Tracing Racing Thoughts

1.

To talk on my phone first phones needed to be
invented the inventor of the phone was born
after his parents all this happened way before
I was born to use my phone I pay lots of money
but money doesn’t grow on trees people say
squirrels live in trees rent free that’s just nuts.

I asked my therapist over the phone today why
I can’t stop tracing my racing thoughts she said
trauma causes anxiety try placing my thoughts
on clouds and letting them pass trauma sucks
I said it makes me sad that’s why I write poems
squirrels hate poems squirrels are fucking nuts.

2.

To talk on my phone first phones needed to be
invented the inventor had to exist his parents
had to exist before I was born people made up
words I use them to communicate I need money
to pay my bills but money doesn’t grow on trees
they say squirrels live in trees rent free how nuts.

I asked my therapist over the phone today why
I can’t stop tracing my racing thoughts she said
trauma causes anxiety try placing my thoughts
on clouds and letting them pass trauma is bad
to feel better I write poems squirrels can’t write
poems like me so what squirrels are fucking nuts.

3.

To talk on my phone first phones needed to be
invented before that the inventor was born but
after his parents were born I was born to write
poems I need words to express myself but words
I learned recently don’t grow on trees they say
squirrels live in trees rent free wow that’s nuts.

I asked my therapist over the phone today why
I can’t stop tracing my racing thoughts she said
trauma causes anxiety try placing my thoughts
on clouds and letting them pass now I’m writing
this poem it’s almost finished squirrels don’t care
for poems to be honest squirrels are fucking nuts.

Every Moment Is Sacred

I’m an artist. A poet. I find it hard to stop
my mind from out-thinking me
from time to time.

Not everyone gets depressed like me.
Or anxious like me. But few people feel
the universe flowing through them like me.

I can’t imagine not feeling things
in the extreme. I take the lows knowing
the highs aren’t far behind.

My life is a work of art. Every moment is sacred.
As long as I’m kind and doing my best
every day, I’m living the life I want.

Generalized Anxiety

My brain is choking my mind. I blame myself for feeling
guilty. I judge my inner critic. My thoughts think little
of me. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me.
I’m a big kid now. Deaf is the blind man painting
the sound of dreams. My tongue is choking my throat.
My soul is a ghost. I think too fast. I can’t stop writing
about the moon. Oops. I did it again. Write about the
sun of God instead. Write about the birds and the bees.
How the captain of my boat pierces my sails and swallows
the breeze. How the brain of my soul is choking my mind.
I’m a big kid now. A big kid now. I think too fast. My ghost
has no soul. I’m too tired to dream. I’m too lazy to make
my poems rhyme. I can’t stop writing about writing about
writing. My brain drains my mind. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.
Everything’s fine. In poems empty space follows the last line.

Peter Pandemic

Peter Pandemic
falls from the sky

the sky has pink eye
for the millionth time

birds cough on bees
sneezing in trees

does the sun wear a mask?
don’t even ask

the moon begged him
a million times

birds sneeze on bees
coughing in trees

the sun in sweatpants
moons the sky

Peter Pandemic
you guessed it

has pink eye
for the millionth time

Rock & Roll Psalm

I don’t write poems I write rock & roll songs
Long-short short-long rock & roll songs
I don’t like poems I love rock & roll songs
Long-short short-long rock & roll psalms

I don’t write poems I write rock & roll songs
Long-short short-long rock & roll songs
A poem’s no fun you can’t sing along
Poems are dumb the words are too long

I don’t write poems I sing rock & roll songs
Dylan the poet writes rock & roll songs
Shakespeare was cool don’t get me wrong
This isn’t a poem it’s a rock & roll psalm

Right Now

Right now is Batman tying up Robin? Is Joaquin Phoenix
doing stand-up comedy? Is Elmer Fudd, a notorious
neat freak, hunting dust bunnies? Where’s Ralph Waldo
Emerson right now? Is Walt Whitman shaving his beard?

How many Willows are weeping? How many Adams
are splitting bananas? How many Jacks are changing
flat tires? Of those Jacks, how many know a jazzman?
Of those Jacks—who are changing flat tires right now
and know a jazzman—how many only date girls named Jill?

