To Hell

I ask the World
For happiness to come my way.
Sick and tired of
Prejudice, and
Discrimination;
Mayhem, and
Discord;
Anger, and
Wrath;
Xenophobia, and
Sexism;
Greed, and
Strife;
Death, and
Hate
I find myself
Bargaining with the
Universe:
Surround me with the
Carefree,
Kind,
Fun-loving, and
Sweet, and
I promise
I’ll be a
Better Person.
Ease up on the
Death and
Destruction and
I’ll contribute
More Good in the world.
Lessen the number of
Losses in my circle,
Please, I beg of you!
I ask, I plead, I cry,
But
I forget:
We all have the same
View from this
Handbasket.

I Could Kill You


I could kill you if I tried.
It’d be so easy.
You’d never see it coming.
After all,
I’m just a ghost.

I could strangle you
with my two bare hands,
or a wooly scarf,
or a silken tie.
All I’d need is leverage
and the upper body strength.

I could hit you with my car
on a dark and icy night,
put a big old dent right in the fender,
your body sprawled on the side.
All I’d need is a car
and to know where you are.

I could slip poison in your soup.
Tile cleaner, rat poison, Drain-O;
Crime shows have shown me
all the deadly household items.

I could hold you underwater
use all my strength to keep you down.
Tie rocks to our ankles,
drown us in a poetic murder/suicide
agreed to by neither of us.
Or her, watching from the shore.

I wouldn’t do any of this, you know.
You know me at least that well.
After all, it’s not you I want to kill.
The memories of you,
the ghost you left behind.
The fucking bastard
that just won’t die.
No matter what methods I try:
crushing, poisons, knives, and guns,
Still, it won’t disappear.

All’s that’s left to me
is to wish you well,
for her sake, for mine.
So live well, my torturous ghost;
Be the man I loved
for her sake, and for mine.
Make her proud,
be good to her,
for her sake, for mine.

And maybe your ghost will
finally leave me be, and
one day, I won’t want to
starve you, slap you,
smother you, electrocute you,
punch you, spear you,
shoot you, asphyxiate you,
cut you, kill you
love you.

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So I dressed like Death

It’s been said
if a thing scares you,
if you don’t understand it,
you must walk a mile in it’s shoes.
See life from it’s point of view.
Embrace it’s way of life:
then
you’ll understand.

So.
I dressed like Death.

Painted a death-skull on my face.
Donned black robes.
Wove flowers in my hair.
I was a formidable character,
redoubtable in my presence,
striking in my purpose.
I was a force to be reckoned with:
La Calavera Catrina
reminding us of our own mortality, and how
much of what we do is fleeting.
I was hopeful this reminder of death
would bring about connection,
draw us closer together.

Like Death,
I am friendly and affectionate.
I hand out flowers from my hair,
gifts to friends and strangers.
I might not know their names,
but each rose ends up with someone over the course of the night.
Most are distributed in wild frenzy on the dance floor.
Some are lovingly handed to darling friends in a bathroom.
One is placed deliberately in a breast pocket.
Flowers of friendship, flowers of desperation,
flowers of childlike hope
each rose attempts to bridge the same gap;
A present from Death, a token to say
“We are the same. Let’s be friends.”

At the end of the night
I do not know that I understand Death
any better than I did before;
not unless she, too, tries and tries only to find herself
at the end of the night
empty-handed and the floor littered with petals.
But for each flower crushed into the brown and suspect carpet,
I have hope that one or two are still safely woven in braids
or snugly tucked in jacket pockets.
For of all the flowers distributed,
the one or two that truly matter will come back to me.
And the rest, I hope,
enjoyed the moment
of receiving a flower at all.

You

You
You sit
You sit in your
Chamber of Solitude
where only you know the secrets
you keep in there.

You
You sit
You sit there, moping
about how alone
you are.

You
You sit
You sit and stare
at the empty chamber
cobwebs forming on
cold crystal and in
damp archways.
Everything is covered;
everything is gray.

