thedorkygirl // poetry

[what i want from this friendship] 2015

I want validation. I want to be ignored. I want to
make you hate me, to love me. I want to see you
until I'm sick of you and can't stand you, ignore you
and all those things I'm able to do in a real life
setting. I want to keep up this pretence of a unhealthy
friendship through texting, where I can play
like I don't in person. I want you to have sex
with me. I want you to stay the fuck away from me.
I want you to understand how a FWB relationship
works, because you always exit at the really fun part.

I want to control you because you're the only person
I can't.

[the apology] 2013

In the past my love
has been a chariot race over molten lava:
the first one to drown, the other wins;
in my love's past, the first one to burn
the other wins.

In the past my love
has held its courtly nights in blackened Camelot:
with shadow puppets' violent jousting;
in my love's past, myths live chivalry

In the past my love
has branched low, lying fruit of easy refusal:
the shared excuses of temptation;
in my love's past, I am not the snake
or the Eve.

In the past my love
has been all the burn, the battle, and the bitter:
a child disguising herself a beast;
in my love's past, its wrath is its

[i would not be a pillar of salt] 2012

I should have broken up with you the night
we played pool at One Eyed Penguin.
I had to spit in my own beer
because your buddy kept stealing mine,

and you didn't do shit. So I handled it all,
and you couldn't believe my brass ones.
As women alone do, I'd collected 8 people
to spit, loogey, and snot into a beer,

turned my back as it was drunk.
You laughed and congratulated me,
beamed down from high as if granting
approval for my actions, like

you've never before see a woman
without a champion. Like you've always
previously stepped up for honor.
I mirrored your incomprehension.

[sandbar homestead] 2011

I tiptoe inchworm wade to the water's edge,
and when I gain sufficient confidence,
I fall guilelessly into the waves and

splish splash squiggle sqaggle on lonely coast.
Conscious of the ridiculous, I attempt coy
with an affection meant to tempt Poseidon

from his palace, but I've a drought of salty speech.
Less the gurgle gargle garble air bubble it fathoms,
the sea is cloyed. It might prefer a drowning

until silence casts opinion more favorably.
Be unafraid! The tide always turns returns
receives revives me with crashing welcome.

Foolishly, I abide, letting the salt cleanse
my wounds hopes ventures on deserted beach.
And for charm, I work a gravel in my voice.

[climbing the piers of the expressway] 2011

Beautiful are the boy's scars on this man's arms.
So strong when they're wrapped around me.
Three bridges lead me to you, and no fuel to burn.
So I torch them. I'm glad it's over; it gives me
time to express myself.

[love and quantum spacetime are a fiction created for tv] 2011

Powdered white across the sky are my stars;
and one breath takes them away.

There are things I wait for -
space travel and the time
when we will drop the century
from our dates easily.

I want the stars and
the moons and
the planets promised
to me. I want an alien
invasion and confusion.

I have launch day
faith. It is a sin
to end your life without knowing
what tomorrow’s
technology will be.

At night when he awakens, he journeys to the stars,
but my wax and feathers are long melted.

[i could write a love story] 2011

I could write a love story before I was in love.
Ironic, isn’t it? I knew all the words
to describe the longing and the pain,
to weave the cloak of happiness
that a kiss and caress could bring.
I idolized the selfless love and heart-breaking
separation for the good of plot.

I didn’t understand how very commonplace
and complicated love is in the flesh.
I had taken the love I had for my family
and for my pets - and I loved them dearly,
my cats, and my family - and I transformed
it into something vaguely dissimilar so that
I could say that this is love, here on my paper.

But love - romantic love - is different. You don’t
choose it, but you do. You can’t choose your family,
and you can’t choose chemistry. There’s always
a man who likes me so much that I turn
a corner when I see him; there’s always another
man who I could love as a second place, and
it’s a willing sort of love, a growing sort of love.

Then there’s the love I wrote on paper: it’s not
quite the same, because I never did understand
how wholly it took over good sense. Never grasped
the idiocy of love until I believed in the future he
wanted so much, saw his big dreams and pushed
myself aside and didn’t place myself in them.

What a stupid sort of love, the sort that creeps
off ink and into my blood like I created it myself.
I did not ask for its manifestation - I didn’t want
to feel my fingers threaded through his own
as if we were stitching our lives together.

