“Enough” by Andrea Gibson (repost)

Last night I painted a purple tree on my bedroom wall
I woke up this morning in a pile of leaves
The colour of a million different faces
Thinking of that hand that planted the seed
Of the family tree that grew us all
And how each one of us
Will one day fall back to the ground

This morning
I was listening to my heart pound
Knowing with every single beat
That a thousand other hearts were falling asleep forever
On a day they never thought they would
And I know there are tribes of aborigines
That decide how and when they’ll die
After a hundred years or so
They walk into the desert alone
Offer up their breath
And within two minutes soar into a death
As beautiful as their life
And I was thinking I
Will probably never be enlightened enough to decide how I want to die

So this morning
I decided how I want to live
What I want to give
What kind of song I want to sing
Now I’m no longer
Looking at my days like they’re a cup
Calling them half empty or half full
When they’ve always been enough
They’ll always be enough
To fill me up
If I stop thinking so much
And start drinking them up
Until I get so drunk and high on my days
I’ll be walking up to strangers and saying things like
“Hey, I know Jesus was born in a manger
But I woke at dawn today
To watch the earth’s horizon
Give birth to true rising sun of God
And I can’t stop singing hallelujah”

Can you believe we’re here?
Can you believe there are gods somewhere praying to us?
I want to be that nut on a bus
Who’s really a prophet
Telling everybody
“Smoking is bad
Stop it
You might be an opera singer some day
And how are you gonna hit the high notes?”
I wanna live like those high notes
That rise from the throats of old ladies
When they see little babies
Riding in shopping carts
I wanna start somebody’s heart like that
Taking ninety years back
So you’ll have sworn
You weren’t born
Until you saw me
Planting roses
In all the sidewalk cracks
So when you trip
You’ll fall in love
With someone you thought you hated
And now look at what that love has created

Look
There’s a sky
On her faded blue jeans
With a flock of birds
About to fly to my words
And my next line’s
Gonna rhyme with her eyes
And she’ll wink
And I’ll think I’m as beautiful as him

I wanna live my life
Like it’s a little league game
I don’t care if I win
Just wanna watch some little girl
Get her very first hit
Watch her father cheer so hard
He spills his beer
And decides to quit
I wanna split some woman’s
Tired eyes open
Wake her with her own sunrise
So she knows
There’s reason to be hoping
She’ll say
“There are stingers in my heart
But I’m sure that I’m a queen”
And that night
She’ll vow to swarm
Until every angry car horn
Is reborn a song
Of let there be light
Every angry war cry reborn
A song of let there be life

I wanna build the timid teenage boy
A microphone that will
Echo his rhymes
The same way
They echo in his shower
When he’s home alone

I wanna write poems
In the tone
Of your mother’s eyes
When she whispered your name
For the very first time
Poems that will make you go home
Pick up the phone
And call her
While I call mine to say
“You know those lines
On the kitchen wall
Where I grew
Taller and taller and taller
Put a couple more there won’t you?
Cause I’m growing up here”
No longer looking at my days
Like they’re a cup
Calling them enough
From now on
They’ll be overflowing
Since now I’m knowing
It’s up to me
To fill them up

~ Andrea Gibson

 

Originally posted: 9/6/2014

 

 

“Bone Burying” by Andrea Gibson

My dog Squash has recently discovered the art of bone burying.  Whenever I give her a bone she will spend a good hour or so looking for the perfect burying place.  The order typically goes something like this: under the couch cushion, under the couch, under the kitchen broom, under the bedroom curtain, under the living room plant, behind the guitar,  behind the suitcase, under the chair pillow, and then finally-always-she eventually decides to bury the bone under ME.  Wherever I am sitting in the house, she will find me, jump up in the chair with me, and start burying the bone under one of my thighs.  After that, every time, she jumps down, gives me a satisfied look, then falls asleep on the floor.

Lately I’ve been spending a good part of nearly every day thinking about love. Romantic love.  The kind of love that involves french kissing and mix tapes and spooning in New York City in the summer when it’s by most people’s standards too disgustingly humid to spoon. The kind of love you wanna bring home to your grandma and say, “Grandma, look at this love! Just look at this LOVE!” Lately I’ve been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and who I need to become to become the kind of love I want to be…….and when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this:  Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe.  I will keep it safe.

