Words from an Insomniac still trying to find her way

Letters and Poetry

It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do

Will you wait for me

even in the rain

will you hold my head up

even when the pain is near

will you close my eyes

if I should want to rest

I see images

untold stories

they’re all about

me

how funny

even though

the light gets darker

would you lie for me

if it meant that I would live

would you hide me well

when all my fears creep in

would you accept each sacrifice

I so willingly give

this building

is very high

the breeze

my relief

I’m really trying

to fly

are you happy

with this life I live

are you angry

because I can’t wake up

are you afraid

of losing me all over again

this road

splits in two

I know the road

I must choose

it’s the hardest thing

I’ve had to do

be proud of yourself

another night has come and gone

I’m still here

still trying to hold on

you’ve succeeded again

to help me fight the good fight

if I could I would

keep you for the rest of my life

~Nov. 1996

 

 


		
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We must be born this way…

Our Generation  

part I

 

We were born

in a time of drugs

Van Halen, The Circle Jerks, disco

and of course,

oldies and the wanting of hippie love.

We just missed the war

but gained the title

“lower” middle class.

Mexican-American mothers on welfare

Mexican-American fathers in an out of our lives

raised on papas and frijoles

homemade tortillas

and generic cereal.

We were poor and didn’t even know it.

Enjoying free lunch at school and summer programs

how were we to understand what poor meant

When we were too busy enjoying ourselves?

What was in store for us?

~

The eighties contributed widely

to our dreams of romance, traveling

and imagination.

John Hughes, New Wave and Mtv

swept us off our feet.

While Sweet Valley high,

Lisa; bright and Dark

and Go ask Alice showed us what not to be.

And though our parents hardly approved

they couldn’t argue

for there was nothing to protest.

We didn’t treat our parents as the enemy

even under discipline and punishment.

We were children who were too busy

absorbing knowledge

in exchange for a ticket out

headed for anywhere,

somewhere other than home.

We didn’t spend days in front of the t.v.

playing video games, watching endless

television.

We had rules,

we respected those rules

we didn’t always like them

but they were there to stay.

When ‘Totally” and “Gross me out”

were commonly heard,

they didn’t sound ridiculous.

We read, we listened to music with a purpose

songs that didn’t dwell on one boring concept.

We believed in something

while using our imaginations,

Our imaginations that kept us going.

While all around us

violence was rebuilding,

The Middle East between

Iraq and Iran,

The Soviet-Afghan War

and Ethiopians starving and in need of life.

and then there was Ronald Reagan

disappointing, like our family knew he would be.

~

During later years

we grew up rebellious,

the outcast of a gang life-style

of yuppie do-gooders

of drugged out moms and dads,

left alone to our own devices.

We still made the most

of what little we had.

Still ate free lunch

hung out at after school programs

still clung to friendships

even though some of us

changed schools like we changed underwear.

Slowly understanding

how ‘Food Stamps’ became shameful

and ‘Low Income Housing’

was embarrassing.

Some of us delved into depression

into hopelessness

and still we weren’t ungrateful.

We loved the things we received

the attention we craved

and belonging when we didn’t belong

anywhere else.

Still, we had a book in our hand

a song in our hearts

and compassion and love

for life around us.

Blinded by a dream.

~

In the nineties we were insecure

acne, body weight and high school

and we were lambs lead to the slaughter

We tried, we lived as we believed

still dreaming of Mr. or Mrs. Right

still planning on living abroad

away from the labels and stereotypes

given us;

Wet-backs

Beaners

Dreamers

we were pushed up against the social wall

and we fought with all our love

all our dreams.

Some of us fell hard

into the abyss of Depression

of peer pressure, of belonging

and some of us didn’t make it.

Some of us became teen parents

drug addicts, gang members

or runaways.

Trying to find out where we belonged in this world.

Only a lucky few made it out unscathed.

By this time we knew

what it meant to be poor,

Mexican-American and non Anglo

behind the lines of success

and facing endless troubles at home.

