Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Laundry Hampers Are Full, and Other Complaints

So, it's another one of those age-old questions: is the glass half-full or half-empty? It's supposed to be a way to tell if you're a pessimist or an optimist... There are, however, flaws in that system. See the photo to the left. Mathematically, technically speaking, the glass is always 100% full. It was never specified which substance was being identified and measured. So, does that make someone a realist? Most people would say that makes them a smartass. I think it means that they're analytical. What about people who say it's half full? Maybe they're thirsty. Maybe they are thinking in terms of potential capacity. That could also be potential capacity to muck things up - it's possible to spill what's left, to somehow taint what's in there, etc. These are the things that would go unnoticed in a "half full" answer, incorrectly leading one to come to "ah, an optimist!" conclusion, nevermind the horrible possibilities that are chugging through the respondent's head. As for "half empty," that person may be thinking of where to fill the glass, or what they would do with the remaining liquid, hence making an optimist out of a seeming pessimist.

A true realist, I think, would bypass the smartassery of "well, technically it's completely full," the "half full" or "half empty" (no matter what the background dialogue) and ask a more important question - is the liquid drinkable/what is in said glass? To me, I think that if it's full of sulfuric acid, that thing is half full of death and get it away from me, quickly. I think that if it's used cooking oil, I don't give a crap how full or empty it is - I have no use for it. If it's water, and if I'm not too thirsty, sure - gimme some of that half full awesomeness. You get my point. The only point at which I think I would say it was half EMPTY is if I had myself consumed the missing portion. Otherwise, hey... Half of something you didn't have a second ago is plus one half.

And that's not optimism, that's common sense.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Healthier Panic

Rapid fire reminders define ensnare
the remains of ensuring I left
either the wordsmith and shutterking

I'm an easier adversary than others
Is that because we can't talk like adults?
We have no place in life for people like us

Simple slamming heartattack cure
please of this getting up to look
I remember you pulling up to the door

Everything gets disheveled so I
organize everything beyond recognition
and I surely haven't seen you in a while

My childlike delight had nothing -
or very little to do - with some cosmic
"fate" but just enough sparring, just

Enough hurt to reel me in when I
was still raw enough to like the slap
of the door always closing in my face

Monday, June 27, 2011

in commiseration I was told, "the cop yelled 'You're not even wearing your seatbelt!'"

Je m'ennuie de mon démon

Slink, sinking memories,
into the moment;
sunset on a long drive
shivered in
your slick presence
there is a hole

where I wish
this deep well
with its cracks
its missing bricks
please retain
please retain

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dear Town of Newton:

I was wondering if I could inquire about your noise ordinance laws: why aren't there any? This town is centered toward family living - the "county seat," as it is called, should be a true center of the county, offering not only commerce but calm. I do not understand why, when one should call the cops on a neighbor who is blasting their music so loudly that one can hear it just as clear as day at 1:30 in the morning (when one has to be up early in the morning), one should be told that there's really very little that can be done aside from getting the caller's own telephone number and location for "statistic purposes." I have to say, though, that your profile on city-data leads me to believe that it was a minor oversight, the lack of noise ordinance laws. Perhaps it's just so quiet on a normal basis that it was not particularly necessary to bring these ordinances into being. I do wonder, though. Moreover, it would be nice if your DPW personnel could refrain from damaging the town watermain when doing routine work. Water is sort of one of those little things we call "necessities" in most circles.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's like a car with a flat wheel.

"But You Have to Trust People; It's Part of Life"

What is it,
to be afraid?
It is seeing lipid eyes
and wanting to run
run, run, run
(as he said)
with haste, far away.
You've seen
those eyes before.
You've seen how
far away they can get.

It is feeling someone
touch your shoulder
and feeling blood run
run, run, run
(as he instructed)
from the face, pounding
in the chest.
You've felt
that touch before.
You've felt
the hideousness
of its absence.

It is hearing a soft voice
trying to convince you
not to flee, but to stay
and hearing
in another sweet voice,
a similarly soft voice,
one full of smiles
and wishes
and promises of
that abstract "all,"
owner of the touch
that melted stone
that cracked the sun
that froze your eyes
o the voice that said,
the voice that
so softly intoned:, run, run.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Small Work-Related Rant

Morning from hell. I don't think I'll ever feel like I do my job right some days.

I was trying to get a kid out of where they did not belong this morning because no one had stopped her from going in there, and someone else swooped in and babied her and got her to move. Completely defeated the purpose of how I was handling her and made me feel like an ass in front of new line staff... The question in the back of my mind is: how are they going to handle a situation like this? I talked to them later (the swooping-in staff) and they apologized, but in my head the damage was done. (I was a supervisor and they were line staff.)

