Infected Relationships in Life—Power and Intention to Parent Differently

May 29, Tuesday.
Visiting family almost a week now—
Yes, we are a close one—
Yet, I also can’t get away
Fast enough.

The sun—
Life bringing, intoxicating
Also has a brutality
In its range, reach and strength
Within desert landscapes.
Too much causes hurtful consequences,
Sickness, a weakening.

I have to remove myself
From that force
To protect myself
To be able to grow
In my own right.

The negativity and bad habits
Within families can be
Such a drag to be around
So much so that I could die,
Wither away into nothing
Like I feel (irrationally)
They want me to do, at times,
But nah, I don’t think so!

Trying to become well and
Move away and beyond
The most potently poisoned and
Infected relationships in life,
I find I have a lot less tolerance
For rotten behaviors and
Unnecessarily rude comments,
No matter where they originate.

This does, in fact, represent
A positive personal change.
They just don’t know it and
Even if they did,
They wouldn’t understand or agree.
So be the way of things.

I want different for my own kids.
As a parent, I strive every day
To provide a very different
Home environment for the kids.
For the most part,
I believe I’ve been
Largely successful even if
I may be weaker in other areas
Than my own parents.
I’d rather have happy,
Well adjusted children than
Financially successful ones,
If I had to choose.

So although of course I will be back,
I’ve had my fill of family
For the time being.

Wheels take me home
12 hours time
Back to Colorado where I belong,
Not here.

Infect

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Guilty—Family Dynamics: Sustenance and Wither

Prime rib sliced from
A carving station flanked by
Ramekins of steaming aus jus,
Baskets of fluffy white rolls,
Creamy butter, mashed potatoes,
Field greens, crispy salmon
And plump, icy shrimp
Washed down with sparkling Pellegrino
Fill my plate and cup
During this special, end of the month
All you can eat dinner
At the club tonight.

Early, we get one of the best tables
In the dining room which
Frank Lloyd Wright’s
Architectural company designed,
Along with a marvelous view.

Visiting parents during their
50th wedding anniversary weekend,
This should be a happy,
Celebratory meal, right?

Somehow the dynamic my parents create
Doesn’t quite pan out so jolly
And instead, leaves me feeling
A starving and withered
Emptiness inside.

“Fifty years is a long, long time
To be with the same man or woman,”
My mother says
In a way that feels more acidic
Than contemplative or grateful
For the accomplishment.

“So what are you trying to express—
That you’re tired of me and
That the years haven’t been good?”,
My dad prods and provokes
When really, my mother’s comment
Should be left unattended
To die a quick, anonymous death.

Drinking a bit,
Now unusual (thank goodness)
My mother’s response reveals
The uglier half-turn underside
Of alcohol’s influence.

“Some of it good, some not,”
She says without smiling or
An ounce of warm kindness,
At least as far as
My second generation self
Can discern.

A heavy silence descends
As me and my kids squirm at the table
For the awkward brutality
This meanness engenders.

Recovering, my dad then continues
To perpetuate this arc
Now tinged with asshole ugly notes
By mentioning how positive it is
That nonalcoholic sparkling water
Satisfies my taste for
A special drink (very much so)
Since like my mother,
I have difficulty controlling
My drinking and have gotten
So drunk before.

“I’ve seen it,” he says,
Smiling to collude and consort
With my older teen kids,
Who glance uncomfortably, first
At each other and then at me,
Their own mother, for
Clues and cues.

Determined to be undefensive,
I shrug, say nothing and
Remain calm inside since
This is actually true,
When I was about 16, that’s it.
Seems ridiculous to bring
That one-time event up now.
Anyway, I know I can clarify
This fact to the kids later.

One never knows how much time
Exists with people on this planet.

One day, my parents—
Essential key links my heritage—
Won’t be available
To reinforce me, soothe me,
Hold me up and help me
Get through this life with
A sense of identity, a
Healthy sense of entitlement
And self advocacy backed by
Their living practices that
Many things are possible
If you work hard enough—
A central vein running through
So many successful, first generation
Immigrant narratives.

One day I will be lost
And lacking this way.
I know this.

So, while I eagerly await
For this trip’s end
So I can get home to begin
Fostering my own weak wellness,

I try to appreciate
The depth of their goodness
As parents to me and as people
(For this is true also)
And feel guilty
When, within fragments, I falter
And really, really don’t.

