stretched thin and ready to pop
Full of unspent air and held breath
Hot and brittle like candy
Ohmygod he’s leaning in, nonono!

My legs kick out from me violently
Like a newborn colt trying to stand
The music crawls inside my head and punches
My soft brain cries as it guides me
I must get away right now!

Quiet relative coolness and the good kind of dark
Unlike the dark outside the door full of grave shadows
I pant like a dog at summertime’s peak
My guts wringing me with anxious hands
Someone’s at the door!

I’m too little for this but so big
I can’t fill the space but there’s no room for me
I’ve got to leave but i don’t want to go
I want to go home but must first brave the gauntlet
Stop it now, everyone will see!

I’m 5 and the floor is lava
Wild bears and dragons surround me on all sides
The hot air pulls tears and breath and sweat
I’m melting as i make for the door
Don’t anyone try to stop me!

Booming bass like ship cannons
My guts float up and grasp the base of my throat
Food and bodies and booze invade my nose
Rubbery legs cross the space to freedom
I’m out i’m okay i’m safe, breathe!

~ Mine, August 19, 20, 2020

I Remember

I remember

your face filling every space in my eyes
no room for anything else
Nowt but you

I remember

your voice flooding into my ears
like a cheap cotton swab
What’d you say

I remember

your touch on every inch of my skin
oily and unctuous slick
Choking my pores

I remember

terrible days and terrifying nights with you
always bracing for the onslaught
violent and dreary

I remember

i’m stuck here in our memories together
still caught fast in your web
being consumed

Ode to My Sinful Nature

Thank you Envy,
for getting my ass up off the couch
for wanting what others had
for wanting more and better

Thank you Gluttony,
for giving me what was denied me so long
for filling me up to the brim
for the luxury of more than enough

Thank you Greed,
for helping me get more than i was told i was worth
for insisting on what i deserved
for pursuing superior quality

Thank you Lust,
for keeping my sex alive
for invigorating me with desire
for setting my loins on fire

Thank you Vanity,
for showing me i’m pretty
for getting me in the shower
for taking me shopping

Thank you Sloth,
for providing me with much needed rest
for making my limbs so heavy
for the call of quiet nothingness

Thank you Wrath,
for gifting me the words No and Stop
for filling me with fury
for showing me it wasn’t love

~ Mine
July 17, 2020

IMAGE: The Seven Deadly Sins, Hieronymus Bosch (1500 – ’25)

Dancing Days

Let me speak to you of my hope
in terrible poetry
The words spring from this old tongue
and bounce across the screen
I’m old but i’m young, too
New and fresh and filled with vigor
Keen to be up before sunrise
and curious about the day
Walking the dogs with dance steps
Thirstily drinking the view
Breathing in the smell of the grass
like pure oxygen, giddy
Mooing playfully at the cattle
Prancing about in tree cotton
It covers the ground like snow
and makes me itch
I giggle and chatter at my doggos
and answer back in silly dog-voices
Breezing through the front door
i pant much like my mates
Sweaty and hungry
i put together a plate
Eating robustly while connecting online
i still feel the promise of the day
It courses through me like a rainbow, sparkling
It spills into my heart and pours out my eyes
It fills my words with music
and i sing into the air
The music dances, too

~ Mine
June 19, 2020

Fly*

take me through it
and tell them
you held my hand
the trees sough
and the ground
breathes musky life
i put it on my tongue
because i want to know
and little worms
slide in like sugar
i slip, sigh, slide
through electric wet memories
generational mommas telling me
shh, child
shh, don’t touch
my path is through old trees
and i taste their fruit regardless of my fear
i might be poisoned
they smell so sweet
and i have been so empty
and hungry
spent with need
don’t take my shoes from me
i have places to go
let go of my hand
you are a weight
i’ll not carry
the sky is calling me
it billows
and roils
and beckons me up
up, up
on the wings of the poor
the world is a millstone
warm hay
and honeysuckle
it smells so sweet
i could die

*Mine, from 2012