Poem: My Sleeping Poem **trigger warning**

I wrote this poem in December of 2016 after my almost love affair with death on December 5th. It’s strange how aside from my journal entries from that month, I hardly remember that month. I just remember feeling so broken inside and like a failure after that happened that it was so hard to get up every morning. I do know that writing saved me during that time because I started journaling way more consistently. I would learn years later after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that up to 10 percent of people with BPD die by suicide. Five years later, I’m glad that I had people by my side that prevented me from becoming one in ten. I’m glad that afterwards, I was able to slowly come back from this even if I was mostly depressed the year after and it was a fight to get up every single day.

For more information about the high risk of BPD and Suicide, here is a link from Psychology Today with info about it:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201512/the-destructive-power-borderline-personality-disorder

me and one of my best friends in December 2016

I wanted to sleep

Sleep beckoned me

Like a magical place

Where I could forget

Forget-

The burdens and responsibilities

Forget-

The performance reviews, the report cards, the bills

Forget- 

The husband, the kids, the friends

I wanted to sleep

So I planned my journey there

Call in sick, act natural,

Take the bottle of xanax

I wrote love letters 

To my children, my husband, and friends

Just in case I fell in a forever dream

I wanted to sleep

Selfishly, without interruptions 

I wanted to sleep

So I didn’t have to think 

About my mediocre and suburban reality

My lost dreams of greatness

My wastefulness on this earth

I wanted to sleep

But I was interrupted

By my husband shaking me

Halfway carrying me 

To the couch, forcing coffee

Down my throat

I wanted to sleep 

But I had to wake up

And endure the reality of life

Poetry: False Stability *trigger warning*

I wrote this in March of 2020 as I was reflecting on my suicide attempt in December of 2016. I don’t remember writing this poem but that could be because it was a crazy time for me since I was an essential worker during COVID.

me in March of 2020 when I wrote this poem

Appearances were kept well for 15 years
the husband, the salaried job, the 3 off springs
I pretended like everything was fine
And yet there were ominous signs
I never felt like my authentic self
and always felt false
I tried on this so called suburban bliss
and mediocre routines
but knew it just wasn’t me
So I ended up in profound misery
And one day I wanted to forever sleep
To forget my mediocre reality
I took 15 numb feeling pills
one for every pseudo happy year
I wanted to slip into a forever dream
to never wake up to my false stability

Poetry Review: Visceral

Visceral by Melia Cogan

The debut collection of poems Visceral from Melia Cogan is appropriately named since it will make you feel a multitude of intense emotions internally. As a person that feels intense emotions, I loved this book. The book is divided into 3 sections titled Love, Rage, and Death. Reading this book felt like going through a roller coaster of emotions-from sexy to anger to sadness. Personally, for me, this is a good thing. I resonate with poetry that makes me feel my emotions.  I picked my favorite poem from each section. This was hard since all the poetry in this collection is amazing. 

The first section Love captures the magical feeling of what it’s like to be in love, make love, and be loved. Her poems in this section makes even the most jaded of us feel like there is a world where love is possible. The first poem “Daemon-Lover” leaves you breathless with the raw emotion and sensuality felt throughout the poem.  The second stanza is fire as it states, “With a spirit strong as seventy/As his throbbing passion sears me/ With its ‘blind encompassing throbbing power ”(Cogan, 22-25)   It makes you feel like you are witnessing passion on display. You might have to take a cold shower after reading this poem. The other poems in this section not only capture the passion of being in love but also the complexity of other feelings that come with it. 

The next section of the book is Rage, and you feel the anger and rage within this section. 

My favorite poem in this section is Women’s Inheritance which captures the essence of what’s like being a woman in the 21st century. It addresses the misogyny that our modern patriarchal society continues to administer to women. The poem also conveys the disappointment that women feel after being used and discarded nonchalantly by men. The sixth stanza captures this feeling as it states, “Finally, you who I love with my whole self / Could not display this mythical manly bravery/ To tell me the truth/ Why not?” (Cogan, 30-33).  The other poems in this section captures the anger felt with different experiences in life ranging from expectations in relationships to abandonment issues. Cogan expresses a raw truth about anger that most people are afraid to express and that is a kind of bravery you don’t see often. 

