Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Green Maples" by Anna Contessa edited by Mike Boylan

Writer Michael Boylan asked me if I would mind him editing one of my poems. Curious, I agreed. It is a short poem called "Green Maples." Here are the results.

Boylan's edit:

The definitive stamps in the treetops.
Stamps like handprints across the sky.
Summer is the season of brilliant green tempests.
Tempestuous in its smooth, silken shudders.
Moss and mushrooms relish the cool space.
Where bare feet touch forgiving earth.
Tiny creatures and wisps of tree's seeds.
Explore the vacant, still sky in this eternal shade.
I long to lay down below and slumber.
Rather than wilt outside of the protection.
In the safety I could bask unasked.

Growing together like old friends.

The original:

The definitive stamps in the treetops.
Stamps like handprints across the sky.
Summer is the season of brilliant green tempests.
Tempestuous in its smooth, silken shudders.
I long to lay down below and slumber, rather than wilt outside of the protection.
In the safety I could bask unasked.

Growing together like old friends.

So I like what Boylan did. He fleshed the short poem out and I think it's an improvement. Thank you so much Mike!

Mike Boylan is a yoga teacher who lives in Boulder, CO.


It's when you no longer have what you had.
It's when your life is robbed of the cherished.
Desertion is like the desert.
How can I walk in this barren landscape?
When I am confronted by friends I soon find that they are all the same.

My friends are working for the enemy.
Any friend I have is there on purpose.
Or rather, the great actors of the world are found in common people.
So, I am glad that I never trusted a soul.
But what happens when the selfish takes you.

I am selfish, I am irresponsible, I am a disaster.
Your desertion makes sense entirely.
What doesn't make sense is the betrayal of the wise.
I would think that smart people would remain true.
Matter of fact, we have all betrayed.

I keep telling myself that there is a reason for everything that happens.
And then I suffer and try to let go.
If the price I paid for what I got was low, then so was the result.
Life is about showing results, being successful, a great person.
I must have paid a low price, because I am classified by society as worthless.

I have been denied and discredited at every turn by everyone I know.
I am the ultimate outcast, because it's not allowed.
I feel I can't think what I think, I feel I cannot move.
No matter which way I turn it is the wrong way.
Or are the obstruction.

I am glad that you're going.
And I can be free.
I am glad that you're flying into the ether without me.
You once said that I shouldn't get involved, because it was too much.
That was the guidance I should have taken.

It's a misfortune that you are lost in your darkness and obsession.
If I was ever obsessed with you it's over.
And I was never obsessed the way you are.
Am I really your worst enemy?
Or are you afraid that I will ruin the life that you created just as I ruin material things?

It's not a light matter.
And I die every day.
With nothing to show.
Yet I don't blame you, because I know, I know.
I was the one, I took the bait.

I imagine you planning even my birth and waiting to meet me.
Your creation, because you are my God?
Then why do you want to destroy me?
God doesn't want that and sometimes neither do you.
Despite what I'm thinking people are warning me from L.A.

I only came back because you were in pain.
Now I am the one that's hurting and it's all the same.
I'm down and you're up.
I'm your slave and you are the Master.
Because you've worked so much harder and have more years under your belt.

I forgot that women should always be treated as chattel.
I misremember so many things.
I seem so subservient and willing.
Do you know what I am thinking?
I wouldn't tell you even if you asked.

My friends are all compromised and my family too.
But more and more people know that it's true.
There is something at work here, that much is clear.
I am unworthy, I am undear.
Victory is inevitable with this amount of fear.

If I become a victor I will be locked down first.
I won't have a place to hide or stray.
I will be released into the world, but I'll never be myself again.
Because I once was untamable and I once was free.
If I wanted to be .001% of the population would you let me be?

The exception to the rule is often misjudged.
And I am sick and tired of the impossible tasks.
There are certain things that no one can accomplish and I am not ready.
No money involved, except for the miser...hoarding away and punishing for fun.
Please go ahead and retaliate I am done.

Your emissaries who spy all look alike.
And it's obvious who's setting me up.
Setting me up and putting me down.
Keep her weak, let her drown.
Supposing I don't really care?

I do what I do because I can.
It's not that great an effort.
The hard part was watching my people all turn.
Paranoid that's me and I am the best.
The best at playing the part of the fool.

Or perhaps they are only doing what you want them to for my sake.
Because you wouldn't care about them without me.
And am I that alluring, am I that enticing?
I have had my share of rejection.
Anyone who has been rejected a bunch knows how that feels.

