Say What You Want

What I want to say is that I'm hanging,
hanging in there
but also           by a thread.
I seem to be in the middle of something that will never be finished that will never be over that will never be done. When life is a run on sentence
without parole.

The rules about what you can and cannot say, who you can and cannot be are constantly being hammered out by folks wielding hammers which is to say not everyone holds a hammer and certain hammers are only for pounding. Certain hands are only for punching
down.

What I want to say is that I'm with you
I'm with you even when I'm not. I carry on, you carry on, we're carrying on like friendly acquaintances. We wave and smile and carry on. What I want to say is that I'm carrying you
on.

What I don't want to say.
What I wish I could say.
What I'm saying by not saying.

There's despair and there's continuation. There's despair and there's laundry. There's despair and there's consumerism. There's a war and there's reporting on the war. There's despair and there's distance. There's the surface and there's the undercurrent. There's despair and there's another day.
There's me and there's absence. 

What I want to say is that I'm looking
I'm looking for something not forthcoming. I'm looking for something I know to be an illusion. I'm looking for what I can't see. I'm looking because I'm afraid of the dark, I'm afraid of listening, I'm afraid I'll miss the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm looking where there is no light. I'm looking for validation and credence. I'm looking for the impossible. Is it
you?

What I want to say is that brilliance has an expiration date.
What I want to say is that brilliance is often mistaken for something else, somebody else what and who are not you. What I want to say is that brilliance burns. What I want to say is that brilliance can be contained. Brilliance can be buried. Brilliance can be smashed. What I want to say is that brilliance stays active. Brilliance fights back. Brilliance spirals. I'm not looking for brilliance. It finds 
me.

What I want to say is not every word is truth.
There is room for exaggeration, for hyperbole, for tall tall tales. Let me tell you. What I want to say is that poetic license requires no application. Words released to the page have rules they either follow or don't. What I want to say is that you are the rule and you are not the rule. You may have license but you can't always get your way. What I want to say is that truth and honesty don't always have the same address.

What I want to say is that I'm hanging
hanging in there
but         by a thread.
What I want to say is that I'm hanging onto words and what they promise. I'm hanging on to the prospect of receiving myself, hanging on to the prospect of carrying on. What I want to say is that I still look for brilliance. What I want to say is that I forgive the truth for being dishonest. What I want to say is that validation is temporary and despair tastes like many things unsweet. 

What I do not want to say
What I wish I could say
What I'm saying by not saying.



*Here is an audio version recorded by my friend and colleague, Mischele Jamgochian:
Cluster of white bark birch tree trunks against yellowish leaf background near top of photo.
<a href=”http://Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@austincppc?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>Peng Chen</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/collections/922471/abstract-nature?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>UnsplashPhoto by Peng Chen

8 thoughts on “Say What You Want

  1. Me too.

    You have really captured that feeling of saying half of our truth because the whole truth is too much to say and too much for so many people to hear. I’m hanging on (by a thread) too.

  2. Oh wow. I feel like you’ve reached into my innermost mind and written many of the words swirling in there. You’ve taken them, straightened them and then let them swirl into something more than I could say. Thank you.

  3. Wow, I can see these words- what you say by not saying- performed as spoken word. So much truth hides in the pauses and the repetition. Your metaphors are powerful- “When life is a run on sentence without parole.” Thank you for sharing.

  4. The poetry is brilliance, and brilliance fights back. It found you here, and speaks to me. The reader of your poem honors it, too. What a powerful way to begin this morning. “What I want to say is I’m carrying you/on.”

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