So with this Shadow of May is finished, though a day late. I haven’t found anything for June in either poetry challenges or tarot challenges, so I might take the month off as I’ve got to finish up my sister’s book and begin learning Blender to help a friend out on a game she’s developing. If I do take off I will most likely be back in July – I don’t want to leave this place dead for too long. Plus. I like writing semi-daily, it’s become a nice, relaxing habit I’ve developed for after I get off work. Anyway, enough with all the babble. The last prompt for Shadow of May was: What do I need to explore?
My life is all about the cost
Of living, living modestly, and working well
For long hours. I leave the living in the little bit
Left over between one work day and the next.
I’m methodical an I’ve no reason to rebel,
I swear, It’s one of those painful sort of comforts-
I got a job and I pay the right price everyday
To keep it, and most days, most days
I only get off feeling sort of dead for it all.
It’d be perfect, if only my heart wasn’t nostalgic
For a place I’d never been but in my dreams,
Of the day and night variety, a dream where I live
And work happily, without conflict and worry
How I’ll balance my bills and what I want to be.
Late, but not by much! I’m feeling slightly more alive than yesterday and so I’m taking this chance to catch up on the Shadow of May challenge. Yesterday, day twenty-seven, prompted: How do I feel about my accomplishments?
I don’t mean to brag, but
I’ve got hands on experience
With bad luck. I was born bad,
Unlucky, never ever stopped crying,
My mother swore to me, I never stopped
Until she put me down, shut the door, and
Turned off all the lights, the t.v, and the radio
In the house we never got to live long in.
I was a bad omen baby, she,
Bless her heart, she wouldn’t pick me up
It was my fortune, and I was
Bastardly fortunate, I guess, in some ways.
I learned to lose parts of myself quickly, and
Eventually put in the wounds left behind
More usable things, more unstable limbs.
A quick learner, my teachers would say.
I was such a quick learner, and maybe I was
At some time. I’ve got a few plaques with
My name on them shoved into my closet, behind
Some things I don’t remember ever owning.
Bad luck, I’ve got the experience, so
I think I know when I tell you how
It’s bad luck, to ever assume
Okay, so I’m trying to power through these and get caught up. I’ve finished day Twenty-six of Shadow of May which asked: What is my direction in life? What is my purpose? Yesterday and today’s are just notes sitting on my desk right now – hopefully not for long.
Tell me what it is I’m trying to be,
The Queen, the King, the Knight,
Oh, night! It’s time, allow me to wash
My hair tonight in that icy, icy sea.
Tell me the truth, tell me please,
How there are many kind and gentle things,
People, really, and though I don’t always
Consider myself one of them – often,
It’s every so often that some one looks
With eyes too soft at me, telling me –
Cruel. I don’t want to talk, and so I won’t.
I refuse to be anything but cruel to me.
I like the challenge, oh, it’s a challenge yes –
Let us go wash our hair in the sea, tell me,
Why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I be anything
But cruel to me – I am driven to overcome.
Yes, I want to overcome the life I lived,
But couldn’t live. Is there not something
Beautiful, yes, and cruel, in wanting to be
Something else other than the me I’ve seen?
Many apologies – I have been ill the past few days. Still going too, but at least I’m a little livelier than before. There’s probably going to be a number of mistakes and typos, but I can check those out later. The twenty-fifth Shadow of May question was: What three things do I most value?
‘A Light Haunting’
My house feels haunted, is haunted
By me. The soft whispering of my feet are
Still just as uncertain despite the two years
They’ve brushed against the concrete floors
That have supported my slippery shadow as I ghost
Between the front door, kitchen, bathroom,
My room – a path of half-existence taken daily.
Sometimes I see the sunlight drifting
Between the semi-closed blinds by the couch,
And sometimes there is food in the fridge
Waiting for when I remember that I’m alive again-
For no mater how tranquil I feel in my incompleteness
There is an existence outside of work, books, and sleep,
Which might require basic actions of me.
It’s a calm sort of crazy, sort of madness,
Haunting myself, that is, being there and yet gone.
For eighteen years I was trained to be quiet and light
On my toes, so much so that I learned to drift from room
To room. My mother began hanging up mirrors just
So she could catch me every now and then, but years later
I forgot how to stop and, I don’t know if I can – or want to.
Lately I’ve been feeling out of it with my writing. It happens from time to time. I just haven’t been enjoying the tone that I’ve developed over the last few weeks, maybe it’s because I haven’t written this regularly in a long time and it’s spreading me thin. I like to think I get better piece by piece, but, alas, instead I usually get annoyed and feel like I write the same poem nine times. They all start to bleed together and seem… I’m not sure how to say it. They don’t read clearly for me. Anyway, my point is – I’m trying to.. move back to more solid and clearer language. I’m also not a huge fan of first person, but I suck at everything else. Lol.
Enough of the word vomit. Today’s Shadow of May asked: How do I express myself?
In the south we are taught
Hospitality is keeping to yourself
While reaching out to others, like
Cold lemonade offered in the summer.
Polite, Friendly, and just shallow enough,
Not to be intrusive, but
You would not realize it by the letters
I mix together every night and morning-
There are so many emotions that I am
Just too weak and unwilling to express.