The kid wrapped their arm around the arm of the swooping staff and walked out of the room - as they were doing this, the kid stuck their tongue out at me. Obviously the kid knew what the heck they were doing and were just having an issue for the sake of being combative. I immediately said to the staff, "I need to talk to you," so I think the message may have gotten across to new staff there that something was amiss but I hate feeling like the situation was undercut. That paticular kid always gets coddled (even I have been guilty of it!!!) and it's exactly why she does whatever she wants - becauase she knows that we will bend and play to get her to do what needs to be done.

The kid called me a bitch for the rest of my shift and was obstinate when she should have understood that her behavior was unacceptable. Instead of targeting me, I feel that she should have gotten it clear as day that it isn't okay to just do whatever the heck she feels like doing. Now I just look like a bad guy.

Don't get me wrong - I don't care if they're mad at me over me doing my job. I've been told that if they don't call you a bitch then you're not doing your job right. I just wish I'd had backup instead of a swoop-in.

I told the replacing supervisor that this playing around to get her to cooperate has to stop because it's reinforcing nothing at all.

I talked with another staff member after the fact, one who works on the school part of the facility, and they said that the school staff call this kid out on bad behaviors, and it helps - that all playing around does is reinforce the bad behaviors.

The worst part for me is that whole thing made me feel like an asshole.

The staff who'd stepped in said well if she is classified DD then maybe playing is what the kid needs to cooperate. I said that's no way to live, to never learn and to always have everything played up to her. That isn't functional - it's a quick fix. Besides. Even low-functioning people can understand the difference between right and wrong. At this point, it's just manipulation on the part of the kid.

My concern is the kid will think that people are toys. That she will experience a loss of respect for others and especially for rules and structure - some of the goals of our specific program.

I just feel like I can't do my job or that I am not doing it right because it's not "what gets it done right now." I have had standoffs with this kid before and those issues do not arise again when I am on shift. I am worried that these issues will arise again and I will have to regain footing that I didn't even have in the first place.

A different staff I was talking to did say, when I expressed concerns over how I do my job, "I have seen you 'in action' and believe me you are very good at your job. To the point that I am impressed." I just wish I knew what it meant anymore, to be good at it. I do try to keep order and to make the kids feel appreciated. I know I did really well with another kid this morning but... Sometimes things are not consistent. That make things difficult.

It's not like we are folding t-shirts. These are people, guys. And we have limited time to fix things - or to help them fix things! - because they can age out of the program.

The kids from time to time complain of feeling like people who work there, by and large, don't care. That --- I was going to say "frustrates," but I think it mostly makes me hurt, for them.

That is a hard thing to admit.

I know that a lot of the staff - including the one from the situation this morning - care a lot about the kids. But it's also true that to some people, it's just a job for a job or a stepping stone on a resume. The hardest part is reconciliation of the people who care, with situations in which I don't agree with the approach. Am I then, I wonder, doing my job right? Then that would mean others are not. Or is it just differing styles? I wish I knew. That bothers me a lot. I don't want to think I am doing my job "right" or doing it "well" if it implies others are not.

Healthcare, or working with other people in hopes of helping them, is a very difficult field to be in.

But over all of this, perhaps the greatest irony is: I love my job.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Piece of Conversation

(I said)
I love walking
in wet weather;
I don't think I am
even being sarcastic here -
I mean,
after you're wet and muddy
you can't get much
wetter than wet
muddier than muddy
the shower when you get home
is exquisite.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

all of the things i've been writing left out that little fact of my non-communication

Pick it up at the post office

And what is missing
is what was missing
that is to say
what I should say

Friday, May 6, 2011

Words, words, words.

But It Certainly Does Endure

Time passes and makes your memory a dollhouse,
all tiny manipulatives and desperate to-the-left-of.
There I am, standing in a doorway - forever in a doorway -
never admitted to any room, always moved to thresholds.
Is it "pawn"? To never admit me, to always leave me
waiting at a precipice? I would wait until colors fade,
until these waxen arms melt, until these eyes go grey.
You do not allow for such sacrificial play within
the plasticine diorama. No. There - close softly
the house in on itself; I, standing in cusps - you,
sitting at the desk of executive decisions, moving
figures. Dollhouses are crypts for dreaming, idle
playgrounds of ships passing the shores of "could-be."
Silence closes the house; silence closes the sails.
Silence in the foundations. Dolls stand still. Dolls
are folded over and idle to gather dust. Gather dust.
Gather silence and clasp it with motionless hands.
Gather within a picture of your hands, around my throat.
Pantomime resistance. The struggle was a dollhouse
pigmentation, sailing ghost ships, but I suppose, now,
that the choking was real. Gather, memory. Gather, dust.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Small Thought

