26 March 2013

A Poem for When I am Not Writing Poems

In fiction, I must ask:
What’s my character’s problem?
And not: Why aren’t I outside looking at the moon,
singing to her and pining for all things light and dark
to touch me in ways I can only dream of being touched?

In fiction I must write silence into my dialogue without saying
“Insert awkward silence here.”
Who knew?

Who knew that a life of nothing much would
lead me here, to a keyboard in the middle of the night,
to a man dancing parallel lines to my groovy hips?

And now I’m driving toward a one and only future,
one I can’t imagine but somehow have known,
at least I’ve known to write it down, to document.
I document for those who dare not speak, but what do I have to say for them?
I have no problem, hence
my character has no problem, unless you count
a general problem with the way the world works
as a central problem to solve. Why have we come this far
and not solved rape?
Why have we come this far to debate on
who can and cannot be married?
Why have we come this far?
It’s not very far at all, is it?

But we are far – far from the one, the one true point
I don’t even believe
we’ve really ever come from: that garden, that snake. Nope. Don’t buy it.
Everything will change, but how
have we evolved so far from divinity? So far from light and truth
and justice and peace for all? Who will you pledge your allegiance to
when the moon doth not shine? Who will you side with
when there is no light to see any sides? Because that light is gone
as far as I can tell,
and I’m not even a poet.


What it’s like to give up writing poems:
I’ve given up my camera,
I am unable to take pictures of your thoughts,
snap snap
I just took your heart
an eyeball’s core with that image of
your brother’s bleeding wrists you had wanted to forget
not even bandages cover up what my camera can capture.
I miss it. The darkness like my own private dark room,
the way my heart reached out to it
in negative phototropism.
The way my whole being would turn to it
in order to get the poem.
Poems come from dark and silent places,
and also light and fluffy ones.
But mostly dark.

Poets Know:
it’s not an attitude, it’s an attunement.
It’s not always about line breaks and enjamb
ments. Nor is it always about witnessing. Rhyming,
definitely not even close to being about rhyming.
But what? That question
says it all.

12 March 2013

Fuck You, Depression


I have stood where the wind
touches no one.

I have let her hollow cry
brush my ears.

And when she made me cry
from sheer bitterness

I went on pretending,
forced a plastered smile.


I dress in black
and walk in snow,

rise tall like a shadow
or a ghost.

People say “Fuck
you, depression.”

I say nothing at all
and fall.

So tired and so awake
I recall whistling

to a dog in a sunny

Was that my childhood
or just the one I wanted?

I lay with piles around
me—heaps and stacks I

never put away.
There’s just no room for it all.

I’m craving sunshine
big sky, curvy land,

vast ocean.
But I have snow, a grey sky,

city lights bounce off the
snow-covered streets.

Nothing much to anchor me
or help me feel.


At home? Happy? Fulfilled? Who
ever really feels like that? I’m
hungry now, I always have
been. And this sucks, the
way I write now is always
looking for the good line, always
editing it down, even before I
write it to get the poem. I
can’t write the poem: it has
to write me. Oh I’ve forgotten
my tools. These are my tools.
Why am I filling my head with
fluff? Wasting my time with empty
entertainment? When I should be
carting my tools around
crafting stories and life from
the details I see.

I have always loved words.
Words are delicious.

Fucking depression. I will ninja
kick you back to hell.

Fuck you, depression. I will take a
Samurai sword and chop
your head off. Maybe even
borrow my dad’s machete. 

©2013 Samantha Kolber 

06 March 2013

Clothes Shopping: Love/Hate Relationship with my Body

I just want to talk for a minute about women's bodies and shopping. Now, I have what I have always considered a normal body. I am not overweight, nor am I too skinny. I have some cellulose (perfectly normal) in my thighs, my calves are thick from sports, and I still have a waist (at my age and after having a kid). And I love my body--it grew and birthed a child, it has ran marathons and hiked up mountains, it has danced and laughed and repaired itself from illnesses and injuries--but I hate clothes shopping. The thing is, while trying on clothes and seeing how nothing fits even though I pick my size off the shelf, I start to loathe my body. Love body while not clothes shopping; hate body while clothes shopping. Tough equation.

In the dressing room while stuffing my all-of-a-sudden sausage legs into a size 10 pair of pants--damn "skinny" pants!--I start to feel fat. In a size 10. Scary double digits. I wonder, if sizes came in letters, A,B,C,D and so on, would I feel the same about my body? Or would I equate the letters with school grades and think I have failed if I wear a size F? Yet the numbers serve to tell me that the higher I go, the bigger I am. When in fact I am not big. I am just me. My body is perfectly sized exactly right just for me. So how is it nothing ever fits? Why aren't the clothing companies making clothes that actually fit my body? If one pair of pants is too small in the legs, they're too big in the waist. If another fits in the waist, they are two feet too long in the legs. Trying on endless pairs of pants, I find myself longing for the days where people made their own clothes, or had their own tailor.

And don't even get me started on those mirrors and those lights! While the clothing may make me feel fat, the lights and mirrors make me feel ugly! Blotchy, pale, discolored, wide, out of proportion--it's like a fun house mirror. If the companies do that on purpose to try and disorient us into making bad purchases, oh wait, it's working. I bought a royal blue blazer at the store where it looked awesome on me in their mirror, but when I got it home it looked like a Wal-Mart cashier  blazer! Sigh. Why do I even go shopping? Oh yeah, I usually don't shop at big box stores. Tonight was an exception. I think I'll stick to my local downtown stores who have signs on their regularly lighted mirrors that say "I am beautiful! I love my body." No more exceptions. No more cheap short-cuts to big box stores. Back to thrift stores and saving up for weeks to buy one item at a clothing boutique! You can't really win with clothes shopping, can you?