Categories
#poetry

Who am I?

I ask,
& you tell me:
I’m your oldest & dearest friend,
I’m a reader, a singer, & a mathematician.

When I wake in the night,
(disoriented, drenched in sweat)
you’re there to hold me,
reminding me that you’re here,
& remind me that it’s over, it’s over, it’s over—

In these moments,
when I’m running (wildly) lost along a dirt road,
you call my name,
drawing me back onto the correct gravel path,
drawing me back into myself:
You’re the guiding lamp leading me home.

As I follow your words—
the bobbing light in front of me—
I come back to myself:

I am Jude St. Francis.
I am your boyfriend.
I was treated horribly & came out on the other end.
Most importantly, I was always me.

If I am Jude, then…
Who are you?
I ask,
& you tell me:

I am Willem Ragnarrson
& I will never let you go.

M.B.B.
10/4/2020 (edited & expanded upon 10/5)

Notes: This is one of my favorite scenes from A Little Life. When Jude, who is plagued by nightmares, wakes up disoriented, he “wakes so far from himself that he can’t remember who he is.” Willem, his boyfriend, chants “him back to himself.” (Pgs. 607-608, Kindle version.) The italicized lines are either directly from this scene, or paraphrased slightly to fit the poem. As always, thanks for reading!

Categories
#poetry

Airbending

Bending the air while doing breathing exercises is a struggle:
If I can bend the other three elements so well,
why can’t I airbend?

Listening & seeing trouble ahead is a big problem for me:
I bend before I speak,
using my muscles before I think (sometimes)
I know I’m young & brash,
but that’s just who I am right now.

Tenzin says I have to listen & then weigh my options,
which is a gift given to too few people.
He says I need to flow like the wind, move like the air—
I’ll figure it out someday,
I’ll learn to move with the wind at my side,
tangoing with the air.

M.B.B.
8/2/10
(modified & edited 7/18/2020)


And when you think how much she struggled to learn how to airbend ...
Airbending | Korra | Legend of Korra | Avatar | (gif) | Avatar ...
Categories
#poetry

Reichenbach Fall

If only everyone could successfully fake their own death,
just like Sherlock does in “The Reichenbach Fall,”
we wouldn’t have to worry about dying.

The pavement would be splattered with fake Halloween blood,
& your tears would mirror my tears of poorly-timed laughter.

If only I hadn’t watched Requiem for a Dream
the seedy drug underbelly filling my mind—
if only I hadn’t thought I could subject myself to dark narratives,
but my head whispered to me, “You can handle it.
You’re already full of dark thoughts, go for it.”

Now, I press my head against to metal of my lofted bed & sob.
I’m still childish in freshly grown adult skin,
& need to find ways to put on my adult suit & dress slacks.

My favorite kinds of characters have always suffered:
Sherlock, Jude St. Francis—
That’s why I’m drawn to Sherlock, to Jude.
They pretend to be removed from their emotions,
from their humanity,
but they are actually becoming more human every day,
thanks to John & to Willem.

I miss you, my friends.
Know that I am well
& trying my best to stay afloat in this new sea.
I wish you weren’t gone.
Let’s have dinner sometime.

M.B.B.
9/17/13
(edited 7/17/2020)

Please note: This is an old poem from college. It doesn’t reflect my current mood or state of mind. I’m doing so much better! I do, however, appreciate how far I’ve come in my mental state & the time capsule it represents. (I still am drawn to Sherlock & Jude St. Francis, though.) I do not think that we should fake our own deaths. It’s cruel & unnecessary to our loved ones. I’ve spruced up this poem, because it’s old & needed to be dusted off.

Categories
#poetry

ADD Superpower

I have ADD
but it catches
the red feathers of birds in the trees,
& the kaleidoscope of colors in the grass, the golden fur of my dogs,
& the ideas swirling around my mind

I have ADD
& I sympathize
with other people’s lives
I know what it’s like to live on the outside
of the inner circle,
the huddle of people who think you’re weird
if you’re wired differently
(like your wires are colored blue & red to their green & orange)

I may have ADD
but I can rap my poetry
like I wrap yarn around my knitting needles—
I carve out my words with care,
my handwriting hieroglyphics
once as solid as the Dead Sea Scrolls

I have ADD
that sets me free to fly from my cocoon,
my spotted wings collecting early morning dew

Having ADD
isn’t like seeing squirrels in the trees,
but dragons perched on the branches,
lounging like panthers,
smoke curling from their scaled nostrils

M.B.B.
7/13/2020

Categories
#poetry

Legacy. What is a legacy?

