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dead

if i were to talk about my killing
what would i say?
what could i tell that would
alleviate the pain of
my ghost’s
soul?
what song would set me free
and find me flying
finally
to heaven?
what tricky story would wind
its legs around you
and run me far from
the smoking clutches of hell?
if i told you about
the day i was killed
and the way i was killed
truth would leak from this
crafted monastery of deception
and the whole of me
would crumble
and be lost on the
wind.

dead.   by denelle hobbs

*note*  this is NOT the poem i mentioned in a recent blogpost  “This girl might have been lost…”   that poem i am still looking for, but found this one today so thought i’d put this up instead

just me

Today it is me here
lying on my porch
face to the sky as I
listen
to the wind
sweeping through my
neighborhood
and nudging the trees,
encouraging them to
talk to me
once again.
Today it is me here
sharing space with
the world
as I study my trees
which have already begun
to change
into colors so vivid
my crayon box cannot
replicate them.
Today it is me here,
and I’m not vying for
this body
and it is only me for now
and this precious moment
is unique because
of the singularity
of voices
I hear inside.
Today it is me here
and I revel in this day
to myself
in the quietness of
the hour
and the stillness
of my usually
too chatty
soul.

little fella

there’s a demon in my belly

just dying to get out.

well ok

in reality

it’s in my ribcage

pounding against my heart and

throwing itself against my lungs.

sometimes i can feel it’s

long

skritchy nails

stretching up toward my throat

trying to gag me –

to silence me –

to choke the life out of me.

so i drink a gallon of water

to try to drown him out and

flush him away.

little creep.

relentlessly he

comes crawling back to me,

threatening to

assault my body

and invade me again

if i as much as open my mouth

and breathe.

c. 2009 denelle hobbs

 

growing happiness

today i read a good – but difficult – book.  and i cried.  and cried more.  and wondered why the world is the way it is.  why life is like this.  why do we have to have death and loss, sorrow and anguish?  but even while wondering this, i knew that i wouldn’t trade my sorrows.  all of my hurts and pains have made me stronger, or more compassionate, more diligent, or more wise.  all of my losses have made me grateful for what i do have, and hopeful that i can appreciate the beauty in life while it is in front of me, instead of worrying about what MIGHT happen, or focusing on the hardships.

and hopefully, as i focus more on the good than the bad, more of the good will come to me, and remind me of the wonder of life, in all its challenges.

still, i wish i could write some decent poetry when i’m NOT depressed

skeletons in my closet

 

the skin is so tender there,

so soft, so smooth.

i’m surprised at how easily it

opens for me.

like grating cheese

or cutting off a pat of butter.

it just opens up ~

yielding ~

and offers my inner secrets to

the bathroom tile.

and out seep my skeletons,

and cascade to my feet

like a little gothic convention

gathering in the night.

and they

drip. drip. drip.

down to the ground

as though they have jumped from the

highest cliff

headlong

into the sea of grief

and sorrow

which is myself

and my skin.

and my bathroom floor.

which is now collecting these

secretive, skeletal remains

and is busy hiding the secrets

in cracks and

crevices.

a splash here, a splash there,

a little sticky clump on the

sink, even.

it clumps up so fast, into

stringy little ropes, which makes

me wonder ~

are the skeletons trying to

form a rope on purpose?

are they trying to climb back

up

into my head to keep

hiding from the world?

or are they just trying to kill me?

‘cuz i can do that myself.

another cup

 

saturday morning finds me

sitting in my doorway

listening to the pitter pat

of the falling rain,

and soaking up the cool

wind blowing on my face

and skin.

the sky is blanketed

in a quilt of clouds,

all different shades of

gray and silver.

and my bare feet long to

take me to the soft wet

grass

and through the cold

dirty gutters

of my youth.

but my city feet are

too tender now

and i turn back inside

for another cup

of coffee

and a blanket that

i hope will

cover up my sadness.

the Archivist

 

There are many names I had as a child. Nicknames given to me by parents and grandparents, and maybe friends. Names like Nellie, and Bunny, and Big D. Many of my childhood friends called me Nellie, a natural derivative of my full name Denelle. My grandmother called me Nellie Bly, though at the time I didn’t know she was actually sort of naming me after another person. Was my grandmother prophetic? Could she actually see into the future – as I sometimes can – enough to know that this name would fit me so well? Was she prophetically laying on me an adventuresome personality full of spunk and a disregard for conventional roles and behavior, just like my namesake?

