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19 January 2009 @ 08:38 pm
you hate tomatoes: an epically long poem  
um. this is fricken long in case you didn't already catch that drift from the title. it's pretty random...but still quite quite meaningful. and it gives you a glimpse into my mind. and...i think i like this one, a lot. because it's mostly honest. and it's mostly real and true. it just may be the best thing i've ever written, and i've written SHITLOADS of stuff.
inspired by Richard Siken and his breathtakingly fantastic poetry. 
you're golden if you read this. seriously. :)


 

You Hate Tomatoes



1

She’s making you a sandwich. She asks you if

you want a tomato. You say “no.” She always asks

you if you want a tomato and you always say “no”

because you hate tomatoes. And she knows you

hate tomatoes, but she still asks you anyway.

Like she’s trying to trick you into saying “yes” one

day because one day, you’re just going to be so fracken’

tired of saying “no” that you will say “yes.”

 

2

Let’s say for arguments sake that you say “yes.”

You do want a tomato even though you (think you)

hate tomatoes. But you still say “yes,” maybe because

you just want to shut her up or make her feel happy or

special by saying “yes.” There is now a tomato in your

sandwich. Turkey, cheddar, avocado, and a ripe red tomato.

The tomato seems out of place. You take a bite and the

tasteless watery goodness of that tomato changes your

perspective on life. You now love tomatoes.

 

3

But you really don’t love tomatoes. You still hate them

and you hate everything about them. But you say “yes”

anyway. She puts a tomato in your sandwich. It still feels

and looks out of place stuck between the avocado and

the turkey. You decide you don’t like it even though

you haven’t even eaten it yet. You take a bite. Its watery

tang tastes like crap and it makes your sandwich soggy and

gross. You still hate tomatoes, but you smile while you chew

in an attempt to feign happiness.

 

4

She asks you if you like tomatoes. You lie and say

“they’re alright” though you wish you had never said

“yes” in the first place because you still hate them. She puts

tomatoes in your sandwiches every single day, but you

don’t complain. You just pick them out one by one out

of your sandwich. It doesn’t matter though, because

tomato essence still lingers in your sandwich. That makes

you hate them even more.
 

___

 

5

He asks you why you pick the tomatoes out of your

sandwich. You explain the whole story to him again.

He asks, “Why don’t you just tell your mom you don’t

like tomatoes?” You answer, “Because I can’t just

tell her that. It’s not that simple.” He tells you

everything is simple. You don’t have the heart to tell

him that nothing is ever simple. You let him live in

ignorance. He basks in happiness. You envy him and his

naïve halfwit-ism.

 

6

You wish you could be ignorant. You wish you could

just let things be simple and uncomplicated and

everything would just be fine and dandy, but you aren’t

ignorant and things aren’t simple or fine or dandy. You

know too much for your own good and things are quite

complicated and they suck. You grew up too fast. You were

forced into adulthood and you don’t like it and you long for

the innocence and simplicity of being the 6-year-old version

of yourself that you can never be again and you figure

ignorance may be bliss, but  you can’t be a naïve little

halfwit all your life.


___

 

7

You’re sitting in his car and he’s playing you

a song. He asks if you like it. You smile and nod

but you don’t say a word because you don’t want

to tell him that you don’t like it and you don’t

want to ruin his happiness and you don’t want him

to hate you. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. The

easiest escape route from truth.

 

8

He’s sitting in your car and you’re playing him

a song. You ask him if he likes it. He smiles and

nods but he doesn’t say a word because he doesn’t

want to tell you that he doesn’t like it and he doesn’t

want to ruin your happiness and he doesn’t want you

to hate him. You know exactly what he’s doing, because

you just did it less than 24 hours ago. You ask him, “Why

don’t you just tell me you don’t like it?” and he answers

“Because I just can’t. It’s not that simple.” Student

surpasses the master. Grasshopper becomes the sensei.


___

 

9

You tell her that you don’t like tomatoes. She asks you

why you didn’t tell her that before and you just say,

“Because I couldn’t. It wasn’t that simple.” She tells you

everything is simple and you wonder where the hell she’s been

in her long fracken’ life to think that all things are simple.

She calls you a liar and the words “I’m sorry” teeter on the tip

of your tongue but just flop to the ground to no avail. She

doesn’t hear them and you don’t mean them. They wither on

the floor and you squish them with your cold bare toes as you

stomp off to your cave of a room.

 

10

You tell him you told her about the tomatoes. He says he’s

proud of you. You can’t help but laugh and wonder, What is

there to be proud of?, as he grabs your hand and rubs your back

and lays his chin on your head. You ask him “why can’t things

be simple?” and he tells you, “Because life isn’t simple. You

taught me that.” You don’t remember teaching him that. You

don’t remember anything. You just crumple in his arms like

paper.

