light

light

It’s the middle of the night

And I’m here trying to shake the darkness away

Trying to feel more or feel less, depending on the moment.

You reach out,

And you ask if I’ll face your darkness too.

 

I must have forgotten to tell you I face the night alone.

 

You need someone to stay alive with you – just til the sun rises –

To pray you’ll see the darkness turn to day.

How can I pray for you when I find it hard to pray for me?

You honor me with your trust,

But you frighten me with your pain.

 

Numbness isn’t contagious but pain is.

 

I’m huddled in the corner trying to fight,

Trying to fix what I feel

Entertaining lies I’d never believe

If morning light were streaming through the blinds

But here you are, reminding me that I am human.

 

I’ve never felt so self-centered in my life.

 

You need me,

And you want me.

So I reach back –

You touch my darkness with your darkness,

And I touch your darkness with my light.

 

One is just the absence of the other, you know.

 

Your darkness is deeper;

Mine is shallow.

You have been ripped apart;

I rip my own heart apart

And hide the pieces underneath my bed.

 

Don’t tell me this but I’m beginning to suspect some part of me likes being sad.

 

My darkness is closer to gray than black.

Sometimes I am numb,

And sometimes I feel nothing so deep I hyperventilate,

And I’m not saying those things are okay.

But I still have light to spare.

 

I am human and you are human and our pain is what we have in common.

 

Even in the worst times,

I have light to share.

So I tuck my darkness away, and I pull out my spare bits of light.

And I know this isn’t the time to ask questions;

This is the time to wrap you up in the light and tuck you into safety.

 

I’ll stay here until you tell me to go and even then I’ll stay a little while longer.

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Creative Block

This weekend has brought me my first creative block since I started writing poetry again.

The last few weeks I found myself waking up early because there were lines bouncing around in my head, or pulling over to the side of the road to jot something down on paper. Most of the poems I’ve been writing have been pretty much automatic and fully emotional, although I’m learning the importance of going back and editing them a few days later. Time brings clarity.

If you’ve read any of my poems you can tell I’m not a big fan of cutesy rhyming or just rhyming for the hell of it. If I am going to rhyme it’s going to be for a reason. But I do want to challenge myself with more rhymes. I’m having fun with form and technique, too. What happens if I rhyme here but not here? What happens inside the reader if I make every stanza 3 lines except for this one? Poetry is fun became of all the subtle choices I get to make that can change the tone of the poem and what it means to someone else.

For the past couple weeks, I’d been finding it easy to write out the entirety of every poem I wrote in 10 minutes or so, as long as I had some starting point, feeling I wanted to encapsulate, or line I knew I wanted to start or end the poem.

Then, nothing. Inspiration dried up. I swear, this weekend, I wrote 20+ poems that are worthless and nothing and make you feel nothing except for maybe discomfort and the same 3 things over and over.

But I kept writing. And as much as I want to, I didn’t rip the last 20 pages out of my notebook. One thing I’ve learned over the years is NEVER throw out your writing. Keep it, even if it’s embarrassing. You might come back later and think “This is brilliant!” You might come back later and find a few key phrases or paragraphs to pull out and use for something new. You might come back later and find that it is still terrible and 100% bad, too. But then you can see how far your writing has come.

My biggest block with poetry is a lack of inspiration. In prose, my biggest block is time and avoidance and just refusing to sit down and write. When writing fiction, I don’t need to feel as much. So much of it is plot and dialogue, and the emotion is hidden in chapters on chapters on chapters. I don’t want my prose to be ALL emotion, because life isn’t all emotion. So much of life is finding our way to the things that make us feel.

My poetry is my feelings. It is an emotional experience to write it and, I hope, an emotional experience to read it, as well. Poetry and prose are different ballgames. Poetry has been a form of therapy for me, whereas prose tends to drain me, and even though I love it, it is work. My prose is direct and to the point (because Stephen King taught me) but in my poetry I can say whatever silly, overly romantic, overly adverb-y, overly dramatic thing I want.

I am learning more about myself through these poems. I’m also starting to suspect that I’m using poetry as a way to avoid writing fiction (my truest love). But I’ve decided that is okay. I’m giving myself grace this month to write whatever I please, as long as I’m writing. I’ll get back to a stricter writing schedule in October.

Also, this morning I wrote some poems that didn’t suck. Hopefully I’ll post some of them over the next few days. So here’s hoping the creative block is coming to an end.

Much love,

Carrie Sue

9.14.18

i’ve been getting up early

looking for God in the morning mist

when the world is emptier, easier

 

I thought He’d hear my prayers more clearly

than at 3 am when they’re more cries than prayers

 

raspy whispers chasing the moon toward its setting

 

 

i’ve been getting up earlier than is easy

trying to decipher the messages You left for me

disconnecting Your voice from my desires

 

i heard it’s easier now than at 3 am

when my prayers are too desperate for any answer to be enough

 

the sun chasing me toward my rising

after midnight

anxiety is a wave – a tsunami

it’s a sneak attack

it comes when i least expect it

it comes when i most expect it, too

if only i could confine it –

one place

one time

one person

one feeling

but i cannot confine it

i can only fight it

anxiety is a sneak peak of depression

a trailer as frightening as the main event

depression is subtle

not a wave or tsunami –

just a little fall of rain

i don’t see it as quickly

sometimes it’s here for weeks,

settling over me like the thinnest layer of dust

barely noticeable

but impacting everything

depression is gentler –

but so much heavier

depression is months and months of numb

hiding behind the appearance of “okay”

it crushes everything it touches

but softly, slowly, gently –

creativity

security

compassion

connection

anything that used to be easy –

it breaks me,

gently

i wish i could fight it

but i find it hard to identify it

anxiety is flashes of orange and red in a spiral in a kaleidoscope constricting holding me down chasing me trapping me

sudden

harsh

it’s being stuck in an elevator with the walls closing in

is the elevator moving anymore?

will it ever move again?

will i be stuck here forever?

how long will forever be?

what will people say about me?

are they whispering behind my back do they know i don’t belong do they know

????

anxiety is a parking garage and i can’t find the way out how is it holding itself up it’s too heavy i’m too heavy it’s all too heavy it’s going to crush me before i find the way out i can’t breathe i can’t think with all this screaming who is screaming will you stop screaming i can’t breathe

depression is a shade of gray covering everything i see

all the things that should be technicolor –

gray

peace is knowing the moment i’m in is the right moment

the place i’m in is the right place

peace is calm is home is freedom is happiness

yellow and blue in a swirl

sunbeams reflecting off the water

a kaleidoscope I have to pick up and choose to look through

a kaleidoscope moving slowly

pulling the best of me out of me

filling me with the best of me

pulling me out of myself

out of my head

peace is gentle, too

you were never mine to turn into a poem

you were never mine to turn into a poem

i’m sorry for all the poems i wrote you

i see now they were never mine to write

 

every single word was true,

but none of it was mine to say

 

i wish you’d told me sooner

i wish i’d known from the first day,

 

that you’d never write a poem for me

i wish you’d told me right away

 

but it’s fine – really – it’s okay

 

no matter what you should’ve could’ve would’ve said

i would’ve written them anyway