It’s bonsai seedlings planted during your lifetime, see
it’s words written for a treaty
it’s mike-drops before your cabinet,
a plan to get through to Congress

my legacy is in words,
tattooed onto my wrists, black words upon my white flesh

it’s fighting endlessly
for publishers go-ahead to the printing press

it’s waking up early & writing morning pages,
I guess

drink a cup of tea
then maybe write a few sentences

I write for the sunrise,
I wait for the next mental plot surprise

& I, only 29, write my own poems,
you can’t write mine

M.B.B.
7/8/2020

Note: some lines are inspired by the musical Hamiltion.

Categories
#poetry

Advice for Dating Someone with Asperger’s

  1. I listen to his concerns, for what clothing issues he might have. Note: When you go clothes shopping, you let him pick out comfortable articles of pants and shirts.
  1. Dear Self: You can tell him when you’re tired of his rants (for example) about the gaming company AE. It’s okay. Don’t feel bad about needing to change the subject.
  2. He is smart, his experiences are valid, and he is loved by his family, friends, and (most importantly) by me.
  3. Your relationship may not move along as quickly as some, but he doesn’t stray. He loves you more deeply than you can imagine, deeper than any pool of water, stronger than any yarn I’ve knitted.
  4. Believe that he can do things, because he believes in you.
  5. Rory is special, because I’m special, too. I understand what it’s like to struggle with making friends, that being social can tire us both out.
  6. I have PDDNOS, which means that I’m on the autism spectrum, but don’t fit under the umbrella like someone with Asperger’s. I have autistic tendencies, I say, because it’s easier to explain. I’m passionate about Blue October, the novel A Little Life, LGBTQ+ rights and issues, and learning new knitting patterns. I can talk your ear off about any of my favorite subjects. Rory knows this, and he can do the same for video games, science, history, and psychology tidbits . (He’s gotten better about listening to the flow of our conversations since I first started dating him.)
  7. Love on the autism spectrum is magical, because you’re both unique. We’re both living unicorns, wild and free in the shimmering forest. We’re eating from the same rainbow cup of ice cream. We’re animated about our different passions: writing, reading, and gaming. You like the prettiness of video games, and I love the pretty knitting patterns I discover on YouTube. We both light up when we’re together, a halo of light ringing our bodies.

M.B.B.
6/29/2020

Notes: Every person with autism is different. Every experience with autism is different. Some are high-functioning, while some people just need more love and care navigating our crazy world. This is my personal experience with dating someone who has Asperger’s, a form of autism. I too am on the autism spectrum. Both Rory’s and my experiences are unique. We have mutual friends who are also on the autism spectrum. We get along really well! It’s important to spread awareness (even in today’s world) about autism. For example, autism is not caused by vaccines. This is a myth spread through fear tactics and misunderstanding of vaccines and what science can do for us as human beings. I’m on the autism spectrum because of my prematurity at birth. On the other hand, my boyfriend Rory wasn’t born premature and happens to also be on the autism spectrum. He is high-functioning. Thank you for taking the time to listen and to read my poem.

Categories
#poetry

six years

six years ago,
I started blogging.

six years ago,
I started putting my thoughts to my keyboard,
connecting the words in my brain
to the words on the electronic screen.

six years ago,
I was still in college,
in my final year at Morris, MN.

six years ago,
I created On the Prairie
my very first blog ever.

six years later,
I’m writing at a break-your-neck speed,
fingers dashing toward the black-and-white ribboned finish line,
the muscles in my hands dancing to a drummer’s steady rat-a-tat-tat beat.

six years later,
I’m reading more,
I’m writing more,
I’m blogging almost every day.

six years later,
I’m still a writer.

M.B.B.
6/12/2020

Categories
#poetry

morning pages

I’m up early & writing,
laying down words
like laying fresh bricks:
one word in front of the other, rapid-firing on my keyboard

I’m up early & writing,
creating with the right side of my brain,
writing with my left hand
splaying out the pages on my desk,
getting ink smudges on my wrist

I’m writing to give my characters life,
to solidify their world swirling around in my mind:
a paper apple becomes a juicy, fresh-off-the-tree-limb Granny Smith

I’m up early & writing,
because if I get the words down—
flowing from my head to my wrist,
a conduit like electricity through my synapses—
I will feel fully alive

M.B.B.
6/11/2020

Categories
#poetry

Straight-Laced

Your textile mill
& your straight-laced columns of mathematics
kept me in line—
but when I sent kiss-o-grams
to the cute boy in cubicle three,
you crippled me with laughter,
a bruised knee,
& sideways shoves into the lockers.

When I held his hand for the first time,
—fly-me-to-Jupiter, over-the-moon happy—
you said I was gross
& plenty of other terrible things, too.

