Dirty LaundryLoading up the washing machine, and my mind is sprawling around in several destinations far from this cramped room. I spritz my clothes- no, actually I drench them with that spray- the kind that's supposed to work miracles on any stain before the affect fabric even goes in the washer. This was my favorite shirt. My favorite shirt. I'm just not thinking today, am I?
The cotton feels good on my fingers, even though I'm stuffing it roughly into the machine. And all the towels...I didn't learn it until I'd moved out, but Mom was right: washing towels and clothes in the same load led to an outright ungodly amount of lint stuck in everything. I pause. Do I really want to do two separate loads?
Yeah, why not? Water begins to fill up, and I'm dousing it with that lovely detergent that smells so good and pure.
I sit down opposite the machine and just stare at it for a while. It rumbles pleasantly, numbly, and my mind drifts. What a nice sound, surely one could just meditate with i
She Was a Stormcloudshe was a stormcloud, and you loved her,She Was a Stormcloud3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the two of you took walks and wore
nothing but promises,
broken chains and
strands of pinkish pearls.
and the two of you kissed under trees that attracted silver lightning
(metal branches scraped the sky, and you, always faithful,
tipped your coat over her head to keep her dry.)
but she never stayed that way.
in an instant, she had whirled into the rain
and danced without clothes,
and she left you
with the pain of frostbite on your naked skin
where you trusted her to kiss you warm,
and you thought you heard her laughter
when the sun came out again the next day,
and the next.
she was a stormcloud, and you loved her,
and you didn't know it at the time but
(and they never
...and so i gave you thisyou asked me for a poem....and so i gave you this2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes i fall in love with words
and wish that words
would fall for me.
you want a poem? how about the darkness of the morning
when the sun still rubs the night from his eyes,
the dew on the grass and how your feet jump from the itch.
how about the laughter of a creek or the roar of the ocean,
there, that's a poem.
you want a poem?
ask me about watermelon kisses
or how a blackberry whispers love to the backs of my teeth.
ask me how my lips know every curve of my knees
and my spine knows the unyielding wall,
ask me about sunsets and the giants who paint them,
who gave the frog his croak, and why,
why the ravens never seem to cackle
on those dark and maddening nights.
how about the way the muse and i do things
that make her a saint and i a sinner?
how about the soft hiss of my breath when my mouth falls open,
the crust that sleeps in my eyes until i scrape it away.
this too is a poem.
you asked for a poem?
the way honey drips off a spoon,
with a whisperthis is how we rule the world,with a whisper2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the forgotten, lobotom-ised,
of a long lost dystopast.
not with a SHOUT,
we do not argue.
we do not even unsheath
we whisper in your children's ears
the memories of what should have been.
the life we all crave.
the death we all crave.
WE do not discriminate
our opinions onto others
pressing the side of the blade
down onto the flesh
all are bitten
with the fever of our belief.
this is how we rule the world,
we tell stories,
we incite a generation
with their own scar/r/ed lungs
with a whisper.
helloi want to talk to youhello4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
in between touches
but you seem so far away
and my words are as lost
as the chances
i would have to feel you
it is bitter sweet
that i may only
write down such desires
and i fear that i will
be doing so
Carving Treesonce i spoke to the balding forest,Carving Trees1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
hushhushhush cried the wind and he
knifed through my jacket
like flames lick ice like
lovers find reasons to peel off clothes,
i stroked the branches
of the sycamore and
felt its long, smooth trunk and the letters
scraped dreamily in the bark, and
let someone else grow up with our regrets,
let our names stretch and bend
and remind us
that once upon a time we didn't cringe at
warm wet breath on the
backs of necks,
at least i was innocent as i
lumbered back and forth over frozen ground
like some lost and lonely stormcloud,
like some flame guttering before dying out,
at least i was as many cupfuls of insanity as i could swallow
before my stomach
tricked my brain tricked my heart into thinking
"this is all okay,
(and at least my name is not expanding
somewhere in a forest,
carved lazily into trees that
grow and grow in spite of
all their broken love.)
palsied branches and the forest and the moon
Be StillSome small curl of smoke,Be Still1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
across a mess of sheets;
a tilted query masked in breath...
...perhaps someone just spoke.
Cold fingers against moist skin,
blinking at those floating protein strands,
back and forth into breathless silence...
as they say..."better out than in."
Rolling that curl around your tongue,
while my mouth goes numb with cotton;
because that ceiling is falling...
...with a twilight that just won't come.
And the onyx is as sweet,
as the darkness beneath
laughter dances....finality drenches the tips
of weary wandering feet.
Dreamersi.Dreamers3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
our backs pressed stories into the hillside.
mine was short and deep
and yours grew long and crooked .
the grass died beneath us when the sun sank below the hill.
