Like a sailor I should be able to learn the subtle signs that herald the approach of a major front, the faint whiff of ozone on the breeze, the almost imperceptible darkening of the sky, the half-a-degree temperature drop that would otherwise be overlooked but here warns of the storm to come, warns it’s time to hunker down because this tempest can’t be outrun, you can only fasten the sails and ride it out. As captain of this ship I should be equally attuned to my own vessel and the microscopic changes in wind and tide which on an otherwise calm, clear day precede the sudden hurricane, the darkness, the lashing rain and swelling waves. I should be able to see this coming from miles off and prepare myself; haven’t I weathered these storms before? Yet still they come crashing down upon me like freak whims of nature to leave me soaked and trembling in their wake, checking for broken bones and leaks in the hull. When will I learn to recognize the approach of these forces so I might make myself ready, to meet the storm head-on if not to beat it to port?


the tricky thing about invasive thoughts is what if they’re right? because their source isn’t always irrational in and of itself, it’s not irrational to worry about megaquakes when you live on the West Coast where the plates sink and melt beneath your feet, where pressure builds offshore for hundreds of years only to one day, one singular unexpected inexplicable moment just snap and send shock waves rippling through earth, water, air and reduce order to chaos, it could happen any time so you start looking for signs just in case, do earthworms on the pavement mean something’s coming, can they feel the tension in the soil about to erupt, is that why the birds are gathered in such strange patterns, the animals restless, was that a tremor just now or the dryer upstairs? and the irony, always the irony that anxiety doesn’t make you better prepared, compulsive obsession doesn’t give you any mastery over these forces, they just make you more aware of all the things that can go wrong, oh are you ever so aware of all the things that can go wrong


it seems these days I just want the dark, the dark and the silence, to curl inward until I am small and round and impenetrable, until my back doesn’t hurt anymore, my arms don’t hurt, my head doesn’t hurt, my heart doesn’t hurt, so many things hurt and nothing seems to touch any of them, not Imitrex or Advil or wrist braces like gauntlets on my arms, only the dark and the silence soothe, only in sleep am I someone who moves without pain, who flies over canyons or swims through oceans, through magma, who bends fire and water and earth, and for every dimension and law of physics I control in my dreams there is another thing uncontrollable when I wake, I doubt that’s irony but it’s cruel anyway


I guess I don’t have much to say
I’m just so goddamned tired
tired of a world that doesn’t give a shit
but expects me to give and give and give
a world that loves to suffocate
but expects me to breathe the ash and gas
and it feels like all I’m doing is
putting out fires
throwing money at problems
thinking about writing
which all amount to nothing at all
so I guess I don’t have much to say


I think I’d rather feel like a river dammed by ice than a desert longing for rain; one only makes me want to weep, while the other draws bitter laughter from the deep dark places inside me. The river at least trusts spring to bring a thaw; the desert has long ago given up the expectation of rain.


Prayer to Bast for Bad Mental Health Days

Hail Bast, Lady of the Flame, Vengeful Eye of Ra
protect me this day as a mother cat her kit
defend me from the intrusive thoughts that circle
their creator the many fanged beast of obsession
drive them back with teeth and claws, wrath and flame
let no evil threaten this soul nor darkness touch this mind
hail Bast, Lady of the Flame, Vengeful Eye of Ra!


I honestly couldn’t care if this feeling is fabricated
if it’s the Prozac or the Topamax (or both)
the B12 or the vitamin D
hell, maybe it’s all the Eggo waffles and Goldfish crackers
the naps with my head on your lap
or the ancient goddess speaking in my ear
who gives a shit?
I feel good right now
and dammit, I choose happiness


i’m not here i’m not here i’m not here
i am stone i will abide i am stone i will abide
i’m stone i’m stone i’m stone


darkness darkness darkness i’m at the bottom of the ocean i’m under the water i’m not here i’m not here i’m under the ocean i’m miles away i’m stone i’m stone

“Where are you?”


“…far away…”

“No. I’m here. I found you.”


maybe I’m not quite ready to hear again the songs I listened to in college, the ones I played on repeat late at night as I sat in the glow of white Christmas lights and electric candles, huddled over a laptop screen or old notebooks full of teenage wishes, wondering if you were even possible, if I was a singularity in this universe, if I had placed my love in untrustworthy vessels and would be broken, broken, broken by the years, maybe I’m not ready to remember how I paced my dorm room, restless with others’ longings twisting in my chest, or how I walked endless circles around campus in the dark, trying to outrun my own longing so I could collapse into bed exhausted and cease wondering and fearing for a few hours, at least, maybe I’m not ready for the songs that remind me of the confusion and heartache and terror I faced alone for years because I could not fathom how anyone would ever understand and was afraid, more than anything, of hope, that cruel flicker which drove me to return to the same circles and what-ifs even when I sought to bury all feeling, will I ever be ready to remember those years without flinching, will these songs ever not hurt?


so I have dragged the beast into the light
but am still too afraid to open my eyes
to face what manner of creature stalks me;
when it lurked in the shadows I could pretend it was harmless
all bark and no bite, my imagination run wild;
after all, it was only once Little Red grew suspicious
that the wolf gobbled her up;
if she had befriended the beast and called it Granny
would they be living in the cottage still?

I am trying to resist the urge
to let my beast slink back into the closet;
I am trying to teach it to heel
and walk around the block