Routinely Out of Order

When I put one foot in front of the other

And end up tripping myself

I laugh through the stumble

Not believing I could purposefully do

such a thing.

But when I leave five minutes

After I should have,

Everytime,

All the time,

I drive white knuckled and swear,

Upset at anyone who delays me.

When I stare at a pile of clothes,

An unkempt mixture of laundered and worn,

I dread how I will have to carve

Out

a big chunk

of time to fix it,

But tuck the morsels of not doing it

Right then and there,

into my “Im too busy”s,

As they catch up on Netflix.

Oh yes, I always envied the houses

Where drawers had one purpose,

Someone calling out to you

“It should be in there!”

Knowing it would be,

Whilst I prayed in my own house

“It Should be in there!

(Please be in there.

Please. Its gotta be right in there. I swear I put it there. Where else would I have put it?)”

Yes, life has handed me chaos,

But I’m the one paying her decoratoring

Expenses.

I should probably look into doing something

about that.

Next week.

 

 

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Morsels

Putting a bunch of shorter Poems from various days into this post. A lot deal with anxiety.  

 

2-26-18

Brushing my teeth

won’t remove the green

stains of jealousy

rotting my ability to

communicate. No, the

harshness of fear translates

ugly on the surface,

leaves others

with a prickly sensation.

Poor mental hygiene

is to blame.

 

12-23-17

Filtering thoughts

Overflow from work

Thrown headfirst

into a burst

of negativity

from all sides

no compromise

Christmas Time

and fielding lies

Finding truth

in only that

which matters to me.

Love divine

Irrational Signs

of cosmic symmetry

 

12-9-17

The barricades are rolling

up

over my toes and

up

around my ankles-

The prick of the wire

barbed and foreboding

makes me feel stuck

and I can’t

will myself to move

from this place

of fear.

 

1-?-18

Like the fox,

I won’t let you hurt me,

Not with your presence,

nor with your threats.

Instead I will watch

patiently, until you retreat.

Then I will tremble onward,

alone.

 

2-23-18

You.

An overdone sequence

of beginnings.

Declarations of intent

with no strength

to follow through.

Chewing on pens.

Later, later, later.

Why bother?

Reminders tacked to nuerons

firing yourself for trying.

Over before you started.

Begin again,

a bigger process

of learning to overcome

Nature

Nurture

(or lack thereof)

 

Summer-2017

I am the constant

swing of light

from day to night

I am the echoing

reverence of a silent church

My palms are flattened

from the support they offer.

I am enough to make

you wonder about.

Death becomes me

but I will not become death.

A removal of soul

beyond this physical realm.

My shoulders can dip

and shimmy into

outspread arms,

through valleys of truth,

the kind you spit out,

but doesn’t accept returns.

 

?-Summer-2017

I can walk you through battlefields from the confines of my memories,

A palm on your back to gently lead you around the landmines.

It is only later I will venture back alone

to talk to the ghosts there,

the figments of trust, love, nurturing, and safety,

and I will stroke their shimmering corporeal beings

in greeting.

We know one another too well,

and yet they still wonder why I continue to haunt the physical realm.

I remind them that they would not be visited if I ceased to lead

these new souls through their graveyards,

if I didn’t create plaques of poetry inspired by them.

They laugh,

because I don’t even believe me.

 

8-12-17

Living in a world of constant stimulation,

validation plugged into our fingers:

Tap, swipe, like, repeat:

We don’t make room for sunshine

and other necessary things.

The only way to conquer this constant pull is to

live with deprivation sometimes.

No outside inhalations.

Only those within.

Taking the time to sleep, organize, rifle through thoughts that have gathered.

If I let them all collect dust, the bunnies will outnumber my sanity.

 

?-?-2017

Anxiety is swirling around

the back of my throat

like a Bubble

Drowning

Cutthroat

the lining of my

vocal chambers

burn hollow

from the water in my lungs

Tongues

which have forced their

way into my

energy channels

Swimming upstream

Nightmare dreams

The desire to expel

but the lack of ability to tell

myself

how to accomplish this.

 

 

 

Reflections after “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”

There is a lot for me to mull over after watching the new feminist documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”, as my journey into and through feminist philosophy has weaved in and out throughout my life. To see it in a historical context, hearing from women who organized for reproductive rights, equal pay, and child care, really does shed light on how deep the roots of oppression wove into the female identity; that they still continue to penetrate just shows their perseverance.

A few years ago, I swore that I was not a feminist. There was so much to this. For one, I had always felt this disconnect from the concept of femininity, and what it meant to be a woman. There were many reasons for this, a negative disconnect with my mother, a feeling of not being equal from my father, a defense mechanism I needed to cope with the various struggles I was having, and the distance and humor of a male perspective that kept me afloat. (Later would I realize that feminism also challenges the concept of what a “lady” is, and that my natural state of being could not stand patriarchal practices and standards, even as I tried to use them myself)

Later in my very early twenties, as I began to understand more about oppression and what it meant through Occupy, I grew to the notion that I did not want to be labeled as anything but an anarchist- one who believed that constructs designed to limit us were dehumanizing at their core. While I shared notions of feminism, I denounced it as a label, using the defense that even the feminist hero-Emma Goldman- did not describe herself as a feminist, so why should I? I just wanted everyone to be equal, I didn’t want to focus on any specific cause because they were all interwoven.

