Acceptance

You have me in denial

Daily begging for you back.

I’m angry that you never showed

A warning of attack.

It’s depressing that I’ll never know

What you would’ve become.

I’m waiting for acceptance

That I doubt will ever come.

 

What words that could have calmed you?

Where were you all last week?

Am I hopeless as I’m feeling?

Did you ever think to speak?

It’s depressing that you fought with darkness

While flashing me a smile.

I’m waiting for acceptance

But it’s taking quite awhile.

 

Perhaps I’m being selfish

Or perhaps I’m being vain.

But I can’t help but feel guilty

That I never saw your pain.

It’s depressing that you sat beside me

Just that afternoon.

I’m waiting for acceptance

That I hope is coming soon.

 

I know these words are futile

As they’re words you’ll never read.

But writing out my feelings

Seems to be just what I need.

Thank you for the time we had.

You’re one I won’t forget.

I’m sad but I’m surviving—

Though I can’t accept it yet.

Loving English’s flaws

English is flawed, which is perhaps why I love it so much. It takes skill and patience to make words say what you want them to. It’s easy to use one wrong word and have your sentence get thrown completely off track.

The common grievances are the “there their and they’re” sort of thing, how read and lead and read and lead rhyme, how you drive on the parkway but park in a driveway…these are just failures of the language to be easy.

I barely want to touch on how dumb spelling is. Acquire, believe, calendar, cemetery, eighth, embarrassed, guarantee, license, maneuver, privilege, receive, rhythm, vacuum… what the hell, English?!

Worse than spelling is grammar. How do you write it: Douglass’s or Douglass’? I never know. Do you say “Aerosmith was” because it is a singular band, or “Aerosmith were” because the band comprises of more than one person? When do you use lay vs. lie vs. laid? When do you use “that,” and when do you use “which,” and when do you use “that which?”

Mostly, I long for a more extensive language. Why, for instance, is there no stronger word than love? Why does romantic love and parental love and friendly love and familial love and object love and concept love all fall under the same category of love? The word that I use to describe my feelings toward pizza shouldn’t be the same I use to describe my feelings toward my loved ones.

However, I do appreciate this flaw in English, as it is this flaw that allows us to be creative. Since the beginning of writing it has been used to romance others. People use sonnets when a simple “I love you” just won’t do. The limit of “love” allowed us to create metaphors, to amaze our significant others and parents with stories and rhymes and humor and heart.

If there was a word stronger than love, we’d just whip it out when things needed to be more serious. Like a strong swearword, it would be a simple, common way to show emotion. The overuse of the word love lets us get creative, and it is this creativity, this drive to work harder to prove the extent of our indescribable love, that shows just how loving we are.

In the end, I love English. Warts and all. I do wish spelling and grammar were easier, though.

“Conscience?” Really?

Happy toes

For my grandmother, whose birthday is soon:

 

A hole a sock a thread a pin

A stuffed tomato to stick it in

A thimble a button a needle a knot

Using her teeth to pull it taut.

Blue and black, white and gray

A tube of glue for a rainy day

A nimble thumb, the smell of rose

A mended sock for happy toes

 

A lemon cookie, a mug of tea

A grandmother’s hug, just for me.

Strong

What if my hands

Are too weak to hold your purse?

What if my stomach

Is too weak to be your nurse?

What if my arms

Are too weak to hold you awhile?

What if my words

Are too weak to make you smile?

What if my jokes

Are too weak to make you laugh?

What if my kisses

Are too weak to make you gasp?

Will you accept me if I’m weak

In all I wrote above

If I can prove that what is strong

About me is my love?

Wallpaper

She sits backstage, she cares

She watches him, she wears

Camouflage costume

Her hair, it likes to fall

Paper curling off the wall

In aging bedrooms

The months go by, she never sees the sun

He cooks a feast of time for everyone.

 

She sleeps into the winter

Her teeth are tasting bitter

Stained with wine

Made of glass and ether

Pull the rug out from beneath her

I am fine

The days go by, she acts despite her fears

He lets her go, she never disappears.

