Isn't Life Strange.I was born a thumbtack, and God was an
Office worker. He found me in his pocket,
Lesser than his gilded lint, and I was keen
To prick his leg in transit.
Even gods can bleed.
I became a splinter, a vagrant sentry catching
Grasshoppers in place of a school bus. Home and
Hands covered in bug spit taught me more than any
Teacher ever would.
There's always one exception.
I met a poet in reflection, and he taught me how
Important hot asphalt is to a pair of naked feet.
The heat waves paint a picture, and I learned
To take off my shoes.
What trickles outward forms the road.
Our DutyWe swallowed the path homeOur Duty2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Because we were hungry,
Though starving is an ongoing
Story, an empty bag
Dancing in the streets,
Full of an unfastened voice
Walking through the house,
Wind unchained, heart admonished.
Heaven fills its eyes, crawls away,
That sleeping boat content to follow
The vacant waves, intervals
Of dying that we dare not interrupt,
And we watch the kind ear shrinking
From our charcoal docks; heaven
With a full stomach crawls away.
This is what we were put here for.
Ottumwa ShamanIn Iowa, weeping willows dream ofOttumwa Shaman4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Tigers, born in pagan fog, their
Coat of stripes singing shaman
Songs; shrill symphonies of grief.
Heaven tilts, crashes, and we race
The dirt to get away. We drink the
Earth with bullets of air and grow
Dizzy, light-headed from breathing
Some far off flame. Perhaps a poet
Who braved the fog of Ottumwa, and
Caught fire. Every cowboy has his
Six chances before high noon, before
The fog forms wispy jackals to take
Them home again. Every son inherits
An empty gun, six voids to fill with
Answers, skimmed and guessed from the
Covers of books their fathers used
To read. There is no other way.
In sleeping, I have been to Iowa,
And I learned where wiccans go
To make their bed. I do not know now
If I had dreamed the weeping willow,
Or if it had bent low to dream of me.
In Iowa, there is no such truth, only
Depth, and the shaman's song of grief.
My TempleI'm standing at the doorway to the world that's after next,My Temple7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
With a numbness in my eyes and a pressure in my chest,
The thing I call my hand runs a finger down the door,
And a voice from somewhere else tells me that I want much more.
A mirror by the doorway lends to me a foreign face,
And through the eyes, a soul, that seems to have no place,
My fingers reach and touch it as I search for what it is,
But the reasons, they elude me, why this body is now his.
How sad when existence, has lost a reason to exist,
When life has died to silence, left the beating in his wrist,
Weak from sorrow's cruel disease, the loneliest embrace,
As he watches all the color slowly dissolving from his face.
God made him a temple, but He left it to itself,
Therefore this man then decorated, his temple by himself,
With demons that are hungry for the beauty that is life,
And black roses with their ugly thorns, ever always rife.
Suffocatingly cold, this temple now becomes,
Where feeling falters in and soon it does
Tippy ToesLet's string our veins togetherTippy Toes5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
So our blood becomes our art
And challenge old age thinking
With our new age artist's heart
Let's flush our faces laughing
Collapse our minds in tangled hair
We'll write our hands in poetry
And paint portraits for our air
Let's live like only artists can
In places no one goes
Like grass in cracks of concrete
Reaching up on tippy toes
Old Men Raising Old Men.In my family, old men raise old men;Old Men Raising Old Men.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Chippy Irish sprouts who would hug a
Mountain lion before their own dad,
And punch a flower just for wilting
In their direction.
Once my father tried,
And I bit his toes with my heel;
I was relieved to be thrown away.
But that's how it is for boys born
On a leap year, and those who come
Home to their mom coddling a knife
Where you once buried your face.
Here's hoping the night makes you mad,
and the guilt doesn't haunt you for long;
Your first mask will be cruelty.
The moonshine in the fridge will help
Kill and peel the skin; you need to
Hide the bruises, and learn to execute
A proper jab, nothing more.
Maybe you'll cry your first tear while
Your son is by your side for the last time;
Maybe he will raise a boy.
Biography"What are you doing?"Biography8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Waiting for the lovely boy
Full of vitriol and godlike
Power to feed me happiness.
Wondering where I might encounter
The perfect opponent with a feline
Voice and red lips possessed
By divine intent.
Considering the wild potential
In the little used circuits,
Always, my fingers poised,
(How I want the dark
unknown, the starving
travels, but not the
I used to dream of lying
Down in the grass hoping
Vines would slowly grow
And bind me there - centuries
Of youth preserved.
That terrible weight removed.
I'm too poor to feel so middle class.My teeth still ache from the dentist,I'm too poor to feel so middle class.9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
but it doesn’t stop me from nibbling
the cheese danish I bought at Kroger
this morning, warmed by thirty
seconds in the microwave. My mug
of hot chocolate is too big, and I
drink it all. The washer is on its last
cycle; the cat is purring at my feet.
