Existential Global Positioning

Existential Global Positioning

I smell like the store I bought this shirt from. It reeks of Instant gratification. I want a cigarette But my coffee cup is empty And anyway It’s cold out there. I stare at the people outside And pretend their nicotine Is for me. I found the historic part of this town: My GPS directed me, Via satellite, Back in time. Original flooring Holds up the humans In plaid flannel shirts, [Me included,] And original brickwork And fairy lights And stone steps And tattoos. I am obsessed by time And juxtaposition And where I fit. Cities are too big, Skies void of stars, And one horse towns Far too small. I am The wrong size For both. My ideas Are too large for my brain And too ahead Of my current location. I can cross A hundred time zones In buses, planes, and cars, But...

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Twenty Five

Twenty Five

A year ago today, I published a poem along with text messages from my father, outing him as an abuser and an alcoholic who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. I was always there for him and remain unappreciated. I have forgiven him for what he has done to me. What I cannot forgive is what he said about my mother. And I learned from him, and took a step forward, and haven’t spoken to him since. Read “Father Dearest” here. I’ve spent a lot of time in the rooms of AA. Try as I might I couldn’t get my head around a higher power, and around having to give up drinking for the rest of my life at the age of twenty-three. I viewed it as an ending and as a compromise of my ideals. I first entered AA in January of 2014. I went to meetings, went to...

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Mister Nice Guy

Mister Nice Guy

I shouldn’t be scared. It’s the middle of the day; I’m surrounded by people. But there’s two men On this train That make my hair stand on end And the thing is, You just can’t really trust people. You just never know. Man number one Is stood to my left on the platform, As I absentmindedly sway To Frank Sinatra’s voice In my headphones. I keep catching his gaze Out of the corner of my eye. My peripheral vision is 20/20. He’s close enough That I can smell him- Stale cologne and booze And fear. No wait, That last one is me. I look straight ahead Because this is the type of man I am used to. This stranger With his extra-large eyes And overstated sneer, His nearly imperceptible nod Is familiar to me. I know him; I’ve met dozens of his comrades. But now there’s another....

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Trustworthy

Trustworthy

Maybe it’s an age thing Or a woman thing Or an addict thing But it’s a ludicrous thing To not know Your own mind Or to lack confidence In your opinions. I’m always Looking over my shoulder. Always asking What someone else wants, Or feels, or needs, Or double checking That I’m not bothering them To the point that I’m sure I am. I’m conscious of The way I eat: How and what and when. I worry about taking up space- How close my chair is to the table, I cross my legs on the metro, I avoid an occupied kitchen, Offer to sit in the back of the car, Even curl into a ball in my own bed. Where do I want to go? Anywhere is fine. Am I hungry? I don’t know- are you? I want to contribute without pressure, I want to help without demand. I concern myself with the needs of others,...

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Geordie

Geordie

I can get to the grocery store By myself now. I can basically Negotiate the metro. I have a grasp Of the currency. I mostly understand The accents And smile politely As people regale me With all of their America Trivia. I’ve used the phone- Dialing a zero first, Though it’s the opposite Of all I’ve been taught. I made the first pitcher Of sweet iced tea That’s ever been seen In the Northeast, Or maybe the whole of Britain, And I’ve explained what it is To the locals, Looks of disgust on their faces. [Tea isn’t yours, Brits, You stole it from China.] Today I bought a Snickers bar Because it reminded me of home. Here, They’ll put corn on pizza, And on a tuna sandwich. Their traffic patterns Seem counter intuitive And I look both ways A million times Before I cross...

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