topography: of an apartment

topography: of an apartment

the sheets are still in the dryer.
I wonder how long they would stay there if
there was no one around to take them out.
my bed looks naked for years, wastes away on her frame, becomes dust. how many times have I died there, closing my eyes and waiting
not to be.
an empty cup of tea with the bag
still inside sits on the dresser.
next to my favorite book— I have to ask
whether its spine would ever crackle like wildfire again
if there was nobody around to pick it up.
how much would stay closed, how much would go cold.
how much would gather this dust.
dishes in the sink,
plants on the sill, waiting to be watered.
succulents can go a long time without, but
the dishes would start to stink.
there is no point.
we will be back here, next week, doing this
same thing. over and
over again.
setting the plants to kiss the faucet, and
washing the faces of plates and
rinsing the throats of glasses, and
sweeping and brushing and
paying and praying and putting away,
just to do it all again the next week. and
for what.
the window opens, curtains fluttering and
it comes clear:
all the plants I have yet to water. all the sheets untucked. the faces
unknown. the books unopened, the tea undrunk.
how much would gather this dust.

Opportunity

Opportunity

On Martian skies darkness bestows
the end of Sun’s last minute-arc.
I find my battery is low
and outside it’s getting dark.

For fifteen years I did embark
into starlight’s afterglow,
but now Apollo at last departs
and I find my battery is low.

I provided images, film, and audio
about this barren galactic park
to my billion fans below,
but now for me it’s getting dark.

Fear not my dears, look up, take heart;
this present sorrow you will outgrow.
But before I finally depart,
I’ll stay until my battery is low.

I’ve carried all my cargo,
I’ve seen every lovely star,
so mourn not the fading show,
nor pay attention to the dark.

These will be my last remarks:
that I have loved this dusty snow,
ruling as a sole monarch,
despite a battery so low.

And when like me, you’re all alone,
have learned this emptiness by heart,
when you find your battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark,

recall my hope that you will part,
follow your own divergent road,
and find your own universal spark
even when your battery is low.

My time has come, I’ve made my mark,
now Death’s sweet hand I must follow,
since my software will not restart;
at long last my battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark.

topography: of a letter

topography: of a letter

this paper warmed by your hand
inked with your mind,
without a backspace in sight
will sit in my pocket
until the next one.
see this bump, a breach
of papyrus where your
hand slipped, or maybe
the pen deceived you
into thinking she would stay
sweet to the end of the line––
i love that bump, proof
of our humanity.
this little stain here,
on the northwest corner
of the page, what
was that?
water or wine or
tears? your words bleed
a little, curve around it,
petals opening
to the sun.
it smells like you,
leaves and haircut grass,
perfumed distance.
My hand pauses
over the page–– what to
say in the face of that beauty?
How to convey love and
hope and missing
but understanding
in a few words?
I ask about the weather.

topography: of a mattress

topography: of a mattress

see here, this divot on the side closest to the window?
I have watched a hundred thousand phases of the moon
through the blindslats, light cresting over the ridge of
this off-brand Tempurpedic.
the covers here, in the center, never seem warm enough,
a lake in the valley between my legs, hushing
memories into fitful sleep.
two hills rise from the springs,
many-peaked mountain range
where I spread my avalanche hair.
pull that snow blanket overhead,
but hope not to wake in the drift.
rivulets between summit and holler
recall remains of another body,
another mountain range, another
set of lakes and winding paths
now eroded,
fossilized in memory foam.
a discarded bookmark
at the bottom of the canyon between
sill and tossing body
reminds me that I’ve lost my place.

I Am A Writer: An Essay

I Am A Writer: An Essay

I have never in my life written a novel.

Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve just never finished one. At least, never finished anything that was good in any kind of literary standard. In the seventh grade, I thought school was too easy (this is not a lie), so I started writing a novel and finished three months and 140 pages later.

It was so awful, when my dad accidentally recycled my laptop, I was relieved nothing could bring it back from the dead.

But yet, here I stand, ready to try it again.

The problem with not finishing things arises both from boredom and from a lack of motivation. I don’t take my writing seriously; I hate telling people about it. I don’t talk to my family about it. I don’t even tell them when I’m trying to write and finish something. Nothing gets done because I don’t think any of what I write is worth getting done.

But S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was 16 so damn it all, I can do it at 18.

I read somewhere that telling people that you were going to write a book would motivate you to finish it.

So here we go.

I have no title for it yet, which I guess I should’ve thought of before I started this post. But no matter, I’ll just give a brief summary of what it’ll be about and we can all go about our days. Or nights. Or Netflix marathons.

I’ve had a lot of friends suffer depression. I know from minor personal experiences what depression is like. (Now, mind you, I don’t go about telling people I’ve ever been depressed, because depression isn’t a mood, it’s a mental state, and I want to be respectful of that fact.) That being said, I have a lot of experience and encounters with depression and bipolarity. I want people to know and understand depression and mental illness and emotional instability, so we can all move forward with treatment.

The basic plot line of the future novel is as follows:

Four teenagers living in a rehabilitation center on the outskirts of a small coastal Southern town learn what it means to feel. Often people mistake depression for chronic sadness or something, but actually depression is most often simply an inability to feel anything substantially. That’s why sufferers (I reject the word “victims,” on principle) turn to self-harm; they just want to feel something–usually (friendly reminder that the generalities I’m making about mental illness and depression are stupid but necessary to keep this explanation short and concise).

The story is told from the points of view of three of the four characters.

The first, Teddy, is the new kid in town. Originally from Connecticut, his parents are psychologists whose most unstable patient attempted to kill them. They are now hospitalized and undergoing intense physical therapy. Teddy’s sister has a manic bipolar disease and Teddy himself has been diagnosed with chronic depression. They both inhabit the rehabilitation center, under the special protection of the head nurse and family friend, Jody.

The second, Ocean, is a sweet and sour black lesbian with a disturbed past of sexual abuse. Her father is the local pastor and her mother is the quiet, unassuming cafe owner. They placed her in the center after she had a triggered panic attack at school. She finds small ways to rebel, from her golden-dyed hair to her multiple piercings and tattoos.

The third, Bass, is the tough transgender former gang leader. Ever since his gang of loyal friends ferociously beat him almost to death after he confessed his true identity, Bass has been in an emotional and mental free-fall. His family has remained supportive, but without his friends, Bass finds himself almost to the brink of suicide.

The fourth character, whose point of view we never hear, is Toby. She (yes, she) is the unstoppable force in the rehabilitation center, the life and energy that brings everyone’s spirits up. But she, too, has a dark past (cue the dramatic soap opera music) that she is struggling to overcome, but without letting her friends know the extent of her condition.

The story focuses around this rehabilitation center, the shenanigans the friends get up to, and the struggles and setbacks they encounter on their less traveled road to recovery.

Coming soon to The Leatherbound slash Amazon(?) on or about July 12, 2016.

That’s all from The Leatherbound.