Netflix is background noise
to clacking keys, typing a transcript
of middle class morning that I’ll later
call a poem or a turning point,
wondering when I became such an adult.
sci-fi stories about the end of the world1.sci-fi stories about the end of the world3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the species invents prophecies
all of which contain terrors
a beleaguered sun collapses into itself
It's not yet night when the committee interrupts the regularly scheduled programming
and describes the inertia as unforgivable.
Outside the grief, the cardboard:
Every time you teach a computer about distance
the terrorists win.
In every scenario: No colorado left,
and survivors leave messages
for the future.
Before the last people on Earth forgot how to speak,
he thought of that day.
The committee was right
to describe space as an absence.
The more artistic
of the species' prophecies include fields
such as here and there
relative to the everywhere of the other thing.
The other thing is often the cause
of whatever terror has been imagined.
The terror, of course, being another word for nothingness.
someone is remembering the pacific-
a maniac fires his rifle into a crowd
later, the news interviews a woman,
"All i remember are balloons"
they say this is w
an irrevocable truthi.an irrevocable truth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
snowflake child, you are a fine example
of the incandescence of a human light
even under innumerable umbras
i see you- ruby and blooming
ferociously fighting your way
out of a pile of rubble
my anemone, my halo
that comely wraps around my moon pith
do not fret if i self-stumble, fumble
with my fingers, and mumble to my toes
my center of gravity is oft frail and
meek to begin with
you are lead cause of the diamond flecks
scattering about the carbon of my pupils
you do not leave me
you teach me to be
snake-eyed yet shotgun-hearted-
a sapphire wanderlust livid
for life and star-gazing sights, you map
constellations on my freckles and fright
look now at how i'll find my lighthouse lover
then tend to some kids
and grow out of my gills and into grey hairs
then tend to some kids with their own kids
and reminisce about friends and phenomena
i signed my name on a patch of sky with
all on my own except
that your hand never left mine
that if i were to crumble
like the sandcastle
Let the Sparrows InI.Let the Sparrows In3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Blackbirds rest on the power lines,
their silhouettes form the notation
to a dawn song set on the sheet music
of telephone poles contrasted by the sun.
Curled leaves are land mines littered
on the lawn where imprints of twigs
and a nurturing robin's tracks collect.
Branchlets and leaflets stem from
porch step railings and mailboxes;
the numbers read odd on the east,
even on the west side of the asphalt:
The engraved letters on
the siding reads, "Davis."
This house is home to family
so let the sparrows in.
with its branching hallways
furniture rooted to the floor
family, friends, the occasional
out from home.
Let the sparrows in; let
Let the door's
loosen—let the door stand ajar
be let open
the night owls and
let the doves
in pairs in the iridescent
Let the sparrows in.
Framed on either side
Sparrows and Train TracksSparrows and Train Tracks2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She listens to the corpse of a wingbeat.
The stories of faraway people
etched on sea glass and flower petals,
like legends told for lullabies
printed with rose thorns
in the absence of paper.
Do the fingers of clock hands
hold the questions of children,
the way wine kisses guilt
and disposable wedding rings?
Handmade letters and gift-wrapped packages
resemble the music of a laughter
that isn't really there.
How many faces
are the reflections of a moment
dying in the second of a memory-
or the dances in the i love you's
that you never told me.
Apologies to LaoEach day is its own microstep--Apologies to Lao3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
since I woke from my mother's womb,
I longed to mimic new words, trammel
the sound until it blossomed
like a newborn, and oh how I birthed
stories--told them how I wanted
the author's sacrosanct title
once I've grown. But growing meant
learning the practice of citizens
and their due contribution: beast-slaying
nature of please, thank you,
an apology: sincere
or not. Then there is time--the first
breath of nine, exhalation
of five, the suffocating mandate
of overtime. You grow used to it:
the cyclical disappearance of parents,
pervasive need of sleep, a home-
cooked meal's gradual transmogrification
to a microwave's impatient beeps,
the drive-thru's static, monotoned voice
by a man who has already learned
what I am learning: to cherish
the alarm's morning hymn over my mother's--
now I'm rarely late for work--can navigate
those can-lined aisles, the cold-grey
of the warehouse with deep strides
until I lose track of every step within
my eight hours--my mind
CrossroadsShe's at a crossroad again.Crossroads2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
If she recalled correctly, then this was the fourth time in her entire life. She tentatively places a foot forward, on to the cool glass. Decisions were never my strong point, she thinks. Knowing that this could take anywhere between an hour to a few days, she takes off the bulky coat, spreading it out before taking a seat in the middle of the cross-section. There weren't going to be any passer-bys after all.
Wait. I've...I've never looked back.
The thought crosses her mind for less than a second, but it clutches onto the messy vines inside her head and before she can stop herself, she's turning her head around looking over her shoulder and gazing into the mist-filled street. It's murky, grey, dark, and filled with heavy rain.
Why have I never looked back?