Guilty

Bucking Assumptions that Therapy Is A Waste of Time

Mornings away from home
My body grows stiff
Hours spent sitting the car
A tailbone crunch.

Away, in a new environment,
In this paused state of mind
Where decision stands still,
I wonder how to keep going
Brandishing middle age now
Within a life that is
Inspired, safe and filled
With people I care about.

I plan to keep those
Who are good for me, close,
And those who offer
Less positive influences
At a distance, or banished,
If necessary, for my mental health

And me, I plan to know and be able to
Determine the difference…

Momentary paralysis
Ends need meeting.
Time quality needs altering,
A revamping.
I’ll always be me, I suppose,
Weaker with distrust,
Strong with judgement, determination
And feelings of sheer terror
That the sky is indeed falling—
Feelings most potent at night.

But still.
Maybe the time has come
To hoist myself up into
A new realm of wellness
A fairy tale revision—
Quick, strike while the iron is hot,
Move.

Maybe I can finally start to
Let down my heavily armed
Personal and cultural guard
Which leans towards the
Assumption that therapy
Is for “undesirable, deranged people”
To open my arms to cognitive
Behavioral therapy—
Something I’ve been utterly
Closed off to using, previously.

Maybe there is something good
Waiting for me inside those sessions—

Structured strategies that
Hone in on how
To be the best person I can be,
Regardless of whether
Key romance pans out,
Language alterations to shift
Internal dialogue towards
Focusing on forging ahead by
Creating a life I want—

Maybe working with someone
Can help me foster a life
Filled with stronger,
More consistent ability
To fashion constructive solutions
For what lies ahead—
Things I can influence
Versus relentless rumination
Inside what is long over
And done with and thus is
An unchangeable past.

Life long ingrained habits
Encourage me to so often
Allocate endless useless energy
To recreating and reinforcing
Deep, directionless fury.

I want to harness the strengths
I do have to enable my days
and nights, in particular,
To look and feel vastly different
And I may need professional
Nudging to get me there.

Maybe not…

Maybe sessions will prove
Pointless (again) with me struggling
To gain anything from hour
Appointments except a wonder
As to why I even
Made the “effort”.

Any meager past attempts
Involved me dodging the person’s
Questions while playing mental games
To predetermine a result
Filled with pure nothing.

My frame of mind may be
More ripe now to be able to
Accept counseling help.
Wanting a change in
My ways of being,
I feel more motivated to try
To consider and then communicate
What I am seeking from
A trained person.

Hopefully I can find the
Right person who can reach me.

All of this—I won’t know for sure
Unless I finally
Make an appointment and
Embark on a journey to
Finally, truly try…

Assumption

Disappear—Ocean Waves of Emotion Cresting and Foaming

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The sun shines
On episodes of my life
That include travel,
True love and superb health
Backed by strong family ties,
Lifelong privilege reinforced
By continuing access
To opportunity.

And yet
Nights remain my enemy
During which I find ways
To allow sorrow’s tendrils
To creep up and through me
Twisting memory into
Anguished pulp
Demolished hope
And anger, yes,
Jagged shards with
Razor sharp interpretations
That slash through perception
Spanning time and place.

I want to have a simple,
Straight forward, clean plate
That is without too many
Rushed minutes gulped down
In nervous haste
Rippling denial, and other
Ruins of emotion I feel would
Fail to serve any useful purpose
By unpacking here and now.

Instead, I want to let this
Mental excoriation pass
For the ephemeral tsunami
Drowning that this is.

I will successfully manage this by
Knowing about ends, by
Letting the gaping hole close
On its own to
Disappear into insignificance.

Pampered with enough luxury
Of space in my life and
Feeling entitled to
Seek and find happiness,
I want more for myself.

I know I need to get back to
A more wondrous position of
Looking forward to and
Appreciating light lifts
Life offers by
Inhaling and internalizing gratitude
So available and cost-free
Yet so elusive and distracted by
Product placements,
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Sessions, excessive eating
And drinking experiences,
Expensive vacations—
As if those things
Will force gratitude
And soft new insight
To worm its way inside
The paucity of our souls.

They won’t.

I want to feel thankful
to be alive and whole again.
I’ve touched that exuberance before—
To glimpse well adjusted euphoria.
And, having so much in life,
I know I ought to already be there

But I’m not.

