The PianistA warm, lilting melody wafted through the nightclub, nimble fingers dancing over crisp black and white keys as the song of the grand piano drifted down from the stage, filtering between the irregularly spaced tables to fill every niche and recess of the dimly lit room. The lone figure in the spotlight moved gently with the music, her long chestnut hair billowing down her back in loose waves and her wine red dress fanning out around her knees as she sat on the worn leather stool. It was not a complex song she played, with no difficult notes or intricate rhythms, but there was something about it that was so enthralling, so entrancing, as if each sound touched you, clung to you, whispered to you.
As the tune swelled, as the notes danced, and as music came alive beneath her fingers, the pianist began to remember.
She met him at a cheap, backwater club on a cool autumn evening while playing yet another of those low paid unambitious jobs that she hated but needed to make ends meet. While
Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.Date a girl who draws3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You know the one. Her bag will be filled with discarded pencils and pens, scraps of paper with mindless doodles on them and blank books sticking out of her bag. She's the one who spends an hour trying to find the perfect sketchbook, only to pick up three more because she just couldn't help herself. She's the one hunched over in the coffee shop, rain or shine, the gears in her mind turning and turning while her hands move to catch up with every idea she has. She's the one who's too focused on what she's doing that her coffee's gotten cold and the people around her peek over her shoulder but she doesn't realise.
Compliment her drawings.
Ask to see more.
Turn the pages carefully, gently. Look at how hard she pressed the pencil into the page, the failed drawings, the successful ones. Look at the careful lines, the messy ones, the ones that give the drawings life. Linger on the pages you like but don't touch the drawings. Look at them carefully. Remember them.
A Butterfly Flapping Its WingsThe letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.A Butterfly Flapping Its Wings3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It wasn't happiness or elation that he felt. There was a vindication that scratched on the edges of his thoughts, but the only thing really resonating in his mind was, 'what now?' It was the first time in a long while since he had heard anything beside the scornful echoes of his father's words.
It was a dream.
Almost a decade had passed since they'd been said. He'd shyly expressed his fondness for art as a schoolboy, and his father had promptly crushed his meek hopes with an iron tongue. "Fool," he had said. "Dreamer, head in the clouds." He'd laughed then, coarse and cruel. "You'd never make it." And the next semester his star-gazer of a son had been enrolled into technical school.
It started with death.
Standing cold and numb as his father was buried, it was his mother that convinced him to apply that first time with her soft word
One More Drink"You want to get a drink?"One More Drink4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Six words. Six little words casually spoken by an innocent man without any idea of their implications.
"You want to get a drink?"
It was only a reunion with an old friend; it was not supposed to become a battlefield. One moment I'm strolling down the street chatting light-heartedly with a mate from school, the next my world is threatening to crash down around me.
"You want to get a drink?"
To him it may mean nothing but a simple boy's night out, but to me it means much, much more.
"You want to get a drink?"
Anxiety, depression, obsession, not caring what I did, who I hurt, how much I lost as long it got me a pint. Bystanders attacked and robbed when cash ran low, barmen beaten and stabbed after refusing to give any more, and every last cent, possession, and shred of dignity sacrificed.
"You want to get a drink?"
Often I woke in pain, sometimes in strange places with no memory of how I got there, sometimes in
SubductionWe drip into OctoberSubduction4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the silence of spiders
heavy in our chests,
our hearts curling in
on themselves like
leaves in autumn.
Lungs unfurl into the
there is a breath, a whisper--
This dying wind whistles
through empty throats,
as if to murmur a warning,
perhaps, that we threaten
along our hipbones.
starcrossedand we sailedstarcrossed5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in sinking ships
on borrowed tides
'neath starless skies
[i wonder, love,
why we never made it home.]
The Endlife is fast and death is quickThe End4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
hearts slow down and minds play tricks
bodies fade and souls lose hope
reaching for the past, hands grope
searching for what can't be grasped
words will weaken into gasps
broken thoughts and shattered dreams
bursting from us at the seams
fear takes hold, time slips away
we grow sicker day by day
the pain won't stop, the hurt stays strong
it's been inside us all along
but will it end when we all die?
and in the ground our carnage lies?
Second Street El stands under muted chrome lights, legs splayed apart and left hip cocked out like the jagged end of a lipstick smear. The soft undercurrent of voices drifts from the club crowd up to the stage, quiet murmured conversations below the chink of glasses and clicks of the mike stand slotting into place. If she listens close enough she can almost hear the bare echoes of a young man's laugh, a woman's soft tinkling sigh, the swell of a family's conversation.Second Street3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"All ready," the man before her grunts around the toothpick hanging out the corner of his sun-cracked mouth. El reaches a hand over to tug at the length of color-faded silk knotted around her left wrist, stepping forward to take the place he vacates. The same hand rises to wrap around the cold silver shaft, glossed lips parting as she ghosts them towards the microphone.
