Today's Lesson Is Topography
Hey, tonight's lecture is on topography. Lie back and let me navigate, I've got all the maps. I will lead you down a course, discoursing as we go about those damn fool nights of two shots too many. Tonight's lecture is no story, song, or rhyme but a lesson in math of the wildest kind. The geometry in our curves bends like so. Watch your footing.
Now, I've got some graphs for your ears which require closer examination.
I knew a dead girl once. Upon meeting her in that dark corner of Serengatto's (it means something in one of those love languages of romance lands) she said
"Do you remember dying?"
and I said
"First I'd like to remember living
lets return to this communiqué
once we find the ground."
I had never played words with a dead girl before.
We made visual love there, on those too small seats of Serengatto's, our eyes conjoining in ways profane and delightful. So I knew her methods and wily means before we even said hello, or what passes for that in these parts. It was
Until The Last Leaf FallsUntil The Last Leaf Falls10 years ago in Spiritual & Occult More Like This
When I was a child I sat out amongst the trees and waited with the birds for fall to begin. First the leaves were painted new colors, shades shifting up to soft yellows and reds, and then on some silent cue one amongst them would make the bold leap to the ground.
Back then I thought the birds were painters.
The wind plays rough and branches shake. It'll come soon, but for now everything is anticipation.
Brave is the first leaf to fall. It shouts to the others as it wraps tight its autumn cloak of gold and red, 'I'll go ahead and see what's below.' The ground rushes up to that leaf, there's no falling yet, and says 'I have waited long seasons to kiss you again.'
Or so I'd like to think, as my eyes watch autumn do its work on the courtyard's tree. The view from the window is limited, but the tree below is beautiful. It's a maple, sitting proudly in a square of dirt and sod on a sea of stone benches and walkways. I'm two stories above its top branch, have spent the last three days watchin
For I have SinnedFor I have Sinned9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I once had
An affair with Jesus,
When my legs were swollen
And my eyes looked like heat
It was kept quite hush-hush
Afraid that Hashem would find out
And no Holy Mary's or hall-
would save me . But his voice
Beat wildly with the
Promise of a fake honey heaven
Complete with wings that would
Be glued onto my shoulder bones.
And I suffocated under
The red light from his
I didn't believe in
Men nailed on crosses
But I needed a cross-heaven
With twinkle angels
And winged warriors.
I kept waiting to be kissed
By fate, to be swept up
In the arms of forgiveness
And to elope with
A man who had scars on his wrists
Like my own.
But he chose
Millions of women
In white and black,
With purer thighs
And glass eyes
their eyes closed.
Sandals In NovemberSandals In November10 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Beginnings are often disappointing and boring affairs so I won't bother you with one. Perhaps you can catch up as we go along. My recountings are sporadic, but not inconsiderate.
She commented once to me the strangeness of my wearing sandals even in the dawning days of November. We had just climbed a tree, an activity we sometimes pursued in our off hours and I was effortless slipping them on my feet as she jerked about her shoe laces.
I do not remember what I said to her then exactly, some inanity or another as I am prone to often babble when in the presence of a lady. Something to do with summer running through my veins.
But she said to me, in response "I think October is in your blood. You live on endings and the turning of colors. A little strangeness or especially some pain excites you and gets you thinking about life again. That's what brings your feet out here to freeze."
