The Picketer

Walking by a Planned Parenthood, on my way to a job interview, I saw her outside protesting. I thought she was pretty. But more than that, there was something about her that made me want to know her. I could put on a mask of religious zealot for little while if it meant getting to spend some time with her. But she wasn’t as fanatical as I expected. She was very opposed to abortion, but had personal reasons. She had had an abortion when she was 20. Her boyfriend at the time pressured her into going through with it. She felt lost and did what she thought was right. But she regretted it almost immediately. She told me their relationship fell apart shortly after. Since then, she had done what she could to inspire woman with unwanted pregnancies to consider adoption over abortion. I admired her convictions even though I disagreed with her methods. We had so much in common. We were both broke, but didn’t mind our lack of funds so much when we were in each other’s company. The one inconsistency was our perspectives on abortion. Over the next few months, I grew to love her in a way I’d never loved another woman. Then came the morning of December 12th. I had been staying at her apartment regularly, but had not been able to the night before on account of the fact that she was not feeling well. My phone rang. It was her. Her voice was monotone, lifeless – “I’m pregnant”. We both knew we were not in a place financially or in our relationship to raise a child together. Of course there was the option of adoption, but she felt as though carrying this baby for 9 months only to hand it over would be more than she could bare. I felt torn, but scheduled an appointment for her. That afternoon, tears running down her face, she passed through her own picket line. She stopped returning my calls and now we haven’t talked in almost a month.

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For the Love of Archy

I want to scream wake up to arbitrary division
My love for him and for them doesn’t mean I love you less
Your visions of black and white sound so much like elision
Dropping sounds like puzzle pieces – willingly dispossess
Regurgitating other’s words
And we are aching to be heard
Separation of our nation
Reasons for treason blurred
Suppress Queen Anne with King Olig
Jughead’s not dead, just sleeping
What government not heaven-sent
With a C I see we’re reaping
A war can’t fix us. Revolution keeps the wheel spinning
Old hands demand retribution. Is anybody winning?
White body, pale, colorless skin, benefit from blood
Everyone knows how our love grows when we don’t cut the bud
But we’re amnesiacs
Blinded by facts
Twisting in suspicion
Attracting hate
No other fate
Monocular vision
Same life
Same blood
Different faces
Different forms
Different shades
Same love

A City Bus (Street Lit Writing Prompt 01.18.19)

We don’t make eye contact when we aren’t speaking and we rarely speak. Living in an urban area has inspired us to let go of these courtesies. I say good morning and my words fall on deaf ears. Why make the effort to engage when we will encounter hundreds of strangers today, most of whom we will likely never see again? You can look past me at the bus stop in the rain, or better yet stare at your handheld computer. It is far less risky to engage with people via this filter of social media than to have to talk to someone who likely has little to contribute to my experience of life. Still, when we ride together, we are in fact doing so as a group. There are many destinations and still, we are heading in the same direction. I can’t help but smile with a sense of unity, a sense that, in this city of unfamiliar humans, we, on this city bus, are moving in the unison of a shared experience.

The Sound of Life Alive

I was always chasing stars
I never thought I was leaving scars
And a slap to the face wont leave a mark
Until you wear a ring
Lover lovingly torn apart
Old skin again to then restart
A child’s eyes, a broken heart
And now with me you sing
We could never be enough when we were broken
Loves labors thrust into words never spoken
I’m only grateful that a cancer would finally have awoken
In me
The sound of life alive
I believed their words were true
Caught up in a feedback loop
And then I passed it on to you
Never claimed to be king
But I’m bigger now than I ever was
All that heals a heart is love
I’m dancing now inside because
I am wearing a ring
I could never be enough when I was broken
Loves labors thrust into words never spoken
I’m only grateful that a cancer would finally have awoken
In me
The sound of life alive

Some Thoughts on the Pursuit of Sleep

Sleep requires one to leave this reality. This is why echoes of this reality keep us awake. In order to more easily fall asleep, push away remnants of this reality and embrace the dream world. Often, thoughts of our obligations in this world will keep us awake. It is often not the actual stress that keeps us awake, but rather the fact that obligation inspires action and to be ready for action keeps us in a state of connection. Even a mindfulness of our physical surroundings can be detrimental to sleep. Our minds analyze surroundings and prepare to engage with them. But when we let go of our physical surroundings and of happenings in this reality, our brains will fill the space with dream. It may be helpful to embrace the abstract space of your mind. Let your mind create new sights and sounds. Play in this free creative space and go with whatever whim comes to mind. Do not try to control the space, but rather, let your consciousness be a part of it.