Pen ink appears much warmer on paper
Than any ounce of forced politeness I give.
The summer is usually so warm, but this year
I have grown to love the cold,unnatural storms,
And I enjoy seeing my face in the puddles they leave.
There’s just so little time left for cold lemonade
When it storms, and sometimes it’s better this way.
You don’t need lemonade when the heavy, wet air will do.
The warm pavement, warm ink, warm everything – it hurts
And most times, I’d prefer to keep all that to myself.
Whoops! Looks like I spoke to soon last time I posted. Got hit working a tournament at work – work day changed to 7am until closing at around 12am. Only had to do it two days though, and yesterday I got off early – but then I fell asleep until just a few hours ago. Anyway, the twenty first Shadow of May question asked: How do I show hate?
My stepmother told me many things
About myself and my future, the ruin
I would be, and my father quietly watched
As I became less than his child, less human.
Just like my mother, I am just like my mother
She’d say, the woman who did such terrible things
The judge eventually broke down and gave me to my father.
Tired, I was so tired of living with all those expectations.
That was forever ago, and now I know that no one
Can hurt me like that again, I now bask in a soft hate
By telling them how well I am doing, I’m alive and I shun
Them often in this leisure life, but they find a poisoned bait-
And, Oh, How in their own hate they love to bite,
But now, how I have come to live out of pure spite.
I can’t regret it, no, I cannot regret my will to live-
I show my hate in gentle little moments I’m willing to give.
Look at this! Not late! Crazy right? I don’t know how it happened but I got it out on time – impressive since I worked all day today and didn’t get home until 10pm! Today’s Shadow of May question asked: What provokes me to anger? Why?. A very loaded question – I try not to get angry often, but when I do I am a thing possessed. Today’s piece took an interesting turn…
‘All My Worthless Anger’
I’ve been angry the day I found out
My dreams had been sold to me taxed twice
At inflated prices and interest drawn high-
Pay while you’re young enough to take a loan
And you’ll pay the price every hour you live.
I’ve been pointlessly angry at the future,
Unable to commit myself to anything, because
Because, I believe I was sold a future that failed-
I bought it under the promise, the idea, the dream
That it would get better in time, things would be fixed,
Things could be fixed.. Band-aids on the bullet holes
This terrible world is being riddled with day after day.
My worthless anger is half anxiety and half grief,
Stirred twice, poured out, mixed again and again
Until it’s more inedible than it was to begin with.
How dare I ever think I could afford to dream?
I am to blame, they taught me at fifteen, I should’ve
Know to invest in something less real and more obscene.
What is decent living, a decent life lived at minimum wage-
The world, where I stand, no longer carries such futile things.
I’m either getting sick or I have allergies – neither are fun. Day fourteen of Shadow of May asked: What do I minimize about myself? What do I flaunt?
Here you guys go-
I don’t care much for being human,
Most my days are, in fact, spent in confusion
Trying to figure out how the hell I’m still alive-
Despite it all, despite everything, here I thrive?
I’ve had a very unlucky past, it’s true,
I’ve developed a sick pride for what I went through.
Clear headed, I was so terribly clear headed
And aware of the life I once lived and dreaded-
I dreaded all of it, and I’d like to erase some
Of the memories that are too soft, cute, and numb.
Minimize the conflicting emotions, all that commotion-
I’ve learned to live, finally, via some sort of logical devotion.
Yesterday’s Shadow of May question was ‘What does Self Love mean to me?’ And it’s late because I was practicing self-love – that is to say I got off work and then spent the entire night talking and playing video games with my sister. I went to bed at 6am. It was great.
This poem though – not so great, but then again my shadow work poetry generally isn’t.
It’s a sweet and sour balance,
Affection caught briefly between
My bitter, salty and cut lips.
“Love yourself” they whisper,
Drink water with some of that rum.
I could rip myself to pieces over and over
Every day of the week, but I leave at least one-
And on that single one I believe
In small insignificant acts of self-love.
To eat or not. To sleep or not.
I decide in finality what I need,
And nobody needs me today.
Or. No. I need nobody today.
Self-love, my love, I know-
I know when to stop and be selfish,
It’s a sweet and sour balance,
Balanced between two broken lips.
Today’s prompt was to do a poem on taste! I chose silence because… why not? Also I must apologize – Yesterday was full of unexpected surprises at work. By the time I got home at 1am I was dead tired and just went to sleep.
‘Dreaming of Silence’
A long night spent painfully quiet,
A taste of chalkiness, a sitting
Ungracefully on the tongue,
Heavy weight, foreboding.
It’s silence, uncomfortable silence,
And it tastes like that drink you thought
Was yours, but it wasn’t, it was a stranger’s.
How wrong it tasted. How wrong it all felt.
Dreams, dreams dreamed silently,
They taste so wrong in the back of your throat-
A bitter heaviness of sleep lost, thoughts lost
Sweetness replaced by a bitter irony.
Would coffee cover it – would anything?
Anything to wake up, to move on, to forget
How it came to be all your dreams were replaced
With silence, with that bitter heavy silence.
They say that when you dream in black and white
It’s because you judge the world as one or the other.
It’s silent and it sits heavy on the tongue, ashy loathing,
Acid regret sitting in the back throat watching and waiting.