Day 114 – Fruitfully

I cannot apologize for my childhood,
for I wasn’t always there.
In all these hundreds of days
I’ve never gone back.

The way we learn to be
is not
the way we’d ever choose

and so

I was
a wrecked flower
from the start.

I cannot apologize for the pathways
stealthily formed
in fragile matter
or the horrors I kept in
by spreading out

I only know for sure

the way we try to love
is not
a thing we can control

and so,

fruitfully or not,
I tried.


Year 2: Day 126 – Thirteen

Isn’t it disheartening to realize
that I’ll never know more than I did
when I was thirteen.
In fact I don’t know as much now
as the average teen does.
Isn’t it hard.

When I toss and turn at night,
still mulling over all the ridiculous circles
grownups make themselves run,
isn’t there all that boiling jealousy
that I’m not young, I’m not wild,
I’m not free.
And I don’t know half as much.

If I could get back the clarity of being thirteen,
don’t I think I would.
Don’t I think I’d have all the answers back,
the way I had it all figured out
when I was thirteen.

Year 2: Day 100 – Something Stronger Than Love

I have my teeth in this idea
that there is something stronger than love
but I don’t know what to call it
just yet.

It’s this kindredness that doesn’t need love,
doesn’t worry about the trappings of this world-
no breathless romance, no hand-holding highs,
no jealous fevers-
it’s a thing that is strong for being not love,
but which stands outside of love
and watches with a smile.

For it is not threatened by the work of the heart;
I think it’s a work of the mind,
but I’m not sure.

Because it’s not something you can think
into existence,
you sort of find it but never try to catch it,
it neither blooms nor fades with time
nor ever changes
but stands resolute in what it knows.

And it knows that love does not conquer all.
It knows that love is wonderful
but cannot erase the yearnings
of a restless mind
which still feels alone.

I have a feeling it’s not love
but understanding that we want,
but we don’t know it.
But I don’t know.

I think this thing that trumps love
is the thing you feel
when you hear your own heart
in someone else’s words.
I think it’s when you know you’re not crazy,
when you know you’re not alone.

That’s not love.
It’s much more important than that.
At least, that’s the way it feels.
But I don’t know.

Day 214 – Overheard Ruminations On Rudimentary Knowledge

“We don’t give half-points
for half-answers,
we don’t want you solving it
any other way
and we don’t reward mere effort.”

“I mean, how could I admire someone
who knows nothing about cabbage leaves,
carbine engines, or calculus?
About gramophones, taoism,
zones of proximal development?”

“…10 or 12-point font, double-spaced,
in Times New Roman or Calibri only,
1” margins with each page numbered,
and don’t try that lengthening trick
where you enlarge all the periods.”

“But does he ask questions
when you tell him about it?
Does he show that he wants to know?”

“I don’t care a whiff about Rachmaninoff,
she can’t solve complex equations!”

“Yes mother, but those thirsty eyes!
He wants me to draw it out,
whatever I tell him,
and he won’t let me leave
’til he’s got it!”

“What a pity to know only parts of a thing,
not to conquer all facets of its weight,
not to climb to the peak of understanding
and claim every nuance of everything
under the shadow of its grasp.”