A Lonely Wreckage

I’ve been sitting at the desk for half an hour.  I wasn’t sure what to publish today because I had three topics in mind, so I did a poll on Twitter and in 5 minutes its’ going to tell me people want to read about the Twitter experiment I did yesterday…and they will.  But I’m in a contrary mood and gosh darn it, it’s National Poetry Day.  How can I not write about my favorite form of expression?

But that leaves me with more choices…share some poetry, as I have in the past-my little outliers who have no homes?  That’s what I usually do.  Alas…she is mad at me, and that is all I can think about today.

She…is my book, A Lovely Wreckage.

She’s a year and a half old and we are already in an argument.  She doesn’t think I’m doing enough…she wanted things like a signing or a store shelf to sit on, and I couldn’t get her those things, so she said I was a terrible mother and shitty writer and slammed the door in my face.  I tried to coax her out of her room with the discovery that she was now for sale on the Walmart website, but this was fruitless.  She is angry and refusing to sell.

Thing is, she knows she could do it.  She knows she’s a lovely little debut that would have been much better received were we not in the midst of a pandemic at the time and ever since, and she’s bitter about it.  And she’s not wrong…she shoulda had somthin’.

I wrote a blog called Schrodinger’s Chapbook about her and she liked that attention but then she never sent a royalty check so who knows…children are so moody.

All kidding aside…I really need to sell some books.  Everything I’m reading tells me that I need to be shoving my book down the throat of every person I meet, and honestly that is not something I’m capable of.  I wish I was, truly, so that I could give her everything she deserves.  We have worked so hard.  We are so tired.

So, today, on National Poetry Day, I will give you a poem.  One of hers.  My favorite of hers, actually (my mom’s too!)  And I hope that you love it, and I hope that you love her…lord knows I do.

Even when she calls me a hack.

Dead Nerves
I quit smoking but this poetess
needs her hit, her puff, her drag and
I can still taste nicotine on my fingertips like
the sweat on your skin but
it’s a phantom sense
like the tingling in my toes-
Dead nerves.
I put on black nail polish and an old flannel
because I feel like sixteen again when
the wind whips my hair up
into the tornado that hangs over my head.
Rain clouds are for amateurs and I build weather formations
to hide my intentions.
I dance with demons and dummies but it’s all the same
as being young and in love,
before needles prickled at my skin and
left me numb and frightened.
These little bits of a broken heart,
these sharp shards that leave
faint pink lines on my skin
keep me from second guessing my silly self.
This itching in my fingers is a reminder
of bad decisions and salty storms,
that youth betrayed me.
Dead nerves in my hands
like dead nerves in my heart.

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