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Shana Renzema
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Man Of Your People

M

Man Of Your People

Your hell is shaped like you All the doors and windows hidden around corners Your hell writhes with you That same blank wall remains in front of your face no matter which way you turn It is hard to watch you running in circles Especially when you tore out the road signs that would have led you home I gave you all my clothes to help shut out the cold But you’re bigger than me and the seams burst free I am not sorry that I could not fit into your hell It is your comfortable place I am sorry that I did not understand that your ashes keep you warm That the sun will only ever burn you If you wondered where I went I left you to your walls

Oddly, Not Until Now

O

Oddly, Not Until Now

So why, when I have been thirty-one for months, do I look at myself and only now see how I have been turning inside out? Gradually, to be sure, my hands only showing wrinkles like razor cuts on close examination and only to my eye, this great belly filled with child definitely not that of an old woman, no gray at temple or creaking at the joints, but the numbers add up. Only eleven years since a beer would get me slapped into the can. Eleven more and the razor lines will look like the folds in an accordion. Will I fear it? I wouldn't say that, no, especially if the year I'm forty-two I spend the ending of my youth adding to the youth of

Roadside Stones

R

Roadside Stones

Me and my sister used to walk along kicking rocks pretending they were the hollow homes of tiny people, towns built on the inside with the surface curving up around their feet, no horizon, like a colonized asteroid. We used to wonder if they dropped to the ground and sought cover when we kicked their rocks like schoolchildren in an earthquake. Funny when you grow up you find out how right you were. She picked a boulder to live in. I picked a rolling stone.

My Secret Garden

M

My Secret Garden

I have been spending a lot of time tonight reading poems written by someone else when what I am really looking for is the door into the garden growing my own poems. I know I have them. Words mount up like cumulus the way they always have. Just lately I have wondered where the poems are, why they seem to be calling me from behind locked doors to which I have no key. In dreams I wander through a garden maze -- I can hear them chattering just over the wall -- but every turn is wrong. I know they are to my left (but I must go right) or straight ahead, just the other side of that dead end...

UNDERSTAND THIS

U

UNDERSTAND THIS

It will always be your job. No one will ever take care of you.

Glass

G

Glass

I have broken and so I am remaking. cracks fill with something me-colored pieces settle with the shaking of the days bonds form again, surfaces grip so that light as it flows through this crystal shatters out of its coherence. I prism. take my spectrum, you recohere me I am a pile of green glass broken with the want of you. If I reform in this dead space, coalesce in a place lacking life, am I sterile? is love lost if I have no living seed? because here, I begin again, alone. yet love of you is not a thing absorbed it is spawn and perhaps this vessel crazed with cracks and waiting for the blow will hold it better. Perha

Third Time's the Charm

T

Third Time's the Charm

What's it like, little chickie, knowing for sure that you'll never be able to stop throwing your head into the same set of bricks? What's it like knowing that the drive inside you will always make you batter holes in the roadblocks and jump over all the sinkholes in your way? They try to pull the ground out from under you, but the springs in your knees throw you over it in defiance of your head You wonder at yourself even while you throw grappling hooks and clamber up the avalanches and the fallen buildings and the boulders in your way -- how does it feel to know that you'll get bruises and abrasions and broken legs and you'll still

Without, within

W

Without, within

I have waited I have tolerated I have listened I have handled it I have felt the heat of the world on my bare skin I have let myself blister from the lack of you I have slept alone I have gone there voluntarily I have taken every day as it was given I have listened I have not run to follow you This hole in my chest is gangrenous It poisons the source of my blood I shrivel as I wait for this come home

Eliphaz

E

Eliphaz

When I smacked my forehead that time Walking into the air conditioner between class buildings You were the one who walked me to the office. You were the one I was concerned for When you started sleeping with your boyfriend at 14. When you came back to school I ditched class so we could catch up for twenty minutes before you disappeared. I missed you and I prayed for you for seventeen years. When we found each other again you moved your family north to be near me. We made soap together. I still have some. It smells like chamomile. Every time I use it I think about you And about how you turned on the edge of a dime – Abou

To Love and to Not Be Afraid

T

To Love and to Not Be Afraid

So it's like I'm falling into a well It's like the bottom is dropping out of the pool While I try to stay in the shallow end It's like someone took away my water wings It's like the light is fading into that starry point you see When you look at the sun from the bottom of the pond But it's like the water is made of liquid oxygen It's like my lungs are spazzing in reflex until they realize It isn't water, it's concentrated life It's like my limbs just move through instinct until I find that I don't need to swim It's like I'm staring up at that shimmering star Finding that the burning, dry sun isn't really for me

The Gate

Ivana Hollyfield

migration

Lady in the pond

Inspirational Speech

The Rook

the Harp of my life1

Spotlight

Learning God

L

Learning God

These beloveds of mine wend their way through minefields of learning, dig through layers of deadliness for you. Me, too blinded still by the glitter of my tripwire, I dance along the edges of these cliffs believing there is an invisible bridge, casting sand out into the sky, ready to run along the glimmer of walkway it reveals, assume there is no bottom to this gorge, launch off and grow my wings as the wind hits me in the face and think I have help to give to my beloveds. Maybe the difference is that I have left the ground, and they are still pushing poles into the next bit of dirt, mincing toward the next buried mine.
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My Bio
A pillar. Cracked, most likely. Mother of seven, custodian of four, very very very alive. Sparkling at times. Unboring to the point of annoyance; just ask the exes. The dark flows out only when I let it, anymore.

Current Residence: unhome, but comfortable

Tools of the Trade
my keyboard

Devious Journal Entry

Devious Journal Entry

My life will be long for the cup of suffering is far from full

Devious Journal Entry

Devious Journal Entry

he is sleeping. someday he'll sleep here. someday he won't leave ever again. there will be a date on which he'll drive in and not drive out. someday when he sleeps i'll be able to do the same, in the same place, at the same time. until then i operate around a great hollow pressurized air hole that feels like a rock, just behind my breastbone. it's difficult. i'm not doing a very good job.

going crazy

going crazy

waiting for sanity to arrive it should only take about 4 1/2 hours

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