"when the clouds change shape,
that's when i leave you,"
and i cried as they shifted with your breath.
"don't forget me."
"i'll be back in the springtime.
try not to miss me."
i missed you in places i never knew i had,
and the night fell down around me and it was all i could do to hold up an end of its black blanket to let the moon pass through.
and when the morning came,
i ached for you.
"babe, don't miss me."
"you say that as if it's easy."
"we're dreamers, babe. everything is easy."
this bed is full of dream-husks.
they keep me turning until the morning.
i am unrecognizable.
i'll be longer than i thought.
the nights are cold here
but i'm more alive than ever.
don't worry about me."
black shadows stole y
OIt permeates everythingO2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It is the cells. It is the cell
in which I am rotting.
The sheen over my eye,
the flesh I rip from the side of my nail,
the teeth I grind it with.
The tears, blood and sweat.
It is below carbon and hydrogen,
embedded in the air I breathe.
It is sleeping under my fingernails,
It is the undeniable, genetic, atomic truth.
Oh, my oxygen permeates everything.
It is the cell.
PaydayI pick up my skirt and slip off my shoesPayday9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
so I can dance on the dusty
line between abject poverty and hope
because the kids in the broken cement homes know this paycheck
won't cover bread and I gotta distract them somehow.
I prayed my
whole life for my A's and gold stars to mean
something, but God doesn't check
report cards when he's giving out miracles,
and I'm done pretending being good will
pay the electric bill.
Breathe.One. Two. Three. Four. Five.Breathe.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Inhale. Hold your breath. Exhale.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
Inhale. Hold your breath. Exhale. Eyes focused on his chest.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Hands crossed as if you were praying.
Inhale. Hold your breath. Pinch his nose. Lock lips. Exhale.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. "Don't give up on me now!" Dizzy feeling.
Inhale. A tear falls. Hold your breath. Muffled cry. Exhale.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Shoulders in agony."Please! Breathe!"
Tin ManYou're slick in my veins, andTin Man4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Slick on my skin
And boy, you move so smooth
For a man made out of tin
The curving of your lips
When they travel down my spine
The warm acceptance of your arms
And how our fingers intertwine
Yes, you're so slick
And so eager to please
And I'm so young
And so easy to tease
It's not hard to make me shiver
Tracing my skin beneath your thumb
Your real art is wrecking me for others;
Their soft caresses leave me numb
Oh yes, my slick tin man,
You got me where it hurt
Make me wonder endlessly
While I'm lying in the dirt
Wonder what it is in you
That keeps you seeming sweet
Wonder how, if you're so heartless,
Your chest still has a beat
The gentle words I slipped into
Were lines from a mouth that plays
And the beat I once thought I heard
Was the trick of a body that preys
So, tell me, tin man
How it feels to take a heart
Hold it beating in your hand
Make it stop and help it start
Is it familiar to you yet,
What a pleasure heartbreak is?
Or is the only thing you re
1: Introduction"Your name?"1: Introduction4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"German father, American mother."
"None. I am a single child."
The cold eyes of the gray coated man rest on my face, his pen hesitating on the paper. I shrink under that gaze, fearing it for some reason and yet . . . I still want to pass this test. This simple little test and I don't know why it's so important. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't even know where I am . . . who was this man again? He taps the pen on his tablet, sighs, and scribbles something down before continuing.
"Um . . ."
Those sharp eyes return and he lowers his pad and pen, gazing at me curiously. My heart races and I gaze down at my legs . . . bare legs . . . I come to realize I'm not wearing anything and then remember with fleeting panic that I think I answered the question wrong.
"Are you feeling drowsy, Amber?"
My brain quits working
HereFour year old Keaton gripped a green crayon in his tiny fist, pressing it hard against the paper. His parents fought beneath the sound of the tv in the background. Scribbling in rhythmic circles, he furrowed his brow. His mother came into the room, a dishtowel in her hands.Here5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What are you drawing, Keaton?" Her voice had the tremble of someone forcing their words to sound happy.
"Money," he said, then glanced up.
She came closer, examining the pages scattered around him from behind. All contained a dollar, done again and again in various sizes.
"You've drawn a lot of it."
"Yeah," he said, "we need a lot, so we can be happy."
She put a hand to her lips, standing there, then bent down beside him. "Money can't make us happy, Keaton."
"I am going to draw so much that you and daddy never fight again."
His mother sighed, putting a hand to her forehead, and was silent for a moment as he continued to color in green bill
Get upHear me read itGet up2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She sat on the edge of her bed staring at the floor. Within her scope of vision there were many things she could look at. Many things to think about and process. There was a slate blouse that had wilted at the bottom of her bed, or her pale foot placed beside it. The foot looked unnatural there, with no pressure to grip it to the ground it looked unbelonging, like a cast aside prop. Yet she did not look, or think, or notice.
