That Building Bitter Taste

How can I stop this souring of the heart?
how can I swallow this sickening slurry of bitter bile
that rises up so often now and spills right off my tongue

Pushing it down just creates more tension
until a sudden burst of poisonous plumes
explodes from between tight lips, clenched teeth

The space left inside for peace and compassion
has dwindled down to one cramped corner
it's getting hard to breathe in here

How can I overcome this suffocating anger?
this is not the person that I want to be
love used to come so easily

Overwhelmed by Options

How am I supposed to pick
between all these different directions
I guess that's what it means to be sick
getting caught up in all these questions

Every decision is a hedge maze of doubt
an endless tangled spiral towards center
isn't some strong desire supposed to win out
and guide me, give me the courage to enter

I can't pursue every idea that interests me
but no one urge pulls more than the others
what am I supposed to do, who am I supposed to be?
half a life spent in perpetual hesitation that smothers

Everyone else seems free to move forward
while I'm restrained, encased in concrete consideration
hoping and waiting for something to strike a chord
and ignite my soul with sweet motivation

How I Like My Coffee

My inner self in shades of coffee
you know I only have it strong, dark, and black
or so creamy and sugary sweet it hurts my teeth

I've never found those in-betweens
balance was never my cup of tea
you'll never catch me in the middle of anything

Stability requires constant concentration
twitching tiny muscles to keep you hovering in space
moderation is the mind performing on a high wire

All or nothing has always felt easier
than straining to find steadiness in the center
even though I often wonder if it'd make me stronger to try

Me Too

Silent dinners, home alone
bring memories back from long ago
upheaval of images that turn my stomach
appetite lost by what I once thought irrelevant

Half formed memories of homecoming dances
getting shitfaced and sharing cigarettes after sunset
finally contextualizing the confusion that came after
shattered pieces suddenly coming together

Nervous hesitation and not quite understanding
never even considering that I was not to blame
angry at only myself for consenting to the circumstances
unable to account for the way I collapsed inward, the way I cried

Surprised by my swift spiral into suffering
not grasping what occurred for over a decade
friends that were worried probably figured it out first
I'd never questioned for a moment that it was my fault

Insight gained through the eyes of a younger generation
compassion found secondhand for who I used to be
the saddest part is knowing how long I carried secret shame
stuffed down so deeply that I couldn't see it

I got drunk, we were on a date, I didn't say no loud enough
boys are just like this, I should have known better
part of me still feels unworthy of acknowledging
I didn't deserve that 

River of Time

Yesterday and tomorrow bleed into today
and everything that matters is washed away
the present moment is diluted and drowned
the heavy veil of time always in the foreground

Today could stand alone or float with frosted wings
above the swell of swinging hands, searching for tiny somethings
eventually all levees break and all that's left is to let go
trust the flood of forward motion to take care of everything on its own

Flowing water can't be contained, the cool caress feels nice
stand in the stream of experience, knowing it won't happen twice
preventing storms is not your place, they have their purpose too
the heavy rains feed the soil and someday so will you

Still Afraid

How am I supposed to keep myself
from looking at all the dark spots
in the outermost corners of everything?

How can I allow myself to ignore
the shadowy figures that linger and loom
behind every open door?

It's just a few sinister places
the fuzzy edges of uncertain horrors
that manage to grip me entirely

Even while the spring expands and sprinkles pollen
I can't help but continue checking every stone
and fixing my eyes on the horizon that frightens me

I want to shift my focus so I can enjoy
the beauty and pleasure placed before me
but I feel compelled to protect myself

It feels unsafe to focus on all this goodness
my spine still shivers, all hairs stand on end
and I cower beneath the ever present specter of pain

Holding Back

It feels wrong to repress this urge
to explain the tangled fears inside my brain
and constantly update others on my stupid sufferings
it feels like shutting down, closing off, lying
when I keep it to myself and stay silent

But the people I admire inside all my books
don't burden there loved ones with their struggles
they lift others up within their darkest hours
and find healing through acts of selfless service
they don't cause more pain by complaining

I don't want to make people worry
or be a heavy weight around their necks
but the best I can do is collapse inward, fall silent
I can't stop my voice from shaking and
I hate the feeling of pretending

Maybe it would get easier
if I push through this discomfort for awhile
it might start to feel more natural if I keep trying
I want to learn to transform these feelings
rather than transmit them

Mathematical Mystery

There is nothing more exciting
than attempting to transcribe
this mystery of complex simplicity

The perfect spiral of every shell
the hexagonal pattern of a pineapple
the slow unfolding lattice of fallen pinecones

What does it mean, this secret code
that comprises all of this curious existence
ever expanding, intricate fractals inside everything

The conviction that there is meaning hidden
behind the veil of these compounding layers of awe
giddy confusion that ignites and fascinates the soul

Something stirring deep inside me
is tethered to the idea that one day I'll know
the answers behind this breathtaking puzzle

The strange certainty that part of me already understands
like the partial awareness that you are still dreaming
like grasping for a word that's on the tip of your tongue

The delightful frustration of almost feeling it
the desperate desire to find out
the clumsy dance of rediscovering something greater

Unopened Messages

Making the routine effort of cutting the air
with carefully thought out sentences
words that fall limp like leaves in dead space
without a wind to carry soft whispers to waiting ears

Why does it matter if any of it's observed?
why do I cringe and crave to be witnessed?
the shivering, sensual, conceited self
half hating what it howls for

There is something more romantic
about words left unread on yellowed pages
the private pleasure of singing for
the hushed hollow's quaking trees

We once had the world to listen to our loneliness
now sectioned off in lifeless packages of false light
separate and isolated, wondering why we suffer
sealed away from the constant motion of green life