what to do instead of calling the police

I will write an elegy to myself. A memorializing of the person I used to be.

I will write an ode to my past life. In fire.

And I will pay my respects to her. As she has passed. I am no longer she, not that one.  Though not exactly the same, not altogether different. Either.

What if my family of origin

forced me into these roles –

needed me to provide value as their –

mom, dad, manager, spouse, scapegoat, savior, peer counselor, personal librarian, mediator, exorcist, and grave digger?

What if I died when I was 25?

That night I survived

was actually the night

I/she died.

We were reassured

I would make it,

all right.

What year is it?

How many fingers?

Do you know of anyone who had a reason to hurt you?

Describe the person who did this to you.

Describe how you did not run,

nor fight back,

but softly cried, curled

inward, and died.

Whose hand is this?

The same one I was born with?

Who was it who died that night?

Who was it who survived?

Who is it now who writes down

how she died

and lived to tell.

Who is it who claims disability?

Whose body is it

who is claimed?

Who surrenders?

Who suffers?

Is the body a who?

Is the gut brain

a mind

of its own?

Is that the one who

survived?

And the head mind

the one who died?

And how could neither reach

the third brain – the heart mind?

Diffuse axonal injury.

Axonal shearing,

stretching.

Missed connections.

Does plasticity

find relevance

in my dead to life

true crime

story?

Who is this now

who says

don’t kill your former

self?

She was doing the best she

could

with the weapons and ammo

she had at the time,

albeit trained on herself.

In my own mirrored crosshairs.

Who says it’s time now

to quit rejecting

that former life

never saw the light

never salvaged

but decimated

obliterated

and insurrectioned

myself

only after much debate.

And enough of these

questions

Who is it who asks so

many questions

to feel alive

But she deserves

elegies

odes

eulogies

prose

in fire

 

You were born

I was, she was

the first

but that’s not when it started

she was always being born

and always dying

every moment

expiring on each out breath

she was always choking on the

exhale

longing for love

unable to let go

fears of never taking another breath

 

This girl

she was survivor

included when she died

she survived every hit

every slander

every laceration

every cosmetic orthodontic procedure

orchestrated by and for That She

waiting in the wings

cranking up the volume

By Proxy

 

this one

she survived

every rape

every nightmare

every asthma attack

every mysterious childhood

virus that turned up purple

spots on her legs

and a month in a wheelchair

 

survived every psych eval

and iq test

 

survived every attempted

suffocation, every

mom based strangulation

 

this one never quit

crying

never quit gasping

for air

hyper ventilating

for help

from someone outside

who could see the

soul murder and the choking

for what it was

 

survived the bike accidents

and each time blacking out in church at the catholic

school

when it faded to black

closing in on dots in her

visual field

like film effects

with cotton filling ears

turning in

falling down

cracking head on wooden

church bench

blood pooled at lower legs

needed to leave the body

of that girl

and be carried to the nurse’s

room

listening to the concerned

school staff wondering why

her mom so mad

and must be really taking

her time to get there

doesn’t she care that her

daughter fainted

again

 

survived all the blood tests

and social work home

visits

and discomfort at questions

about

describe your family

and how are things at home

 

she survived without internet

taping songs off the radio

and feeling free when

she got a phone

in her room

 

so she could call someone

up

and say she was real

 

she survived trying to shake

off and discard virginity

looking for evidence and proof

of being real

 

survived a late coming

period and blood that

made her wait

made her doubt she would

ever be real

 

she was real

even before she died

though that death

was an anti climax

of reality

no other proof necessary

 

she was crushing up

ritalin and searching for a

cigarette

under the venue lights

across from the big gothic

church

in the neighborhood that

still held Black owned

businesses

before she died

she left her wallet inside

bled on the sidewalk

was feeling buzzed up

and high and carefree

 

she was shocked into

coming back to her body

when she died

 

she dated to get love

she needed

and to get proof she was

real

 

she used their cars, their

bar tabs, their weed

to escape what she knew

was going to kill her

 

and that’s not even how she died

 

she was made up

and blonded

with contact lenses

white skin with a tan

and mascara on blue eyes

booty shorts and tank tops

exposing skin

 

she was high s.a.t. score

ambitious to travel

and learn how to be

real

first in the family to

college

and looking up the ladder

feeling real proud at each step

up

 

