year in review: 2017

january: resist everything that would destroy you: apathy, entropy, tyranny

february: your pain always has meaning; go to the fucking doctor

march: you do not need the right words or any words at all to be worthwhile; they will love you anyway

april: love and fury are indivisible

may: death isn’t interested in you nor, for the first time in your life, are you interested in her

june: this is how you breathe

july: yes, it is worth the extra work, time, and money to own AC

august: you will spend weeks longing for currents and snowmelt and the summer will pass before you can get a breath in edgewise

september: high collars and independence become you

october: you were not meant to live alone

november: that urge to diminish, to be less, is the antithesis of strength

december: nothing lasts forever and that fact will always be a blessing

 

what i have learned this year

rlb

12.15.17

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impatience

Thursdays are a liminal space. Obligation without motivation dragging on forever in the way nothing seems to stop stinging the cut on the back of my thigh. My garter did that. I don’t know how it managed; they’re supposed to be soft backed with rubber, kind to those tender places that never see sunlight. Some people have no sense of propriety.

5.23.17 rlb

Practicum

The Introvert Girl Gang is the first place anyone ever told me that running away is easier if you’re already going somewhere. This was something experience taught me but I’d never heard it said before and I almost cried at how much it explained. This  was why I shrank at the thought of vacations. This was why I hadn’t applied to more than one college — because that might mean not leaving but having to return home. Not that that’d made much difference. I went to college anyway. I ran away anyway.

A slow study in pressure. How much travel could I handle, how long could home escalate before I decided no more. It happened slow, bordering on silent, smothering magma-hot and black until I could see no horizon.

The summer I visited Mo is a blur.

Brian had been worse than ever and I had been living in a fog of flashbacks and ash. Nightmares about my teeth splitting apart in my mouth, falling flat against my rotting tongue followed me into the morning. I could always smell him and taste him and hear him breathing. Even at night the house wouldn’t quiet.

I visited Mo. I had nothing to lose.

Her mother was compassionate and rough and waited with me through panic and had no patience for my pretending at spinelessness. Her laugh was a balm for my nerves. She did not flinch at cutting away those dead things that no longer served a purpose. She was kind.

I simply could not leave again. The perfect excuse to carve out a place where I could breathe fresh air and madness and rain and remember that there is nothing quite like volcanic soil and rot for growing things.

It’s easier to run away when you’re already going somewhere. It’s easier to stay gone once you’ve planted something there.

rlb 5.9.17

The Evening After Politicians Make Terrible Decisions

Yes, I know, you are scared. Yes, I know, you are grieving. Yes, I know, you are weary, you are sick, you are dying, you are rage. You are. And so you will continue to be. But will you let them feast on the soft sweet meat of your belly while you lie prone helpless or shoot you in the back for sport while you run blind screaming impotent? Turn your eye toward your fear your anger your despair– from where has it come? Where is it going? Harness it. Ride it. Generations before you have faced down ranks on the back of the same beast. This is your inheritance.

5.4.17 rlb

axioms

No wasted time.

No wasted days.

Only the best cheesecake will do.

a wise person once said

there is poetry in brutal efficiency

which I suppose is why

we remake our bodies and souls

into crucibles

temper bones like steel–  

damn the consequences.

There was desperation behind those words

mirroring my own maybe this is why

I loved, idolized our captain

at the helm of the ship her voice

shy of cracking and

too well-trained for betrayals as cheap

as fear of death and broken homes.

She spoke a language I understood.

rlb 4.7.17