Another, Introduction to Poetry Writing

To fulfill a requirement, I found myself in another poetry class. I did not mind as I love poetry. It was a basic poetry class with a terrible text book. I showed up every week for the optional discussion and I completed with an A. After much thought I decided to share my final class project. A poetry chapbook from the semester; a collection of our “final” works for the class. I did not enjoy all of these pieces, but they are my creations nonetheless.

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.

Robert Frost

Renewal

Prologue

A Renewal Process

I did what I do best, I wrote from experience. Each of these pieces are reflective of my life at that moment in time. The first four months of this year were ruthless. I lost a two year relationship, joined a recovery program, started my classes late, almost dropped out-again, I apparently have anemia, I am launching my online business, my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, and my older dog needed surgery. All of this on top of my family, everyday life, and a couple of online training courses gave me plenty of inspiration for this class.  

I took note of my line breaks within these pieces and played with them a bit. I have spent a fair amount of time writing professionally on spiritual practices. My experience of non-fiction forms do not necessarily have a place in my poetry.

Overall, it felt good to write poetry again. I am walking away from this with the confidence to share my poetry with others. I may actually post the revised chapbook on my blog this summer. I am looking forward to the feedback as I wrap up this semester.


Surreal

I Open My Eyes

Standing there:

You are Cleanly shaven

Soft eyes of creamy jade

An older John McClane

In a D20 DND shirt

And cargo shorts with full pockets.

Cannot tell if you rolled a 20.

But those full cargo pockets are your lifeline

Just in case you rolled a 1.

Standing there:

Only a flowing babbel-less creek of silence

Falls from your motionless lips.

I am not truly there

I am behind a wall.

The wall is thick and dense

Yet it is as clear as crisp spring water.

You do not see me.

My cries cannot be heard

As I begin to pound my fists.

Standing there:

The tears pour down from my deep brown eyes.

In the distance Noah is bringing them two by two,

The waters continue to rise.

THE flood is impending.

I open my eyes:

The room is dark and cool.

Our bed is firm.

I roll over to reach for you

In search of comfort and warmth,

But your body had been swept away by my flood.

We were two who did not make it to the Ark. 


Family 

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Rhythmic breathing soft snores in the dark night.

Whugh, whugh, whugh.

Jess’ body pulses as the cool air fills her lungs.

In, out. In, out.

Rapid eye movements under heavy eyelids. 

Fluttering, fluttering softly. 

Tiny nose twitches for the scent in her dreams.

Twitter, wrinkle, twitter.

Often, in the crisp night air I seek a connection with her.

My fingers run through the softness of her thick coat.

My toes reach out for her in the dark still room.

We both rest peacefully until the light of dawn.


Postcard 

Before the Party

She, the hostess, puts on her best dress for her distant guests.

A shirt with a pressed collar and bright white cuffs.

Her dress is so black it reached out into the cold blue air of the darkness. 

She pulled her deep brunette hair up into a neat bun. 

All but for one long strand which appears to rise as smoke from the top of her neatly fashioned hairdo. As if to signal her unsuspecting guests of her upcoming party.

It is very dark in the center of the Earth.

One wonders where the hostess managed to find an ice bucket for the bottle of champagne.

She must have fetched the ice from atop her home.

It is possible no one saw her. Her icy glacier often kisses the soft clouds of the sky. Their affair is so old, her guests do not notice their love anymore. 

(They have forgotten the tales of their old Norse ways. The ones from the center of the earth Mr. Verne once wrote about are all but a Hollywood memory now. Rarely will a guest raise their head to see the majestic beauty of their gracious host. They are too caught up in themselves to notice a party being planned in their honor.)


Metaphor 

Always the Federal Agent

At 5’2” she has the strength and determination of three men twice her size.

She is savvy and uses the street curbs to give herself leverage over those she hunted.

She is a real life Peggy Carter avenging in modern times, a David and Goliath story.

This woman has the smile of a southern mamaw serving sweet tea on a wrap around porch.