til she died in the middle

and laid down

the life of a

dreamer

 

she hated herself

doubted herself

was grandiose about herself

wanted to fuck herself

cause those men weren’t

doing her justice

 

she was escaping herself

she was surviving by self

destruction

 

that tower tarot card

that high priestess

hermit

 

she died n a new

moon solar eclipse

 

to induce a crisis

 

she hid her death

valiantly

doing her best

to try and salvage

what passed for love

mom could give

 

no more savior american

middle class dream

complex

no more good body

no attraction

 

no more kissing her best

friend as soon as she walked

in the bar

and getting fingered on the

girl’s lap she just met

at karaoke

while giving up sex for coke

and escapes in men’s cars

 

no more personality

no more ambitions

nor womanhood

nor whiteness

nor when her true monvalley

aunt told her advice

you are good looking,

you’re smart, educated

and you can get whatever

you want from people

 

all you can think of now

was aunt’s mom

jumping off the homestead

high level bridge

this bridge spans railroad

tracks

and toxic industry

not a river

you heard the story she told

your 16 year old aunt

back in time

she put on lipstick, high heels

said she was going out to

meet

 

you rejected mon valley

like you rejected the south hills

and parkway west

like you rejected butler county and washington

and catholicism

and working lowermiddle class values

and full time work career

and heterosexuality

 

you also rejected

hygiene, sex, parties, physical activity,

entertainment, parents, and siblings, anyone

related to crafton carnegie

all the old life casings

and shell fragments

 

elegy for that dead girl

who woke up in a new life

 

you didn’t have to o.d.

and get revived with narcan

in the body bag

like your cousin

 

you didn’t hang from the

ceiling so your family

would find you

like your uncle

 

you didn’t hide in dementia,

denial, delusions,

and your own mind’s walls

like your femme ancestors

tradition teachers

 

you didn’t jump

 

who killed you

violence

misogyny

white guilt

catholic shame

child abuse

mixed off label use pills

the bartender

your date

the ems first responder

the nurse who reluctantly gave

pain reliever

you asked for

shows up from hospital bill $3.95

for the ibuprofen tablet she gave you

your first intergenerational

imaginative body memory

of incest

baby trauma

screaming with a pillow over your face

your great grandmother’s depression era dentist who

ended it with too much

ether

or did she just not want to come back to

your pcp who told you

you’d be on antidepressants

the rest of your life

 

what killed you

mercifully

was

the Rest of your Life

 

 

 

 

