Other Days

Hello All, I pray this poem finds you in good health and all of the love and happiness. I wrote/spoke a poem I’d like to share with you, this is about identity and American Society. Please feel free to share this. I have a collection of poetry available for purchase October 4th, 2016. I’ll have more details on this coming in the next two weeks. Thank you, Sarah

 

Ant Hills: Available October 4th

I’ve been tirelessly dedicated to school, work, internships, research, adulthood type things, and Ant Hills. Ant Hills is, by far, my favorite part of my “To Do” list! At this point I’m editing and preparing to arrange cover art and a few additional pieces. I’m happy to remain with Goddess Works Media Group, LLC. I’ll also have some updates on a few other publications and projects that I’m part of in the upcoming months leading to 2017.

Ant Hills will be available for purchase October 4th, 2016. Marci Sanchez, Goddess Works Media Group, other contributing artists, as well as myself will be posting links for you to grab a copy. I’m posting two poems from Book II and Book III of the Ant Hills Collection. Please feel free to comment and pass the post along. Thank you for support in advance and I’m really super excited about this, I hope you enjoy the dark twisty stories of these young women and appreciate the perspective.

*The layout, the actual structure of the poems in much different than is reflected below.

Ant Hills: Cicadas and Broken Peoples, Part 10
Book II

everyone has barbaric tendencies,
we’re all capable of horrific things, like selling overpriced
patent leather shoes, tap dancers would disagree
hope makes fun of me.
late at night she’s being mean, she’s been mean
just before she slips off to a dreamless sleep she
whispers, “don’t you know i’m in love with you”
her voice trails off, somehow we must find beauty in broken worlds
confessing love in broken words, parts of speech, particles
practices, synonyms, sampling happiness, pocketing sensation
attempt I: i tried to jump off the roof of my school and broke my leg
no one talked to me, ever again. father locked me up, “for
our own safety”…everyone wants to be safe.
hope said, “we all do stupid things”
attempt II: pills, popping them, paper pills, a love story
picture ohio, sherwood wrote that story for someone like me
for a year they watched me shower, poop, and pee
hope says, “don’t fucking touch my drugs or i will kill you myself…and it would be
lonely without you here.”
attempt III: stole a car, wrapped it around a pole, a telephone pole
trying to call a god who never responds to anyone i have ever known.
hope tells me, “you’re not asking the right questions”

on the first quarter moon, late last month
hope tells me a tiny newborn truth: i die every day.
the wind starts to howl, begins clawing at the siding of the house
she tucks herself into my bed, presses her body close to me
“can you just hold me tonight”, sometimes we all play the role of the broken peoples.

 

 

Ant Hills: Wasps Nests and Placenta Pills, Part 3.
Book III
your lip curls into a snarl, breaking silence
with nothingness, hallways have begun to split open
just like your vagina will
cervical walls will splinter,
back cracking pain, blood baby
birthed into fluorescent lights, screams
your groans and grunts, heavy breathing haunting your daydreams

“i read about women who take placenta pills, guess it’s supposed to…”
her voice trails off, like the flutters in your womb, fifteen seconds of fame:
full of baby, whispers escort you down school corridors,
invitations to homeschool for your last trimester: denied.

you long for the companionship, someone to share this pregnancy with.

your breasts smell of sweet sweat, vanilla, you drift into placenta pill bottles
imaging they’d be dark brown glass with fancy metal lids, labels that read:
PLACENTA PILLS FA DAT ASS, you chuckle to yourself

forgetting you’re a moving target, a slow moving target
you pocket your smirk, slip back into invisibility
you curse hollywood for junos and john hughes
moments that don’t exist

your body will bust open, elastic rebound theory,
shifting energies from baby, to body, to stir-ups,
to warm nurses fingertips, swaddled in blue powdered latex gloves,
you’ll forget about placenta pills, forget to breathe, to count,
to melt into your future babyless motherhood
to fade into your post-partem depression,

just in time to be a normal adult.

someday you’ll lick your wounds, you’ll meet a nice boy
to turn into a man, you’ll search for dried placenta capsules
in brown bottles blues, with metal lids labeled: PLACENTA PILLS FA DAT ASS.

you’ll be able to be a normal adult.

Domesticated Abuse

 

kansas became a state january 29th, 1861.
i was raised partially on
celebrating re-runs of the Wizard of Oz,
quietly whispering song of being lost
somewhere
over rainbows,
trudging through the tedious task
of construction: foundation of concrete and constant conflict;
mother was nomadic, not with gypsy blood
father had deep roots, none had ever dug that deep, stubborn
for survival’s sake,

early childhood lessons in tough love.

we watched yellow brick roads become walls
housing our counted sorrows on
a television set, centered between twin windows
blinking like eyes that squinted through the early morning sun.
we’d begin our mornings with great expectations,
returning with pockets of lint and disappointment

in our house made entirely of echoes everything was always displaced,
water rings sat on night stands, stains from sleepless weeks
insomniacs hammered peep holes in farmhouse wall paper,
showcasing everything but naked ladies dancing,
that’s what 80’s horror flicks were for, misogyny was reel
and real was the fear that filtered
my walks
from the bedroom to the bathroom
during late night rituals.