 

11

You remember that paper comes from trees and trees come

from the ground and the ground is made of dirt which is made

of dead things. Paper is dead. But trees are alive. And trees

don’t ever really die. And you wish you were a tree because no

matter how many times people cut you down and chop you up into

little pieces to be burned or crushed or crumpled, you die a bit

inside and the bit of you that dies can’t grow back. Trees can still

manage to grow back the parts they lost as if they were never

missing in the first place. You wish you were a tree.


___

 

12

You show her a piece of art. Two human bodies reduced to bone

clinging to each other for dear life. As close as two bodies could

possibly be. Completely entangled in the other so that you can’t tell

where one person ends and the other begins. One single complete

bony being with two separate minds and beating  hearts. Bones

upon bones upon bones. Bones that are about to break. The

fragility and breakability of human life encompassed in

one single painting.

 

13

She looks at it and cringes. She tells you, “It’s interesting,

but also undeniably disturbing.” You wonder why she

doesn’t find the beauty in it. “I can't say that I get the art

thing at all. Mostly I just find it creepy,” she tells you. You

shrug and say you understand but you really don’t. Maybe

because you don’t want to think that you’re abnormal and can

somehow manage to find beauty in apocalyptic and morbid

and tragic pieces of art.

 

14

That makes you think of Shakespeare. Good ol’ Billy Shakes

and his unparalleled brilliance in terms of the English

vernacular. You don’t get why so many people hate him

or find his work unreadable and archaic and un-fun to read.

His work was the backbone of the English language. We just kept

adding flesh to that bone. But now that bone is breaking. And people

have forgotten about him and his words and his tragedies in the

same way that people forget about the world’s tragedies and

continually choose to drown themselves in happiness as if it

were a completely natural thing like eating or peeing or sleeping.


___

 

15

She sends you a book in the mail. It comes in a box

wrapped in duct tape and you have to get out scissors

to open it. A massive 800something page book is

resting inside the cardboard coffin waiting to be

resurrected. Little blue post-its are sticking out of the

pages like sore thumbs screaming, “Look at me! Read me!”

but you don’t read them. You just open up the book

and start reading like you’re supposed to, trying to ignore

the tiny blue post-its. You get out some lime-green post-its

to stick in it so when you send it back to her, she has

something else to read; little pieces of you for her to read.

 

16

You never like reading borrowed books. They smell

funny and you don’t know where they’ve been and

you realize the book isn’t yours and you have to give

it back. Even when you buy another copy of that book

it’s not the same. You haven’t poured yourself into

those pages. You wonder if you could just buy her a new

copy of the same book and just keep her copy for yourself

because you are too attached to it to give it back. But you

mail it back anyway feeling a little bit empty. You’re out

of green post-its. Damn.

 

17

She calls you on the phone. You hate talking on the phone.

You know it’s her because you read her name on your caller

ID, but you still sound surprised when you say “hello” like

you’re asking a question or something. You start rambling

about nothing and she starts rambling about nothing and you

laugh, but it isn’t a forced laugh and she laughs too and you’re

smiling and you’re starting to like talking on the phone. Someone

yells at you and slams your door and you wake-up and realize

that life isn’t as simple as a painless phone conversation.

 

18

Imagine being her on the other line. Laughing and talking

and opening yourself up to someone and then having that

cord cut. Too fast. Too abruptly, like a baby who’s crying

and screaming and breathing and alive and its umbilical

cord is just snipped off by some insincere doctor who snips

off thousands of umbilical cords every year and isn’t at all

affected by that baby’s sudden sense of loss.


___

 

19

You’re sitting on your curb smoking a cigarette. It’s

10:06pm and it’s dark and the street is empty but there

are lights on and people are home getting ready to sleep

while you’re out there on a curb in your pajamas

shivering and wheezing. You feel more relaxed with

each steady drag you take of that skinny little stick of

death. Your lungs and your throat are burning, but you

don’t care. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that

relaxations sweeps over you like a warm fuzzy blanket

and you feel whole for all but 10 minutes of your entire

day.

 

20

He tells you he thinks it’s funny when girls smoke

cigarettes. You ask him “why” but he just says he

doesn’t know. You tell him ,“It depends on the girl,”

and he agrees. “Can you picture me smoking?” you

ask him. He says “Yeah, I can. You’re edgy enough,”

and he laughs. You laugh too, but you’re laughing at

yourself because you are quite possibly the farthest

thing you can think of from “edgy.”


