Everyone Else’s Home

last winter
at a downtown coffee shop
I sat on the bar stool near the window
I watched the people on the sidewalk
pulling their coats and scarves around their necks
keeping the wind out
I sipped a peppermint tea, a temporary comfort,
and watched
as they entered their apartment towers
moments later, high up, a window would light up with a yellow glow
a far away
warm, bright, home
and I’m looking at them, and I know, that I should go on
to wherever it is that hearts go on to
that it’s not doing me any good to sit here
wishing for a brightness of my own
what’s hope for if not this?
I’m not sorry
I can’t be sorry
I won’t be sorry
that I’m going to stay awhile
looking at the lights in the windows
of everyone else’s home


sweet sweet melody



you’re just fine and your song is a sweet, sweet melody
and I am not
when I was born, God strung my chest with violin strings,
stretched a drum skin from ear to ear across my neck
and tied my arms and legs up in woodwinds and piano keys
so that when I walked I sounded like a symphony of innocence
and oh the happy song I played
but I’ve long since smashed those instruments
and my chest has filled with brimstone
like all hell is trying to get out
and I’m wondering…

when does a museum of instruments
start sounding like music again?

cause I’ve been trying to make a joyful noise to no avail
so tell me now: how many bad notes do I have to sing?
and how loud do I have to get to shout out all my sadnesses?
and if I call my depression by it’s true name will I finally be okay?
I’ll trade a good day
for some of my anger
but then I worry that if I wasn’t so angry, I wouldn’t have anything left to go on
because I am anchored to the ocean floor
and some days a little rage is the only thing holding out a
hand strong enough to pick me up

and on those days it’s hard to tell the difference between self-destruction and survival
and I’ve grown pretty good at telling myself it’s all perspective
like sometimes a stiff drink and a cigarette
are a flower
and sometimes a stiff drink and a cigarette
are a weed
so tell me: is pushing the sadness away for a moment self-defense or not?

and do you blame me?

publish my letters when I’m gone
but don’t forget to put in the editorial that I was a very private person
and I didn’t want to be remembered for anything anybody didn’t like
I want to try to be positive for you
I take back everything but Push
even this, I’m trying
I’m trying so hard to write happy ones
and I can hear your sweet, sweet melody
but I
play it
and I don’t want you to get my sadness song stuck in your head
I’m sorry

and I’m sorry that one thing leads to another
and that in some ways it’s always been about
my anger–my mom and dad used to say I had to learn self-control or
it would destroy me
well I stopped throwing chairs

…just this last summer

and I don’t rip the pages out of my books anymore
so I must be getting better
but I still know what it feels like to boil
I have been at 211 degrees my whole life
right on the edge

it is so much easier to be angry than sad
so forgive me

I know we’re not all slamming doors
but from the ocean floor everything sounds like drowning
if you are on the surface and your song
sounds like a sweet, sweet melody
play a little closer to me, I’m trying to listen

ignore my clanging cymbals and my grinding teeth
I want to sound like music more than you can imagine





Grave Robber

I never really believed in dying all that much
I used to tell my friends that I was a grave robber
for every buried dream
and that I could see headstones on each of their hearts
well, in the end it wasn’t what it seemed
cause it’s been a while since I cared about the corpse
of any aspirations outside my own
and my pulse doesn’t thump
to write eulogies for anyone anymore

I’ve been focused on the mirror mirroring meanwhile my friends became a blur
and I never cared
because to build my personal legacy
I was willing to go it alone
but it turns out the pyramids aren’t just a wonder
they’re a tomb

and I don’t care how thick you think your skin is
success cannot coat you in metal
you are not bulletproof to the world
loneliness will still find you
like a star fallen from a constellation of would-be friends
our loneliness sank into all of our stomachs
like a glowing red coal filled up our bodies with lonesome smoke to remind us
that we will always be desperate to be wanted
and we will never be wanted enough

on every scale people will outweigh achievement
but I’ve watched myself buy into the lie
that applause is a measure of importance
when I know popularity is nothing more than a fad
because we will never be wanted enough
we just don’t know how to give that away

but I think we do know that we are so much smaller than ourselves
and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder who finds a shine in something long ago rusted over

we need each other’s permanence when there is no such thing as death
there’s only placement

but we chase our dreams in all-out sprints
like they’ll be enough to hold us
well, I haven’t created anything that I haven’t wanted to show off
and there is no one left to look

what’s wrong with me is I can’t seem to sing harmony on my own

we divide up at every turn
with a belief that we’re better than one another
and we arm ourselves to the teeth

like screaming originality is a bullet to put in the gun of peace
but screaming is not understanding
screaming is just screaming
and for all the times I told my friends that I could push them to be the greatest no matter how hard it seemed
I didn’t care about any of their dreams
I was far too caught up in me and that’s the harsh reality

because we’re all desperate to be wanted
and if I’m honest

I don’t want everyone
I want my moment of glory but then the road gets lonely

I would trade every poem I ever wrote for peace
and to be understood just one time
to stop believing that achievement outweighs people
and to find a balance that could set things right
sorry for all my envy