this is from personal correspondence

As I have expressed elsewhere, I am currently in a difficult season. I am trying out and looking for more places and groups to receive support and rest, and pulling back from places and groups where the expectations are higher – or what feels relatively high for my capacity right now.
I’ve signed up for an online at your own pace series from Buddhist Peace Fellowship. I haven’t made it through the material all the way yet, and since I know it was encouraged to include group participation, I’m happy to share my login info if you want to check some of it out and share. I’m really enjoying the videos and links to readings it includes, and the teachers who are participating are making me think in ways that I appreciate and are important.
I’m also planning to try – but haven’t gotten the spoons to do so yet – a few groups new to me that work with 12 step approach. There’s one at Shambhala center working with Buddhism and 12 step, and also Nar Anon.
I’ve also checked out groups for family members of people with mental illness and plan to go to one specifically for people affected by personality disorders.
I also have started visiting the gym at the JCC and a tai chi class, which I think is technically for seniors but they have allowed me to participate so far 🙂 . A doctor at the pain management clinic has recommended tai chi so I’m trying it out. It’s been really hard for me to begin any physical activity at any level. I’ve felt this way for years. But after marking seven years since my assault and injury, and having one of the darkest and most hopeless feeling winters I’ve known, I was able to give it a trial period, which I’m in now.
I hope it’s ok to share some more of what’s going on right now that I have some new ways of thinking about as of recently. I’m being very personal because I feel like you have welcomed that in the past and my understanding from when we saw each other last was that being open would be ok.
 I have experienced many difficulties throughout my life, and I’m now coming to recognize and articulate my experience in early life as being shaped by emotional, verbal, and physical abuse by a mentally ill parent, and that I grew up in a house where there was intimate partner and familial violence, which was done by the female adult parent, and was never named or acknowledged, to this day. I’m the oldest sibling out of the four children in my family, and did not begin recalling distinguishable memories about much of this until after I sustained the trauma of the head injury. In that way, my experience has been much more complicated, because my siblings I see have also coped and survived by repressing and blocking and dissociating their truth and experience. But I was turned in a new direction after the acute violent incident, the one I speak about for Center for Victims and for Let’s Get Free. It has actually opened the way for healing over time. It opened up previously locked doors to this early trauma history that my brain had instinctively hidden away for survival. Otherwise, of course I will never know how things might have been, but I was continuing in a direction of more continuous self destructive behaviors and actions harmful to myself and others while not having a clue the roots of the suffering I was (not) facing.
Speaking for Let’s Get Free in service of lifting up the injustice of our racist prison system where many people are trapped, helps me feel I can use my experience and be vulnerable in a way that does not cause more harm. I would not want my story or my pain and transformation to be used to further pity for me as a “victim” or worse, to justify harsh mandatory sentencing for people convicted of crimes, or as an instance of exemplifying white women needing protection from black men as enforced by police. Thinking about my mother, I know she has caused a lot of harm, and I still have love for her, although I cannot actively personally be compassionate in real time with her, or be a daughter in the kind of parent-child relationship she wants. I set a lot of boundaries, and I still have a small slight hope that she has the core human goodness and capacity for change that I think almost all of us do. I also have come to recognize some instances of harm I myself have inflicted on others, mostly people I was in close relationships with, stemming from my lack of awareness, lack of skill, and intense pain and overwhelm. I know that I also can make an impact by participating in the Speakers Forum for trauma awareness at the CISP programs around the city. Sometimes I feel stressed about speaking in these venues because of the complexities of what has happened to me, it is very hard to narrow it down to the incident of assault and the head injury from the trauma. And because of how I feel a lot of feelings knowing how young the people in mandatory attendance are, and how they have caused harm and are also likely to have experienced a lot of harm.
I started attending what’s up study groups because in the aftermath of the assault, I was shocked and disgusted and enraged and overwhelmed by racism that came to the surface around the narrative of what happened to me that night – from the police, counselors, employers, acquaintances, friends, my family, inside my self in my own voice. And I thought, I had to find out where I learned this, where I learned to have racist automatic thoughts that came up to try and explain violence and victimization. Because the terrible question of ‘why’ was unanswerable, unsatisfiable. So I am very grateful to the scaffolding and support created by what’s up, and it has helped me immensely feeling like I have more solidity to start from when thinking about the foundations I have personally for working in a movement for justice and transforming violence.  I also found it so important to think about my identities around layers like class, ability, race, national origin, education level, privilege, mental health, heritage religion, gender, and sexuality. I know the violence that is a public health problem in our communities, families, societies, is not just acute instances like the one involving a gun and getting beat up seven years ago, but also what I experienced in my family, and what my parents have each experienced in their families of origin, which have been mirrored again. I have tried to allow space in my awareness for the intergenerational trauma that has sometimes seemed at a tipping point in my life! So true how hurt people hurt people.
When I saw you last, I understood you as inviting me to let you know some of what’s happened. I’m not sure what to ask for really. This is the complicated part. I suppose the ask has already happened by me sending you this long and honest email. I wanted to reply to you.
I sometimes feel uncomfortable showing up on Tuesday nights with the sangha group because of the atmosphere feeling so at odds with what’s going on for me right now. I feel like my internal world is so far from what I can see in the meditation room, I feel like I am imposing my problems and inflicting a troubling energy into a space where things look so serene from the outside. I’m not sure how to allow for more imperfections to crack through the veneer, or how to make more visibly flawed and distraught people – like me on my hard days which are the norm right now – feel more at ease about showing up however I can that day. But I wanted to state this even though it’s hard to put my finger on what it is exactly.

i got nothing on this

torture. self torture. punishment. atonement. making them realize how despicable they are. making them suffer. making them pay for what they’ve done to me. see all the damage they’ve caused.

hate. self loathing. hating my ways. my habits. my thoughts. my memories. my behaviors. my desires. my fears. my goals. my shadow. my dreams. my words. my movements. absolute hatred. detested.

as my young brother said, “i want to annihilate myself”

or my other younger brother saying, “i’m a worm. scum of the earth”

or my father saying, “you’ll never change the world”

or my mother saying, “you’ll be sorry when i’m gone” “at least i loved my mother” “even though my mother was crazy as a loon” “they’re all going to laugh at you”

i often wonder why no one knew how to help me. why strangling and choking continued. why sexualized shaming comments poured out of her mouth and washing over me like gray water. why it seemed like she hated me. loved to pick on me. treated me as if my pain was not existent, or not real. treated me like an extension of herself, like one made to serve her, appease her, redeem her.

