of birds and raindocument 1.of birds and rain6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"if this is how it starts
how hard is the rest going to be?"
may 18th passes. so does june 22nd.
in the time between and
after, I am left only with my birds
and the rain
and it rains all the time.
august 7th. I can no longer hear
the geiger-counter clicking of the gutters
over the echoes of crows and
car horns, though the mud that
devours my shoelaces each morning
tells me the storm still hits while
november 24th and even the pigeons
have gone. buildings boarded up,
all over my car.
nothing shiny left for them
to shit on.
january 6th now--
eight months and several
broken metaphors later,
the words still flutter cold in
my hands, my fingers
pressing snow angels
into the wings nestled in my
palms. I caught them
staring at me
with the same wrinkled face the moon wears
at six-thirty in the morning, knowing
that the sun
DogmaThis is how I think of you:Dogma6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
That you are made of wide-frame glasses,
vegetables and dismissals; that you watch
Dogma and you do not know why they
bothered making the movie and then ask me to
put in something depressing so you can cry again.
This is how I dream of you:
That you are standing outside of a residence hall
in the winter without any shoes; that you have no hair anymore
because your niece had leukemia and you cut it
all off to spite disease; that you flay your arms into
seventeen parts and I wake up screaming.
And most of all, this is how I feel you:
That you smell like the innards of a gull, all
lonely and grey; that even
To Write Love on Her ArmsWere riding in the car like we always do, always on our way to somewhere else. Im driving, passing highway sign after mile marker, counting the interstates until we get where were going.To Write Love on Her Arms7 years ago in General More Like This
Shes asleep in the passenger seat, skin porcelain pale in the choked dawn sun. Its streaming through the windowpane in flashes that mark time with the gaps in the trees, just a few hundred miles more.
Somehow I cant see how this is a real thing, real like the way hearts break, but like floating up above here, just looking down into her beautiful face. I shake myself like it was only a dream, but here she is, right here in the passenger seat.
Concentrate, just for a second, curve around the bend before I return to contemplation. I don't like where were going now, because to me she is too perfect for the fate that awaits her there, somewhere out beyond my lovers reach.
But still I drive on through the puddles of sunlight, hoping that she wont wake up
an augury of tearsyour love is the windan augury of tears6 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
on water. mine heaves deeper
than cruel riptide.
Piano HatI remember when we got our first piano. It was a black upright. Not exactly gorgeous, but definitely a nice instrument. I was really excited to get my hands on the thing, but dad wasnt too, um, keen on the idea -- "Keen"? Really? I say things like that sometimes even though I know they sound lame. What can you do, though? I didnt have my first piano lesson until a few days later. Sounds of tinkling piano keys filled the room. Bassy notes caused the whole foundation to shake. It was a thing of beauty. It really was. Best part: It was me. I was playing it. My hands couldnt throw a ball with any sort of accuracy at all, and I was picked on for it bad, but damn could they play a piano! I mean really! Just damn!Piano Hat7 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
That was, what -- like, five years ago? Yeah, I was about eight at the time, so, like, five years ago. So here I am, five years after I started playing the thing, and Im still going. In fact, Ive got a recital tonight. Thats why Im all
Lesson 1 - Basics of MeterQUOTE OF THE DAYLesson 1 - Basics of Meter8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
"Life is tons of discipline. Your first discipline is your vocabulary; then your grammar and your punctuation. Then, in your exuberance and bounding energy you say you're going to add to that. Then you add rhyme and meter. And your delight is in that power."
- Robert Frost
As Robert Frost is saying, meter and rhyme are not the most important parts of writing. They are the most intricate when creating poetry, but poems can be written without them. I began my poetry with free verse, and gradually became more and more fixed as I went on to learn more about how meter affects the poem, and how rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and the like also affect the reader's experience with a piece of poetry. And my free verse is all the better for it. Even if you never write another fixed poem after finishing this course, an intricate understanding of the rules of conventional poe
I will search out your shapeI will search out your shape--I will search out your shape6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
your parted mouth, the red esophagus,
a tongue limp with hunger
like the heavy sound of a bell.
I will find the dust of my skin
in the ancient impressions of
fingers on your body.
and In the cool stone of your nails
I will rest and grow to be the moss
that only you can see,
the downy hairs penetrating
the back of your long neck
are tall trees in the Sahara.
We will sleep in one room
and share exhalations.