A Painting of Mice

Individual and one
Scurrying through each day
We smelled cheese here before
But we settle for crumbs
Hoarding any extra for another meal
The machines have eyes
Yes, we are alive
Can we look on it and think it beautiful?
The color of our skin doesn’t change the hues of the canvas
Can’t we stop buying in to this lie?
The enemy is nowhere in sight
Spread love, heal wounds
The machines have nerves
Yes, we are alive

Oregon 4

Chemical machines
These bodies make us blind
Religare rights
Ligaments hold entwined
Born again alive
Re-live we never died
Blood inside these pains
Vane mortality lied
Bounce off of each other
Scared children they all ran
Interactive cells
Atom name of first man
Assembly line adds guns
Equal moving parts
They are on the run
Tattoos onto our hearts
Rise above the lies
Science fiction eyes
We prepare for war
But what are we fighting for?

We are more than men
Or so we’ve been told
We line up to begin
Paid for scars in gold
By another name
A rose we give powers
Cannot be the same
Their god is not ours
Rise above the lies
Science fiction eyes
We prepare for war
But what are we fighting for?

Not an Attack on Religion

I think disagreement is a healthy part of discovery. We can’t grow our perspectives without allowing them to be malleable. And I believe we can stagnate if we aren’t growing. But arguing is counterproductive to growth. Arguing inspires us to dig in and refuse to bend. Ironically, being presented with contrary perspectives may often lead to greater investment in our own beliefs. In spite the fact that I try to remain open-minded, there is one “truth” I hold above all others. I believe love is the greatest force in my life. When a religion identifies love as a desirable trait, I find value in it. At the same time, when religious perspectives are used to inspire fear and division, I do not find value in these aspects of it. At the very heart of many religious perspectives is the idea that there are a select few who earn God’s favor. In many incarnations of religions, those who don’t gain God’s favor are condemned to an eternity of suffering. This idea seems, to borrow a word from religion, “blasphemous”. That is not to say that God takes offense to anything we choose to do. I believe we are perfectly as we are and that no higher power could expect anything more. But rather it is to say that God loves everyone and, as the creator of all laws, is bound by no law to punish or allow punishment to fall on anyone. We are created logical beings. This world teaches us to expect cause and effect relationships. Therefore, to deny our powers of logic is to deny our nature. Ideas of Hell are illogical to me. Of course I understand my perspective is not absolute. I don’t have a perfect understanding of everything and think it wise not to claim with absolute certainty that I know anything. But I feel compelled to try to make the world a better place. And I believe ideas of Hell, punishment for those who don’t adhere to a specific set of beliefs or behaviors, work to promote fear and division. I’m not speaking from a place of absolute perspective because I don’t feel confident enough in any human’s ability to know anything about their world. But I am trying to encourage an open conversation. This makes sense to me. What makes sense to you? Can we discuss it without arguing about it?

Terrorists

You inspire terror
But you’re no terrorists
Head above the law
Money over fists
The hill is a stage
Fingers spell out foe
Players in our house
On must go the show
Our brothers and sisters
Keep us in our place
Rodents steal our cheese
Lies propel the race
Body pile
All the while
Suit turns into suite
Plastic dreams
Pseudo seams
Rules help them to cheat
Break apart the bread
Stories help us sleep
Auction off our trust
No one’s now to keep
Now we dig trenches
Insulate our cells
Feed our dimentia
Fear inside us swells
Empty headed pins
Perspectives won’t shift
TV makes us laugh
This pain is a gift
Something’s wrong nerves scream
We pray, lust, and hide
Sketches of rivals
Recognize – divide
Body pile
All the while
Suit turns into suite
Plastic dreams
Pseudo seams
Rules help them to cheat