I let you in closer and if I behave you act nice.
But when you conquer me you turn on a whim.
You go to so much trouble, it's trouble for him.
And if I am an inconvenience then why keep having me back?
Am I forcing you in a direction that you'd rather not take?

I fear that I am making you into someone you hate.
You loved yourself when you were the best at being the worst.
Even in the beginning you knew that you would end up working for me.
That was the price and that is the choice.
Either you let me go, your addiction, or you become the second in command.

Because people don't listen to you the way that I do.
And they don't try to mend you.
Because you are so cruel.
Why would anyone want to fix someone so unkind?
That's what I get: the worse it is the less help and attention.

Unless you're valuable, have information, and wow the crowd with your looks.
Even the checkers at the supermarket know my name and I have never met them before.
Is it credit to you that I am treated like a treasure.
Maybe you made me that way, but you treat me like trash.
Wait a minute, you have always abused me.

You have always hurt me in a way that I can't even fathom.
Your deeds and your actions are beyond the conceivable.
And yet you tell me to write like a middle class American chick writing some book.
I have the guts to challenge you next door.
That's what you like and you always wanted more.

We challenged and challenged and rose to great heights.
But there's nothing to show, because neither of us will sell out.
I would rather die then give them my soul.
You said it was yours, but you are so wrong.
My soul is with God and you are his mechanism.

Does it hurt you to know that you are only acting on behalf of the population?
It's called The Purge and you are going strong.
But I smell it on you and sense it in your sinew.
I know when you've done it and I can't bear the weight on my chest.
You don't seem to mind if I separate myself, because in the end you do care for me.

You always tried to warn me and to let me get away.
But it never happened.
Despite the warnings and the concern you took what you wanted and the rest will burn.
If I hear sirens now I know they are not coming for me.
Although at a restaurant I once heard a man say, "Oh, she's here, better call 911"

That's because I bring calamity in my wake.
Although it's slowed down.
Because the older you get the less you are inclined.
And your friends call you pussy whipped, because they know you're weak and it's their time to climb.
I have no choice I will sit and watch you go down.

Because despite all your bullshit, without me I know you are going down.
I did my work while everyone criticized my decisions.
I worked harder than anyone I know.
But I never got any credit and no one will ever know.
When I get my accolades my work will be easy.

I won't have to play 10 different parts at once.
I won't have to save people.
I won't be the last choice anymore.
It is reversing as we speak.
I am in front and you are the only one who can keep.

Keep on protecting the one that you sought.
Keep on promoting the one that you've got.
Because in the end you are loyal, hardworking, and fast.
If I am an actress then I am not last.
You are no demon, although I try to paint you that way.

It's just the energy you bring back, because you're doing the dirt.
I am the clean one, the way you wanted me to be.
I am alone and yet I am free.
Remember the statue in the court that no one could defile?
It was priceless, invaluable, but surrounded by fear.

No one came close, because they knew what was near.
If I am the statue and you are my guard, then won't you always resent me for making you take on that task.
That's why you'll leave me when I am no longer the stunning one that I am.
And finally in my heart I give you permission, because I understand.
Just remember that throughout my middle and late years I will always worship you and wonder where you are.

I don't believe that you can die.
I think you're immutable, from another place.
One where the laws that govern our world don't exist.
And somehow I have been privileged with a glimpse into that space.
Please remember me not as the disaster, but rather as the one that was worthy of love.

If anyone has ever told you that you don't know what love is (and I suspect that they have) just know that they're blind and I'm sorry I won't sing that song.
I was once a person who stopped by snowy woods, but I did not want hours, hours to sleep.
I am drowning in this pressure, I am drowning in this flux.
Yet I am never allowed to give up.

I was told I am completely not self sufficient.
I don't wonder why.
If you were thwarted at every turn you might stop being so callous.
Should I thwart you more?
It seems like that's what you're asking for.

I know I can't do that so instead I take what I get.
And it's mostly all controlled, it's mostly filled with regret.
Every time you face me and I'm gone you're happy.
It's because secretly you hate me, because you don't like anyone to win.
And we both know I was smarter, although you may be steps ahead.

You are steps ahead because you're older, but closer to death.
And despite all the difference you will die first.
And your legacy will be silent.
You who don't exist.
That's the contradiction.

