Ask Me How I’m Doing

If you ask me how I’m doing
I’d tell you
I’m sitting in my empty
drinking wine
while listening to
and sewing the holes
in my clothes.

Taking EQ tests and scoring
lower then
I like.
Playing IQ games
and winning
“You’re a moron”
from the internet.

Looking up Kaddish
and Allen Ginsberg
so I can understand
Kaddish by
Allen Ginsberg.

Reading the
People’s History of The United States
while wondering how to teach
The Great Gatsby
to Chinese students.

One glass of wine spilled
to the ground
over my neglected
yoga mat
another glass of wine
and an empty bottle.
I’m half dressed
or naked
depending on how you
view life.

You ask me how I’m doing
as I shut the apartment
door to catch the bus
to buy a new bottle
of wine so I can hide
from the denizens
of Zhengzhou
and all the foreigners
that somehow
call this place

I watch the rain
mix with cement in soapy
bubbles from the dust
of destroyed cities as
the photos of my
recently deceased
mother stare at my empty
wine glass.
I’m coming back.

My glass waits till I return
Nothing else can get done
Nothing else will get done
There was nothing to do anyway
except to sew up the holes
in all of my black clothes.

Torn Between Needing

She had a strange evening.
It began hungover, yet relaxed,
because the pills she took last night,
20 to be exact,
didn’t work—

She knew they wouldn’t,
it was a false suicide attempt,
but even playing the role is bad,
and she knows this.

She is not always the confident
she appears to be,
and she doesn’t want to let
everybody know
she is becoming comfortable
with the self-loathing,
it seems to be going

She is tired.

“I’m glad those pills didn’t work.
Those pills.” She said.
She told herself this
because today was beautiful,
in every way-
today she talked to God.
She felt God.

Sleep, need,

she is torn between needing.

She said, Good-Night

Years ago, I had worked part time in the OHSU library to make some extra money while I was a student at PSU. My job was to photocopy old medical articles, and then electronically scan them into a computer, and then send the article to the students. My favorite was the old library with the quiet dark shelves, and isles, and the antiquated medical journals. The articles would fascinate me especially the psychology journals. Often after I copied the articles I would stuff them into my book bag and take them home. I had hundred and hundred’s of stacks of journal articles. I eventually had to throw them out, I had too many. I was morbidly drawn to the psychological articles on self-mutilation and suicide. At the time it was my own way with dealing with depression and trying to understand the tick behind my old scares barely hidden on the insides of my arms, and inner thighs created years earlier. That was five or six years ago, and the articles are long gone, as is my fascination and my need for that type of healing. I recently came across a journal where I had cut and pasted bits from those articles onto the pages, I believe I was working on some kind of project. As I flipped through the bits I read about a 48 year old woman, who was psychiatrically depresses, guilt-ridden and a widow, who had enucleated her own eyes, meaning she removed them from her skull. In all my tragic falls and periods of cutting, I had never come near to anything so graphic and damaging, or intense. self-mutilation is intense as it is and it is fueled by deep misunderstood pains, but to remove your own eyes, is beyond my comprehension. Her pain had to have been so sever for her to hurt herself that badly.

She said, Good-night

“always, night and day, was crying and cutting himself with stones.” (Mark 5:5)

She enucleated her eyes,
both of them,
removed them from
her sockets.
They were a burden,
her eyes,
showing her what
she could not have.

It was impulsive,
she would admit,
it was for the pain.
She could look
inward and there was no reason
to see.
Knives and razors no
longer eased the
sadness, no longer
took the control,
she needed a new pain,
physical, permanent,

the tip of her
cold like an
ice pick,
pressed against
a bruising eye,
soft at first,
then more,
and more,
till it pulsed
and the jelly shivered,
blue and white
gelatin, quivering in a
purple throb.
One eye pulsing,
rivers of bumps and
curves under her lid
then two eyes throbbing
rivers of curves and bumps
under her lid.
The cords snapped
popped and cracked
like rice crispies
in milk.
Goo gushed
like fountains
for children to dance
and like gum drops
they fell to the floor
hitting the freshly
wooden ground, seconds, before
her skull.

Two Parts

Two Parts

Two parts of me;
split in half.
Tried to kill the
mousey one with a hand
tied behind my back.
She was stronger than she looked.
Pills and television
came and put us
back together again.
Now we sit
like a hand in glove.