Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Cruel, gnarled lies spilling out of my head,

Wriggling through cracked wood like parasites,

Nesting in the walls, in the constant dread,

Hallucinating every hurt time writes.

My tongue drips with nothing, afraid to speak,

Afraid to let the pain pass into words,

Afraid it will die if I dare to peak

Behind the walls, down toward my innards.

I am locked deep inside my head, alone

I can't see you standing so far outside

Will you stay if you think that I am stone?

If I move how far away will I slide?

Melt down the walls. Turn them into drizzle.

Burn out the lies. Give me an empty skull.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Room of My Own

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." --Virginia Woolf

In the daytime my room is mine. In the daytime it is the best room in the world.

There is a space between my bed and my bookshelf that is the perfect size for my yoga mat. My bookshelf is overflowing with old journals, books I read when I was a kid, books I read in school, books from my favorite authors, and books I'm almost sure I'll get around to reading one day.

On the other side of my bed is a piano, my chair, my table, candles and incense burners, the CD player I still use instead of an i-pod, my jewelry and figurines, the tea cabinet I bought on etsy, and the china shelf my dad made for his mom when he was a twelve year old boy scout.

My closet is a walk-in, big enough for all my clothes, my "desk" (also known as the dresser I keep my paperwork on), and the kitchen I made with an Ikea shelf, a hotplate, a toaster oven, and half a dozen brass hooks.

In the daytime my room is a haven, filled to the brim with all the things I love. Here I write and study and cook and dabble with music while drinking too much tea and nibbling carrots and biscuits.

At night it is a prison.

Not every night and not just because my mom comes home in the evening and watches PBS and ABC in her half of the room. Not just because I wonder what she will say if she ever notices my copy of "Seasons of Witchery" on my shelf or the Pride button on my book bag. Not just because there is no door on the shower and I feel like an animal on display as I get ready for bed.

There is something about darkness that wakes up the mind. Your body is still and suddenly . . . you don't know things anymore. Everything you spend all day pretending in order to keep yourself from going insane disappears. The promise that everything will be all right in the end, the assurance that you are on the right path, your mental list of what you have to do next because . . . because . . . well because you are supposed to aren't you? At night you are left with a gaping hole of blackness in your mind, hungry to be filled with anything that passes by.

Some nights I fill it with wondering if I will ever leave home, how much longer my mom will be able to keep up with the house payments, if anyone will ever read my books, or if I will ever write anything as beautiful and haunting and lasting as John Keats or Lloyd Alexander or the Bronte sisters.

When that doesn't cheer me up enough I wonder what will happen to me after I die and if I would live forever if I could. I become angry with sexists and homophobes and the people who write bad television. I remember how much I hate my job and how boring and unoriginal most of my concerns are.

My room is not a prison. The true vault is inside my mind but I would not escape it if I could because almost smothered in all the dark thoughts are a few lingering glimmers that are invisible by daylight. Memories and emotions that would never be invoked if I let my mind stay in it's business-only state of daytime busyness.

It is at night that I touch Woodworth's "Still, sad music of humanity". It is at night that I feel most alive. It is at night that my mind becomes my own.