Maybe the bindings are too thin for him to feel,
but they’ve knotted me to him, and it’s out of a book.
And this is why I have a second place love;
because I do not trust myself to write a wrong
love and not have it make me its puppet.

I could love a good man; I can write a good man.
Of the other sort, the dashing pirate or the
scoundrel vigilante, I refuse to contemplate.
There is too much silly mirroring in my life
to play with those sort of characters.

[they don't hate women; they're afraid] 2011

My dearest sir,
I want you to tremble when I near,
your eyes to widen for my every detail.
I want you to notice my shoulders,
and my arms, and my hands, and how
they could be tangled in your hair.
I want you to mentally calculate my weight and height
and reckon my strength.

I want you to bite your lip every time
a strange woman asks where Market Street is.
While you are waiting, single,
for your friend to finish in the bathroom,
I want you to tense as soon as I enter the room.

In fact, I want you to go to the bathroom
in a herd of people. I’ll smirk at that.
I want you, when it’s time to take out the trash,
to wait until I’ve rounded the corner.
I want you unable to explain these things to people
until you to forget why.

I want you to be afraid of me.
I want feeling safe to be a luxury.
I want you to try so hard to dismiss these thoughts
that you make rotten choices
just to show yourself
you will not let Me rule You.

I want to come back in those moments
& remind you why you’re scared.
You won’t be afraid, nothing so simple.
You, sir, will be be scared -
terrified - irrational - like a boy
trembling under his quilt.
You’ll find the monster
in the closet and the horror
under the bed is me.

Every time you touch yourself,
please question if your desire is normal.
I want to be POWERFUL,
to your pain.

I don’t want to understand any of it,
even if I say I do.
I want you to hand me your confidence
so I can take it and abuse it.
Because I will not and cannot
comprehend why you are afraid of me.

And when you lend me trust & credit,
and I don’t steal it for my own,
I want you to be so damaged
that all the faith you can give
is too scarred to work for us.

I want to be the good woman, darling,
the one who could have loved you forever,
and I want you to destroy it
all by yourself.

I want to move on while you never will.
I want to love on while you never can.

Stand up and man up.
You are not a boy, and I am not a girl.
You are a man, and I am a woman,
and we have nothing to be afraid of.
Cos, Mister, I may be an open book,
but you don’t know how to read.


 [On infancy,
several years hence]

[obviously unknown] 2007

Anxious though I am to please,
I never do things right.
Blithe, I listen to their pleas
to sleep once all through night.

I step on legs unsteady
past walls of outstretched arms.
I believe me quite ready;
they think to guard from harm.

Everything I want to take
and to have just for once.
But they see just my mistakes
and ignore the triumphs.

What is it if I want some
small liberty from them?
I cut my teeth on freedom
which they would keep hidden.


[an editor falls short] 2007

Once I knew it,
I'd want to break it.
Into a thousand pieces
I shatter;
words scattered,
and missing letters creeping
with honest carets
lacking merit.

[most weren't] 2007

I can't make it
because of choices made.
Some were small;
some were great;
most weren't very good at all.

[a strange devotion]

a strange devotion
devoted to maintaining ties
too similar for their own good
wraps us in a choking embrace
and thus i am yours
in ways that no act or distance
can describe.

i am you in ways
for which there's never been invented
a better meaning than soul
when paired with words synonymous to
friend and comrade and comfort and always.

and you are me and mine
in ways that are too much sometimes
for you at handle
(too much at times for me to handle),
and we burrow back into our shells, turtles
ducking bees by withdrawing from the world.
we are in the shade of a great tree, our tree,
and there is always a slightly beautiful
buzzing in its blossoms.

i cannot rhyme without you, for there is no
when leaving has become your selfish act of
(and i apologise and beg your forgiveness)

And we are together and
not; you change daily, and I too,
and we neither always like the other
or ourselves (sometimes things are done
which are not exactly why we started this
in the first place).
[she'll be easy waiting]2014

(You are the earth,
and she is your moon)

A half a moon is still a moon,
but half's not all you'll get.
This waxing moon in great blue sky
is a sight you won't forget.

The waxing moon steps out
to the tidings of the light.
Is it any wonder she shares
her brilliance out of night?

