April 9th 2012

The revolution does not smell like smoke.

It could smell like lemons and ginger,

crushed pine needles, freshly baked cookies,

and wet dog hair. It could also smell like

unwashed human, burnt skin, fast food,

and a freshly bought suit and tie.

I am still deciding what I want my revolution

to smell like. It’s a daily process.

 

April 6th 2012

Get a beard, she says

and I’ll call you by your name.

Legalize it, he says

and I’ll call you mister.

Meet me at the signpost that

says gender crossing.

I will point to which path

I am taking. As if

they only go in one direction.

As if there is a destination.

I drink another glass of wine

and swallow the wrong pronoun.

I do not tell many strangers this

but I have wanted to carve my name

into my arm to prove to you

to her, to him, to myself

that this is who I am.

I know, better than any other,

that there is no going back.

I will teach you each letter;

every shape and syllable.

That girl is nothing but

a mask someone glued onto me

at birth. People added layers.

I did not know what fresh air

tasted like until I could look

into my own eyes and say, boy.

I tore off every single sliver.

I said no to suffocating.

If you need me, call my name

into that mountain air and ask

me to come home to you.

You will have to send me directions

for I do not recognize the streets.

I know only my two feet,

my shadow behind me,

the stars above and the heart

that beats in my chest.

Not even I can tell you where

I am headed. I only know that

it is much better than here.

april 4th 2012

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i almost cried while walking beside the sun today

and struggled to keep my composure under the grey clouds.

the mail man did not notice.

– nope.

lightning out to sea.

i know with an absolute certainty

that i don’t know.

i found the words to tell you friendship

and you handed me cornbread, tarot cards, and needles.

this remarkable universe told me that this was

the right thing to do. you

high-fived me as we smoked cigarettes.

i showed you my raw bones and you

held me tenderly.

–yet this isn’t working.

you wait until i grow up, i told the pirate.

everything will be great.

he growled at me and bit into an apple.

after lunch, i walked into the kitchen

to clean my dishes and found an old friend

there making chocolate cheesecake for vegans.

she promised to save me a piece.

it is my birthday, said the gramophone.

albert camus wished me well twice.

my body held itself together til evening.

i made faces at the mail box and nobody noticed.

i told you that i knew how to spell community now

and you smiled at me in relief.

april 3rd 2012

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my dad broke a poem once.

the only line i can remember from it is,

“i know you know what is feels like to be hunted.”

the brilliance fell into the gutters and

tipped into the sewers.

the bumblebees in my ribcage

have been humming all day,

articulating a poem that i have often declared

i have no language for. how wrenching,

she said to me, to not have the childhood

that you should have had. i went

deer-still, headlight eyes gazing at her.

i got a cigarette off of her.

she rolls them by hand.

i am holding onto things too tightly

today. shit. how does one cope

with broken poems pollinated

by bumblebees and cigarette stubs?

Hello world!

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I am starting National Poetry Writing Month a day late. I have a take-home exam to write before writing and posting today’s poem. Amusingly, my essay is about comparing the concept of nature in two Romantic poems. I think I shall pick Coleridge’s “This Lime Bower-Tree My Prison” and Shelley’s “Mont Blanc”.

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