Parenting Hack

Go easy on your child


You too are someone's child

even their grandparents

are the grandchildren of children


We all inherit the broken tools of brilliant people


See, the eldest of us still

has not outgrown suffering


You are built to withstand

your grandmother's demons

of course you break

in the same places


That's why you know what I know:

it takes courage to hold your own child.


Sometimes their tears

are the same tears

you've been crying

for generations


#nationalpoetrymonth, day 10

Productivity Hacks

Wake up early

Unmake your bed


Just

take it all apart


Tangle the sheets, throw the pillows

uncomfort the comforter

break the bedframe

like a wild dream


Call your crushes and describe them


Make mistakes in front of your children and learn from them


Nonviolently rob an unethical bank


Say yes to yourself


Alternate walking and skipping


Overthrow corrupt governments

and/or delegate


Empower others ftw

(v efficient life hack)

share your knowledge and skills


Write and schedule your ideal press releases ahead of time, like, years ahead of time, just do it


Pick out your outfit the night before revolution


Use templates when replying to racists


Swallow a bomb, become an artist


Make your own tools


Control your calendar


Teach it to sit and roll over

Give it treats


Kiss your lovers, surprise them, deliver lunch, go to the thing


Text them, sext them


Download 1000 apps

Make a wish


Set a reminder to email yourself your to do list


Light your phone on fire


Drink 8 glasses of water


Begin


as many times as you need to 

 

#nationalpoetrymonth, day 9

Beauty Hacks

Moisturize


Dry your hair with a t-shirt instead of a towel


Go to bed early


Smash the patriarchy

it's bad for your skin


Excuse yourself from irritating conversations 


Dispute unrealistic expectations of you


Indulge in fantastic company


Cook your ancestors' comfort food


Wear your seatbelt


Seek good lighting


Reject eurocentric misogynistic interpretations of your body


Decolonize your spirit


Exercise your magic


Do up your hair before bed

your dreams deserve you


Reward yourself

honor the small stuff

praise the parts of you that are working so hard and then give them a break

Find the parts of you that are hiding

and then give them a hug


Exfoliate


Get ugly sometimes

It’s okay, it’s not for forever


Hold the door open for strangers

Let them open doors for you, too


Laugh


Wear blessings in layers

then you’re always prepared


Communicate about what brings you pleasure


Glow


Never wear shoes that will inhibit you from being fully and comfortably you

or that could fall off should you need to run at midnight


Also, avoid destinies where you are afraid someone will see you as your true self


Also, find alternate ways to escape oppression that are not men with unhealthy boundaries


Try a liberation capsule: pick 37 essentials that make you feel free


Choose breathable fabrics


Blot your lipstick


Feel your feelings


Be bold

with yourself


You were born with it


#nationalpoetrymonth, day 8

My favorite songs are my legs

My favorite songs are my legs


The symphony of walking

The carol of the knees

The 5k drum solo

A choir lost in prayer


Protest songs

My Sonic landscape

Naked

instrumental


Soul


The lyrics

The bridge


The shin 

The twirl


The anthem

The lullabye

The chase 


This ballad

we are humming

on the bed


Listen

 

#nationalpoetrymonth, day 7

My favorite animal is the moon

My favorite animal is the moon


It's fast and humble

It eats light and nightmares

So loyal it doesn't grieve


You can throw almost anything and a moon will retrieve it

Insults and mistakes and memories


It can find a kiss by scent

It can detect doubt by sound


I heard about a moon who jumped off the boat to save its drowning lover

Or another, who rescued two children from a burning building


Did you know

that a moon can hold its breath for three generations?


Sometimes that's how long it takes

for a grandfather, a father, and a son

to find the other side of each other


#nationalpoetrymonth, day 6

My favorite teacher is when someone cancels

My favorite teacher is when someone cancels

and I enroll in an hour I didn't think I had time for 


No one is expecting me, not even me

and then I arrive, surprise

and I am welcome


Won't I make myself at home,

can I get myself anything,

how am I


#nationalpoetrymonth, day 5

My favorite flower is every rose Robert gave me to say he was sorry

My favorite flower is every rose Robert gave me

to say he was sorry


Not because he was sorry

and not because I forgave him


But because he carried them inside his fist

and he didn’t so much

set them on my desk,

he just kind of let go

and they fell in a general direction.

Before they landed,

before I could greet them or tend to them

before anyone could enjoy them,

he opened his mouth, Listen, I


they were so beautiful

they deserved better

 

#nationalpoetrymonth, day 3

My favorite poet is the tide

My favorite poet is the tide.


She takes and she breaks

and she delivers.


She gets pretty and goes out,

all her lovers in tow.


Her mouth, an impossible verb

folding and unfolding


she somersaults when she comes

and she leaves notes in the morning.


I studied her work for years.

Her crashes, her form.


Picked up her rhymes

and her lists and her bad haiku.


Put them in a bucket

put them in my pocket


and put them on my tongue

and put them on the porch.


We've all hurt things

for the poems inside them.


When my starfish died, I mean

her starfish


died, their wishes turned to rot,

their eloquence vanished,


looking for someone else.

Some stories don't belong to me


#nationalpoetrymonth, day 2

A Sherman Alexie story

I dreamt I was trying to write Sherman Alexie a sentence that would help me understand him. Something about intergenerational desperation and toxic masculinity. Something about power and how hungry Sherman must always be. I didn’t even want to make this point, but I was editing it.


But before I wrote the sentence I was looking at him in the eyes, about to be quoted on his beauty while a man with a camera filmed us. I could see beauty, I really could, but I needed a moment first to enjoy him and Sherman was not used to waiting. Each time I inhaled to speak, he accidentally interrupted me.


But before he interrupted me, an entire tree had snapped in half, because he had snapped it. The man with the camera was interesting and handsome, or so Sherman had thought I had thought, and he was upset I‘d given him the gift of my conversation. I felt Sherman turn into a glacier and touch me, 500 years of slowly destroying everything in his path. But I was a woman and not a valley, so I looked at him without an echo. “I love you,” the look meant to say, “so stop,” but I could only say it once.


“What first drew you to Sherman?” the man asked me, wanting to protect me and so he protected Sherman, lifting his camera and pushing record.


Before the man lifted his camera, Sherman was holding a carton of broken eggs. The carton itself was soft and falling apart, yolk and whites dripping like a song being sung badly. He looked so proud and I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was an absolute mess. There might still be a good egg in there, I thought. He held it in one arm, like he was waiting in line to check out.


Before he waited he was walking. He was walking beside me, someone he did not need, except he needed me to need him, so he needed me very much. We were at the carnival! It was an abandoned carnival. I was having so much fun, I convinced myself, even though it was a sad place and there was nothing to do. I had just met Sherman. I knew he was not a good man for me, but that he was a good man deep inside.


Because before that, long before that, men discovered a million ways to prove they could be dangerous. Men who are ashamed are the most dangerous, which is why I was taught to forgive them before I ever met them.


Before that I was free