The Mighty Power of a Sermon

The Mighty Power of a Sermon

Give and it’ll come back to you
Pressed down
Shaken together
and running over

That tall man
With the great booming voice
And the well pressed suit
And the breath always in need of a tic tac
And who was cheating on his wife with…
I think?
Or Cheryll?
Whichever was first…
Said “it’ll come back to ya”

And I think I heard
It did come back
And that divorce settlement
Pressed down on him real hard
And those wives took
The church back
in some kinda coup
And no one really came to his sermons
No more
Cuz how can you hear of the holiness
of the body of Christ
From a man who’s defiling his own?

So we left that church
For none at all
My father always reckoned
He was a better preacher anyhow
He never quite said it
Boasting was below him
But we knew when he took out his
Makeshift podium
And set the dinner chairs in a row
He was gonna teach us a thing or two
About proper sermons

I think my daddy was a holy man
Cuz every holy man I’ve ever known
Turned out to be at least a little bit of an asshole
Something about a chaplain’s collar
And someone telling you
You’ve got God on your side
Makes you think
You can do anything

And my daddy
With the bigger voice
Long winded and verbose
Gave in to his feelings
Too much
But made them the only things
He didn’t talk about
With a boomier voice than the man
Sitting next to him
He gave in so much that they pressed
Him down as hard
As alimony did the preacher

They said that when he came back from the war
That he’d have to talk
To shake himself together
Or they’d keep shaking him down
Till his time ran out
And who wants to lead a life like that?

Then my mama
Who seemed to be fed up
With knowing all these holy men
Who couldn’t live straight
Or control their tempers
Said that all those men had been
Pressing on her and shaken her down
For too long
And cuz they had given so much
To the devil anyhow
That it seemed perfectly right
For her just to run them all over

She didn’t do it
Cuz she herself
Had given too much to the lord

But that just goes to show you
The mighty power of a sermon



When you’re at your most vulnerable, do you find yourself in places that you once knew?
The places you feel like you spent your whole life?
Last night I found myself on Plaina Rd. Looking at the old forgotten rocks that my father placed for desert decoration and running across my old forgotten driveway. It was a simple enough setting. I can’t remember where I was going or who I was with, but I remember when she showed up. Her hair bleached once again, short enough to touch her shoulders. Wearing that green coat she always wore with the furry hood, a somewhat cheap looking edition. She wasn’t the girl I remembered, but she was the one I saw in pictures back when I was missing her. She walked passed me while I was running and I smiled and turned around in her direction. I always knew she would reject me once again, but I always did it just in case she smiled back and I could see my old friend again. She was walking with someone and didn’t stop to talk, but as I always have done, I ran after. She did smile at me. She always does accidentally and I guess that’s why I never stop coming back. She smiled at my silly remarks despite herself while I chased her down, but when I finally caught up to her she turned around and looked at me solemnly. We were stopped in front of my old wire gate, the one that let into the backyard. Nothing but dirt and a swing set, but somehow lovely all the same. And as I smiled at her, a joke hanging at the corner of my mouth, she turns to me and says, “I’m not yours, Faithe.”
I had always told her she was mine. That my world and everything in it was hers because of it. That it was me and her until the end of forever. We’d fight off the world together, and when she got tired of fighting I’d fight for her. And when she got married, to whatever man she chose, I would regale stories of our adventures, smile and give her away. But she had said it. Finally and completely. Words I always knew, but I filtered out of my reality. She started to turn away again, hands in her pockets, she’d walk into a backyard sunset. But before she turned completely, I spoke out.
“Hey,” my voice rang out, the entire front yard was silent as she looked at me the last time. “I wouldn’t want you to be.”
I was surprised at how much truth reverberated in it. I was surprised at my own calm at her words, but I had let her go a long time before and had just never said it. There was a lot of pain I could remember but none of it was present then. I rather her be happy away from me. I rather she love her life in the way she pleases. I rather she feel that love I had always given from the person she wishes it from. I rather let her be ok so I can be ok too.

That Girl

That Girl

I heard she’s beautiful, but distant
I heard she’s everything you’d want a person to be
She’s just not the person you’d want to be it.
I heard that girl is miraculous
They say she may not be who you’d want to be with
But she’s also not the person who’d really notice.
That you thought that way
I heard that loving her was difficult to do
You’d always think more of her than she thought of you
And she’d always see more in you than you ever dared to
So not loving her? Well, that was hard too.
They say that girl is hard not to notice
They say she walks through the room with a type of elegance
They say her presence is as loud as her laugh
That everyone smiles when she walks passed
Because they feel happiness before they see it
They say that girl lives her life out loud
They say her sense of purpose is so clear that when she walks in a crowd
People notice.
I heard people look at that girl with admiration
They say she has no need for external validation
That everything she does seems to exceed their expectations
of what they thought she’d be
And all of that has always fascinated me
How jealous I am of that girl!

