"And your very flesh shall be a great poem." Walt Whitman
I consider myself to be a bit of an over-sharer. I have this deep desire to be known coupled with a fear of rejection and so I find myself confessing things inappropriately and making random people uncomfortable. I don't mean to do it, but the words leave my lips before that filter sets in and I realize I've said more than is socially acceptable just about the time that the smile drains from the person's face and they quickly change the subject. I remember being in a mom's group after my son was first born. The women liked to swap stories about how they were teaching their infant to talk and how they had mastered the latest technique that insured their baby was sleeping through the night. Then I'd walk in and drop the mic with a "does-anyone-else-want-to-shove-the-baby-off-her-boob-while-he-is-feeding?" Judging my the slack jaws and blank stares, the answer was no, or at least, not that we are willing to admit.
So imagine my surprise when my confessional word-play made it into this publication. Most of the amazing work featured in this book seems knit together with the kind of creativity and skill that I would only hope to possess, but here I am, pouring my unfiltered history onto page and there is a group of actual people who say they hear me and they like what I say. Wow. I am humbly blown away. To add icing to my cake, another poem (Beyond the Wall) had been selected for the online publication. Can I just say that after the year I have been walking through, these felt like huge gifts to my psyche? It was inspiring to say the least. I don't know where I go from here but it gave me a bit more fuel for the journey.
I've included below the poem that was selected for the Moorpark Review as well as the latest poem I've written.
Reasons I Drink
I drink because life looks a lot different from here than I thought it would.
I drink because I'm twelve years into a promise of forever.
I drink because age and children and choices often make it hard to look in the mirror.
I drink because pillow talk in my thirties includes subjects like mortgages and investments, discipline and responsibility.
I drink because motherhood is a constant confrontation of frustrations, fear and failings.
I drink because my six-year-old's anger is fierce and expressive and allowed, but my rage is bottled and simmering and scary.
I drink because when I was six, I already knew the lustful gaze of a grown man.
I drink because a bomb went off in my seven-year-old life and my home became a war zone.
I drink because shortly after, my father married a younger, prettier version of my mother and while they were happy and she was pissed, I was ripped open and uncovered and alone.
I drink because seven-year-olds are really crappy at triage and so I bandaged myself with insecurity and self-hatred and shame.
I drink because by twelve I was depressed and suicidal and that was really inconvenient for parents who work full-time.
I drink because at 15 I threw away my virginity to a 21-year-old expectant father who liked to fuck me in cars and on couches but mostly in secret.
I drink because my teenage years were spent trading my sexuality as currency, but the price of esteem was too high for my soul so I gambled away what was left of my worth.
I drink because when you feel worthless, you become friends with binges and purges and razorblades.
I drink because at eighteen, a new bomb landed me in an emergency room with a tube of charcoal forced into my throat and a doctor telling me not to throw up. That was a funny thing to say to someone like me.
I drink because that second explosion locked me in the type of place where sharp objects are forbidden, strange women scream words about feces from their wheelchairs, and people you love share their disgust for who you've become.
I drink because I spent years in anonymous meeting halls, but then I found Jesus and got married and had a family and thought that should be enough.
I drink because I don't know the first thing about enough.
I am the secret you never want known
Hidden among your closeted bones
Sometimes I rattle, other times I moan
I am the spiral in your web of lies
Lying in wait to catch misfortuned flies
Who soon will discover I am their demise
I am the echo you cannot call back
Haunted footsteps beating a lonely track
I break your silence with a deafening crack
I am the fire producing the smoke
I am the inhale, but you are the choke
Trying to suppress all the words that you spoke
I am the suture into your flesh sewn
I stitch up the cover that you don't want blown
I am the secret you never want known