She comforts the mad men in small well lit rooms. They feel safe and easily confess their sins.

She is a priest presenting the last rites with a gold badge in her inner pocket instead of a rosary in her hand.

 It wasn’t all Manson, Kaczynski, and Koresh, there were others who carried smaller names.

She once chased a woman who skipped on a federal bench warrant. For years they danced across the American southwest of reservations and endless horizons.

She carries this one’s teeth marks on her finger. A small visible birthmark for anyone to notice about her chosen profession.

The days go by and take their toll on this vivacious woman.

She is honored, adored, and rewarded for her contributions year after year.

She becomes the favorite toy of a young child. After years of action she no longer had the physical strength of her youth.

Life after her honored retirement was filled with personal challenges and changes.

She made a choice to heal herself, to thrive in a world skirting the edge of law enforcement and the justice system.

She keeps her finger on the pulse of the country as if she is an aging superhero listening to police scanners for one last hoorah. 


Form (Sestina) 

First Alarm Is At 0540

Ask Google to snooze until Alexa finally draws me towards the upcoming day.

Delicately, I roll around a dog onto my side only to resist the urge to grab my phone. 

Turn on the light, then the fan, adjust the blinds, and make the bed. Morning sadhana is waiting.

That first morning stretch does not disturb my dogs. I make my way to the bathroom.

Hydrate. Medications. Warm lemon water. Pour my coffee into a large Starbucks mug.

I head back to my room. My morning sadhana awaits. To begin, I sit down on my bed.

I read and pray. Although it is on DND to keep social media temptations away, I grab my phone. 

There are emails of horoscopes and daily thoughts; ACIM with Marianne while Rene is waiting.

By this time my family begins to stir. I can hear my father showering in the upstairs bathroom.

I finished my meditation with Rene. Next is a brief yoga practice, but not before I refill my mug.

Return to light some incense. I prep the floor and pull my yoga mat out from under the bed.

I stretch and twist to prepare my body. My morning sadhana has concluded, time to start the day.

As my bedroom door opens two dogs rush off the bed towards the kitchen. No more waiting.

The hydration, coffee, and morning movement hit me. Back to the bathroom.

Check on the kids before school. Review the schedules. Hopefully one more refill of my mug.

My work is from home. I set up my Chromebook. Sometimes I sit in a chair to avoid the bed. 

Although I have my schedule of meetings and plans, something always pops up during the day.

Perhaps something breaks, a kid forgot something, or my mother lost her phone.

For whatever reasons, I am the designated fixer in this home. I found her phone in the bathroom. 

After I feed the distractions along my way, I refill my water, no more Starbucks mug.

I join my meetings on Zoom. My little dog observes from the comfort of our bed.

Some weeks there are six or more meetings, in between texts and tasks, a day.

During my favorite meetings, I aim to remain fully present. It is best to hide the phone.

I try to run my COVID built life from my bedroom, at my door someone is always waiting.

I am on my PC, taking gulps of coffee until it runs dry. I leave my room to fill the empty mug.

Throughout the day I shift from a rattan chair to the comfort of my pillows on the bed.

I do not notice how my life has become a Nine Inch Nails song. Exactly the same. Every day.

I pick up my cell for a reference, but I am easily distracted by the notifications on the silent phone.

My anxious daughter is thirteen going on twenty-three, she tires of waiting. 

She must hear me creep out of the room because she busts into the bathroom.

My daughter continues her stories as she flops down on my bed.

She sprawls out and messes with my system every single day.

Her lips are moving a mile a minute as she rambles while responding to Discord on her phone.

I tire of her endless stories, but do my best to listen as I continue my patient waiting.

I am reminded of the lock I never use on the door of my bathroom. 

It is now time for iced tea. I head to the kitchen with my empty mug.

I have been waiting for the sun to go down. I finish up in the bathroom.

Fix my mug of herbal tea, then I go to my bedroom, and charge my exhausted phone.

The dogs and I climb into bed. It is time to rest until the next alarm goes off the following day.


