It’s easy to forget a broken heart. Until the glass breaks, and the neon rivers out onto the sun scorched streets. Then you remember. You remember every time. Drive in movies at the West Wind. “Now showing, Broken Hearts of a Time Long Passed: 1-6.” Six screens – six broken hearts. They weren’t all yours. But you’re the only one watching.
And yet again we learn,
people do not love broken things.
They do not keep broken things.
A broken glass, girl, or gate,
all of them need to be replaced.
A broken thing will never last.
Hopeless heroine. It’s too late to decide, if that’s the hero or the drug. 1am sounds like demons laughing from inside my head. Quiet them. Drown them. I see them crawling from the corners of my eyes. When I look nothing is there. There it is again. The scratching. They’re crawling through my hair. Everyone says the bugs are all in my head. They don’t exist. Everyone gets itchy.
On Rainbow we passed it, the Star Tunnel park, stars shining under a sun lit day. The warmth radiating from under the tunnel was real.
Children spinning, toppling over, running through green grass. Mumbled gossip in the sand. Drowned out. There was you and there was me.
I can’t do it anymore.
Eyes dimmed. Gray. Everything.
This is the only time I’ve ever really needed you.
The children playing in the dark roller rink. Balls chaotic, flying about the rink. Greater concentration to lesser concentration. War broke. There was only one ball left.
Lungs frozen. Breath escaping into the park. We walked that track so many times. The flowering trees didn’t look so green anymore.
That’s part of the problem.
You stopped looking like you. Blank, crying, you said we had to keep walking the park. I needed a minute on the bench.
Concrete. You. Gray and cold. The cold didn’t even register. The tunnel was dimming and everything was blank.
There was you and there was me.
Fading ghosts. The navy blue dress, hair all in curls, snapshot. A boy in a tree, all smiles and waving, snapshot. Two people in love enjoying the breeze, snapshot.
I guess that’s it then.
There was me.
Hovering in gray. Pulled in by the last star, still yellow on the blue tunnel skies. Floating, a fading ghost holding the final star.
I can’t find number five. One, two, three, four. The owl is here again tonight. Two moons like headlights on the old highway. The one that took me the back way through the rural parts of Victorville. He isn’t happy with me. He rarely ever is. One more drink? You obviously have no problem finding that number five. I hate that fucking owl. One, two, three, four. He’s crouched there beside the door – like the guy from the break in. You remember him right? Dark corners breed darker thoughts. If you don’t let him in he can’t see you. He couldn’t. That wasn’t the point. Did he tell you that’s his van right there? He didn’t. Sleeping sheep are soft and sweet when wild wolves are wily. They keep me from sleep. I watch the movies project from the whites in my eyes onto the unlit ceiling. Those nights in the RV. The ones where I cried to fall asleep. Sad eyes are tired eyes. It’s hard to think they never heard me. The dancing reflection of the highway on the ripples in the pool, seen through teary eyes and he was there too. Waving from the post. Sleep. Sheep. One. He moved again. I lost him. Two. Maybe if I shut my eyes. Three. I know he’s just behind them. Remember? Remember? Let the sheep free. Now where has four gone off to?
There is something tragically beautiful about a hurricane.
Power. Unpredictability. Clouds like soft blankets draped across
the ceiling creating a wonderland of unknown excitement. Light
peaking in through the creases. Hearing the world around you
just go on – without you. He was screaming about me existing
in my little fort. Too old to hide from the world, but too sad
to face it. I don’t know. I guess temporary is also really beautiful.
Hurricanes end. Blanket forts fall.
Alone at my desk (often a metaphorical desk), I attempt to release my troubles into hidden imagery and flowery metaphors all slapped onto a lyrical base that allows my ever flowing mind to tether itself into reality. Poetry isn’t meant to follow rules, or be confined by someone else’s idea about what “good” poetry is. Grow but don’t submit. If you love the way it sounds when lines are crafted and calculated to specific words and rhyme scheme, do it. If you love the way a poem comes together when you abandon rhyme and form, do it. Poetry is about self-expression. That means yourself, not the reader, not the critics, YOU.
Not everyone is going to like your poetry and not everyone is going to “get it”. However what does “getting it” even really mean? You adequately stiff armed the reader into understanding your poem as your wrote it? You made the poem so obviously singular that to not “get it” is impossible? I say abandon meaning entirely. I write my poems from my perspective, from a real and personal part of my brain that cannot ever be truly understood by anyone. I choose to hide in my poems, and for those who are brave enough, noble enough, screwed up emotionally enough (just kidding… kind of), I urge you to come find me. For everyone else, take what you need and leave what you don’t. As a reader, I do the same. I look for what I can of the poet, and then I filter through the imagery, rhyme, and sentiment applying it directly to my own life experience. Poetry is a scavenger hunt, choose your own adventure, epic quest for meaning in life. That means your life, not the writers, not the critics, YOURS.