She doesn't know if that's really a question, or if it's something she's asking herself, but she definitely finds the confusion that comes with the thought loathsome, at best. Deciding
Dishwasherafternoon light flickersDishwasher2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
through the curtains
like a moth
her fingers brush
the lined edge
of a plate
as the sink fills
the sound of paper, displaced
shifts behind her
the careful steps
the cat takes
across the table
outside the roses
trace their shadows
across the lawn
Crown of ThornsShe wakes up with red staining her pillowCrown of Thorns2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the taste of blood like iron in her mouth
It stains her teeth and leaks from her lips, and as she
rinses her mouth out, she can’t help thinking that
it’s better than dirt and ashes
it feels like she’s wearing a noose
of broken promises and shattered glass
that tightens around her throat with every day that passes
She nails a smile to her face
and doesn't let herself think the word dying
The Hungry SeasonThe Hungry SeasonThe Hungry Season6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The next season will be the hungry season.
Moses M. Kolinmore
A stem, a leaf, a stem,
a stem again,
and the army of our bodies
hanging from the branches
of the Dahoma trees.
We come to this as moths
on Saharan winds
with no malice but the wings
direction, our caterpillar mouths,
our waiting numbers
cocooned in dirt. We are
aching and glutted
but hungry still, even as
we strip the canopy bare of leaves
and foul each river black
with waste below us
our gruesome chatter asking,
as we fall into the dirt
to reshape what we are,
can you imagine the hunger?
But of course you can; of course,
you hunger the same as we.
mutethings have been easiermute3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
without words &
we pretend neither of us care;
laughing and choking
on puns &
when you bend me over nouns
the words are there waiting to be spoken
me . you . love
my dear, we've been mute
for so long
speak to me.
Primal FearYou know that feeling you get, where you reach down deep inside, looking for something that isn’t there? When you feel your grasp clasp around emptiness and it echoes in your ribcage with a metallic pang, a too-loud thump that reverberates from the base of your throat to the pit of your stomach? When you realize that not all your fears originate under the bed – sometimes, they’re right there in broad daylight, waiting for you to recognize them for what they are? Do you know the feeling of an answer on the tip of your tongue, breathing down your neck, just barely scratching a long, jagged fingernail right between the shoulder blades of your memory?Primal Fear5 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Let me rephrase the question: have you ever left your cell phone at home?
OctoberI only felt autumn's presenceOctober3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
In October, in Hamburg
A month after she was expected
Crisp leaves, warm light
Geese on the lawn by the lake
Stretching through short days and long nights
Heralds of winter's coming
Shoes worn thin by miles
I wander, a stranger, mute
Head full, heart singing
The love of dark trunks and bright leaves
Untempered by geography
tree, fiddler crabIt took days to hollow out the soft partstree, fiddler crab3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of the trunk, dig out the tree-flesh and sap,
polish the raw wood so that when he sat,
there would be no splinters. He carved his name
into the side, like a blessing, a declaration
of good fortune, and stowed his forest inside.
preludesi.preludes3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
blue rose into the city backdrop
like balloons, a million for the
morning sun prelude.
i've not slept a dream
but i have cried a salty face
and letters spilled like beans
into my moleskine,
almost as virgin as i once was
with few stories between my covers.
the kettle's belly boils
like my head upon a pillow.
i am guilty for rarely finishing my tea
even when i use the small mugs;
pour, rinse, repeat.
perhaps today i will play dead.
perched behind my blinds
it dawns on me that i am surrounded
by walled neighbours, strangers,
they're just preludes to lovers
the way i am always
prelude to the one.
the back of your head against my washed pillowcaseI find itthe back of your head against my washed pillowcase3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are the King
of my own Head
& that I am
by my own
My bones, your
to your insatiable
I find this
rebirths in my
three years of
the wrong gods
you are the best muse
for struggling artists
everywhere & worst
case of the bubonic plague
since the bubonic plague
I find you
in the middle
of any where,
I shot a flock
& ate Adam's
I remain ignor
ant and ignor
ed by you
I find Nothing-
& leave me be.
You can't have it allbut you can have the glazed heat bursting from the blacktop like a brokenYou can't have it all2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
fire hydrant. You can have the jangle of keys
swinging from your hip with each stride.
You can have the tactility of leather and the graze of
bathroom mosaic tiles under a cold shower pelting
bullets and when the water cuts off
you can have dry book pages. You can have happiness,
though it will often be bitter, like finding a stranger’s
wallet full of pictures of smiling children until you
return it to find that the couple is barren.
You can have the scratches on the back of his knuckles,
faded, yet raw. You can have the translucency of sheets
in the sun, silhouettes but no details,
never revealing anything more than a fringe of hair
and frayed laces tripping over themselves.
You can drop obscenities like bombs until
they don’t mean anything anymore. You can pull out the Monopoly board
that broke your family. You can’t put it back together,
but you can pretend the thimble is your mother and the