OCD by Neil Hilborn

The first time I saw her..

Everything in my head went quiet.

All the ticks, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.

When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.

Even in bed, I’m thinking:

Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.
Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.

But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips..

Or the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek.

I knew I had to talk to her.

I asked her out six times in thirty seconds.

She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right, so I had to keep going.

On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating it, ortalking to her..

But she loved it.

She loved that I had to kiss her goodbye sixteen times or twenty-four times at different times of the day.

She loved that it took me forever to walk home because there are lots of cracks on our sidewalk.

When we moved in together, she said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely lock the door eighteen times.

I’d always watch her mouth when she talked—

when she talked—
when she talked—
when she talked;

when she said she loved me, her mouth would curl up at the edges.

At night, she’d lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off.

She’d close her eyes and imagine that the days and nights were passing in front of her.

But then.. She said I was taking up too much of her time.

That I couldn’t kiss her goodbye so much because I was making her late for work..

When she said she loved me, her mouth was a straight line..

When I stopped in front of a crack in the sidewalk, she just kept walking..

And last week she started sleeping at her mother’s place.

She told me that she shouldn’t have let me get so attached to her; that this whole thing was a mistake, but..

How can it be a mistake that I don’t have to wash my hands after I touch her?

Love is not a mistake, and it’s killing me that she can run away from this and I just can’t.

can’t go out and find someone new because I always think of her.

Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin.

I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars..

And she was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.

I want to wake up every morning thinking about the way she holds her steering wheel..

How she turns shower knobs like she opening a safe.

How she blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out—….

Now, I just think about who else is kissing her.

I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once—he doesn’t care if it’s perfect!

I want her back so bad..

I leave the door unlocked.

I leave the lights on.

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Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia

On October 27, 1932, Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Even in her youth, Plath was ambitiously driven to succeed. She kept a journal from the age of 11 and published her poems in regional magazines and newspapers. Her first national publication was in the Christian Science Monitor in 1950, just after graduating from high school.

On February 11, 1963, during one of the worst English winters on record, Plath wrote a note to her downstairs neighbor instructing him to call the doctor, then committed suicide. Plath was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in the kitchen, with her head in the oven, having sealed the rooms between herself and her sleeping children with wet towels and cloths. 

Lady Lazarus
by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it–

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?–

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot–
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart–
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash–
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there–

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

23-29 October 1962

Poetry Sunday: Wanting to Die by Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967. Themes of her poetry include her suicidal tendencies, long battle against depression and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children.

On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton’s manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975. On returning home she put on her mother’s old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, committing suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wanting to Die is from her Pulitzer-winning poetry collection Live or Die published in 1966. (Source)

Wanting to Die
by Anne Sexton

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death’s a sad bone; bruised, you’d say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love whatever it was, an infection.

This Type Love

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! This day is always a great day to post your favorite love poems without feeling too cheesy. This one right here is one of my favorite spoken word performances.

This Type Love by Shihan.

I want a love like
Me thinking of you
Thinking of me thinking of you type love
Or me telling my friends more than I’ve ever admitted to myself
About how I feel about you type love
Or hating how jealous you are
But loving how much you want me all to yourself type love
Or see how your first name just sound so good next to my last name
And shit I wanted to see how far I could get without calling you
And I barely made it out of my garage

See, I want a love that makes me wait until she falls asleep
And wonder if she’s dreaming about us being in love type love
Or who loves the other more
Or what she’s doing this exact moment
Or slow dancing in the middle of our apartment to the music of our hearts
Closing my eyes and imagining how a love so good
Could hurt so much when she’s not there
And shit I love not knowing where this love is headed type love
And check this, I want to place those little post-it notes
All around the how she she never forgets how much I love her type love
And not have enough ink in my pen to write all there is to love about her type love
And hope I make her feel as good as she makes me feel

And I want to deal with my friends making fun of me
The way I made fun of them when they went through the same kind of love type love
Only difference is, this is one of those real love type loves
And just like in high school
I want to spend hours on the phone not saying shit
And then fall asleep and then wake up with her right next to me
And smell her all up in my covers type love
I want to try counting the ways I love her
And lose count in the middle just so I have to start all over again
And I want to celebrate one of those one month anniversaries
Even though they ain’t really anniversaries
But doing it just ‘cause it make her happy type love
And, check this, I want to fall in love with the melody the phone plays
When none of us dialed into it type love
And talk to you until I lose my breathe
She leaves me breathless
But with the expanding of my lungs I inhale all of her back into me

I want a love that makes me need to change my cell phone calling plan
To something allows me to talk to her longer
‘cause in all honesty, I want to avoid one of them high cell phone bill type loves
And I want a love that makes me regret how small my hands are
I mean the lines on my palms don’t give me enough time
To love you as long as I’d like to type love
And I want a love that makes me st-st-st-st-stutter
Just thinking about how strong this love is type love
And I want a love that makes me want to cut off all my hair
Well, maybe not all of the hair
Maybe like I cut the split ends and trim my moustache
But it would still be a symbol of how strong my love for her

And check this, I kind of feel comfortable now
So I even be fantasizing about walking out on a green light
Just dying to get hit by a car
Just so I could lose my memory
Get transported to some third world country just to get treated
Then somehow meet up again with you so I can fall in love with you
In a different language and see if it still feels the same type love
I want a love that’s as unexplainable as she is
But I’m married, so she’s gonna be the one I share this love with