i still believe i am the gutter queen,
green slime all over me,
long, torn red ribbons in my filthy hair.
i’m bobbing up and down in rain-drenched clothes
in my black ship up on a raging river in the sewer.
i’m comfortable thinking that i’ll never be up there,
competing with the humans for a nice, clean table,
i’m comfortable thinking that i’m different than they.
i’m comfortable on my black ship, i,
the gutter queen.
and i don’t want to think, “what if”,
and i don’t want to go up there to see if really
what i must do up there is to compete.
if really they have only nice, clean tables,
if really they’re so different than i.
i’m comfortable on my black ship,
i, the gutter queen.
i like the ornament of slime,
the slime that covers me with doubt and fear,
i like to be tied up in ribbons red with angst,
all criss-crossed with confusion.
i like the long and winding guilt trips that my ship,
my black ship, takes me on, and lull me into thinking
i am special.
that’s me, the gutter queen.
lots of material in this, a poem from my teatable book of poetry. the terminal uniqueness that 12-step programs speak of. the fear to shine, immortalized in marianne williamson’s famous poem “let your light shine“. the almost smug sense of comfort in those awful places: the gutter, the raging river, the black ship (it often seems to be so much more comfortable to be in an awful, familiar place than in a good, unfamiliar one).
more about all of this tomorrow …
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