read a poem Archives - Page 2 of 7 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Posts in "read a poem" Category — Page 2

Any Given Tuesday

Two poems to share with you in this podcast episode!

Any Given Tuesday

I cannot tell
them what it’s like
in here, in my brain,
late September, facing down
another pandemic winter,
climate change placing our house
in a new tornado alley, the immediate world
divided:
red, blue,
pro, anti,
on and on,
while I try pointing my dials to
Function.

Ignore your tightly wound belly
and the tears streaming down your cheeks
because it’s not one thing
it’s all of it:
All of It.
All. Of. It:

We were not meant to hold this much pain
without being able to hold each other tightly,
physically, breathing in the same room.

Healing without holding hands is so much harder.

We continue to accrue layers of not-here,
stacking distraction
upon mess
upon dysfunction,
cynicism,
rot.

And still my brain demands it,
beneath the piles of wet cardboard
and the urine-soaked carpets of mind:

Just Function, Kalp.

Just remember how to write.
Just pretend it isn’t happening.

Just keep swimming.

Just

keep

swimming

Secrets

You taught me
so much more
than straight A’s ever could

just by popping the truck
intro neutral at the top
of the longest hill around
and refusing to brake
all
the
way
down
,

my little body
screaming and squealing
in delightful terror
as we picked up speed,
squiggling past more
and more houses,
all of me screeching along with the tires
in the deep trust of childhood
that can only be reached
before the world
does any real breaking:

we’re gonna die
but not right now

we’re alive
we’re alive
we’re alive

(…and, um, hearing about this would probably upset your mother.)

You showed me the places we can go
only with one another
and for no good reason,
just because it’s fun
to be
here.

Maybe this was your best-kept
secret to living:
all trust,
no breaks.

P.S. My book of poems is pay-what-you-can priced right here!

Followup

Last week she told me she wouldn’t come
to my latest offering even if it were free.

I absorbed the blow, laughing —
light as a leaf
falling from the tree outside —
but the seeds of her doubt are trying to take root.
(I have been silenced by far less.)

Perhaps the larger part of Maturity In the Internet Age
is choosing to look it all in the eye and proclaim:

You cannot take my work from me.
You cannot make me believe I am trivial.

You cannot silence me today.
Or tomorrow.
Or on any of the days to come.

This is the promise,
and the reward,
all in one:
you cannot
take
my work
from me
ever
again.

Amen.

This is an episode of That’s What She Said, my podcast! Listen in 👇🏼

P.S. If you need (not-poetry-based) help with following up in sales…stay on it.

The Mental Health Pep Talk

mental health pep talk

Little did I know when I started a business eleven (!!!) years ago that I would be talking about mental health with people all the time. The ins and outs, the ups and downs, the hardest parts of being human — it’s all on the table, and that was BEFORE we came down with a pandemic. Lemme read you a poem and love on you in this episode of That’s What She Said, okay? (There are hundreds more episodes here.  Or catch up on all things dealing with depression while running a business.)

To Past Me, Who Has Endured 20 Years of Depression

I love you.

Thank you for every tear you cried;
for every time you left the house
when you’d rather stay in;
for every time you shared the truth
instead of pretending to be okay.

Thank you for being brave enough
to ask for help, to tell on yourself,
to rest and pause when needed.

Thank you for simply enduring
when your brain was sure
you should no longer be alive.

Thank you for resisting the easy way out.

Thank you for being resilient enough to grow into;
grow despite;
grow past;
grow deeper.

Thank you for reaching into your darkest parts,
hands flailing around in sheer nothingness,
and finding gem after gem to examine,
cherish,
love.

Thank you for continuing to feel
in a world that wants you
to go
numb.

Just: thank you.

P.S. Dig poems?  My book of poetry is pay-what-you-can priced.

Today I started with nothing.

And so I took a walk,
greeting as many beings
as I could see:

rain, puddle, rose.

I drank deeply from the lilacs
and wondered at the tiny complex
reproductive organs of flowers
whose names I do not know:

nova, miracle, Wild.

I watched ants traversing canyons
of tree bark
In search of
I Do Not Know What:

sustenance, wandering, sweet.

(I didn’t have anything to offer
the water-soaked crow resting over there
and tried to not feel bad about my failing.)

(Human, human, human.)

At the last corner,
a pink bed of cherry blossom petals
strewn all over the sidewalk
to celebrate this homecoming:

You are here, you are here, you are here.

Air, sky, breath.

Alive.

Remember.
Alive.

P.S. We need this Note to Self now more than ever.

Let’s unlearn productivity, starting right now:

We are born into Not Enough.

Let’s storm the corporate castles
and make our meaning
from the world that already exists within this one —
the world in which the poems and paintings
and portraits and plants
count for something far more
than cash can ever provide —
the world in which our caring
is cause for celebration,
not another fucking commodity —
the world in which we take unlearning
productivity, perfectionism, and patriarchy
as seriously as we once took
wondering
whether we looked cute enough to leave the house.

P.S. Dig poems?  My book of poetry is pay-what-you-can priced.

(Also!  What you see burning in the featured image is a mix of everyday herbs similar to what would have been used by my way-back-wise-women ancestors.  The bundle was gifted to me by Bear Hebert, whom I interview about anti-capitalist business practices here.)