Pure signal.


and cold in my chest
I was not expecting your disdain
your defense
your habitual ugliness, competitiveness, game playing, deceit, manipulation, cowardice, viciousness, arrogance and/or vanity.

I had forgotten them.
Again. Willfully.
Like I will forget them yet again.

You say (again) that I should have thicker skin.
I say that my religion is to shave it down,
ever thinner. Ever thinner.
My faith is that when I am fully, painfully present
you will be worth it.

95% of the time things are. I am
with a falling leaf
with a rain puddle
with a child playing in the park

I forget myself
and all my dodges and shenanigans
and skip off for some ice cream
until you come round the corner
your face all tight
showing scorn for my abandon
for my ratty shoes

And another ripping knife cuts out my breath
(Oh! I am supposed to own things. I am supposed to beat people
down. I was supposed to win something!)

Frozen-stopped, shamed, startled-quiet


November 6, 2008 - Posted by | Poems


  1. Thanks to Marty McConnell for the prompt for this. Her question was “When are you most authentically yourself in the world? Write a poem from that place.”

    For me that place is the tension between what I want from my interactions with other people, and how they actually make me feel. Thanks Marty! Great prompt!

    Comment by bootslack | November 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’d say this is completely accurate for you. A completely successful adherence to the prompt.

    Comment by Sak | November 6, 2008 | Reply

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