Wednesday, February 10, 2010


(This poem is probably the most personally delving that I've posted here. It's addressed to a dynamic that has been with me since childhood. Although it wasn't my fault originally, I understand that I am solely responsible for perpetuating it. I post the poem in case you see shades of yourself in my words (but most won't). Maybe my self-reflections can help you break your own destructive cycles.)

I don't look at you anymore
not in the eye
you've noticed
even if you don't say
I used to think it was no big deal
to look away
just something I sometimes need
in order to think
or to keep my thoughts orderly
like a quirk
or a bad habit
for the first time
I understand
it's more
because I've learned
there are two kinds of people in my life
#1-the few I hope will help me
(when I admit I need it)
#2-all of the #1's once they've failed
(by hurting more than helping)
and I think you know
where you fall
because I see (imagine) a world of
saviors and enemies
and I avoid your face, your eyes
because you are my (emotional) enemy
if I look
I might falter
and put the knife in your hand
when you've already shown
such a zest for cutlery

but now
my look away
means more to me
because I've learned phrases like
disorganized attachment
and biological paradox
because so many times I've been misdirected
the child-parent by the parent-child
wobbling on a tiny iceberg
baited and switched
picked free by your needs
on an icy sea

I've tried
too hard
(crazy hard)
because I know how to try
but not to receive without strings attached
and the only solace
is to be the savior
because who doesn't love a savior?
(well, most people
don't love a savior
in the end
because help tends to crimp
your style)
and I'm so good
at chosing people
unprepared to really give
so I don't look at you
even if I talk to you
the feeling
I don't understand
is fear
--my fear at your fear--
and what it will ask of me
I was always a means to an end
and it's going to drag me down again
I won't let you
drag me down
but in the not letting
maybe I've forgotten
how to really look
at anyone anymore
but now that I know
I sure as hell
am going to


Carrie Clevenger said...

POWERFUL metaphors. Wow this one is a punch in the head. Great job Jason!

Kate said...

I think I get this. I think I was this, once, but thankfully not for a long time now.

This poem really illustrates for me how sometimes a part of our psyche seems locked in the time it was formed. Instead of living and evolving, it's an animatronic Disney show playing out the same way each time we go there.

Unknown said...

wow! I have bee nthinking along the same lines from past few days... A nice piece of work..

the walking man said...

The mind that can (many still can't) think these thoughts through to the conclusion expressed here is one well on the road to knowing the truth of the inner being and the conclusion of the consciousness of light.

Tabitha Bird said...

I agree with the walking man!

Great poem Jason. So many images I identify with.

Karen said...

Wordsworth said, "The child is father of the man." I think so many times that we were formed without our own assistance by those early years. How unfair that the luck of the draw determines directions in our lives! We can only hope that we learn from the past and don't repeat it.

Kim said...

Fabulous, Jason. The more we are different, the more we are the same. It is our life's challenge to conquer all the early misdirection.

Unknown said...

Knowing the inner workings of our own minds is often the most difficult thing in the world to grasp. Knowing why you do the things you do is the first step to changing them, if you so choose.

Moving poem.

Bernita said...

I hear you.

Rosaria Williams said...

The comment form hides the poem; so, I can only talk in general terms.

When we look at someone we remember who we were with them, with ourselves. This is a profound concept to explore. The Mirror metaphor, though standard and used a lot, is still quite potent here.

DILLIGAF said...

Destructive cycles have to be broken

There is no alternative.

I speak from the idea.

Just break the fucking things.

Then you're kids grow up wise and happy.

I could say more but I won't.

Not now.

Maybe one day.

I broke the cycle and I admit to being inordinately proud of that.

Take care old bean.


Chris Eldin said...

This is beautiful. It reminds me of the one line in the movie Avatar that really stuck with me, "I see you." Everyone wants to be seen, really seen for who they are.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, really. Like a journey through an emotion.

I have a gift for you over on my blog. :)


Anonymous said...

Carrie, I appreciate the sentiment. Thanks. :)

Katie, yes, I think we very often get locked into a dynamic early on. It roots so deeply, we don't even perceive it as separate from ourselves.

Tanmaya, welcome! I glad you felt a resonance here.

