Depressing Russian Literature.Guilt is a piano on top of you
instead of a man. Street noises
drain you like bleach on a rainbow.
Indecision becomes a washer & dryer
you can't stop putting things into
& taking things out of all through
a painful fluorescent night. The
brain becomes smoke, a hidden stash
of dark red cigarettes, dipped in
formaldehyde, waiting for you.
Depressing Russian literature
becomes your best friend & you
can't remember what it is like
to have a flesh & bone best friend,
a soft voice at the other end, someone to cough up
pounds of dirt and flashlights and floods with you.
Fun becomes self-destruction in the form of 47 grams
or too much coffee in the blood.
Death becomes a run-on sentence
wraps its arms around you, puts its
mouth all over a frozen horse.
Health becomes a science,
frightens you with its bones,
pulls at its skin like polyester.
Today is a miracle, & yesterday
was one too.
Train taint constraint conceitTrain taint constraint conceit11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a train journey
night, she sits serene
on the opposite seat,
and her gaze drifts to
skybirds on thermals soaring swooping emotionless joyful.
advancing, the Inspector of Tickets, the Taker of Fares
in his municipal in his green and strident waistcoat authoritarian
stride peaked cap tickets please tickets please tickets
she doesn't have a ticket. money
is alien-tainted hate-polluted isn't worth a damn
to her, let alone railway tickets.
she calls me to the open window – So
she jumps as the train starts to slow - So
she glides to the ground
and turns to me calling follow.
with her - i don't know, not
with her voice at any rate. hidden now
by a wooded glade still calling
Europe, Twenty-SixAnd there, to the west,Europe, Twenty-Six6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
was a skeleton
that wasnt made of bones
and carried no flesh,
stretched taut across the skyline
and motionless, as if taken surprise
by the sudden black of night.
We gazed across the city,
electrified, two small eyes
peering out from the bright skull.
You lifted your arm,
fingers splayed like dark eyelashes
to catch the bright orbs
of streetlights on the horizon
and cupped them in your hand,
like small candles burning,
flickering luminescent in the midnight pupil.
Trinity RoseAs a teenager, he was the artist who painted sunsets just to see them bleed their light through acrylics, dandelions beheaded in the frost to prove that you don't need hands to come out of the world scathed. He created beautiful women with their hair over their eyes and their tummies sucked in and rose vine tattoos sneaking up their thighs only because he wanted to show how you become tainted.Trinity Rose5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
His theory: you look as helpless and fragile as possible and then you open all the windows and the doors and a violent man walks in, or a vengeful wind.
That came from a sixteen-year-old mind high on hormones and a lack of experience.
That came from a young boy who believed you had to feign tragedy to be a good artist.
The older he became, the blinder he let his paintings become, perhaps literally. The only places he'd ever looked were up to the sky and down to his canvas. No elderly couple, no schoolchildren ever stumbled out of the light he stroked excessively between shadows. Their eyes always
Learning GodThese beloveds of mineLearning God5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
wend their way through minefields of learning,
dig through layers of deadliness for you.
blinded still by the glitter of my tripwire,
I dance along the edges of these cliffs
believing there is an invisible bridge, casting sand
out into the sky, ready to run along the glimmer of walkway
it reveals, assume
there is no bottom to this gorge, launch off
and grow my wings as the wind hits me in the face
and think I have help to give to my beloveds.
Maybe the difference is that
I have left the ground, and they are still pushing poles into
the next bit of dirt, mincing toward the next buried mine.
daughterI find her in my kitchen, one ordinary morning with the harsh winter sun tipping full through the window. I haven't seen her for six months, and yet here she is, bruised knees pulled up under her chin, the light pouring through her hair like dull bronze. Despite the cold she is only wearing shorts and an old gray t-shirt, two sizes too big. Upon hearing my footsteps she looks up from picking at her nails, covered in chipped black polish, multicolored threads and silver rings slipping down her wrists. Her hair is tangled and long; longer than I can ever remember, and she tucks it behind an ear studded with piercings that glint in the dark strands. Her face is still in the shadows but a smile breaks through the silence and for the smallest moment I am stunned by the sheer momentum of life; the scent of baby powder, fireflies in the live oaks at night, the first time I felt her weight in my arms in a hospital bed, her tiny heart beating like a butterfly against my palm.daughter5 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I have to sift
PallorI cried myself sane and thenPallor5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
moved on. How strange, that a man
can split open like a rotten peach and find,
at last, nothingness. How strange to realize:
only then can sunlight enter his veins.
