10. Bitterness

10. Bitterness (song)                                                                                        


verse 1

If I ever say a word that I don't mean, call me out

I believe I never have
It's a helpless situation, I give in

There's nothing I would ever compromise for you.

verse 2

I forget about you when you let me in
Suddenly there's something to hold onto.
I believe in lack of absolutes
Don't say never, always, I love you.


And don't tell me I'm addicted to your loving
‘cause I think I know myself more than you do
In the end I know your sleepless words mean nothing
And you can’t trust a single word I say to you.
But I'm the one who has the reasons

to question all that you promise that you'll do
Cause you never, never, never follow through.

verse 3
People round here think I've lost my purpose
They see me as worthless apart from you.
But I swear that I am still myself
I won't compromise, I'll hide my hurt upon a shelf.



And don't tell me I'm addicted to your loving
‘cause I think I know myself more than you do
In the end I know your sleepless words mean nothing
And you can’t trust a single word I say to you.
But I'm the one who has the reasons

to question all that you promise that you'll do
Cause you never, never, never follow through.



You were only one of many conquests I have journeyed through
That's what I keep telling you, to convince myself
You act like you're the victor, I'm the captured, you have all the power
I wanna tell you that you don't, that it's not true
but I'm defeated, I'd be a liar
cause it's you, it's you, it's you.


So I admit, I'm addicted to your loving
I admit you know me better than I do.
In the end I know your sleepless words mean nothing to me
But I still believe there could be good in you.
I'm the one who has the reasons to throw away the future we might get to
I say I'm leaving, but I never follow through.

No, I never, never, never follow through.

9. Anger

9. Anger


in my dreams I wouldn’t slam on my brakes

I would ram right into that horrible driver

in front of me

and wouldn’t get hurt

and wouldn’t pay

and would get my revenge


of course, in real life

I just scream and slam

on my brakes

and feel like there’s

boiling water in my throat




it’s crazy how much anger can be

contained in a little body

in a bloodstream, a stomp

a fist that’s not strong enough to express

the feeling


getting passed on the interstate

when I’m going 10 over


when I know the darkest depths of a heart

but they smile with a deep facade

I want to throw up and then

tackle them to the ground


often I find myself

in a crowded room where the noise is too loud

to breathe

I feel like I’m shouting and no one

is listening to me

but I have valuable things to say

I have talent, and I have worth

I swear to you,

I do


when they misunderstand I can’t

find a way to

express how incredibly


it is

just love me,



anger is a feeling fueled by


it dwells in the drama

it basks in the movie-like run-through-the-rain




it’s just so UNFAIR

that a veteran who lost his legs

for me

is starving on the interstate exit

and so UNFAIR

that the man at the next exit

is lying about

his true state


it’s so messed up

that being all alone

makes me feel worthlessness

an unnecessary feeling that

could be avoided but

culture shoves it down my throat

with its Valentine’s Day pressure and its

lingerie sales and its

falsified love stories

and I’m sick


money makes me angry

that a piece of paper and some metal circles

can define a life

can cause stress enough to send me to

an asylum


anger is a thrill, too

I find it almost satisfying sometimes

screaming at someone I love

reminds me that I love them

in a roundabout way

they say that there’s a fine line between


and love

and it’s true because

to scream you have to care

and I do.


of course, we scream too much

enough is enough

I could blame it on my demons or

your absolute oblivion

the baggage on my back or

your smile that covers up our problems


but really, we will walk away because

anger was the little devil in our brains

that told us all the wrong things to say.


biting words we know will bite

things I’m sure Ryan Gosling screamed at

some point

it gives us a rush,

keeps life interesting

being in love is too perfect

that’s no fun

[this is my problem]


in the end, anger makes me say

things I’m sure I believe fundamentally

but it’s like disappearing ink

and it’s too late to apologize

forgive me

for the things I never meant to say

8. Panic

8. Panic


back into the dreadful pool

I’m thrown like

when I was five

I couldn’t breathe immediately

I screamed underwater but

nobody heard

it felt like hours before

my dad pulled me out

now everything feels like

that water


swirling, swirling


my head’s an ocean


out of my ears and my nose

it drips, it pours, it flows

it won’t stop swirling

I can’t see


try to find my footing, slipping

in the endless ocean

til it buries me in waves of uncertainty

it’s almost comforting to feel nothing


then my head bursts forth out of the water

and I can breathe again

and it hits me

that I don’t know where I’m going

or who or what I am


I’m running on the interstate

trucks honk, cars swerve

I keep my footing

hope my sneakers don’t get muddy

I bought them yesterday.


