Trevor Abes: Writer

Tag: relationships

Plunge

The people you happen to love only return it in kind if you’re lucky 

It takes a lot of effort to commit to getting that carried away

 

A willingness to face the terror of saying hello

And them saying it back

And engaging the reckoning you seek

Somewhere deep inside there beyond awareness

 

The infinite vulnerability of talk

That’s only small because it carries within

The promise of intention

Of future formation

The kind of story you have to gauge

By how far it lives off the ground

Lest you have to shrink each other 

In your minds to who you were 

The second before whoever

Decided to bail and move

In a different direction

 

All of it hinging on discretion

Your economy of language

Practiced poverty at hiding and deciding

Oblivious to new constituents

In your version of the good life

 

—Liked what you read? Grab a book.

The Answer to Dancing is Yes

Everyone has something substantially wrong with them

At brunch, overcast, maybe you decide to say yes

To the adventurous and inadvisable

Further feeding your little infatuation problem

Superimposing your imaginings of things onto real things

Hoping to chisel your vision into actuality

Unmodulated by platitudes and spared the need for gurgled battle cries

 

Then there they are, in your bed

Having just ridden the subway together

From that show with the description that read good enough to attend

 

They say, I watch the news for my safety

You say, I’ve been told goals should be small

Numerous and directionless

To still have life left in them when you run

Out of original mid-life crises

 

You both hold beliefs that would scare the other

Into a different person

But your limbs and ideologies bend

In the same agreeable way

Which is close enough

When what is absent is a game

Whether you memorize an ending

Or you’re your own accomplice

And call it a new beginning

 

You say, so long as I get to flex my perspective

In seemingly insignificant ways, like

How I stock the fridge for midnight ruminations

Gash ice cream with a melon scoop

Knife a pillow to keep certain memories intact

They say, I don’t need confirmation of your desire

To exercise your right to know yourself

If it involves damaging me

I’m prepared for it to happen

Slightly Less Terrible

Digging without treasure doesn’t make sense

There is no moment between yesterday and today

It just keeps going

When I said I hated the incense

And you still let me smoke a cigarette inside because it was cold

I didn’t have the lenses to intuit the presence of preciousness 

When you quit drinking and neglected to call me for a month

And I didn’t give you any shit about it

You mistook my devotion for a sign of low self-esteem

Despite the park sunburns, laundromat ruminations

Elaborate budget-salad meal prep

And diminishing shame for the buoyancy 

Of Burgundy and brie on brioche afternoons

The universe still failed to smarten up to us

To how we stood against going TV test-patterned 

Late at night to clean ourselves of the gunk of the day

Because it gave us something to control and accumulate

When $11.25 an hour felt like a blessing

Even though it made us unfathomable in our critical awareness

As if we were owed interest on our anguish

When that’s just not how fixed income works

The Breakup Suite

It’s common sense writerly wisdom that one’s best work comes from the darkest places. It’s easier to believe in, of course, when everything is fine. When life sticks its foot out and makes you fall on your face, good literature or whichever artistic pursuits get you going don’t seem that important.

So when the love of my life walked out on the world we’d built over the last five years, unannounced, as these things happen, having decided on her own that our ways of being in the world were too different to stay, I was well aware as the darkness crept in and I started to lose my bearings.

Beyond doing everything I could to keep depression and anxiety at bay—reaching out to friends and loved ones, meditating, reading, sleeping and eating well, rediscovering self-worth and self-love as a newly single person—there was still an excess of grief in my chest, enough to not want to accept that an open mind, a shared home, a half decade of shared experiences, a whole lotta love, and an undying willingness to work things out are not enough to salvage things with someone who found a way to be happier and decided they were no longer willing to meet you halfway. 

As the days crawled on, and I learned the feelings wouldn’t so much leave as evolve into something bearable, I stopped beating myself up and ugly crying enough to assemble into my office chair to see what words came out.

The Breakup Suite is a breakup album in book of poetry form. 

It’s poetry for the dumped, or anyone drawn to that wallowing headspace.

It’s also my best effort at letting my former partner go, and unlearning the plans I had to never leave, by channeling leftover sweetness and unwanted nastiness into art that does justice to our time together.

I share it because my deal is creating things, putting them out into the world, and hoping they make at least one person who isn’t me feel less alone. Beyond that, I have no other expectations.

Available now in Print, PDF, and Kindle.

Read some sample poems here, here, and here.

Your copy is complimentary if you’re committed to reviewing the book for your website or any other publication. Use my contact form to let me know if you’re interested.

From the introduction,

“There is only one way to describe this tiny but mighty book of poems: the messy reassembling of a broken heart. If you’re reeling from grief after losing your beloved, and are looking for a little help unleashing pent up emotions, this one’s for you.

Does that mean the poems are merely weepy therapy and free of artistic merit? That’s not for me to decide. All I know is that the vast majority of these lines are about a psyche-crushing breakup, the painfully sudden occurrence and aftermath of which I am better able to live with simply because I have written it all down. My hope is that this reaction from extreme distress to moving on without being haunted by a partner’s memory is somehow transferrable through the poems here contained.