Death dissolves us. Nothing has changed
but everything is different. I spend an hour
pressing my fingers against a wall, the skin
whitening as blood retreats.
There is no regret, no fear. Only a man
who whitens against his final four walls,
the empty chair, the selfish and wandering grief.
Only a man whose face slowly unravels and the way
I wash my face, make dinner, let myself forget.
FloodThe sun came out this weekFlood5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
after a full year of rain,
my lips puckered,
fingers pruned like
the skin around old-woman
I wrung my hair of salt
and old sea lions,
until it was dry and limp,
let water spill out my ears
until the floor was wet.
You came in with the mop
and limped about a mess
the water-weak floor groaning,
cleaned up a life of liquid.
In your yellow bucket
the year looked miniature
not nearly half as deep
as it had fell.
Can't Go Home Again My name is Jacob Mullins. I just turned 24 last week and got a phone call from my father telling me to come home. Now, as I get out of my car and head up the walkway, I'm not too jazzed to be walking back into the house that reminds me of my childhood. It took me a year and a half to move into an apartment and get a decent job and now I have to take a leave of absence to take care of the old codger before he croaks. If I lose my job over this there better be something phenomenal in that will of his to make up for it.Can't Go Home Again5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
As soon as I open the door the smell of dust and sickness reaches my nostrils and my lip curls. I make my way down the hallway and into the old man's bedroom and don't bother to knock before I step in. He's hooked up to a oxygen tank and his eyes look glazed over as he fixes them on me. I lean against the dresser and fold my arms across my chest.
"So I'm here."
"And insolent as ever, I see." His voice is raspy and there's a t
Dear MeDear Little Rachel,Dear Me5 years ago in Letters More Like This
Yes, darling, you. You standing in the queue to get out of the airport, wrapped up as though it was minus 20 degrees Celsius outside when it was just 16 degrees. You there, aged eleven years old, your skin used to humidity and now cracking up like aging plaster in the blast of dry August air.
I know who you are. You brought me to life by your dreams, your bitter recollections of better days as you tried to defog the future, only to realise it was as misty as ever. I am who you are then, and you are who I am now. Call me a time traveller, talking to you and breaking a hundred physical laws but trust me, I'm just here to give you something.
Yeah, really, I hear you scoff. What have you learnt in the last five and a half years that you can tell me about? I mean, you're only about to turn seventeen. You're not even an adult. You're only an angst-ridden, bitchy, moody, internet-addicted teenager without one shred of philosophical decency. A teen advising
The Post*The Post5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The blue mail-satchel bumps and sways, brings them in,
rigid with the weight of promise;
envelopes, dessert-colored, a delicacy,
the brittle folds filled with scent,
a creme transfer over time, to me.
I open each with the reverence
of seashells and oceanic loves.
I cut apart the shore that separates us
with a letter-opener, the sound of water.
You have arrived
before your body.
I settle into my pulse
and the resounding ambiance of my privacy
while your words touch my lips.
We stand in our reamed maze of consent--
faces, throats thrumming
on parallel shoulders;
a doorway, at dusk;
a barefoot dance sung over by birds.
We are two of the same one;
the twin elements of time:
now and Then
--before and after--
not opposed. Of the same origin,
a substance pared from itself.
The dawn is your precision.
The long hair of rain,
the history of sound. You stand,
hands over your heart, eyelids li
Ephemera.Try turning a gun inside out. See what happens.Ephemera.5 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
Perhaps you will find love there, around the bullets,
or a story about love in a way you've never experienced,
but you somehow know exists.
Try turning a paper crane inside out, or a thousand.