All the me’s

All the me’s

All the me’s

I’m supposed to be

Kinda seem weird to me?

Like they don’t fit well
Or match properly
Like I’m a great black sheep
Amidst the crowded white wool
of my own life

Or a pair of tight fitted jeans
That look great on your thighs
And make your calves look phenomenal
But you can’t quite fit your butt into?

Like I stick myself in each situation
To try and alleviate all this internal tension
Caused by the images put before me
That squish me, and tug me, and try to tear me
Too many pieces
For me to be comfortable
Completely Immobile

They all say what my parents used to say
If you’re gonna do anything
Then goddamn it
you do it all the way

If you’re gonna like this
then you must be that
And if you’re gonna be this
Then you’ve gotta do that

You have to choose who you are
And contort to that image
The middle ground doesn’t exist
There are no lines for you to balance upon
We do not negotiate
With potential threats
To our lifestyle

An androgynous woman is only well liked
On billboards
Magazine covers
And as the occasional hot silent sidekick
In action films

If I diverge from the crowd
I may become admirable
But am somehow now also
less accessible

Being odd makes you interesting
But it does not make you more liked
You may be easier to look at
But you’re somehow harder to talk to

But if I try
to be one of your
badly snipped strung out paper cutouts
We’ll both know I don’t belong there

There’s something about my presence?
It may be a bit of badly hidden disinterest
That’ll make you dislike me
Or maybe you see me struggling
To be seen simply
And it simply makes you uncomfortable
But I already hate conformity
However comfortable people say it should be
So does it matter?

You say it’s because I’m meant for something great
I say it’s because I’m meant for something normal
But great to you
Because it seems like an off beaten path
It feels like a fight for acceptance
It looks like something that makes you uneasy

But understand
That to me
It simply feels like normalcy
Because I can’t quite be
Anything else

I Adorn my walls

I Adorn my walls

I adorn my walls with the words of Maya Angelou
Of a great woman who’s done great things
And created great impact

A great woman
Who’s greatness
inspired the world
A great woman
Who greatly
Inspires me

I adorn my walls with the words of Maya Angelou
I stick them high above my bed
So in the morning when I rise
I may rise to the height of the standards she left behind

I adorn my walls with the words of Maya Angelou
And as I reach my arm out
To pin those words to the wall
I am again reminded of the love left in them
The love that reached millions
Touched hearts
And left hope where none was

I adorn my walls with the words of Maya Angelou
Not only are they beautiful
Not only are they decorative
But unlike most things
Which carry beauty and hold little substance
They feed a little life
Back into my little world

A large woman
With large hands
Large hands
Just like mine
And large feet
Just like mine
And a large voice
That could bellow a large laugh
Just like mine

Took all of her largeness
And lived her life out as greatly
As a large woman could

She picked up her large foot
And stomped a great big dent into the world’s side
A dent so large
That when she removed both her feet from the crusted top layer of the earth
The whole world
Took notice
Of the absence

She took her largeness
And saw it as advantageous
Long arms could hold more people
In tighter embraces
A large graceful foot
Could dominate a dance floor
A loud voice could beckon people over
From much further
And a large laugh could bring joy
To the farthest corners of the earth

She took her largeness
And made largeness synonymous for greatness
She became the great woman
Great women wanted to be
Whom great women wanted to be close to
Whom great women wanted to be noticed by

She had Oprah Winfrey crying at her funeral
That great woman cried
For the woman she wished was her mother

For the woman who loved deeply
And strongly
Without hesitation
And unbridled by half baked judgements

For the woman who spoke about it
Who sang about it
Who danced about it
Who wrote all about it
All in permanent ink

So I adorn my walls with the words of Maya Angelou
I put them above my bed
Right above the head of it
So maybe while I’m sleeping
Those words that leak greatness
Will drift sweetly
Into my dreams
And just a little bit of that great largeness
Might seep
oh so subtly
into me

It’s not love

I see this sparkle in your face
Hearing your voice
makes me excited
If I feel anxious
I lean closer
To you arm
But I idolize things
I collect hope from dreams
And I’m certain
My mind
has taken me
this far

You told me “never” once
You promised me forever
You took an oath
And you swore
to God
But that I’ve heard before
It still sounds ever lovely
When promises turn
To tear you