Your eyes will be the windows.
and we will keep our secrets
pressed between our bodies
until they are wet and run together
like slick fish--
and finally, when it is dark,
we will lay to bed our cares,
our thirst, when the dust on the
floorboards retreats like a soft gray wave--
we will scatter our clothes and offer them
to the Spring moon, and peel off our skins
as carefully and easily as flower petals--
and then my kiss will swim in your blood,
freely and without despair.
This Light, SpeechlessThis light, speechlessThis Light, Speechless6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and without a name,
is dismantling the day
quiet as a door left
unopened by the wind,
folding itself unhurried
into idle birds, this
origami light, unmaking
muscle and design,
is not for the hand
upon the world unwashed,
the stains of lunch
and a book unread
this light is taking up the dust,
and the best of the bed,
the chair and chest, giving
its indifference gradually to
whatever is dead on the sill
and the soft muttering of birch
leaves awaiting twilight.
Coffee Shop MemoirsPhilosophers thinkCoffee Shop Memoirs6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We may dream our reality.
With earphones attached liked IVs
I dream my own melodic universe.
Until someone laughs behind me
And strikes up conversation with a friend.
And in that moment they become my anchor
Are they spinning through my dream
Or am I spinning through theirs?
Sometimes life fits in a coffee cup,
Sometimes inspiration pours out slowly like a packet of honey,
And sometimes it all mixes together
Like liquid incandescence that I drink right after brewing.
When no one speaks to me for hours
I begin to wonder
Is everyone dreaming a reality that includes
The whole café but me?
The street outside the window
With passing strangers, dogs and cars
Is a whole new Milky Way
Waiting to be discovered.
But I am no space explorer
Aliens are beyond my reach.
Whispers of the people around
Reach my ears distinctly
Like waves lapping on the shore.
Words on paper go no way
Towards proving that I was ever here
My identity is slowly condensed
Not into the people who kno
It is hard to be softMom cutting Dad's hair in the kitchen. Feather voicesIt is hard to be soft7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because they are discussing matters heavier than water,
jarring scrapes when they move the chair.
Tufts of hair fall, touching the
curved blade of ear. It is sharper, as are our brains,
than you think, even as
the night velvets. It pads alongside my cat,
who sits behind the laundry room door and makes old saxophone sounds.
I slip inside to touch
the kitten scruf of his neck.
How difficult it is, to definitively love or hate,
when everything is so soft.
From where I sit there are no windows
and except for drooping eyelids I would not believe
in the moon. Or in the swift autumn nights
that come upon us like riders. And the hard
hands begin groping in my belly,
begging to be noticed. I do.
mondaymornings are importantmonday6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to the poem. sometimes it
has to struggle toward Monday
and the house has to be cleaned.
it hardly has time to think of you.
it needs bagels for strength
and caffeine for the tangled mess
of words, strewn about like cheese
doodles locked in battle position
on the floor. the air is stale.
it will unearth suitcases full
of past. read chapters of history
written on cracked luggage tags.
it will want to stop because its
allergies are flaring. the flotsam
and jetsam of the mess is getting
in the way of the poem. it becomes
impatient and contemplates whiskey
and a cigarette mid afternoon.
it will discover more crumpled
passports from missed flights;
pages of dark-marrowed words
pointing to the cellar of the travel
agency door. it wonders if it's still
asleep. it will not like this. it will
be indignant. angry. withdrawn.
the shattered syntax must be rebuilt
one word at a time. it feels betrayed
until it raids the cellar, emptying content
by the roots and finally dumps
Memory of a LullabyChapter 1:Memory of a Lullaby6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The silence shattered as the bells in the rafters above him began to sway and sound their morning tones. Kane, jarred from his meditation, sighed quietly and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the beam that stood upright behind where he sat. The solemn melody played on for a minute or so before the bells fell to silence once more, having finished filling the air with their resonating tones as the people of Delmaska woke to face another day. Kane kept his eyes shut a moment more, trying to remember the broken pieces of the melody that had haunted him from his rest for the last few nights now. But they had fled with the sounding of the bells, like the black night from the mornings glow.
He was perched in the rafters of an old church, defaced by time and run through with rot. The wall had even fallen away in one spot, allowing Kane a clear view of the cityscape and the sun as it rose over the east sector. Here in the vast sprawl of slums, he oversaw the poor a
The Fractal ManYou wake up and before reality sets in you plan how you would like your day to go.The Fractal Man8 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You do the whole bathroom thingyou lather, you rinse, you repeat.
