Category Archives: funny

Future Husband:

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I just don’t get

the girls I went to college with–

the social butterflies,

the big, Miami beach personalities,

voices rising higher than champagne bubbles,

as I wondered who taught them how to draw a crowd,

add more lighting to a room

with smiles and fluid gestures.

 

You need to understand this, but I’m not

one of my many obsessions, like the girl

I watched fit in like a geometric piece

in improv club or anywhere else with the right

kind of quirks, or the friend who drank beer,

shouted louder than her guy friends, or the girl with attitude

most likely voted to be the “natural born leader”.

I’m not even the American

sweetheart who gets large tips at a restaurant job

and boyfriends with just a smile and a high pitched voice.

 

No. I am the polar night phenomenon for days

and days in Alaska;

or, the pale gray sky releasing another day of sleet.  I am the student

being told “to smile more” in a seventh grade progress report;

the girl told to “speak louder, I still can’t hear you,” or the five

points subtracted from a oral presentation due to “lack of confidence,”

teachers’ yearly “help her come out of my shell” project

(they always failed).

I am the students advising me not to join the debate team,

among other clubs where introverts need not apply,

reading about the power of my personality

in world that can’t stop talking; too reserved to be

girls gone wild or a male’s Xtube fantasy; I can only

watch the life of the party, suited to absorb lives

in a book while curled on a couch, a safe distance

from sensory overloads on Bourbon.

I’m hurrying home at 5 pm to be alone with the radio

down low, spending nights in white satin and other throwbacks.

I am skipping ads that look for workers with a “can-do”

spirit; I throw away ads that have the word “out-going”.

I’m the twelve year old correcting my mother,

“I’m not pessimistic, just realistic.”

I’m more my mother’s husband’s daughter, expressions

As dark as his skin, final gestures, morose frowns trying

To be as sweet as the Creole princess she hoped for

(not this depressive alternative black girl she was given).

I’m the diagnosis, the medication,

the therapy, the girl that jumbles, mutters, whispers

words, slightly better than my aunt’s non-verbal childhood,

but falling far, far behind.

I’m the moody eyeliner.

The blue lips.

The sullen eyes,

The whatever shrug,

The “please make eye contact,”

The bullies’ target

The weird one because I don’t care for the top 40,

don’t care who in the hell is on Housewives of Whatever,

Wondering what’s the big deal about the homecoming dance.

A blank slate where you draw a personality,

Writing phone numbers but expecting no calls or friendships

(better off anyway, they’ll annoy me).

I’m a broken house divided despite the best of my worst efforts,

Taking my time after the bus ride.

 

I am nothing people chase after.

 

But this is me, being as honest as I can possibly be.

Forgive me,

and thank you for staying.

 

Divorce Child

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The child changed after dissolution–
too much like the mother, too
much like the father, but hardly
enough for either. After all, he was
the closest body to their biggest mistake.
Their baggage weighed a ton each.
They unloaded item after item
until he swallowed it whole, leaving
no room for much else. Last I heard,
the malnutrition stunted the size of him

 

Garden Hose Water (Rough Draft)

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We were resourceful in the ’90s; we  had to be in the summertime, when we were letting the cool air out, the critters in, so neighborhood mothers seemed to scream in unison “Don’t go in and out of this house! Either go outside or stay inside.”

I was sentenced outside after ingesting too many music videos, trash talk shows–and other reasons mamma could inject the word “garbage” into her conversations with me. It was the same summer I was banned from sitting in her room as she watched soap operas because a blond actress considered abortion. I was learning too much for a nine year old.

Life was better outside anyway, even as the sun baked our coffee skin three shades darker; my age group four houses down agreed. Behind our parents’ watch, we could balance on bikes with no hands until we skinned our knees, poke holes in ant hills to watch their scrambling anger, and explore houses gutted and abandoned by foreclosure.

Still nothing compared to when we needed water after chasing my friend’s many brothers through backyards, exhausting our sweat glands, lungs, neighbors screaming empty threats over trespassing. Panting with hands on our knees, I barely had power to follow them to their backyard, dodging their doberman and two (illegal) chickens who were too scarred by our rough definitions of play to approach us.

This was the first time I sipped from their garden hose, holding the green tube at an angle then lowering my head to the stream, just the way I watched them. Sometimes little drops would leap and mix with the sweat that beaded on my forehead. Almost immediately, my insides caught a breeze.

It was well over 95 degrees; we were just starting to care, but endured the fever until submitting to the taste of finding salvation, guzzling silver reflections until we cramped, later picking fights and teammates before the streetlights. And the next day, and after, the routine began again.

Today, after swallowing  yard work sweat, I tried to find solace in garden hose water again. Spoiled by bottled water, I couldn’t find that old oasis. I grimaced: “This tastes like a liquid rusty nail.” I ain’t lying; This could’ve been the truth many summers ago, too.

 

Poem: Social Anxiety/Introversion as a Librarian: Sensory Overload

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Maybe my mom is right, and one

day, I’m about to outgrow

my social anxiety and “come out

of my shell” (the main project

of my ninth grade teachers).

 

But I think it’s happening–

I’m at the circulation desk

and a crowd of human voices,

faces,

are coming all at once, reciting their

biographies as they drop books

on the desk and I didn’t turn into

a deer in highlights. My social battery

is still full. My eyes are absorbing

their light, their extroversion. I may

really like people, I don’t mind that the phone

won’t stop ringing and the trainee wants

to make a comment. A man says

here’s the thing about Donald Trump though,

another grumbles, “kids these days”,

then it’s I’ve been waiting for this book

for days,  then I just want to let you know my taxes

pay for this library so refund the 85 cents

the printer took from me, the trainee

has another question, let me tell you

what I think of Syrian refugees,

let me tell you how Jesus is the man, my sista,

did you know you come from an African queen?

my mother came here from Italy in 1903,

this book will change your life,

do you know anything about filing taxes?

Can you take a look at my W2? 

this book has the real truth about Jesus,

this book was horrible,

I’m tired of you white people,

Is October 12 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

Sorry I don’t talk to minorities,

WHERE’S THE NEAREST URGENT CARE?

Do y’all have a typewriter I can use?

I shouldn’t have to pay for overdue fees

because the sex scenes in Deadpool offended me,

why do you allow this filth in the library,

we need your time sheet if you wanna get

paid this Friday, you didn’t fill out a sick

leave slip for the seventh, the computer

won’t let me print,

copy and paste,

print a Youtube video,

that library card account with the overdue

fees isn’t for me, that’s my cousin’s

(with the same name, birthday, address…)

no, actually you can get Ebola from touching

someone’s hand, I know these things,

Let me speak to the manager you don’t

Know what you’re talking about/you’re lying

okay do you have this book instead,

can you double check if it’s really gone,

the trainee has another question…

 

–Never mind, y’all need to go home now.

 

Note: Based on a true story, all three years of working at a library in prose. 

 

 

Poem: To the Cockroach That Ran Inside my House (or I’m Not being Serious Here)

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Did you know: articles

have confirmed that our state

is the most infested with you,

your germy offspring,

your ugly sex mates,

the rest of your creepy critter

buds that gather under the streetlight

at the first sign of humidity.

They say you love the moisture,

thrive in heat; well, you’re right at home.

 

But now you’re right at home

in my apartment.

(I just find it funny that you were never invited.)

You are skittering  across

my living room carpet, found this audacity

to wave your antenna

and ignore my screams, fears that

you could spread your wings.

 

(In this region, we’re so brave until you start to fly)

 

I heard you will, one day, survive a nuclear

war. I don’t know, but I found out you can survive

bleach in a water pump,

bathroom cleaner,

hairspray,

sometimes a visit from pest control.

A friend told me you’ll succumb

to dish washing liquid, but I’ll

find out later. Tonight, I was generous.

You walked towards the front door and I shooed you

out with a broom. If you’re smart, you’ll remind

yourself not to return.

 

If not–I just purchased Raid. Or, the last

thing you will see is Morris Bart’s face

on a telephone book, as he descends from your sky.

Perhaps, before  it crushes your exoskeleton,

you can memorize his phone number, just

in case he starts taking a personal

injury case from non human species.

So remember, it’s:

Five two five, eight thous–

THE END

Note: Because sometimes, poetry doesn’t have to take itself seriously. I just like to make my husband laugh with this