Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Places- The Park

A piece of grass,
So steep and oddly situated,
That you feel one missed step,
Will send you toppling into the city skyline.
I used to sit on the bench swing,
My skinny legs feverishly kicking at the dome of the capital building.
With one gutsy breath, I'd topple off of the swing and roll down the hill.
Grass stains, bruises, brush burns were all totally worth the thrill.
We carelessly ran back and forth across its ledge,
The hill swallowed a glut of our frisbees.

The park was almost always quiet,
My peaceful escape from the noisiness of my household.
A place where I was elevated above the city,
I felt like it elevated my writing as well.
Its view was far more beautiful than the park itself.
I'll admit I brought a few boys to that spot,
How could I resist?
But I don't really remember those rendezvous,
What I remember is jumping off those swings... and finding peace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Walt Whitman

I am re-reading Leaves of Grass.
I read it once a long time ago,
When his passionate words made my virgin cheeks blush.
Now I picture that Walt Whitman is sitting on my front porch with me.
His long gray beard is softly moving with the words on the page.
I try to pry deeper to understand him more.

I always thought Walt Whitman was such a brave poet.
And he was in many ways...
He was controversial, opinionated, and passionate.
(not to mention being a nurse in the Civil War)
But he still hid some portions of his life in the innuendos of Song of Myself.
We still don't really know the details behind the poems.

Sometimes, I write about very personal things.
It scares me.
It feels as if I am lying naked on the computer screen for the world to see.
Some of my thoughts, feelings and fantasies are so private,
I would rather post a naked picture of myself than have those thoughts shared with the world.
The security of poetry is that you can relay deep emotions without the details.
It is a lack of details that makes me feel secure in my writing.
But I am still a timorous poet,
Wishing to draw from Walt Whitman's strength.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I feel like I've hurt you.
That is the last thing I wanted to do.
If the pen is mightier than the sword,
My fingers are a six-caliber pistol.
My miss-aim can have lethal effects.
I know what words can do.
I know the truth has a bitter aftertaste.
As a poet I could make things prettier for you,
But that isn't My Truth.
That isn't real.
And in a world of insincerity,
I can't mirror your truth.
Though your opinion matters more than it should.
If my poetry doesn't reveal My Truth,
Then I am completely lost.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Places- The Bridge

A man walked across this iconic bridge to meet me. He had driven an unthinkable amount of hours just to see my face. The last mile of his journey was on foot, across the bridge to the island where we would meet. We walked the bridge beside each other, almost touching, but not quite. Like the letter we shared, so close but not joined. Below our feet was the river. In nervousness, I watched through the iron deck at the water rushing below. I wanted my body to dissolve, slip through the cracks, and float away. I didn't want to deal with that day, deal with this man who wanted me, deal with the feelings I couldn't understand. I still don't understand them. His heart was rushing toward me and I was pulling within myself for safety. I hated myself for my fear, but it was there strangling me, holding me back. Something wasn't right. My heart viciously contracted, crippling me.

Months later, on a cold autumn night, I again met a man who had traveled miles to my city. We slowly walked side by side across the same great bridge. The lights from the steel beams twinkled and caught the light in his green eyes. My breath made puffy clouds in front of my red cheeks. We smiled and stared up at the city sky line. I barely noticed the steel frame that held above the river. The holes at our feet made me feel as if we were floating, the icy water seemed miles below my feet. That night, he looked deep into me and said, "It will be okay." My heart softened, my breath grew quite. No longer cynical, my hand reached to him and tucked safely under his arm for warmth.

Places- The Fountain

"The Fountain" was what we used to call it,
A waterwork of excitement tightly nested between rolling marble stairs.
It makes a beautiful indentation between two wings of government.
Lighted in the darkness,
It always shimmered.
It encouraged me to clear my thoughts.
We used to sit their for hours having long conversations.
Somehow it's watery presence encouraged our hearts to open.

We treasured you, more for memory.
It was the conversations we really cherished.
But now I act like all the other city dwellers;
I hurriedly pass by,
Hardly noticing the dance you perform,
Hardly remembering those once cherished exchanges.


I live in the city I grew up in,
There are hardly any paths in this city, that I haven't crossed.
So many memories are tied to the structures and rivers and even trees.
And yes, I'm an architectural nerd.
My heart beats faster at the site of a beautiful building.
This city is busy, but these places still captivate me,
They hold meaning to me.
It is in places, more than anything that I hold my emotions.
This city holds my memories and I love it.