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

Die How You Want

It’s our body, we can die how we want

It’s our death, we can go how we want

It’s our code status, we choose what we want

DNR, DNI

Or full code if we want

It’s your body you can die how you want to

It’s your death, you can go how you want to

It’s your code, let us know what you’d want

Before your heart drops the beat

Or your lungs cease to breathe

Wires, tubes, saline flushes everywhere

Hands on your chest cuz we do care

We came to resuscitate you now

And intubate you now

We’ll call your healthcare proxy

Cuz we’ve got that moxy

Hope you told ‘em what you’d want

When your heart stops pumpin’

When your body’s at the end of its rope

Our default is to run a code

We’ll do our very best now

Slap electrodes on your chest now

So la da di da da

We’ll do what you want

Shove a tube down your throat

Drill right into your bone

This is your death

This is your code

And we’ll shock you

And we’ll rock you

Even if we break hella ribs

If we said we wouldn’t it’d be a fib

And we’ll shock you

And we’ll rock you

Shove needles and drugs into your veins

Trying to get perfusion to your brain

It’s our body we can die how we want

It’s our death, we can go how we want

It’s our code status, we choose what we want

DNR, DNI

Full code if we want

To my patients who are good to go

Say the world, I’ll make you CMO

We’ll focus on your comfort

Gather the people who love yaaaa

To all my patients in the CCU

Hooked up to machines and feeding tubes

If need be, we’ll trach ya

2 weeks after we intubate ya

So la da di da da

We’ll do what you want

Keep your body alive

Long after you fail to thrive

This is our hospital

But it’s your body

So let us know

Long before you code

If you want to be full code

Or DNR, just let us know

And we can stop

And we will stop

But we gotta know what you wish

The default is to force air through your lips

It’s my body I can die how I want

It’s my death I can go how I want

It’s my code status- I choose what I want

DNR, DNI

Or full code if I want

It’s your body you die how you want to

It’s your death you can go how you want to

It’s your code status, choose what you want to

DNR, DNI, full code if you want to

Got people in line to help you

Trying to get a line in to help you

Fluids running wide open

Keep those chest compressions going

And we’ll shock you

And we’ll rock you

Can’t you see it’s we who work all night

Can’t you see who we who save your life

Or die trying

We won’t be denying

Most of the time

You’ll still be dying

That’s just a fact- do what you want with that

This is our job, but it’s your body

It’s your choice, let us hear your voice

It’s your body you can die how you want- DNR, DNI or full code if you want.

Only you can choose

Do what you want to do

Die how you want to die

Either way, we’ll be by your side

Yeah yeah

Labels

Labels

I was labeled cute

I was labeled sweet

I was labeled shy

My anxiety and depression went unrecognized, intentionally overlooked by those with the power to help me when I was a child. My social anxiety drove me to act as anyone but myself.

My parents had not accepted and confronted their own anxiety and depression, and they trained me to follow their approach to life: suppress your feelings, be only what others want you to be.

I was labeled smart.

I was labeled hard working.

I was responsible.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I took responsibility for everyone else’s feelings. I took care of other children when I was still a child myself.

I was labeled a slut and a tramp by teenage girls.

I was labeled a tease by teenage boys.

I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know how to not lose myself in the desires of others.

Sometimes I was glad for the non-verbal language of physical affection, although I was just as incompetent at saying ‘no’ physically as I was verbally.

I was labeled an escort, a call girl, though I was just trying to make ends meet, girl.

I was labeled a graduate, with latin honors.

Though I worked as a prostitute, survived unnumbered abusive relationships, including the abusive relationship with myself, now they call me doctor.

What my patients don’t know is how much I’m still learning everyday- learning how to take care of myself as I ask them to take care of themselves.

In my daily practice of being my best self, I practice un-labeling through non-judgement.

Labels limit our minds.

Labels snap a stagnant picture from the moving scene, robbing us of the limitless possibilities of the present.

Practicing Presence

I have good reason
To feel over-worked and under-paid
Burnt out, with a need to get laid
But good loving is hard to come by

I also have many reasons
To feel hopeful, joyful, grateful
Even satisfied

I’m not gonna lie
I’ve got a flame of desire between my thighs
That you light up with your eyes

Every time I see you, I re-realize
That life is only right here, right now
All we ever have is the present
For the divine gift of your presence, I thank you

Who could ever win the tug-of-war
Between past regrets and future worries?

It is hard to shake off the trauma that clings to me
I try to slip under it, but trauma’s tentacles are tenacious and latch onto me
But I know a secret trick
Without my ego, trauma has nothing to latch onto
I have acquired immunity
I shrink my ego enough to escape trauma’s grasp, float downstream and buoyantly resurface, safely out of reach

When I return from my latest circumnavigation of space-time
And redirect my awareness back to
where I am in this moment
what is happening in this moment
how I feel in this moment
I feel victorious!

