we are unusual and tragic and alive

I measure this life in cheek-straining grins and hands held on sunny mornings.

my plants are dying. the kitchen is overrun with
rotting orchids and wilted rose petals and the
stench of my failed compassion. i eat my
breakfast cereal at the table and start each morning
off reminded of the fragility of everything, of death.
in the middle of the night, he moves away from me.
there’s enough space between us to fit another
body. i watered the plants and fed them sunlight
through the windows, treated them with nothing
but kind fingers. but they’re still dying.
i suppose you can’t save everything.

"It has something to do with ugliness,
even more, perhaps, with aggression,
but horseflies inspire no affection,
even though they’re superb pilots.
Maybe because once they were squirmy,
furry things, butterflies seem content
with their sudden beauty, no interest
in getting anywhere fast.
The small brown bird outside my window
has a lilt and a tune. Elsewhere, a baby
is screeching. Watch out, little ones,
there are hawks, there are sleep-deprived
parents, utterly beside themselves.
When I was a child I claimed a grasshopper
hopped over a rock like a rockhopper.
“He likes to play with language,” my mother
told her friends. “He’s so smart.”
She used to hide money in a coffee can,
place it behind the wooden matches
in the cupboard. I swear I never stole it.
She was beautiful, as was our neighbor
with the red jewel on her forehead.
That there’s so little justice in the world—
one of them believed, the other experienced.
To ants a sparrow might as well be
a pterodactyl, and a parrot just one more
bright enormity to ignore
as they go about their business. I’ve tried
to become someone else for a while,
only to discover that he, too, was me.
I think I must learn to scrunch down
to the size of the smallest thing."

— "Discrepancies" by Stephen Dunn

I’m going to do my best to resurrect this blog and try to remember my words. Sorry for the long silences, guys. Things got a little tough these last few months and the real world is much harder than I imagined.

"We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"

— John Keating

i just thought there would be more

that’s what the mother says at the end of the movie
boyhood. the whole theater grows tense and stiff
like wilting petals. you can feel it in the air, the
shared disappointment. they thought there would
be more too. so did i.

but five years pass and here you are, ten years
pass and there i am. all of this— and for what?
some flashes in the darkness— a long train ride to
the city, sticky ice cream in the summer, fingers
grazing your thigh. a deep, impressive love that
nestles inside you and keeps you warm in the
frigid months.

he’s careful with his hands and you like that. he grips
the steering wheel with such pride and precision that
for once, you feel comfortable in a car. like always, he
puts his hand over yours, sings you the song on the
radio and then wonders why you don’t smile as much
anymore. you just thought there would be more.

(Source: sunshinelullabies)