I don’t trust my eyes
When they tell me
you look better than you did
All those times
I saw you
They try to hint at my feeling
Giving legitimate reasons
As to why
They are things
I shouldn’t ignore

I held your arm
In my hands
I didn’t need you to stand
I was capable
Of walking
To my door
But it seemed
Kinda nice
It was weird but polite
I was self-conscious
But I’d been there

I don’t see you
as special
You’re not the greatest fellow
Not the greatest person
I’ve ever
Yet met
You’re not really
The smartest
But you love like an artist
And somehow
That’s hard to

This is not
But feels rather indecent
The way I dream
Love into
My heart
My mind’s all irrational
And seems to want passion towards
Anyone close enough
To leave it

I thought I was in love once
But I can’t say that that’s true
Does love feel
Like swallowing
Great shards
Of ice?
Or is that just the end?
Like being hurt
By your best friend
It was perfect
Before all the sugar
Was traded
For spice

I don’t know you
Well enough to love you
Despite what
My common tendencies
Would like
To think
But I’m growing rather fond
And that scares me beyond
All the past fears
I’ve gone over
With my shrink

When I Think of a Woman

When I Think of a Woman

What do you think of?
When you think of a woman?

I think of big golden hoop earrings
I think of pointy high heeled shoes
I think of turkeys on Thanksgiving
And cooking for big families

I think of my mama
And her clean simple beauty
And the way her teeth were always so white and shiny
That her smile seemed to reflect my face right back at me

I think of red lipstick
And red lip stick kisses
That she’d leave on my face
And I’d cry if someone smudged it

I think of my mama
who birthed a loyal child
A child who used to wait in bed all morning
For no one but her mama to pick her up and say hello

When I think of a woman
I think of beautiful things
But I think of beautiful things that I don’t wanna be

When I think of a woman
I think of you,

But I don’t wanna be you mama

And I know it’s weird because of how much you know I love you
But I don’t wanna be you mama

I don’t wanna walk in your shoes
Even if we are the same size
Because frankly
Mama, They’re uncomfortable
They’re high
and the toes are all pointy
Like some evil little man glued all your toes together
And shaved them down to a single point
I guess he wanted you to always have to lean on him to walk
I guess he didn’t want you to be able to walk away with your pretty face
But you learned to love to walk in those shoes, mama
And you took those pointy shoes and walked across runways
And eventually straight out that little man’s door
and then
he got stuck with me
Because mama I’d be damned anyway
if I try to walk away in something like that

And your walk
was so beautiful, mama
It was just like a woman’s walk should be

But I don’t wanna be you mama

When I think of a woman
A woman like you
I think of red lipstick kisses
But red lipstick kisses gross me out mama!
The red stains your clothes
And it’s all sticky
And you’ve gotta be careful of what you lean your face up against
I like my lips the way they are mama
I like the pink
I like The plumpness you see with the refraction of the light
I like the way my lips tell me if I need to drink more water that day
Mama… you know I get dehydrated!
I like my lips the way they are mama

But your red lips are beautiful
Just like a woman

When I think of a woman
A woman like you, mama
I think of big golden hoop earrings
But mama I like big hoops better in my golden memory than my ears
You know I’d like to rock em like you in the 80’s
But mama you can’t lay down to take a nap without those things getting snagged on something
And mama I’ve got sensitive ears!
You know that about me mama!

But they’re beautiful mama…
Just like you
They’re beautiful
Just like a woman…

And when I think of a woman, mama
A woman like you
I think of big Thanksgiving dinners
And I think of a pretty woman
Cooking for her man and their family
And her whole family bragging about her skills to all their friends
But I wanna man to cook for me, mama
I wanna come home from a really long work day
And see him slaving over the stove looking all spicy
I’ll have enough money for that mama
I’ll have enough money to put him in speedos erryday
And you can come over and watch, mama
If you wanna
There’ll be plenty of room at the table for you too

When I think of a woman
I think of you, mama
And no
I don’t wanna be a woman like you, mama
But that doesn’t mean I don’t like being a woman

Cuz I like the way I walk mama
I think it looks cool
It’s not elegant and sharp like you down a runway
but it’s not like people don’t stare when I walk by
And my walk
My walk is a walk of a woman

And I like my lips mama
Just the way they are
Even without red lipstick I think my kisses are just fine
And they
They are the kisses of a woman

And I like my earrings snag free
And I like em silver instead of gold
Cuz silver goes with everything and I don’t have to change them every time I change clothes
And they
Are on the ears of a woman

And I like my men in the kitchen
So I can do more work
But that woman sitting down watching
She’s still a woman

And I like my feet in sneakers
Because mama I like being able to run away
You ain’t ever know who’s gonna sneak up on you these days mama
People are crazy, mama
I like my sneakers
And these sneakers belong to a woman

