The Mask

Chosen so carefully

Each one crafted, hand-made from our own unique pain

Each one brilliant in its effectiveness towards keeping others

Out

A wearable No Trespassing sign

Expressed in so many ways

And yet we all wish to break free

That Part we’ve kept inside – the Real Us

Asking to be Seen

The outer defending against it endlessly

But there comes a time

Right before it’s too late

(like in that Twlight Zone episode where the masks become the face)

When we realize the mask that kept us safe

Is now the cause of our deterioration

But sweet elation!

You can still get free

You can step out of the box you put yourself in

Take the mask off and place it in the box instead

So the Real You

The one we secretly all beg for

Can finally Live

 

 

Happy

Everybody wants me to be happy

perhaps because they cannot stand to face their own unhappiness

but I am not happy

the world is fraught with horrific things that I cannot Unsee or Unknow

I check my feed to see who’s been slaughtered today

and people want me to be happy

the murdered child

the bombings and beheadings

the shooting victims

the acid victims

The great vat of spiritual bypass

and desperate clinging to the last shreds of your own denial

even as our world implodes

but you dare ask me to be happy

fuck your happy

goddamn fuck your happy

Unpopular

I don’t believe in an all-good God

Or an all-good Anything, really

Have you not also learned that Life is Whole?

Life is Both

And you can spin it any way you like

if it helps you sleep at night

like

underneath Everything is Love

and

God is Love

But No

I say

God is Both

And The Both is The One

Good and Evil exist simultaneously

Two sides of the same coin

It’s not just either-or

And you don’t get to toss aside The One You Don’t Prefer

Have you not looked in the mirror

and seen the God and the Devil in you?

Or your brother, then?

If not

you’re not looking close enough

And yeah, I’ve read the Bible

And yeah, I’ve read Deepak, too

And there is so much great stuff in all of the above

But if God is in everything

Then God is in everything

You don’t get to pick and choose

And this will not be The Popular Thing to Say

But fuck popularity

I was terrible at it anyway

So go ahead and keeping insisting upon all your regurgitated views

Delusion

is

so

much

easier

than

Truth

 

Draft Pick

Yesterday, an anxious fit threw me

silk sheets wrapped their burgundy curls around my limbs

pinning me down in my own twisted, sweaty haste

to get away

What a sad-funny thing to think we can run from ourselves

How many times do you wage war on the inside?

Some lose days

Some lose years

I’ve lost both before but in my bones I know

the worthiest of battles

are on this battlefield of Soul

So when I lose

I wake again and start anew

Today, I threw an anxious fit away

each step I took with wisened foot

Lessons learned

I feel my worth

Wars are won on how we greet our losses

If we were picking teams

Would you choose yourself?

‘Cause I’d sure as hell choose

me

 

 

 

 

Black Tar Tears

 

black tar tears

muddy evidence

of failed heroic attempts

veins straining against forehead skin

enraged, entrapped by the war within

black tar tears

thick, sticky evidence of rolling that fucking stone up the mountain

again and again

watching it just roll back down

just roll back down

the other voice is winning today

the one that say

what

is

the

fucking

point

you stupid

fucking

bitch

and I don’t have it in me to correct him

this murderous rage stabs at me

I see how the terrorist lives within

helpless and violent

do I matter at all

to anyone

am I destined to be alone

forever

no one hears me

look —

even the tar

is gone

Laundry Day

you gotta have yourself a laundry day

and sort your shit

 

there’s a difference between giving something a voice

and giving it sole power

allowing a say and allowing a take-over

the delicate dance between having a feeling 
or letting it capture you and take you away

 

this ain’t Calgon

and trust me, that shit don’t work anyway

 

seems to me it all falls to one concept

Discerning

it’s such a pesky little mutha

How can it be both/and all the time?

but you know it is

there are no absolutes

there is only finding what works for you

 

you gotta have yourself a laundry day

and

Sort.

Your.

Shit.

 

Or be like everyone else sheeping through this life

with the “it’s too hards” or the endless escapism in endless forms

 

Or become the storm

and say to yourself

“fuck this mediocre shit”

 

You came here to do something

no need to get overwhelmed

just make a choice

And figure it out

 

p.s.

that top goes with the darks

Work

I see you eating your pastry

Drinking your wine

Laughing, smoking

On kitschy, woven chairs

facing the street

so you may people-watch

or be watched

people turn into atmosphere

I peer in to your vacation-looking lives and think

I’d like to be like you

And laugh and drink and espresso and croissant

and repeat

but inside I know I am not like you

I did not come here for that

I wish I did

(well, maybe)

Oh I wish I did!

(hey, lady — maybe)

But I…

Well

I have work to do

The Boot

One intentional STOMP

A spurred boot slamming onto an iced-over lake

Sadness breaks through me

the cracks begin slowly

reaching their jagged, frozen fingers through my skin

they quicken

Frigid waters rising

I hear a whisper somewhere

Don’t fall in

Don’t fall in

Those waters aren’t meant for swimming

30 seconds til hypothermia sets in

But then, a different voice speaks:

There is no danger here

I reassure The Whisperer

I am the lake.

And The Thing breaking through me

Is only

Letting Life in

Familiar

Familiar walks around in your favorite, cozy sweats

With a warm, inviting smile on Her face

She has those trustworthy dimples that Charming People have

Familiar gives the best hugs you’ve ever had

But

Familiar is not your friend

She won’t tell you the hugs She’s giving

Are really full of Take

The comfort She is offering has a price like anything

Familiar will hold you your whole life if you let Her

And , oh, what a gift She gives!

But at the end, old and frail, you’ll gaze back up again

She will hold the Life that was yours

No

Familiar is not your friend