My father called me Tiger, and more often Scooter. To this day I’m not certain he remembers my real name, because it is always Scooter from him. It’s a name I’m fond of. My mother called me Christina Marie when I was in trouble. And I used to be called Denny. This was a name I chose on my own. But unlike other names (Sweet Pea, for example, which never really took) I managed to force my family to call me Denny for an entire year, or maybe longer. Other names I used to go by I have found in secret places, like diaries, old coloring books, and that sort of thing. Christi. Sandi. Cindy. I had secret names, and secret codes, and secret lives that I am only now trying to discover and unfold.

But many of my selves have no specific name, though the individuality is very distinct. There are parts of me that existed in the past, and experienced certain things that others didn’t experience. And these people maybe weren’t brave enough, or stupid enough to stick themselves out and demand a different name. And so, to help myself – and my sister – identify these people, we are giving them names now.

Some of these people you will probably get to know over the course of time, if you hang around the blog. Stormy. Joey-girl. Mexico. You’ll hear me talk about Scritchy, and Lil’ Bird, maybe. Or Bubbles. But today you will hear about The Archivist.

Some of my people, like The Archivist, have titles rather than names. The Archivist actually just got her title, and thank the gods for it. One night talking to my sister, The Archivist pushed her way to the surface, angry and tired and frustrated. And swearing. She was nameless at the time, a hidden identity that had not previously surfaced. I have to admit that I must have known of her frustrations and issues, because I’d written a poem a year or two earlier, complaining of the same things she was lamenting.

She was a sort of janitor, this one. For a great many years – I imagine since my late teens – no one in “the system” or “Team Denelle” wanted to admit that we had others running around in there. No one wanted to deal with the craziness of being Multiple. So walls went up, and everyone went into their own hidey hole, and all the innards went into lock down, needing to hide emotions, thoughts, instincts and memories. This made it difficult to recall things sequentially (like which teachers I had in which grades), and immediately (like where did I lay down my keys, or that missing bra?)

This janitor person was probably created to move all the memories around. Some of my people are too little, and they don’t have certain memories like the others, or even vocabulary advanced enough to explain some of the things that went on in my life. Those memories couldn’t be around the littles, because that would be upsetting. So they needed to be dumped somewhere else. Some of my people hated my mom and loved my father, and vice versa. Some personalities loved everyone in the world, and some people would have grown up to be assassins. But everyone, regardless of name, personality traits or clothing preferences, all of my people were plagued by our past. Our history. The skeletons emerging out of the closet, chasing us down, and trying to consume our life. So for years and years, this janitor person tried to bury the memories somewhere, in some hidden compartment of the soul, or under some forgotten year of the life; a giant dust ball to be swept under a rug.

The Archivist came out one night, complaining. There is no more room, she said. There is no place left to go. No place left to hide. We have run from this past so many times, and hid in all the good places. Now there is just shit everywhere, and it’s exhausting. Hiding information from everyone is impossible. Trying to maintain secrecy about this issue is impossible. This personality was at the end of her rope, because she couldn’t keep up with everything. Where do I put all this shit??? How am I supposed to shovel this shit around forever??? Yeah, my sister and I could see that trying to hide reality from yourself was an overwhelming task. Plus there were no good bennies.