Practicing presence is the only way
To be happy, healthy, and free

I wish such peace to thee

Absinthe and Abstinence

Instead of drinking absinthe

I wish I’d practiced abstinence

Absinthe passed through my lips

You followed suit, more than just the tip

I was butter and you were the knife

Wish I could take back that night

Spread out like jam on toast

On a Manhattan mattress, we did the most

It got so hot, we were the roast

But I was the one who got burned

Absinthe, you brought on sweat, blood and tears

Abstinence, you would have spared me much fear

Absinthe, why’d you help me undress?

Abstinence, you would have prevented stress

Absinthe, you never delivered that green fairy

Abstinence, your fruit is sweeter than the ripest berry

Absinthe, under your tutelage I’ve grown wary

Now I practice abstinence

From every Tom, Dick and Harry

and all the other men who didn’t have my best interest at heart-

You protested loudly when I told you we had to part.

You don’t have to understand

You just have to know that you’re not my man.

Little Prayer

I humbly offer a little prayer
For the little life
That grew inside me for a while
They were due to be born yesterday

I think it was a girl
I will never know for sure
Not knowing is part of the price I pay for ending the pregnancy
How I would have loved to love her

Unbeknownst to me at the time of conception, her daddy was not fit to raise a baby with
Nine weeks later, he made it apparent that I needed to have nothing to do with him        In order to protect my own wellbeing

At the same time, I lacked the socioeconomic resources
to have the baby without him
So I gave her up, though I struggled to pay for the abortion

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Planned Parenthood, the Women’s Action Fund, and the many strong, generous advocates of women’s rights around the world. Thank you.

To the ignorant people and policies that get in the way of women accessing the health care they need, to those who do harm by being obnoxious obstacles to women’s rights, and to the health insurance companies that don’t cover jack shit of abortive care, I would like to express a sincere ‘Fuck You’.

Ending my pregnancy was a tough choice
But I’m glad I made it
It was the best decision for me
I am happier, healthier and freer now because of it

Still, in my mind’s eye I see her sweet eyes
Whisper in her little ears, caress her soft curls
Hold her little fingers and the tiniest of toes
In my imagination, I kiss her cheeks and her nose
I hear her laughter and her cries
I delight in the chubby rolls of her baby thighs

I hope you understand, little life
That your mama did the best she could
With what she had at the time

I bow in deep respect to you
With compassion and gratitude
Beaming always peace and love to you

From the spiritual realm, little life, I’m sure you can see clearly how                                                  Pro-choice is pro-life; pro-women’s lives                                                                          Women’s lives matter                                                                                                                       My abortion allowed me to give birth to my own life                                                                   I am so fortunate to live the life that I want                                                                                 To make decisions about my body                                                                                                  To be free

I pray that all women may know this freedom                                                                             If I had kept the pregnancy and given birth yesterday, I would have raised my child to value and fight for her freedom of choice                                                                                            So that if she got pregnant she could choose to do what is best for herself

 

Finding Sukha

Sometimes I feel angry
I could blame my parents for the anger they passed down to me through their nature and their nurture
But they are only survivors of abuse and neglect themselves, victims of inter-generational psychological torture
I like to think that they were doing the best they knew how
With limited resources at the time
It was a different world back then;
There was little awareness and poor preparedness,
Less information and more isolation

Sometimes I feel sloppy
My movements get choppy
I crash, splash and make a mess
I only hope that I don’t take anyone down with me
When I slip and fall
Reminding me that in my haste, I don’t save time at all

Sometimes I feel on edge
I am irritable and my mind carves a ledge
Off of which I can easily slip
Into a hellish well
Of memories echoing back at me
Little things that seem big disproportionately when viewed at close range

Like the time an ex gave me condescending lip
When he proudly pronounced the word ‘dukkha’
Then judged me on how the Sanskrit word (not the concept, mind you) was unfamiliar to my vocabulary at the time

Dukkha is commonly translated as ‘suffering’, which is an important concept in Buddhism because the Buddhist path was designed to liberate people from suffering by helping them first overcome their desires/selfish cravings

I am all for liberation, but his elitist attitude was not resonating with me
That fool tried to school me on suffering like I’d never suffered a day in my life, when I’ve suffered every damn blessed day of my life

So I gave him a lesson in letting go of attachment by leaving him

I thought he could stand to benefit from the lesson and

I don’t need to take shit from a privileged prick about fancy words that I was too busy earning a living through sex work to have the time to learn from a text book

Books are hella expensive anyway

That’s why I gladly share my writing freely

Cuz I want it to reach people like me

People who were born into economic or emotional poverty

Through these simple words I string together

I humbly hope to help alleviate suffering in others

Perhaps it only helps alleviate my own suffering, but even that would be enough

I am a person, too

Also, writing feels like free therapy to me

I’ve still never been to actual therapy

I hear the prices are crazy

But I digress…I don’t have the energy to deal with fits of vanity

from spoiled boys who get off on looking down on me and the rest of the world

I think that instead of judging anyone who hasn’t heard the word ‘dukkha’
It would’ve served him better to find sukha
Sukha means ‘ease’