 

last night i called my youngest brother. who is in some kind of long term depressive, anxious, break with reality and autistic regression. he asked, “what’s up” and i confessed. I’ve been having some – depression. “depression” he said and through the phone it sounded like amusement, wonder, smiling? why was i so afraid to confess. that i’m struggling. that i question my motives every day. that i wake up wondering why i fail in life, why i feel alone in life, why i am so low that i take friends and privileges for granted, why i feel sorry for myself, why i hate myself, why the world seems to hate me. why i go on. what would it take for me to quit going on. when will i know i’ve quit. can it happen without my knowledge and at some point i’ll just realize it. i often want to quit. but i feel ashamed and angry with myself. hearing the voices of others. those who care about me and with whom i’ve established friendship. and those who grew up with me and feel bound by familial experience. “i come from a mentally ill family.” “do you want to call it mental illness? does that really make you feel better? do you like using labels?” “stop feeling so down. you have to feel grateful.” “you don’t have it bad at all.” “you’re a spoiled brat.” “this cannot be what breaks you.” “oh, you say you don’t have friends. you’re delusional, like an anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees obesity.” “oh, you say no one loves you nor is your friend. that is hurtful to me. how could you say that?” “people who are depressed…” “people who want to die…” “if you really want to die, then maybe…” “maybe you don’t want to die. you have to take action. you can’t just feel this way.” “therapy – isn’t it helping you?” “everyone’s is a little depressed. it’s not just you.” “everyone has a quote mental health problem. it’s our society.” “think of all the people worse off than you.” “i’m crazy too – look at me!” “if i haven’t committed suicide, then you definitely shouldn’t.” “get over yourself.” “get over it.” “you have to have willpower.” “not disabled enough.” “there’s no such thing as mental illness.” “medications are all placebo effect.” “when i was depressed i didn’t use medications.” “everyone is traumatized.” “it’s selfish for you to talk like that.” “why focus on personality disorder?” “why not focus on something positive?” “you are thinking too narrow, you want something that’s impossible.” “no one has all the answers.” “no one else can tell you what is right for you.” “you are saying this, but acting like that.” “be grateful you are alive.” “why don’t you just stop talking to your family?” “how are you?” “no really, how are you?”

 

i told him i was feeling depressed recently. i did this in spite of not wanting to say that. feeling dread about disclosing. feeling like if i told him about this weakness, this flaw, crack in the armor, that it would destabilize him, destroy any progress i’ve helped him make. felt it was my responsibility to protect him from how i feel. the complexity of my experience. from my pain. i don’t want to inflict my pain onto others like i felt my mother inflicted onto me. i wanted to be strong for him. i want to be strong for my siblings. i want to be strong for my parents. i don’t want to be the one who falls apart. not while they are falling apart. i want to appear i am keeping it together. i want to appear like a mature adult without a severe set of mental illnesses and trauma experiences. i want to have an easy life. i want to be more normal. i want to be satisfied more easily. i want to stop questioning my every move and judging myself so harshly. i want to drop the self loathing. i want to feel loved and accepted no matter what. i want to stop fearing that i will destroy myself. i want to stop feeling that i am fragile and will disintegrate. i want to stop dreading that i will destroy all of my relationships. i want to stop claiming all the responsibility, blame, and guilt for lost relationships, broken bonds, regrettable behaviors, and bad decisions. i want to stop believing it is all my fault. i want to stop believing i am a victim of circumstances and psychotic family background and lots of trauma and pain. i want to stop believing that it is all one person’s fault and that maybe they did this stuff because they didn’t care about me enough. how can i excuse it all with a plea of insanity, ineptitude, incompetence. i want to be able to trust. i want someone to tell me how they made it through. gently. with patience. with affection. letting me know they care about how things turn out for me.

i want respect for all that’s happened

i want my pain to be honored

afraid to live

yesterday i burst some bubble

i texted my friend, whose calls i’ve been avoiding

it’s hard to say why

i feel ashamed of my thoughts

my thoughts are swarming like dozens of ice picks attacking my mortal mind

saying i’m shit

i’m worthless

no one loves

could love

no one fucking cares

i’m completely uncared for

in the ways i need

i need too much

an endless

infinite

unstoppable

unsatisfiable mountain of needs

a bottomless well of needs

that will never be filled

and of course no one would want to

because i ask too much

sometimes merely my presence

saying some of what’s on my mind

like how i presume most of my friends secretly detest me

for my vile pessimism, self centeredness, paranoia, tediousness, and dragging them down day after day

thinking that my life is over

that if i do die soon

it will be just another one

biting the dust

in the form and fashion of mentally ill and terrorized young family lineage

trying to escape the pain and deepest wounds

with suicide

hanging from the ceiling at the top of the attic stairs

waiting to be found by a sister

avenged by a psychotically enraged father

who will bang his head against the wall

on his side of the house

while blaring music from his stereo

to torture the wife and surviving children

everyday after work

and on weekends

mourned forever in the denial-bargaining-hopeagainsthope phase

frozen in time

incest covered over

and shunned away

so that no one again reconnects with one

who tells

whispered

in an email

on facebook

in a confessional

self destruction

self sabotage like trying more and more drug combinations

under no one’s supervision but their own

in a party house in nashville

plastic bags

rubber ties

needles

joints

pills

booze

plus psych meds taken intermittently

too long

too much

people afraid to call ems because of all the illegal shit they thought they’d get busted for having

afraid to save a life

afraid of jail time

let an overdose go

sleep it off

until death

no second chances

until the entire surviving family

remains

afraid to live

believing they are afraid to die

but actually in fact

quite

afraid to live

 

i wrote this for the arc when they asked me to share ‘my medicaid story’

In 2014 I began receiving access to medicaid in PA. I had no idea what this meant, except that I was directed to apply for medicaid during the Affordable Care Act application process on healthcare.gov. It asked me if I had a disability or pre-existing condition. Yes. So, I was one of the folks who had a low income to benefit from medicaid expansion and to benefit from state health care. This care helped me because eventually I could no longer work and had a struggle to get by in that situation. Due to an assault, I sustained a traumatic brain injury, which went undiagnosed at the time of the violent attack (random crime incident where I got brutally beat in the head) in 2010. I was dizzied with the many symptoms of post concussion syndrome for three years, and I began to speak up and say, something’s wrong. In 2013 I finally got referred to a concussion rehabilitation program from a knowledgeable therapist. Thanks to medicaid I was eligible for quality care that I could afford from the regional concussion and head injury specialists who understood my condition. In addition to the acquired traumatic brain injury, I needed doctor’s care, specialist care, and mental health counseling to manage conditions I have had since adolescence, which are a sleep disorder similar to narcolepsy (idiopathic hypersomnia), panic attacks and long term depression. Now after being attacked you can add PTSD and chronic pain, and for sure the depression and panic only increased. I was able to get the physical therapy sessions, cognitive (brain retraining) therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, vestibular therapy (helped with vision and balance impairments after tbi), psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, group therapy for women with tbi, psychotherapy for managing my symptoms, the aftermath of trauma, losing my job and normal life, as well as the lingering depression and anxiety that cut into my daily ability to function as I would hope to. If not for the PA Head Injury Program (a state waiver that allowed me access to 9 months of multidimensional rehabilitation) and 2 years of medicaid to ensure I had access to medicines, check ups with my doctor to manage my different care needs for different conditions, and to help me with frequent mental health counseling sessions, I would not have been able to make any improvements or lessen any troubling symptoms, I may not be able to read or write now , I may not be able to go out in public alone or at night, and I may not have been able to try out different work options to help me find out and adjust to my new capacities. Let alone, I would never have been able to maintain social connections or afford any medication or the wraparound rehab services that were so significant in adjusting to life after acquired brain injury and trauma. At the end, when I was moved from medicaid to medicare a few months ago, I began to think about how instrumental PA medicaid was in reshaping my life by providing me access to the multiple kinds of health care that I needed. Who knows if I would even be here without it, or if I would have lagged behind or been trampled over years ago. medicaid made an astronomical different in my care and my life during the years of 2014-2015-2016, as did the state head injury waiver program. I can say that with confidence and I am asking all to consider stories like mine, where my life was upended in a random tragic incident, and where I also had long term pre-existing conditions that were worsened by the injury I got as an adult. Consider me and others who have health care needs that are as diverse as we are. It is our human basic right to have access to appropriate and dignified care. Give us our rights!

