Perfecting A Poem

Depression = Anxiety is too exhausted to end Anxiety.

Mania = Anxiety is up for three days. Perfecting a poem about Anxiety.

PTSD = Anxiety hurts Anxiety. Anxiety blames himself for creating Anxiety.

This is how
My day begins.

This is how
My day goes
Wrong.

This is how
My life bends.

With a whimper
And a bang.

Whimper.
Bang.

Vibrant Is The Rhythm

Vibrant is the rhythm
Of a valley on the rise
Winter is the silhouette
Of summer in disguise

Vibrant is the rhythm
Of a valley on the rise
Winter is the silhouette
Of summer in disguise

Passion is a seamstress
Scissoring the sky
Another button torn
Another zipper flies

Passion is a seamstress
Scissoring the sky
Another button torn
Another zipper flies

Winter kisses summer
Kissing is divine
Kissing is divine

Summer kisses winter
Where the sun
Don’t shine

Where the sun
Don’t shine
Kissing is divine

Generalized Anxiety

My brain drains my mind. I judge my inner critic. I blame myself for feeling guilty. Deaf is the blind man painting the sound of my dreams. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me. Silent are the letters in the poems I rhyme. My brain drains my mind. I’m too tired to dream of a better life.

My brain drains my mind. I judge my inner critic. I blame myself for feeling guilty. Deaf is the blind man painting the sound of my dreams. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m the opposite of fine. My brain drains my mind. I’m stuck. I’m lost. I’m falling behind.

My brain drains my mind. I judge my inner critic. I blame myself for feeling guilty. Deaf is the blind man painting the sound of my dreams. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me. Silent are the letters in the poems I rhyme. My brain drains my mind. I’m too tired to dream of a better life.

My brain drains my mind. I judge my inner critic. I blame myself for feeling guilty. Deaf is the blind man painting the sound of my dreams. I’m a big kid now. My thoughts think little of me. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m the opposite of fine. My brain drains my mind. This is my poem. Here’s the last line.

After Trauma

1.

Every day after trauma is another day to heal.
When I suffered flashbacks as a child, I curled up
into a ball and became, for a moment, an object.

Today when the world overwhelms me, I curl up
into a ball and become, for a moment, an object.
To come back to life, I breathe in and breathe out.

2.

When a friend falls apart and their hope shatters,
their falling apart happens in the same world
where I once fell apart, too. Our coming apart,

individually, comes together in the nick of time.
I befriend a process of trauma and recovery.
I give myself time. I hope for more hope.

3.

Trauma exists but so does love. Love can feel
traumatic to those who feel unworthy of love,
but everyone deserves to love and be loved.

To keep hope alive, I breathe in and breathe out.
Sometimes I curl up into a ball to protect myself.
Every day after trauma is another day to heal.

Not OK Millennial

A careless millennial
Stores dirty pictures
On password-protected
Hard drives he can’t access
Without making a mess
Which his boomer dad
Says is frustrating
From first-hand experience
Which is perfectly normal
But not OK with his mother
Standing in the doorway

Recipe For Disaster

After everyone’s left
For the evening
A fed-up busboy
At a less-than-fine
Establishment
Drinks a bottle of wine
And sleeping pills
From a gravy boat
And falls to his knees
Because he can’t stand
Among other things
Another shitty night
Washing paper plates
On an empty stomach
Counting parsley flakes
Measuring thyme
And sweeping the floor
Under the rug
But the kitchen’s closed now
He couldn’t stand the heat
He doesn’t care
He made a mess
And left behind
Among other things
His resignation letter
And a recipe for disaster

During This Pandemic

The therapist I’m working with
Over the phone during this pandemic
Helps me so much with my illness
But sadly I almost missed connecting with her
Because the first time she called
An automated voice answered
And said my number
Didn’t accept calls marked anonymous
Then hung up on her
I had no idea this happened
Until I called the clinic
To say no one had returned
My call from two weeks ago
Even though I left my name and number
Along with a brief message
This time thankfully I got a live person
A case manager who told me my therapist
Whose name I didn’t know at the time
Tried calling me twice but both times
An automated voice informed her
My number didn’t accept calls
Marked anonymous
I said sorry that happened to her
But the case manager said not to worry
Just kindly inform the phone company
I want to receive anonymous calls
Because therapists calling clients from home
Need their numbers to remain anonymous
So following the case manager’s advice
I removed the feature preventing me
From connecting with my therapist
Whose name I’ll never forget
But want to remain anonymous
And thankfully the next day
My therapist got in touch with me
And I said sorry I missed her twice
But she said not to worry
And now we talk honestly
For an hour every week
And like I said earlier
She helps me so much with my illness
Which sometimes makes me talk
So fast I need to catch my breath
Which a lot of people find hard to do
During this pandemic

How To Learn Remotely

first make sure everyone can hear you
then ask for a little help
with a fuzzy math problem like

how long did it take Shakespeare to spell
nonsense in a hot bowl of alphabet soup
count three hares on a rabbit’s foot
and kiss his lucky ass goodbye

then because it’s your God-given right
to deny the separation of Church and State
explain Genesis to your baroque music teacher
a Peter Gabriel fan
like he’s a child

then with two unnumbered pencils
compose a five-syllable essay
describing how it felt
to slide with your absent father
down bamboo chutes and ladders
in the blink of an eye

then enjoy a game of freeze tag
alone
inside