I Can’t Escape My Past

“[T]ell the story of your most recent negative experience related to … addiction.”

– Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

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Addiction to a person

is probably the most dangerous

Life threatening kind

They spin like tops

Around and around

Break the thirteenth step

Thou shalt not…

But it’s too late

How did we get like this?

Naked

Alone in our togetherness

I feed off you

And only ache with hunger

Satisfaction does not exist

As my soul collapses

in on itself – A star into a black hole

I know I am drowning

But I refuse any air

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I am Bella Swan

“Try to find a way to lighten a serious poem you’ve written with a touch of comedy. In almost every situation there is something humorous or absurd.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

 

This isn’t a recreation of an old poem but it is another poem that fits into a theme that I’ve been writing about for several months.

 

 

I found my Edward Cullen

Tall with brooding eyes

He hungered for my blood

Hated himself for it

Loved me

 

A real life Edward!

How wonderful

How romantic

 

His very touch

Marked me

A way to show

How much he cared

 

A real life Edward!

How could you let him go?

Easy my dear,

I stepped into the sun.

Who Am I?

“We all play multiple roles in daily life. You may talk baby talk to your cat and be officious on the phone at work. In one day you may be a student, a mother or father, a lover, a best friend, a customer, a member of a club, a stranger on the street. Exploring these selves – present, past and those you may become – can help you move away from thinking of the ‘I’ in your poem as you yourself, and toward ‘I’ as a character or a version of you.

“Try this exercise: List your various selves, including your (their) hopes and fears….When you’re finished, you’re likely to have titles and subjects for several poems. Then go ahead and speak in the first person, as one of your selves. Use your life as material, to tell some truth. But don’t let your poem be confined by facts.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

 

 

Past

The nerd buried in a book

A quiet, shy girl

Director, choreographer, actor

Ballerina en pointe

Honor role student

Lost with wounds on her arms as a map

Christian who finally hears God’s voice

American in España

Stuck in a cycle of abuse

A statistic

A survivor

 

Present

Full time college student part time Walmart slave

Grown child in parent’s home

Substitute teacher who loves her kids

Girlfriend waiting for him to pop the question

 

Future Hopes

Teacher who excites all kids to learn

Adoring wife

Responsible and loving mom

Growing in Christ daily

 

Future Fears

Unable to escape my past

Tortured by fear and anxiety

Suicide victim on the bathroom floor

 

Poem

I have been reduced

to a number

One in Four

One in Five

One in Six

It’s hard to know

When victims don’t speak up against

A friend

Classmate

A man bigger, stronger

I didn’t use to be afraid

Now the odds

That I will panic

At my boyfriend’s loving, gentle touch

Is One in Four

One in Five

One in Six

I Can’t Write Irony

“Write an ironic ‘I love you poem”

-Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius

 

 

You say you love me

It must be true

I hear it in apologies

See it in hunched shoulders

You beat yourself

A humble monk in worship

Penance for sins

To your goddess

The LORD does not call for punishment

But selflessness

But selflessness is the opposite

of how you love me

Out of the Flames

“Love gone bad: What does that look like?…Write about a relationship that didn’t work out, developing one or several images. You might formulate your own ‘Love is …’ as a way to begin.”

– Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

 

Love is a house consumed

by fire. No room left

untouched. Treasures, memories

destroyed

The flames don’t stop

burning. Nothing

is safe

And when the flames die

down and the embers

cool nothing

remains

All is ravaged

What is Love?

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

 

I have seen the contrapositive of this statement proven true so many times. For those of you who aren’t into math, I’ll try to catch you up.

So we start with the statement “If someone loves you then he/she will protect and touch and greet you.”

The contrapositive is then “If someone does not protect and touch and greet you then he/she does not love you.”

 

I’ve met several guys who have claimed that they love me. They definitely had the touching part down. The other two parts … not so much. I dated one who refused to tell anyone we were dating. We denied even being in a relationship. He said “Hi” but it still counts as not greeting me.

 

The other guy that I’m thinking of did not protect me. He physically hurt me. Maybe I asked for it but someone who loves me would never hurt me, no matter what. He killed me emotionally. I left that relationship with PTSD.

 

So, yes, love is when “two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.”

Blah

“Now try a different poem in which, rather than using one object as a metaphor, you list several…. In your own poem, make the emotional meaning clear.”

-Kim Addonizio

 

I feel like I struggled to make the emotions clear in this one. Or maybe it’s that I’m telling you the emotions but you can’t feel them in the words themselves.

 

You were a Venus Fly Trap

A sad clown

You were a mask

from ancient Greece covering the face of an actor

You lured me

a worm just covering the hook to pierce me clean through

You were the knife

that cut me open