save title for last

this is going to be

some kind of

grand

literary

psychologically raw

uncomfortable

master piece.

i do believe that i used to grandiosely aspire

to masterpieces every time.

now this was when pcs

were the new work station.

when typing on a word processor

was still a revolution in manuscripting editing.

when the cathode ray tube in the back of the monitor

seemed normal being as big as the whole desk.

before many of my regrets.

but still after and during lots of them.

see there are myriad regrets.

waiting to be transformed,

reperceived, thanked, released, remembered more lightly

as lessons.

knowing i have existed through all these lessons,

what are the lessons now

i can treasure from this time

this time of 2017 after obama

during deportations

and immigration bans on muslims

this time of giving power to racists and corrupt business men.

owners who are owning all of us.

they are coming in. this clown show

with sinister un feeling masterminds behind the strings

this time of confusion for – i am every day people –

who are moving about out there, alone, together,

with palpable dread, unraveling, anger, paranoia,

learned helplessness.

i’m nurturing this nostalgia for other

for other places

other people

other centuries

other concepts

other unsolvable problems

other hopefulness.

so immersing in fictions,

memoir,

buddhist essays,

korean drama period pieces,

writings about undermining whiteness.

which this last phrase reminds me

i want to write a thank you

to whatsup

the organization.

which over the last seven years

has provided space, meaning, hope, learning,

connection, work, understanding, emotion,

validation, identity, refuge, counterculture, norms new to me,

something to be anti, something to struggle for, something to emulate,

what is all of this…

it’s what i needed at that time

and now its shell i may need less

or in different senses,

still trying to figure out what i can give to it and what i can get.

maybe i took things too far,

that’s lessons.

i felt like no one understood unless they had done a thorough study of systemic racism,

from the roots, had analyzed whiteness and its toxicity, had read

all the articles and been to the anarchist bookshop plus the actions and held signs.

what did it help me to feel.

it helped me learn about the projected and invisibilized identity of whiteness that i didn’t choose and that in some sense contributed to my getting hurt.

was it about race. was i attacked more, beaten harder, with more rage, as a white woman. was it the same as would be for anyone. people said it was because of this. who said this. people like police officers – ha. mental health providers i sought out in the traumatized haze. coworkers. anyone who heard the story, who was white.

so what did it mean that i could be so hurt, felt confused like did i deserve what i got, for what has happened on a larger scale, in the bigger picture of oppression, due to white fragility and toxicity. due to the violent nature of racist society. where did i fit in there.

and actually only when i began to operate

by picking into pieces

who i was, what this identity, what about this fluid sexuality, what about this messing with gender, what about this abuse, this class, this mental illness, this particular situation i’ve grown through. i realized, i learned by lesson, i don’t want to be the protected white woman. i am not her. i am not that. leave me out of this. i will unlearn and act of my own accord to dismantle this system and to exist with presence and awake, alive.

unlike before awake, alive, i think were far far away. there was thickness, hardness, layers of sound barrier, and bubble wrap, between me and the real things. between empathy and my heart. between narcissism and fantasy world. between isolationism and pride.

broken barriers. broken body. broken self. free from psyche. from from self. free for construction. free for being with. free for escaping. for blowing away like smoke. it’s ok to be – who am i. it’s ok – really. it’s ok to be – not who i was. in thich nhat hanh’s words – not the same, not different. not the same, not different. me before – me after. that’s not separate, not one. and now i’m learning. because of the seven years cycle. the seven year itch. not the same as before. not the same as right after. now on to another way.

what is this way. learning. what is this another. lessons. i can’t see it. i don’t know it. it is a combination of the multiples i’ve already lived. plus a combination of infinite combinations of the days from now until the end. which of course is not exactly the end.

the third way. the middle way.

