Sunday, May 22, 2016

Outsider Poetry: Poetry By Anna Keeler

Poetry by Anna Keeler

Sing(Sing) Me To Sleep

I make a cell out of sage bundles
And ashtrays
And built my insanity on a platform
Of serenity--
A word that has never rented
Any space in my vocabulary
But still addresses me like I’m the management.  

These walls wear the sincerity of a real home,
But its walls are really paper
And bite my lip when the flames
kiss their foundation.

How easy was it to abduct me from the corner of
You’re not smart enough to be autistc
At the intersection of  
Your pretty ears are too small to hear voices?
Was it less bothersome to feed me rat turds
Instead of klonopin
And revoke the card that could give me some repose?

Because I know and you know
That in my life there was no such thing,
But that didn’t stop anyone else
from ripping the skin off the universe.
Y’all put on the eyes and smile of the cosmos
And deliver me
In the name of My Best Interests

And tell yourself that this prison
Is too introverted for you to ever understand;
Because it was roomy enough and it was comfy enough
And at least they fed me once in awhile.

You don’t see the vociferation
Punching its way through the drywall
And demanding that i come tend to its issues.
Because I was too dumb and too small
And too this and too that
Do this, girl, do that
Until tranquility was an abstract group of letters.

I learned to make the cell

Instead of letting it make me
And found the bundle of harmonious
Inevitable death left me with pillows and bedsheets.

The electric chair doesn’t lurk in the corner,
It loiters,
But I’m not afraid of
The teeth it whittles from soap bars--
Because smog can turn white it condensates long enough.

It won’t cuddle, but it hums me to sleep.

Return or Exchange

The man who created me was too cruel to be an artist
And threw all five of my senses into a kaleidoscope. 
I taste numbers
And smell colors
And hear supernovas dying 
long before their light burns out.

With the precision of a rubix cube
But with half the accuracy
I move and function
Until my mechanics are barely visible.

I carry the burden of twenty-one years
Without any spectrum,
Each year devouring more bitterness than the last.
My throat is a juxtaposition of
“Don’t look at me” and “please see me”
And i carry the need to be held in my hands.
Because my pockets are already full
Of words I was never able to say
And the eyes that I couldn’t bring myself to meet.

Movement is tied to recognition,
So I make myself into a blur of
Amber bear
And lapis lazuli
And dried wine stain
And ice aged sun
And all I hear is that my flexibility is a gift.

“It’s a gift,” says the eyes
That I originally couldn’t meet
And they ask me why I cannot see that.

I cannot recognize that which
Has no business trying to exist,
I pack myself into a box
And mail myself to typical, whoever he is,
And label the parcel,
“Dear god, return to sender.”


I fill the bald spots on my head with the healing powers of self-esteem that is promised to me in a care package. Calcite and sunstone and rose quartz promise to take me away on the most-expense paid trips to gaiety. 

They stare at the few pictures that exist of me from adolescence and see the instant I started to shed my curls, but it didn’t feel like my hair, dear stones, it felt like my skin because I was always told my only impressive feature was my hair. Sunbaked corn poppies and the veins of forest soldiers found their way onto a scalp that could never love them.

They try to return to the earth, the the core, the center, where affection is free from the constraints of the human psyche. But they soon find that even a cool surface can prune their fingers until they start to itch and the only way to calm them is to pull.

I’ve heard so much about this mortal being known as the calm but have only acquainted myself it with its sister cell, the storm. She arrives just in time to knock my bus off the road and the blacken the colors that were once within my grasp. 

I ask my chakra where is my calm? Where’s that special trip that you all keep promising? 

Then I remember that hope is the carved from the same tree as defeat. The gems lied to eat my leaves. 

So I let them. 

I’ll Shut Up By: Anna Keeler I’ll shut up When you can reach into my head and pull out All my imaginary friends And extract the lungs from their transparent chests So they can stop filling my brain with grandeur. I’ll shut up When you remove the fingerprints from my hands And the cochleas from my ears And the concept of the senses from my vocabulary, The day that my social disgrace And eyes incapable of hitting targets Catch a bull’s-eye in yours And become so malleable that you crush them With pliers. I’ll shut my damn mouth The day you shove a needle in my rib And do a biopsy of the compulsion in my bones; When you spend as many seconds Under the microscope of me And obsess over my chemistry the way I’m built to. The instant you arrive off your allistic, Good-hearted pedestal And anoint me with “I took Xanax once and I was okay,” Until your experience eclipses mine So hard I believe that stability is As simple as seducing the tits off positivity. Because strength is an eight letter word Antonymous with crazy, And crazy is another word for “she’s making excuses.” If I could I would pull the gray matter from my skull And camouflage myself against its bedfellow Until it was comfortable enough to cum Serotonin in my mouth, Or better yet, Let me absorb its dopamine on my cheeks. But abstractions cannot zip themselves Into personifications No matter how hard they suck in their stomachs. So I pick them up And press them into the page And pray they keep their bright, Gelatinous colors. Because these words do not seek the comfort of sympathizers And aren’t enticed by the politics of bra burning. But the second they are churned by outside minds They are slapped with the label Of a statement. A label that will be torn like a faded bumper sticker And left alongside the scraps of social justice. Inclusivity is a picky eater And has never been one to dumpster dive And certainly not from the hands Of those who pop pills like rosary beads. The words will be forced to wear The hats of those who know better And gridded sweaters that cover the bruisiest knuckles Until they are not themselves. They are not just robbed of their meaning, They are pillaged and burned down Before being wrapped in a lesser manifesto. Because I will be OCD And neurodivergent And schizo-pronia before I will be a poem. I will become the “You’re stronger than me” My friends shove into their pockets Before throwing tantrums in the faces of Quieter leviathans. And all they will leave me is the Shadows of those who milked Their sympathy seeking hearts That are only good for slipping And sliding And falling. One day, I will get across that floor. One day, I will be more than a sentiment in a pocket. But for now, I will smear shame on my lips And wear it like a smile While telling you all “I refuse to shut up!”

Zombie Logic Press By Jenny Mathews of Tiny Drawings


  1. This is amazing, I don't even like poetry much and this speaks to me.

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