Custom to Personalized Settings

I have nowhere to fit my heart these days

I have jammed so many locks

And my heart carries all the bruises

But I don’t know what to do with it

Other than let it curve my back

Because of its weight

My hands have turned black from messing with it

I have tried serving my heart at family reunions

But even the dog would have none of it

At work, I’m constantly on the chopping block

Customers complain there’s something fishy about me

Despite how beautiful my smile is

So I have set up a little stand at pioneer square

Heart for sale!

A kiss and it’s all yours!

You can take it home with you

And convert it to personalized settings

There’s no return policy though

So make sure to consume it thoroughly

Now as you were.

My wife’s pregnancy

jomul7:

tenderly but powerfully told

Originally posted on The Sand County:

My wife’s pregnancy

My wife’s pregnancy became immediate
to me the day I saw

That the amaryllis on my desk was going to
flower for the first time

This year its leaves are coming in slowly
as a surprising stalk

Straight as a rail climbs ever higher, overtaking
the parent plant

I know that soon it will reveal something I have
been pining for

Perhaps all of my life.

Yes, it seems impossible that within that silent tube
is a presence

Soon to fill my entire house.

-Jeremy Nathan Marks

View original

The House of Fools

The only way to still the world

Is to rock back and forth

Your eyes rolled all the way back in your head

Your mouth spitting the Holy Scriptures

Trying to enter communion with the Man Upstairs

You try for the forty days fast

Only to pass out after three days

When you regain consciousness

You say that you saw God

And He didn’t meet your standards of beauty

We looked aside as if you have taken off your clothes

 

You were the eldest but no trail blazer

Just another angry, hungry man

Asking like the rest of us:

Where do we go from here?

Because Heavens and Hell aside

All we have is this flicker of life

So fragile and so everything

That we only get an inkling of understanding

When Death shows up unannounced

But you were a good man

Because you lived next door to the Devil

And you learned good from evil first hand

Showing a precocity for both at an early age

You were a closed system too

Regulating and adjusting without outside interference

You were you, yourself and you

Three in one competing for supremacy

And the question still remains

Who was it we had in our family

 

You live now in the house of fools

And we envy you for having found somewhere to call home after all

Monster Inc

I am a monster who has outgrown the mask I wear

But I was given the heart of a mother

Because I.just.don’t.care

This extreme polarity keeps me up most nights

But I’m the last person I should face

So all my mirrors are blacked out

And I’m puzzled by my silhouette

When it shows up on glass windows

 

I wasn’t born a monster though

I was a cheeky babe who kept to himself

But beginnings are like morning fogs

Trees and grass remembers them

Until the sun comes out and purifies them

My destiny wasn’t written anywhere

For prying eyes

To open a smile on my throat

If they knew what I would become

A monster with a mother’s heart

But I play rock, paper, scissors with Death at dinner time

Just to see if I could save everyone

The trouble of killing me softly

 

It’s my appetite for people’s shadows

That made me a monster

I always stuff my face on the weekend

When people’s shadows are fat and happy

But during the week I keep to myself

Like any other good citizen of our beloved land

I count the days till the week ends

And I won’t be as lonely anymore

These shadows come in all shapes and tastes

I am not one to judge

But it’s getting harder every day

To survive in this concrete jungle

It’s almost impossible to leave your trust with anyone these days

You have to always return home with it.

 

With life an inconvenience and death a forced retirement

I search for home in the company of other monsters

But they make them like me apparently

A mother’s heart in a monster’s chest

Leaves me no rest until I try my best

To find my quest in this monsters’ nest

Quotes from the Poisonwood Bible

I finally got around to reading this amazing work by Barbara Kingsolver, and I regret that I put it off because this is going to be one of those books to which I will return over and over. But whenever I’m reading a book, I’m really enjoying, I write down passages from it that I find funny, sad or strange and that’s what I’m sharing right now. I will write a more personal essay later, but for now I just want to share what I found fascinating in her book:

 

Not a television set in this whole blessed country. Radios, maybe one per hundred thousand residents. No telephones. Newspapers as scarce as hen’s teeth, and a literacy rate made to match. They get their evening news by listening to their neighbor’s drums.

Frank this is not a nation, it’s the Tower of Babel.

The gods you do not pay are the ones that can curse you the best.

It is a dangerous thing, I now understand, to make mistakes with nommo in the Congo. If you assign the wrong names to things, you could make a chicken speak like a man. Make a machete rise up and dance.

By loaning the Congo more than a billion for the power line of Inga Shaba, the World Bank insured a permanent debt to be paid in cobalts and diamonds from now till the end of times.

Recently it has been decided, grudgingly, that dark skin or lameness may not be entirely one’s fault, but one still ought to show the good manners to act ashamed.

The tropics will intoxicate you with the sweetness of frangipani flowers and lay you down with the sting of a viper, with hardly room to breathe in between.

A wife is the earth itself changing hands, bearing scars.

Every small effort at hygiene was magnified by hours of labor spent procuring the simplest elements water, heat.

They speak a language that burgles and rains from their mouths like water through a pipe. And from day one, I coveted it bitterly. I tried to invent or imagine such a stout, snappy phrase. “Bukabuka” I imagined myself shouting r from a spaceship movie I had seen once “klatu barada nikto!”

While the little boys ran around pretending to shoot at each other and fall dead on the road, it appeared that little girls were running the country.

It struck me what a wide world of there was between our sort of games “Mother May I?” “Hide and Seek” and his “Find Food,” “Recognize Poisonwood” “Build a House”

I was glad nobody wanted to cut off my hands. Because Jesus made me white, I reckon they wouldn’t.

He often says he views himself as the captain of a sinking mess of female minds.

Why, Nathan, here they have to use their bodies like we use things at home. Like your clothes or your garden tools or something.

Elapsed, or esteemed, all Ade meets Erodes pale.

Now the bitterness of quinine and sweetness of kissing are two tastes perfectly linked on my soft palate.

Betrayal is a friend I have known a long time, a two faced goddess looking forward and back with a clear, earnest suspicion of good fortune.

A Congolese life is like the useless Congolese bill, which you can pile by the fistful or the bucketful into a merchant’s hand, and still not purchase a single banana.

With a dark scarf over her hair and the sleeves of her stained white blouse rolled up, she did her work as deliberately as the sun or moon, a heavenly body tracking its course through the house.

A White Disk in a Dark Sea of Stars

I looked at the moon the other night

A white disk in a dark sea of stars

And thought about the building blocks of life

My depression has been dragging me

To a well of fruitless contemplation lately

But I hated empty time

So I filled the hours with philosophical arrows

Trying to pin this angst

But this is a river to follow

While I try to keep my balance

In stormy or sunny days

I had to keep my mind in line

And hope to catch a sea monster at the end of the line

Just to have some salt in my otherwise poor diet

I have so much and yet so little

My eyes always starving for light

And my heart gasping after divine sight

Every day I ask Death on a date

Just to refuse Him a kiss when Life callsA

Empty Sky

You don’t go to the sun anymore

You close the blinds and hide behind the covers

While your shadow grows fat and happy

You don’t answer when I call

And I have myself to blame

Last thing I told you was

“our lives are greater than the sum of our time together”

Seasons come in and out and you were nowhere to be found

I decided to break through the door one day

Only to find your shadow largely happy all over your place

You had left a note saying:

“You were my sun but I wasn’t your star

So I had to leave the sky empty”