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




what the health

I thought this morning, briefly, that I couldn’t blog about health and body issues because “I write poetry on WordPress” but then I realized that I’m not writing for an audience, I’m writing for myself, and variety is the only way I can keep up the habit of writing on the regular.

Below the cut: potential trigger warning for disordered eating.

Continue reading “what the health”

Not Today

Outside of vague poetry I’ve ignored the stroke. I want to pretend it never happened as if, maybe, that will undo the brain damage and emotional trauma that comes with going toe-to-toe with Death. I’ve spent a lot of years flirting with Her and I guess Death finally decided to flirt back.

Continue reading “Not Today”


I suppose I should be, as you so kindly recommended, grateful that I’m capable of posting to my own blog about my own thoughts and experiences. The dead neurons in my left medial temporal lobe in the place called Wernicke’s Area didn’t take that from me.

Except for how they did.

(Let me count the ways.)

Continue reading “gratitude”

People Watching

I pretend to people watch behind sunglasses and watch the middle distance trying to see how long I can sit there breathing and calm before I remember where I am. It’s bizarre to be part of a co-ed campus again. To live on one (and living is synonymous with working in this world we’ve built up around capitalist productivity). To be adjacent to its culture at all times. It is different in ways I can’t put into words but I am always aware. Or maybe it goes deeper than that.

I am an outsider, an interloper with an oxbow across my shoulder advertising my singular strangeness. I look the part but I am not one of you. Is it possible to have Imposter Syndrome when you’ve accomplished nothing of inherent value? Is that thought a sign of the Syndrome? Am I a walking collection of pathologies?

I like to think I am more than the sum of my parts but paradoxically I cannot find peace with anything that lacks clear cut lines.

I’m not quite right for my age.

There is no mellowing out for me to do. I’ve had no unbound youth– I’ve skipped over it all. I have a degree that is utterly useless to me and an office job with benefits. I go to bed by 10 on weekends. My budget is laid out nicely on a spreadsheet of my own design. I have to monitor my health closely thanks to an unwelcome slew of vascular problems caused by bad luck and birth control.

I’ve settled firmly into middle age at 23. In a matter of days, 24.

I read about other people whose lives are more interesting than mine and I feel like I am failing, like I will wake up tomorrow and somehow become fascinating, like I am ungrateful for not being satisfied with this which is a dream out of reach for so many. All I do instead is write, work, wait. Interspersed with intervals of watching time pass me by as I waste it. This is supposed to be recovery from a traumatic brain injury but I am incapable of such patience with myself. I could die tomorrow. But here I am instead of doing anything else.

rlb 5.15.17

Gallons of the Stuff

I want to demand that the pipes give me my blood back. I need it more than they do but really the pipes aren’t the problem it’s the tendency of my uterus to hemorrhage like a curse from a god I don’t follow compounded by the rat poison I take every night to keep my brain from exploding. My body is a wild party that no one asked me if I wanted to host. But back to the point: I want my blood back.

I’m a dizzy, jello-jointed mess for half the month, every month. When I stand up from the toilet, which I have filled with blood in the mere act of sitting on it, I see stars and the void because I have lost so much blood I can hardly stand the change in blood pressure.

The man who sometimes monitors my rat poison levels flinches when I bring this up even though the rat poison is to blame and he suggests I try birth control even though birth control caused the stroke which necessitates my taking rat poison in the first place. When I tell him this he tells me without looking me in the eye to talk to my gynecologist instead– who then suggests I consult the people who monitor my rat poison so that nothing she does will interfere with those values. I am on a möbius strip of blood loss.

It is considered impolite for me to discuss this fact in public. It makes my own mother uncomfortable. My manager thinks I’m exaggerating. I think I should save my shed blood and tissue and show it to the doubtful, a sigil of loss and frustration, an explanation they can simply look upon and maybe, if I’m lucky, comprehend.