I’m falling into pages of my favorite book

falling, falling

head-first, hitting ground that’s strangely spongy

I think I must be Alice

but it’s not Wonderland I’m falling



It’s echos of your words

the ground is covered in them

the pages of my diary look suddenly so silly

fourth grade tears on rusty swings and

first-kiss dares and

sixth grade “but I thought he loved me”


but your words are so much more than merry-go-rounds and

ice cream trucks

prom dresses and blue makeup and

I know that I’ve grown up somehow

but growing up just feels like panic


an IV sucking the life out of me

scream for help, no one can hear

try to rip it out and it sinks deeper


there are teeth gnawing on my arm

there are snakes strangling my neck

there are fires right under my feet

there are words whispered in my ear


it all must be a dream

it all must be a dream

it all must be a dream


the pills say, it’s just a dream

7. Insecurity

7. Insecurity


It’s a scary thing

to not know how to feel

when a thousand opinions

buzz like flies in my ears


it’s not just a person, or two, or a hundred

that makes me a nervous wreck

it’s not their words and their actions

their lack of attention to detail

it’s my misunderstanding of motivations

they must be out to get me

their sole purpose of living is to

hunt me down with a knife

makes sense, right?


I’m wrong, and I know it

but emotions like fear and anxiety

don’t bow down to logic,

they chase it down like wild dogs

devour it like a carcass


I know deep inside that there’s nothing to hide from

that truth will win out at the end of the day

but my heart is so much stronger than my head


isn’t it ironic that we don’t know how to properly love

the ones we love

until we don’t love them anymore?

that we find a way to shed the clinginess

the habits that they hated

the brokenness and biting words

and now that those words don’t matter

we are free to love

but it’s too late because we don’t.


it’s a cycle of disaster

of almosts and too lates

that wrecks my life and keeps

my head spinning in a tornado

of doubt

nails and plywood and hay and glass shards

and hearts and souls and old beginnings and new disasters spinning around

and around

and around

they’ll have to hit the ground



here I go again, a useless ramble

because periodic poetry may soothe my soul

but no one wants to listen

so I’m sorry that you’re reading this.


I read the poetry aloud so maybe you will

applaud me

applause equals love, I think

that’s what I’ve always thought


Anxiety is




it encroaches on everything that I do

hides in my backpack

jumps out of my books

creeps into my every conversation

stalks my dreams

walks in my footsteps

stays in my closet

clings to my clothes.


I can’t have a decent conversation

with a human being

because every human will let me down

I view each one as a mistake-to-be

nothing will last, but I try anyway

and now I’m just tired of trying.

They’ll all hate me in the end.


and so many hate me now

it spun out of control,

the lies that you told and the reputation

you spun for me

a web that I’m trying to untangle

but my need for approval shines through me

apparent desperation

and no one loves that

no one could love me.




every word that I say,

everything that I do

every song that I write

is under scrutiny

they judge and they hate

but most of it takes place in the courtroom

of my mind

where everyone is guilty

and I am in prison

pleading for justice


but the judge is their smiles

that pity the way that my knees bend inwards when I walk

and the voice crack I had in the September recital

and the boy that abandoned me and the way I reacted

and the songs that I wrote to soothe my pain like a bandaid

they pity it all, and they never forgive.




no matter the millions of times that I say it

the ways to re-word it,

the poetry to write

I can’t believe something I KNOW to be true.


I don’t deserve them, but they

don’t deserve me

a paradox, an illusion

I live in self-pity

I get high on feeling cornered

and my elusive vulnerability

addicting, it seems

to push people away and to live

in a realm of anxiety.


you came along and you

pushed all the buttons

I can’t talk about it,

it’s a story for another time

but you said to me “love, it’s alright

everything’s fine”


but you said it to me like I’m a newborn child

who couldn’t know any better

like I don’t know how it is to be tethered

to a bomb that could burst any second.


Heaven can wait for its angel, my dear

but I can’t wait here.


pulling at ropes that dwindle away

and searching for scraps in a wasteland

I’m slipping away into nothingness

and I don’t even know if I want to try

to come back.

6. Confusion

6. Confusion (song)                                                                                                  Key: D


verse 1

Would it scare you
If I said these three words?
I don't know if I mean them or not.
Would it scare you
If I uttered these things that I think that I feel but don't know if I do?
Would it scare you if I told you the truth
and I opened my mouth without knowing it?
If it scares you, well it scares me too.


I wish you would stay for a day or two
but you won't
So what can I do?