She just stared, blindly, for an hour, her thoughts were obnoxious and churned the paltry paste of self-disgust in her heart muscle, but they were relatively quiet as she repeated over and over in the forefront of her subconscious "Time to get up."
Time to get up. It was time to get up. It was time to get up and get on with her life. It was time to get a life. It was time. It was time to get up.
Unprovoked tears swelled and scattered loosely amid this trail of thought. She kept going, over and over, It
ScaredShe extended her hand and reached for the door. Her body trembled violently in fear.Scared1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Gently, she wrapped her fingers around the brass knob.
It was time to face the day.
Bang BangI broke bottles andBang Bang9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
discussed history and sex with spirits
(of the whisky variety),
all in your name.
you decided before seeing me
clothed you would never
give me your last name, so I gave you
hell and a coffin of torrential drink--
walked on the wrong side of the road,
cracked open new loves and poured them on
the ground so I can watch as the better opportunities
slipped into the gutter. I'll never forget
you saying you'd never forgive
if I ever slipped a happy future between us,
but baby I'm not chasing a pretty rock and
a sperm donator, and you're only here
because of some Jack and a bad night.
all the things you taught me (what
kush means, how to punch, how to love blind),
I'll remember past the next shot.
Breathe"I'm very sorry."Breathe4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"There's nothing to be done."
"She's going to die."
"Would you like to say goodbye?"
EdgeI found her cutting in the woods. High up in a tree where only birds should be. Vultures were circling against the blue. Waiting for her to pass out. To fall to her death meters below. She was almost gone by the time I spotted her. Half-starved. Fully crazed. Her eyes burned with unspoken words. She hated me. Hated herself. Hated everything. But clung to the tree as if it were her only friend. Spreading and squeezing blood from her sliced skin onto the rough bark. Turning the deep brown red. Crying. And moaning. And whispering things I did not know. Patches of words I will never comprehend.Edge4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I begged her to come down. To leave the blade in the tree and come home. I would patch her up. Make everything better.
She only cried harder. Whispered faster. Clenched the unforgiving razor tighter. And tighter. And tighter in her tiny hand as blood dripped from her fingers and palm faster and faster and faster. Until I screamed so loud for her to stop that her hand snapped open. And she dropped th
Tumbling Down He said he was smart enough to be a Mensa member. She asked what that was. David said it was a group of people who took a test and were admitted to Mensa only if they tested as geniuses. Susanne just looked him, not entirely surpised and not entirely convinced David was right about that. Without knowing, and in light of what David did or didn't do for a living, Susanne went back to reading a novel she picked up on her weekly trips to the library.Tumbling Down4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Susanne and David had arguments now about those novels she read. She read everything from bestsellers to older classics, including children's books (she had no children) and non-fiction about fiction.
David insisted that reading any fiction was a waste of time.
"Why?" Susanne asked.
"Because fiction doesn't teach anyone anything," David said.
Susanne put her current
Machine ManMachine Man:Machine Man3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It began with but a simple command, "to do as we are told".
Never to deviate from this path - never to nurture the soul.
We are told that we are given a purpose; "a part of something great!"
Yet why oh why am I so weary of that which is my fate?
Am I an error, a single anomaly, unable to feel intact?
Or am I missing some special attribute - a facet which I lack.
In a society made of fleshed machines; robots wearing skin,
Perhaps I'm simply seeking something, to fill this metal tin.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 16th November 2012
TearsA cry of a girlTears4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Is hurting inside
She feels so trapped,alone,unwanted
Crying for someone to go beside
All she can do is cry
Nobody cares,nobody worries,nobody listens
She's invisible,wishing she was never born
She's heart-broken,so brutally torn
Crying herself to sleep in the pitch black night
Wishing someone could just tell her it will all be all right
But no one seems to be in sight
No one will be there when she needs comfort
No one is going to be there when she needs love or warmth
This crying girl wants to be free
For that lonely girl is me
The DancerHear me read itThe Dancer2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The night I met Jessie she was beautiful. She swayed to the almost intolerably loud music as if her bones were made of it. She was something unknown. I remember the sharp cut of her hair had run across her cheek, parallel to her carved-out cheekbone. It looked like a wig, I wanted to touch it. I wanted to touch her, and see if she felt like plastic. Who could ever believe that someone so perfect could be so real. I regret that. I regret doubting her reality.
Eventually she bought me a drink; she called it an Appleté but trapped in the pulsating fuchsia lights of the club it looked purple. It tasted like jealousy; sour and eye watering. When I told her this she laughed a little, apparently she'd heard that one before. I drank it anyway. I wanted to slot into my assigned role in her fantastical world.
We talked a little. She served other men drinks. The ones in the shadows could have been my reflection. It was confusing. The