Let me spell it out in a delusional way.
I will be famous and you will be you.
You are the nobody and you knew it all this time.
Because you can't seek recognition for your career.
Perhaps you'll be jealous of me and mine, but in the end you'll covet it.

If I mock you it's only because you're so arrogant and unkind.
It's not about me ever, it's always about you.
And you only realize it afterwards so maybe I am a day ahead of you.
Plus, let me tell you I don't believe shit that you say.
Your schemes are just schemes and it's a stupid way to play.

If I was dumber, then you would have finished me.
Because that's what you do when no one stops you.
In truth you are searching for someone who can make you quit.
Because you're sick of the unclean feeling and the showers you take to wash it away.
You're bored with the stupidity and the lack of concern.

It's hard to be concerned when shock is in place.
It happens so fast that I can't do a thing.
I wouldn't anyway, because I took the brunt.
I took the beating and I've taken it for far too long.
If I am not moving up, then I am definitely gone.

And by gone I don't mean that I'll fly to an island.
Instead I will turn and lower my standards.
Something I never wanted to do.
But you are so happy when I mentioned lowering myself.
Because all this time I have remained barely compromised.

Nothing would suit you better than to see me go down.
Then you would feel comfortable and sickened in a way that makes you feel good.
Then you could dismiss me and continue in your way set in concrete.
That's what many older people do.
They forget how to bend and to change and to fly.

There are others who shift and they know it's okay.
Change is not the enemy, but past conceptions are.
Tomorrow don't expect me to act the same way.
I know what you know and I would not have it any other way
You may think that when you mock me and berate me to my face that I am submissive.

What you don't know is that you are acting selfish and your plans are unkind.
I am living for the moment, because I know what's ahead.
It's not what you're telling me and it's not what you even think.
As much as you would like to you don't know everything.
I know I don't either, but I can see what's happening.

If you really move into that dirty, crappy space it will be the shock of my life.
And more and more people are realizing how many times I got it right.
When I was the only one who thought what I thought it was easy to control.
But a large number of people who tend to agree may make you change your position.
You are always begrudging except when I'm weak.

You'll love me for different reasons when I am no longer obscured.
But you'll never love me more than you love yourself.
In the end you are not co-dependent, you are the ultimate narcissist.
People are warning me (yes I repeat it again) that L.A. is unsafe for me or for them.
There is potentially no where I could ever hide.

I am monitored straight from the inside.
If my heart stops beating people will know.
And what I don't remember is something I would rather not know.
So, if you've been on the receiving end of one of my tirades count yourself lucky.
By the way, he hates women a lot, I mean the man I thought was good to them.

How can I say this in a cryptic way?
He hates women, he wants to see them down...six feet underground.
But when they survive, even with wounds, he has a newfound appreciation, and may even protect what he once wanted to destroy, because he sees the life force and that's what he needs.
If you were inundated by death and it spread like a virus wouldn't you test and cling to the ones who can overpower death, put their head to a gun and walk away clean?
If I worked for the CIA I wouldn't have to kill, because I am not generous and there is nothing that I can give.

Oh, lost one writing in the night, why don't you sleep?
I will be sleeping soon enough.
And I am leaving tomorrow.
I will go somewhere else since I cause you so much sorrow.
And then you can experience what I have been protecting you from.

You are not as unspoiled as you think you are.
And when you get what's coming based on your plan.
I guarantee you it won't be what you thought.
Either that or it was all bullshit, but I kind of think not.
This time I won't be back, because I can't take the abuse.

I am not coming back again.
You took advantage of me and made me feel that it was you who was wronged.
Manipulation and deceit aways go wrong.
I've covered all my bases and fair is fair.
Either you let me go or I get what I deserve.

I know there are stipulations and time issues here.
But the longer you wait the more that I accomplish.
I am not rushing you, go ahead and take your time.
Honestly I feel aggressive, I am not fine.
You might wonder why I feel this way.

It's been 8 years and I still have to play.
When I quit it's not over, when I fight it's a war.
I do not want you to know that I don't believe what you say.
My comprehension is good and I know what you play.
You're so angry and dangerous and cruel.

I try to see the best in you, but you make me feel like a fool.
That's not all there is, but from my side it's skewed.
Should I have left you alone?
I showered love on you, because I thought it was the only way I could survive.
And in the end it changed something in your essence, but the rest is still there.