I will step back
I will let go
I won't give you
A chance to break my heart, no
You won't notice
Me tonight
I can't stay
No I can't wait for morning light.

verse 2

Oh it scares me
Just to utter three words
‘cause I don't know if I mean them or not.
Yes, it scares me

To not know how it feels just to love or to not, and to hurt or to heal.
Oh it scares me
that you won't feel the same and you might run away

while my heart’s on my sleeve.
Oh it scares me, would you leave me, would you leave?



I wish you would stay for a day or two
but you won't
So what can I do?






I will step back
I will let go
I won't give you
A chance to break my heart, no
You won't notice
Me tonight
I can't stay
No I can't wait for morning light.


I think I have a way of self-sabotaging whenever you come around
I think I have a way of always letting myself down
I think I have the truth down deep inside just waiting for me
But it's not what I wanna hear
So I leave it buried.



I will step back
I will let go
I won't give you
A chance to break my heart, no
You won't notice
Me tonight
I can't stay
No I can't wait for morning light.



Would it scare you
If I said these three words?
‘cause I don't know if I mean them or not.

5. Passion

5. Passion


all about you, then

all about me

all about rhythm and

riptides of motion

stirring, then boiling,

then cascading down


flailing arms

and seizures of the soul


like a ticking bomb in the pit of my stomach

feeling like I’ll explode any second

physically can’t find the words to

express the Passion that overwhelms


like everything I am has been

preparing itself for this moment

for this person

for this time


when finally, I can release all of this anguish

all of this joy and love and

every other emotion I’ve ever had inside

and give it to someone

wrapped neatly in a too-large refrigerator box

with recycled Christmas wrapping paper and a bow

deceiving like Pandora’s box

if you open it, you might be swept away


my Passion is like a hurricane

it submerges

and pushes people

it’s beautiful, some say

what a beautiful soul to feel that way

but one by one they trickle down the drain

and one day I look around and no one’s there.


it’s a painful realization to come to

the conclusion that

the Passion that makes me who I am

is the very thing that so many people

cannot stand about me



all of these emotions are ingrown so deep

they’re an old oak that is much older than me

whose roots tangle in my legs and whose trunk makes its way up my spine

and whose branches sprout from my brain

that has overtaken every inch of my body


these feelings that are more sophisticated, more deep

than a 20-something mind

but which I am stuck with.


I find they’ve slowly become who I am

the more and more I learn about myself,

I learn to embrace Passion

that so unwelcomed barged through my door

now I welcome it with a cup of tea and a

conversation on philosophy.

Passion is a wise companion.


I tell myself that the reason people

condemn my dearest Passion is that

they just misunderstand.

maybe they’re jealous, because

they can’t have such a learned, wise old friend

maybe they’re just terrified

because they haven’t found who

they are


I tell myself this.


my Passion brings me beautiful things

that I wouldn’t trade for any other personality

if getting rid of it meant more popularity,

I’d keep it around for sure.


it swells and grows my poetry

and it fuels my need for self-improvement

it gives me reasons to live, and to find

the meaning of life, and of me

it brings me joy,

and it brings me sorrow too.


but it teaches me that sorrow can be just as beautiful

if not more

than flippant joy or

shallow laughter

or hypocritical apathy parading as peace


I’ve learned to love the feeling of

sobbing ‘til I can’t breathe

because all it means is a release of something

I had jailed somewhere deep in me

that’s finally squirming its way out so

I can have some peace.


my Passion also gets me into trouble.

like bursting into tears

when I see a cute baby

or when I accidentally set off my boss’s house alarm

or when I find it thrilling to say the most biting words

when I am so devotedly angry.


it leads me to a romance

that will scrape the insides out of me

my nose, my knees, my elbows,

and it keeps me hanging on

to a jagged cliffside while my hands bleed


it pressures me into kissing in the back of cars

and compromising my morality

and it breaks my back on the rare occasions

when I just want to feel nothing


it coerces me into buying gifts and bringing coffee and

pouring out a servant’s heart for

someone who will never really love me

because you lack my Passion.


all of this, Passion tells me,

is simply for the sake of love.


the Notebook taught me wrong.


Passion isn’t for the weak,

but the strong who know when

to control it.


I don’t control it often enough,


but I’m still on a road of self-discovery

where Passion is my companion

I’ll learn to draw the line eventually



but until then, I’ll ride the waves and

see where they take me

Passion is an unreliable friend sometimes,

letting me drink the sour milk in its fridge

driving off cliffs while I’m in the passenger seat

but at the end of the day, I will embrace it

because my darling Passion makes me



and if you can’t accept it,

if you can’t approve of

our relationship

well, I don’t care.

I don’t think you’re hateful, I

just think you’re afraid

because depth and feeling and

dear, dear Passion

just like the monster under your bed

and the bats in your attic

it scares you.