Break Out

Another volcano appears on my skin; painful and angry.

God only knows how many have surfaced and eventually healed.

I’d say that my acne appears out of nowhere, but I have a strong suspicion that my unbalanced lifestyle is at the root.

My fingers trace the latest eruption like braille, decoding the message my body is trying to tell me, has been trying to tell me since the first zit appeared on my face 27 years ago.

I hear, see, and feel you, body

You are my friend and not my enemy

You taught me to see symptoms as symbols, like how my shiny face embodies the way I mirror whoever is in front of me.

You quietly protest that I stop convincing myself of the lie that I don’t have time to take care of myself or to nourish myself adequately, that I am unworthy of love.

‘Break free from outdated beliefs that are no longer serving you’ you whisper nearly imperceptibly.

Your sage wisdom is getting harder to ignore.

She

She scratches her secrets on the dark side of the moon

When she bends her bones she can make any man swoon

Old habits die hard but she is learning to live softly

She sweeps fear away with thoughts large and lofty

She dreams of peace for all and peace within

She drinks from the oasis hidden in the desert of her skin

Only she knows the truth she has lived

Darker than the night sky

Are the ripples held between her thighs

She hides them deeper than the sea’s sigh

Dredging up salt with her tears cried

She sees beyond the sight of man’s eyes

Her blood is her sacrifice

The fire in her heart melts ice

If you think this rhyme is simple like plain rice

Just come closer, you can taste her spice

Good

I no longer strive to be labeled as ‘good’ by others

Like a trained fucking dog

I don’t want to act sweet
When I feel salty and bitter
I never wanted to fit into a box
Or stay between the lines
I don’t even belong indoors
I am a wild, free woman
If that means I’m not the angel you thought I was
Then light up the fire and brimstone
Too long have I carried the burden of trying to save the world while looking cute and put-together
Always satisfying other’s needs like plugging holes in a dam and I’m about to burst
I tremble and ache to let go of the many ropes which bind me
So many roles to play and expectations to meet
No wonder I have no time or energy left for me
I am the only person I can save, and my liberation doesn’t require fake smiles or insincere social pleasantries
To live my best life
I must aspire to be more than simply good
I must liberate myself from the ribbon I am wrapped up in
Rip off the docile doll’s dress and burn it,
Warming my hands and illuminating my night
I must feel my body and ride the waves of my emotions with shuddering ecstasy
You want me to be good
But I want to be better

Alice in Recoveryland

Alice had her heart broken

When she was quite small
And healing a broken heart
Isn’t easy at all
So she drank
To forget it all
But she couldn’t forget,
Even when she felt tall
In fact, the more she drank
The more she felt like she was falling
And falling…
Until- kerplunk!
She hit rock bottom, landed on her badunk
She had no where to go but up
But getting up is hard when you are on your badunk
Though Alice was hurting, she was also incredibly strong
So she climbed and she climbed, though her journey was long
To this day, she is climbing still
She is higher than she ever felt when she was looking out over windowsills
In towers guarded by grumpy ogreish men
Alice is a survivor, and she’d survive it all again
Her heart may have been broken,
But it never stopped beating
Though the sweetness of love was fleeting
And the bitter years of sadness and tears
Left a sting on her cheek and made her feel meek
She is finding her true voice
She is exercising her choice
To express herself in this world
Hers is the story of one small girl
Who grew into womanhood
The only way she could
Smoking this, drinking that
Sleeping with men wearing mad hats
Alice is every woman, in a way
Doing her best to recover from her past today
Building herself a better future
Re-writing her fairy tale
After giving so many men happy endings
She is creating a happy ending for herself
Filled with love, hope, and peace

Blue Glass

I am not OK

I’ve spent a life time lying,
Sticking to the script, saying that I’m fine
I learned as a child to be truthless
Because honesty only got me neglectful rejection
And beat-downs, ruthless
I was trained to be out of touch with my feelings
For a decades, I’ve been reeling
Coming home to my body, battered and bruised
Healing deep emotional wounds
In my family, failure was not an option
I prayed, even as an adult, for adoption
Periodically I stumble through patches of suicidal ideation
Homicidal visions to destroy all of creation
Just to find peace
Do you know what I mean?
I make ends meet, though I’ve stolen and cheated
Swimming upstream, never defeated
I don’t trust anyone with the truth about my life
I don’t want to rehash it, don’t want to unravel it
As a teenager, I used to beat off to Gravel Pit
I am not Ok, and I am Ok with that
I should probably ‘get help’, but the thing about people
Is that they make me uneasy
Can you blame me?
You can shame me, but whatever you are thinking,
I’m sure I’ve done worse
I seem Ok, like a high-functioning addict
Storing up empty bottles in my attic
Just to see sunlight shine through blue glass
Behold the beauty of my realized potential at last

