Tag Archives: poetry

Through.

“The best way out is always through.”
-Robert Frost, “A Servant to Servants”

That is the quote from which I chose the name for my blog. I also have the word through tattooed on my body. Forever. It is there forever, and I will never be able to get rid of it. It actually says “through.” Period included. Because to me, the period denotes the finality of the quote. It indicates the presence of something before the word throughAfter all, the word through alone is not a sentence, and sentences end in periods, so there must be something before it that is unseen in the tattoo. Thus the period.

Through in the sense that I interpret it is an adverb. An adverb describes the manner in which one does something. To me, through is how to live. Live through. It carries a connotation of transience – of motion and activity, which are all good things that I like to associate with myself, and to associate with living. Through reminds me to keep living by doing, acting, and throwing myself at opportunities. To take advantage of time and manipulate my life around a clock. To make it difficult for the days to turn because I force so much life into them. Not in the sense that I have a jammed schedule and tons of friends and so many places to be, but in that I make good things happen and I embrace all of it. I drink up every chance I have to create myself – to create my life through. That’s what through means to me.

However, the connotation of continuance that I associate with through has a different significance for me. I am fortunate enough to have had almost nineteen years of truly blissful happiness, and I know just how lucky I am. But, you know, the going gets rough sometimes for everyone. There were times when I was genuinely concerned about my own mental health, there were times when people betrayed me, there were times when I couldn’t face myself for betraying others, and there were times that were just unnecessarily shitty for no other reason than that life is not fair sometimes. During those times, I need to close my eyes, hold my breath, and just blindly push forward – push through. Those times always end. There is always a time after those when things look up. I can’t spend every minute trying to fill my life with awesome things, so during the times when it becomes difficult to focus on getting through something, I have to remember that it’s exactly that – getting through the place I am now, because there are so many better things to look forward to after the not so happy times are over. I’m never stuck, but I’m also never helpless. For me, it’s never a matter of “letting it pass,” it’s a matter of taking an active role in pushing the bad times behind me so I can fully enjoy the good times.

So that is my through. It reminds me to actively push the bad behind me, and actively embrace the good. I try to live my life through.

Ɵru

“It’s just where your paths are leading…his is going in one direction, and yours is going in another direction. They probably won’t end up in the same place, but that’s ok. That did not sound the way I intended. It was supposed to sound encouraging. Now it just sounds sad. Ok, that did not go where it was supposed to. Sorry.” So said Eva Thomas.

I can’t use my own words right now, so I will use someone else’s. This isn’t supposed to be super cryptic. It’s not like I am trying to reveal some hidden emotion or anything – I am not broken. I am not sad. I am not looking for anything. It’s just that everything seems to be up and I am a bit down, and these words work better than anything I can come up with right now.

There you were 
in your black dress
Moving slow
to the sadness

You’d hate the dark to prove the dawn
Need me no more and I’ll be gone


And our days pass like autumn wind
And the world spins around me again


So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Because I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

Dream of ways to make you understand my pain.

Push it in and twist the knife again.
Watch my face as I pretend to feel no pain, pain, pain.

Once you want it to begin, 
no one really ever wins.

I saw sinners making music
I’ve dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound

I was walking far from home
But I carried your letters all the while
I saw lovers in a window
Whisper, “Want me like time, want me like time”

Saw a boatful of believers sail off
Talking too loud, talking too loud
I saw sunlight on the water
Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky

I saw flowers on the hillside
And a millionaire pissing on the lawn
Saw a prisoner take a pistol
And say, “Join me in song, join me in song”


Saw a car crash in the country
Where the prayers run like weeds along the road
I saw strangers stealing kisses

And a pair of hearts carved into a stone
I saw kindness and an angel
Crying, “Take me back home, take me back home”


Saw a highway, saw an ocean
I saw widows in the temple to the law
Naked dancers in the city
How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all

I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a wet road form a circle
And it came like a call, came like a call
From the Lord


You will hear
The shrillest highs and lowest lows with
The windows down when this is guiding you home

Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster
You know you went off like the devil in the church
In the middle of a crowded room
All we can do my love
Is hope we don’t take this ship down


The space between
What’s wrong and right
Is where you’ll find me hiding waiting for you



Three cheers for the humanities.