The last section is Death and I’ll just say that you should have a box of tissues by your side because it will probably make you cry. In this section, Cogan is versatile in exploring the theme of death. In this section, my favorite poem is Remember Me for the Birthdays which is how the poet wants to be remembered by her loved ones. The eleventh stanza conveys this as it states, “Remember how I filled you with the urge/to push forward and explore/To engage life, expanding in all good directions” (Cogan, 37-40). Cogan is skillful at portraying grief in a conscientious manner that’s both thoughtful and respectful. 

Melia Cogan brings a raw vulnerability and talent to her debut collection. I highly recommend this poetry collection if you are looking for a versatile collection that explores the depth of the human experience. I’m excited to read and review her next poetry book, Love Pangs. Below are the links for both Visceral and Love Pangs

Visceral: https://www.amazon.com/Visceral-Melia-Cogan/dp/B0915DH7W4

Love Pangs: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Pangs-Melia-Cogan/dp/B09PHJXX19

Poetry: She Flew

I wrote this poem in 2006 when my mother-in-law passed away. She was an incredibly kind and lovely person.

She flew one afternoon without warning

leaving us in a state of grief and mourning

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

And now everyone left behind

Has rivers running from their eyes

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

Regrets and remorse

Has become our two worlds

Why did she have to fly ?

Was it really her time?

No fancy words could ever express

How it feels to lose your best

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

Poetry: I Think

I wrote this poem in 2004 when I was depressed because I felt my husband pulling away from me.

I think sometimes

It is better to die

Than to live this big lie

We like to call life

I think sometimes

It is better to escape 

Then face

Such an unfair fate

I think sometimes

It is better to have the earth eat you up

Than to have to hurt so much 

Over treacherous love

Poetry: Oil and Greed

I wrote this poem in 2004 about the War on Terror. I had quite a few friends in the military do tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. My son’s bio dad did 3 tours himself. It affected him greatly like it did other veterans I know.

Nothing is said. 

Only tears are shed.

Over broken hearts

   and lost dreams

   and the disillusionment

    of it all.

We once had faith

    that they would be okay,

   and not face

such a deadly fate. 

We once had much hope

  that our loved ones,

   would one day come back to us,

We never once dreamed 

   that it would destroy ,

  the most sacred thing;

  the innocence of our 

  children

How does one explain to them,

  that their parents died in 

   a war about oil and greed.

Unexpected: Pregnancy Loss

On July 27th, 2010 I  was in the room with the ultrasound tech and she put the gel on my belly. I was there to hear the sound of my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I had waited a whole two weeks to hear it since I had booked the appointment. My boyfriend had dropped me off at the doctor. I was alone and the anticipation was killing me. The ultrasound tech was moving the wand every which way and had this weird look on her face. I asked her if everything was okay. She told me, “I really need to get the doctor”. I pleaded with her to tell me what was wrong. And she said, “I can’t find the heartbeat” I was in shock and numb. Then she told me to go out to the waiting room and the Dr would come get me. I remember how the waiting room was full of pregnant women and I started to sob hysterically. Thankfully a receptionist took pity on me and took me to another sparsely populated area. The Dr came and got me and told me the embryo stopped growing at 8 weeks and I was supposed to be 10 weeks along. She showed me the ultrasound. She also gave me a choice -either a D&C or let the miscarriage come naturally. I had just started a job in June and hadn’t accumulated much sick leave so I opted to have the D&C. I had all of these feelings of shame and guilt because I had seriously thought about terminating the pregnancy and I wondered if I had wished it true. I felt guilty because I had gotten blackout drunk a day before finding out I was pregnant. Also, I felt like a failure because my body had not done what it was supposed to do. I felt like somehow I deserved all of this pain and that God was punishing me. Getting through the rest of that day and putting up my facade of strength and having to tell my 2 kids along with other family members and friends was horrible. 