Ocean waves cresting and
Then foaming up
On relentless shores.

Disappear

Slight: The Devastation of Early Life Endings

Middle age unrolls
A slow tick-tock
Watching the clock
Our bodies progress
Along time’s wheel–

Slight (or massive) body fat increase,
Additional cholesterol and
Blood pressure monitoring,
Acne eruptions fading (at last!)

Pressing on with life’s years,
We inevitably encounter
Rainbow experiences filtered
Through crystalized prisms
Scattering multi faceted emotion
In a thousand directional points
Of joy, sorrow, pain, blessings,
Growth and learning
Solidified and made significant
By family and friend moments–
A culmination.

Inevitably some souls will leave us
WAY too early–
Babies pass, mysteriously,
One moment sleeping peacefully,
Healthy in their cribs,
The next minute,
Heart stop,
Flash, gone.
Creating an unimaginable impasse
Crisis hole in ongoing life.

Or, sometimes the babies
We were waiting for
Never quite got the chance to
Develop enough,
To complete the journey
To come to us at all.
Bleeding, so much blood
Seeping out into nonexistence.
Our waiting became for naught.

We got to know then,
More then ever,
How singularly precious
The children we were blessed to have
Alive and well
In our lives are.

We watch with delight
As our children, these special beings
Grow into taller,
Wiser, and richer,
More fully dimensional
Young adults as they finish
One form of schooling
To move on to new opportunities–
Prom, graduation, college,
Summer internships–

And know that despite difficulties,
Children offer us the ability
To look forward to
More and more joy
They will bring us…Right?
How lucky we are!

Everyone maturing, we begin
To see how sickness infiltrates bodies
Overpowering and preventing
Healthy cell regeneration
In organs, blood and mind
To eventually diminish people.

Accidents or other unfortunate mishaps
Impossible to name all here
Steal the lives of more
People we have known.

Still a few other loved ones
Do the unthinkable:

They rip themselves away from us
Suddenly, brutally
By taking their own lives
Leaving the rest of us
To grapple with
Suffocating in choked confusion
About how the unspeakable
Could have happened.

Why? How?
What about the kids you left behind?
What should they,
Forever fatherless,
With their whole futures ahead
To navigate through,
Do without you now?

The seal of death is so permanent.
You will never be able to
Walk your daughter down the wedding aisle
Congratulate your son upon graduation
Hold your grandchildren,
Celebrate birthdays.

People move on.
They have to keep living.
So all key life events
Will happen without you,
Now behind an unbreachable wall
Separating you and your choice,
From everyone else.

Did you think about that–
How left behind you will be?

So your marriage didn’t work out.
That happens.
I don’t know the details.
But, OK, so what about
Your childrens’ mother
How ought she proceed through
The rest of her life now?

What about your parents, siblings
And everyone else you devastated–

How could you!?

Inner demons stoked
Immeasurable despair while
Scorching optimism and any
Light of hope
So that you became crazy
Blind to the gifts
Life had to offer you–
Felt apathetic numb
To any pleasure of looking forward
By setting and reaching
Personal and professional goals
Amid infinite darkness.

That’s all I can fathom
At the moment.

I know the deep depths of despair
A good, bad friend
Like the back of my hand
An intimate lover-arch enemy of mine
But I still just don’t get it,
I really don’t.

Slight

Core—Thoughts Beyond Males After This, I Promise!

I open my eyes
On this Mother’s Day
Sleep falling away
A silk sheet dropping
From my shoulders
I feel fresh and alert.

I look forward to spending
Simple, happy time with
My teen son today
Hearing from my daughter
Finishing up her first year
Of college in Maine and
Indulging in as much
Ice cream cake
As my heart desires.
No pants-busting
Mother’s Day brunch or dinner
And I’m fine with skipping
Overeating and drinking.

I’ve called my own mother,
First thing,
An early bird and alive and
Mostly well, thus far, and
Will reach out
To my sister and friends
At a more reasonable hour.

Thankful to be alive and well,
I am, unfortunately,
Also aware that I still retain
Definite threads of
Halted, potent anger towards you.

Believe me.
I want to unclench my fists
To be able to
Smile genuinely,
Look you in the eye and
Hold your hand into the future.

I want to be the kind of person
Who truly forgives and
Is able to proceed with
An open, loving heart,
Only possible after fully
Letting go of the past.