Our relationship was very much like that the unreasonableness of sandals in November. Or barefeet on summer
reali swear to Godreal9 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
that i love mine as much as
you love yours and that
if i could find the words to say it,
i would. if i could
find the perfect words, if i could just
close my eyes and instead of thinking
i love him i love him i love him
think of something poetic and real and un-cliché,
just for a second,
i would. but
i am-he is-we are poetic,
Across A Crowded RoomAcross A Crowded Room12 years ago in Erotic More Like This
Across A Crowded Room
I watched him. Every Saturday night, he came in. Every Saturday night, I came in. And every Saturday night, we left separately. He to his house or apartment, and I to mine. Yet, I continued to come to Gay Parry with the hopes of meeting him. He came in at 9pm on the dot. He'd dance on the dance floor alone, and whenever any man advanced, he'd simply maneuver away. It only made him more desirable to everyone, especially me. He came in the same time and would always be dressed to kill. His garb read Abercrombie and Fitch, his blond hair flowing whenever he swirled and bumped in time with the rhythm and my heart. His muscular arms rippled within the tight fitting shirt, and slight bulge beckoned from his fancy white khakis. He never glanced my way, though my eyes never left him. I wouldn't even dance. My body remained planted safely on a stool near the bar. I'd inhale whiskey by the double shot, succumb to my lustful thoughts, adding myself into that s
Making TimeMaking Time11 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Vacation with the Buxleys was unbearable. They were all about numbers. 197 miles to Scottsbluff. 24 minutes to the next Flying J. Barometric pressure is 29.1 and dropping. And they didn't just talk numbers; they brawled numbers. If any of the three Buxley machines - man, woman, or prepubescent - committed an error minute as a hundredth of a percent, it was the job of the other two to gang up on the mistaken party and chastise until all of their boxy foreheads were dewy with computational perspiration. This is why I hadn't said anything in 150 miles. 156, to be exact.
What started as a well-meant ploy by my mother to get me out of town for a week had now escalated into a hostage situation. I was perched in the backseat of a plasticky SUV with a strange family, afflicted with reading-in-the-car queasiness and a terminal no-rest-stop-for-300-miles bladder infection. My trip was spent staring absently out the window, pointedly avoiding any sort of dialogue with the Buxleys' ghastly, rabbit
SelectivityWhy a word? This is no particular thing.Selectivity10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It can't be defined in an objective way.
The unstated dangles by half-open mouths,
a yawn like a cat stretching blithely at noon
as silence leans back on an unbalanced stool --
let it fall. The moment suggests it should be so.
If I see that your eyes project pictures behind
the irises, protean circles and spires
of curious leadings in lines of blank swaths
of colour, then I should say nothing.
now find my lips quaver with verbiage amiss
and I fail to a sentence, or rather, this kiss.
e is for.e is for.9 years ago in General More Like This
I wake up with e's in my ears. E's. Pages and pages of them crisscrossing over each other. eeeEeEeeeEEEeeEeeEEEEeEeEeeEEEEeeeEEeeeeEeEeEeeeEeeeEeeeeeEeEe. Blazing pink, orange across my blank slate of vision. I was this close to remembering. This close.
The clothes on my floor reek of third-hand smoke. The imprint of an imprint. Borrowed air that was already borrowed. A burned copy of a burned CD. On and on and on into nothingness or sameness, whichever smells strongest.
He had lips like napping eyes in summer that can't see black: RED. Too red, too fake. It was almost hard to believe those lips when they said nice things, mean things, all sorts of things. They were big wax Dracula mouths that you chew on at Halloween for two minutes before you spit them into the trash, still finding traces of wax in your toothpaste drool for a week afterwards. Traces.
I think after everything, I felt worst for Loretta. Loretta's brain had a disorder that the doctors could not pinpoint. They gav
Harriet JustHarriet Just9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Harriet just swept through the room.
It's the same as it was just now, except
the bathroom door is open, the rum
of her shampoo is everywhere,
and the word '...late'
now rests on the edge of my ear.
If a Lion Could SpeakThe world churns this body,If a Lion Could Speak10 years ago in Open More Like This
has been my whitish ipecac,
like a big tongue in the gut,
has made me hurtle words.
I am a refinery, a plant that shits beauty.
Im tired and frightened, that is depression,
Ive said it before. Nothing is everything is love,
and no great love for the man'inventing.
Touch me off, go back to the aether,
monkey fist, half-hitch, noose.
Love is a sandpaper, it smooths corners,
it bevels edges, it makes dust of us,
finally we go back to the wind.
Every ribcage is a ladder with rungs
of bone. Im glad Im thin
so I can count how high I have to go.
On the hunt, the devil grass hurts
my eyes. Id rather sleep,
Id rather yawn my children into petted being.