~ Andrea Gibson, “Bone Burying

“Enough” by Andrea Gibson

Last night I painted a purple tree on my bedroom wall
I woke up this morning in a pile of leaves
The colour of a million different faces
Thinking of that hand that planted the seed
Of the family tree that grew us all
And how each one of us
Will one day fall back to the ground

This morning
I was listening to my heart pound
Knowing with every single beat
That a thousand other hearts were falling asleep forever
On a day they never thought they would
And I know there are tribes of aborigines
That decide how and when they’ll die
After a hundred years or so
They walk into the desert alone
Offer up their breath
And within two minutes soar into a death
As beautiful as their life
And I was thinking I
Will probably never be enlightened enough to decide how I want to die

So this morning
I decided how I want to live
What I want to give
What kind of song I want to sing
Now I’m no longer
Looking at my days like they’re a cup
Calling them half empty or half full
When they’ve always been enough
They’ll always be enough
To fill me up
If I stop thinking so much
And start drinking them up
Until I get so drunk and high on my days
I’ll be walking up to strangers and saying things like
“Hey, I know Jesus was born in a manger
But I woke at dawn today
To watch the earth’s horizon
Give birth to true rising sun of God
And I can’t stop singing hallelujah”

Can you believe we’re here?
Can you believe there are gods somewhere praying to us?
I want to be that nut on a bus
Who’s really a prophet
Telling everybody
“Smoking is bad
Stop it
You might be an opera singer some day
And how are you gonna hit the high notes?”
I wanna live like those high notes
That rise from the throats of old ladies
When they see little babies
Riding in shopping carts
I wanna start somebody’s heart like that
Taking ninety years back
So you’ll have sworn
You weren’t born
Until you saw me
Planting roses
In all the sidewalk cracks
So when you trip
You’ll fall in love
With someone you thought you hated
And now look at what that love has created

Look
There’s a sky
On her faded blue jeans
With a flock of birds
About to fly to my words
And my next line’s
Gonna rhyme with her eyes
And she’ll wink
And I’ll think I’m as beautiful as him

I wanna live my life
Like it’s a little league game
I don’t care if I win
Just wanna watch some little girl
Get her very first hit
Watch her father cheer so hard
He spills his beer
And decides to quit
I wanna split some woman’s
Tired eyes open
Wake her with her own sunrise
So she knows
There’s reason to be hoping
She’ll say
“There are stingers in my heart
But I’m sure that I’m a queen”
And that night
She’ll vow to swarm
Until every angry car horn
Is reborn a song
Of let there be light
Every angry war cry reborn
A song of let there be life

I wanna build the timid teenage boy
A microphone that will
Echo his rhymes
The same way
They echo in his shower
When he’s home alone

I wanna write poems
In the tone
Of your mother’s eyes
When she whispered your name
For the very first time
Poems that will make you go home
Pick up the phone
And call her
While I call mine to say
“You know those lines
On the kitchen wall
Where I grew
Taller and taller and taller
Put a couple more there won’t you?
Cause I’m growing up here”
No longer looking at my days
Like they’re a cup
Calling them enough
From now on
They’ll be overflowing
Since now I’m knowing
It’s up to me
To fill them up

~ Andrea Gibson

Photograph

I wish I was a photograph
tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your back pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
and when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
and postcards saying
wish you were here

I wish you were here
autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can’t tell trees those things
they’re like me they just stand there
and don’t listen

I wish you were here
I’ve been missing you like crazy
I’ve been hazy eyed
staring at the bottom of my glass again
thinking of that time when it was so full
it was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
or sticking straws into the center of the sun
and sipping like icarus would forever kiss
the bullets from our guns

I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
now the sky clicks from black to blue
and dusk looks like a bruise
I’ve been wrapping one night stands
around my body like wedding bands
but none of them fit in the morning
they just slip off my fingers and slip out the door
and all that lingers is the scent of you
I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
all the wishes in the world would come true
do you remember

do you remember the night I told you
I’ve never seen anything more perfect than
than snow falling in the glow of a street light
electricity bowing to nature
mind bowing to heartbeat
this is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you

so wherever you are I hope you’re happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing you life
I hope there’s a kite in your hand
that’s flying all the way up to orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you’re smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I’m still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met
you were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat
and I wish you were here
I wish you’d never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best

“Photograph” by Andrea Gibson, from Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns

***

Posted in parallel with Words for the Weekend: Tainted Love Vol. 17

The Madness Vase (The Nutritionist)

The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables.
Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day
I would be grounded, rooted.
Said my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness lives.

The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight.
Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do.
I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling.
You will find a good man soon.”

The first psycho therapist told me to spend
three hours each day sitting in a dark closet
with my eyes closed and ears plugged.
I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking
about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.

The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth.
Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness
when they care more about what they give
than what they get.

The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.”

The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me
forget what the trauma said.

The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry
about the grief inside your bones.”

But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped
from the George Washington Bridge
into the Hudson River convinced
he was entirely alone.”

My bones said, “Write the poems.”

The Madness Vase” by Andrea Gibson, from The Madness Vase; Follow Andrea on Twitter @AndreaGibson or visit her site: andreagibson.org