I still work at the mill,
& keep my records straight,
tight as a wound ball of yarn,
tidy as my pencils, neatly ordered in lines—
but he’s the only one I tango with at night.

M.B.B.
2/17/15
(edited 6/4/20)

Categories
#poetry

goldfinch

I hop from branch to branch,
peeping & tweeting,
as I collect small sticks for my nest

I’m a goldfinch,
yellow & black,
tiny feet gripping the branches as I flit to & fro,
munching on sunflower, alder, & birch seeds

M.B.B.
2/20/14
(fixed 1/29/16)
(edited 5/28/2020)

Categories
#poetry

The Science Guy

Bill Nye was amazing. His lecture was funny, poignant, hopeful, personal, and highly informative. The gym in the RFC (our workout center at Morris) was packed with students of all ages. (A mom with her husband and their elementary school aged daughter and son sat in front of me. The girl thought that Bill Nye looked like he was “seventy.” A Google search revealed that he’s actually fifty-eight.)

There was a beautiful roar when he finally took the stage. Phones lit up the dramatic dimming of the lights. I sat in the bleachers next to Rory & Leon with blue hair. We were three of 1,700 people.

Bill Nye said that he doesn’t want to be around scientists who don’t appreciate poetry, or poets who don’t appreciate science. There were made up words for the different shades of shadows, some starting with X. His dad helped create the sundial while in a Japanese POW camp, with a shovel rammed into the stiff earth. Venus is so hot that the rain there never reaches the surface: it gets sucked back up in the thunderheads overhead. If there is life on Europa, we’ll know by flying through the geysers and counting the enumerable bugs on the windshield.

We can, dare I say it, help change the world! Laser bees are going to chop up oncoming asteroids.

And people say that science is boring.

M.B.B.
10/23/14
edited 5/26/2020

Categories
#poetry

resting place

In my life, I’m busy:
Homework keeps me on my toes,
friends invite me to socialize & social events,
& the real world awaits.

But the mountains are calling, John Muir says,
& I must go,
the Misty Mountains are calling,
& dwarves are in my Hobbit hole.

The mountains, Misty or not, stand stock still,
as unshakeable as soldiers.
The streams gurgle,
the breeze whispers,
& the snow crunches like carrots underfoot.

There are so many things I must do:
I must prepare for my driver’s test,
& write a 400-word essay by tomorrow.
Showering isn’t a luxury: it will only take ten minutes.
My best friend is leaving for Washington, D.C.

The Sun does not hurry,
for it’s hot as hell below,
nor does it rise late upon Mount Sopris,
nor does the grass wither.
Remember, grass doesn’t grow like green piece of paper on trees.
Remember, life’s like a jump rope.

M.B.B.
2/12/15
edited 5/24/2020

Note: italicized pieces are from the works of Blue October, Les Miserables (the play), & a quote from John Muir is also included.

Categories
#poetry

The Journey

There’s a tall glass of water on the counter,
& a tiny door in front of you.

It’s like Alice’s passage into Wonderland,
an oaken door to adventure,
to green parks & freshly painted houses all in rows

You’re about to embrace an adventure,
a road where no one has traveled,
where your bare feet will be the first prints in the dirt.

But first you must decide:

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Your answer will determine
how green the grass looks,
how bright the colors of the red, gold, & orange leaves will look,
how the children will laugh & shriek with delight, chasing blue rubber balls
& how clean the parks will be
once you open the neatly oiled wooden door,
stepping inside.

M.B.B.
5/5/15
edited 5/24/2020

Categories
#poetry

an ocean

Your blue-green waves
tug me from the soft sand & beckon me into your lapping waters,
where I splash you
with my goose-pimpled skin,
warmed by the sudden blaze of Volcanus’ heat from your undertow.

M.B.B.
5/28/15
edited 5/23/2020

Categories
#poetry

Dear Jude

I miss your cleaning. I miss hearing you trot out arpeggios in the middle of the night on the piano, when you can’t seem to grasp reality. I miss your cooking. I miss the sound of your voice, even when you’re angry. I miss the looks you shared with Willem; I miss you looking at the rising sun at the office. I miss your smile, hidden behind your hand. I love the sound of you singing in German. You’re one of the smartest men I know. May I give you a hug? Would you want to go for tea sometime? I miss the sparkle in your green eyes. I love how ruthless you are in court, how you glue everyone’s eyes on you. Don’t let the old bastards get you down. I love the way your hands move across the keys of a piano, how they finely chop onions or carrots. You’re the most sensitive person I know. Don’t worry, JB was right: It will get better.

Thank you for your life.

I miss you so much.

Love,

M