___

 

21

You wonder why you’re even writing this. Why it

means anything to you at all. Why you have included

both real and not-so-real people in this and why you

haven’t given them any names. But you’re still here

typing away and you hear the clickclickclick of your

lighting fast fingers on your worn-in keyboard of your

MacBook so cleverly named Mildred. The end is nearing

and you can feel it coming but you still don’t feel like it’s

finished yet. One more stanza, you tell yourself. And here

we go. The home stretch.

 

22

You didn’t really give anyone names because names aren’t

very important in the scheme of things. A lot of things

aren’t very important in the scheme of things, but a few

things are. You still hate tomatoes and things aren’t simple

and you still want to be a tree and you probably love him

and you probably won’t ever love her again and you appreciate

tragedy and complexity and you hate reading borrowed books

and you smoke like a chimney. And realizing all of this, through

writing letters and words and sentences and stanzas, you’ve

reached a state of  unspeakable contentment for which no

words can describe. For which there is no name. 

 

 
 
what i'm listening to: "One Red Thread" by Blind Pilot
 
 
 
Mary: longingmangobaby on January 20th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
I. Love. You.

This was the best thing you have EVER written. Ever.

I am so fucking impressed. And it's so fucking AMAZING.

And you like Richard Siken...and I am SO fucking GLAD.

And I have nothing else to say. I read this with my mouth gaping open and "fuck fuck fuck fuck" "oh fucking HELL" coming out.

the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
AHHHHH.
yeah, im. um. speechless now?
because...i think it's the best thing i've ever written too.
man.

and...mygod, i means SO FRICKEN MUCH to me that you're impressed. like...god.
so much.

and i fucking LOVE YOU.
christ jesus. love. you. and i love that you love this.
lovelovelovelovelove. haha.

Mary: coymangobaby on January 20th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
You should be so proud of this. I'm not fucking around, this is seriously amazing. Like. I have no words.

I'm impressed because you just wrote the shit out of your life...into this. And I feel like I crawled into your skin somehow...and then when I came out at the end I was changed. Different somehow.

And that is a DAMN experience. That I have when someone writes brilliance.

I really do. Fucking LOVE you back. A lot!
Lots of love. All around. We should just swim in it.

the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
and...the fact that you have no words to say about it because it was just...that amazing to you makes me feel so incredibly worthwhile.
because i have been trying my whole life to write/do something that renders someone speechless. and i just might have succeeded now. :)
win.

that is just...yeah, i cant even explain how happy that makes me. that it had an effect like that on anyone, especially you.

*massive MASSIVE squee*

yes. bask in the happiness. hahaha. :)
Mary: savagemangobaby on January 20th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
You did, Krys. You've written something that's probably infinitely more amazing than you even realize. *points to self* Fucking stupid with speechlessness.

You know, except I keep comment!spamming you. ;)

And it did. I am changed in a way I can't explain [because I'm speechless]. It's like my life blipped...or something.

Basking. lalala. Is it warm there? Because I prefer to bask in happiness in warmth and not in the frigid shit we have here. Haha
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:30 am (UTC)
i still dont think it's hit me yet. because...writing it just felt really normal and i wasnt thinking about it. i just...wrote it.
haha, you melted into a puddle of stupid? :P

i love comment!spam. i live for it. haha.

your life blipped. that's. indedscribably awesome. (is indescribably even a word? haha.)

it's pretty cold here. i mean...not as like "holy fuck my toes are going to fall off" cold as it is there, but pretty cold for california. around the 40s. lol.
but the sun comes out. even when it's cold. haha.
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Marymangobaby on January 20th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
And after reading half of this again...I am loving myself for recommending Siken to you. Because it inspired this fucking gem.
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
and i seriously LOVE you for recommending him to me because "You Are Jeff" totally changed my entire perspective on writing and life in general.
man.
it's a gem. that's..yeah, thats fucking AWESOME. haha.
Mary: longingmangobaby on January 20th, 2009 06:31 am (UTC)
I think that "A Primer For the Weird Small Loves" changed my entire perspective on everything. The 7th stanza ripped out my heart, cut it open for everyone to see inside, put it back in, and then pushed me out the door to face the world.

Seriously. He is amazing.
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paciencia y fe.windtrails on January 20th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
:o

This is all I can manage right now.
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
ohmygod.
myGOD.
im making that face right now realizing that you're reading this.
manohman.

thank you. :)
it means more than you realize. seriously.
paciencia y fe.windtrails on January 20th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
Oh my God, do not be ashamed! SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD, THAT YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE AT WHAT YOU DO! :D

I am stunned by this, I literally had to stop my own writing to gawk at how beautiful and painful and bare this is. This is a crown jewel. Put it in glass and let us all admire, bb. I'll pay to see it, however much the amount.
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC)
okay. i am no saying it loud and proud. :)
i mean...poetry was always just a way to pass the time but now it's more like a way of life for me. i need to do it to get by, which is kindof awesome.
:)

well.
i am....yeah i am speechless by your admiration of this. like...i am positive that i have just melted into a puddle of stupid.
thank you. i dont know how many times i can say it but...thank you. that means sosososososo much to me. truly.
i may or may not be publishing a book next christmas? and if it happens....well. i will be sure to send you a copy. :)
paciencia y fe.: (kl) phantomswindtrails on January 20th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC)
That's how I feel about writing. I can't do poetry but just writing anything, I need it or else, I go a little insane. But thank God, poetry is your way of life because I am in love with this.