Shedabest.

The Nightingale.

The congratulatory Snapchat. (Sorry, Eva)

The sock bun. And my clean bed. And Santa.

Thank you, professor.

Wear your retainer and don’t drink, they said.

The best way out is always
always
always
through.

Christmas 2012.

He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through.

We classy.
Fireplace App + Elf + Christmas lights + hot chocolate + Eva + Christmas lights + Christmas socks = Love.
The setup.
Hi, Dad. Nice glasses.
Yuli.
This is Christmas, and this is happiness. 
Me and Harpoon. 
 Don’t ask how. Just accept it.
Benefit concealer into the whiskey.

A Servant to Servants – Robert Frost.

I DIDN’T make you know how glad I was
To have you come and camp here on our land.
I promised myself to get down some day
And see the way you lived, but I don’t know!
With a houseful of hungry men to feed         5
I guess you’d find…. It seems to me
I can’t express my feelings any more
Than I can raise my voice or want to lift
My hand (oh, I can lift it when I have to).
Did ever you feel so? I hope you never.         10
It’s got so I don’t even know for sure
Whether I am glad, sorry, or anything.
There’s nothing but a voice-like left inside
That seems to tell me how I ought to feel,
And would feel if I wasn’t all gone wrong.         15
You take the lake. I look and look at it.
I see it’s a fair, pretty sheet of water.
I stand and make myself repeat out loud
The advantages it has, so long and narrow,
Like a deep piece of some old running river         20
Cut short off at both ends. It lies five miles
Straight away through the mountain notch
From the sink window where I wash the plates,
And all our storms come up toward the house,
Drawing the slow waves whiter and whiter and whiter.         25
It took my mind off doughnuts and soda biscuit
To step outdoors and take the water dazzle
A sunny morning, or take the rising wind
About my face and body and through my wrapper,
When a storm threatened from the Dragon’s Den,         30
And a cold chill shivered across the lake.
I see it’s a fair, pretty sheet of water,
Our Willoughby! How did you hear of it?
I expect, though, everyone’s heard of it.
In a book about ferns? Listen to that!         35
You let things more like feathers regulate
Your going and coming. And you like it here?
I can see how you might. But I don’t know!
It would be different if more people came,
For then there would be business. As it is,         40
The cottages Len built, sometimes we rent them,
Sometimes we don’t. We’ve a good piece of shore
That ought to be worth something, and may yet.
But I don’t count on it as much as Len.
He looks on the bright side of everything,         45
Including me. He thinks I’ll be all right
With doctoring. But it’s not medicine—
Lowe is the only doctor’s dared to say so—
It’s rest I want—there, I have said it out—
From cooking meals for hungry hired men         50
And washing dishes after them—from doing
Things over and over that just won’t stay done.
By good rights I ought not to have so much
Put on me, but there seems no other way.
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it.         55
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through—
Leastways for me—and then they’ll be convinced.
It’s not that Len don’t want the best for me.         60
It was his plan our moving over in
Beside the lake from where that day I showed you
We used to live—ten miles from anywhere.
We didn’t change without some sacrifice,
But Len went at it to make up the loss.         65
His work’s a man’s, of course, from sun to sun,
But he works when he works as hard as I do—
Though there’s small profit in comparisons.
(Women and men will make them all the same.)
But work ain’t all. Len undertakes too much.         70
He’s into everything in town. This year
It’s highways, and he’s got too many men
Around him to look after that make waste.
They take advantage of him shamefully,
And proud, too, of themselves for doing so.         75
We have four here to board, great good-for-nothings,
Sprawling about the kitchen with their talk
While I fry their bacon. Much they care!
No more put out in what they do or say
Than if I wasn’t in the room at all.         80
Coming and going all the time, they are:
I don’t learn what their names are, let alone
Their characters, or whether they are safe