The thousand frights between
my lips have made such games
of ivory shaking in the voice of earth.
Down at the r
Sharing EdenSometimes, I think about John.Sharing Eden8 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I grew up in my grandparents' garden. It was fairly large and brilliantly colored in a way Crayola could never compare. I spent my days running through the pods of flowers, jumping from rock to rock, or simply laying on the grass, watching the birds, the bugs, and the days go by.
In my childish mind, I thought that God had one day decided to add Eden to Heaven, but accidentally dropped that forbidden garden on the way home. Eden shattered into pieces, and those beautiful shards fell to the Earth. When He saw how beautiful those fragments were, instead of sweeping up the pieces, he decided to leave them there as samples of Heaven. He sent down angels to care for the gardens so that they would flourish even when the area around them turned uglier and uglier.
I thought my grandparents were angels. Unlike most people, my grandparents did not plant healthy flowers. They had the remarkable ability to reconstitute withered and dying ones; weeks were marked with
His Name Was Chuck E.The car was stuffy and cramped. The rain tumbling down upon the roof of the exhausted Tempo showed no signs of letting up anytime soon. The sheer velocity of the howling wind in conjunction with the sheets rain of spilling out from the clouds above created just enough noise to drown out the music creeping past tired speakers. A little girl sighed in despair as she asked her father why they were here for what was quite possibly the fourth time in the span of a minute.His Name Was Chuck E.11 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
He said nothing and continued to hum along to music he could not hear.
Clearly frustrated, the little girl tugged at a few loose pieces of thread on the head-rest in front of her. When she had freed a few strands, she twirled them around while in the grasp of two small fingers.
"Lookit." she exclaimed to the little boy beside her.
"What?" he asked.
"It's fairy hair because it's blue." she told him. "That means it came from a fairy."
"No it doesn't." the boy replied.
"Yes, it does."
"You're stupid," he told her. "It came fr
Epitome of Romanceit's spring, now. we keep our curtains drawn after it rains because the rainbows still make you cringe. the stars are out at night, though, after clear evenings that wait and stick. you explain constellations to me because i never read the books. our bed is always left unmade because whenever one of us walks by it, we like being reminded of hungry hands and hungrier hips. you leave me shower-steam messages on the bathroom mirror. you make us dinner and i watch you stir, secretly using extra ingredients to spell out our initials near the sink. we watch a sad movie and i can't find the tissues, so you let me use your sleeve. "i bought you this." "i know." and then you sneak away, coming back with crackers and a british accent.Epitome of Romance11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the summer you wake me up with ice cubes and your tongue. our windows stay open all night and you nudge me when the neighbors whisper as they pass our house in the morning, so sure that they heard me the night before. you tell me about how you used to wait for m
nerudai want to read your bodyneruda11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like neruda poem
written in braille,
my fingers searching
the pages of your skin,
gently brushing away
the hair that falls
like a silken bookmark
across your face.
i will work my way
down the page, hands
trembling with excitement,
anticipating which words
fingers will linger
in some areas, reread,
so that on lonely nights
like this one I will
be able to recite
the subtle nuances of
your neck or the mystery
surrounding your navel.
I would try to interpret
the verse for others,
but there is no translation
for your lungs breathing
into the palm of my hand,
or your heart, beating
its ancient tribal rhythms
in correspondence with mine.
The Yellowiest DecemberShe was atheist andThe Yellowiest December6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he was a painter who
believed in everything
and the world, the glories
it held, endless fountains of
knowledge to be obtained.
"It's an amazing situation,"
he mused, running his hands
through her red hair.
She believed in asbestos,
that it was her favorite
color and he believed that she
needed more things to believe in.
He ate cranberry sauce while she
read him poetry about cats and disciples
and classical compositions and the
relevance in it all. It
was all he could do to say, "Wow,"
staring at the sky, effusion of clouds
draining, pouring out before dispersing.
