An Abstract for Insecurity

I’m my best self in the morning, and as the day goes on

Indecision and insecurity breed each other into dependency,

I want to dance in the kitchen of our lives, like slow mornings over bowls and breakfast. Hit the road with you, trains and airplanes

Our moods are tells for an exhaustion we can’t appease, rising and falling in darkness,

I don’t want to make you an anchor for stability. We’d just sink to the bottom.

Hit the mat with emotional uncertainty, breathe length into it, leave independently.

The Met is dripping

some workers are looking
for the problem

I’m sitting in the room with the Egyptian Ruins
& massive windows that look out
over Central Park

See Susan, one worker says
he points at a wet spot on the ground
Susan touches the drip
nods seriously

The wishing well beneath me
reflects
the floor to ceiling windows
the metal that frames the glass
creates a grid of rectangles
the water grids ripple

Over here too Susan
Susan walks a couple of feet
touches a larger water drop with her pointer
rubs it between her fingers
nods gravely

A girl takes a selfie in front of
Male Figure with a Diadem
2nd – 1st century
she smiles with all her teeth
she lifts the phone up way overhead
snaps & walks away grimly
face cast down to phone
she nearly walks into Susan

The ladies beside me draw up their legs quickly
Susan almost walks on them
Susan is not aware of her surroundings
her neck is craned up at the ceiling
she is holding her neck with her hand
it’s sore
she’s been staring at the ceiling for ten minutes

There is a brown pile of something in the wishing well
it’s not shit
it’s ceiling
Susan sees
shakes her head
sternly
her shoes click as
she
walks away primly

Susan comes back with a pale and
a net
most often used to clean out
tiny fishbowls
she fishes out the piece of ceiling
triumphant
drops it in the bucket
her co-worker picks up the bucket
they walk away

It’s hard to say what they’ll do with it
a drop falls on my neck

When you escape your own poetry reading

on Saturday we decide
to hit the road,
just GO like Kerouac
or Holmes straddling the white
line of highway.

we reach the cabin:
fresh gray paint. up here it is still
the dead of winter
so we hack
down trees and burn
the Yellow Pages for warmth.

The Beatles will always be cool
you say with glazed eyes,
shimmering
wine warmth.

and for a moment we are
allowed to believe
this is all
we really need.

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Sitting on a bench waiting for you to wake up

please don’t dismiss me
while dismissing my inability to come
out of myself
long enough to express
how perfectly you push
all my buttons

i just want to be good for somebody
i just want someone to care about
what is good for me
and since I don’t know
can we build it together?

because the bricks don’t fit and
I like windows but
these ones are freaking me out

are the floors supposed to creak this much?
should the mattress be up off the ground?
the temperature is perfect
and if I close my eyes I can smell you —
so I want to call it home but
I don’t think the water is running yet,

though we know I might try.
I’m far to tempted to say
“go find someone that is what you want
and leave me alone”
for I know that in effigie 
will always outshine
in esse 

A note from the poet: I likened my ideas to matches this morning, and my notebook like a pile of flint. There always seems to be the potential for a spark, but when I’m writing poetry it seems I work through a slew of matches very quickly. So lately, when I’ve tried to consider writing fiction, it feels like I don’t have any matches left. My notebook, these thoughts, feelings, observations that I collect each day, they need a little kindling. Maybe I’m just not quite sure what I’ve got to say anymore. Poetry is my own truth, fiction feels like it should be a little more universal. A raging bonfire that collects people around in a circle. A poem demands less, it can be a small as a lit cigarette being passed between two people.

Park on the water

There’s a spot
in south Mississauga
where the branches of the willows
kiss the earth.

Sometimes when I feel the weight
of my reality too heavy
I take out an old bicycle from the garage
and ride the suburban streets
listening to the playlist you made me.

Today I don’t even change out of my old sweatpants
as I mount the machine
desperate for escape.

I steer down the strip
eyeing the early come-homers
in the slant of late afternoon light:
one guy is wearing neon shades
like he can’t wait
for May 2-4.

I veer into the park
park my tires in the sand
pop out my headphones
watch swans dive head first into
B   L   I   S   S

I soothe my own consciousness
turn my bike round
and swerve through the row of trees
with a renewed sense of duty
persistence
the same way nature
doesn’t give into the seasons
but simply
becomes part of the changing
tide.

When I return home
mother tells me the students
studied character traits in stories of
resilience.

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Metaphors for Fear and Indecision

It seems like I’m always on the fence. Whole-heartedly halfway between things. Searching for commitment, then the next commitment, then dreading commitment. Because the c-word sounds a lot like closing doors, and it’s the open road I long for. Set goals along the lines of, by this time next year I’ll have goals, deferring the long term, treating the future like a flipbook of dreams where everyday I have a new one and they are all achievable. It wouldn’t be wrong, except it’s not real if they’re never nurtured in time, and right now I’d rather run sprints than do a marathon. Finding freedom in freedom from the fear of failing. Less risk with less responsibility which I describe as time for self-discovery. Ten years from now I… and it’s always different.

That March – From 2014

No one is something
all the time
he says between
mouthfuls
of breakfast for lunch.

It’s late afternoon
and we’re wrestling
meaning: debating
and debunking the
geometric skeleton
of clichés,
trying to fracture
their sentiment,
feed them zesty
onion sting, the miracle
of broccoli.

Omelette over Hellgoing
and as the sun starts to sink
like a bloody broken egg
I think nothing
will ever be
certain.