Over // Under

Standard

Undercaffeinated, I wake with sleep crusting circles around my eyes

“Overjoyed” to be awake before the sun

Underwhelmed at the thought that almost everyone I know is still asleep

Overtly expressing conflicting emotions, as eyes tell the truth even when a smile lies

Undetermined conclusions generate confusion as I strive for a homeostasis of sorts instead

Over the next hill, we might see the sun

Under the guise of someone who has any idea where they’re going

Over burdened and underprepared, somehow we’ll still reach our destination

Overcast skies shroud the hearts of those who miss the sun, but bring smiles to those who love the rain

Understanding that everyone is different

Overnight, all consuming emotions melt away when greeted with the rise of the sun

Understated, you balk slightly at the ease of this renewal

Over and over you pondered that thought, bringing no release

Under the horizon, the sun waited patiently knowing it held your answers

Overwhelmed, tears carry your frustrations out of your mind, leaking through holes in your eyes like rainwater in the corner the kitchen

As a kid, you played in raindrops indoors while everyone else had to go outside

Undermining the authority of your ego was the best choice you ever made

Over it, under it, it doesn’t matter now anyway

You’re going through.

Je n’aime pas votre masque

Standard

It’s an inch layer thick, it’s a pick-up-stick, it’s a way to fall in line.

It’s a mask you wear, it’s so debonair, but at the same time, so contrived.

And you brush your teeth with steel wool and you comb your hair with flames.

And everything that once fell apart will fall together the same.

Do you even know who you are today? Would you recognize your name?

If it appeared to you, as if to say, “Hey you! You’re a pawn in this game.”

You’re a loner, a rebel, an outcast. A last god among men.

But your lone wolf pack has grown weary, and moved onward once again.

You’re a solitary M&M in a bag of otherwise boring trail mix.

But this bag of mix is a sack of shit.  You’re a hypocrite! You’re a hypocrite!

So take your gold plated emblems, and your trophies and your smile,

And walk them away from, move them away from, take them away for a while.

I simply cannot bear to watch your life erode away

Your armor will tarnish; your shield won’t gleam,

and nothing is ever as good as it seems.

So take off that mask, toss it aside, I hope that you know that you don’t have to hide.

Eventually all of your fears will subside,

The only thing wrong is what’s wrong in your mind.

Fête champêtre, Fête galante, C’est masquerade, C’est farce!

Remove your mask, no need to hide

If you never look, then you’ll never find

Un petit peu de toi heureux

Arrêtez-vous! Arrêtez-vous! Maintenant!

(It was hiding right here all this time)

Stockholm Windows

Standard

My window is a place to escape my fate

I could leave any time I choose.

But instead I’ll stay inside, I’m a prisoner in my mind

And I’d rather be a prisoner here with you.

I watch the streets below, the people look like ants

Going about their business – Business ants.

 

If it rains outside, I don’t mind.

If it storms or if it pours, I just sit back and watch the show from the safety of my window

 

I hang my mind out to dry, on a clothesline from my window to yours

It’s the only time I go outside.

 

I wave in the breeze like a bird on a cloud

But unlike those birds, I cannot fly.

I’m just hanging here to dry.

 

I pack my brain back in my head, close the blinds, go inside.

Continue to live a lie.

 

I wish that I could leave, but I simply cannot go.

Because leaving would mean leaving you alone. 

Suspense

Standard

I’m tethered to the ground

There’s a place between flying and falling.

I’m suspended.

In what, I don’t know.

I can only tell you I love you in a poem. Only on stage can I express how I feel.

I can write a thousand songs for you and it will be the most intimate thing I’ve ever done.

Because I’m separated. You’re in the audience and I’m on stage. I’m safe here. You can’t get me. You can’t stop me.

My words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with my feelings.

Let me express myself.

Let me be me. Let me love you.

I’m sorry you can’t accept it. I’m sorry that you don’t understand it. It’s not for you to understand. It’s a gift.

It’s something I’m giving you: freely, willingly, wantingly.

I’m falling.

But I’m suspended. I’ll never hit the ground.

And if I do hit the ground, I’ll hit the ground running. And I’ll take off and I’ll leave you behind, trembling in the wake of my words.

You make me feel sorry that I love you.

It’s a strange guilt. It’s an emotion I wish I could take back.