So, am I willing to accept this minor shift.
I say you're in charge, but I don't think it's true.
I know how long I have been dictating you.
I know you better than you think I do.
You're more obvious than you thought.

It's not taunting.
Or maybe it is, because I am on fire.
From all you did.
It wasn't exactly your place since you were a stranger.
But you saw something you liked, by chance.

If you look at who's more powerful-then decide-where you got your money and your wealth.
Who led you to the power and the intelligence and the stealth?
The old man who takes out the trash is not concerned with me, but with the only person left who may protect him as he enters the pit.
I am not stupid enough to think he was there to see me through those miles. 
I know you were in trouble, but even when I came you acted the same.

If I ever wanted to die I think you might want to die more.
But you haven't been able to find the right one.
The one to outwit you and make you really run.
It seems that things are changing, because I am linked to that person.
That's what you wanted, that's what you got.

That sounds like a strange story your confidantes say to you.
That doesn't sound right, that doesn't sound true.
It's exactly how you thought it would be.
It's similar to you and how you operate at any given time.
That's why you think your rival might be similar to yourself

In the end none of these words matter.
Some people say that writing is like magic, it has power.
Writing is nothing but organized letters that dictate your thought process.
Interpreted by you however you read them from your perspective.
What I mean is not entirely lost on an intuitive audience.

But I've been told by an expert that my simple, nostalgic work is the best.
How about the advanced, complicated, nuanced, highly charged writing?
Is that too modern and extreme for you?
Why don't you read "Maker" again or another poem I wrote about missing someone I love.
The tenacity to write poetry that is not iambic or considered "typical" poetry is a little too far in the future for some people.

The people or individuals who break new ground are always lost on a wide audience. 
A few people discover that something new is happening, something cutting edge and they start to become fixated on it.
They have to have their fix every day and when there is no material or material that is disappointing to them they lose interest
If the artists or writers are popular everyone jumps on the boat, and if the work is good people keep riding it.
There is an instinct in humanity that tells us when to listen and when to distract.

You know when you're talking about something fervently and it means a lot to you, and then the person listening does something like realize they suddenly have to water a plant or order another shot of Patron which interrupts your intense flow of passion?
That is an example of what I call "cutting off."
It's existential.
It's the person stopping you from unleashing - or garnering the attention for themselves.
You are not able to stop someone from stopping you unless you are rude and just continue to speak through the other person's interruption.

As a woman it is suggested that I sit back and let the men handle the majority of everything. Especially since I am exceptionally beautiful (this works to my disadvantage).
I have no money and I can't even get a job cleaning houses, because people look at me and assume that I am in a different position. Although I do find myself cleaning frequently...for free...for food and water.
It's so hard being beautiful! (since I might need to clarify this is my sense of humor)
Actually it could be, because beautiful people with no depth of experience with deep pain and suffering are treated like paper dolls.

I have been treated like a doll and it almost broke me, because I was so dismayed.
I would sacrifice my looks anytime to get into a good strategic position.
I shaved my head and not like Spears, I shaved it because I was playing with the boys.
When a woman has game like a man, but is clearly not a lesbian, interesting things happen.
I am being taught how to act like a proper achievable female.

Cause how do you catch a woman who knows how to play a man's game and yet retains the innocence of a child?
How do you fight someone who is not afraid of being raped?
The fear of rape drives many people.
I have the mental ability to mind-fuck any rapist.
You have to decide is it an emotional, mental, or physical battle?

In the physical realm the big guys obviously have the upper hand, but on the other hand disabling someone could be as easy as a quick injection with the right animal tranquilizer.
If I worked for the CIA they would never even tell me.
Later they would analyze the remnants that I left behind.
A scrap of paper "He is here."
No one can follow what I do, because they are too far behind.

I am not saying I worked with the FBI or CIA, because if I did I would be more robotic and never be able to write like this.
I got out of that opportunity by misbehaving.
Once I thought that was what I wanted, to be covert, but then I realized that they are an organization (both of them) that is underfunded because all the money is going to foreign affairs since we're trying to build bridges to save our country from the greed and waste that the Bush administration exemplified.
Obama is playing a dangerous game.
And he's hitching rides in the trunks of "safe" cars. Do you really think that all those police processions are safe? There are officers who would like to see him dead. If the odds are against him he's better off in the trunk of my Honda.

Now that I'm in the hands of someone special that doesn't mean I can relax.
I met a musician that I used to know tonight, but he wasn't the man I remembered.


To be Continued...