Tag Archives: Repression

We Affect Each Other


We affect each other

push and pull on each other’s emotions

if we drown we drag people down with us

if we fly others draft in our wake.


vent your frustrations into somebody’s ear

watch their smile disappear


laugh until they can’t help laughing too

love until they are loving you


It gets bigger.

Sometimes you are part of something beyond yourself

sometimes you are angry for no reason

and the people on the street match your mood

sometimes you overhear conversations

or see a trend on social media

which inexplicably echo your private feelings.


Is it the moon?

Herd instinct?



When I didn’t have feelings

I watched it happen

distantly curious.

Now that I’ve found my heart

I am swayed with the populace

flowing where they flow.

Ardently curious

and still no answer.














You take my hand in yours


You take my hand in yours

But I’m too cold to feel it.

When I was younger

You were what I always wanted

This moment

The culmination of my childhood dreams.

But life takes bites

With every swim past.

This hand, that eye, this leg

This heart

All lost

All replaced

With perfectly functioning


Now I have you.

You who were once so precious to me

But I can’t

For all that I am

Remember why.













On the Death of a Mouse


Molly caught a mouse in the garage.

Don and I watch her poke at it.

She is proud.

She sprawls happily on her side

The picture of feline contentment

Stretches one sharp little paw and give it a lazy push.

It twitches a little.

How do you think she killed it, Don asks.

It doesn’t have any visible wounds.

And although she is a fine mouser

She never learned to eat them.

Maybe she scared it to death, I say.

Maybe it had a heart attack.

Prey can sometimes panic themselves to death.

They are so close to panic already

Their nervous systems strung tight as harp wire.

How could he not break under the weight

Of the persistent cat’s killing intent?


I go into the garage and get the shovel

Scoop the mouse up

And take it outside.

It still twitches.

So I drop it onto a shady spot beneath the maple

And bash its brains out with the shovel.


I remember when killing was hard.

My first mouse in a mouse trap haunted me for three days

And intermittently again

For two more years.

My first roadkill made me nauseous with empathy

For about five minutes.


After a while

Killing didn’t bother me anymore.

What bothered me more than anything

Was the fact that I wasn’t bothered.


I butchered a rooster

To see if I really was what I suspected I might be.

It was easy.

My only regret

Was that the knife wasn’t sharp enough.

With this act

Came the dizzying knowledge

That I was capable of worse.

Of much, much worse.

Is it this way for farmer housewives

For butchers

For hunters

For soldiers?


How do you come to terms

With your own capacity for good or evil?

I thought a lot about it

(I did a lot of thinking then)

I decided that it was like driving.

At first, when driving, I was afraid

Of the weapon I controlled.

One impulsive wrench of the wheel into oncoming traffic

And how many people would die?

What was stopping me?

I waited for myself to do it

But I never did.

So it is with murder.

Knowing that I am capable

Does not change anything.

I trust myself not to do something awful for no reason.

Coming to terms with one’s own power

Is a test of ethics.

I haven’t hurt anybody.

I don’t plan on it.

But knowing that seed is in me

And embracing it

As part of myself

Means it has no need to grow.


I wipe off the shovel and go inside

With only a slight and transient wonder

At my lack of feeling.

I forget all about it

Until recounting my day in my journal.

What feelings did I have today? I write.

And I come up with seven other notable events in my day

Before I remember killing the mouse.














On Compassion

Watching Kato kitty be sick is difficult

I sort of understand his pain

It’s not like raging menstrual cramps are the same as recovering from surgery

But I know what it is to feel like shit

For hours

When all you can do is whimper

And you’re too miserable to keep fluids or meds down

And your world is just pain, and nausea, and the hope that it’ll be over

I know what that is


I also know

What it is to be alienated

To walk around with a little touch of a serial killer inside you

To watch people cry

And feel like some kind of unbreakable spirit

But ten layers down you ache to know that release

Respect and envy their vulnerability

And wonder what it is

To be human


We are made by what we used to be

I have been given this compassion

I am grateful

To have been there

And to be back

Even if it’s just

So I can give a cat sympathetic pets


When my mom died

One person broke through to me


She listened

She asked questions

But most important

She did not pity

And because she regarded me as one with strength

I was able to be weak in front of her

Because she had watched her father die

She had that perfect compassion

The kind that really means something


I hope to be

Crazy days

A little bit about overcoming my emotional repression. This one was hard to share, I actually wrote it yesterday but didn’t have the courage to share it until now. Funny, what I’m afraid of.


What an emotional day.

I felt crazy at work to start with

The photographer’s flattery got me off keel

Then I got screamed at by a random road rager

Though I thought I took it well, when I got home I cried

But… in the photographs, my smile is real

And the tears had come freely

For me, this is a big step forward.

I rewatched a show and it had more import

And I thought, oh my God,

I’ve been missing out on so much of the storytelling experience

I’m going to have to read all the classics over again

Goddamnit all.