To have inside the house with doors unlocked.
I’m not afraid of them, though, if they’re not         85
Afraid of me. There’s two can play at that.
I have my fancies: it runs in the family.
My father’s brother wasn’t right. They kept him
Locked up for years back there at the old farm.
I’ve been away once—yes, I’ve been away.         90
The State Asylum. I was prejudiced;
I wouldn’t have sent anyone of mine there;
You know the old idea—the only asylum
Was the poorhouse, and those who could afford,
Rather than send their folks to such a place,         95
Kept them at home; and it does seem more human.
But it’s not so: the place is the asylum.
There they have every means proper to do with,
And you aren’t darkening other people’s lives—
Worse than no good to them, and they no good         100
To you in your condition; you can’t know
Affection or the want of it in that state.
I’ve heard too much of the old-fashioned way.
My father’s brother, he went mad quite young.
Some thought he had been bitten by a dog,         105
Because his violence took on the form
Of carrying his pillow in his teeth;
But it’s more likely he was crossed in love,
Or so the story goes. It was some girl.
Anyway all he talked about was love.         110
They soon saw he would do someone a mischief
If he wa’n’t kept strict watch of, and it ended
In father’s building him a sort of cage,
Or room within a room, of hickory poles,
Like stanchions in the barn, from floor to ceiling,—         115
A narrow passage all the way around.
Anything they put in for furniture
He’d tear to pieces, even a bed to lie on.
So they made the place comfortable with straw,
Like a beast’s stall, to ease their consciences.         120
Of course they had to feed him without dishes.
They tried to keep him clothed, but he paraded
With his clothes on his arm—all of his clothes.
Cruel—it sounds. I ’spose they did the best
They knew. And just when he was at the height,         125
Father and mother married, and mother came,
A bride, to help take care of such a creature,
And accommodate her young life to his.
That was what marrying father meant to her.
She had to lie and hear love things made dreadful         130
By his shouts in the night. He’d shout and shout
Until the strength was shouted out of him,
And his voice died down slowly from exhaustion.
He’d pull his bars apart like bow and bow-string,
And let them go and make them twang until         135
His hands had worn them smooth as any ox-bow.
And then he’d crow as if he thought that child’s play—
The only fun he had. I’ve heard them say, though,
They found a way to put a stop to it.
He was before my time—I never saw him;         140
But the pen stayed exactly as it was
There in the upper chamber in the ell,
A sort of catch-all full of attic clutter.
I often think of the smooth hickory bars.
It got so I would say—you know, half fooling—         145
“It’s time I took my turn upstairs in jail”—
Just as you will till it becomes a habit.
No wonder I was glad to get away.
Mind you, I waited till Len said the word.
I didn’t want the blame if things went wrong.         150
I was glad though, no end, when we moved out,
And I looked to be happy, and I was,
As I said, for a while—but I don’t know!
Somehow the change wore out like a prescription.
And there’s more to it than just window-views         155
And living by a lake. I’m past such help—
Unless Len took the notion, which he won’t,
And I won’t ask him—it’s not sure enough.
I ’spose I’ve got to go the road I’m going:
Other folks have to, and why shouldn’t I?         160
I almost think if I could do like you,
Drop everything and live out on the ground—
But it might be, come night, I shouldn’t like it,
Or a long rain. I should soon get enough,
And be glad of a good roof overhead.         165
I’ve lain awake thinking of you, I’ll warrant,
More than you have yourself, some of these nights.
The wonder was the tents weren’t snatched away
From over you as you lay in your beds.
I haven’t courage for a risk like that.         170
Bless you, of course, you’re keeping me from work,
But the thing of it is, I need to be kept.
There’s work enough to do—there’s always that;
But behind’s behind. The worst that you can do
Is set me back a little more behind.         175
I sha’n’t catch up in this world, anyway.
I’d rather you’d not go unless you must.