Stream of Consciousness

When the air loses its sea-salt and sand scent and the leaves begin to molder, the Tree stands barren, naked with an unabashed honesty that makes a shiver of embarrassment shoot up the spine and work its chord around the heart. The mind begins to wonder how in the world can humans, with all of their pretensions and defenses and inability to be completely open feel superior to the simpleness of nature. Like the Tree who openly screams “I have lost all that is dear to me: my love, my warmth, my beauty. Come; watch me cry as I see all my dreams dead at my feet. Come. I am not afraid for you to see me grieve.” And the Winter comes and freezes him, quaking him and reminding him of all the cold emptiness of his life. But, somehow, as the thaw begins and the world warms, the Tree says, “The pain of the past is passed. Today the Sun is gracing up with his lovely smile and I am ready to begin again. Come, new dreams. Let’s grow and create love again.” Yes, the steady, stalwart Tree does this Spring after Spring, knowing full well how way always leads unto way- how Summer always leads to Fall and Fall to Winter. It is unafraid. It is everything we should aspire to be.

The rancor of the human mind is a detestable thing, how it holds on so firmly to pangs long ago felt as if a wound no longer tangibly bleeding is still being felt. The heart does not shrink nor become brittle or closed because a wayward and betraying lover once trod on your faith in them. It does not blister when harsh words are hauled carelessly. It does not fear being accepted and adored by a new partner. No, the mind convinces us of the heart’s refusal to love again. Ah, the human mind, the lowliest of all tricksters, apt at slight of hand and illusion wants us to believe that the heart, not the mind (the ego of all egos)- is at fault. And we, so needlessly frightened to try again- to step out on that shaky limb of chance- accept the bluster the mind feeds to us, a nourishment of sorts that somehow still leaves one feeling empty and starved. We take this bitterness and let it run through us, to wrap around us like a cloak to protect us from the cold. But the coldness, oh the coldness, comes all from within and we will suffer until the heart finds the mind idle for a rare moment and screams to us that it has starved long enough. We have starved long enough.

But will we listen?

All too often the insistent urging of the logic overpowers the longing of the feelings. We become so frightened for, afterall, the past always repeats itself and pain is certainly guaranteed around every corner of emotion. So we allow ourselves to act as masons, building up walls five feet thick and ten feet tall around us, making sure every eventual crack and crevice is repaired so our shield remains impenetrable. And we go home and wash the plaster away, scrubbing skin red and scraping under fingernails- pretending the satisfaction of hard work on guard is enough to fill us up with accomplishment. But, at the end of the day, accomplishment is as empty as our hearts.

And why be jaded for the sake of being jaded? Why tell someone who wants to love us that we are (as we have convinced ourselves all evidence points to) unloveable. Why not break down the fucking walls once and for all? Why not settle down for a picnic under that lovely Tree and sit and feel the leaves falling around you and learn a thing or two about letting go- about moving on- about trying again.

“Stream of Consciousness Writing”- jessicagadziala

Summer

The summer heat is sinking
in beneath my skin and I
remember how I used to need to keep
a notpad right next to the pool-
how I would drink a pot of coffee
and my pen would race over
page after page with the love of
a boy whose touch I had never
even felt-
but now with heartbreak after
heartbreak worn on my sleeve,
stiched into my skin,
and spread across my bed-
I drink a pot of coffee,
cuddle close to air conditioners
and my pen cant find the courage
to create a poultice and draw out
the poison of things buried deep-
like how I couldn’t sleep for two years
because he should have been there,
arms unfolding around me and
kissing memories into my neck
instead of three-hundred miles away
pretending to be faithful even after
I uncovered the truth-
like how I let someone leave
bruises on my throat-
like how I should have pushed
him away when he pulled me down-
like how I wanted so badly to
love someone who was
good
and fair
and would reach for my hand first
that I allowed him to lock me away
like a dirty little secret and
remind me constantly that I could
never (despite not eating until I felt
faint, despite changing my clothes, my hair, my views)
be his type.
And I find myself missing a time
when my pen sang of longing
and star-crossed lovers
because bitter is a look I have
been wearing for far too long
and the summer has stripped
away the layers I have used to
hide it all away in.

“summer”- 7-11-14-jessicagadziala

Constellations

 

maybe she can love you better
since she learned as a child
that men
were a safe place to land
because her daddy hung the moon
while mine was too busy looking
for messages at the bottom of
empty bottles and
passing out with me and my sister
on a boat
when we were one and two years old-
and he let us go without a fight-
and hasn’t seen us since-
maybe I learned that men were
raging rivers
and if I wasn’t a strong swimmer-
I would sink and never be seen again-
so I learned to always swim away.
Maybe I cant trust you
because you have eyes like his
and your hands look so strong
but I’m sure that they will
always reach for something
more important than me-
so maybe she can love you better
like you put the stars in the sky
because I am always too busy trying
to keep my head above water
to see that you drew my name
in constellations.

