Ilsa Seeks Rick

Words from the Woman in the Red Dress

Quit meddling with my sheep. 

You adorable something or other,

you keep me 

losing 

count. 

sail shot long

She taught me
How to swallow pills
Without water
Even the ones that you find it the bottom of your handbag,
Next to mysterious crumbs and
Shell casings of sugarless gum

Even those ones.

Or the ones that hide in that compartment in the Camry,
The one that clicked open suddenly.
It was meant to be an ashtray..
Those ones, too.

Things the coffee cup taught me

I don’t believe in God but I believe in fate,
In scrawling out excuses for our mistakes.
For the wrong turns that the lungs make
And the thing I should not say.
For fear they prove true
I sat down with my coffee and considered loving you.
I drank two and a half cups trying not to.

I spilled the last,
It sprawled across the kitchen table
Muddied the headlines with stains of my regrets

I let it pour off the sides and onto the carpet.

I don’t know.
Who am I to talk?
Or not talk, really.
Or talk incessantly, though never say the thing I mean to.
I am one worth not talking to.
You see,
I’ve been thinking about you.
Never mind

On editing.

I stayed up too late. I killed so many darlings. They just kept coming. Like zombie darlings.You cut the head off one sentence and it grows three ah-ha moments in its stead.
Then all of a sudden it’s four a.m. in the apocalypse- every word for itself. All the structure has been burnt to the ground and somewhere amongst the rubble and the fragments and scattered punctuation the bartender is still shouting,
“Last call!”
Like he doesn’t know he is the next to die.

Next Year Just Send Her Flowers(Take 2)

6: 30, Valentine’s day.
There is neon pink vomit
On the floor of the L train.

You’ve been writing poems on the subway
Passing love-notes to the city.
Check yes
Check no
Check maybe
You lose them in your apartment entryway
When you fumble for your keys.

Last night, did you see?
The Empire State Building
It had a heartbeat.
Lit in great red lights they
flickered,
they pulsed
The evening had its cheeks flushed.

Did you know?
That When the city gossips
It creates the sound of footsteps.
It melts the snow off the cement.
The buildings lean down to the street lamps
and whisper
“Have you seen her?
I guess the rumors were true.
Red is a rather good excuse to break rules.”

I can only assume that the moon is out where you are,
That you are fast asleep, ignoring her.
That she is in on the scheme, along with the sidewalks and the subway cars,
The trees dressed in February woes.
Complaints against the cold.
I only hope that she left you chocolates.
I only hope that you are dreaming of such sweet nonsense.

IMG_2789-0

Next year, send her flowers

6:30, Valentine’s day.
Neon pink vomit
On the floor of the L train.

I sat down with my coffee and considered loving you.

Love is a lot like anxiety. It’s a good reason to stay in bed.

I owe a few thanks to those who have checked in on me as of late.

I spent the better part of last year in hiding, From words and poems and people, and decisions. I built a wall around me that was named one of the Seven Great Anxieties of the World. You can see the unnecessary worry from space.

I also fell in love. Which was the easy decision to make, to put in the effort to love a man across an ocean. It requires a few broken vital organs, undivided attention and a lot of time spent on the telephone. Or on an airplane. It has been gorgeous and trying.
Loving him left me wanting for wanting, as I am wont to do.

Love can be beautiful and most terribly indescribable.
Ineffable.
Peculiar and wonderful and inopportune and just at the moment when your knees threaten to give out.
That’s always when.

Love is a lot like anxiety. It’s a good reason to stay in bed.

I call my anxiety “The Domino Problem.”
I was surrounded by a wall of them, standing six inches from my nose. Big questions, About buying a home, and what city I’d be living in, and where was my job going, and so on. Piles of paperwork I still hadn’t filled out. Phone calls I had to make. Then there was the question of him, of how to get my body where my being has been living. I feared moving in any direction, that I’d knock over a Domino and set the whole thing into motion, into a great crashing mistake of shattered porcelain.
The question was,
“How?”
My answer was always,
“Tomorrow.”

So I stopped writing. I stopped talking to most people. It is hard to say which happened first, either way, I ran out of stories to tell.

I can be so weird sometimes. People are hard. I am lucky enough to know some who stick around.

There’s been a wild amount of change these past few weeks. I’ve been getting out a bit more and seeing people. It’s been liberating to say the least and then, the other day, the words began to come back to me.

It’s hard to say, though, so much of me these days feels cold. Literally, figuratively, ineffably, Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera!

I had to throw my red lipstick away.
It was a hard moment,
saturated with symbol though lacking in substance
Diseased and relentlessly contagious.
Immune-compromised though not positive.
Excessively gendered breaking of hearts.
Paint the town cliché.
The great purge of feminine wiles,
A revelation of shame.

It was a hard moment in a series of hard days
Since, I have not felt the same.
There is so little within my bones of poem,
there is his scent still on my skin and there is the familiar sense of longing which I bring to meet the morning.

A shiver of autumn, of broken radiators and a cheap yet creeping towards overpriced apartment in Brooklyn. I fill the rooms with the passive aggressions of my imagined anxieties. I avoid the kitchen the living room I avoid the necessary conversation required to maintain a state of living.
I am sleeping,
always and never quite.
I snore, he has told me.
My anxieties climb up a wall of the evening, in search of the sun and inspiration, the something over the wall. The air thick with my delusion, turns the corners black, they decay and disintegrate with my footing, my hold on things.

At the end of the glass,
My questions rattle amongst the ice cubes
the answers dilute with the melting

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 348 other followers

%d bloggers like this: