Sunday, June 24, 2012

Memories, and thoughts for something I'm working on

I've been working lately on a piece of some sort about a comment somebody made at work a few weeks ago about stalking...a comment that is still eating at my mind with the unfairness of it all, and how people can live so close to one another, and yet in different words dictated by memory. As a historian, memory is a powerful thing to me. As a survivor, even more so.

On that note, even though I haven't figured out the post I've been meaning to post since the middle of May, here's a poem series. It hurts but it's hopeful; it shows how far I've come in the long lifespan of this blog.

2004: I will always have these memories

Sometimes I try to hide from my memories,
Stuff them in a box in the closet
And crawl down under my bed.
Running a race where I'm going nowhere,
Running away from the thoughts in my head.


Memories come calling to find me every night
Buzzing through my brain like a horde of angry bees.
I try to cover up my heart but they still rip off a bite.
I will always always always have these memories.

Killing me so quietly, drowning me in my own thoughts.
I pack all of my fears away but still they hurt me lots and lots.
Always running, never sleeping, never knowing what to do.
Always doubting, always crying, wondering if my thoughts are true.

(Repeat Chorus)

Simple silence is inviting; conversations scare me more
When I just wish with all my heart to be just like I was before.
You claim that thinking cannot kill; I don't believe a bit of it.
Apologies are powerless; I really couldn't give a shit.

(Repeat Chorus)

And still you say you understand the nightmares that have captured me.
I could describe the horror but I know that still you wouldn't see.
My brain is in a whirlwind with the bottom flying to the top.
There's nothing I wouldn't give just for this awful hell to stop.

(Repeat Chorus)

But the memories follow everywhere as I climb this ladder high.
I stop on every rung, and I always ask the question, "why?"
Thinking feels so poisonous, the snake that bit could never know
All the pain that it can bring to ignore when I say "no."

(Repeat Chorus)

Memories come chasing me, so vivid, so hard to ignore.
Why oh why can't my life be as simple as it was before?
I try to just convince myself, it didn't happen, not to me.
A little part inside myself is crying out, this couldn't be.

(Repeat Chorus)

I'll chase myself in circles 'til I just come to accept this pain.
I wonder: can the flowers grow with little sun and only rain?
I toss and turn and overthink and never do I really sleep
But there's so many questions with the answers buried far to deep.

(Repeat Chorus)

In and out and round about and just to hide what I am hiding.
No safety bar to catch me on the Ferris wheel that I am riding.
It's time to climb a wall that stands all cold and stone and foreboding.
I dance in circles on the ground and always my head is exploding.

(Repeat Chorus)

Sometimes I try to hide from my memories,
Stuff them in a box in the closet
And crawl down under my bed.
Running a race where I'm going nowhere.
Running away from the thoughts in my head.


2005: Forget regret, or suffocate in memories

Last year I tried to dig up my memories
From the dark depths of my closet
And far down under my bed.
In a whole year
I’ve finally gone somewhere
And managed to catch
The thoughts in my head.

Memories came calling to find me every night
Buzzing through my brain like a horde of angry bees.
I tried to cover up my heart but memories aren’t water-tight.
Forget regret, or suffocate in memories.

Simple silence is inviting; some things scare me very much.
I wish it didn’t hurt but still I’ll run from just a friendly touch.
But finally I’m sleeping, having dreams that might make sense to you
But when you ask me what I want I really haven’t got a clue.

The big bad wolf’s stopped chasing me and now I can release this pain.
It’s winter but the sun’s come out to shine a rainbow through the rain.
But sometimes still I wonder how my life has changed because of it:
I try but can’t remember back before the pain had truly hit.

I’m just another paper doll, a carbon copy in a line
And I just wish that moment didn’t have the power to define
The pain that’s in the craters that follow everywhere I go
The craters that he tore and dug when he ignored when I said, “no.”

There’s skin now on my shoulders and I go to school without the fear
That I’ll forget and hurt myself when past and present smudge and smear.
My clock is going clockwise and I know I see the exit sign.
When I look at the past two years, it’s tangled, but it’s still a line.


2007: I built my fight from shattered memories

Memories are fluid, and engulf me when it’s right
To look at all the shattered glass that’s gathered in my knees.
I pull out every shard of glass, and I keep up my fight:
A fight that’s set on fire by my memories.

I build a fort of crystal shards
That puncture everyone I tell
I do not want to hurt them
But my silence always screams of hell.
The world is getting closer
And I’m finally back to live in it
But all these touches hover
‘til the memory hides me under it.

I don’t know where the hurt seeps in
But still I want to patch that hole
A hurt as hard and chilling
As a tongue stuck to a frozen pole
My freckles all are separate now
But still there are too much to count
But even so the memories
Outnumber them by sheer amount.

I keep the fight, take back the night
To puncture all my memories
But shards of glass are silent
And they can’t reveal what no-one sees.
I try and try and try again
To reclaim April every year
But taking back the day is hard
When no-one understands the thing I fear.

Memories are fluid and engulf me when it’s right
To pull out all the shattered glass that’s gathered in my knees.
The world is not a crystal ball
But that cannot stop my fight:
A fight with a sharp sword that’s made of memories.


2008: Memories might travel

Memories come calling: a sharp and savage bite
Acute and unexpected fear that brings me to my knees
I fight it, overcome it, but still on every flight
I go further but I can’t erase these memories.

You tell me snippets of your life
I’m certain we are not alone
But still, I had forgotten
Things can hurt me even far from home
I’ll try not to be frightened
But a part of me is terrified
That I will never sleep
In every hostel, every train I ride…


2011: I can turn around my sordid memories

The memories now are rarer, like a clatter in the night
A mirror reflecting fragments of the terror that it sees
What’s hardest now is that I know, though I have won this fight
For others, fear is realer than my memories.

Sometimes life is strange and silent;
Sometimes memories follow here.
Sometimes everything I see
Morphs into everything I fear.
Memories that snag into
The tapestry I’m knitting up
Come and paralyze my throat
Like pebbles in a sippy cup.

Monsters underneath the bed
Disperse when they see morning light
But monsters dwelling in my head
Are unreliable in their fright.
Day to day I’ll never know
When memories will swallow me.
A captive in a sunless cell
Will never know when she’ll be free

But always still I’ll live my life.
With dreams so big, I’ll voyage through
The gorge that jumps into my path
To strangle everything I do.
The fingers tightening ‘round my neck
Don’t know that they are powerless:
Now I can turn each touch I fear
Into a loving, safe caress.

The memories now are rarer, like a clatter in the night,
And now they quickly disappear like an evasive breeze.
I may never understand them, but I know the future’s bright:
I can win any war armed with my memories.

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