See what happens. Reversed, they just make other animals,
butterflies that refuse to eat for an entire lifetime,
wounded elephants, and spiders that feast upon sunbeams.
Try turning your house inside out, like it has an eating disorder,
and purges your books and CDs and unwashed laundry onto your lawn,
the neighbor's lawn. See what happens when you try to talk it out of
destroying itself, tell it its windows are not too small, it's kitchen
not as big as it looks in that particular color.
Saw into your own skull and turn your brain inside out.
Is it dead-colored silly string beef?
Is it a litter of scattered Polaroids of your jumbled subconscious,
glowing brighter and brighter as they absorb daylight
FFM 3: The Great ProcessSilence spun out on the grassy hill, and the boy analyzed his grandfather for some sign of a reaction. Cholas granted the boy a bemused half-smile, chewing on the mouthpiece of his pipe.FFM 3: The Great Process5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"It's horrible, isn't it?" Tian finally blurted. "You're not gonna tell my mom are you?"
Cholas chuckled softly. "Calm down, boy. Calm down. It's only horrible if you act upon it." He glanced down to see if it helped. It didn't. "Look, what you're feeling is perfectly natural for boys your age. Grown men get the same impulses, but we're used to it, we don't let it torture us."
"No, no. Listen for a second, child. It's just a part of nature. Like honey spiders gathering pollen in their great nets, or hawkflies snatching them away to feed their maggots. It's all a part of the great process: life, death, reproduction."
"But my own sister?"
Again, that throaty chuc
Cliff at Fecamp, 1881Cliff at Fecamp, 18815 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Pluto is my sister.
We are what is not.
I know you can(not) hear her, but
she is creeping away
[at the speed of sound.]
She&I will find a space in space where there is space
for [ ].
My pallor is carcinogenic, and
her purples are slightly contagious, but
I suggest you keep your pupils constricted
Holding on to nothing is stupid,
but it's better than not holding onto anything.
the perfect kind of
you won't even miss us,
unless you've met us.
In which case, remember that
gorges are everything but gorgeous,
and sparrow-girls without sparrow-wings&spare-bones
are not sparrows at all.
We were Planetary.
( E x-p a n-
s i v e )
"You can't be a star in the day-time,"
I tried to tell her,
She just said
"Falling is flying when we never feel the groun
dalikrab daya holiday for nothing.dalikrab day5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
celebrate it yesterday if you want to
and make tomorrow its 50th anniversary.
wear a mustache
on your hind quarters
and speak only in sexual gestures.
have a translator present.
every dalikrab day
needs what every other
dalikrab day was missing.
to make this easy on you
i will tell you that every
dalikrab day so far has
been missing everything.
light incense made from cow manure
and filter your water with the
put that in your pipe that is not a pipe and smoke it.
draw from imagery that has nothing
to do with you. like nudity.
leave the house for once but remain
under the same umbrella.
praise our leaders with signs of support:
"i have a mustache on my bottom!"
"you and i have a lot in common!"
"may i eat your dog too?"
"life has not been the same since i saw your sex tape!"
NumbersNumbersNumbers6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I could not stop seeing
parallels between words
and human flesh.
A poem that could rise up,
hunching its back, a
concentration camp victim
with bare ribs; this
language rolls like the ridges
and dips of a spine, sticking
up through paper skin.
And theyre using the peaks
as an abacus, counting them
as they die.
Why the Wind WailsWhy the Wind WailsWhy the Wind Wails5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Long ago, when gods and demons were more numerous and powerful than today, there lived in one corner of the world a Jaguar.
Now this Jaguar was no ordinary beast, for he grew far larger than others of his kind, until he towered over the greatest trees and began to rival even the smaller mountains. He knew hunger then, for being so large there was no game that could sustain him for long. Ravenous, he left the jungle and trekked north in search of better hunting.
He entered a desert, where at first he found only jackrabbits and the occasional coyote, neither of which was more than a tiny mouthful at a time. Besides which, the thunder of his belly rumbling sent most of them scurrying for their burrows before he ever got near.
