Pieces of Penelope (1986, 20 years old)

The moon is down,
Like me,
In your bed,
The rising sun takes my sight,
Time escapes me,
Only rhythm


I wonder if I’m more comfortable hurting than being happy. The familiar is somehow more comforting even when you know it’s not good for you. Isn’t that strange? I’ve got to get myself together. I’m not sure how to go about doing that. I realize there are a lot of things I need but yet I don’t know how to get them. I know that sometimes I choose the wrong approach.


My soul is trapped inside this shell,
A package that hides the gift within,

How can I reach beyond myself,
And truly touch another?
Once I found a kindred soul,
I soaked myself right into him,
Then one day he walked away and
With my soul in his possession
He turned and laughed out loud
At what was left of me.
Bloody battles followed fast,
My fighting heart,
My fighting mind,
Could not regain their counterpart,
Yet now,
Through time,
I am renewed,
A different soul,
A different person,
And somewhere roams a lonesome spirit,
Who carries with him what I lost,
A part that’s me and is not me,
I mourn and yet I am complete,
Now I hide my soul inside,
Under lock and key,
For I survived the war within,
Yet surely I will die in vain,
If ever this soul is touched again.


Life is very sobering to me right now. I’m really ready for school to start. I enjoy having something to occupy my mind. Sometimes I feel so emotionally needy, and maybe in a way, I am but I’ll tell you one thing–I’ve been though a hell of a lot of shit and mixed up times and I know that these feelings I have are the most real and unselfish and genuine I’ve had. I cherish them and for once, it’s good. I’ve learned so much and have felt nothing but goodness inside.


Inside this jungle,

Streams of light,
Unnoticed but by
My native pain,
Crashing in
This stranger
And then allowed,
This light envelopes,
A new terrain,
By men,
Or me.


I’ve learned that love is, to a great degree, the ability to walk away and still feel that nothing was lost. We’re all human and possess the same capability to feel and love. I suppose we simply have to learn to reach inside ourselves and find what was there waiting all alone. I have so many defenses built up. I want to break through them all and just surrender to myself. Be myself. Learn to love myself again … if I ever did.


Unmodified responses,
My love for you,
A simple reflex arc,
Afferent and efferent
Neurons pulsing,
Pulsing in the dark.

My soul and yours,
Actively transported,
Across warm flesh,
Semipermeable membranes
Leaking out lies,
Our energy source,
The human heart,
It beats unnoticed,

You and I,
Innominately related,
We bear the weight,
We share on fate,
Motion in union,
No choice to make,
Nothing held back,
No gesture belated.


Sometimes I think we’re all looking for answers we already have. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the hardest to grasp.

That corner in my ceiling,
Yet ever present,
Desperately needed,
My universe,
My home,
Revolves around that corner,
Your mind.


A blinding light,

Like God
At the far side
Of death’s vacant tunnel,
Promising me,
Are that glow,
I converge with the light,
It begins to fade
And in my terror that the light is illusion
I conjure up
And your light brightens
As you retreat deeper
Into my tunnel,
My safe unending tunnel.

2 thoughts on “Pieces of Penelope (1986, 20 years old)

Add yours

  1. Thanks Lisa! It's been a bit scary to share the thoughts and emotions I had so long ago. Just like you, sometimes I feel like I'm looking back at another person, as if it's surreal — but it was very real.

    Hopefully, without the full story, I don't come across as simply a self-centered young person. I was, of course, focused on myself and how I could keep going and be happy, but I had a lot of dysfunction, neglect, and emotional abuse to overcome.

    When my parents divorced, I eventually grew much closer with my father, which turned out to be a saving factor in my life. He and I are very close. It's tough to explain but the family dynamic kept us from fully bonding earlier.

    Thanks so much for partnering with me for this (long) teen event. I hope folks have gotten something positive out of it. I have!


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