You dress slowly under your own scrutiny and regardless of whether you are in overalls or a uniform or a silk linen suit, you hate the way you look. You will never look the way you did that other day, the day you were happy just being yourselfthough you cannot specifically remember when that day was.
Eventually you exit your humble little home and stumble into the concentrated centre of a mad, mad world. In this land skyscrapers dwarf the rising sun and the earth below them is forever in their shadow. The city streets are always an endless stream of chaos around you.
If you were like me, you wore a silk linen suit and the toast was always the same.
It was never a far step from the inside of any building to the inside of a
LearNawaal, the headteacher, leads me out of the glaring sunlight and into the classroom. My eyes adjusting to the relative gloom, I find myself faced with a dozen boys barely younger than me, comfortable, curious, and amused.Lear7 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Minutes before, I and the Brighton Tubas delegation were being shown around the new school of Al Jiflik, a large village spread across one of the many beautiful valleys of the West Bank. It was my first day in occupied Palestine. Before thinking, I pressed my services on Nawaal, suggesting that my native tongue could be of great value in her English lesson. It is for this reason that I was soon politely shoved into the dark but comfortable classroom, and sat upon a traditional wooden schoolchair in a class of eighteen-year-olds.
The maths class is in mid-flow. My entrance shatters the atmosphere of learning, and I notice the presence of another dozen young people, girls, whispering and giggling at the back. Accepting the disruption, the maths teacher who is yo
The Breath of GodI.The Breath of God8 years ago in Other More Like This
My bones have been like cabinets;
the hinges all dust, wood punctured.
Breathe, hope, stamina (the grains wheat enough to take on
absence, sweat, and nausea) were misplaced.
Their dearth rearranged my skeleton in certain places,
and I stuck out heresunk in there.
The nonexistence was pushy
bored with the fractures,
ignorant of setting the bone.
I was ignorant of setting the bone, too.
Mirrors were poor reflections,
wasted glass, unable to diagnose.
I was intact. It appeared
that way. The angles spoke of it
they expressed the wholeness of body. Sure they did.
It spoke of other images, too, the one image, mine
like silverware sticking out of me obnoxiously,
unkempt and gray and sharp, with no regard for
But I was still fleshstill, I had
eleven ribs, eight fingers, two kneecaps.
And my marrow
had air pockets.
the year of the animaljanuary,the year of the animal6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i am attempting to hide from
you. i am hibernating in a bed
four times my size. i am imitating
a bear, clawing at you and growling
in my deepest growl.
i stuffed you in a heart
shaped box and buried
you in my garden.
but when i planted
radishes they tasted like
where are your lions and lambs?
i have pigeon toes and
wild oats for hair,
i went to the doctor on
the 10th. i learned that
i had forty two feathers growing
from my shoulder blades.
el cielo es azul,
y te quiero,
my legs are the color of mosquitos,
which is deep blood red and scratches.
potato bugs crawl up my skirt.
my teeth are too big for
my mouth. my appetite is
too big for my stomach.
the doctor says
that the way my
nails have turned
into claws is not normal.
i have a heart murmur
and it feels like a
small rabbit growing in my upper
chest, with its legs kicking in
my spine is rearranging itself,
So I writeGod,So I write6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I can barely remember
when we were strangers
and all I knew was your name.
And I could sit next to you,
and not feel a thing.
I could look in your eyes
and not know exactly what you were thinking.
I wish I could draw out my feelings.
But all I would get
is a mess of paper and pencil
and some scrambled up picture
of demented people
with missing heads and limbs.
Or no faces.
So I write.
Because theres something so methodic
about the rolling of a ballpoint pen
running over college ruled paper.
Its an antidrug in itself-
rehab in every letter
and safety in every punctuation.
No, not like a cut.
Not like a sharp, shiny razor
slicing a beautifully, unmarked arm.
No, nothing like that.
Nothing compared to the constant typing of words
or the forming of sentences. And thoughts.
So I write.
the truth never killedand thats whenthe truth never killed5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i looked you
in the eye
and told you
that i am
a dead end.
the girl they hold
in the middle of
the oh-honey-you-taste-so-good, the
lost and falling,
looking at the pieces
without seeing the whole
whole picture scars.
and i am
living without skin,
living without skin
so even the air burns.