Political 

Do Not Feel Badly for Them

Oprah Winfrey lands primetime special with Meghan and Prince Harry

Quite honestly Meghan and Prince Harry landed a special with me. I am a self made billionaire from Missouri. They agreed to sit with me, no one else. That is how much respect I command.

DO NOT.

Oprah, Meghan and Harry Draw 17.1 Million Viewers to CBS …

Who the hell cares? I cannot stand Oprah, how did this end up on my newsfeed? I am an American, I could care less about the British royal family. We literally fought a war over this. 

DO NOT. 

Meghan Markle Says It’s “Liberating” to “Be Able to Speak for Yourself” in New Oprah Interview Clip

I was only 12 years old when my mother died. The whole world mourned Princess Diana. I had so many unanswered questions. Meghan has helped me to free myself from the binds of my lineage. The same binds that held my mother. She would be so proud. 

DO NOT. 

Meghan Markle Says Palace ‘Perpetuated Falsehoods’ In Upcoming Oprah Interview

Did this chick really go on the air with Oprah to speak out against the British royal family? Is her husband not the son of Princess Diana? Honestly, it is her own fault. She chose to marry Prince Harry. If she did not understand the commitment she was making, that is on her. 

DO NOT.

Prince William Responds to Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview: ‘We Are Not a Racist Family’

I cannot believe my brother Harry did this. Does he not remember what happened to our mother? Just play the 

game and everything will be good. First the Nazi uniform, then this woman, his titles being stipped, and now Oprah. I have my own family to protect.

DO NOT.

Organization says sharing Oprah interview memes is ‘digital blackface’

What the hell is this about? So any photo of a black person is “digital blackface?” That is like saying only white people can be racist. Oprah is one of the whitest people out there along with Barack Obama. The memes of this interview are showing the hypocrisy of this madness. I cannot with this.

DO NOT.

3 Songs You’ll Never Hear The Same Way Again After Meghan Markle Spilled the Tea with Oprah

Everything is going so well. Oprah wanted an interview with me, Prince Megan. The WOC (woman of color) to take down the British empire. I captured Harry, I took out Piers, and now I am coming for the rest of the royals. I am finally happy everything is about me. 

DO NOT.

British tabloid claims Oprah Winfrey ‘seriously misled’ viewers in royal interview

As much as I dislike Oprah, revealing the idea a group of old rich white British royals are racist is hardly misleading. If you were unaware of that prior to this week of social media buzz, you are seriously sheltered, and should get out more. Just my personal opinions. 

DO NOT. 

Queen Elizabeth Is Back to Work After Issuing Statement on Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview

Of course I am back to work. I am British, we remain calm and carry on. It is my duty as Queen. Just as I told Diana all those years ago crown and country first. A young feisty American woman cannot and will not tarnish the British royal family. 

DO NOT.

Patio chairs at center of Oprah’s Meghan and Harry interview — made by a ‘Brady Bunch’ actor — sell out online

This is the headline to sum up all of the news surrounding the interview at hand. The patio chairs of a billionaire and two millionaire royals sat on sold-out after the show aired. This has nothing to do with the centuries of racism within the British royal family. This has nothing to do with social injustice I have witnessed my entire life. It is an example of average people focusing on the fantasy issues of the privileged. 

DO NOT.

Part VII: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

Skip Recap

In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Relational Dynamics (Ch. 9)

Terms:

  • affinity / immediacy
  • connection-autonomy dialectic
  • metacommunication

Goal:

Explain how change and culture affect communication in interpersonal relationships.

Question:

Explain how gender, culture and/or mediated communication affect intimacy (emotional, intellectual, etc…) in one of your important relationships OR society/culture today.


I have lived throughout the country and I am well traveled. The best thing I heard after moving to Hawaii, “Hawaii is part of the United States, but it sure as shit is not America.” Truth spoken from a haole Cali girl.

Where to start with this one?