The crowd has dropped in volume, calm falling over the haphazardly arranged three-legged stools and half-rickety tables. It's a quiet she's felt
I Will Wait For YouThe letter came that fateful day,I Will Wait For You5 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
To tear you and I apart.
The weeks before you were forced on your way,
Were a blur of a blackened art.
For months I agonised for your return to date,
In sorrow deep enough for fiction.
Until on the dreaded list I read of your fate:
"Missing In Action"
In years that passed, I waited alone,
While no news came of the part of myself.
Hordes of soldiers were flocking back home,
But your file just gathered dust on the shelf.
I knew not if you were dead or alive,
I knew not what to do.
I had closed my heart, praying you would survive,
To love again, seemed taboo.
Time flew by and my hope began to dwindle,
Though I still clutched at your small chance.
But soon all was left was a flickering candle,
Quivering in its uncertain dance.
What was I to think, I was torn,
Should I love again or retain my faith?
Surrender hope or stay lovelorn,
Or choose another to take your place?
My anguish one morn was put to an end,
When finally, I learned,
That I had to let go, cou
A Life Lesson on How to Livei.A Life Lesson on How to Live4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Learn how to hear when there is no sound. Listen to the last heartbeats of a dead man, for they will tell you how to hold on, and how to let go, but you are the only one that can choose between the two. Hear the sorrow of a silent criminal at a confessional, because it can tell you where the line is and how to cross, but it's up to you to decide if you want to or not. Listen to the chemistry between two lovers and you will learn how to appreciate the love in everything people do.
Uncover how to see in the darkness, because it's a whole lot more important than anyone ever expects. Look at the hues of red in the night sky and the neon colors beneath the snow and they will show you that what you see is what you get, but not everything is what it seems. See the emptiness that shines from fake smiles and you will realize that everybody lies. Look at the world with your eyes closed and determine that this is the only way you will ever be able to see. Now decide if you want to or not.
Charcoal BlackYou told me that the smoke would probably kill me one day after it sucks my lungs dry and colors me with the shade of that black charcoal you got all over your shirt last week. I smiled and said that it couldn't kill someone as tough as me. You just looked at me with that look of loss in your eyes, but I couldn't see it behind the string of cigarette smoke. I wish I could go back for just one moment so I could tell you that it was all right. That you were right.Charcoal Black5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You stood in your worn out loafers and plaid skirt at the kitchen table and showed me a picture of something gray and shriveled up. I couldn't really tell what it was, but you kept silent as if I was supposed to know, with a look that a mother would give when she's telling her kid to clean her bedroom. I asked if you drew that in art class and you looked furious. You said it was me- my lungs- and slammed it onto the kitchen table, rattling those old saltshakers I never liked. I stared at the photo for a second longer, and gav
Makeshift SymphonyHe tied piano strings to his heart,Makeshift Symphony6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so that every time it beat
it didn't sound so empty inside.
But the music in his heart
couldnt permeate the hollow air
as the metronome kept time for the clock.
One, two. One, two.
Reedy notes plummeted from his lips as
he made me pluck out Tchaikovsky and Bach
when all I wanted to play was twinkletwinklelittlestar.
"I'm just a little girl."
My fingers tripped and stumbled
and I know that I could never play
as well as he needed me to;
I could never keep his notes
from slipping off the page.
White and black sideswiped my fingers,
as I struck one chord too many.
"I've always wanted to make you proud, papa.
But the past is flightless swans and sometimes
we only get a glimpse of what was there."
He shouldve left the past where it belongs,
because everything was far too black-and-white
in his eyes, and I was never good enough
to replace everything that was missing
in his hollow heart.
I hope this letter finds you..on the evening youI hope this letter finds you..5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you've spent the past
doing nothing but
you will be
all too aware of
the feel of youth
your bad habits
used to have
your heart out
when measuring moments
will seem only
less about living
with love be-
from the pavement
lonely is one letterthere were dead birds and fragile things hanging on the clothesline. you liked to look at them because it made you feel more secure; less like scraps of fabric and snips or newspapers tied loosely with dental floss. so you hung ribcages and tea cups and our love on the clothesline because fragile things made you feel less alone.lonely is one letter5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I'm not afraid of dying; I'm afraid of leaving." you whispered to the stars. the air grew heavy. "I don't like the idea that this is all there is, because there's so much more I want to be. I want to be beautiful."