You
You don’t
You don’t know
the sun is shining,
that rays meet the Earth
in a warm embrace
because

You
You would
You would rather sit,
alone,
in your cold, gray world
even when
my warm, tan arms
are wrapped around you.
Even when I hold you
within my pulsating heart.

You
You sit
You sit beside me
present, but so far
away
in the dark, icy cave
you believe matches
your soul.
The one I can see
peeking from behind
the threadbare curtain
the one you treat
like an iron door
welded in place.
But I see

You
You with
You with your healed wounds
that ooze with blood because
you won’t stop scratching.
I see

You
You, the
You, the fawn,
lost in the woods
searching for the doe
who now presides
over someone’s mantle.
I see

You
You with
You with the heart that beats
and the soul yearns
and dreams that
would fly… but
your hand
grips tightly,
afraid to let them
soar.

You
You and
You and your tormented soul,
the one that texts
late at night
after that bottle of whiskey
to tell me
“I love you”
before fading into the fog
for another six months,
is no longer,
no, nor never has been,
my problem.

The Day Before My Grandmother Dies

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The day before my grandmother dies
I’m on a bus heading for a celebration.
The bus is full and quiet,
it reminds me of another bus,
on another continent,
on a trip that solidified a friendship
I’d be worse-off without.
The memory makes the bus ride
less heinous than expected.

The day before my grandmother dies
I sip hot coffee and watch CNN in a bus station
waiting for a ride to a celebration.
A young man asks to use my cellphone;
His has been stolen, along with other things.
He’s wearing someone else’s shoes.
I am happy to help him get home safely.

The day before my grandmother dies
we are on the road to a celebration.
We chat about cotton candy machines,
puppets, and art.
The GPS interrupts our conversation, KITT
desperate to be included.
We ignore him as we discuss
the beauty of nature.

The day before my grandmother dies
a man gives a friend a precious gift:
a stack of ancient comic books.
We are preparing for a celebration.
Although they are old, the books
foretell our evening:
Aquaman assured enjoyment, and
Hulk-sized fun.

On the day before my grandmother dies
I wear a blue dress made in India,
purchased in Rhode Island.
My hair falls in natural curls,
I wear almost no makeup.
A fellow guest is excited, I
am wearing flip-flops too.
Another compliments my sweater,
she calls it: The Everdeen.
I am dressed for a celebration.

The day before my grandmother dies
I watch two people I love
mentally, spiritually, and legally
become a family.
They are the reason for our celebration.
The groom makes us smile,
the bride makes us cry;
a bridesmaid makes us laugh
when she pulls a reading from her bra.

The day before my grandmother dies
I witness the bitchin’est father-daughter dance
in recorded history.
They teach me how to celebrate.
I drink champagne and mead, and
am a party to lewd acts
committed by stuffed animals and men
who are often boys;
Which only makes me love them more.

The day before my grandmother dies
I, uncharacteristically, do not feel like dancing.
I celebrate, In Spirit, as I watch them
move, and groove, and twirl.
I want more champagne;
but if I had the energy to track down another bottle,
I’d be dancing.

Because the day before my grandmother dies
has been a long, exhausting one.
I hug my friend so tight.
I traveled far to help her celebrate;
Because, and it’s been weighing on my mind,
Life is sweet, and
Life is short.
Too short for them not to know
You Love.
Because you do love
even when you can’t dance,
and you do not spend the night.

On the day before my grandmother dies
I am overwhelmed
by Love.
From the family who invite friends
to a celebration that honors their only daughter,
to the stranger who lends her cellphone
to the boy who’s been mugged.
Love creeps in every word, and Love
oozes out of every action.

Because
on the day before my grandmother dies
we are built
out of Love.
From the bride to the groom,
to the guests, to the dog
pressed against me as we leave
the celebration behind
the day before my grandmother dies.