But with the work I was doing, and the ideologies I was delving into, I began to accumulate a community of feminists-strong women who were fierce and kind, able to communicate boundaries and problems with dialogue through a beautiful threading of language I didn’t quite understand, but admired. I began to pay attention.

As the documentary showed, and I learned through reading numerous dialogues and quietly standing back  in conversations to observe their voices and their perspectives.. feminism is actually about much more than it is initially presented as, especially by media (movies, news stations, online news sources and journals). Its about abortions, and rape culture, and empowering female voices, for sure. But its also about how patriarchy has hurt families, friendships.. how it has become a systemic force which restricts individuals from having meaningful relationships, and individuals from being themselves. It has created a mold that all must follow, where emotion is removed or seen as weakness, and sex has been taken from love and cast into a conquest or payment. Where expectations become demands and manipulation becomes commonplace.

What struck me as interesting about this particular documentary, and the common theme portrayed from all whom spoke in it, was the idea of anger as a driving force. They spoke of the Women’s Liberation movement being so powerful because for so long they were stifled, and became a powder keg of action. I’ve definitely seen a lot of anger in movements, but more often than not, that anger is dismissed and encouraged to be almost tamed for the sake of progress. Time and again, I’ve seen others shy from individuals who have that type of emotional charge.

Perhaps that is one of the things we lack. Our society has now become indifferent to so many things, like violent movie scenes and murders on the news, so that we are able to continue functioning. The goal is to keep going. Keep going to work, keep being a good spouse, a good parent, a good citizen. We can’t fathom anger fitting into that. Anger is dangerous, and uncontrollable. It is something to avoid and make scarce.

When contemplating this, one has to compare with the ideologies of the Buddhist monks, concepts wrapped into famous characters in our generation like the Jedi in Star Wars, and the yoga practices that have become such a trend in even our everyday exercise routines. Don’t attach… don’t let fear and anger rule you. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

So like I have found most of the ideas around feminism, there is a pull towards the middle ground. While people have a tendency to lean entirely in one direction or another (anger/indifference, empowerment for women/hatred of men, action/inaction) these are not what the cause is about. I found that idea demonstrated in the movie, when, as the Furies began to let their anger turn into blind action and hate, eventually the other groups pulled them back. It was also evident when one of the speakers admitted to getting kicked out and feeling rejected, but then acknowledging why and joining back in.

Yes, the history of feminism has been so rich with questioning, and with discovery, and searching. I find it appealing to see how it’s mostly tried to work towards or been pushed towards a middle ground with not only sexism, but also with racism and homophobia, showing that they can be challenged and recognized as part of the larger problem.

Nowadays, we struggle so much with our extremes as the extreme nature of our oppression has seeped into subtlety. The middle is constantly changing, throwing us off balance, and forcing us to adjust. I find that in my own life, as I plant one foot firmly to lose ground beneath the other, and I think many of us do the same. Financial insecurity, food insecurity, and safety insecurity have left our nation reeling, not sure enough of ourselves to quite make the big changes needed, or unify in the powerful way that the Women’s Movement did, or the Civil Rights movement.

There is a shame in that, that I often must cope with, for after watching a film about such powerful organizers and how dedicated they were to the cause, I note my decline in active protesting and organizing from 3-4 years ago. There is a strong urge, especially being enveloped in a history of passion, to march on down to DC and to demand change. But as the film shows us, it took many years, methods, and minds to make the change that they accomplished. First they needed to change the mindset of their fellow women.

So, in my own ways, I counteract the culture by integrating alternative language into my daily life. I speak truths that come off as strange for their admittance, shaking the shame and stigma off self care, identity,  and struggles. It seems little, but upon recent conversations, others have admitted their own secrets to me, or shared that they brought up conversations within their circles about concepts I’ve presented. The ripples begin to move across the pond.

So I’ll conclude, stating that I believe the film has a lot to offer those who identify as feminists.. or not. It’s challenging to what we know, or what we think is reality. There are still many battles to be won, or tidal waves of change to crash on our shores. But first, we must become aware of what we’re feeling, and follow the reactions those realizations give us.

For me, being told I was a feminist wasn’t enough. I needed to learn what it meant, and especially what it meant to me specifically first, before I could claim it as my own. Perhaps, that is the real challenge. To find a community in our struggles to make this world a better place. (Corny!)

Thanks for reading, if you made it through. I weave in and out of some different topics that I would eventually like to explore more, but for now, that’s it. In love and struggle, Kara