Mostly, I have been able
To do those things,
But not completely, clearly.
Negativity and doubt about you
Course through me still,
At times,
Tempering my enthusiasm for
Further developing new goals
That focus on you and
On bringing us closer.

How long does the heart
Take to heal
And trust again?

I know it’s me
Who is largely responsible for
Doing the core of
This emotional work on my own
So I haven’t said anything or
Imposed these bad moods upon you.
Well behaved (as far as I know)
You deserve better and
What would be the point?

Even so, I still find myself
On a monkey bar apparatus
Reaching for takeaway “lessons”
(And there are many positives
To focus on here—
Some that strengthen us,
And some that benefit me, only—
There is a difference.)

To be able to span
Widely spaced bars,
Mentally, I swing from
One loving thought
To the next hateful, hurtful one.

Practical and anxious,
I find myself
Preparing for the winter
By taking personal inventory
While mapping out trajectories
Of alternate futures,
Storing up resolve
To follow through
Should certain key events occur and
Binging on sweets and
“High fives” from
Admiring friends when I can.

There is a small
But undeniable, gnawing
Part of me that desires
The opportunity
(And challenge) of
Dating other younger,
More optimistic and healthy
Employed males,
When I’m ready…

I know I’ve got something
Golden in my palm that
Eludes many searching people
But I’m not always
“Feelin’ it”,
As special as I know
My situation is.

All this emotional scurrying about
Feels bad, and says
I’m still a bit frayed.
I need to get to
A more peaceful, serene place
Where I feel safe and well again.

Absolutely not there yet,
I’m uncertain, at times,
Whether getting myself
Fully well again is possible
With you still in my life.

Because I’ve been unable
To fully recover the way
I really need to,
I don’t always know
If I can or want to
Keep going on with you—
A realization that draws
A heavy veil of sorrow
Down upon my outlook
That I can hardly bear
To contemplate…

Core

Flaunt—Moving Past Turkish Screw Fucks

Hello:

I’m finally in the process of
Giving you WAY less importance
In my brain—
You have occupied too much
Mental space and emotional ache
For the last seven months
Which will now STOP!

You simply aren’t worth
The attention that you’d be
Thrilled (if you knew)
I have given you—
You, so lonely, so starved
For acknowledgement
In a life absent of any
Long-term romantic love
You so crave.

During my weaker, ugly moments,
I’ve thought about you and
Your “assets”,
In great detail.

Have you opened your
Pillow-soft, willing arms
And easy, flabby thighs
During another, all-expense
Paid trip to travel
And be with him again
That I don’t know about, yet?
Maybe you have.

I believe he’d do
That kind of thing again
And I know you would.

Having no regular paying work,
No kids of your own, nothing,
You’d jump at another chance,
However brief and flimsy,
To be with him again
At the drop of a hat.

You’d give yourself away
Immediately, completely,
(And so cheaply) again,
Telling him you love him
Even though he promises nothing
And does not
Return the sentiment.

He has mentioned how
He rather likes
Low hanging fruit, which you,
Never married and childless
(Both not by choice)
Definitely are.

Haven’t you found another man
Or any other interests in life
To occupy you and
Take his place, yet?

Haven’t you been able to
Dive into someone else’s
Time and body
To discover new happiness
As well as to
To ease the pain
(That I have also known)
Of being alone and allowing
Yourself to be used as a
“Convenience” by someone
Who’s heart is
Actually elsewhere—
So that you can move on
With your own life?

How desperate, unappealing
And/or unlucky can you be
So that you even want or need
To keep holding on
To smoked fog delusional dreams
Of marrying him, immigrating
To the US and
Bearing his children—
Things that are
Never going to happen?

Don’t you see that
He doesn’t answer the phone
When you call now?

I can see why you still
May be confused though.
After all, he behaved like
Quite a prince to you
For awhile there—
Skype calls, texts
And the fantasy-life vacation
He gave you, of course.

Well let me tell you—
A real prince with strong integrity
Wouldn’t have done
What he did to me
Or to you
In the first place.

Admittedly, you may have had
A loose hold on him for a few months.
Even so, any emotionally fluid
Time you did have together
Has closed into a
Hardened and crusted “Over”.

Marriage:

He can’t marry you because,
Well, he is still married,
By the way,
A fact which he conveniently
Neglected to mention to you.