— Bex, August 2014

Dada… dadadadadah

Today I made some poetry by stringing together words from the Subject Lines of emails filtered into my “Promotions Tab” (read: junk mail).  As expected, each one highlights the consumerism of our society, as well as the vapid focus on celebrity culture, parties, entertainment, materialism, and advertising.  I’m thinking of calling the whole thing: Don’t Buy the Hype.

This one is my favorite so far.

A Genius Wardrobe Solution

A genius wardrobe solution:

Bomber Gear dry suits

High-Rise Jegging

Free tee?

Wolverine boots

Spring sweatshirts

ASICS

Prescription Eyewear

Tropical Florals

Bras

Vera Bradley

Khakis & Cargo

Columbia Sportswear

The New Pixie Pant

Gucci Watches

Bangles –

The styles we can’t live without.

— par moi

Don’t Look at Me Like That

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
You’ll still be thinking that
of me twenty years from
now.
We’ll see each other in
a bar, and I’ll admit
I stole your hall pass sim-
ply because it was yours.
Too embarrassed to con-
fess, I hid it in a
hole.
And I fear the day they
find that ceiling; and I
live my embarrassment
again.
And you’ll make me feel as
incompetent as you
always did back in the
day when I took it.
So don’t look at me like that
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Twenty years from now you’ll
feel the same when you see
me in a coffee shop.
And I’ll just want to die
because it will be the
one time I wear your sweat
shirt;
the one I ‘borrowed’ the
night I let you go where
no boy had gone before.
Hopped up on caffeine, I’ll
admit that I took it
meant to be in exchange.
Then you’ll know what you didn’t
(’cause I never told you);
it will be so strange.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
And nothing will have changed
in twenty years when you
nervously edge toward me
to make awkward small talk
about work and family.
I’ll tell you I have your
DVDs, as if I
just found them. But the truth
is I’ve found and lost them
a dozen times since then.
And you’ll make a joke that
will put neither of us
at ease. And I’ll admit
I think of you every
time I post a letter
and laugh every time I
walk because I know how
you’d balk at me walking
alone down the street.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
That’s how you’ll feel about
me in twenty years when
you see me again at
our friends’ vow renewal.
We’ll drink red wine as we
discuss the pink-hued past,
and share the sepia-toned now.
And I’ll admit that I
donated your sweatshirt
years ago ’cause I thought
we were a hopeless case.
You’ll laugh, shake your head, say
‘you’re right, of course’, and I’ll
feel like I’ve let you down
even though we both know
it’s the other way around.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Nothing will have changed in
twenty years from now, when
our work will overlap;
You’ll be there with her; you’ll
see I’ll be there with me.
And by then I won’t want
to punch you in the chest.
But I’ll tell you how I
fantasized I did.
And I never listened
to your music again,
But I kept the earrings
you gave to me back then.
And if you read between
the lines, you’ll finally
understand just how much
I loved you.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Boston, December 29, 2013, 11:55 pm

Pulling into South Station –

The platforms are empty of people,
only barren trains sleep beneath
lamps that look like paper lanterns
illuminating the concrete rows.
I imagine dozens of couples,
women in long gowns, men in tails,
dancing under the paper lanterns that
aren’t lanterns at all.

They secretly waltz where hundreds of
people trod earlier
thinking only of making it to their destinations,
getting window seats, losing luggage,
giving no thought to dance.

The couples glide majestically,
unconcerned they were not
considered by their predecessors.
They move in the silence:
Step, step, slide.
Step, step, slide.
No music is as lovely as that heard, collectively,
in their minds.
The only sound, a monkey
tapping time
against a piling,
echoes across the
empty space.

Text by me, Bex; photos taken from Daniel Lampariello at Boston to a T until I can go back and get my own photographs which will never be as pretty as his.

The Time Has Come

‘The time has come,’ my best friend said,
‘To talk of pretty things.
Of hot air balloons and ballet dancers,
And when Maria Callas sings.
Stage productions, well writ Lit,
The hills of Old Scotland,
Your hair today, theses peonies,
A couple hand in hand.’
There’s nothing left here on this point
To makes us want to stay,
So ‘let us to the world depart
And find those things, we may.’