Friday, April 14, 2017

Fancy Things

Thanks for coming to our fundraiser
Yes, I work here
Um, it’s psychiatric residential treatment facility
Yes, I know you’ve never heard of those before
No, it is not an orphanage 
Yes, I know that there is a group of old men down in Hendersonville that make little wooden birdhouses to send to us and think they are going to small children in headbands and skirts and bunkbeds instead of to teenagers who will probably want to throw the fucking birdhouse at my face after whacking me with the post of the bunkbed
But we still thank them for their “kind donation”
These are the hurricane children
 that struggle to hold back the force of their own wind 
But let’s just call this an orphanage today, since that’s probably going to make you feel a little more comfortable 

Welcome to our annual Christmas tea where you, the fancy people with fancy clothes and fancy things eat all the fancy food in the name of the people who don’t have fancy things.
Here have some sparkling cider in a mini wine glass that we poor down a rooster-shaped ice-sculpture 
So it is chilled for your enjoyment 
Which you won’t be able to drink now without remembering the image of a rooster peeing in you wine-glass. Oh well. 
Never mind that, here have some mini jars of jam with our company's name on it and mini pens and mini paper so you can record all your mini fancy thoughts and ponder the amount of fancy numbers to write on fancy checks…cough cough…hint hint…
But first have a Christmas ornament with our slogan “helping children succeed” so while your sitting around your Christmas tree giving and getting more shit you don’t need, you can look up and convince yourself that you’re still an ethical human being.
Geez. Ain’t that convenient.
For your wallet to help you feel like your doing good things without ever having to actually do any good things! :D
Win-win, right? Everybody’s happy! 

Have some procuitto-wrapped asparagus while I explain to my children what the hell procuitto is and why the hell someone would ever feel inclined to wrap it around a fucking asparagus. 
Like, maybe they were worried about vegetable pro-creation and thought they might end up with too many asparagus babies running around the god-forsaken rooster ice-sculpture
Wrap it before you tap it, kids, wouldn’t want to have a baby you can’t afford to buy procuitto for
Now use the smallest daintiest fork to your left to enjoy our final course of pasteries 
While I explain to my kids why someone would possibily need three forks to shove 2 plates of food  into one mouth
Because last night, when making these kids dinner I washed the same orange plastic fork 6 times because we haven’t been able to buy any more utensils for the cottage yet.
And today, I have brought you the children 
No They are not hurricanes 
No today, they are shiny, they are ready
Today they are wearing Sunday dresses, and headbands,
and have poems to perform for you that will warm your heart and make you glow and realize in the meaning of life and love and help us convince you that maybe these children are worthy of having nice things
Like forks for instance
There ‘s a thought 
And YOU can make a difference! Just write a check! Hooray, it’s done, go home, the world is a more just place now, everybody’s happy, yay

And every day I try to convince these children it’s not crazy to believe they are worthy of good things. 
And trust me, it’s hard when the world has spent their whole life teaching them otherwise.
It’s hard to believe you deserve kindness, and comfort, and safety, when no one has bothered to show you what it looks like. 
Crazy means believing something that doesn’t match reality
These children aren’t crazy
This is their reality 
They are doing as they’ve been told 
Fighting the world to keep breathing
And then deciding it’s too hard
Last night, I was washing the same plastic fork 6 times
Last night, I was holding back the fists of a girl who's believes she has to hurt others before they hurt her 
Last night, the girl who read you the poem about starting over was hitting her head on the wall because that’s the only way she’s found to get the trauma memories out
She wrote this poem sitting in a hospital bed with a concussion
And she’s been trying to find words to tell you
How every morning is a soul-crushing battle-ground 
of getting up again, that every breathe she takes is her trying to start over
But no, today everybody’s happy
They are wearing Sunday dresses, and headbands 
Let’s just call this an orphanage, or a summer camp, why don’t we 
That has a better ring to it, right
Everybody’s happy 
Last night, well..
Well, nobody really wants to see all that
do they.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord, hosanna in the highest

Stained glass windows, marble statues, gold encrusted cups line the table,  soft light that drapes across stone walls like the priest's robes that touch the floor and my knees pray the pews were just a little more padded but at least I can finally sit down for the sermon
The priest glances over half moon glasses and he says to begin:

"You are unworthy. you will never be enough to deserve god's love, but you are called anyway. Isn't it amazing that he would still love someone like you."