My point is this:
Everybody experiences dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness or stress) and hopefully sukha (happiness, ease, pleasure or bliss) in their lives
Everyone around the world attends the school of life; we are born, live and die in that classroom
But not everybody has access to the luxury of learning outside of their immediate human interactions
However that makes them no less educated than those who have the resources for recreational reading
At least in my book

So I’d tell that ex (if I could stomach the thought of communicating with him, which I presently don’t)
That if he thinks he is superior to others
Because he’s so well-read
Then maybe he should know
How to fit his ego back inside his head

With compassion, I recognize that fear of inadequacy lies at the root of his speaking boastfully

Here are some lessons that I’ve learned, and they aren’t in Sanskrit:
The ego inflates easily but deflates again eventually, and when the ego balloon gets stabbed by a needle it can be a long, hard fall down to the ground                                                                                                    Liberation from our egos and freedom from our desires is the ultimate gift
Money can buy a book but it can’t buy wisdom
Material wealth will get you inside the ivory tower but it won’t shelter you from suffering

Just look at my ex; he was rich in his wallet but impoverished in his heart-mind
Leaving him so that I could be poor but happy
Was a decision that put me at ease,
At ease like sukha

Sometimes I need a lesson in letting go too

Sometimes I find sukha

Pockets of Bliss

Pockets of Bliss

Hard-scrabble
Uphill battle
Stoically strong
All my life long

That was my marching song

Yet if I let myself unwind a bit
I find myself basking in pockets of bliss
Soaking in satisfaction, abundance, gratitude
It feels like the ultimate kiss
As I both receive and radiate
The generous glow of the sun

My mind usually tells myself that I don’t have time
For such indulgent, frivolous nonsense
That I’ve got to push push push
And forever rush rush rush

I fooled myself into believing
That I didn’t deserve the luxury of deep breathing
That rest and relaxation were only for the privileged rich
Such was my justification for prioritizing everything else                                                       Before my own needs

For too long I wrongly bought into the ideology
That my life was not to be enjoyed
That I should run hungry all my days
As if pursued by a ravenous wolf in all kinds of ways

But today I re-realized that I am the wolf
And also the prey
Only I have the power to say,
‘Enough of being tough.
I am ready for ease!’

If only in pockets to start
Because old habits are hard to break,
Just ask my heart

So it is with patience and persistence,
Guided by gentle wisdom
That I fill my pockets to overflowing
With bliss bliss bliss

Weapons Trade

If cortisol was currency
I’d have already paid enough you see
Cut open my veins
Behold my riches
See that I’m debt-free

For any wrong you think I’ve committed
I’ve paid far more in physiology;
My over-achieving stress response that over-taxes me

My innermost body is ragged
From being invisibly ravaged
I try to hide from the naked eye
How much I am falling apart inside
Although I feel like I am unraveling in plain sight

I’ve never spoken my mind freely, not once in my whole life
Can you imagine what that does to a body?
Maybe you don’t have to imagine
Maybe you know

My teeth are ground down to the nubs
My tongue is a caged panther imprisoned by my jaw
Aching with atrophy and unrealized potential
I try to open my rusted jaw but it clamps down bitterly on my tongue
I have to remind myself to breathe at least once every few minutes
I consciously try to rearrange the puzzle pieces of my face
To form an expression other than my overly nervous smile

When I am not in service to others
I struggle to hold myself together
I am only comfortable in the giving role
Perhaps because everything was taken from me before I received it

Child abuse robs the child of their whole life
I am fighting to reclaim myself
My weapons are inner peace, hope and understanding

Waking Up

Last night I had two dreams
In the first
I dreamt that I was sleeping
My mom came into my bedroom and molested me
The way she did
As usual I felt horrified, humiliated, furious, violated, suffocated
I tried to shake her off but she was still bigger than me
Even after all these years

In my struggle to escape
I woke up
In my own house at last
At least I didn’t wake up to the living nightmare
Of my childhood

Eventually I fell back asleep
And dreamt of an angry man
He thought that I was the cause of his anger
Though I knew that his anger went far beyond me
I tried to hide
To make myself smaller and more silent than I already am

But I was not small or silent enough
He found me and shot me with a gun
Many times in my body and my head
But I kept right on breathing
And felt once again relieved
To wake up alone                                                                                                                           Instead of wake up to the living nightmare                                                                                         Of my adult relationships with men

When I wake up alone                                                                                                                          I wake up to peace                                                                                                                                 I wake up to infinite potential                                                                                                                  I wake up free to be myself                                                                                                                  I am just now learning                                                                                                                  Who I am