 

 

 

never a title

dream of an old apartment

it looked like the southside building where i lived with ryan

the penn ave bloomfield lawrenceville second floor studio

for a single old woman

or a single young one

what was the neighborhood?

i’d call it hospital-upon-cemetery

which is basically just another name for pittsburgh

in the dream

which is a dream i had while lying in bed

while my premenstrual cramps began to beset

while the cat or the crumbling plaster

or some other house mystery

caused a crash so loud i jumped right out of bed and ran downstairs

which is never how i wake up in the morning

it takes willpower

i lack

and i dreamed i was going to live in something like an old college student multi room apartment

and i was to stay with my siblings, all three

plus some random young men who seemed student age

i don’t remember my concerns

but it in the end

something

while driving down the street with windows open

i was admitting

i was confessing

i was opening

to accountability

i was accepting

responsibility

that it’s possible likely true fact opinion and pervasive dream mood

where i have harmed the people closest to me

in my dream i had ruined someone’s credit by stealing an object

some device or tech thing

that in fact they had to return

was this from rent a center?

i don’t know but i knew in the dream

i had kept it

out of spite

desperation

seeking love and attachment

seeking loyalty

like love me even when i’m kicking and screaming

and you have to fight to love me

even when i pushing you away

and who does that sound like?

and so i saw myself coldly clearly in dream

i said here it is

i had it

i know it caused problems for you

that i did this

what can i

how can i

what makes it right?

what does that even mean

it means nothing

really

this dream is shameful

i’ve been giving myself french homework

and abusing library card privileges

which i fondly call

my entitlements

my sacred rights

and don’t fuck with me

to make ashamed

to embarrass

to turn red

to put on weight

to faire une promenade

all these inifinitives

that represent what i will never

learn practice understand have cherish dread

i do cherish

i do dread

WHEN I DO DIE

I WILL HAVE DESERVED A GOOD LONG SLEEP

thank you h.c.

i will credit you when it matters

when someone gives a shit

what is stirring

and maybe you will know before i

when that happens

i began reading h.c. once again

which is really just

again

and it takes me back

and it also takes me around

like a tree whipping branches

in a hurricane

but this storm

is more of an eye

all the way through

but the floundering

is what i’m after

in the description

it’s a flailing

and a casting about

and it’s stirring my undercurrents

which is so fitting

because i can barely journal

with all the psychoanalysis

and really

don’t i wish

i was in new york in the 60s

on the streets

in the elevators

under the ground

along the tracks

out on the island

spanning all manner of bridges

lurking museums

haunting parks

smoking joints and discussing theory

and studying at the institute

of any thing i could get my hands on

and would have me

is it really true

that i’m like that joke

where

i’d never be part of a club

that would have

someone like me

as a member

because when i woke up

i felt free

because of the dream confession

dreamy apology

and also a sense of

it’s me

what if the monster is me

because i fall apart

when i realize

i can’t even keep

from damaging you

i can’t even

be good to you

be a positive presence

be loving

be inspiring

be supportive

beginning to hate that word

and here i upload cds

to my itunes

like it’s 1999

and i like it

so i paused to change a disc

excuse me

but who were my elementary school friends

and were they expecting me to still be a catholic?

really, people are still into that?

yes i understand

the mary figure

i want a mother of god too

i want a veil

a golden crown

a soft halo

a blue robe

which is actually a cape

bare feet

and magical powers

of course that’s true

but in this toxic and wizardous time lapse contextual soup

where you and i and 8 billion humans and many multiples of billions

i can’t even

i can’t even imagine the creatures

they have no number

but really

still catholic?

what kind of sad central european morgue festival is this?

the destruction

is why they left right

the oppression

but brought and revived the repression

i don’t know

are people just doing what they think is right?

what is happening…

if i really think about it

and consider the notion

we are sharing a collective unconscious

then i feel confused

what is in there

what is roiling

what is rolled flat

what is extracted

and what is freely floating

up above

to the every day consciousness

awareness

or some other cuteness

funny i thought

if i began again

began writing again

i would like it

and i feel the hate

come rushing right back

or am i just numb

and trying to name names