Growing Up

This is a compilation of poetry that kiloJoule has written since September of 1995.

Table of Contents
1: After breaking up with my boyfriend
2: I hate poems that rhyme
3: Attempt #1 at an Emily Dickenson-esque poem
4: My successful Emily Dickenson-esque poem- this is my favorite poem of all time (that I wrote)
5: After a stressed out day
6: The first lines came to me over the summer, the rest was written later
7: Plain old bad mood
8: Pissed at my parents
9: An epic poem- try to see the religious symbolism
10: I like the way these words soud
11: After another stressed out day
12: Occurred to me in the shower- bad hair day or something
Poetry Written After 10-96
13: I hate poems that rhyme, Part II
14-18: After reading Seamus Heaney
14: Institutions-about my Parents
15: From Across the Abyss- social criticism
16: The Remote
17: Dirge of the Living
18: Typing
19-24: After reading Willam Butler Yeats
19: Suffering Danaids
20: Ode to Jeff Meyer (A.K.A. I hate poems that rhyme III)
25: Sestina for the Senior Class- Graduation is coming!


A split rail fence
between you and I
no strength to speak,
no need to hear.

I see you here
yet can not escape
love lost in truth,
pain found in lies.

I wish for strength
so I could speak up
I am to blame,
I need your help.

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Does the sun shine
Where the moon doesn't glow?
Are the people from there
Like those from below?

Do the men sing
In melodious tune?
Are the women at peace
With the month of June?

Do children cry
For their mothers at night?
Are there people out there
Who'd rather not fight?

Are you aware
Of such a place being?
And will you take me there
When I am fleeing?

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The heavenly bowl
Descends in torrents.
The echoes of a clash
Reverberate aloud.

The pavement glassy
Animals retreat.
Ripples of existence
Collide and fade away.

Then suddenly,
It all breaks.
And from it comes light
Stripes up above.

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The shades are drawn- to block the Light-
And no one let- inside
The Window sills have gathered- Dust-
In which the Mites reside

And deep- within this strange abode-
As such- defined by one-
So much around and Yet- alone
Is this a House- or Home?

No Air escapes the Window panes-
It circulates within-
And ever swirling- shifting notes-
Will Peace be found- again?

The cobwebs- in the corners Dark
Like Trees- will count the Scores-
Until interior Paint- will fall-
And cover all the Floor

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alone again
on the same dreary tuesday
with an empty teacup
and not enough tears

alone again
in the laundromat
with whites in the dryer
and not enough quarters

alone again
on a train headed westward
with no destination
and not enough strength

alone again
on a road less traveled
with too much anger
and not enough joy

alone again
in somebody's bed
with a terrible migraine
and not enough aspirin

alone again
in a room wholly bare
with plain wooden floorboards
and not enough heat

alone again
in this constant sorrow
with so many questions
and not any answers

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And there they were
with the straw scattered around
like a hayride gone awry.

And she looks down
and contemplates her breasts
and the relevance of a fifth toe.

And he looks down
and sees an ant crawling
and wonders if he should crush it.

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I cry myself to sleep at night
wondering when justice will prevail.
And oftentimes it occurs to me
that that I am truly unjust.
But what are resolutions
when they are never kept?
And promises broken to myself
only decrease my own self worth.

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There is a frame around my head
Immortalized for all
Hanging on a whitewashed backdrop
Above the firery glow
A symbol of the love they have
For their baby girl
If only symbols were true love
And not a cover up

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The cow in the road refuses to move
He took me hostage and demands ransom
He wants to meet Elvis and eat pizza
I think I'll put on my Walkman and sing along

Maybe I should run away from the cow
Because he is only a cow
And go home to my fish, who truly love me
And want me to feed them

I can't run though, because I'm stuck
The tar on the road has enveloped my feet
I can't move, and the cow refuses to
Meanwhile a duck walks by

He tells me his name is Marvin
And that he is a psychologist
Who has come to help me get out of this mess
I tell him he is a quack, but he stays

He tries to convince the cow to let me go,
But the cow demands more in ransom
Now he wants a plane to Spain
And the duck tells me he'll see what he can do

As he waddles off, I can't help laughing
I wonder what prestige he holds in the world
He seems to be simply a featherweight
Meanwhile I am sinking further in the tar

I wonder what this is a descent into
Will I drown in this sticky blackness
In the presence only of a cow
And the endless swaying corn?