Aww, you are so adorable, bb. :) No need to melt, it's only me! I'm just a lowly little admirer. ♥ OH REALLY NOW, SEND IT MY WAY AUTOGRAPHED, IMUSTINSISTOKAYTHANKYOU!
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 20th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
yes. definitely. writing and poetry are necessary to our sanity/existence. ahhh *squee* that makes me so very very happy.

hahaha, i try my best. lowly admirer? pshh. I AM A LOWLY ADMIRER OF ALL OF YOUR WORKS. seriously.
woo! i will definitely do that. haha. :)
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kathryn.noctems on January 20th, 2009 08:42 am (UTC)
That makes you think of Shakespeare. Good ol’ Billy Shakes

and his unparalleled brilliance in terms of the English

vernacular. You don’t get why so many people hate him

or find his work unreadable and archaic and un-fun to read.

His work was the backbone of the English language. We just kept

adding flesh to that bone. But now that bone is breaking. And people

have forgotten about him and his words and his tragedies in the

same way that people forget about the world’s tragedies and

continually choose to drown themselves in happiness as if it

were a completely natural thing like eating or peeing or sleeping.

You never like reading borrowed books. They smell

funny and you don’t know where they’ve been and

you realize the book isn’t yours and you have to give

it back. Even when you buy another copy of that book

it’s not the same. You haven’t poured yourself into

those pages. You wonder if you could just buy her a new

copy of the same book and just keep her copy for yourself

because you are too attached to it to give it back. But you

mail it back anyway feeling a little bit empty. You’re out

of green post-its. Damn.

You wonder why you’re even writing this. Why it

means anything to you at all. Why you have included

both real and not-so-real people in this and why you

haven’t given them any names. But you’re still here

typing away and you hear the clickclickclick of your

lighting fast fingers on your worn-in keyboard of your

MacBook so cleverly named Mildred. The end is nearing

and you can feel it coming but you still don’t feel like it’s

finished yet. One more stanza, you tell yourself. And here

we go. The home stretch.


I feel like we haven't talked in forever. Like really talked. But I loved this poem and all my favorites are above.

-Love always, Faith.

(you should text me: 7603918822)
P.S. I just exchanged #s with Mary and I feel oddly content and happy now. I'm not sure why.
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 21st, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
you know, you're right. we definitely haven't really talked. and that makes me quite quite sad. and i am so very glad you loved this. :)

your love is appreciated. :)
Buffy loves you too. haha.

Mary is like...my older sister. i love her. haha. and i will DEFINITELY text you.
and my number is aqui: 707-344-1926
i always have my phone on me so feel free to text me whenever.

i felt oddly content when Mary and i exchanged numbers too. haha. no need to explain. lol.
kathryn.noctems on January 21st, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
When I get my phone to charge I shall text you.
You gah me, ahahaahaha
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 21st, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
okay.
sounds like a plan.
you and me texting....mygod.
that will be EPIC. ahahaha.
kathryn.noctems on January 21st, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
People will look at my texts (because somehow they just "end up there") and be like woah, you and this girl are god, teach me your epic ways.
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chloélove_geeklife on January 24th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC)
i like the number 10 a lot.
but i love it all a lot.
as always

its truth.
our minds are very similar. that might be why we're friends. maybe.
=D
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 24th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC)
ahhhhh YAY.
i think this is by far the best "poem" i have ever written.
because it's strikingly honest.

our minds are most definitely similar.
hence...the friendship.
haha.
:)

you are so very kind to me.
and number 10 is definitely one of the better parts.
10 and 11 together are awesome. haha.
chloélove_geeklife on January 24th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
yesyes this is very amazing. and "poem" yeah, because its not really a poem but its like....a poem. i am sure you know that more then anyone as you wrote the damn thing.
i like it.
=D

10 makes me smile inwardly.
the go-gettercrookedthoughts on January 24th, 2009 08:08 am (UTC)
it's just a very simple random choppy story broken up into stanzas labeled as poetry.
:)

i crumple like paper.
a lot.
chloélove_geeklife on January 24th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
paper may crumple..
but everyone needs paper.
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