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, in the highest

And this is what they taught in Sunday school,
the teacher drew a circle to represent my soul on the white board and drew marks across it, over and over until it was black, this is what you can't help but do to yourself she said
you are flawed because of those who came before you but
but Jesus died for you even though you are  a sinner,
at the core of your being deficient, inadequate,
such a god must be great.
Such a god must deserve your worship.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord, hosanna in the highest

And yes father, we've all done wrong, I've collected bucketfuls of mistakes, pain that drove me places I didn't plan on going, days that I wish I could take back, and I've said a few prayers for someone else to carry my regrets for a while.
But for the child at the end of her rope, who's been told she's unworthy by so many people she finally believes it, holding a razor to her arms, nailing her own palms and feet into wood, hoping her own blood is enough to appease this feeling eating her insides - forgive me Jesus, I don't know how much of a disciple I am but I don't remember you telling us that we should be ashamed of ourselves.

And for this child, when will I hear a priest sing, scream, you were made worthy, you are worthy, you are worth everything that you can breathe in,
even though you've built yourself a crown of thorns that says this is the end, that you will never feel anything but this puncture wound to your heart, but there is love,
in every new blood cell,
raw and regenerating,
resurrecting in the marrow of your bones, Child, you are asking for forgiveness that you no one can give you but yourself.

So Father, forgive me,
I'm pretty sure this is what Jesus would have told us,
that the universe began with a burst of light somewhere down the line and child, you are here. You are here.  Don't doubt the way the earth carries your weight with every step, the way the river washes your feet, the way the wind whispers this is love, the way the wood of the tree branches reaches to meet the palms of your hands and you deserve this.  Honey, this, is your hosanna in the highest, your hallelujah, this is what saves you, from the flames in your stomach and this is not the end.
No, this is the echo of your own lungs gasping for air again, yelling in your ears saying
You, to the core of your being, are nothing less than resurrecting,
than light, than truth,
Hosanna in the highest
You child, within your bones,
Are always being made anew.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Six Degrees of Separation

Stage 1.

I see rays of sunlight through your window 
And feel your breath across my body like wind 
Swirling sand across the desert floor before rain.
My heart wants to be caught into someone else’s gravity,
Spin me, look,
I’m fragile and beautiful and twirling comes naturally
Like Saturn’s rings, dancing, my breath 
Will cling to the edge of a planet that never asked me to stay.
Like gravity
I feel you pull on parts of me as soon as I know you’re close
And even though you’ve lost your orbit my mind cannot lose you, why is this.

Stage 2.

You have a way of grating off my edges
That you think are inconvenient
Like peeling a carrot
Just to make it more smooth, you said
before I woke up wondering
Why there was less of me, please
Break my heart
But don’t leave it any smaller
Than it used to be

Stage 3.

I have learned
That my concave heart fits the curve of your convex mind
Two lenses bent to fit eachother’s weakness
You curl yourself into me,
I bend myself to try and hold you
but we are made of glass
and we splinter
and we don't see it
'til we're pressed too far into each other
You show me your sharp edges like battle scars
And I hide mine behind blankets
so I might still look like the angel

that I thought I was
before our fall.

Stage 4.

You left the way the leaves changed color in October
Slowly, and without notice
You are falling from my limbs piece by piece
And suddenly
I am wondering why I am standing here
In the forest
Empty –

Stage 5.

I’m standing in winter rain, rinsing
Your Vaseline words off my limbs
Trying to shed you like snakeskin
Your memories are the plaque on my teeth
Clinging to calcium no matter how hard I scrape, you
are the dandruff in my hair
And I seem to be leaving you

Stage 6.

I feel the wind through branches and fallen leaves
and I think it was just gravity
Meteors falling in flame
before fading into memory
You were never a promise, no
You were a message in a bottle
Floating in a little too soaked with saltwater
You were a tropical storm
and this is the wind after my hurricane
warm and unpredictable
whispering through rubble
and letting me breathe again...  

Stage 1.

You come back to me through different eyes
Darker skin, softer voice,
You tell me I am beautiful and mean it
but you say to me again
That your heart is not strong enough to carry me
And I am wise enough not to let you try.
I stare at the dark winter sky, and sometimes
I wonder when Jupiter’s moons will realize they aren’t circling the sun
Maybe they got caught like me, instantaneously
By something they saw glow for a moment
The stars say, don’t you see it
It lights your whole face every morning
find the sun and your heart never stops chasing
I wake up alone
And see rays through my window
Today I will keep running
Today I have grown large enough, on my own
To be pulled from the planets
And spun by what truly
gives me