when i was in high school i was
a smart and mediocre student
and when i was in college
i was a smart and good student
and then mental illness came
like a fucking bullet some asshole
shot into the air on new year’s eve
that landed through my head
a mile away
and now i am mediocre always
i thought i’d have my shit together
by now, i thought i’d be a teacher
and have a house and hate my life
but instead i do nothing and have
nothing and hate my life
i spend all day writing shit
that doesn’t matter
(nothing matters, nothing ever
“matters”, but still, some things matter
less than other things somehow)
i have no friends
some people say nice things
about the shit i write
some people ask me am i joking
they say poetry is counting and measuring
and poetry is saying a new thing
using old things
and language matters, and grammar matters
some people want me to admit
that i don’t deserve
the nice things that people say
look, i didn’t kill myself today
and that is how i gauge success now
look, leave me alone
look, i don’t care about your sense
look, i don’t owe you anything
i am mediocre and alive
and nothing else matters
You are Beautiful
1. You are beautiful if you understand the connection of things, from the blade of grass beneath your feet to the resplendent sun that colors your cheeks.
2. You are beautiful whether you have supple, porcelain skin or a constellation of wrinkles and sun spots.
3. You are beautiful regardless of the hue of your skin, the shape of your nose, or the size of your breasts.
4. You are beautiful when you call a distraught friend every day just to check up on him/her.
5. You are beautiful if you offer a smile to the President of your company, who has a penthouse office, and the Cleaning Person, who has no office.
6. You are beautiful if you accept yourself and others’ flaws and idiosyncrasies.
7. You are beautiful if you say thank you, please, you’re welcome, and excuse me.
8. You are beautiful if you love someone enough to let them go.
9. You are beautiful if you celebrate others’ accomplishments despite your own seeming failures.
10. You are beautiful if you can admit when you are wrong.
11. You are beautiful if you are not afraid to voice your opinion regardless of the consequences.
12. You are beautiful if you have the courage to arrange some words together and share them with others.
13. You are beautiful if you allow yourself to cry, laugh, and get angry with full abandon.
14. You are beautiful if you are scared, but do it anyway.
15. You are beautiful if you respect your body for the fabulous temple that it is.
16. You are beautiful when you have the strength to say, “Enough.”
17. You are beautiful if you silently listen to someone for as long as they need you to.
18. You are beautiful when you can forgive.
19. You are beautiful if you do not laugh at someone else’s expense or maliciously gossip.
20. You are beautiful for a million other reasons, but most importantly, just because.