I was always more afraid of living, because living meant that there were no excuses. I agreed, though, quietly, that leaving would be the worst part.
you traced constellations on my arms and back and face. you liked to count planets and shooting stars; bright things made you feel warm inside. you kept the stars in your eyes because you didn't want to lose them. I kept you in my arms, because I didn't want you to realize how we were dangling on the c
I'm TryingI'm Trying.I'm Trying3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
What more do you want from me?
Can't you see I'm trying my hardest?
I'm trying to make something of myself.
I know nothing is promised and I may not be the fastest.
I know my attempts have not resulted in any form of wealth.
What more can I do to prove to you that this is what I want?
I can see you are finding it difficult to get past this.
You think there is more I can do to help myself.
You can see that I'm struggling; I never tried to mask this.
I want you to understand that this is something I must do for myself.
But all that I will ask for you is,
I hope that one day you will believe in me.
Believe in everything that I am trying to accomplish.
You don't have to necessarily agree with me.
But I promise that one day both you and the world will be astonished.
And on that day hopefully you will be able to see the drive in me.
Hopefully you will be able to see the fight in me.
Hopefully you will see the person that I am trying to be...come.
And all I will want you to say is
death affair"there are ways and ways to have a love affair. Above all, one must not be serious about it."death affair5 years ago in Letters More Like This
i sank into my spine and my stomach flattened out like the bottom of a weather system, clouds rolled in and i thought i would see sun before another, cold lonely sickness.
the machinery behind my hips, coordination of my fingers.
There are boys sitting next to my flowers made of 20 dollar bills,
they come up like stray dogs,
what are you doing here,
my you smell nice,
and may we kiss you on the tongue.
i looked at them and said i'd rather stick nails in my hands.
i went home drunk and closing doors and there was a heavy warm silence
of dreaming people,
under their closed lids the wind is coming from a russian whisper like a goddess,
under a heavy monsoon of hair,
white as bone skin
with a miraculous soft voice like the bete
running a salty tongue up the fat,
inner seashell curve of her thigh,
a sickly fairytale princess swathed i
Cascading DarkThis sensation persists in my heart.Cascading Dark2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Lingers like a stubborn bitterness on the back of the tongue.
Distantly foul, yet so familiar I can’t remember a time when I didn’t taste it.
It’s cold and synthetic.
Mathematical and metallic.
Yet I find myself fantasizing about it tasting organic and sweet.
[ Mandarin honey in the place of corroded steel. ]
Though I am unable to convince myself,
and the same taste, the same fear, settles back into me.
The fear that to you, thoughts of me are tasteless.
Neither sweet nor bitter, but rather clear and empty as pure water.
A manifestation of complete nothingness,
While here I am longing for a person who never existed at all.
Where a heart should beat in your chest, there is only a still, hollow cavity.
A cavity I once ached with everything I was to inhabit.
I wanted to fill that gaping hole with ardor you’d never known..
But you always wanted it to remain empty.
Lifeless. Vacant. Uncompromising..
Because in the e
A Writer's Romance-"You're a writer, aren't you?"A Writer's Romance2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Those were the first words she spoke to me.
At the time, I was packing up, getting ready to leave the library.
I had another long day, spending the majority of my free time at the library, loitering around on my laptop,
Staring at my open wordpad as I contemplated about what to write about.
Just as I was readying to leave this girl, out of nowhere, asks me if I'm a writer.
-"I like to think I am."-
That's the only answer I could give her.
I had taken up writing as a hobby,
But no matter how hard I tried, all of my work felt underwhelming.
Could I get you to help me write a poem?
If that is too much trouble than anything else will do too."-
She starred at me with her big blue eyes,
Long golden hair,
Holding her hands together at her chest -
She was quite pretty at that,
Making me question why such a person would come up a complete stranger such as myself, and ask for something so absurd.
-"Why do you need something like that?"-
voicelessi.voiceless2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I lost my voice one day. I woke up to a hollow echo in the base my throat and knew I’d lost something special before I’d ever had a chance to say anything worthwhile. I checked under the bed and tried the lost and found, but couldn’t even ask if anyone had heard it lately.
I found my voice one day. I took long walks with silent friends, made travel plans and came home tired but fulfilled. I pulled a pen from the junk drawer, or sat down at a keyboard, or bought a journal on a whim and found it curled up around my fingers, sleeping, rusty, but alive.
Stepping StonesI rip pagesStepping Stones3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
out of poetry books,
the titles of
littering the floor
and I wonder
if we don't all
wind up stepping stones
in the end.
Cliffs and AshesCeaseless longing; I miscarried amaranthine xanadus.Cliffs and Ashes4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
InchoateA billowing mouth, floweringInchoate2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like a fist;
crimson cheeked &
I keep your heart in my p(s)alms.