The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
Grandfather's BirdGrandfather had a pet bird. Just a small, yellow and white parakeet; he named it Georgie, after Grandmother. Every morning, he would wake up at 6 o'clock, make a pot of coffee, grab the newspaper, and feed the small bird a small pile of birdseed. And he would gently carry the birdcage, and place it on the table and talk to her as he drank his coffee and read the newspaper.Grandfather's Bird3 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Gas prices are up again Georgie, geez, remember when we could pay 20¢ to fill up our car?"
And sometimes the bird almost chirped in response. Years and years went by, and Grandfather grew older, and he could no longer carry the bird off the shelf, but he would still feed and talk to her at 6 o'clock.
One morning, Grandfather found himself barely able to make it out of bed. He still made his way into the kitchen to feed his dear bird. His hand shook and some birdseed fell to the floor as he carefully moved into the tray into the cage. He slowly made his way to the table so that he could sit down.
I'm finePaint splattered like dying sobs across the wide emptiness,I'm fine3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Running away like ink from bloody fingertips.
It's close enough to midnight not to matter
And these words are written with hands
Shaking from forced apathy.
A voice lingered,
It sounded like yours,
Or else it was the pages falling closed,
A regretful sigh in the early hours of the end of the world.
The television's on repeat; it's crying for help
And I thought it might have been you,
But it was the angels instead.
They circle like carrion
And steal all of what I wanted to tell you
About the meaningless feelings I've been having,
Replacing instead with the poignant:
The lie is beautiful, undeniable, evident
And so firmly established that questioning it
Would be the action of someone who cares.
The light is thick and liquid
And seeping into my veins in order to cut off circulation
To something that's supposed to be important,
But I've forgotten somewhere.
Somewhere in a place where the snow falls black,
The birds are
The Architect's DaughterGrowing up, the drafting table was a strange contraption lording over the basement and over the crown of her then small head. As she slowly came to understand the table's function, it came to teach her that A) work and home are inseparable, and B) the world is flat. Skyscrapers collapse into thin piles of layered printer paper and torn, pen-marked transparency sheets. Mountains and forests reduce to stacked shapes. Fathers compile into cramped calendars.The Architect's Daughter3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Now the early lessons are thoroughly embedded. Art and architecture are inseparable in her mind. The easel is her own table, similar to a draughtsman's and yet completely different in the ways that matter. She is not a draughtswoman or a designer. Instead, exactly like children imitate their parents naïvely, she plays at being an architect, mimicking the actions but doing them backwards. Architects use flat means to create real objec
Coffee-Stained LetterDear Stranger,Coffee-Stained Letter3 years ago in Letters More Like This
You don't know me. And I don't know you. Maybe it's better that way. But then again, maybe we would be happier if we did know each other.
Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, with the sunlight streaming in the window, writing this letter for you. Hopefully I'll finish it by tonight, so that tomorrow I can take it to the coffee shop on the corner and drop it on the floor, or in your lap, or maybe in the lap of the person next to you so they can give it to you...because they don't seem like the type to read it, so they'll obviously just pass it on.
I like music - except terrible rap. And I love the written word more than most, it baffles some of my friends sometimes. I wonder, do you like to read? I have the tiniest tattoo I've ever seen, it's a tiny fairy on my ankle, but you can't see her unless you're looking for her and know where to look...like a real fairy, they're good at hiding too you know. I saw a fairy once. She was hiding behind the strawberries in my garden. I t
GuiltyThe room was small and cold. Everything in the room was white. Sterile. There were two people in the room: a man and a woman. The man was tall, middle-aged, with short brown hair and rimless glasses. He wore a long white jacket and stood behind a tall white table. The woman was young, in her early twenties, with long mousy brown hair and a small nose. She looked frightened and small, standing next to the comparatively giant man.Guilty3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She turned to face the man. "Yes, sir?"
"You are not permitted to speak."
"You are hereby charged guilty of crimes against this woman," he said. He gestured to the frightened woman beside him.
"But I didn't-"
"Do not speak. You have caused unnecessary pain, suffering, humiliation, discomfort, inconvenience, hardship, and undesired responsibility to fall upon this woman. The penalty for such crimes is death."
"But what did I-"
This is How I Want YouI want you at 4am rubbing the sleep from your eyes,This is How I Want You2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sighing like the last breath
of a distant thunderstorm.
I want you in dark wash
jeans, white socks and black shoes,
pulling each article off
and leaving the exposed skin for me
to brush my fingertips against
and revel in the faint tremors.
I want you entangled
in my bedsheets
counting the pieces of my spine,
and the hours til dawn. I want
every synapse to crackle
with electric charge, with
I want you,
your heavy, solid warmth
pressing down and concentrating all its force just below my navel,
to leave me struggling for air.
I want you between
the rustle of hair and the curl of toes,
between the first gasp of shock and the last
groan of bliss
(and somewhere in the middle
find the time
One LoveI'm not enough.One Love3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I'm not super-human, not a hero either. I'm just me. Me. And what I am might not be what you need.
