I think the previously posted poem Hiking At Kennicott will either will be edited to be shorter or fleshed out to be an essay. I like it, but it is almost begging to be prose. I find myself rather blocked this week. Perhaps it has been the turmoil this past week seems to be in. Things are in disarray. It causes me to not want to face myself and I slink into my corner and pretend I don’t want to write. In reality, nothing would bring me greater joy in difficult times. Facing myself always seems to convince me that I like me more than I thought and still troubles me because I don’t understand how I can still be alone. I’m feeling rather desperate to have what those around me have and desperation causes foolishness. I hope I can keep the antics at bay. In the meantime, I’ll risk a poem on here that could potentially offend those mentioned in it. It is about three people I love a great deal — a family of sorts. Like all families, it is the quirks of individuals that sometimes receive the focus. It rarely means that those quirky people are thought of any less.

Reflections On My [Alaskan] Family

The pariah’s made up in all shades of green,
needlessly feeling pain, self-induced and unwarranted.
It’s hard to feel unconventional in world of unconventional people;
the appeal diminishes.
I’m melding with others,
whose lives barely cross mine and I feel again like a third wheel.
And I feel love. Love.
Quantified love. David first, me last, Daniel in between?
Quantified love?
Is it orderable, rankable, defined in aboveness?
The pariah feels sucked in and ever more distant,
perhaps well-placed feelings. Family.
I cannot see it. Not through the thick haze of love.
The boss makes diplomatic concessions for the patriarchal figure head
and I tend to understand [and to not understand].
The pariah’s green vestments seem to flash with new vibrance;
I can’t even get attention from myself. Love? Love. It’s possible.
Expanding, filling the room, feeling myself uncomfortable
and taking up space, wondering how I can be ignored.
Deflate the elephant. And sometimes I do it myself,
shrinking to almost nothing,
I take perch and watch my family below grow ever closer
without me, saddened by my own inability to include myself.
The charmer found David and I can’t see the path to follow;
fields of sweetly scented flowers cover the trail that so recently existed.
The green is increasing.
I wish I could figure out how to remove this person who hides me,
shuck him from the golden ear of me inside.
I don’t believe in quantified love.
It is an expression of “like.”
Love holds us to standards we don’t often hold ourselves to,
expects us to look past ourselves.
The pariah’s only a pariah in his own eyes and longs to not be green.
Moist sounds of boys keeping each other warm make me
simultaneously happy and enraged.
Enraged at me, at ignorance, at my insufferability.
I won’t stand for this and demand that I not be the spoiled brat
who wants what everyone else has got.
I’m me and I’ll get mine when I accept that.
Quantified love? No.
I don’t love myself less than — or more than –
only as much as anyone else.
The boss will keep tabs on the situation,
very occasionally checking to see how I’m doing.
It’s easiest when he speaks about making love
with the charmer.
I feel less jealous the more he mentions it, happier.
I will not be ranked and when my turn comes,
I’ll flood friends with my happiness.
And they’ll smile, genuinely proud of me.
The pariah is thinking more of himself.


Image: photo of David, Daniel, & Brian (between McCarthy, Alaska & Kennicott Mine)

Featured Image Art: photo of David, taken on trip to Kennicott


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