journal / unedited grief / days 1+2



This is shock Is this shock
tingling in my limbs my fingers
that celery bad idea. it’s in my throat something coming up the vibrations in my body bring it, bringing it to the surface my legs walked me here, well, legs, were they mine? crumpled to the floor, how did I get there?  hand on mouth a sob escapes the voice still speaking. They say that’s what it’s like..speaking but not hearing. I understand now. I feel it now. Is this grief? Welling up pushing up forcing up my esophagus which is what started the problem but on the other end going the other way that started the tear the chain reaction the hospital waiting room waiting waiting but we thought they said… no but the dream… the hope… the end… the beginning…no the end “the uncomfortable truth”
“there might be other factors in motions”
I am in class and they are talking and I am here and I am not and “that’s what he says by his body”
“adjacent to, alongside, within the space”
“it’s always gonna belong to that person”
should I be in the car? on the way to roanoke? I haven’t taken my meds. Do I make food? Buy flowers? Sit here? Keep writing. I can’t breathe. My eyes are stinging.
“the disconnect between the literal action and the imaginative (?) action is so wide” / “erased them” / “bold of her to do this”

“if you let in the excess emotion you will recall the Atlantic Ocean breaking on our heads.”
“a strange reverie”
“sit down and pull together”

such a sunny day for her to die. Is that God smiling? Does God smile? Is the sun happy? Is God the sun? Where is she? Who is she? Is she being born? Is she who she was? Eternal self still self reunited, never un-united. Can a mom be a butterfly?
This isn’t actual processing because it still feels fake and I’m making the motions that seem like healthy motions because you’re supposed to process, right? You’re supposed to sit on a bench in the sun and just write about your feelings, right? Gotta do all those steps of grief quickly so you can be sturdy for everyone else… you aren’t even her daughter, she wasn’t even your mom…but yes, she was and is and…
she’s in heaven right? Celebrate right? hope right? rejoice right? death…dEATh…death…saying it enough will rid it of emotion right?


its the weight of this death
and the death of your grandfather
and the twin you did ballet with
and the glassiness of his eyes and the quiver of her lips
and the shaking of their shoulders
pressing in and down and causing the sigh
breathing is not enough
or too much
or maybe I am holding my breath
waiting for the news
because this isn’t the end
though it is
for them
no, it’s only the beginning
of the sighing, crying, goodbyeing
somewhere in us we know
we know this one
and that one
they are all were will be
and nothing
they change everything
and nothing
because life goes on
they say
tomorrow will come
they say
but what they don’t say is this weight
this weight of all you’ve loved and lost
the weight of seeing him in the wooden box
peering over the edge
your sister on tiptoe
touching his hand
standing in a room of caskets
“this one’s pretty”
watching tears shed
the weight of the dirt
and the tears
and the newly bought plot
the weight of the shuffling feet
and the “I’m so sorry”s
and the hands on shoulders, knees, arms…
the weight never really leaves
it just piles on
keeps piling
(how will the grass ever grow?)
until one day I, we won’t feel that weight anymore will feel all that weight always will be that weight.
We’ll be weighted and floating and nothing and everything. We’ll be on our backs in that room with the man with the teeth too spread apart whose job is to make up our face make up life and peace and rest make up enough color, not blue, enough color, rosy, so we can greet everyone coming…coming to see and cry and put their hands on shoulders and knees uttering so so sorry’s…

sliding the matchstick back into its matchbox
feminine though, it needs to be feminine
it needs to be sturdy to keep the weight of the feet and the tears and the grief of the children and husband and parents from pressing in and crushing her already frail frame
(always put your toys away when you’re done playing with them
back in their boxes. buried treasure. time capsule)
what will he do in this house all alone?
what will be do without his bride?
’til death parts up. then what?
you see someone, half someone, half there because their other half has a hair appointment tomorrow…and plans to get the mortician’s makeup.

journal / unedited grief / days 1+2

Who are you anyway? // Wannabe (Armantrout)

poem collage 2_Page_1poem collage 2_Page_2


The most recent assignment for the contemporary poetry class I am in this semester.  We were supposed to collage a poem using single lines from existing work, primarily from the poets we have read in class.  The ones that I threw in there were Infinite Jest, Alice in Wonderland, Waiting for Godot, and The Stranger.  Cheating, perhaps, as those aren’t necessarily considered poetry… but rules are made to be broken, right? Let me know your thoughts!

Who are you anyway? // Wannabe (Armantrout)

damn dandelions


lessons in a language
I never learned.
must have missed that day
when they taught
the tongue of temporality.

now, nature notices
my deficiency.
damn dandelions
flaunting their inability
to hold on
yet somehow still
rooted, remembered, resilient.

it’s just a season
the new buds whisper,
hold loosely
as they flutter in the breeze
this too shall pass
falling, falling

if only
I (the roots, the rock) reply
envious of their freedom
to move on
thriving in change
forgetting just enough

if only
I reply

damn dandelions

Quiz Poem


So… for a quiz the other day in Contemporary Poetry class we were supposed to write a poem (in class), choosing from a list of topic/option/experiments based on ideas from C.D. Wright and Rae Armantrout. It felt a little frantic…trying to compose something sitting in a stiff desk, in a mediocre classroom setting, surrounded by peers, in an hour… but also it was really interesting and kind of fun. Definitely not the best thing I have ever written, but it was way more than I thought I would be able to pull from one random event. The experiment option that I chose was to take a sentence and basically transform it over and over again to create a poetic…poem… So, here it is:

Walking to class, we made eye contact twice.
I connected with a stranger on the sidewalk,
unintentionally at first,
but then intentionally.
random gaze met, dropped, met again – no longer random.
stranger interactions have happened
than this commonplace double-take this morning.
under the stormy sky I found a friend, unknown to me,
smiling with thoughts of rain.
surprise turned to warmth when the distance was closed
through being seen and seeing.
(was this cheating on my husband,
to brush a random guy on the street with my gaze
and allow him to reciprocate?)
grey sky, usual banter,
I was so absorbed in my thoughts
that when I accidentally met the eye of a dark-haired boy
I was shaken – looking down
in a socially appropriate amount of time – but then
when I glanced back up,
I found that he had too.

Quiz Poem