I happened across your Corinthians poems this morning as I was transferring stuff from one computer to another — and that poem was in pdf form that I had downloaded after you turned it in. I’m not sure if I was sufficiently strong in my praise of this poem and its vibrancy and superb image-making… Believe me when I tell you hardly any young writers have that. You must keep writing poetry — and find a way to get readers and support around that in whatever form.
I received this message earlier today from my poetry professor whose class I took last semester. She was referring to this piece (posted here) that I wrote, and I really do think that this was my breakthrough poem… I was definitely going through the motions of writer’s block and I was sick of it. Finally, I pulled something substantial out of my brain and wrote something that I was, and still am, sincerely proud of. And today, with all that’s going through my mind, she reminds me that I can definitely do this… so here I go.
You know when you’ve had one too many
And you’re sipping on your sixth long island until
Finally they say last call, and you want two more
But all that alcohol
Has made you more tired than you were when you first
Came to forget all the things that you were tired of…
That sticky countertop is the pillow you’ve been waiting for.
You know when it’s four in the morning and you’re tired of tossing and turning because
you wonder why the person next to you doesn’t hug you like they used to,
So you grow tired of them, too.
You know when you’re tired of forgetting it all
Tired of everything that makes you doubt
The precious mind in your precious head that balances your precious heart which houses your precious soul in your precious body
And you forget that
You can say “no”
As easily as you can close your legs,
As easily as you can say goodbye,
As easily as you can close your eyes.
But you’ve always had trouble with memory
And it’s so damn tiring to remind yourself over and over again the morning after
Because you know you’ll just forget the next time.
…and you know this isn’t okay.
You know when someone asks you if you’re alright,
And you say yes you’re just a little tired
But everybody knows it’s never really that
But saying you’re tired is easier than
An impromptu therapy session– so you convince yourself that you’re just tired.
And when you’re tired
You’re nothing but heavy, so heavy
Like the blue whale they found washed up in Daly City the other day
Can’t drag yourself to go to bed, can’t get out of it
Can’t muster up the will to shower, don’t want to get out
Doodling “help” on the wall tiles with your finger,
Both trapped and saved and lost and hiding.
And you wonder where the hell this gets off, because you’re tired of being tired,
I can feel your heaviness breathing down on my neck
Get that out of here with its toxic moping,
Constant nagging, while it doesn’t want to fix a single thing
Where does it get off? I’ll tell the driver when to stop…
(nobody likes to sit next to it, anyway).
But don’t you worry,
I know that you know and you know that I know that being tired
Is the most pathetic excuse of an excuse that you’ve ever heard
Those six long islands will become barely two,
And you’ll learn that it’s better to sleep alone than to sleep with the wrong one,
And that your soul will finally drift to rest
Once you realize where love is due.