We were failing; brave rebels

but we tried and that’s all we could do.

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’m not sleeping/not breathing anymore

The lights are off. I am alone…at least I feel alone. This air is cold, this night; even colder. I used to dream of nights like this,
to keep me sane, to keep me going. Now they only seem to weaken my bones and my spirit. I have checked out once again. I thought I had overcome this drastic measure years ago and yet here I am; awakened by its prisoned walls and unwelcomed nights. I took a step into the hallway, thinking I was making the right choice. Yet here I am in shambles and torn to pieces. This is the constant mirror I look into forever more.

     I stood before them; naked and ashamed. Ashamed of who I had grown into and who I was meant to be. I left my earphones in and the soundtrack to my existence on so I could block all unnecessary accusations from my hearing. It is better this way; to imagine the worst and yet never hear it. I let these images haunt my dreams; for at least I can control these if I need to. I looked straight into the face of the one I put my trust in; the one I gave my blood and life to. The only one to look away at the table of judgment and ignorance. That’s right; they are ignorant in my eyes. My mother, my lovers before who took me for granted and now this. What did I expect; a likely story with a usual ending? May I be let off this stand and led away to darker corners and endless hallways of strays. I only write what I think and what I dream. The judge and jury of my dreams is what’s killing me.

     Today I spent an eternity thinking of what was and where I should’ve been instead of drowning in my misery. I left the chains back in the old days and yet they still seem to follow me. Give me drink, give me peace, just make the bleeding stop. I only saved enough for one day. I must’ve confused today with forever. How could I have been so delusional? The time is wrong, the weather is off and I am on the wrong dock; looking for the right escape. I never pleaded to anything I wasn’t guilty of. I only lacked the intelligence when it came to emotions. I should’ve been cold; distant and greedy like all the others. I should’ve stayed at home and never listened to those movies. I should’ve kept my mouth shut and my eyes open. I should’ve known the future and stayed far away in the past. But I am just a human; like all the others, thinking there’s always a way out of the extreme. I forgot to read the instructions when I didn’t grasp the meaning. Here comes the judge and jury of my dreams.

     I stare into this haunted house; full of skeletons, full of dark thoughts. I should’ve ran the other way but curiosity got the better of me. I stayed for the encore and left writhing in pain. I just couldn’t help myself. I like things this way. Dark and terrifying, wrong, twisted and heart wrenching when you least expect it. I was into it just like everyone else. But like everyone else, I never saw the ending. There’s no exit sign and I have to go all the way through. It’s my fault I catered to the uninhabited, the misfits who walk away without a care. Where is the end?

     I stood on the cliff, ready to fall.

I tried very hard but hadn’t the gall.

To pick up my feet and let it all go,

so I did the next best thing by taking it slow.

Rubbing back and forth till nothing was left,

the ache in my wrist no longer bereft,

of the pain it endured as I clung to the stone,

that clung to the threads of my veins

and the bone.

It was easier to get closer than ever before,

without you having to look on,

without you having to beg for more.

Let’s face it, this was the only way,

just play my soundtrack every step of the way.

Louder than the waves that crash over me,

louder than the screams of those who left before me.

Let it play on when I’m cold as the night,

when I’m dreaming and sleeping with no end in sight.

Please; do this for me.

That was the worst place I’ve ever stepped into. May those souls be at peace. Whoever thought that reality would get to me? It wasn’t free, it wasn’t enough to leave me thinking. I was left without anything to cling to in the end. Here I stand; naked and ashamed but never the way you think. I have to walk away and not say a thing. I have to let go like a good girl and never think again.


In the Background is Where I Learn to Live, at the Forefront is where I Learn to Give.