And when the evening comes,
and day fades into decline,
she'll be easy waiting,
and with her you will find

that the growing moon will bare
her face and fully waken.
A half a moon becomes full moon
and midnight gently deepens.

She keeps her face turned toward you.
The strength of force you share
brings your orbits in and intertwined,
and you dance a dance midair.

She travels in your shade,
as you cover her from the burn,
and when from sight she's hidden,
you fear for her return.

The sunshine moon will vanish,
obscured by clouds aglow,
And you will turn as the clock,
leaving blackened heavens fallow.

The full face has darkened,
but she still shines just as fierce,
and she'll be easy waiting
with a light of shadow pierce.

[to a native from a transplant]

Him'n that pillow, huggin' it out all night.
Makes him look younger'n he is.
But I'll never tease him or hide it away,
'cos he needed that pillow, given-a him
in the blanched glow of the hospital,
when fear nested deep in our hearts.

Him'n that pillow, years later, still there,
'neath fancier fellows by day,
but come dark, he'll clutch it tight to his scarred chest,
grandad and his pillow.

[i discovered my sex]

I discovered my sex
is not my own and not mine
to give away;
I had lent it and had it returned.
I offered again, forgot it wasn't
as easy as asking until I wasn't

There was still grass in my hair
when the one who had borrowed
offered purchase, but I was lost
in my own lands with no king's pardon.

From up high, my childhood love gazed down
with her worn features and condemned me.
Regal grace swept mercy aside and told me
of course I wasn't asked; I had asked for it.

And they would have me marry the hangman,
or as good as, with flower girls and ring bearers,
an unbearable thought, a monstrous yeti,
but only my howls ring the night.

And I cannot find anything but a mimicry,
the weight of shadows and the revolution:
spinning, repeating, the quick turn

the sharp beat
the sudden stop
the floating distance

the knife
placed between
what I hadn't owned.


Love is a weakness which tells us:
help another and expect help back.
How greedy when it's put like that!
And still yet truth is a down pillow
used to smother; truth an everyday object
with off-label use; care instructions,
a caution: there is no one to trust, no one
to love save yourself.

There are no two like creatures
in this world who each can give
and take what the other needs and,
in being selfish, find love.

[slips] 2011

He is a good man who tries;
I forget that, lost in thought
of the wild boy I met.

I courted him without his permission,
just as he was losing the love I was
discovering, the first time for either.

I pray to a god I can't believe in
that she is his only loss and he
my only love.

[middle school dance mentality] 2011

Here's a follow-up for the angry man
who is afraid of the woman he can't have
and so demeans any other who looks at him
and forces his attention on those who
don't bother with a second glance.

Fuck off and die; you're losing all your female

[in the roses] 2011

The garden bed is a divisional afterthought
between two properties with no lawns.
It is enough for a single row of shrubs
with their mud moat held from the driveway
by walls of concrete.

Two sunshine girls small enough to fit
hold court in an heirloom manor. Ladies
gowned in every color the plot offers, with
rose hip bustles and snapdragon attendants,
twirl about daily occupations.

Nimble fingers strand stems into archways
and weave one, two, three bushes together.
How do they fit there in the brambles,
and how, cross-legged and careless, do
they avoid the thorns?

[chrysalis is an ugly word] 2011

I am a moth looking for her cocoon.
I didn't grow up a silkworm,
so it's nothing special. But I will still
forfeit the sky to revisit the embrace.

Like many of my sisters, I would rather
have been encased in gold. I would rather
have emerged a bright and lovely butterfly.
Having drawn my lot, I'm making do.

Those drab wings are disdained and discarded;
I have another transport. On delicate spindles
I crawl in dark spaces I never noticed above.
The unwelcome pollutions of my previous address

are become a silt through which I trudge.
I unsettle them like I am unsettled, and I
call it a victory to share my homelessness
as they float and speckle the winds.

I am a moth looking for her cocoon,
broken by choice and dusted with travel,
but when I at last find the forgotten
pieces of my girlhood, I'll discover
my own tranquility.

[in which i accuse you of making me love you] 2010

I was vulnerable:
in love; intoxicated;
recently rejected by a rebound.
I told you I didn't want to fuck every time we met
"This isn't fucking, this is making love."

When you smile, your eyes crinkle,
and the light blinds me.
I see no evil; I forget to fear.