  • Fruit punch is not juice. Fruit punch, is not, juice. Fruit punch is flat soda or colorful high fructose corn syrup.
  • Musabi is not acceptable to feed children. Please stop offering it to my kids.
  • Right is right. Right is RIGHT! You can’t push a cart through Costco, I hope you’re not out there driving.
  • Why isn’t there fluoride in the water?
  • Please hold the door open for the person behind you. Unfortunately one of the rudest places I have ever been. 
  • Unless you are a first responder on duty, STOP BACKING IN YOUR CARS! None of you can do it correctly, you’re blocking traffic, and then your trunk or flat bed isn’t accessible for your Costco haul.
  • I am an only child. We are not related. Please do not call me auntie or sis. “Ma’am, hey you, excuse me” are all acceptable. 
  • Please do not relate the government ordered mass genocide of my people to the history of Hawaiians. 

So who is thinking I am an asshole now? I was probably one before you were born and I am okay with it. Here are some things I have learned since moving here 8 years ago.

  • Hawaii is the only US state with official languages, ‘Ōlelo and English. I acknowledge and respect I only speak one of these. If I encounter a situation where only ‘Ōlelo is spoken that is on me. Fortunately my mother learned when we moved here and I have some friends to call on.
  • Chopsticks! Who knew? I carry them to the Mainland now.
  • Corruption is most certainly colorblind.
  • I have learned more about Polynesian tattoos than I ever expected. I am beginning to understand the meanings and spot the fakes. If you have a chance my friend teaches a couple courses at WCC. I highly recommend you take at least one class from Tricia Allen. 
  • Hawaiian navigation is beyond impressive. I was able to visit the Hokulea when she was in Washington D.C. I happened to be home for a visit and made a point to go see her.
  • It is safe and acceptable to eat food from 711 in Hawaii, do not do that on the Mainland.
  • Pidgin. I always assumed it came from a lack of education*. I learned my understanding was completely wrong. 

Back to my friend’s statement about Hawaii. Every place has its own customs and societal norms. The Washington D.C. area is a melting pot of ethnic groups. My high school was 20% Korean and no one noticed I wasn’t white. One reason my family chose to move to Hawaii was for the diversity. No one hassles my kids for being hapa. I appreciate not being asked, “What are you?” when someone wants to know my racial background. The brief history of Hawaii is an amazing one of diversity and perseverance.

*In the south eastern US there is a form of pidgin, mix of Creole, French, English, etc. If you have ever seen The Waterboy you understand. My personal experience living as a biracial woman in Winder, Georgia includes coming across this dialect. My friend, was-band, and myself went to a farming supply shop for U-Hual boxes. My giant pasty white friend strolled in and asked the older clerk where we could find the boxes. The reply was utter nonsense to us. Essentially a series of “na na na urr na gunda ur da.” My friend and I stood there in silence not knowing what to do. My was-band came up behind us and said, “Thank you sir, appreciate your help.” Then headed off down an aisle. Apparently his time in Georgia helped him to understand the clerk. He did not even notice he was not speaking English.

https://youtu.be/vcvou0SAxZI (link to Farmer Fran scenes, completely offensive)


Interpersonal Communication in Relationships (Ch. 10)

Terms:

  • intimacy
  • love languages
  • role

Goal:

For a specific family (real or televised), explain how family roles are created and perpetuated through communication.

Question:

Do you believe in Knapp’s staircase model of relationships or in the Dialectical Tensions model more?