Immigration:

Swamped with his own legal
And bureaucratic family
And financial messes,
He is not going to
Help you untangle your wishes
So that you will be able to
Immigrate to the US, either.
Sorry.

In addition to snagging
The love of your life,
I know you had hoped for
Legal, logistical help there.
I totally understand that.

Having Children:

So much older and sick
Much more often now,
He doesn’t want to make
Any new babies emerge
From his own loins.
I know this for certain
And am not saying this
Out of spite.

Do you think he’s such a
Singular, amazing person
Who is worth
Keeping alive forever
In your heart
When all you had
Was a 6-day screw fest,
And nothing more
(As far as I can tell)
Since then?

He isn’t.
He isn’t going to
Save you, me or anyone else,
That’s for sure,
So I wouldn’t keep holding on,
Calling, sending texts, videos—
I’m not giving advice here
That I wouldn’t take myself.

I say, “Let go,” in light of
What the two of you
Did teach me last winter:

That should I so choose,
I will have other
Real, promising long-term options
Available to me
If he and I don’t work out.

Yes, finding and establishing
A meaningful relationship
Like I had had
Would take considerable effort,
Heartbreak and encountering
Some dead ends on my part.

Still, what I did see,
Clear as day,
Is that successful,
Post graduate educated men
Also engaged in activities
Like CrossFit and triathlon
Do want to seriously date me.

If he does decide to
Ever be with you again
In any “friendly” way,

You win!

You are very welcome to him.
He won’t be worth fighting over
At that point.

I will leave the two of you
In your quagmire
And will move on decisively.

I will be able to flaunt
My “forgetting” with
The help of eager, younger,
Uber-buff and lithe,
Professionally employed males.
This I do know.

A practical survivor,
I know how to appreciate
And pamper kind,
Emotionally generous men
So that a select few
Fall in love, are quite happy and
Want to invest their “all” into me
By giving a “go” at a
Substantial, committed
Long term relationship,
Not a limited, screw fuck
Extended weekend filled with
No promises.

Can you say the same?

The emotional tidal wave
You helped create
In my life last fall
Washed over me
The salt of anger
Burned me so intensely.
I would have killed you both
If I had known how to
Execute a stealth plan
Without getting caught.

I will never again walk through
That poison fire of betrayal
And try to come out alive,
Still holding hands with
The same person who has
Made the choice to deal with
Problems we were having in this
Back stabbing manner.

I don’t want to and have no
Interest or need
To teach anybody anything
About healing, better communicating
Or how to do better
“Next time,”
Except myself.

What is, is, and shall be.
You ending up together again
Is no threat to me
The way he thinks I see things.
Rather, I will better know
At that point that
He is not the kind of
Partner I want.

Besides, physically fitter
And stronger inside than ever,
I’m working on developing
My own goals, independent of
This relationship working out.

If he and I don’t succeed,
I know I won’t die this time
Like I almost did, last fall.
I grow increasingly confident that
Other, positive friends and lovers
And the new experiences they offer
Will be around the corner
Available to me
That I would not otherwise
Have had.

So I deny you the deep power
Over my nights that
I’ve allowed you to have.

I seek to curtail you in my mind
By releasing you back
Into the sea of irrelevance
Once and for all
Or, at least most of the time.

Goodbye.

Flaunt

Taking Stock—Unsleeving a Swim/Run Event

Cotton candy clouds
Swab the sky causing
Complete sun coverage
Creating a perfect,
Cooler spring morning outdoors.

Slowly but surely gearing up
For my multi sport,
Swim/run debut event,
I hop into the pool first
Even though I’d actually prefer
To run, then swim.

I increase my swim distance
And endurance by
Circling, lap after lap,
Without stopping until I reach
38 lengths, 25 meters each.
I’ve eliminated taking breaks
Along the ends since
There won’t be any places to rest
Or walls to flip turn off of
In the open water, reservoir swim,
After all.

Post swim, I attempt to make
A speedy “transition”
By getting dried and dressed
As quickly as possible
(Though the process ended up
Taking me quite awhile so,
In the end, wasn’t quick)
To start running
The park‘s gravel path.
I ran about 4.5 miles today,
The effort of which
Felt like enough.

Executing a “double”
In the correct, swim/run order,
With moderate intensity,
Proved challenging.

Somewhat of a “lazy swine” at heart,
A part of me would rather
Still be in bed, drinking coffee,
Eating or doing
Almost anything else
Unrelated to exercise.