It’s something I wish I could stop myself from feeling. Stop it entirely: Put a stopper on it, don’t let it go, keep it all inside.

Don’t tell them how you feel, they won’t understand. They’ll just see it as surface value, they’ll tell you you’re crazy.

They’ll tell you you’re being “overdramatic.”

But you’re not.

It’s an earnest feeling, it’s a valid feeling. It’s a feeling of all feelings.

And I’m in touch with mine, are you in touch with yours?

No.

You’re dead inside, and I can feel it when I’m around you.

It’s not a permanent death, it’s a sleeping death. It’s one you won’t wake from till you’re ready.

And nothing I can do can compel you to wake up. TO WAKE UP!

You’ve been sleeping for too long.

I’m suspended.

Matchsticks

Standard

If I just lie here

and try to forget

what sound

[sounds like]

I’ll wake up refreshed

And wantonly extinguished.

Unbelievable. Unbearable.

Unconquerable. Inconsequential. Consequences. Sequences. Sequential. Cylindrical. Cyclical. Cynical.

[Idiots]

Burn your resolutions down, tie them to the that stupid colored shroud you’ve begun to carry with you.

You burning horrible son-of-a-bitch

eating my soul

and feeding it to other unsuspecting infants who don’t need the excess nourishment.

[An unusual turn of events for something so unusually predictable…]

And my skin is falling off, can you pick it up for me?

I must find a way to paste it back on.

Paste it upon some remnant of something that used to be my life.

But no blood, never any blood.

It just wouldn’t come.

[But wouldn’t go if it did.]

And it keeps falling, despite my best efforts to keep it in place.

Can’t hold on to something so resistant to my touch, to something so extinguishable.

With nothing but a single glance.

The future burns a quiet hole in all that we’ve got left of the present.

[Just torch it.]

Swimming Lessons

Standard

I’m solitary.

I isolate myself because I am a time-bomb of emotions.

I am solitary, and I can barely keep it contained, how am I supposed to control myself in public?

Excuses, excuses, excuses, excuses.

Avoid these people, don’t go there, don’t say that, don’t touch me don’t touch me DON’T TOUCH ME.

I arrive early, but I sit in the parking lot for 15 minutes bracing myself for impact.

I put on my uniform: a suit of armor that I wear to protect myself from the outside world. It’s tarnished from years of use.

It’s patched and frayed but I still wear it every day.

I take a breath and step into a room filled with familiar strangers.

Suddenly, without warning, a sensation begins to build in my chest. It’s one I’ve grown accustomed to.

This is the battle I fight daily.

I prepare myself for war as the burning spreads: first to my shoulders, then trickling down to my wrists to tingle in my fingertips.

It spreads to my face as my cheeks turn red with warmth. I’m embarrassed.

But no one even sees me. I’m embarrassed to be in this room. I’m embarrassed because I exist.

The pounding in my chest is incessant. I wonder if the strangers can hear the thumping too?

This feeling washes over my body in a continuous ebb and flow.

There’s an ocean in my lungs: a tumultuous sea, dammed by my own inability to understand myself.

And I can’t let it go out of fear that I might drown passersby.

And you! You call yourself my friend and you’re willing to brave these waters, but YOU. CAN’T. SWIM!

You didn’t even bring a lifejacket.

I’m willing to take off this armor and expose this sea of emotions, but I don’t want you to drown!

Please, learn how to swim.

I can hold my breath forever. Don’t worry about me.

Out West

Standard

The spindles of your wagon wheels hold nests, houses for little birds. 

Chittering away animatedly as they tumble end over end, as your wagon travels surely out West. 

A GOLDDIGGER in the best of terms and a tumbleweed at the worst. 

 

Maybe you’ll find gold, but this is the dust bowl. 

And if you dig down deep enough, all you’ll find is more dust. 

The real treasure lies in your heart. 

In that pit of despair you’ve so callously hidden away. 

You store up your emotions like treasures and trinkets on shelves in your mind. 

Akin to the way the Pharaoh’s organs have been expertly preserved in urns beneath the pyramids in Egypt. 

An oasis! 

You see in the distance. 

You hope it’s real because you’re OUT OF WATER. 

Your wagon is an island in this desert of dust. 

“BRING IT ON DYSENTERY,” you scream into your bowels. “I can take it.”