Ophelia Gets Her Wings

I once knew a person
Named Ophelia

She worked for United Airlines
She was a stewardess
Or a flight attendant

She was many different
People at the same time

Ophelia refused
To become the pilot
She was born to be

She was too tired
To follow her dreams

All she wanted was
To sleep in the womb
Of the deepest sleep

She’s an angel now
I have her wings

Flowers In Despair

Welcome to the Motel California.
The Eagles have landed.

Joan Jett is leaving John Denver
On a Jefferson Airplane.

Rainy days and Mondays
Always get Karen Carpenter down.

Why do the Byrds suddenly appear
Every time Don Henley is near?

Welcome to the Motel California.
The Eagles have landed.

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear flowers in despair.

Endless Breadsticks

Snapping turtles
All the way
Down

Time to drain the mainframe
Time to shave the whales
Time to make the donut holes

Infinite repression
Edge of chaos
Circular guilt

Endless breadsticks
Free Wi-Fi
Surf and turf toe

It’s the summer of sixty-nine
It’s four-twenty somewhere
The rent is too damn high

I’m a bipolar bear
Eating fish
Out of water

My name is
Wet Willy or is it
Lazy Susan?

Mister Ed Sullivan

Whirlpools in a rushing river
No man’s land
This lamb is your lamb

Charlie McCarthy rides
Mister Ed Sullivan
Harder than Woody Woodpecker

Carnegie Hall wasn’t built
In a day it took practice
Practice practice

Let’s all go to Hobby Lobby
And grab ourselves
Some Chick-fil-A

Cigars! Cigarettes!
Cigars! Cigarettes!
This is not a pipe dream

A rooster
Eating crow
Pets a cockatoo

Mister Ed Sullivan
Leaves a jolly rancher
For a factory farmer

Tomorrow looks
Cloudy with a chance
Of mothballs

I’m itching
Like a beagle
In a fuzzy peach tree

Mister Ed Sullivan
Has left
The building

Soy Milk Duds

Too many cooks
In the kitchen sink

Too many forks
Too many knives

Too many forks
Spooning knives

Too many spoons
Forking knives

Too many bowls
Of rice cakes

Too many cups
Of sugar cubes

Too many soy
Milk Duds

Too many frosted
Wheat Thins

Too many green onions
Or are they chives?

Too many
Legs of lamb

Not enough hands
To pass the thyme

Vegan cheese?
No fucking whey!

Green onions
Give me hives

Sir Real And Miss Fortune

Sir Real says
There’s no place
Like home
Confinement

Miss Fortune says
I make a better trapdoor
Than a windowsill

I’m depressed
I’m an atheist
I think I’m God
I don’t believe in myself

Sir Real hits me
Where the landlord
Split me

Miss Fortune rubs me
The wrong way

I spill my guts
I spill my seed
I cry over sour
Grapes of wrath

When Sir Real slams
A trapdoor
Miss Fortune shatters
A windowsill

All I want is relief
From the burden
Of being me

All I want is relief
From the burden
Of seeking relief
From the burden
Of being me

All I want is relief
From the burden
Of being free
To choose my own
Confinements

Wounded Healers

Wounded healers
Accept we can’t
Ease suffering

Without easing
The suffering
Within ourselves

I’m a wounded healer
Practicing the art
Of suffering well

I see people in pain
But I can’t help them
Ease their suffering

I’m afraid I’m not
Strong enough
To help people heal

I’m afraid I might
Further wound
Those looking to heal

Wounded healers
Accept we can’t
Ease suffering

Without easing
The suffering
Within ourselves

Wounded healers
Taught me first
To heal myself

I’m a human being
Practicing the art
Of healing myself

No Angel

Every midnight
At the crack of dawn
My rooster yelps

There’s a monkey
On my back and a donkey
On his ass

I suspend
My belief
In gravity

Still I rise
Bound to fall

I ride my high horse
To the kitchen
For a bag of crumbs
And a sip of thirst

He draws me a bubble bath
Tells me I’m no angel
I’m a bird of prey
In a house that rattles

All I want is relief
From the burden
Of being me

All I want is a ceiling
On the floor
To rest my wings

Opposite Day

Same shit
Opposite day

I mistake a deep breath
For a panic attack.

Same shit
Opposite day

A repetitive poem
Repeats itself.

Same shit
Opposite day

A repetitive poem
Repeats itself.

Same shit
Opposite day

A history of trauma
Repeats itself.

Same shit
Opposite day

I take my life
One panic attack at a time.

Ode To Michael Stipe

Stand in the place
Where you work

That’s me
In the corner office
Losing my reflection

It’s the end of this ode
As we know it
And I feel fine

Kurt Cobain said
Everybody shits

Michael Stipe said
Everybody squirts

It’s the end of this ode
As we know it
And I feel fine

It’s the end of this ode
As I wrote it
And I feel divine

Thinner Than A Sliver

Thinner than a sliver of hope
I asked a sensitive soul
Walking on sunshine:

Which came first
The chicken
Or the egg on my face?

Which came first
Chicken wings
Or eggshells?

Which came first
Chicken fingers
Or chicken tenders?

Which came first
Hot wings and cold cuts
Or hot sauce and cold turkey?

Which came first
Walking on sunshine
Or walking on eggshells?

The weight of the world
Rests squarely on the shoulders
Of a sensitive soul

Still I rise
Thinner than
A sliver of hope

Hot Moms In Yoga Pants

Every night in a house that rattles
I suspend my belief in gravity.

Every night in a house that rattles
I take two pills and call
A priest in mourning.

Every night in a house that rattles
I mistake a pinch of salt
For a grain of sand.

Every night in a house that rattles
I sell sex toys and Tupperware
To hot moms in yoga pants.

Every night in a house that rattles
Alex Trebek answers my prayers
In the form of a question

Fats Domino and Little Richard
Play chubby checkers

And I mistake a grain of sand
For an hourglass.

Every night in a house that rattles
Popeye eats Olive Oyl
And a pound of spinach

I clutch my pearls of wisdom
Take two spills and cut
A rug on the ceiling.

Still I Rise

Empty mind
Of thoughts
Not mine

Empty reason
Empty rhyme

Every day
I take my life
One decade
At a time

Empty sky
Of sun
Not mine

Empty moon
Empty tide

Every day
I take my pills
One half-life
At a time

Empty ego
Empty pride

Empty mind
Of thoughts
Not mine

Every day
Uncertain
Still I rise
Full of life

Every day
Night falls
Still I rise

Nothing Light Is Heavy

Today I told my worries
Nothing light is heavy
If we take our time
And bear our burdens lightly

And I introduced each worry
To another worry
And I loved each worry
In a kind way lightly

And I told each worry
Nothing light is heavy
If we take our time
And bear our burdens lightly

Hope And Healing

I’ve been writing the same thing over and over for the last 15 years, and I’m tired. Today I feel less motivated to write anything beyond grocery lists and notes to myself. This is fine.

Next month I’m going back to school to become a Certified Recovery Support Specialist. I’ll get to use my lived experience with mental illness to help other people in their journeys through hope and healing.

I won’t update this blog much going forward, but readers can still find my favorite poems from 2019-2022, along with links to buy my books on Amazon.

For now, I want to close with the testimonial I wrote for the mental health center that changed my life: “I feel less ashamed about what happened to me in the past, and I’m excited to embrace my future.”

Update: On September 13, 2022, I changed my mind and made the entire blog public again.