Anyway, upon returning home,
Successful and ravenous,
My need for a second breakfast
Impresses roaring urgency
Upon me,
Wheel screeching any other plans
To a standstill
Until eggs, spinach, toast,
Cheese, coffee
And chocolate chips
Get consumed with a vigor
True only to someone in training.

Hunger satisfied,
Subsequent body fatigue
Washes over me
Forcing me to lie down for a bit,
Leaving me awake but dead-quiet
And calm to the world.
I’m like normally yappy
Jack Russell terriers coming in
From an unusually long walk
Who, exhausted,
Silently take refuge under the bed
For at least an hour.

How do other people
Train for multi sport events
And still have any energy left
For everything else
That must get done in life—
Such as working, cooking,
Cleaning and bill paying?

Fading, I eagerly sip
Steaming hot Earl Grey tea
Generously sweetened with honey
In hopes of giving myself
A lift so that I can rise
And progress with my day.

This energy boost works for awhile.
I am able to accomplish
A few more,
Long neglected domestic chores.

Soon enough, however,
Afternoon slump’s heavy pull
Asserts itself and
Overtakes any extra push
The caffeinated high provided
And leaves me limp, bushed,
A wet dish towel
Soaked and soapy with use.
I have to rest again.

Interestingly, even with this
Increased physical activity,
I haven’t been sleeping
As soundly or as long
Compared to when I was training
For my half marathon
At the end of March,
Logging 25 miles a week
With long runs spanning 10+ miles.

Becoming “as fit as a fiddle,”
While gaining increased stamina,
Perhaps my body is
Getting accustomed to working
This hard (or harder ?)
And thus does not want
To slip into slumber as easily,
But I don’t know, really.
My workouts, though different,
Aren’t necessarily shorter
Or easier now.

Even so, multi sport training,
While grueling,
Is where I want to be—
I just forget sometimes.

This new undertaking
Is at a difficulty level
That keeps me just on
Intensity’s edge of fearful anxiety
That keeps me reading, learning
And thinking about
How to best prepare for the event
In terms of training planning
And necessary equipment acquisition.

“Stuff” to bring includes:

A wetsuit
[I have to find one that fits
As well as figure out how
To squeeze my bulbous calves
And biceps into
What feels like a sticky,
Unwieldy layer of
Skin tight blubber]

Body Glide as a wetsuit lubricant (?)
To facilitate getting the suit on
And off quickly
Without damaging—
Easier said than done!

Ear plugs
To help keep cold water
Out of ears and to
Help maintain balance
[Who would have thought of that?]

Goggles,
Swim cap,
[True for any swim]

Two towels—
[One for drying off,
One for laying stuff on top of
In the small space on the ground
Each racer apparently
Gets allotted]

Swim suit that’s also
Amenable to running in
[A two-piece (?) under the wetsuit]

Sunscreen,
Sunglasses, running shoes and belt,
Arm sleeves, socks,
Extra hair ties…
[These can snap and break
All of the sudden, and then
What are you going to do?]

That’s all I can think of,
Right now, for a swim/run event.
There is probably more
To buy, borrow and bring.
Also, this list doesn’t
Even come close to
What people doing the
Additional biking portion
Of a tri need to bring!

Tackling the biking portion
Of a triathlon creates a
WHOLE other set of issues
And concerns for me that
I’m not going to cover here.
A swim/run event is plenty
For me to obsess over, for now.

Project objectives.
I live for this goal setting,
For the metrics of dates,
Time used.
I love structured looking forward
That knowing and experiencing
Untraversed frontiers enable.

Sleeve

Knowing What’s What—Tides of Change

Let an easier, more well adjusted
And lighter post
Come forth this Sunday!

Today, I’m blessed with
Time that’s free of
Having to sweat out
A 12-hour promo shift so that
Drunken Cinco de Mayo crowds
Can feel jolly about observing
This “holiday” while they
Pick up their 10th free
Canvas tote bag,
Spin a prize wheel for
A pair of branded sunglasses
While eating cheese covered
Chips and salsa samples
Washed down with cups of
Room temperature,
$12, eight ounce beers.

Instead, I plan to:

(1) Pay a few bills.

(One of them is 3 days late,
But I believe there’s
A grace period with
The utility company).