I watch as the cars back up in both lanes
They are too interested in the scene
To make an effort to go around it
Or maybe they too fear the cow

Out of a blue Mercedes steps a man
He could be my father, but I don't know
He is talking on his cell phone and looks at me
As he walks closer and closer still

Finally he has gotten to the cow
The cow seems to recognize him and grow nervous
It could be the sun, but a certain light
Begins to flash in the man's eyes

As the man stares at the angry cow
I feel myself being lifted from the tar
But at the same time my feet are being tugged
Further below the surface

As the intensity between the two grows
So does the pull on my extremities
Finally, as the cell phone rings, I feel released
The man takes the call , and the cow is suspicious

Enter the duck, who carries a pizza
It is black olives and hot peppers
Which happens to be my personal favorite
And the duck winks good luck at me

The cow's short pointy horns glint in the sun
He swings his head and they come close to me
I sense a strange heat eminating from them
I no longer think a pizza was his motive

At this point I look down
And realize I had sunk to my armpits
In the soft black tar surrounding me
And wonder when the man will finish his call

He finally does and approaches our group
He says he has spoken to his boss
And says the cow should be afraid
Of what is to come, more or less

Suddenly people begin exiting their cars
And approach the four of us
They form a circle around our group
And draw in closer and closer still

Then, as all their shoulders meet
There is a sudden jolt within me
While outside a bright blue light flashes
And an incredible howl can be heard

When I open my eyes I am standing on the road
With a little yellow duck at my side
And the cars honking at me angrily
I start to turn away from the scene

The blue Mercedes swerves off the road
And speeds past me without slowing
The duck turns to leave the road
But he winks at me over his shoulder

And that leaves only me, alone again
Just like forever, like always
The corn waves me off the road
So I leave for a better place

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bread becomes toast
ashes and dust
smoke inhalation
vibrant realization
bird is falcon
field and river
synthesized reality
formalized duplicity

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The girl with the laundry basket
on the street downtown
tells me I have your hat,
when really I don't.

Her hip juts out
to hold up the basket,
and so does her lip
to make her look sexy.

She could be forty,
but maybe she's ten
I didn't bother to ask
for I was sad again.

She asked me if I
would take her to lunch
tomorrow or the next day
and I said maybe.

'Cause she doesn't drive,
And likes to eat stuff
for when she does
it makes her feel full.

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Distorted reality
Altered perception
It's hard to be me
When I'm the exception.

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When rhymes are in a poem writ
I don't like it, not one bit.
When the meter doesn't flow,
And the poet doesn't know,
my train of thought goes out the door,
and I can't read it any more.
And then of course the biggest crime
is when the words don't even rhyme
like sign and time or boat and soap.
I don't think that I can cope!
Dr. Seuss should be the one to rhyme
for he is the best of our time
As for the attempts of you and me
a law of "No Rhymes" is how it should be.

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Things are different now
that we have all realized
that they I donít need them
for much any more.
I am able to cook my own meals,
drive my own car,
buy my own things,
work at a job,
cope with my problems
and manage my time.
These, all the functions
that once defined who they were.
Now, in their mirror,
they see an institution
with borrowers and lenders
of the coin of the realm.
But my thoughts are on other institutions,
ones that will bring me to a state
higher than they ever attained.
Though they are proud of all I can do,
they still worry about the change I will face
when they must terminate my account

