Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There Will Be Flowers: The Reading

A Boy and a Girl

There’s a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve
She’s above the law
when she laughs just so at some secret thought
about a boy out there who glows in the dark
He says, “Go as you please.”
So the girl, she just smiles
Happiness stretched across her face

My Tree

My roots
Grow carefully past stone
Through the core of the world
They reach to the other side of me

My trunk
My own
Stands gracefully, a home
Under the moon and the sun
Grateful for a shower or the promise
of one

My branches
They bend
Sway sweetly in the wind
Moving in every direction but down
To the sky they reach, ever further from the ground

All that I am are the three of these
I care not for my flowers, my sap, or my leaves
Though pretty and sweet and colorful
They are fleeting and nothing more
My roots, my trunk, my branches: My Tree

(The bird that perches there when she's not flying free)

Come sit on my bough
Come swing on my swing
You can live in my house
Your axe you may bring

Swing your axe all around
My tree will not be brought down
Swing your axe all around
My tree will not be brought down

When your strength has left you
When you've grown tired from the fight
You can rest up against me
Take leave of the night

When again you feel better
When you’re strong enough to see
You can sit down beside me
Take a moment to weep

Take as long as you need
Take as long as you need
Now bury your axe
Take as long as you need

Bury your axe
Bury your hate
Bury your habit
Bury your gait
Bury your skin
Bury your face
Bury your past
Bury your race
Bury your want
Bury your greed
Bury your doubt
Bury your heed

Deep down in the dirt leave all of these things
Wait out the winter, look toward the spring
Don't waste the summer in dread of the fall
Grow a tree of your own, a tree for us all

The Only Thing Standing Between Us Is My Passenger Side Door

I cried when I walked into my mother's house
I remembered my old apartment in downtown Little Rock
and knew it would never be as fine as it is on Friday night
I cried and said out loud,

"Why do I have to be crazy?"

I thought my bathing suit from Paris might make me feel better
So I put it on and sunbathed on the front porch
And I thought about you and how you told me you loved me
I smiled when I read it,

"Awe loves you."

I let myself be my kind of crazy unrelentingly
Counting Crows kept me company
Convincing me I was most certainly the queen
I pretended you could hear my thoughts,

"Are you the rain king?"

And out of the clear blue sky it started to rain
Suddenly I didn't feel crazy
Except for you
And you said,

"Slow it down. Take it easy baby."

Because I didn't know what that meant I slept for fifteen hours
And read all of our words over and over
Wishing I could edit the past
Because if I could I would have left it at,

"Awe loves you too."


(Formerly Draw Me in the Key of Andy Warhol)

Your body
Designed with a purpose
Movements confessing instincts
You are alert but unaware
Unable to know beauty
So you come undone

Awakened by a sense of self
You search for purpose
A reactionary traveler
Always in step
Without regard
And the grass dies beneath your feet

Suddenly you hurt for the grass
Instead of yourself
You feel your own weight
Pressing upon the world
The world pressing upon you
And you change


How soft I must seem
When my off-white skin is mistaken
for a bruised canvas
a reflection of misguided passions from the night before
a night
a bruise
a softness
I cannot remember

But I cannot wear this skin
the way your mind sees it

Maybe I seemed cold
when I casually spoke of death
and ignored the face of pain
I avoided lonely hearts
And I regret that

But we are attached to a dying sun
Rising and falling in a sky so far away

We cannot mistake death
for a reason not to live

Now, words turn into lyrics
and music replaces a lone thought
and makes melodies
of sincere accidental progressions
Or your calculated decrescendos

The choir is singing our song

We are the only witness

Suicide Doctrine

I killed myself once
and can remember six hundred and fourteen bathrooms
counting the ones in my dreams
I have no idea what I look like
and often prefer the company of strangers

I recreate myself as often as I forget who I am
and try to go to places I have never been
I speak as though I have an audience
and believe suicide is melancholy
I abhor melancholy


Every woman has a past
Every child has a future
Stay the course
Vote for change
Love Always
Forgive Often

I’m thinking about it
Catching up with old habits
Riding off into the sunset
I can’t remember things I once knew
Suddenly they are not hidden in the same places
But I love you more than ever
I forget to breathe
This is for me no matter how much I think of you and I think of you often
Maybe more than I should and I don’t care
I trust my thoughts
I trust you

Everything I feel or know
Comes back to you

The Fifth of July

The day before was a revival
Yes or No
Believers and Spirits
and the tortured eyes fallen in between
They sang for you, they sang for me

The night before was a battleground
Tooth and nail
Survivors and martyrs
and those who protected the old and the young
but we all fought, we all won

The moment before was silent
Heart and soul

Lullabies and sonnets filled the empty night and choirs were formed
I stood motionless

Watched the bullets pass by, each one closer than the next
I wondered if one could kill a man

Then the moment passed

Some watched the sun rise against the dark
Philosophers and artists
and the enjoyment of recognition

Tiny heartbeats and small fists

Today we are free

Self Portrait

When people ask what became of me
Answer quickly

Alcoholism and anorexia

When they say, but she was so pretty

Roll your eyes

When they want to know: why so harsh?
Say real self assuredly

Obviously you never met Kara Bibb


start in on some wild tangent about what's really wrong with the world. curse the breakdown of democracy and bad drivers and rapists and ex-lovers and haters and everyone that steals every piece of everything that is good and natural and beautiful and true in the world.
make excessively theatrical arm gestures and stand up out of your chair and with a clenched fist and your head raised to the sky say over and over and over again

why are you doing this to me
Why are you doing this to me
Why are You doing This to me

why are you doing this

and then

in mid sentence

look far and away
as if you just lost your train of thought

then pick right back up where you left off

to me

When the people look at you and say
what does this have to do with Kara Bibb
you'll just say



Within the confinements of my words
I find grace
and offer
to you
As Fathers once offered gold and silk to royal men
for their one day fatherless daughters

I am glad for you and will not hurt for myself
Because I do believe
in far greater things than me
But not than you

I could not edit you out of my story
I tried to be alone
But I am yours

When you sleep in my bed
your head rests on my sleeve with my heart

Remember the time I told you I was consumed by thought
and want for peace
I surrender
To only the thought
Of you and me, forever

Love Revisited

She stands on tippy toes and renewed hope
Believes in one true love, about faces, and positive thoughts
Rarely admits to tearing her own skirts
or being delicate
She simply loves love


until your heart bursts like confetti into empty space
imagine wine is your lover
sip, taste, gulp
until your lips turn red and your head is dizzy
believe in magic
deny illusions
embrace your pain as a mother would
hold it close in your arms
it will all be okay
it will all be okay

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