Monthly Archives: November 2013

Birthing Confidence

In the beginning life is joyous 

   full of hope 

      possibilities 

   plans you think might come true 

Then the pain begins 

   and you wonder if any of your plans will stay in tact 

   you hope certain bullet points remain 

      the ones that are most important 

But the following self-doubt 

   can last for any amount of time 

You wonder how long this life-thing is going to last, anyhow 

   how long you need to grit the teeth 

  lay limp 

     and birth it like a woman 

   breathe          breathe          breathe 

If you’re foolish, you will wonder how you’re doing 

   how others think you’re doing 

   how you’re connected and intertwined 

   how you might fall apart 

        cut cords 

           and bleed         and heal        separated 

The end does not follow quickly after the doubt 

      for most 

   it can come and stay 

                                     or go 

   and be replaced by self-assurance 

Yes, this is right for me 

Yes, I am strong enough 

Yes, I am part of this 

Yes, I am ready 

~Kat Wolper

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Makeover

Open my eyes, doc 

   give me folding eyelids 

Reshape my nose, doc 

  here, look at this Barbie doll 

  I want her nose, please 

Open my face at the seam, doc 

   chistle my jaw into a triangular point 

You don’t need to be concerned with 

   my hair color or style, doc 

   I’ve already got someone on it 

I got straight A’s in middle school, doc 

   my parents are giving me this makeover 

   as a gift 

   so I can be pretty someday 

~Kat Wolper

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Whimper

It’s no Howl 

   but it’ll do 

     to stir the awareness 

   of my generation 

  how some try and fail 

      how some give up in basement life 

    and others try to make massive incomes 

          pay off massive debts 

  how some hold onto dreams 

          that become unattainable in weak markets 

  how some shy away from class reunions 

          unaware we all have jobs 

            few have careers 

            few have the work they want 

               or the life they want 

  how my generation thinks we’re all failures 

            because none of us are presidents 

              like the teachers said we could become 

            because we were taught to dream big 

               and settle for nothing less 

            how we were forced and broken 

                      into settling 

             because we never learned how to be content 

                with what we have 

  we will always strive 

                 and fail to strive enough 

              because our eyes are bigger than our abilities 

  how some have stopped striving 

                or settling 

              digging their heels into failure 

  some don’t think their dreams are worth pursuit 

            that one step forward 

              and one after that 

                 will ever take them far enough 

I’ve seen the best minds of my generation 

         rotting at home with menial jobs 

            not even looking for their ship to come in 

~Kat Wolper

response to Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”

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Hardest Year

They say the first year is the hardest

   with all its fighting, adjusting

   division of responsibilities

   syncing of schedules

   financial coalition

   sex life shift or beginning

   demons released from baggage

      unsnapped on the bed

But it is unparalleled with the last year

   should it come to that

Division of funds, families,

   friends, time with the kids

Deciding what is fair

   in a time of unfairness

Denial, depression

   signing the divorce decree

Giving back the house keys

   off of your ring

~Kat Wolper

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USA Taxi

I hope the driver knows something I don’t

   because from back here it looks as though we’re headed off the road

      and into a ditch.

From back here I call out to the driver

   to ask where he is taking us

   to suggest swerving the wheel

   but I fear my voice is blocked by the partition.

From back here I petition fellow members of the vehicle to join forces.

   Collectively we’re stronger.

   Maybe if we all lean the same way

      we can do something.

The driver either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care

   what we’re doing back here.

   Would he weep if he were driving a vehicle of carcasses?

   Would his destination change?

   A lot of us think we’re headed to the morgue anyhow

      sooner or later or sooner.

I fantasize about hitchhiking.

   Where are the other cars going?

   What are the other drivers like:

      better or worse or better?

The driver’s hair has gone white

   when I wasn’t looking.

   When did this happen?

   Was it age or stress?

The driver has a whimsical sleep mask on.

Let me out!

         Let me out!

~Kat Wolper

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It Is In the Eyes

Some days I want to rest in years of silence

   in which to think

      and breathe

         and be.

Some days I want to soak up years of watchfulness

   to see seasons bloom and fade

   to see people grow and die

   to see words flow across pages.

Some days I want to dirty my shovel

   dig into fertile soil

   beneath flowers and trees

   beneath worms and rocks and roots

   to find bedrock truth

 to devour it covered in honey

      wrapped in dandelion leaves.

Other days I want to practice

   meditation in the din of crowds

   and name-calling abuse.

I want to learn about the nature of God

   through the eyes of the people

      smushed belly to butt

      street after street

      crowding together

      with the singular purpose

         to feel the music.

I believe what is true today was true yesterday

   and will still be true tomorrow.

I believe it is still true in noise or silence.

I believe it is still true whether one believes or not —

Across philosophies. Across religions.

Across time and space

      and absence of it all.

I believe if I keep my eyes open I will see it

   everywhere I look.

It will stain my eyelids

         until it is all I see.

~Kat Wolper

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