Her blue flower dress smelt of
chamomile and tulips and she wore a
yellow chrysanthemum in her hair, his
head rested in her lap, her breathing
Flash cards and timer reminders on
PDA's kept him remembering every
little nuance. "This cupcake is in
celebration of the fifth time
I kissed you and made you blush."
She blushed again before becoming
flustered. A mental note, Twenty-fifth
argument The last time I spoke with you, it was like breathing underwater. My lungs were filling up, so that thin words kept swimming out of my mouth and I coughed up phrases that didn't make sense. Every speck of twisted logic you managed to shout suddenly fit, and I found myself wondering if you had been right all along. It was too bright. You were too loud. I didn't know what to say, and the fish were swimming all around me and brushing my shivery arms and my skirt was floating and freezing my bare legs. My hair was seaweed. My tongue was salt. I was not as pretty as a mermaid.argument8 years ago in Biography & Memoir More Like This
I'm not sure how, but underwater you were the most sensible person alive or dead. Your arguments, usually ridiculous, rang strong and true and made me look like a stupid foolish little child. My retorts were sloppy and ill-re
I dance in clown shoes.I dance in clown shoes.11 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
You compose your conversations.
Fitfully gesturing with whatever you hold,
ending arguments with a flourish.
Make a point, now whirl, quickly.
Make it impossible to counter with your unpunctuation.
You duck and weave, spin, sidestep, pirouette:
One, two, one, two, faster, harder, stronger.
You leave me confused and two steps back,
just far enough behind to appear lost and unsure.
And if I catch up, if I make a point,
you spin again, a trail of words falling like pixie dust
as you make your escape.
And as you storm out, you slam the period behind you,
Ending your sentence with a door.
And I must follow you, my thuds down the stairs preceding my statement,
trying to catch up before the page break.
Now I capitalize a W, and follow with an a, i, t.
And you pause, spin, speak, gesture, spin, continue.
A waltz to counter my four-four.
You don't dance your words-
you speak a dance.
You speak a dance Baryshnikov couldn't follow.
You rapidly reverse the rhythm,
changing tempo in a blur of sound
Your PoemOn the twentieth day of July 69,Your Poem10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
For the first time in history,
The moon landed on a man.
The first time such move had been attempted by a celestial body,
A great feat of precision,
Didn't crush the man at all.
You see, we see things from our eyes,
And everyone knows our eyes see upside down.
Or is that the right way up?
I could tell you about walking through deserts,
The beauty of running water, of rain,
You'd be thinking of TV shows.
When was the last time you were challenged,
Walked away from a conversation stunned.
Who are you listening to, me or yourself?
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
Is meaning in the eye of the reader?
More importantly, are you reading this upside down?
Every word you read is yours,
Make your own sentences,
Take your own morals.
And even though I wouldn't dream of telling you what to do,
Look within other people,
You'll see yourself.
Find out what you are,
Where you are headed.
Find your own moon and land on it.
Separation is NaturalWilliam leans over to say something into my ear. It's not a whisper, but I still don't hear it. He looks at me afterwards, and his eyebrows move up, and they make the wrinkles fly back to his forehead. His lips spread wide in a smile. Probably the same smile as always. I take my thumb and touch the corner of it and smile back my own version and nod like I heard what he said and take his hand and press it close to mine. We are safe, right here, with palms instead of words, with our skin diffusing across layers of membranes whatever we forget to say.Separation is Natural8 years ago in General More Like This
In the morning, the sheets are sticking to my skin, and so is William, because he has an irreversible spooning habit. My breath tastes like morning, so I shuffle my feet across the carpet to the bathroom and brush my teeth with William's toothbrush and toothpaste, which makes my gums tingly. I walk back and kiss him on the forehead, and he groans and wiggles a bit to point his head away from the sunlight. I sit on the edge of the bed and pic
FramesMy bike is a vintage 1973 Raleigh handed down to me by my father. The steel frame I use to bike those forty miles to and from class every day is the same one he used on his campus, way back in the Bronze Age. Sure, I've replaced the brakes, the shifters, the chain, the pedals, the wheels, and about half the rider, but the core of the thing is unchanged.Frames7 years ago in Biography & Memoir More Like This
It's only natural, then, that I was replacing the brake cable when I discovered them. I'd been inserting a Dremel bit to cut some sheathe when I thought to wear eye protection, and what should I find when rifling through the mess called my father's garage but a pair of glasses that could have been older than the bike I was repairing. Safety wear, to be sure; the glasses were un-lensed, but the thick black frames were standard eye-wear right about the time NASA was sending Armstrong to the moon. Instantly recognizable. I used them to finish cutting the sheathe and pocketed
like Trotsky in Mexicoi conjugate apples to appleslike Trotsky in Mexico8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
replacing you with
syntactic dribble, spilling onto
my shirt, buttoned
collar to crotch
i am marrying words
like you married your
dolls in the seventh grade
the little weddings, bride
a tacky white christmas tree,
white as pearl, crashing into
a cake, breast-like goblets
as the groom snickered
softly to himself
and slipped the ring
down his throat like
a hook on a fishing line.