Is Forrest Gump saving Private Ryan? Is Tom Hanks telling
Matt Damon World War II wasn’t his fault? Is Ben Affleck
still a prick? No need to answer that, Batman. Of course Ben
Affleck is still a prick. Now let Robin go. He can’t feel his beak.

Remove Me From Your List

Spam. It stinks. Spam in my inbox. Spam on my blog. WordPress.
So depressed. Google stressed. Hackers. Slackers. Bad foreign actors.
Grumpy Cat phishing schemes on big screen live streams. Cease
and desist. Unsubscribe me. Count me out. Remove me from your list.

Is this spam? No, it’s a note from Jeff Bezos. Was my delivery guy nice?
Like the postman, did he ring twice? Package damaged? Bummer.
Jeff can fix it. Here, enter my Social Security number. Use both hands.
Not just the last four digits. Jeff, you little rascal, don’t share the size
of my underwear. You have nothing to gain, asking about my Hanes.
Unsubscribe me. Count me out. Remove me from your wish list.

Spam. Snail mail. Escargot. That’s precious cargo. How much is this
gonna cost me, bro? Hey Snowden! I’m no chump. Don’t document
my dumps. Don’t slam my poetry. Don’t mock my odes. Leave
my epic haiku sonnets alone. While you’re at it, untap my phone.
Unsubscribe me. Count me out. Remove me from your shit list.

Spam. It bytes. Clickbait and switch. Trojan horses on porno sites.
My eye pad WikiLeaks. Text a giant techno geek. Some whiz kid
in Belarus stole my name. Has he no shame? He must be bored.
Being me, I mean. My hard drive. My flipping floppy disks. Wiped
them clean. Unsubscribe me. Count me out. The real me, I mean.
Eating tacos in Chicago. He’s never been to Springfield, let alone Minsk.

The People I Love

Lately, I feel the need to tell
the people I love how much I love them.
The people I love need to know
I love them when they feel alone.

Lately, when I feel alone I picture
the faces of the people I love,
beautiful faces not unlike my own.
I see my reflection in the eyes
of the people I love, and I feel
more connected, less alone.

Lately, I hear the people I love
speaking to me, in my own voice.
They beg me to repeat their names
to remember they’re not alone.
Everyone has a voice, let’s not forget,
and a name, and every word we speak
contains traces of all the letters
in every name we call our own.
I love the names of the people I love.
I repeat them to myself.
I picture the people I love, in front of me now,
mouthing the letters of my name exactly
as this poem sounds.

Lately, I wonder if the people I love
hear my voice or if they simply hear
the sound of my voice, speaking directly
to their pain and suffering and joy.
I wonder if the people I love know
how much I love them, how often
they save my life, and help me survive.
I want to repeat, all at once,
all the names of all the people I love.
I want the people I love to recognize
the sound of my voice long after I lose
my voice, and my life is no longer mine alone.

Promise To Whisper

We’re living like strangers
In a house with thin walls

Loose change on the nightstand
Dust in the corner of our eyes

Let’s pause our devices
Put the kids to bed

Go downstairs quietly
And count our blessings

Let’s touch the things
We love the most

The things we’ve broken
The things we refuse to fix

Holes in the hearth
Cracks in the ceiling

Let’s share a bottle of wine
Shake the dust from our eyes

Admire the mess we make
Each day of our beautiful lives

You say come with me
I’ll say come for me

If you promise to whisper
Come here and make me

The Authentic Me

Today I’m thankful for my poetry. I’m thankful for readers who hear the sound of my voice and recognize the authentic me. I’m thankful that whatever happens going forward I’ll be OK. In the context of my recovery from childhood abuse, OK means I’m safe from harm.

Something’s changed recently. Something powerful. I feel comfortable in my own skin. After years of practicing mindfulness, I know how to soothe myself. In stressful situations I remember to slow down and catch my breath. Today I’m free to move through the world at my own pace, open to hope and creativity.

As for my abuser, fuck him. Has he published four books? What does he know about poetry?