Saturday February 18, 2017
Friday Night Lights
When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar
Thursday January 12, 2016
From an email
My mother braids my hair before bed, because it’s long now and I toss and turn so violently that I wake, morning after morning, with a birds nest at the nape of my neck. I have nightmares at seven, eight, nine and my mother makes a little bed beside her own that I can crawl into without having to wake her. The run from my room to her room is agony. I do it nightly, building courage like a city around me, inside me, gaining courage until I burn pictures drawn in crayon of my nightmare and he goes.
Monday August 1, 2016
overheard at the Marriott in Decatur
We didn’t want to put any clowns in her room just in case she wasn’t one of those kids that loved them. I’m talking nice clowns too. We didn’t want to risk it-no marionettes (gifts from our friends, sent from Mexico), no figurines (a doll my sister in law built out of a mop head and some satin), no posters, and no photographs. We made the mistake earlier with Keegan and I’m worried about him becoming a psychopath. I blame Stephen King. I blame him and whatever mother didn’t love him enough to give him such twisted ideas. I also blame Charles, who grew up with clowns all over his damn house and never once murdered anything with a heart beat. Charles told me it would be fine, but I wasn’t convinced. There are so many things in this life that pose less of a threat to psychologically damaging a child, like bunny rabbits, and flowers, and Marilyn Manson.
Sunday February 21, 2016
from a recipe
Karma comes calling, knocking on my door, middle of the night, full intention of awakening, startling me from my sleep. In the form of a dream, in the guise of a nightmare. I get the message: loud and clear and painful and frightening. I don’t know what I did but I’m paying for it, I can assure you. Tossing in my bed like rolled oats in a bowl of coconut shreds. I am not good at the thing where I see one thing in my head and compare a real life thing to that to express myself, describing something. I am maybe suffering the consequences in more than just sleepless nights. Feeling inept, not having the right words to say, to feel, to communicate. I am being punished by Karma in a way that doesn’t feel so obvious. I know how she rolls. In and out of view, thinking she’s gone for a little bit, then rushing right back in to remind me that I am not rid of her yet and that I am not safe in my alone. I am least protected when I leave the comfort of crowds and people with worse problems. She knows that and comes in when I’ve shaken off the possibility of seeing her at all today.
Wednesday March 26, 2014
Atlantic Business Magazine
of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.
Tuesday March 4, 2014
The Laramie Project
I would like to start off by saying that one day, yes, I did, at one point, really, truly, fully, and honestly, believe in the good good word. I tend to spiral out into a commentary on the current state of our church when I talk about it, but it should be known that I was a believer. I was more than that even; I was an evangelist. I didn’t know it then, but I was going door to door trying to save everyone I knew who might agree to asking Jesus into their hearts to be their Lord and Saviour. I wanted my friends to go to Heaven. I wanted them to live in a happy never-ending place and be loved by someone so much that it would be wrong to say no. I didn’t know then that I was selling something, or trying to convince people to convert. I just believed it. I really, really did. I would sleep with the Bible under my pillow. It was supposed to protect me from nightmares, of which at the age of 9, I had a lot. It was supposed to prevent me from seeing Jesus’ silhouetted face on my wall, transforming into a laughing demon trying to suck my soul out from the inside of my heart. I have to say that part. Because I feel bad when I say that I don’t believe the Bible now.
Friday, June 28, 2013
From a street sign
There’s a place, I guess you should know it, it’s on the way to your worst fear and on the way back from your worst nightmare. You let the devil in for one second and he’s already made a home inside your safe space and mucked up all the white tiles. He’s put his grubby hands on all of your favourite paintings and rummaged through your fridge to see what you loved so he could just dump it on the ground and let the fruit flies at it. I don’t know if you had a sign on your door, something saying you didn’t mind about intruders or that you welcomed them even. Some mats have that little saying that means something different than what it says and you could have just picked the wrong one. I know for me, when I let the devil in, I didn’t have any locks on my doors so it was sort of like inviting him in or giving him free reign over all of my belongings. I was sorry about not investing in locks earlier. I didn’t know that there would ever be a time when someone just failed to knock first. I’m hoping you learn from my mistakes and keep your nightmares closer to yourself. The first wrong step is telling someone about them…
Sunday March 3, 2013
There’s a forest behind my house And I’ve never been inside it. I grew up here and always knew to avoid it. You just didn’t go past a certain point in your yard because you didn’t know what stuff you hadn’t dealt with yet. It all represented something bigger than it was. But that’s before it wasn’t. This is not all a metaphor but a lot of it is. I can see the forrest from my bedroom window and it’s safe to say that it haunted me slowly and daily. I don’t think there are any wild animals or feral people living in it, just sort of my own nightmares of myself and my past and other things equally as poetic or lame, depending on your angle. I think for the most part I’m not bothered by it. But some days when my brain is quiet, I think I can hear more of what goes on inside there.
Tuesday January 29, 2013
The Well in the Frog
You’re in my bed. It’s a good thing. You’ve baked me a stuffed potato or whatever and you’ve washed your feet, which is also a good thing. You’re playing some stupid game on your phone and you’re asking me stupid philosophical questions that don’t really need answers. You’re sweet. You’re very kind to your mother when she calls, even though she sometimes calls 3 or 4 times a day. I like that you have patience. I don’t, so I like that you do. You’re in my bed.
I didn’t ask you here, or force you. You just sort of knew so you came one day and you haven’t left yet. I do the groceries and I don’t make you pay me back for any of it because getting to sleep beside you every night is pay back enough. In the good sense. It’s just that I have these nightmares and when I’m alone they get real crazy. But when you’re here, when I can smell your skin, I don’t have them at all. I dream about daisies a lot which should be weird but it’s not.
You sometimes scratch the space on my neck in between the flat parts.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at Rustic Owl
Starting talking in her sleep. Started racing through her dreams as if she were going to win a medal. This one, not this one, this one, not this one. She was trying to reward herself for the good ones. She was firing on all cylinders to remember every part.
She thinks back 20 years to the one where a witch tried to steal her nightgown with a bow right off of her back, then the one where she dreamed her mother had turned into her father and they were both shaving their same face side by side at the bathroom sink. ‘A nightmare’ she mumbles out loud–only it comes out as “Monster mayhem” or something like “Mrs. Gangl’s teeth” because she’s entranced. She screams at one point-at the dream where she locked the neighbour’s 1 year old in her playroom and waited on the outside till she heard him cry. Then when she opened the door, he would hug her because he was scared and didn’t want to be alone. She screams because that was not a dream. It was a reality. “What is it doing here?” She mumbles again—manifesting itself out loud as “No, Anthony.” She kicks her legs, her body convulsing. She’s almost at the end now. Almost at the morning. Almost at the sun rise.