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From across the Abyss

Things are good here,
but there is a blue chasm that divides
the naÔve from those who know
the realities of the world.
Quarantined on this land mass
aware of the problems that exist outside
but not able to do anything about it,
and not able to comprehend.
The papers and the evening news
present Life Magazine images
of enemy soldiers standing next to children
with the shell of a building in the background.
They say "Your pocket change can
feed this child" and hope
her wide eyes and distended belly
are enough to reach your wallet.
Anchors read tales of lands that suffer
and struggle over the alien names
that make it seem as though the teleprompter
forgot to display the vowels.
They try to show the people here
the horrors, but the cries of the
children standing on the edge of the gap
drown out their valiant attempts,
People here claim themselves victims,
but we endure no pain in the eyes of
the suffering minorities, the suppressed women,
the neglected children, and the abused citizens.
All those who will never even have the opportunity
to select the lawyer they feel will win their case
and will never have Montel or Jenny Jones
to help them solve their problems.
We see our homeless and are outraged.
But they can look across the gorge
and be grateful that they reside here,
where at least they have a chance.
We look at our uprisings and worry,
but no bombs are heard here,
no soldiers line the streets,
and the children do not live in fear.
We do not understand the battles they fight,
over land, faith, or government.
These are struggles that may have
begun before our nation was even that.
Yet we think we can help by sending more men,
more money or more guns.
We are their saviors, but what can we do
from across this wide abyss?
It is much easier for us to watch
from an easychair the images displayed
on the big-screen TV than
to act or to think or to hope.

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The Remote

Of all the gadgets, the remote control was the one
that came near to an imagined perfection:
When he tightened his raised hand and aimed with it,
It felt like gun, accurate and light.
So whether he watched a warrior or an athlete
Or people actually working on the land,
He loved its grain of tapering, black mold
Grown satiny from people touching it after eating Chee-tos.
Metal screws, rubber buttons, burnish, grain,
Smoothness, straightness, roundness, length and sheen
molded, shaped, balanced, tested, fitted.
The springiness, the click and form of it.
And then when he thought of how to get the most channels,
He would see the beams from a satellite TV sailing past
Evenly, imperturbably through space,
Its rays starlit and absolutely soundless -
But has learned at last to be happy with cable
Enough stations to satiate him on the couch,
Where perfection - or nearness to it - is imagined
Not in the aiming but the possession of the remote.

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Dirge of the Living

In every breath I take,
exists a bit of another:
Another dog, another cat,
another girl or boy,
Their pieces remain forever,
but in a different form.
A bit of Albert Einstein,
exists in my left eye.
And Plato left a piece of himself
here upon my hand
For as each one passed
on from the earth,
they were returned to it
Be it in ashes or in a grave,
they remain among us all.
So when I speak of the shred of Hitler
That lies here in my shoe,
donít be alarmed
for I speak only of a logical law
That has been proven time and again.
These parts donít change us
as far as we know,
but rather build on each other
to form a unique entity

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Underneath my digits ten
The keyboard rests, ergonomically correct.
Down the hall, a loud clacking sound
When the wrinkled fingers tap the waiting keys:
My grandmother, typing, I look up
Till her straining hands resting now in her lap
Turn the knob, and pull out a letter of twenty years
Through her life
Where sheís been typing.
The soft hum when she went electric lulls her, the buzz
reminding her that she does not need white out.
She types in the greeting, then begins the message
To remind everyone that she is still around
Loving the cool hardness under her hands.
By God, the old woman would mail out letters.
Just like her mother.
My grandfather types more letters in a day
Than any one Iíve ever met.
Once I watched her typing a message
with her plump elderly hands
She left room at the bottom to sign, then fell to right away
Replacing the paper, rolling in
the crisp new sheet, going down and down
So she could begin again. Typing.
The warm smell of electrical heat, the tap and whir
Of motor functions, the tip taps of the keys
Through letters saved awaken in my head.
But Iíve no typewriter to follow my grandma.
Underneath my digits ten
The keyboard rests,
Iíll type with it.

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Suffering Danaids
In leaking jars their sorrows dwell,
eternal punishment for one evening of
blood-red annihilation.
A paternal gift of death
brought despair to the fifty maidens
forced to wed their cousins,
The Argives were their only saviors
from the persistent courtship of
the suitors that the maidens so despised.
And what then of the one poor soul
who pardoned her new wed spouse?
She punished for all her life,
while her sisters suffered
for all eternity.