Earth Mama

Earth Mama

You always held me

I never left your embrace

You always loved me

Everywhere I look I see your face

I lost touch for a while

My heart broke and cracked open

Your heart kept right on beating

Slow and steady

You kept on supporting me and nourishing me

Even when I felt like I was falling and famished

You filled the cracks in my heart

With golden light

Making my heart even more beautiful than before it broke

Earth Mama, thank you for your generosity

Thank you for this life

Thank you for your love

Thank you for your patience

Thank you for believing in me

When I didn’t believe in anything

Beyond belief,

I know what I have lived

Now I know how to love

My Corner Drug Dealer

My dealer waits for me
On every corner of every town in every state
Their supply never runs out and their drug
temporarily makes me feel great                                                                                               Until withdrawal begins, though I’ve yet to withdraw for long                                                             My drug is everywhere and my dependence is strong

My dealer is every store
My drug is sugar
Sugar finds its way under my skin
Even when I think I’m not going to let it in
It is suddenly in my hands, then melts in my mouth
My gastrointestinal tract welcomes it
My blood carries it around
It causes little fires everywhere in my body through inflammation
It over-taxes my pancreas which struggles to produce enough insulin to handle the copious amounts of sugar I pour into myself
Sugar never stays long on my pantry’s shelf
While vegetables, the true heroes of this story
Wilt in the fridge in unsung glory                                                                                                You are neglected but not forgotten, dear salad greens

Sugar comes in an endless variety of colorful packages
At my corner drug store, it was on sale today
So I easily threw my vague intention to abstain away
It doesn’t take much
For me to justify buying another sugar rush                                                                                                         When it comes disguised with vitamins, fiber, probiotics and protein                                               and covered with velvety dark chocolate                                                                                       It is even organic, for Chrissakes                                                                                                       A wolf in sheep’s clothing

In the throes of my addiction,
I fool myself into believing that my affliction is not so bad                                                         I will stop after I finish what I’ve got
It is already bought, so I better use it
I’m just using it because I have it
Otherwise, it’s a waste of money, right?
A person’s gotta eat, and I need energy for my busy life

I know that in reality
My drug will finish me
It is only a matter of time
Until my body won’t be able to stand the abuse anymore
Sooner or later the drug will crash through my door
Crush me helpless on the floor
It will be too late to un-do what I spent a lifetime doing then
One mouthful of sweet poison at a time

My willpower is weak when I am stressed out and hungry
I wish that my corner drug dealer would stop tempting me so
If sugar was less ubiquitous, not so easily found
How might that boost your wellbeing, help you reach your health goals?
How much would it radically improve the health of our nation, our world?
How sweet would it be to see our epidemics of obesity and diabetes decrease?                Tell morbidity and mortality to go bark up someone else’s tree
We may never see in our American lifetime                                                                               An end to the societal sugar overdose
But I want to plant the idea seed
And see if it grows
Maybe someday I will quit sugar
If only for today                                                                                                                            Today was not the day                                                                                                                      But tomorrow still could be

Pretty Man

He is looking
So good looking
Did you see his physique?
Built like a tiger
Did you hear him speak?
He has a face
That I like to see
I want to feel him stand near me
Touch his skin and his hair-
That fountain of ebony
Pouring lavishly from his head
I want to kiss his face
Lose myself in his embrace
But I have felt this way before
So I know better than to knock on his door
Without pausing to remember
How often the ones who I adore
Are later the same ones who I abhor
Though I long to swim in the depths of his eyes
And his magnetism is a difficult force to defy
Though I flutter near him
I will enjoy his flame
From a healthy distance
And rest in my resistance
I know too well
The trouble on the other side of the kiss
I have already been burnt enough in my life
It is better to imagine the bliss
But I say again:
He is pretty
So pretty

Mosaic

Mosaic

People say I’ve got a Mona-Lisa smile
I’ve been known to smile for a while

My curves have been likened to Marilyn Monroe
What I do at night, men will never know

I was told that I look like Mariah Carey and Barbara Streisand
But men just don’t understand

There is so much more to me
Than my so-called babydoll face and porn-star body

I was asked to sing ‘Bobby McGee’
Because men thought I was Janis Joplin reincarnated
I do feel like I tripped into this life…

Men who want me to be their wife
See me as a Mother-Teresa
I’m no saint, though I try to act right

From my point of view,
I am fragments of all of these women and more

I have lived Audrey’s role from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’
When alone, I soulfully belt out Elle King
For a good laugh, Michelle Wolf makes my heart sing

I am grateful to all of these women and millions more
For their skills, persistence, and brilliance which unlock hidden doors

They help liberate my inspiration
We reach each other even across nations

I am a mosaic made up of many tiny pieces
Of the women I admire

I’ve lived enough to know
That women deserve admiration
We are so strong and so beautiful,
Inside and out

I hope to live in such a way
That my life is a work of art

Though some people try to reduce us to mere body parts,
Each kindred spirit is a vital piece of one unified heart