Winter (Bleeding Ink)

This

This is the poem I write

When there’s no music

When I sit in the dark

My legs aching

My hands shaking

I tried writing drunk

But it only made the demons come out of

The woods

The voices had been sleeping

In the back of my mind

I’m just a selfish person

In a selfish world

I have stories

In my mind

I hold on to them

Believing it will buy me more time

Didn’t they tell you

It won’t let go

Just because you get old

But you can out grow

Some of these impulses

I can’t write

About the girl

With the brown hair

The dark eyes

The bruise behind her leg

I can’t write

About the “summer air…”

I’m beaten down

What have I become?

Someone said

Writer’s are just vampires

suck you dry

And leave you

Declaring you will never

Die

If they love you

Spoiler

(They never really love you …)

While all the stars are out tonight

I always have poems behind my eyes

I try to write

What I wish was written

I try to write

Without complaining

We will never be 17 again

never 21 again

never see you

Go through my shit again.

I always dream

Buckets under the sink

I wake up

Feeling the cold air through kitchen window frame

Why do we do the things we do

The water lines freeze

This house is made of shit

Have you ever woke up to the sound of termites ?

I still carry it in mind

And it’s frightening but I guess we do what we have to do

And so do you…

There’s a boy just over there

Shoveling the septic tank

He’s ashamed

He’s too young to figure it out

And when he’s old enough

He won’t care anyhow

And we all lived didn’t we?

We pack ourselves

With light

We fill the void with anything

Sometimes

I wake up

Because it won’t let go

It won’t let go

Just because you get old ….

And I’m afraid

Of what I’ve become

She always said

I was too much

Something else

She couldn’t label

And it’s lonely

Cold weather

When you prefer the winter…

I prefer the cold night air…

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RBG

I wonder what the courtroom felt

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg first appeared on the scene

This quiet

Non threatening little woman

Who, case by case

Continued returning

Representing men

And women

And explaining

That equality is better for everyone

there were

Over three thousand

Laws

On the books

Holding women down

Like a boot on the back of the neck

Or a hand against the chest

A man is the owner of his domaine and a woman

Is much like property

Men cannot be homemakers

Because that’s meant for women

Women can be fired for being pregnant

“She’s just lucky we allow her to be here at all …”

I know we are not what we were

But like so much analog static

We’ve rushed past it all

In the digital age

I knew a woman who got fired up every time

There was an election

And she would remind me

That when she was young and beautiful

She couldn’t vote

If her husband left her

He got everything

She was just property

If she was wealthy

When they got married

It became his

If he moved she had to go with him

I wonder if we recognize

We’re crossing over old bridges

Our hands are shaking

Over ghosts

And battles that have already been won

And

I’m sorry,

I’m sorry that there are always

Receipts for everything we’ve given you

I’m sorry that equality and your right to vote

Hasn’t been added to the constitution

They’re still holding the receipts

To legislations considering the refund….

Legislations can be repealed it can be altered …

And I’m sorry

That no matter how much we plan for a family

There are 25 men

Somewhere

Fist bumping

And making those decisions for us

I wonder if my arms are enough to quiet the echo

I wonder

If you still hear the laughter

And cutting twist of the knife

“Go back to where you belong

Shhhh stop overreacting

It will all pan out.”

Remember,

Progress is made

One step at a time

One battle at a time

One step forward, three steps back

We’ve been here before

We know how the punches are thrown

We’ve got the scars to prove it ….

Photo origin Ethan Bethune

The Rising

Careful the way

You walk in a room

You know everyone is always looking at you ‘

Careful

The clothes you wear

The words you say

You’re damned if you don’t

Damned if you do

And I can’t think

Of a single law on the books

To tell me

A man what to do with my body

So it’s easy for me

To go after the things I like

I wonder

Why

We attack the women in our lives

And make them feel like a red lined test

A book report that failed

I want her to feel like more

I want her to feel open

I want her to feel strong

It was her independence that made me fall in love

Why would I want her to change now?

I’ve lost track of how far we’ve come

But

I know there’s a silence

Men everywhere

and she’s thinking

Is he with me just for my body?

The comfort my skin allows?

And we try

But no matter what we decide

There’s 25 men out there deciding for me

This is about our privacy

Our ability to plan out our lives

May she feel my arms around her

May she feel safe here tonight

The sky is black

The air is cold

She’s damned if she does

She’s damned if she don’t

Come on up tonight

Come on

We are here

We are one

Donate to the yellowhammer fund here

ACLU of Alabama

Planned parenthood

Post card from desolation road (it’s all over now)

She called me late

rain

Settled in her hair

The cool cool air

chilled me inside

my bones

And I kept thinking

About the ocean blue

Where the sun warmed our skin

but now

it’s all sold

And it’s so cold

we’re all so lonely now …

if it’s just the same to you…

And she was calm and she was cool

Her face was set

She lit another cigarette

Against the coming storm

You couldn’t help but think about all of the men

Who let this beast of burden in

The blatant loud disregard hung in the air like cigar

Filling old newspaper rooms

They’re empty now

Just like me

Just like you

You know we can’t go back

We’ve crossed all of these old bridges

We’re fighting ghosts

In our restless hands

She wrote me

And she didn’t know what to say

She only knew the way she felt

And

How everything has turned to grey

And there’s one too many full moons

In the sky tonight

Still

Here I am

My pen and my Gin

Thinking about how there

Was a time

A brief time

When we

Looked bright

In the springtime

But now

I think

We are destined

To be the lonely

Filling the empty

Shells of buildings

With dreams of a future

Foreclosed

On desolation road

That Golden Highway

Runs from here to the salt in the sea

Don’t look now

It’s turned to desolation road…

And all of our daughters

And all of our sisters

Woke up today

With less than they had yesterday

Better not think too much about it

Better not get too used to it

it’s just life on desolation road.

Photo by Ethan Bethune

Aces

IMG_5468.JPG
origin

What are you
afraid of And
why do you shake?
Is it demons
from the past Or the shadows
in our wake?
He folded the paper
Put it in his pocket

He watched
The bodies turning in the moonlight
Hanging at the cross roads
Hung for everyone to see

There in front of the church.

blood running down the roots of the tree

He’s older now, but he remembers

As everyone gathers at the alter…

The dust still sticking to his shoes…

I met him when he was older. His hands shaking, as he told me…

What he did at the docks…

Shooting a man for seven hundred dollar bills because he only had five.

He said you never forget the light leaving their eyes…

The things you do just to fit in.

Keeps you up at night….

We like to think we changed

But it wasn’t that long ago.

It was only yesterday.

Letters to a Nurse #21

Photo by Ethan Bethune

I wonder if anyone ever really escapes their origins?

Do we run continuously?

I think we are who we are

Never mind the what

So long as The Who in us overcomes,

Can we overcome?

I woke up and reached for you

But you’re not here

The bed is empty

I was afraid

What if years had passed

Would it be the same

Without you here?

I was afraid to look in the mirror and see

If I was older

Would I remember the taste of your lips?

The curve of your hips

Your eyes burning through me

I think my soul

Looks for you

In every room

No one else is you…