“constellations”- 6-21-14-jessicagadziala

OKC

You needed a website to tell you
we are an 82% match before you
decided you missed me and how
you could always fold me up
and keep me in your pocket-
and could reach for me whenever
it was convenient-
when you needed a soft place to land-
and then put me away for weeks-
and the silence in between hung as
heavy drapes over my self-esttem until
there was nothing left.
and I find myself lucky that
in thirteen long months we never
posed for silly pictures because
no one hangs heartbreak on their walls-
but I can laugh at how you describe
yourself and passive-aggressively
mention me in your profile
like you were the one always
bending over backward
like you were the victim
but yes, “fancy seeing you here”,
but there is a boy with a smile
that isn’t always condescending
and he likes my book collection
and doesn’t think that
the rabbit hutch I built is crooked

and he is an 83% match.

“OKC”-6-21-14-jessicagadziala

Sunday Morning

 

There are still three places
that make your face pop into my
mind unexpectedly like those gunshots
on my street when I was falling asleep that night-
and there are thirty scars on my skin-
twenty-five of them bear your name-
he other five are called “what made
you think you could ride on two wheels
when you can barely walk on two feet?”-
and that breakup song still stings when
it catches me alone and too tired to
pretend three years puts enough space
between the heartbreak and the
concept of closure-
I can seek to cover the feeling of your
hands on my skin with other men who
couldn’t tell you how I take my coffee
or why romantic movies make me cry-
but you’re always there-
in the wanting
the friction
the pleasure
and the regret-
and you’re always there in the
absence of “I love yous” and
the feeling of security
that I buried in you.

“Sunday Morning (Coffee Confessions)”- 5-4-14- jessicagadziala

Silence

 

Maybe I should move to New Orleans-
get swept away in the erratic
inconsistency of fevered jazz
music on the street-
make reckless love in the
hazy summer heat with a man who
keeps a talisman above his bed
and wake up to him playing a slow
lazy song on the harmonica, perched
in the open window to the fire escape
with a cup of black coffee by his
bare feet and sweat already trickling down his neck-
maybe I just need a new town-
a new hand to hold-
converse with new faces
I’ll never see again on Bourbon Street-
instead of seeing your friends everywhere I turn-
maybe I need to drink gin straight from the bottle-
instead of apple-flavored beer-
gather and cheer at the Krewe du Vieux-
and never step foot in a movie theater again-
eat beignets until they replace
the times we got sushi down by the shore-
maybe I need to run away from
bittersweet memories of you and me-
replace all the things
that once were for all the things
that could be-

“New Orleans”-4-28-14-jessicagadziala

New Orleans

 

Maybe I should move to New Orleans-
get swept away in the erratic
inconsistency of fevered jazz
music on the street-
make reckless love in the
hazy summer heat with a man who
keeps a talisman above his bed
and wake up to him playing a slow
lazy song on the harmonica, perched
in the open window to the fire escape
with a cup of black coffee by his
bare feet and sweat already trickling down his neck-
maybe I just need a new town-
a new hand to hold-
converse with new faces
I’ll never see again on Bourbon Street-
instead of seeing your friends everywhere I turn-
maybe I need to drink gin straight from the bottle-
instead of apple-flavored beer-
gather and cheer at the Krewe du Vieux-
and never step foot in a movie theater again-
eat beignets until they replace
the times we got sushi down by the shore-
maybe I need to run away from
bittersweet memories of you and me-
replace all the things
that once were for all the things
that could be-

“New Orleans”-4-28-14-jessicagadziala

My Everest

I would tell him I wrote enough words

to assemble and stack into a mountain -

that he is why I know how to climb -

that he has always been the mixed metaphor

my foot catches on and trips me up -

he is the fall

he is the bruised arms and skinned knees -

I would tell him he’s the words

“get back up” and “try again”-

He’s the sky I’m always trying to reach

and the stacks of worthless poems on paper in my way -

He is my Kilimanjaro, my Everest-

he is the cold, the hunger,

the exhaustion -

he is the probable failure

but the will to go on.

 

“My Everest” – 4-4-14- jessicagadziala

Jump

Jump-
give defying gravity a try-
stop weighing yourself down with
excuses-
and self doubt-
and past mistakes-
Close your eyes and leap from
the ledge you have been calling home-
Remember there are only
two possible outcomes-
you will sink or you will soar
and both are better than
always staying still.

“Jump” – 3-14-14- jessicagadziala