“With Mercy for the Greedy” – Anne Sexton

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For my friend Ruth, who urges me to make an
appointment for the Sacrament of Confession

Concerning your letter in which you ask
me to call a priest and in which you ask
me to wear The Cross that you enclose;
your own cross,
your dog-bitten cross,
no larger than a thumb,
small and wooden, no thorns, this rose —

I pray to its shadow,
that gray place
where it lies on your letter … deep, deep.
I detest my sins and I try to believe
in The Cross. I touch its tender hips, its dark jawed face,
its solid neck, its brown sleep.

True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can’t. Need is not quite belief.

All morning long
I have worn
your cross, hung with package string around my throat.
It tapped me lightly as a child’s heart might,
tapping secondhand, softly waiting to be born.
Ruth, I cherish the letter you wrote.

My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
with mercy
for the greedy,
they are the tongue’s wrangle,
the world’s pottage, the rat’s star.

Anger

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A deep, smokeless flame that’s been burning for years.

 

It’s been suppressed within me for years, and has a vast collection of sources. Allowing myself to feel it is new, energizing, and almost dangerous. Anger wasn’t managed well in my house, and could end up being explosive and unresolved.

So here I am.

 

There’s the general anger at how badly managed this world and particularly my country are, how human suffering is left unregarded and unattended, how money is more important than life and how so many of us feel broken and disregarded.

 

We could be so good to each other, but we just aren’t.

 

Then there’s the interpersonal anger, which is…I’m refusing to allow someone the opportunity to apologize to me because I’m afraid of what they would do with complete forgiveness.

So I just throw out some diversionary bullshit whenever it’s brought up in conversation. Horribly. Sometimes I do this three turns ahead of the conversation potentially leading to this.

I have no clue how to express my anger, and I have only ever really shown in either by a) leaving, or when it’s  a self-defense (oh shit, this is totally out of control, am i going to die) situation or I’ve been pushed to the point where my brain is interrupting it as such.

You want to know something humilating? I can’t have a man in my house that’s my age without shaking. Eventually, my ex boyfriend bypassed that, but fucking that. Imagine how fun this is explaining. The suddenly cold excuse only like, is passable so long.

Like…it’s men I’m actually comfortable with, enough for this to be a thing, and yet every fucking time, dude. I’m not even consciously playing out a fear scenario with this shit. Just gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….

Why.

Yeah. I’m known as being ridiculously forgiving and kind…I mean, in ways, yes. I guess this boils down to how we’re all infinite internal universes and mirror images of each other blah blah blah, but my faith in the ability of the human character to alter and I frankly don’t really believe in redemption the way I used to, anymore. It’s less like I’m even still….acutely angry about the situation, I can see it was mostly a reflection of “everyone here is damaged”, but goddamn.

What are those famous words of wisdom? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me…can’t, can’t get fooled again?

 

Which is a strange way for a person who’s changed and left so much behind to feel, I guess.

But as much of myself that either I’ve altered intentionally, or has changed with time, I still have the old tendencies and aches.

 

Some of this boils in to an old tendency to not let people in, but it’s escalated to a high degree…vulnerability just does not feel safe, in any normal context, anymore.

I almost feel like my “success” at this point, is its core, is driven by an aversion to letting anyone hurt me or make me feel less than again. I have such a deep distrust and blatant disdain for humanity as a whole it’s just…like, are 30 year old women supposed to feel like this?

I used to be so fucking innocent and trusting toward people’s motivations, and now if the bus driver is too friendly with me I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up dead in a ditch somehow.

Come on, self, moderate this shit. The grandfatherly bus driver probably is not going to murder you.

It’s like I trust my motivation to help others without attempting to like, fucking eat their souls in repayment for a small favor, but I would probably have to close to death to allow another person to help me.

Well, with the exception of my best friend, and a trained professional.

 

I’ve formed this thick, hard shell, and feel like nothing but clay feet.

“The Process” – Skinny Puppy

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We’ve come to the end of 2017. It’s been a wild ride, but we survived the year!

I missed out on seeing Skinny Puppy once, but I ended up going to rehab instead. I asked my counselor if I could get a pass to cross state lines with a couple guys for two days to go watch them though. She gave me an interesting look.

Skinny Puppy is a group that’s been around since the early eighties. They’re the industrial version of Phil Anselmo, the members are busy people. Skinny Puppy  intended to “The Process” to be their final album, so using it to bury the year feels right.

I’m sticking pins and needles in this stinging rotten fleshlike substitute
Pieces of half cooked meat that are

Walking on this earth abort desire irrelevance ticks in front in view
A candle rhyme to realign burnt out candles on the wall seize the moment
Reach

And if the root of silence pulls me off
And love is lost not from my heart
I sit upon this throne that throws me off

And she falls backwards to the floor
And forwards to the back
She says elapses all my truth again
She’s the one I live for
I live alone
Burns inside horribly she lifts me to the spirit
Burns the darkest hours my corrupt brain is hurting
Once again the door lies quiet
Left alone I’m thinking of her
Sitting the burning clock of time