14 November 2017

Need More Water

I don't come from
witches. If anything,
I am dehydrated
and need more water,
like a mermaid
or a siren.

My home is driftwood and
weird, abandoned
particle board,
bloated, edgeless.

I am not as glamorous
as other secrets claimed
by the ocean.

My skin is
as rough as
my heart.

I saw myself on land,
and my home transformed.

I heard myself,
and I was hoarse and broken.

Where I am from,
ruts and roots
are pronounced
the same way.

That means
that I am not a witch.
That means
that I am a different imposter,
shaped from the clay,
or not.
Whittled from driftwood,
or not.

Or maybe I am someone else's story,
a dream captured,
looped in a child's mind.




09 November 2017

So Much Left

My advice to you:
Be an angry woman,
not a stern still-life
but a jaw-clencher,
a mom voice,
a "get back here,"
a "put
that
down."
Don't apologize.
Yes, write letters,
but also make calls.
Spell things out.
Be the type
to drink an old-fashioned,
for you are muddled sugars
with bitters
and damn,
are you tired
with so much left to say,
so much left.

06 November 2017

still ill

no place is safe
not a church
not a temple
not a movie theater
not a school
where you work
where you relax
no place is safe
from angry men
from "men with purpose"
from eggshell egos
no place is safe
each place has potential
for danger, for peace
for welcoming the fragile,
for punishing them
no place is safe
from us





05 October 2017

I Love It When My War Criminal Holds Me

I love it when
my war criminal holds me
after my disasters.
He shushes me and forces
my head to his heart.
He uses Dollar Tree paper towels
to mop-up my sadness.
He uses compliments
instead of money
to mend me.
I am still incomplete.
The pills don't fill
all of the holes in me,
and the tampons
only stop
some of the bleeding.
But it will be OK,
he says to my graying face,
a cloud in a dark and angry sky.
He ignores the clouds
around me
to look into my eyes.
"I will continue to say
I will defend you," he says.
"I will continue to say it."



10 September 2017

A Flare

I'm bad at keeping in touch
so many chewed pen caps
so many starts and stops

To be fair, I sent a warning,
a flare sparkling
against the backdrop of my disorder

And I still never left my bed,
refusing you but apologizing
devouring cans of peaches

This message will only reach you
if you put down your gun
and pick up your phone

Cold coffee reaches your lips
before I do, before I catch my breath
I stopped thinking just long enough

I dream in alcohol
scratching little words to you
each letter weightless,

each syllable an awkward situation
I'm sorry
I'm sorry





06 September 2017

9/6/17

I was taught from a young age to be hypercritical of my body, especially my legs. I was always ashamed of the largeness of my features. I was jealous of people who had nice legs, because I did not like mine. Despite the daily hard work they performed, they were not aesthetic. I never showed them off. Spider veins crept up on them when I was a teen. Cellulite followed. I've realized, now that I'm in my thirties, that they are pretty in their own way, and they belong to me. They are big and they are mine. They carry me. They are strong, and I am strong.

30 August 2017

Cranks and Cranes

There is no novelty to illness,
but bystanders either look too closely
or prefer to observe
from miles away,
still intrigued,
twisting their long necks to see
as they get a little closer.

"Hey, I need help,"
becomes a tired,
yet necessary, phrase,
once the scene
comes into focus.
It's a statement
reluctantly uttered,
with little spikes catching
in your throat.

The listener becomes
just as prickly, sometimes.
Other times, just tired.
Not as tired as you are,
having spent
all of your adult life sick.

Sometimes, there's a little
skip in the mix,
when the edgelords
have quieted
and the soft, strong tones
float to the surface,
crisp effervescence:
"I want you to live."

And that's who you try to listen to.
Not the cranks or the cranes.
When your own voice emerges,
unwavering, that's even better,
but for now,
you take what you can get.



14 August 2017

Untitled


violence begets violence,
they said,
and the others saw
the invitation
and took
their backyard torches
and arrived
like a wave of fire
over the town.
this is for you,
the others said,
and blood
stained their mouths
as they chanted
blood and soil
blood and soil
and mashed
their cold bodies against
time and history,
shoved their lives through
blockades of clergy,
of punks,
of comrades,
waves of fire.
violence begets violence,
they said,
as the warm glow,
crackling and humming,
grew louder


30 July 2017

Rattle, Rattle

Sleep over
hunger.
Hunger
over sleep.
I don't believe
in the devil,
but the devil sure
believes in me.

Pill bottle is a rattle,
lulling and lulling,
and I,
with my
childproof hands
wring each fear carefully.

Sleep is only scary
when it ends,
so the bed swallows me
and doesn't spit me out.

I don't believe
in the devil,
but he believes in me.
Hush, hush,
he repeats.
Hush.
And my breath slows
and my eyes close.
Rattle, rattle.





19 June 2017

Consider Supporting My Fundraiser

Dear readers,
Thank you for reliably visiting my blog over the years. Your readership means a lot to me. As some of you may know, my health hasn't been the greatest, and as a result, I am asking for your help. I am having trouble paying for my medicine and accumulating medical bills, so my sister and I have made a crowdfunding site to try to help. Please consider donating and/or sharing the link: https://www.youcaring.com/shannonmckeehen-854019.
Thank you so much for sticking around!
Warmly,
Shannon