mother kept tall tales on dusty shelves, thick spines
of stories softly read to a tribe of children they’d learned to love hating;
raised on splitting atoms and siren songs,

reminding me women can also love with hard kisses and furious rage
consuming, father wore his anger like medals of honor,
heavy on his chest. if the flies on the walls of our house of echoes
could scream they would tell you everything.
those years
slipped through rotten floorboards,
mixed by tiny fingertips into mud pies
pushed back into earth, pressed into plots
spots deep under our feet, watered seed
sprouts to feed future
need-our house of echoes will always be rebuilt
over and over again,
passed on to
future generations
like heirlooms.

Capital Hill briefing on Violence Against Women Act in Indian Country

IN the link above you will find current information regarding the Violence Against Women Act, and resources for Indigenous Women in Indian Country.

 

 

When You Were Raped

State fair summer rape memories, rushing in, uninvited-you were fresh
nothing more than thirteen, your tear ducts burn and fizzle with heat

remembering little more but the button
on your denim jeans digging into the skin on your lower belly.

Carousel wheel teetered at the top, kettle corn
warm on your breath, curling fingers around iron lap bar.

Later there will be gravel cutting into your knees,
someday you will be able to sit with your mother

over early morning coffee, black with no cream,
correcting her on pieces of your own memories.

They dangle from your hippocampus, from places you can’t see
drip dropping down, the moon hung high in the sky, starless black.

remembrance; like murky winter wash breaking dam gates, floods, drowning
your tiny seahorse with busted lip, bent backbone, fractured rib

wicked hands, clumsily stealing, they pull you back
to a carousel wheel teetering at the tip top.

You are always engulfed in partial pasts, teetering
at the tip top, teetering on the brink, balancing on the ledge, falling of the edge.

I wrote this poem for myself, it’s been over 20 years and I’m just now coming to terms with the way my rape was handled; by an officer, a school, a community.

Here are some statistics and research, at a glance, along with quick facts. It takes a collective, not just one voice, it takes all of us. We’re allies. Let’s stop the violence. It’s not just the rape, it’s how everything after is handled, forever. It’s the flood of self-doubt that lingers after weeks, months, years, decades, and feeling as though you might never be lovable…at least that’s what it’s been for me. I think we can all change this, together.

CDC Sexual Violence Data Sources.

Ugly

 

Hold This For Me, Please

life

“Never pack more than you can carry on your own.” My grandmother’s words of wisdom became my mother’s words of wisdom, have become the ringing in my ears. At the tail end of July I packed a 10ft moving truck with only part of the contents of my former Illinois residence and spent twenty-four hours driving to the East Coast. As I was packing boxes, sorting books, folding clothes, trashing my collections of horded junk I realized that I’ve packed more than I can carry on my own. I’ve crammed my heart with regrets, unlived moments, accidental confessions of love, stale rejection, and my head has been full of foggy memories, unresolved issues from the past, and so many What Ifs that there’s barely room for any more life.

There have been times where I’ve ignored that, taken it too literally, or not had a firm grasp and understanding of what, “never pack more than you can carry on your own” truly means. At thirty-six, single mother, with two kids, full-time student and part-time mental health professional I almost understand why this is an important life lesson.

The ritual of disposing of unwanted life contents is something so commonly practiced, yet rarely thought of, at least that’s my personal observation. I began noticing this more when I packed my bags for travel, when I worked with youth in foster care it became more prevalent and something that sat at the forefront of my mind. The treasures we carry and the meanings they hold for us, such personal emotions attached to what we allow to linger in our space, what we surround ourselves with, the symbolic significance and how that shapes what we believe of the world and how we fit in it. Some people have healthy attachments to tangible items in our consumer world, and others connect to inanimate objects, cultures collide, worlds merge, we become…less or more human. We’re gifted precious objects, we adorn ourselves with symbols of romantic ownership (rings) and other jewels, cover our bodies in ink, link ourselves to property that ultimately, we cannot take with us when we leave. After my eldest sister’s unexpected and untimely passing from this world I became ever again, more aware of what we carry…

Out of respect for her, and my family I won’t share the experiences of disconnecting her from this physical space, but I can share my personal experience with my maternal grandmother’s passing. I’m sure that you can think of a loved one who has passed and reflect on what happened with their worldly possessions, perhaps you yourself were in line to inherit something that’d belonged to them, that had traveled through the branches of your family tree for generations, maybe even a small trinket that was part of an inside joke or held personal meaning for the two of you. Maybe you’ve been heartbroken by a soulmate, perhaps you’ve held on to their personal affects, a child’s milestones, your own evidence of history, the accomplishments you’ve made, at some point we separate with all of these possessions, with what we can carry on your own. What we obtain can accumulate to be what we carry with the families we build ourselves, some choose to soar solo, and some go through this life leaving no imprint, they follow the spelunkers rules; take only photos, leave only footprints, and kill only time. I personally would like to move more towards this way of life, becoming more of a minimalist. But what will that mean for what I carry with me? Will it be easier for others to forget me when I’m gone? Will I be of less value because I have fewer possessions?