Walking Man, I believe that too. How can we even begin to fight back if we can't see what's happening?

Tabitha, thanks for the solidarity. :)

Karen, strange how we don't realize what is happening to us in childhood. I guess I prided myself at being put into the parent role as a child. Now, I see how bad that was for my development.

Kim, I'm definitely committed to smoking it out and re-learning.

Maybe Genius, so very true. Our brain is our best tool, but its also deeply handicapped when it comes to analyzing itself objectively.

Bernita, thank you. :)

Lakeviewer, we fall into those roles again and again with the same people.

Four Dinners, you have a right to be proud. I have great respect for your achievement! I'm in a street fight with my own demons.

Chris, that line struck me too! I love how that concept was so central to Avatar. Thanks for making the analogy here!

TLH, this one was hard to post. I glad to have made the journey, though. (I'm coming over now.)

chong y l said...

Thanks Jason for the intimate sharing. Sometimes it takes great courage to open up.
I was touched in a naked sort of way, by one wwriter with/to another. Thou art of generous spirit in gifting this poen:)

adrienne trafford said...

this is very moving...and i love when a person put words to feelings i can't express..."because
the feeling
I don't understand
is fear
--my fear at your fear--"

Meghan said...

It's such a deep piece that I actually had to read it twice to really understand what was happening. It really is brave of you Jason to share those feelings. Thank you for that. I was really moved by this.

Anonymous said...

Desiderata, thank you for your warmth. It was a pleasure to share.

Adriene, thanks, my Bucks County friend. ;) It was well worth posting if I voiced something meaningful for you.

Meghan, thanks for being so receptive and taking the time to let it unfold. :)

Vesper said...

Jason, I can feel it...
I never had the courage to say it myself - maybe I could use your words as a reminder.

Terri said...

The first stanza made me cry a little; it touched a nerve. These are powerful words. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Anonymous said...

Vesper, that would really warm my heart if I helped get something out of the shadows.

Terri, the first stanza is the most brutal, yes. You must have felt that too. Here's virtual hug for you. :)

itsyvitsy said...

Quite a few realities, harsh ones, have been brought to light here. I cannot relate to it completely, but I can sure remember people talking about it. It is a wonderful piece.

Aniket Thakkar said...

You have given us peeps into your life with posts about your old home, your recurring dreams... but you've gone deep with this one.

Can't say that I completely understand how you feel/felt. But I can totally understand where this piece comes from.

I wonder if the need to be acknowledged by that one person ever dies...Mine hasn't...yet.

Anonymous said...

Vittaldas, I appreciate your listening to these thoughts.

Aniket, it was good for me to order my thoughts and emotions with this poem, even if it's not altogether clear. Thanks for listening!

awareness said...

jason...your poem plucked a chord in me and it continues to resonate since the first time I read it. the key relationships in our lives, the foundational ones can be so complicated to sort out and to release from when its necessary. Our personal tapestries are scattered with the feelings, memories, and ongoing interactions, both positively and negatively.... web-like really. It's so difficult to know what is authentically you and to understand the parts which have been impacted by another. Does that make any sense? (I have a cold and my brain is pretty foggy, but I wanted to comment)
No one should have the power to pull the energy out of someone else. If we have any control over ourselves, it is that we have the choice as to how we respond, react, and feel. Yet, we allow others to emotionally kidnap us.
Keep writing......! Thoughts are simply that until they are transformed by expressive words. Then, they can take flight.

ps. if you are interested, I can recommend a couple of books you may want to check out on this. email me any time.

Tess Janssen said...

Damn... Just a few words in each line, but I'll be thinking about this for a long time. I think I've got it, but I'm not quite sure. It's kinda like a hazily blur, then again, I feel like a hazily blur.
I did get the last part, though, and I'm right there with ya. Just, the other way around. I'm too critical when it comes down to people. And things. Basically, everything, lol.
'and I think you know
where you fall
because I see (imagine) a world of
saviors and enemies' and
'I might falter
and put the knife in your hand
when you've already shown
such a zest for cutlery'
were absolutely brilliant parts, and I felt slight shivers rolling up and down my spine.
Great job.