she was left, a Great Red Spot
on her Jupiter panties,
a glazed wreck
on the tongue of red velvet.
i break myself on the wheel,
stretched like taffy over a
slow grid, my feet raped
by icy stirrups.
you both watched gleefully
as Joan of Arc burned as paper,
blowing into dust.
he said he wanted your smell
he said he wanted your taste
he wanted to wake up,
his breath all in yours,
his socks, bunched in a
corner of the room
he wanted your children,
and he wanted your life.
but i guess i am just
Trotsky in Meixco,
an icepick in my head.
i caught a glimpse of
an isosceles love triangleIf two angles of one triangle are similar to two angles of another triangle, then the triangles are similar.an isosceles love triangle10 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Recalling the memory of His geometry makes me sick with longing. That's the real reason I don't call Him every night, don't spend hours stuttering out words onto paper in some tremulous imitation of a love letter. The space I have behind conversation and human interaction is where He really lives, ready for me any time I need to remember. I don't even have to close my eyes before His own stare back at mine, revealing the storm clouds and stars that hover around His midnight-black pupils. The angles of His eyebrows, the slope of His nose, the arches of His eyelashes, the degrees of His gait, the radius of His smile when He sees me, the surface area of His strong embrace; sometimes the formulas back me into a corner where I try to understand, try to meticulously calculate every possible equation. I never solve for the answer before I snap out of my stupor, realizing His abs
Exoskeleton BluesA thick-wrapped night, where fog,Exoskeleton Blues9 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
like weeds, had sprung
and drowned Decatur Street,
'cept for a few lit eateries;
spitballs of dotted light.
A figure, running
like The Man was licking
at its neck, a teary ribbon
down its cheek a-dripping
pooling at the throat.
Wet, rib-shaking sobs blew lungs
already straining from the run,
my heart a rabid, raving felon
hammering his bars.
His prints still smeared across my wrist,
his voice an earworm drilling fast
into my brain, I dove into the mist:
a veil of doors.
A girl, a boy, I could not care,
had it been Jesus standing there
arm interlinked with that bold whore
who'd sworn himself to me.
A thousand thoughts rose in my blood:
a convent, poison, all too good
and none would help, just armour, hard
all over, 'gainst such treachery.
The cry came high: a choirboy scream.
My heels scraped gravel as the moan
grew stronger. Veiled in Chartreuse, swarming
solid mists advanced.
The Feu-Fo-Lay, my mother said,
when I was younger, in my bed,
will get you.
from the sidelinesfrom the sidelines10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Over dusty shoulders I see
a world I'll never win, and I should be anywhere..
Anywhere but here..
Dirty chalk clouds slur through a city sky
until they drop off the stale earth,
and this is my story, and I shall follow them,
and I shall fall. Harsh and ugly.
We lived life like we were the only ones not broken.
Your heart was the fist matching my bruises,
we were misplaced children, collapsed from our worlds
We tugged our skin on the trees we climbed, trying to kidnap stars,
you tripped me up once or twice
and I stared at you
while you let your fingers