I felt owned by too much while I was packing, maybe I’m just realizing I still have some commitment issues, but I found I had so many things I didn’t need. Most of what I packed were my kids items, family heirlooms, and books. I donated clothes and things we’ve outgrown to churches, community programs who help those in need, and threw away very little. I don’t want to consume junk and trash in this life. I want to consume the things I can take with me anywhere and everywhere I go, or things that I can pass on to someone who is willing to take a piece of me with them. Sorting and ridding myself of “stuff” offered the opportunity to perform a midlife review, at which time I was able to reflect on who I was, who I am, and who I’m becoming. In looking at the things that own me I was able to see some foundation of the little girl who was born in 1979, on a stormy autumn day in the Midwest. I have found I value art, human history, relationships, love, I have collections of oddities, I like shoes (*insert love struck emoji*), and adore family, nature and milestones are of value. I found memories that it was okay to let go of, finally. I had boxes packed, which allowed me to reflect on the fact that last few years were not permanent and it was only a moment in time, a transition of what would come. Which is where I am now.

I feel that unloading some of what I’ve been carrying all this time is allowing me the opportunity to live new life. And what I’ve chosen to hold on to is hope, family, love, healing and faith that what life comes along next, I will have the wisdom and strength to know what I can carry, on my own.

 

 

“Go For A Drive” They Said

admiring the delta along the eastern shore is mandatory,
just as mastering the art of acceptance, none more than
the acceptance of loss: loss of love isn’t as bone breaking

as the loss of self, you were there….now you’re gone.

your sternum has been cuddling your heavy heart,
your ribs bend closer to your core, warm and full of
marrow, full of life, you’re so full of life…and loss.

a library of flowers open at your shins,
the shins that are bruised
your legs are still covered in mosquito bites,
areas too tender to shave-
there is no excuse for your armpits,
you’ve just felt lazy, felt empty
a contradiction, an unsolved riddle
petals press against your skin like pages,
begging to be read, endangered languages
speak in pastels and flowering fragrances,
the sun drips down, soft and slow like honey
to an unforgiving shore line, the color of candied pecans
fingers make way to pocket, car keys make way to ignition

lights flicker on your dash; mental note to check fuses
fuses consist of elements, cross sections compare themselves
to circuit conductors, electrical terminals…your mind is mistaking

anatomically correct hearts to fuses in a car,
two things you know nothing about
the bruise on your shin aches, the bites
on your legs itch, the void in your chest
expands, shrinks, expands, shrinks, expands

some days it’s just so hard to breathe.

Below is my playlist for today’s drive:

Matches to Paperdolls

Wolf Sister

Cynic

Mute

Burn Fetish

Tree of Knowledge

Cross Countries

Optimist

We Begin

…longer list exists, here’s a few songs and artists I recommend. sometimes it’s hard to listen to music. today was one of those days. I’m kind of broken right now. Lame, I know.

Untying Woman

woman defined by creature with two legs,
woman constructed by images on screen becomes:
woman defined…

woman defined by the man she keeps
woman defined by maintained silence, this is dignity
woman defined by cum stuck to sticky sheets
woman defined by fairytale fantasy versus tragedy
exhausted frame, filled in with shadow and light
reflecting off of curves and thigh gaps
androcentric grid, belly and breasts
mirror images of western society farm lands,

woman defined as a lie; a fruit fly lands
on a tree of knowledge, the defiant one
who swapped secrets with serpents, cringes
even as a piece of the past she understands
what is to come, she sings songs;
leads the man with the cracked rib
astray, and to this day

woman defined by association of political party
woman defined by trust issues, fashion icon strong
woman defined by cup size, how much woman are you?
woman defined by owning a womb, happily ever-after
constructed by a series of stereotypes; soft hues
symbolize virtue, alluring eyes to pull and push
escapism, lust from arm’s length, hips with no waist
enticing, this is inviting, woman defined by skin tone

woman defined as sinner turned saint; matron
to the monarchy, crochets verses to republican
motherhood life vests, bulletproof ideas to shape
the kids, raises shame and guilt while she breasts
feeds in shadows, woman as luxury; redefines
what that means: love becomes burden, conditional
a chore, unless woman is of course, defined as whore

woman defined by how many times she says no
woman defined by how far she’ll go after she says no
woman defined by the skin show, defined by a hashtag:
arched back challenge; survivor of violent storms
that’ve ravaged the ribcage, sternum’s backside contains
a bone breaking beat, keeps up with being a survivor of defeat
over thinker extraordinaire, grows long hair
to hide the feelings crafted by the woman defined

woman defined by cliff notes,
woman cannot be defined, other than
a creature with two legs
woman constructed to be defined
slowly becomes the woman we’re untying.