So no
I don’t wanna be you mama
As beautiful and lovely and wonderful as you are
But no
That doesn’t make me less of a woman

These Days (An Excerpt)

I can almost feel you, you know.
The way I imagine you. I can almost feel your breath on my face as you lie down next to me, facing me. Mostly. Because every so often you notice me looking at you. You notice how the corners of my mouth seem permanently stuck into a high place, a happy place, a place of peace. Maybe for that moment you can feel how light my heart feels. So light I feel like I’m floating. Maybe you know that the feeling spreads from whatever part of me was touching you, so lightly. So lightly my skin didn’t feel it, but heavy enough that my soul caught on. You must notice, because you turn your face into my blanket. You hide yourself in it and let it catch your smile. I can feel your warmth emanate from that place. I can feel you loving me and it makes me float a little higher.
I can almost feel your hand right there. Beside mine. I’ve been afraid to reach for it because if I really lift my hand to touch it… I may remember it’s all in my mind. But if I stay still. If I close my eyes and watch you smile into my blanket, I can feel your hand in mine. I feel my middle finger stroke your index, stroke it just enough to light my soul on fire. And there I am burning, smiling, floating… All within the darkness of my eyelids.

And I can’t move. Because in that moment I’m in love. And I can’t speak. Because if I talk, you’ll disappear. And I can’t go live. Because I can’t go back to feeling less alive.

Occasionally, I lose myself in my mind. On empty days, days left to neglecting necessity, I sometimes get caught in a somewhat meditative space that seems more real than reality. On these days I can’t decide if I see myself more clearly, or if I momentarily lost focus. I wonder if I’m caught in a dream, hoping for things I don’t truly believe in, and waiting for things I know I should move on without.
My mind knows what I should be getting on with; the long list of “to-dos” on these days I ignore. On these days, I prefer my quiet fantasies; the list of things I want but decide I don’t need. It’s funny, because these days are the only days where I question their rank of importance. Those days I much rather stay asleep.

Same Spot

imageI keep finding myself in the same damn spot

And I know what you’re going to tell me

You’re gonna say “Well, damn Faithe stop running in circles”

Sitting over there trying to be a smart ass

But I’m not!

It’s been like running on a treadmill

I’ve kept my eyes and my body facing one direction my whole life

Sprinting my ass off, pretty literally

Til the people in the back give me that one eyebrowed look that says “Damn, girl…”

And I relish in the fact that I can see them in the window

But even though I like it sometimes, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still in the same damn spot

Thinking the same damn things

Telling the same damn stories

Feeling the same damn pain

The same pain that keeps me coming back to that same damn treadmill

And keeps me in this same damn spot

And I don’t wanna stay in one place all my life

I wanna move!

Be somewhere else!

Feel other things!

Nice things…

I wanna connect with people!

But the only way I can really connect with you is to be the Me

That I told you I’d be from the beginning

But that me hurts

And it’s that

Hurting kinda hurt that, you know, hurts

Your soul

Which is way more painful than pain in your body

So I still try to change

I keep trying to be someone else

Trying to hide the fact that I’ve always been myself

And that’s never been who I’ve wanted

And when it doesn’t work

Because it never works

I run that shit off

I run off the pain of failure

And the pain of rejection

And the pain of being a person surrounded by people

And I soak it

I drench it

I drown it

In the kinda pain that really rounds out your ass…

So I can get some sorta satisfaction somewhere

Ha. I guess in a way that’s me running in circles


From over here

I’ve been watching you

From over here

Not close enough to satisfy me

But not far away enough to truly disappoint

I’m just nearsighted enough to see the fuzzy outline of your figure

And I’ve seen you use those fuzzy arms to grasp at moments

And capture them within your arms quickly

A child with your new favorite blanket you hold them close to your heart

So close they can hear your heart beating

But not as close as you’d like them

Not close enough to change your heart’s rhythm

Not close enough to change you.

And you squeeze them so tightly that the life leaks right out of them

You wear those poor things out until they’re hardly recognizable

And your face drops again as you drop that rag to the ground

And you realize the joy of the moment has left

And you are back where you were

In the present

In the future

In the now

And I keep watching you as you desperately try to hold on to those moments

Moments that slip through your fingers like sand in your fists…

And I wonder why you are so desperate for them

Why you don’t know that you’re worth a lifetime

A lifetime of happiness

A lifetime of success

And a lifetime of love that a mere moment will never give you

When you hold such high expectations for them

And I could shout it out to you from where I’m sitting

But you’ve always been selective in your hearing…