IMG_2187Dear You,

Welcome to me…to this lifetime of weak metaphoric bones and 267 days of teary eyes. I warned you from the beginning, didn’t I? I brought forth my promise of commitment with my long list of conditions. Conditions such as aching for the baby sister who only had four hours of “why me?”, or the younger brother who thought killing himself was the better side to see. Conditions such as my loneliness which creeps in the night, and my fear of never waking up again once I turn out the light.  You haven’t forgotten the best part, have you? You know, the part where the depths of my melancholy wash over me like tsunamis in the sky. This is me…this is we…and we haven’t had the promising chance to even try. In this life of mine, I chose to drift towards your life preserve, thinking you were the one who was going to save me. Some days I think I’m still at sea, dog paddling my way through life, with you always close by.

I remember the first time you took hold of my hand when a fresh coat of grief washed upon me, and I let you in, without a moment’s hesitation. Was I being selfish, allowing you to see the real mirror image of my soul, my existence? Should I have let you stay away, without any explanation, any “Dear John” letter? You have lost several years that you’ll never get back. I can’t promise that you’ll be able to hang on to any more in the future. In the end, all I’ll have to give is the “I tried” line.  In the end that is all it will ever be; a failed try. But know, I did try.

When I look at your silent peace, your heaven-sent release, if only in your sleep, I am happy for you. I think it is here, in my absence, that you truly find happiness. In the deep corners of your subconscious you are alive, ready to take on the reality of what could’ve been. It is in your inner solitude that I am most jealous. How can one be jealous of something that could never be reached? Be a part of? But it’s there, poking it’s angry saddened little head through the locked door of your mind. You lay there, angelic and weightless, not thinking of a thing. This is where the metaphoric hamster in your brain takes a breather, where the ocean meets dry land. You are calm and care-free. And I am jealous of everything I’ve just seen.

I live in a world where my hamster never sleeps, where fear loves to creep and the thought of drifting away and never returning becomes the welcome mat of anxiety at my minds’ front door.  I never chose what was behind curtain number four. I only wanted #1 because it’s more than likely better odds. Who stole my life from me? Who wished eternal tears and hard twisting heart rhythms to lay at my feet? I’ve landed the bonus where I even cry in my sleep. Who wished this for me? How I long for the nights of sweet vivid dreams brought on by exhaustion of long hours counting sheep.

Regardless of the outcome, this is the reality. And even in my tantrums, I have learned to accept the hand dealt to me. I gave up on self-pity and self-destruction, and leaned more towards the spontaneous crying and itchy blanket called loneliness. This is me…this is we; the mirror looking back at the mess which becomes me. Nowadays, I tend to cry when you aren’t around. When the music is deep and therapeutic, when the movie strangles my heart with both hands; this is my relief. Do you get it? I’m giving you a break. I’m letting you off the hook, here’s a freebie on me. This is one thing you’ll never understand…that this me, it is not you. You can have the rest; like my playfulness and crazy nonsense. You get the loving ways and the part of my heart that beats for you. I’ve swallowed the key to the other room. Don’t ask for it back.

I didn’t grasp it the first time, you know, the uncomfortable feeling of what to do when I couldn’t stop crying and feeling so bleak. But you’re better off, and I know that now. This is something I must deal with without the company of awkward silences and uncomfortable movements. The darkness does eventually end, and the new sunrise becomes a welcome home sign; even if short-lived. I’m comfortable in this accepting skin. I take the good without taking it for granted while I take the bad at face value. 

I live in the numbness of a never-ending dream where nothing pleasant happens in the end. I wait excitedly for the surprise gift of a wonderful day, whether in a song or the way you look at me, and I relish in the love that gives me a temporary fix. You have always been my drug of choice. The darkened clouds and bitter shadows; they will continue to live, just now I keep them in the deeper end. I’ve wanted you and all that you freely possess . My baggage was clear and will be till the end. I’ve wanted you and not the choice to keep on running. I just can’t get rid of the closet filled with sorrow and disappointing sentiment. Please remember to read your faithful contract. Look for the signature at the dotted line. Remember these images when it’s time for me to unravel all of my despair with the lights turned off and the music keeping the poison at bay. Remember there will always be better days. 

love,

~me~


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Strange Ways are all I Have ~2008

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Sad Simplicity in the Silver Lining

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This is how I say I love you

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