//

Full flavored faces are gone.

Wrong.//Shark attacks lasting a week

Long//Children are growing up tall,

Strong//Lullabies turned to a work

Song//Grass stains on knees ice cream in

Hand//Careers fighting fire are half

Planned// Strapped to a chair once you can

Stand//Plucked from clouds sewn to the

Land//

Where it rains

Where stupidity reigns, the closed mind domain,

Mem’ry retains only diamonds and pain

That are gained by the people preferred as bloodstains,

Who scream and make mountains of mole-hurricanes.

Ankle sprains, labor pains, they are one in the same

Blood runs red in all veins but some spill, some contain.

“If our rattling chains cause your painful migraines,

Equality! A solution that should be entertained.”

“Hold on, beautiful”

“This time be my only girl/We could undress all the world.” —Undress the World,” The Milk Carton Kids

If writing is the love of my life than music is my mistress. I suppose it makes sense that lyrics have always been the most important part of music for me. Of course, not just lyrics—that would be not much else but poetry—but the way the lyrics are sung, the crescendos and voice cracks, the harmonies and vibratos and emotions. Music is sound, which writing can never be.

When I am caught in the throes of a musical love affair I often only want to write the lyrics of already existing songs.  I have notebooks full of songs already written, recorded word for word. I would rewind the song until I knew every syllable, until I transcribed it totally, and then would listen to it again, my eyes following the guide I had made. It was time filler, but made my soul feel light.

I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s an expression of obsession, or a desire to recreate what they have done. Perhaps it’s my own way of honoring their work.

Whenever I don’t know what to blog, writing lyrics comes to mind. For split seconds it always seems like a great idea, to share songs I love with the world, but then again, copyright laws, and then again, why would someone read the lyrics when they can hear the song in full with half a dozen keystrokes? I could do song reviews, I suppose, but who am I to say what lyrics mean to anyone but myself?

Lyrics alone do not do a song justice, anyhow. While I love them best, they lose their luster without a singer and a band.

Well, I’m a writer, after all. I shall write my own songs!…but how could I write something more perfect, more capturing of my situation than these songs that already exist? I would get more fulfillment from writing down what they sing, from hearing their cadence until it’s impressed on my mind. And even then, even if I were to write the lyrics of a song and comment on it, I would probably only gush about its greatness. Or, quite the opposite, I would ignore the rest of the song for my favorite line, the one that gets stuck in my head.

Perhaps this is partly why I like quotes so much. Snippets that capture a situation, an emotion, the song they are plucked from in so many words. If only there were a quote to sum up everything in the world. It would certainly make it easier to sing about:

 

“Witness what I listen. There’s a world here you’re missin’ to behold

A fiery night under the skies could warm your heart and hide away the cold

Venture out a little further and somehow you might find the courage to go

‘Cuz if you stand there long enough, you will realize you’re really on your own

Go on hold me

Go on hold me

Hold on, beautiful.”

“Undress the World,” The Milk Carton Kids

Roam

When all I can say is repeat what’s been said

It’s hard to believe that the words in my head

Are anything worthy to write or be read

Perhaps I should focus on running, instead.

For who reads newspapers half a day old?

The company’s heart’s barely beating, I’m told

Surely my paper and life’s work will fold.

What could be better than hitting the road?

Making the stories I’d once been reporting

The future, the past, and the present distorting

What would mom say if she saw me resorting

To running and laughing and shameless cavorting?

As it turns five and of course I head home

The sky is an ominous gray monochrome.

I wonder which parent gave the chromosome

That gives me the hesitant instinct to roam.

Power, resurrected

Voices collected, ambitions rejected

Children subjected to hate, protected

By parents connected, but they are neglected

By those who correct them with chains.

Unexpected revolting, cities injected

With highline objective, now you’ve been selected,

Infected, directed, suspected, ejected.

They say, “unaffected.” Insane.

This love, misdirected, is being reflected

In friends disconnected, hate uncorrected,

Those disrespected don’t go undetected.

We just want to own our own names.