But I'll try.
I can promise you as much. I can try to be what you need and I can do it for the rest of my life. If I could just nearly be what you need, what he was, it'll be enough. It has to be enough because I'm not the perfect piece, I'm misshaped and confused and so madly in love with you.
Yet I'm not him.
I'll never be.
You loved him. And part of you, the one he took, always will. I can only hope the small part left can learn not to long after the one missing. I can only hope it'll learn to move on and someday - perhaps who knows? will notice me.
Sometimes I just I I just want to be everything to you.
People don't call me a fool for no reason, you know? Though I prefer to think of myself as an idealist and show them wrong. I know... I know they're wrong. I can be everything to somebody else; I can fulfil my lover's every need
The Neighbors Strange things began to happen when the Garcias moved into the ramshackle house next door. Or, at least people were implying that they were the cause of all the odd phenomena. I mainly did what I was told and stayed clear of the couple's territory.The Neighbors3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Rural life, as I experienced it, had its advantages and disadvantages. The good part was that we didn't have the luxuries of mobile phones or cable television and this made life more exciting. Children weren't cooped up at home watching DVDs or playing video games; we were always outside, running amok under the sun.
As for the bad parts, well, we would never even say them out loud. There were just things in the countryside that we simply couldn't understand, like how my best friend's father once burned half of an old acacia tree accidentally and woke up the next day with half of his body searing with blisters, or how wandering little boys suddenly vanis
Ink VoiceWhile the other children spilled into the playground, Ren stayed inside. She sat in her beanbag and leafed through a book. Ren loved stories as much as she hated talking. This late into the year, she had read and reread every child-battered book on the shelf several times. And she loved them all.Ink Voice3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They smelled like . . . magic.
Stories were doors and Ren used them to fall into other worlds.
Except, not really. She only pretended to do so, and it was hard to pretend when grownups decide to interrupt her quiet reading.
"Which book are you reading today, Ren?" Miss Payper asked.
Don't say a word.
Ren did not look up at her teacher. She continued to read The Gruffalo. It was funny, not scary, and very clever.
"Would you like to read aloud to me?"
If you talk, he will know. Oh, he'll know.
She didn't like reading aloud. Not really. The words were better on paper than on her tongue.
"Is there anything you would like to say?"
Never tell! Never never
Mr. LizardI remember when I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me a pet lizard. I was so excited! It lived inside a wooden cage with a wire mesh in front. I named it Mr. Lizard. I wasn't very good at coming up with names.Mr. Lizard3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Everyday, when I came back home from school, I'd go to my room and would feed Mr. Lizard a cricket. I thought that was the neatest part about having a lizard. It was fun to watch as the cricket hopped around inside the cage as Mr. Lizard eyed it. I kept thinking, "Oh man, I wonder when he'll eat the cricket!" Then "Munch!" It was done. I was somewhat disgusted by it, but at the same time fascinated.
One night, I was watching a nature show on TV and the people in it were trying to rescue some animals that were captured illegally and being sold as pets. They managed to save a few and then released them back into the wild. Everyone was hap
Why I Am HappyThe boy sitting on the park bench had eyes like sandpaper melancholy.Why I Am Happy3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I think I noticed because I am a poet. I don't think anyone else but a poet could look at his eyes and think, "sandpaper melancholy." But they were that color. A fair brown. And grainy. I liked them in the way I like bitter baking chocolate -- because it has an interesting flavor, not because it is sweet. Unadulterated chocolate is almost unpalatable.
We like sugary chocolate because it has been changed. Adulterated. Oh.
Could tears clean out the roughness in his eyes?
That is why I am happy. I cry the Sorrow out, since poets are not afraid to do that sort of thing. The hunger of starving artists makes us sensitive.
He seemed like one of the people that can be Happy while Sorrow constantly nags on their heartstrings. Like, "Ha, ha, that film was funny!" but after the film is over there is nothing to distract you so tugtug! you remember being sad. They're always sad, but they can't always remember. He seemed ok
Summer WomanWoman, you are my burnt sienna sculpture on Sun-days.Summer Woman3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
You are hiding my strength in rufous hair
and I feel you: russet-flushed to the touch,
jagged collarbone curving into neck,
easing into shoulders, into breasts;
woman, you are the warmest stone –
you are summery stone
to my water-drenched hands.
Woman in deepest reverie, you are hiding
my strength in pacific oceans of titian;
in running veins. My grasp
slips from skin slopes of sun and stone,
slips from you.
Woman of ragged flint and oil,
in sleep, your wind-kissed stone-neck drifts,
surges into a soft arch in air –
and does not meet ground;
and does not bow.