I think I am writing about it just to write about it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"At one point I'm pretty sure I said, 'Go fuck a duck you ducking fuck'"

Incidentally, Most Days I Feel Quite Peaceful

I don't talk to myself
very often these days

I write

some simple words
every night before bed
and shut the book before
it gets to be too honest

but today

I woke and cleaned the drawer
of bills, old things, and et ceteras

came across

some cards and before
I could box away that
urge they were
flung forth and I was


in the rose madder of the
curtain I drew across all of it
wearing the same pajamas
I've had for three spins

of this;

My Rolodex memory and I are at war
but the
I is determined to have My say.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


There is no poetry in this

only a winter of listening
where boxes are packed
with folded-over flaps
no tape

it is a farce
these things inside
will escape
sit at my lap
staring patiently
as hungry lost kittens do

most of the world is
lonely corners
I sit
on the smoker's bench
an old imagining
you pull into
the lot
I can see your eyes
walk faster

spring shoves
with a cool edge
past and through
this goes with it
there is now only
the smell
of summer approaching
not you

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In the Book of Your Life, This Chapter Would Probably Be: Revisiting Your Old Rage[Page]

And When I Saw that Note I Knew

the cleft of my lip
nor brown myopic shine
the delta to sip
nor the delicate "kind"
the swell of my hip
nor the knarl of my mind
made it enough

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Twelfth Poem 2011

A Poet on Loss

you'd sell the part
that makes the words
just to hear her again

Thursday, March 31, 2011

interesting old thing

Sometimes, Something

Wed Jan 26, 2011, 2:47 PM
  • Mood: Daily Needs
parameters of "perfection"
mistakes, elsewhere
where I am in life
his talk and lacquer
expectations, goals
drive and "stubborn"
hobbies, mundane
number of years I lost myself

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

UT17: Another Ghost from the Vault

Written (or last revised, from what I can tell) 9/7/2010

Besides, We Thread Needles

We bury our parents behind the garden gate,
interred beneath roses and shields. My mother
is the rose. Fragrant. We forgive the obvious; we
forgive the pricks. Your father is the shield. This
is a wall. This is a step into a glass door. I
make a promise with cigarettes on highways
that glass is still transparent.

I make a promise with cigarettes on highways,
a trail-smattering to thread this needle - the needle
that fell; the needle that, I tell you in thimbled smirks,
has somehow threaded itself. Smoke tendrils up
past the small cherry glows, piercing its way through
muddling smog of the cityscape lines behind.

UT16: A Blast from the Writing Past

A series I wrote for an expressed purpose during the month of June in 2010.

The Apartment/The Beginning:
A Single Bar of Amber Light Lit Upon Your Sleeping Face

I am an empty glass bottle rolling along
asphalt; I hit the curb and tinkle apart
into intricate-sounding shards. I am
the vessle and the destroyer. I am
knitting to pass the time, counting
pearls of night-sampling the small
corner of mouth, the delicate smile.
I am the wounded teeth's apprentice,
the writer of a song written a year
and a day too right; I sing the lullaby
as a secret into the night air and I am
shards of a loosely knit wish to survive.

The Hospital & The House:
A Smell Like My Grandmother's Laundry Room

Hiding behind my lips was a jump to the feet
and a protestation: "But don't agree; your
basement smells like the inside of memory;
your hands feel like snuggling into bed
early in the morning,
and oh the mouth, the mouth is
the champagne-cola water ice I would share
poolside in the summer";
instead I kept my hands
folded politely,
on the fringe of twiddling thumbs,
idly staring at the static
behind your beautiful eyes,
and told you I understand, I understand
if you need to leave now.

The House/The Bunker:
The Door Closes/The Walls Return

If only this poem never were; if only
the ending were different, as it stands
now. I am no longer a green light
seen at night in New York City;
I am no longer a hand to hold
in a dark bedroom, a movie theater;
no longer a leg to lay an idle
hand upon in a moment of silence -
I am, instead, the moment of silence.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

UT15: The System (and [Not] Letting it Get the Better of You)

I have been feeling lost, lately. You ever get that feeling? Well, I think that the time to be lost needs to get lost.

It's wacky, how everything can add up, how things can bleed into all other aspects of life. There's work, learning, friends, family, loves, past, future... All with the present and what that means for all those other aspects – hopes, disappointments, expectations, just the ideas involved. It can be hard to find balance in any one thing, let alone all of it. So what are we to do? My thought, after processing some very important information, some outside examples of everyday life and relating, is the only thing we can do – the best we can.

This, to me, means respecting what you have, when you have it. Separating it, too, to an extent. My job isn’t my whole life; likewise, neither is anything else. But it’s all a part, and in their own ways, equally important.

