The Effects of Time

Talk about quitting
Drink some coffee
Excuses are so easy
Sitting on a bar stool
Sifting through memory

All of my idols smoked
Quitting is so easy
When the options are
Given to leaving
Walking away

That day
Tiny apartment
A box of cheap wine
In a plastic skull wine glass
Modest Mouse
Bukowski’s Factotem open
Alone in a plastic chair

The product of
Stray thoughts
The grains of memory
A bottle rocket in the backyard
A chemical reaction

The line of a song
Played on repeat
The skipping of a record
The nerves
When the heart skips a beat

Spring Moments and The Robin

Free camo camp chairs and
The cool breeze
Uline branded on the backs
Glass bottle sodas and
Time spent side by side
A huge robin lands in the grass
Rust breast
And you point
Whisper
“Look, but be very quiet”
We stare at nature
Lilacs and tulips
Goose flesh on my legs
And he flies away
And we sit back
Pick up our books
Refocused
Quietly passing moments
From the brains
Of different people

I Write Haikus Not About Nature

We Become Who We Are, Who We Were, When We Listen
Friday night I drink
And listen to NPR
Tiny Desk Concerts

The Utility Bill Guy Was Awkwardly Attractive And I Probably Spelled His Name Wrong
Zach knocked on my door
Had questions about my gas
Utility bill

Strep Throat Doesn’t Actually Steal Your Soul Unless It’s Some Spell That An Ex Casts That Is Specifically A Strep Throat Soul Stealing Spell
Strep is a shit guy
Who takes and takes and wants more
Like maybe your soul

That Year Spiders Plotted To Take My House, and Invited The May Flies Along For The Ride
Spiders in my house
They gather where the wall meets
Ceiling, and they plot

Nostalgia Flavored Coffee

This was written roughly a few months ago, sitting at a Bigby’s in Muskegon, hanging out in the middle of a Friday before meeting up with a friend. Not sure why I didn’t post it then, but I think I ran out of chill time. Today, my backdrop is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and an occasional, “Mom, I need…” or “Mom, I feel…”, because my small one has strep. It is everything opposite of that Friday; sitting at my bar in my kitchen, drinking coffee out of an old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mug, thinking about responsibilities and work questions because I’ve never taken a day off from this job, let alone three, and a sick child that I want to feel better and stupid housework. A contrast of days, the difference of life.

It is a Friday afternoon and I am sitting in a coffee shop, headphones in with a to go mug next to me, thinking about how this used to be my life, filled a little with a sense of nostalgia and longing. Well, switch out the computer for a composition notebook and mini CD player with headphones, because we’re talking about the early 2000’s here, and add a plastic black ashtray on the table with a pack of Camel Lights. Back then, us Michiganders were allowed to smoke inside and I took advantage of this fact wholeheartedly. That pretty much sums up my twenties. Currently, the mood is being set by the Flaming Lips, my child very noticeably not in front of me as he is at his Dad’s, and I have no real place that I need to be. In my twenties this was something taken for granted, but over halfway through my thirties, I think I should probably take a moment to recognize this as a rare occurrence, the successful mating and birthing of a panda bear, and enjoy the hell out of it. I mean, where am I normally on a Friday afternoon? Well, normally I am working at an elementary school as a paraprofessional during the day, and hanging out with a seven year old every night, making sure he’s eating a real dinner and not spending every waking second with his eyeballs glued to his Kindle. By the time he’s in bed and we’ve read some on Percy Jackson, it’s past nine and my brain is fried. If I did cohabitate, my guess is the person would get zombie answers out of me if they tried to start a conversation. Like, “Hey, what do you think of the new healthcare bill?” and my response would be something like, “Ughhh guuuuhh.” Clearly a well thought out response.

My early twenties were filled with a lot of Goodwill clothing that didn’t match, emo music and Wes Anderson films, long conversations over coffee that felt like they held the weight of the world, and PBR over smokes and darts. Homework was a backdrop, classes and work, always there in the background of my memories.

Flash forward to my thirties and I spend this entire time : spaced out from writing, looking up songs and artists on Spotify and adding music to my newer playlists, and bouncing from there to working on a story for a few minutes, reading a couple of articles on NPR but I shall invoke the millennial phrase: I just can’t. I just can’t think about politics today, so that didn’t last very long. I texted a friend about Tim Vantol, then I looked him up and listened to a few of his songs. And here I am again.

I guess I’m just not used to getting big blocks of time on my hands. And that’s okay. I mean, my mid thirties kind of kick ass.

The Day We Saw Dead Bodies in the Museum And Some Other Things

That time I went
To Chicago
The three hour train ride
And you bought me coffee
from Starbucks
We went to the library
And the stress of
Being on a trip all alone
Caught up with me

We caught the first bus
To the museum
Where the bodies
Of dead donated people
Made up a whole exhibit
Made up a whole floor
And later
A nice stranger took our picture
In a place I can’t remember

In a diner on Michigan
I played Frank Turner
From my phone
Because I knew you needed
Love Song and Ire in your life
Told you I’d been there before
The same diner
Six years prior
My best friend and I
Spent lunch in before
Flying to England
Where we discovered underground murder
How to hide in a water closet
And encountered a mime by the Eye
Shown a friendship
By a dancer from Detroit
And her drug dealing friend Ben
Who bought me a shot
And everything was so loud
Like a car driving straight
Through the hostel walls
on the fourth floor

I saw a picture
And the memories make up
My over crowded brain
And I can leave it here
Can leave it on this page
A piece of something
In a place where
A puzzle will form
As I make room
As I make parts of a whole
As I Build and break
Build and break

Chicago Flower

This Is My Brain All Of The Time

It’s like waking from a dream and I get up and have my coffee with far too much creamer because damned if I can quit and the mess is just not something I can be in and around and it makes my brain crazy. I wake up and realize that I have to clean. And I have to clean everything as thoroughly as possible and as quick as possible and I have to do anything I can eke out in the time that I’m functioning on a ‘don’t just do enough to get by’ basis and it’s either falling asleep after I make dinner or the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep which causes zombie like tendencies the next day with a complete inability to focus properly or remember anything and the rest of the week and all I have I give while I’m at work, because my coworkers and the kids need me to be my best me and then I come home and I try my best to be the best mom but sometimes it’s hard and I yell and I’m lonely and I’m so overwhelmed with the bills and the bank account and the responsibilities and the keeping house and the getting groceries and the doing extras with my son and the need to exist outside of this bubble I’ve created is just impossible and I am so goddamned alone. This is my brain. This is my brain all of the time. If I don’t give my brain something else to focus on, sometimes two something else’s or even three it will just drive me absolutely insane. There are people who wonder how a person can drink alone, because when I was younger I always wondered how people could drink alone, but now I understand and now I understand the struggle to not drink alone because being overwhelmed doesn’t get fixed that way, but just existing in this state isn’t going to fix my brain and I worry about my quality of life because it slips by so fast and the time with my son because he’s already seven and he was just a tiny toddler hardly tall enough to see out the window but that was years ago.

My brain is filled with words all the time. Some people see images in their brains, but mine is a stream of flow consciousness all of the time unless otherwise occupied and some days I just need it to shut the fuck up and leave me alone.