So we gave her a name, or a title really, and told her that instead of hiding and burying all of the information, she should catalogue it. We talked to her about some of the movies we’d seen, like Dream Catchers which, though very weird, has a fabulous scene revealing an intricate and complex memory system in someone’s brain, complete with winding staircases, circular library vault, and oodles of books full of collected information. Harry Potter was helpful too, with Pensieves that could reveal the past, but beautiful little bottles that would contain the memories until they were needed. Instead of having all of these horrible memories lying around in the brain, like a barn full of shit, we could organize them, label them, file them away in little bottles, drawers, and boxes. She would be called The Archivist, and it would be her job to retrieve information as it was needed, and she could put it away in the manner she decided.

Wow, sorry. Long story. But since then, since the naming of The Archivist a few months ago, things have been a lot smoother for ‘the system’. Memories emerge in a less traumatic way. Associations are made more easily. I still can’t remember things I want to in the middle of a conversation with someone. I still know that I know the answer to something, and can’t manage to pull it out of the bank in time for the current discussion, but the ebb and flow of my daily existence seems to be going more smoothly. And I am increasingly more able to actually FEEL the things I have gone through. And THAT is a miracle right there, because there has been a need for detachment my whole life. But that is a whole different blog, for a whole other time.

For now, I have to give Kudos to my Archivist, and tell her she is doing an amazing job.  It’s kind of handy, having all these people inside. It’s kind of like being a fabulous museum full of wonderful art pieces, and all of my staff people have their own little jobs. You should try it sometime. Just be sure to include extra closets and basements for the storage of stuff you don’t want to look at, because leaving it around everywhere is dangerous. Or just start off by hiring yourself someone to take care of it all, but be sure they understand their job, and be sure to treat them right. Because it’s an important job, recalling and recounting the tales of life. And everyone could use an Archivist.

rightness

 

i’m in the wrong place at the right time.

i’ve never understood that idea or phrase,

thinking always that it meant

to be accidentally at the bank

at the moment it was being robbed

or to be finally sun bathing

in the nude

when a freak and heavy hailstorm hits

and you’ve only just gotten your

nipples pierced.

i didn’t know it meant this.

that i might be here

in this place …

the wrong place.

wrong for me in so many ways and

so many facets

and for so very many reasons a place

that is altogether not right.

yet it is quite the right time for me

to be wrong.

if ever there was a time

well suited for the wrongness

it is now.

and it is right,

this wrongness.

and thus the strange phrase finally

fits snugly inside my brain.

(written summer of 2009.  i think.  or fall.  maybe.)

ghosts and beer

 

God seems like a ghost

from a dream

long ago.

he always wants more

from me.

always asking for

more

and i’m

always having

to give.

sacrifice something.

toss him a bone.

throw in all my own self

own desires

give away all my

own personality

to feed the complex

of a god who says

he is

invincible.

how strong can he

really be

if my little life

breaks him down

and makes him

jealous

angry

vindictive?

little ole me?

am i that much of a threat?

so he yells and

simmers

and

gnashes his teeth

at me

while i go have

a beer

and wait for the

night to come.

too many winters

 

Like a budding spring tree,

I can feel the change coming.

I can sense the

creativity

opening up in me –

slowly, but with purpose

and determination.

But I …

I have seen too many winters.

I have felt the chill

and shivered in it’s embrace.

I have crawled back

into bed

on mornings when

the best I had to offer

was a tested skill

of wrapping myself in

my blankets –

tight –

like a little human

burrito.

And these cold

cold

mornings have left their

print on me,

and seared my body

with an undying

kiss of

frozen-ness.

So I run from life

at the first sign of

winter

and I hide from it all,

afraid my sweatshirts

won’t be warm enough to

protect me

from the elements.

And when the tiny

beautiful voice of spring

rises in my heart

and whispers to me that

I too

can be free

and healthy

and alive

and powerful

I run to my closet

once again

and bury my creative

self

in a pile of sweaters

and blankets and

scarves.

For I must keep her warm –

this muse –

and safely protected.

For I have seen

too many winters,

and I know of the

barrenness of the trees.