That’s the “Whoa, Nelly”
Adult voice encroaching upon
My fantasies of having my life
Consist only of running
Along smooth white sand beaches,
Swimming in salty oceans
With warm gentle tides,
Losing track of time
While hammering out posts
In coffee shops as
I watch the world go by,

Bending over puzzles
Or being engrossed in
A tantalizing book,
Slipping under the covers,
Safe and sound,
Waking up refreshed.

(2) Write and send quick “Hello”s
To women family and friends on
Vintage rabbit notecards
For Mother’s Day.

I love the spurred motivation
The holiday provides
For me to be positive and social—
Two things that can sometimes feel
Like a bit of effort
But are wonderful ways
Of being and living.

Also, I spend so much time
Considering and meeting the needs,
Wants and schedules of males.
This provides me
A chance to refocus
In a social media-free way.

(3) Continue to enjoy
This alcohol free
Endurance run called my life.

I’m happy to report that
A grape juice, sparkling water mix
Proves sufficiently satisfying.
Drinking this enables me
To continue to
Live out the happy hour ritual
I have so loved, every day.

I still get to swirl and hold
My favorite glass containing
Beautifully deep, red wine
Colored liquid
While feeling a little special
As the day begins its close.

My 5 day abstinence plan
Morphed into 2 months now
(99%, anyway) has provided
Crucial, positive
Affirmation/information that has
Further developed and enhanced
What I already knew
Was true within me—

I possess iron discipline
Backed by absolute and
Definite follow through
With goals I set,
Promises I make to myself.
I am no flake
Overestimating myself
Thinking I can reach
Something that I actually cannot.
No.

I have shown to myself
With flying colors
How able I am to
Completely cut something
So passionately loved
Out of my life
If and when I see
Continuing on a particular path
No longer serves
My best interests or well being.

I am acutely conscious
That my will to follow through
With “forgoing”
Has wider relevance and
More than one life application.

I feel peace
In the firmness of my knowing
I will apply this strength
And boundary setting
To other areas of my life
Should I deem
Such measures necessary.

(4) Use my body to develop
Strength, flexibility and endurance
While worrying less
About what the scale says.

In interests of trying my hand
At multi sport events,
Brand new to me,
I have begun to workout differently
By making cross training
An even higher priority
Than before.

My swims need to
Transition straight into runs
To be ready for “Stroke and Stride”
Type events.
So far so great.

Yesterday, I did what
Triathletes call a “brick”—
Bike (spin class)
Followed immediately by
A (short) run—
My first time ever.

Dedicated to achieving
Vibrant, all-around fitness,
I still intend to
Maintain my core and arms—
Two areas long distance,
Nonprofessional runners and bikers
Tend to let slide.

Fitting all these components
Into each week means
My exercise time
Needs to increase.
Already a sizable chunk
Of every single day,
This expansion is something
That just needs to happen
In order to realize my
(Eventual) triathlon dreams.

Anyway, this dog needs to
Get out and run in order
To be a better behaved, nicer
Productive member of society
So the schedule,
While grueling, suits me.

My plan is to complete
My first triathlon
Within the next 3 years—
By the time I’m 50.

Triathlon participation appears
To be filled with pricey,
Elaborate equipment needs,
Compounded by safe biking logistics
That prove dicey for
Someone like me.

I know that my ability
To successfully complete
Triathlon events while having
At least a little fun
Will realistically take detailed
Financial, emotional and logistical
Planning with considerable
Extra effort and a dose of
Previously untapped courage
On my part.

Therefore, I’m moving forward
Towards triathlon reality
With baby steps and
Am in no rush to
“just do it”.

Lately, I have been
Gaining some weight, compared to
Last fall and past winter.
I have to stop worrying
About what the scale indicates
And appreciate my wellness, instead
Because this weight gain
Represents serious progress there.

Weighing 106
(10+ pounds less than now)
While experiencing severe
Sleeplessness and
Appetite loss amid
Potent anger staining
Every waking minute
Is not something to desire!

I found the notion,
“You can never be too rich or thin,”
False and empty.

I’m going with being
Heavier, happier,
Healthier and stronger now.

There is so much out there
Waiting for me…

Tide

Abruptly Ending Unwieldy Splintering Posts that Might Otherwise Go On Forever

Looking outwards
Onto muddy rocky terrain—
Spring variance,
Blurred translucence.
Rain drizzling down
Single paned glass.