The Jaguar was nearing the point of despair, about to lie down in the dust and wait to breathe his last when a musky scent wafted teasingly across his nose. Cresting a mountain, he sighted in the valley below a herd of gigantic pronghorned antelope
To Sleep, Perchance... It was raining. It was always raining. I could hear the neon lights hum in the windows of the bars and clubs as I passed by. Inside people were enjoying themselves, or thought they were, lost in their alcohol soaked daze. The neon painted colourful pictures in the oily puddles at my feet. I walked on..To Sleep, Perchance...6 years ago in Science Fiction More Like This
I pulled the collar of my coat up around my neck against the cool damp air. I needed to find someplace, anyplace to get out of the rain. These places werent for me. In these clothes, who was I kidding. Besides I didnt even have enough for the cover charge.
I didnt belong in their world, a world oblivious to people like me.
As I made my way along the street, the buildings began to get a little shabbier. The proprietors no longer concerned with the appearance of their establishment, and less concerned with the clientele.
I found a twenty four hour auto-mat. A bored cop eyed me
A Song for SorrowAway on the hilltop that surveys the shore,A Song for Sorrow6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The sunlight shines down on the dress that she tore.
For there stands my lady with tears in her eyes--
My ship soon is leaving for stormier skies.
The daylight is fading, with promise of night.
And I from below cannot fathom the height,
The distance from hilltop to shadowy shore,
The space of the years, of a lifetime or more.
She's lovely in sorrow, but pain and despair
Last only as long as the wind in her hair,
For memory fades with the coming of frost.
(There's no one as fair as the one who has lost.)
O Captain! My Captain! There's wind in the sail,
A flurry of hats torn away in the gale.
A tempest is coming, we must not delay!
Her face in my eyelids as we sail away.
The ocean is fickle, unending, and bleak;
She torments the mighty and swallows the weak.
So why do we love her, we rashest of men?
When all of our roads lead to her yet again.
The world is too small for our changeable hearts,
No time for the wisdom perdition imparts.
zzznight's limbo is retrospective,zzz5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
lights whim & akimbo and the shadows are epileptic
but stiller than still this is me leaning on my windowsill,
testing nonsleep's nimble rim till I tumble upwards etched & wrenched come early morn,
thinking what my wallclock must think of time & I
hounding sane, sound sounds, dreaming of the brick tongues of fireflies
and the many realms of the weather.
have you ever tried miming a dialogue with a handheld moment
only to find its spasm as warm as a cat's ninth life?
and that the past that the present has passed is a limber lie
from the moment your eyes pretend to memorize it?
well, sorry, I don't speak eyeese. if I try it's all wink & wheeze until language comes along.
at least then I know what to call it, one of its manyshaped names.
that's what monologue gets you, negotiations with pieslices of time
till your throat is dry & spidery and you're dying to be tired
but the glow attracts litt
one day in the windyou are the smell ofone day in the wind5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
new books, first opened
and matches, just
everything good about scent.
as i inhale and you stand there,
the blue of your eyes is
chilly enough that
i need a jacket when i look at you.
you envelop me
with coolness and pride
and i wear my heart like a sore
branded in the skin of my arm
you will see it.
Engine of Chaos"Define problem," I said, watching my guest over steepled fingers.Engine of Chaos5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The man - he had introduced himself as Edward Carter - twisted a machine-pressed felt hat between calloused hands.
"Well, I run a warehouse in the West India docks for a Mister Hibberd," he began, and grimaced, his pale brow furrowing beneath lank, age-bleached hair. "Top gent. But... There's somethin' tha's not right."
Oil-stained fingernails bit into his hat's brim, and he wet his lips.
"The foreman - he's walked out on me. An' I can't get lightermen in for love nor money. It's me engineer..." The felt hat audibly complained at his attentions. "He's gone a bit... I think he's blown a valve - if you'll excuse the expression."
He paused, and glanced anxiously about the room. Though I doubt he found much comfort there; my study was sparsely decorated at best. His eyes paused on my coat stand, before wandering idly over my desk, and finally, relucta