I did mention I haven’t actually been reading the book for this class right? Quick Google search and in my opinion Knapp must not have had children. Parents do not have time for 10 steps and 2 phases. I hope to wash, dry, fold, and put the laundry away all in one day. As for the Dialectical Tensions model, sounds a bit too scientific to be practical. The iconic 1950’s ideal of courting and marrying is not the norm any more. There are so many different types of relationships and gender identities, it’s not that concise. Essentially a relationship is when two, or more, people decide to tolerate each other for an extended period of time while they get to know one another. Ideally marriage is finding someone you have mind-blowing sex with so you are willing to tolerate/love them until death do you part. Obviously it’s not that basic, but it sort of is. Personally I am a fan of The Gottman Institute. They are the cutest couple, I highly recommend their interview with Brene Brown on her podcast. What is the ideal relationship? Johnny and June? Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher? David Spade and Chris Farley? Sir Patrick and Sir Ian? Steve and Bucky? Peanut butter and chocolate? Marshal and Lily? Honestly my favorite couple is Marge and Homer Simpson. Can Marge do better, yes. Does Homer know she can do better, absolutely. Should Marge do better, hell yes. So why doesn’t Marge leave Homer? Love, kids? I think she found the person she is willing to grow with despite the distractions and the chaos. They don’t always agree, they spend time apart, but they never cheat and they always come back together. Marge is Homer’s lobster. All relationships take work. Part of that work is determining which relationships are worth the effort. Humans are an unpredictable variable, a model cannot cover all the probabilities. I recommend knowing what you want before looking for a long term relationship. It is easy to know what we don’t want, especially after a divorce. Go follow Case Kenney on Instagram, buy his journals, and save yourself some heartache.  

Here are two of my favorites on marriage:

“Marriage is hard. Just two people slogging through the shit, year after year, getting older, changing. It’s a fucking marathon, okay? So, sometimes, you know, you’re together for so long, that you just… You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk. Instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices. You know if I read more Russian novels, then…” 

“You have to be prepared for her to change and be open to loving those changes. In 60 years I have loved 7 different women, all of them your grandmother.”

Part VI: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

Skip Recap

In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Managing Interpersonal Conflict (Ch. 12)

Terms:

  • avoiding
  • conflict
  • conflict ritual
  • crazy making


Goal:

Identify the relational conflict styles, patterns of behavior and conflict rituals that define a given relationship.

Question:

Examine the differences between men and women in how they approach conflict. Include research findings as well as your own personal experiences in your discussion.


I believe the books Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and Jane Goodall’s My Life with the Chimpanzees covers this topic in detail. For the sake of entertainment I will comment on Chapter 12. Physical differences aside, men and women communicate differently from each other. It is as if God decided to prank the human species. Men tend to communicate physically while women tend to communicate through emotions. A man is more likely to assert his strength, knowledge, and dominance with a firm handshake, a projecting voice, and large physical presence (literally taking up more room). A woman is more likely to express her knowledge, power, and position through making a connection with her audience. Empathy and understanding are common female communication skills. In my life I do not adhere to these stereotypical, albeit common communication styles. My mother the female Naval Officer in a “man’s game” told me that men are incomplete when compared to women. We have the XX chromosome, while men have the XY chromosome, the Y is just an X missing a leg. I was the only girl in judo, I was the only girl in karate, and I preferred Hot Wheels to Barbies. This one time in elementary school we went to a park to meet our pen pals from another school. My pen pal wore a white dress, on a field trip to a park. Seriously. We had nothing in common and she went off with her friends. I went to play kickball or something. A bit later, a mini gang of pre-pubescent girls approached me. They began to accuse me of not liking my pen pal because of her gold capped tooth. I believe my honest response was, “No it’s because she’s boring and no fun.” Oddly that did not go over well. Stupid emotional girls am I right? When it comes down to it I am consistent if nothing else. I don’t like bullies, it doesn’t matter if they’re male, female, pan, bi, Hulu+ without ads, whatever. Don’t be a dick because then I’ll have to put you in your place with my power vagina. (I just made that up.) When it comes to work, I don’t care. I work to make money period. I would always tell coworkers, “I am not here to be your friend. I am here to do my job and go home.” Twenty years ago we all felt this way in the Industry. Today the kids are different. They crave being coddled. They work to find friends. Just before COVID hit, I noticed this shift. I understood my time was about up. I was working on an exit plan from bartending. Then it was forced upon me.

*While working in my previous position, my managers would praise me for “not making a coworker cry” within a certain period of time. I worked in restaurants not Disneyland. I wasn’t a cast member, I was a bartender.