My heart, tangled into limp
Inner tubes of what was,
Weeps, sighs out air—
Useless, defunct tires
Unable to transport—
The sag of going nowhere.

I’ve fared less well
During your absence than
I would have hoped for
And wanted for myself,
Cloth tatters
Flailing in the wind…
Yet, I also know that things
Could have been even worse.

My emotional neediness
Quicksand bog ready to absorb
Your every waking minute
Is a deep powerful force
And an undeniable part of me
Though, inch by inch,
I toughen up more there too.

I think back to my past…
Sharp, starkly lit memories
Stab into the canvas of
Of being truly on my own,
Hobbling about,
A numbed fear
Rasping every waking breath.

Sucked into virtual interactions
On a Friday night
Behind hot, glowing screens,
Using fake names,
Easily dodging away from
Attempts random men made
Trying to discover their “in”
To get closer to me—
Shuttering emotional shades
To avoid revealing
Any substantial personal information
And to evade real sharing.

So many sudden beginnings sparked.
Too many abrupt endings, nothing.

All this—
Tumbling in a sort of
Addiction boomeranged
Right back at me
In warped misery
Exacerbated by knowing that

The night would stretch out
Into infinite emptiness
Created by humanity sinkholes
Funneling down into
Bleak Forever because
No one else was or would be
Home for a long, long while.

No one was ever going to
Enter the room to interrupt me
With questions or
Take time to impress upon me
Their needs of any kind—
A dull patina resignation
Settled over me
Roaring silence blasting
Through megaphone solitude.

Late hours spilled
Into early mornings
Leaving me fallen, ashen
In an exhausted stupor
On a rickety pullout couch
Or on an even tinier loveseat,
Legs draped over its shortness,
Dead to the world,
Without having even
Brushed my teeth.

I failed to flourish
During this liminal period.

Living on bean and
Melted cheese burritos,
Adult, solo life overwhelmed me.
So much to figure out
So many life logistics
Burdened my delicate,
Dragon fly constitution

Filled with fearing the unknown
Knowing how to do so little
In the first place
A youngest sibling status
Amplified by years of
Being out of the workforce
To raise children.

Financially anxious,
I started to wonder
How I might locate
Amenable, handy males
To get things around the house
Fixed—the heater working,
The evaporative cooler shut down,
Lawn mowed, and more,
In exchange for
Strutting any sex appeal
Available to me.

Indescribably ambiguous
And dark times,
These pieces assembled
Into the puzzle of my life
Spent largely alone, at home,
When not out scrounging
For Pilates clients,
Piecemeal articles to write or
Sporadic events to work.

That was what was, yes,
Based on the frailty
Of who I was then
And may still,
At least partially, be inside—
Nervously scrambling
Up crumbling rock walls
Reaching with scuttling claws
To scrape from moments
What I could
Unfettered, while coming unhinged.

Even so, the sculpture of future
Is not crystalized into
Inevitable, repetitive stone.

Lately, I feel steel rod
Clarity emerging inside me.
Grown so much “older”
Since last fall,
I’ve become more rooted,
Stronger about what I will
And won’t live with
What kind of life I intend
To etch out for myself,
Qualities within myself
Important to develop further,
Weaknesses to acknowledge
With a turn towards to face
(When I remember)
What qualities a partner
In my best interests would have.

Possessing a quiver filled with
Wiser experience arrows,
I aim and shoot differently
With exacting, forceful precision
And will absolutely
Not sell myself short.
I’ve grown especially keenly aware
That I have too much going for me.

After all, I am
Better connected with
Expanded personal interests and
Additional professional
Work opportunities
Available to me that
I previously lacked.

I maintain a gorgeously vibrant
Healthy lifestyle,
More than ever that
Opens me up to further advancement
And possible adventure as
Each day passes.

My life choices
Get backed up by access to
A little more money and
Family support now
Knowledge that helps calm and
Slow my emotional skitters
Down to breatheable,
“I’ll be fine,
No matter what,” tones.

Interested in wrapping up
What has turned out to be
An incredibly lengthy
And unweildy post writing session,
Splintering off, unpredictably,
In multiple directions,
I will end by saying:

I don’t know exactly what
My future will bring.
I can say with certainty though,
That I’m happy to be alive
And grateful for what love
Others have shown
And taught me along the way.

Abrupt