The next morning I went to have a D&C and I woke up crying from the procedure. The nurse that was next to me told me that everything happens for a reason and to trust God. “Everything happens for a reason” and “Trust in GOD” and “It wasn’t the right time” would be among the  few sayings that I would get from well meaning friends, family, and co-workers. I buried my grief in exercising and eating healthy irrationally believing that it was my body’s fault that I had the miscarriage. It didn’t help that my boyfriend was kind of blaming me as well because of that whole blackout drunk incident early in the pregnancy. Even though the logic in my head told me that pregnancy loss is a common occurrence that happens to 1 in 4 women with no real rhyme or reason for most of those pregnancies;my irrational thoughts took over for a bit. What helped me through the grief other than exercising was joining a support group and being able to process that grief and feel validated in my feelings with other people that had experienced the same thing. An experience like this changes you in a way that you remember who you were before the experience and after it.  Obviously I’ve healed from that experience but I still experience some sadness on that day. One interesting thing that happened 3 years ago when I came to work on July 27 was that there was a random “Happy Birthday” balloon by the entrance of my office building. I took it as a positive sign from the universe. 

I share this story because it is important to fight the stigma associated with pregnancy loss. It is also important for others to feel like they can share their stories without being judged.

Poetry: Ghost of Mamacita

I wrote this poem in 2018 shortly after the death of my maternal grandmother/mamacita. My grandmother lived in a time where her opportunities were very limited by society’s rules about what a woman should be.

The ghost of my grandmother 

  hangs above me 

Her spirit swallows and 

  Envelops me-

It tells me to live

  a life full of passion and love

Without self imposed boundaries

It tells me to stop 

 being afraid of my promise 

  and potential

  and takes risks and 

  Go for my dreams

  No matter how many 

    obstacles stand in my way

It tells me that I only 

 have one life left to live

And I need to start 

living it fully instead

 of standing on the sidelines

Waiting for something or someone 

to rescue me

It tells me 

Stop waiting

Now it’s your turn

Poetry: She Flew

I wrote this poem in February of 2006 when my mother in law passed away suddenly. I knew for a short time but she was one of the most gracious and kindest individuals I ever met.

She flew one afternoon without warning

To a place unknown 

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

And now everyone left behind 

has  puddles dripping from their eyes

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

Regrets and remorse

Have become our two worlds

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

No fancy words could ever express

How it feels to lose your best

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

Poetry: In the ICU

I wrote this poem in 2018 when my grandmother passed away. She was in the ICU for about a week before she passed and it was tough on the family.

Me with my Grandmother in 2015 or 2016

She lies between this world and the next

She can’t decide between her husband 

 Or her kids 

She is tired, she is drained, she is 94

She lies between this world and the next

She needs to let her body decide a final rest

But her spirit wants to stay 

withinIn the cocoon of her family

She lies between this world and the next

She slowly feels her ancient and battered body 

Give up…. 

It is tired of the endless pain

And her spirit

slowly agrees

And 

Lets her leave in peace

Poetry: The Jungle Part 2

I wrote this about the PULSE club shooting in 2016.

Everyone claims prayers thoughts

For those they sprouted 

Hatred against (just a few days ago)

Only because of their untimely 

Deaths.

If they had gone 

On living -they would 

Have continued to be 

Hated by most–

Now they are loved 

And remembered and

Prayed for in the their death 

Because they are dead.

It’s too late for you

Prayers warriors, you

Religious zealots and

bigots , your prayers 

And love falls on 

Angry ears, ears of 

The victims families , ears 

Of their loved ones, ears

Of the LATINX,Puerto Rican, 

LGBTQ Community

People who weren’t  

Given two fucks about 

Or treated with hatred 

Because your Bible told 

You so.