It means appreciating things for what they are and why they’re there in the first place – as well as why you keep them, why they matter. Respect is utilization as well as separation. It’s not fair to anything if when interacting with it, you’re piling other things and other applied meanings on top of it.

It would be fair to say some things influence others – our familial relationships, for example, serving as a basis for how we interact with friends. This is, however, not to be the ultimate governing rule of those interactions, but merely a framework. Maybe a lesson of how to care in certain ways or what not to do in certain regards – but ultimately, the governing force should be the interaction itself.

It’s so easy to let stressors, ideations, successes, and the myriad of all other things “life” bleed over from one aspect to another – but this is not in itself a fair and moral way to live. The most “righteous” path, I think, in terms of “righteous” being “just,” would be to take all facets of life for what they are. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less. Be cognizant of their own intrinsic value and merit, be aware of their own separate meaning. This way, perhaps, life can move such as a clock, all parts working together yet on their own purpose, with the aim of moving the whole works along, keeping time and ticking off days.

Perhaps this is the way to live, I think. It's been an idea in me, for quite some time... But this is the first time that it's become something I can voice. I have hopes for writing this, yes.

I hope it helps you, too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

UT14: Sixth Poem 2011

In the battle of phobias, abandonment is king.

I am afraid of the dark; the chittering scuttlings,
the creaks of an old house. I sleep with my feet
tucked into the blankets. I have to close
my closet door, or I can't sleep.

I avoid cardboard boxes on the road
because I think there may be
a litter of newborn kittens inside.

I don't like talking to people who
give only one-word answers; what
are those clipped phrases hiding?

I am afraid of the dark; the cluttering chill,
the spooks of an old day. I sleep with my arms
wrapped around the pillow. I have to close
my mind to you, or I can't sleep.

Friday, January 28, 2011

UT13: Fifth Poem 2011

I found the cancer, sir;

with this information I
will have to take us
to the ER.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UT13: Quandaries

I just realized that it's less
that I am really dissatisfied
and more so that I am fed up
with nothing ever being enough.
Being "right"?
That is a very difficult thing to live with -
excuse me - :
be around.
You very rarely ask how my day has been.
Or ask anything, really.
I don't believe that is giving me space.
That's just not giving a fuck
because you don't want to be
Fuck that.
I ask you
because I care.
Not because
I feel like I have to.

UT12: Forth Poem 2011

Written 1/24/11


Six refusals, starched and blanched like sheets;
in two's they are bleached,
rewrung, and set out for three days;
i find myself wondering if the truth,
usurping denial, is Lazarus:
speechless and dead - for now -,
expired but awaiting

Monday, January 24, 2011

UT11: Third Poem 2011.

Written 1/22/11.

The last page of the book is a lie; always has been.

It is infinite. I am not the author, but merely the recorder.
There is no bravery; no will and no presence of heart.
I am the mechanics of reliving. I am the ear on a chest
and the difference between steady throb and silence.

I am forever the twenty minutes passing in an instant
when left alone with the body. I am the blanket carelessly
thrown away; once laid over the corpse, kept as a last resort
of closeness. I am crippling predisposals. I am a mistake.

Tear the title from the spine, erase the author from the cover,
and let run the ink. I threw my keys down into a sewer drain.
To think, I was an adventurer. My boots are dusty and the book is
an erroneous mess of disregarded endeavors, worn with warp and water.

UT10: Second Poem 2011

For When You Wake Up, as I've Gone to Run Some Errands

A good partnership is one liking tomatoes and the other abhorring;
"I ordered a roast beef and no tomato!" - "No matter, I love them."
Nothing to waste and nothing to fear; "I cannot stand spiders!" -
"I loved Charlotte's Web." A balance is a partner in crime,
an investment in trust - hold this flashlight while I look;
hold this deed and I will make good on my promises.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

UT09: The First Poem of 2011

A Lasting

Things that have given birth number greater than people;

there are efforts to hope, forging to ahead, and butterfly cocoons

of thought. There is a part of me that sidles in a whittling corner,

shards of wood and stone and glass strewn about, unequivocally

small and significant – ailing to hope, to forge, to pupate. There

is a part of you that addles in a sliding corner, shards of glass

and stone and steel sewn about, unreprimandably large and scorned –

ailing to hope, to forge, to forget. We forgot the flowers,

to plant them with care in these corners as to give birth to color

and to breath. Things that have given birth include gasps,

cries, and shattering weight of fists and fits. We are strong

gasps for air, cries for more mercy, and shattering nerves

under a resolve to live a perfect life. We give birth to pictures

of landscapes and walks in blizzard snow – paper easily torn and

powder-crunch footprints soon covered, but lasting in experience.