The Poetry Snapshot: Stoic Luxury

A time of milk and honey, where no one talks about money—
champagne conversations and dicty dialogues—
in a town of copied and pasted happy faces,
they find a target for their jealous disgraces.
A woman moves in wearing her silk scarf and stoicism,
eyes reflecting her wisdom like a prism.

Without warrant, their words would spread in torrent,
always giving their looking-glass logic on her loneliness.
Her diamond-pierced ears would hear ear-piercing lies,
but one-by-one she would collect them and polish them,
weave them together into a magnificent chandelier
that she hung from her mansion so proudly,
hosting galas without invites and music playing loudly.

Boulder, Colorado

Red rosy lips softly spell out her secrets,
once touched with passion, but now with regret.
She grew up hiding her pain in pressed-powder,
then created success when no one allowed her.
The day she wore hardship like high heels,
time slowed down until every moment was dusk.

She pours charisma into her glass hereafter
and walks with the scent of vineyards in her laughter.
The only time where nostalgia lies in the future.

She was raised to romanticize every view—
rolling hills nearby would bid her adieu
and the sky would blush at her everlasting glow
only one set of footprints walks along this chateau.

Snapshots of Liberty Street

I recently started a minicourse on the rhetoric of Instagram–yup, you read that right. Our first assignments were to read Annie Dillard’s Seeing and take three photos of things we’ve never seen before. Dillard describes a special type of observation as “a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied.” She speaks of dark and light, blindness, nature, and expectations. I wanted to take her perspective as I sought out compositions around me. Although I have walked up and down Liberty Street downtown hundreds of times, I tried to “let go” and open up my mind to details I had never noticed nor appreciated–like the fairy door at the bottom of the Michigan Theater, or the intricacies of Graffiti Alley. Below are a couple of black and white images I snapped.

 

The Poetry Snapshot: Leave me at the Library

It terrifies me to think
I can get so close,
finally be in sync,
have a moment of repose…

Only to have you become a stranger again.

Nashville, TN

So please leave me at the library;
an unchecked book.
I can make myself invisible,
until I’m something you overlook.

It’s been ages since I’ve let someone
fully read through my pages.
An author, or perhaps my own adversary,
for assuming I will always be temporary.
I write myself out of existence;
before there is doubt, there is distance.
Until I’ve swam so far out into the sea,
not even the waves can quite reach me.

My spine is sewn by the emotions
that couldn’t be noted.
Each word is an ocean,
but I’ve never floated.
So I drown myself into my own story,
I grasp for air, but now I feel lonely.

Tongue-stained with insecurities,
I have chapters of excuses just to avoid
a potential hurt I’ve always known.
Until one day I manage to have fully destroyed
all my support, and I’m on my own.

The Poetry Snapshot: Dimly Lit Room

A night of unsustainable chivalry
and questionable intimacy.
In this dimly lit room,
you feel like a rehearsed symphony.

Your words age like wine
and carry me like champagne—
but I’m nine months sober.
So I put on a smile and try to explain
an elegantly crafted love story.
It’s not a lie, just glorified,
because tonight, perfection is mandatory.

Image by Duane Street

Sixty minutes of seated salience;
I search for your expressions.
Your tiny obsessions.
Your emotional dispossessions.
Then the sound of your racing heart
grazes my skin like cashmere,
suddenly, I want to stay right here.

Oh, what a rare luxury!
I can wear my vulnerability
like pearls around my neck.
I do not have to tip toe,
you should know I’m a wreck.
Finally able to breathe,
in this dimly lit room,
I see you in full bloom.

The Poetry Snapshot: Here and Gone like a Breeze

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

One single moment,
so sweet as sugar,
only to leave behind a cavity that lasts forever.
How can someone touch you so lightly,
that you question the embrace,
but then find a scar on your body?

Here and gone like the wind,
but softer and silently,
like a breeze.

I feared her free-spirit,
but found asylum in her affection.
She filled me with rage and so much wonder,
but when she was gone, I had this everlasting hunger.

Only three raindrops hit my skin before she got bored.
Wanting more, but locked at her core,
she did not mind leaving; that’s all she was good for.
For summoning up a storm and then ‘running away’.

Never afraid but always awake,
because dreams never lie and they testify
against everything we try to hide.

Green grass in the field mocks my jealously,
but I thought it was love?
I called it affection,
but just wanted attention.

When she first came here,
the field was frozen.
Then it melted tears as she disappeared.
How was she chosen?
Freshly plucked out of the field,
the star Rose in my eye.
But of course I had to say goodbye,
eventually flowers decay.
Perhaps tomorrow the sky won’t be so gray.

The Poetry Snapshot: Through the Window

Every day I fly to the tree with the twisting branches
and gaze at her through the window.

The lady with the tired eyes and colorful silk saris
stained by sweat and spilt food
as she cooks all day.

Chettinad, Tamilnadu

I notice the tiny kitchen,
brimmed with pots and pans
and no room to breathe,
tighten around her through the window.

The lattice panels bend into parallel prison bars
that she stays confined to.

Without knowing her voice,
I’ve learned her story through the window.
Without knowing her name,
I sing for her through the window.

And sometimes, she glances up.
She looks at me,
through the window.
Maybe looking for a distraction,
maybe looking for a companion.

But those moments pass by quickly
and she continues to cook all day.