Remember when I would leave your car,
lean beyond my messed hair,
say with a tease, "See you next weekend,"
then not look back as I left you?
It was my excuse for you when I didn't hear from you
till week's end.

I didn't keep you on back burner;
I kept you in the moment.
Never thinking of you when I shouldn't,
and speaking your name only when you were in the room.

The physical feeling of tempering feelings
is to press a brick on your chest.
Thinking of you and wanting you was as easy as breathing,
and so I held my breath.

After the morning-after slipped into evening,
blindness bled away from me,
and in the mirror was a stranger I had left behind.
One who could not care and would not wallow.

I knew the game. Before,
when I'd found myself drunk on you,
I held my breath and drowned myself in separation.
Refusing to care if you called,
because I'd told you not to.

But this was the year I'd died,
remediable with prescription.
I'd kept a little part of me gone,
and when I could take it all, I began again.

I promised myself that I was new and whole.

After I was determined to be different from before.
I tried to open myself to opportunity
as I'd opened my legs to you,
but you were closed and locked,
leaving me gasping for air.

Likely I prepared this attitude,
conditioned you to distance yourself
when I ran circles around you this summer.
I tried to explain now - I was new and whole;
I had an ounce of pride.

I'd behaved my worst to you,
but please believe in another blindness.
I would have tried anything else to fix myself
had I known how little I could care
without even trying.

In desperation I gulped the heavens
and received silence.
I didn't make you my god,
because no matter how much I can wish,
I can't believe when I can't breathe.

After you faded ghost-like from me
busy busy busy
I was spirited away to memory.

I felt - I felt and breathed and found it lacking
because all was foul, dirty, impure.
I was disgusted with myself for having believed the lie.
It wasn't making love.
We fucked.

Asked why I liked you for the first time,
I'd replied in girlish enthusiasm,
"He has pretty eyes." The recollected smile
had burned a blush across my cheeks.
"Oh Lord," she'd said.

[blame thoughts, take credit] 2008

there're demons sitting in my brain,
cutting off my circulation.
i create, and all i really want
is a little adoration
for the work and for the effort
and for the swirling mess and drain.
so you see, these demons sitting here,
the demons in my brain, in short,
are vicious, darkish, impish fiends
whose job it is to mock and taunt.

tourniquets! tourniquets of white
blank paper staring at my face--

[diction(ary)] 2007

If there were words for locks like tigress dress,
I would not use them -- it would be the death
of her copper hair. Turned hoary
in a moment’s grace, strands grayed by precision,
those exact words steal her glory

If there were words for the shape of his eyes,
almonds would mean less than her love implies.
(Their sole impracticality
cast aside for a more scrupulous vision),
their cut becomes formality.

If a phrase could be simplified into
a half a dozen letters or less, blue
would have no place in sadness.
Spring robins would not sing when they offered sounds
of joy or lust or wakefulness.

A brazen, brassy rooster is a cock.
Able, accomplished men on Plymouth Rock
said “Plymouth's Rock landed not upon us,”
(and with that cocky saying, one knows none drown,
being dashed for sake of progress).

With one small step and a dream, words changed
a decade’s legacy. Postscripts estranged
from their boor predecessors,
if there were words, they would have been said before
by better men or lesser.

So without these eloquent Faulkner ways,
without the stars of noontime lending rays,
no man would say “so long lives this.”
For who has time to recall in written lore
the description of one chaste kiss?

[I affect an artist's effort.] 2007

I affect an artist's effort. I see not
any so clearly as when I make on
my work for you. These, my written words, are
not so great for those who can't see the big
detail and the small I've put into it.
My kindest thoughts, it seems, are not enough
to please your own impenetrable heart.

[i would kill the bees for you] 2006

i would kill the bees for you --
cast over them a drowning flu
and have them choke black and gold and blue
on their own honey.
even the monarch would lose her sword.

and out of the dead would grow flowers
such as our friendship
and comfort and nearness
and oceans and plains.

and we would never pick these testaments,
instead choosing to let them grow
tall and strong like trees.
out of the deaths of bees
would grow these kings
of the forest of my making.

and they would age as we will not.
and in the years and births to come,
i hardly think there'll be a one
who will remember as we
that out of such loveliness
ever grew a sting.