Frantically, she tore up the floorboards. “It has to be here!” she half-screeched, as she darted to and fro, searching different places. In the end, she collapsed, crumpling into a heap in the middle of what was left of the floor. Her bleeding fingers pulsed with pain, a reminder, and her glazed eyes wandered to one of the places where she’d torn up the wood. There should have been something underneath of it. A secret passage, a beating heart, a hidden stash with all the answers in it. Dirt, even. She would’ve taken dirt. But instead there was nothing. Just the void, that endless dark. “There should have been SOMETHING,” she whispered, eyes tearing up. “But there wasn’t,” her mind hissed back. Instead of crying, she began to laugh; a mad laugh. The darkness didn’t end at the floorboards.
I’m not pretty when I cry:
No slow and somber tears;
My nose is never dry.
Just a pouring out of all my fears,
Or so I stutteringly try;
And it turns out, for all my preening
I’m just a human being
And it’s not worth the effort I make to try to lie.
Today I’m sick of villains
Nor do heroes have a place
So often have I been
Nothing but a shifting face
But lately have I seen
Not everything escapes
A world where there’s just people,
Whatever their mistakes.
My story lost its glamour;
My tale is one grotesque.
And now I have to wonder:
Was it always only lacquer,
Or can what’s underneath come to be
Fine without the rest?
My weak disguise is wearing thin;
I wonder what we’ll find within?
If what’s there is worth setting free;
And if what I sometimes was will someday be.
Is this what I am,
A child of lowly aspirations?
Never being what I can;
Always changing faces
To hide from all my others,
Never sure just what they are,
And whether they are simply covers
While the real one’s somewhere far.
And if it is, how can I reach it?
How can I define “myself,”
When I don’t know if I can see it,
Or if I’ll ever get it off the shelf?
We’re making mosaics
With fragments of truth
Trying to find the picture
Like some determined sleuth
And we say that it is ours
And we say that it is art
And oh how much we cry
When still, it falls apart.
What’s this, that makes me laugh to trembles?
I feel it’s something I rarely know.
So often I exaggerate smiles;
Such a joy to just let go.
Something keeps me from connection;
A blame that only I can take.
I fear all I do is misdirection;
That everything I am is fake.
I’ve restrained myself without realizing,
Feeling some things just can’t be said;
Which seems to be most everything
That rolls around inside my head.
But how much worse to be stifled;
To feel always you’re alone.
How much worse to grow idled,
Detached from any life or home.
But to feel that you’re alive —
Even if you might just crash and burn?
I think I just might chance a dive,
If that’s something I can learn.
It’s oh so much easier
To stand in shallow water:
Don’t ask me to dive;
Don’t ask me to explain the 5/5.
Don’t ask me to tell you
Why I like what I do;
Don’t make me say
Why I feel and in what way:
For I can only tell
What is easiest to sell.
The truth is more expensive;
So don’t ask me not to be incomprehensive.
There’s a fellow blogger and poet whose work I have been following with some interest for some time; though, as is my propensity, I have generally kept silent. When I went to his blog the other day, what I discovered was that all his posts had been deleted, but this one.
Reading that poem, made me wish I were more honest; That I could express myself sincerely and deeply, outside of my poetry. I’ve always had trouble explaining myself, and what I feel, and why. But what if someone just wants to hear they’re understood? Why can’t I just say that?
I guess I worry it’s a lie. So I try to prove I understand — but I muddy the truth in the attempt. Or maybe I ditch trying at all and instead cling to some trifle that I can more easily explain… Or, I just don’t say anything. I don’t know if I’m making any sense. I don’t even know if there’s any sense to be made. For me, the truth is like a Rorschach test: it depends on who’s looking at it. And I guess that’s the problem. If the truth wears a shifting face, is it really truth?
The point is, there’s a lot I don’t say. And much of what I do say isn’t necessarily everything. But just because I don’t say it, doesn’t mean it isn’t so. More often than not, I do understand, and I do appreciate the things people say and do… even if I’ll never tell.
If you have nothing nice to say,
Say nothing at all.
…Until you’re badgered again and again
To be the little princess, the doll:
Then, you have to speak —
But never of what matters;
And listen patiently to everything,
But never offer answers.
‘Cause who needs those, really?
We each make up our own.
And who cares, really,
If it even hits home?
Like everything else,
It’s just… good enough.
And if you’re not content:
Well — tough.