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Ode to Jeff Meyer

I donít like poems that rhyme.
They make me scream and shout.
I think that a poetís worst crime
is to use a rhyme, no doubt.
I get so caught up in the meter
That I forget whatís being said.
I think that it would be much sweeter
To write without rhymes instead.
And when the rhymes become too loose
The poem becomes quite trivial
Unless of course youíre Dr. Seuss
To whom there is no rival.
So in conclusion I must say,
Save those rhymes for humorís sake.
For writing your poems a different way
will prevent me from my heartache

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It is a terrible thing to know,
at a young age,
only forty-something,
your fate.
I know it is wrong.
I know it is costly.
Yet I do it.
Itís nice to have one
on the way to work
and one on the way back
to wind down the day
So I do it.
My lungs feel it
when I walk up stairs
My dentist scowls
as I sit in the chair
Yet I do it.
My children complain
of the odor and smoke
But its my life
and they donít own me
So I do it.
My dad just died:
I inherited the rest of his genes,
so probably that too
Yet I do it.

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The blossom on the apple tree signals its wise cycle
Is full of life, yet in it there is no glory
Once a lovely child played in its large welcoming branches,
Her imagination free to wander to places
Far away, leaving her free of the burdens of her childhood
Of which there were many, but the tree made seem few
There she returned and tried to climb higher every time,
Pleased with each branch she saw, she strove to reach the top
For she knew she would be happy, above the torment
Yet she created a punishment for herself,
Competing with her soul, fighting for her triumph
That in the end the victory was a mere defeat

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What Lively lad most pleasured me
Of all that with me lay?
I answer that I gave my soul
And loved in misery,
But had great pleasure with a lad
That I loved bodily.
Flinging from his arms I laughed
To think his passion such
He fancied that I gave a soul
Did but our bodies touch,
And laughed upon his breast to think
Beast gave Beast as much.
I gave what other women gave
That stepped out of their clothes,
But when this soul, its body off,
Naked to naked goes,
He it has found shall find therein
What none other knows,
And give his own and take his own
And rule in his own right;
And though it loved in misery
Close and cling so tight,
Thereís not a bird of day that dare
Extinguish that delight.

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Suddenly I saw the cold and rook delighting heaven
That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;
And I took all the blame out of all the sense and reason,
Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,
Riddled with light. Ah! When the ghost begins to quicken,
Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent
Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken
By the injustice of the skies for punishment?

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Sestina for the Senior Class

Of all the classes one could hope to successfully mold,
it seems the class of 1997 is the form that would work.
We are a group that knows how to play
but yet are blessed with interminable drive.
Throughout the year, from Fall until Spring,
our class it seems is never at rest.
We all help our group surpass the rest,
but of course it is the teachers who mold
our young minds, letting us drink from the spring
of their knowledge. All this work
pays off in the end, for all the time they drive
words into our head makes us more ready to play.
Be it spending long hours for a musical or play,
learning the difference between a note and a rest,
organizing a community service drive,
experimenting in the lab growing plants and mold,
or making money through part-time work,
our busy schedules lead us to eagerly spring
at the mention of Summer, Winter or even Spring
Break. It seems even when we play
we subconsciously work.
Therefore we seize any opportunity to rest
and shake off the brain binding mold.
While it may seem that we have lost our drive,
it still persists, the precise point I am trying to drive.
So when we are doing our spring
cleaning and we find in our refrigerator mold
from even before this yearís Fall Play
We will take a moment to rest
and recall all our hard work
And when pressure stops our bodiesí work
weíll reflect on last yearís perfect line drive,
how we volunteered at a rest
home, ran track in the Spring
(or perhaps preferred the track to play).
It is our abilities that fill the ideal mold.
However our work will continue until Spring
when we will drive away for a summer of play
and rest before we are forced into a new college mold.

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