Listen, I know this might sound overly sentimental to anyone who isn’t currently consumed by post-separation emptiness, which is why I’m happy to say that this book isn’t for you. And I hope the time never comes when you need it to help you let the ugly feelings out and let a partner go. What follows is the saddest, angriest, achiest, all-up-in-my-feelingsest set of poems I have ever put together, every one of them dedicated to the romantic who mistook someone for their person only to watch that person leave all of a sudden after years without a chance for negotiation having come to the decision slowly and deliberately on their own weeks or months ago.”

 

Little Warm Glow

I don’t want to ask you for anything

I just want to sit here and think about your pouty face

When rain ruined our walks

How you’d nuzzle into my chest and urge

That we go back home in a faux-apocalyptic tone

Let me just keep that image in suspension for a second

And not feel like I need you to be in love with me

To appreciate it for what it was

A delightful 45 minutes in the middle of a Saturday

With someone I used to be partners with

Our lives intertwined like a money tree

Like our cat’s hair and every surface in our apartment

As if life’s knack for cutting you down to size

Was no match against our willingness to talk

Problems into submission

 

An Introvert’s Guide to Falling in Love With an Extrovert

Be ready to let them go. 

While you’re OK with them being your whole world, their happiness is based on exploration.

Remember, they’ll be at their most defensive when they feel trapped while you’re too blissed out on having nailed down a commitment for forever to notice that you’re likely to confuse it with a guarantee and rarely revisit to refortify.

Pay attention to that feeling of dread you get about having to be social for an extended period of time. Now think about them feeling your absence each time you’re not at an outing exploring with them. Internalize the compromise implied here. To stay together, you will have to be uncomfortable for them a lot of the time.

You will have to be that dashing romantic Casanova person more often than you think you need to. Giving each other space is all well and good, but you need to let your person know what they mean to you in more spontaneous ways. 

Palm the small of their back and gently pull them into you when you get home, even though your slushy boots are messing up the foyer floor. 

Touch and profess without formality, breath in their ear, peck on the neck. Let them feel you instead of merely knowing you are there. Make unexpected plans, 

But don’t neglect the need for a backup, a support network that is wide enough for them not to fall into the illusion that they’re almost exclusively responsible for your sanity.

Regularly imagine ways your lives can truly resemble interlaced fingers knowing they get their energy from other people while you get yours from being alone.

10 Reasons to Love Someone Quantum Mechanically: A Tetrad of Expansive Misreadings

Particles

10. According to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the inability to simultaneously predict your and your lover’s locations and velocities means that, whether still or moving, spicing up the relationship is already implicit in the universe.

9. Spreading out like a wave comes in handy during lapses in judgement, because it allows you to consider or “try out” all the options at hand before compacting into a particle when it’s time to take responsibility for your actions.

8. Because you can only predict probabilities at the quantum mechanical realm of atomic and subatomic particles, you can never really win, no matter the argument.

7. There are minor temperature variations across the sky and as far back in spacetime as when it was cold enough for atoms to fire up their nuclei. These variations are leftovers from the formation of planets and galaxies billions of years ago. Analogously, that thing you did in the late 80’s that your partner still brings up to prove a point, even though it has nothing to do with said point, is not going away any time soon.

6. A quantum is the minimal amount of any physical entity that can be involved in any interaction. It’s a packet of energy, a cautionary tale, the birthday/anniversary home appliance of physics.

5. Hamilton’s action principle says that physical systems evolve to minimize the action. You don’t run home when you can walk. You tee off from a par 5 with a driver instead of a 9 iron. When your lover asks if s/he looks fat, you say nay.

4. One of the many claims of quantum mechanics is that we do not live in a deterministic universe, that causality, on the smallest known scales (electrons colliding), is not fixed but uncertain, whereas macroscopic examples of causality (billiard balls colliding) only seem deterministic because of how they appear to human eyes. This is why grand gestures like trips and diamonds and designer digs sometimes do not go as far as cooking dinner or sweeping house.

3. According to quantum entanglement, two particles that interact physically, adopt the same state, then become separated will exhibit correlated values for the same measurement (position, momentum, energy, etc), no matter how far apart they happen to be. If a particle is found to be spinning in the clockwise direction, its entangled partner, whether a foot or a million miles away, will be found to be spinning in the counter clockwise direction: thus the natural foundation of petty disagreements about the cleaning of dishes, the clearing of gutters, the bagging and subsequent disposal of trash, and the differences between men and women.

2. The grand intention behind quantum mechanics is to better describe the universe. Descriptions can be accepted or rejected at any point; they are never eternally true. They are only true until experimentation disproves them. It’s fair to say that science is down with you unsettling your preconceptions about life, love, death, down to the right kind of cheese for saltines, in the hopes that you’ll one day comprehend that stepping stones are made from very many mistakes.

1. The speed of light is absolute; it is not measured in relation to anything else like a moving car to the road, or a plane to the clouds. The speed of light just is how fast light goes. What about you does not depend on anything other than yourself?

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