ActuallyHeard that you were flying awayActually3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to a corner of the world
where the apartments were filled
with ghosts of people
who pretended they were dead
because they got more than what they wanted
and they were tired of people
who pretended they were alive,
but before you go,
I wanted to,
heard that you were allergic to words
and that numbers were more your thing
and I wondered
if you ever considered
the other things that could be your thing,
that time could be more
than asymptotes and facebook statuses,
and I wondered
if you could be more,
well, more than that,
because I just,
I wanted to,
let you know that I
heard what your grandfather said to you,
heard that he said
"I am sorry for being old,
I am sorry for leaving you;
when you're older, you will understand"
but did you hear that yourself,
did you listen at all
if only to the numbers
that you kept close
to keep the words at bay,
the numbers that spoke to you
more often than you spoke with him,
your grandfather, I mean,
Oh Dear.He is an Oscar Wilde inspired man-poetOh Dear.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Whose subjects are as real as glass.
He is a silly chorus boy
Spending far too much time in the music room.
He is a reader,
Who hums to himself while his eyes float across the page.
He is real-
But I don't even know his name.
And I am already infatuated.
VaingloryI watched Daedalus cradle his ivory child,Vainglory3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
melted, winged bronze crowned in seaweed:
he released his reckless child,
threw him to the winds in hopeless abandon
watched as the sea ruined him.
Decadent in ripped seashells,
he escapes into obscurity,
exalts the lamented to the point of notoriety -
Tell him I saw his face again
...in Picasso in art in war in despair,
he hid his face, a disgraced Eros
(still winged, still winged,
these wings bind flesh from stone,
from sea-besieged rock)
but still so naked in his shame.
"So desolate, o desolate,
O, so desolate, Daedalus?"
croons the wicked wind,
and the crooked man's back hunches
with weighty wings.
Tell him I read his story in fiction:
in vainglorious masks and molten men,
and in spiral seashells dipped in honey,
molten gold; I open these gates of frozen gold,
hail Apollo, hail lord, hail glory,
and my burden is: my offering I hang
for you to see flight, thy mortal's wings.
StarsIt isStars3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when our eyes
I see you
reflected in your eyes
you don't feel
Writer's BlockThe numbers on my desk calendar started to blend together as my eyes began to close and I dozed off. I regained consciousness with a start, and I involuntarily slammed my hand down to what should have been my desk.Writer's Block3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Wh-where am I?"
"Oh my dear! We certainly weren't expecting you today; we would have cleaned up a bit. Heh, you see, we're having a bit of a well technical difficulty." Said a round, rather pleasant woman wearing a polka-dot dress with a nametag simply saying "Dot."
I looked around; I was in a large, disorganized office with people and papers scrambling with bundles of copy paper. I grabbed a paper from the desk beside and read:
Boy with schizophrenia and his life with his imaginary
The ink faded out and I couldn't read the rest.
I picked up the paper and held it out to the woman demanding an answer.
"What is this? Who are you and what sort of place is this?"
"Well dear, that is an idea, yours actually, we've been having a problem with our machine, we see
i have you bookmarked -vii. Sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner were like art; food was flung from each corner, creating a futile canvas on every wall. I played a scale of musical doors as they slammed one by one. I'm sure I broke a fewi have you bookmarked -3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
vocalchords too. He was always right beside me, yet so far.
But we mingled together. When his hand gripped mine with his feathery touch, it seemed okay to pretend. Maybe my mind still needed to develop, needed watering. Or maybe together we just made feelings obsolete.
iv. And we did.
We sat on park benches blowing smoke kisses and watched movies, that only seemed good because everything else on TV was crap.
Bubblegum. Pot. Gallons of ice-cream. We fed two pigeons and named them Ben and Jerry. We danced to Genesis, even though we both knew that they were possibly the most overplayed band in the world-universe-all-shopping-centers-in-London-ever.
At night we slipped between the park gates and sat by the lake. It felt like the moon was right ne
The Black Bag The problem was simple, really. I was a little too drunk. Me and my buddy Jake though, we found it simple to walk with a stagger and laugh a little too loud, a simple problem. The day was pretty good, pretty drunk.The Black Bag3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The hours passed easy until Max came out of his pawnshop. Max never leaves his pawnshop. He looked so worried and strange I had to squint to be sure it was him. He got us interested, walking toward my buddy and me with trouble written all over his face. Trouble is something a man can relate to from time to time, somehow.
Max walked right up to us and put his hand on my shoulder, thowing me off balance for his remark.
"I need your help, boys," he said.
Jake laughed. "Hey, Max needs our help!"
I nodded and tried to look serious to hide the surprise that made me want to laugh too. I thought it could b
unfinished thoughtsi.unfinished thoughts3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
wake up. i can't stay long.
we are a series of fleeting moments that spell out "bad timing" and "tragic romance". you are broken machinery and i am still trying to decipher the binary code for love. ones and zeros collide into a lump in my throat and suddenly, the idea of saying goodbye makes my fingertips ache and my wrists burn.
do you remember when we kissed? it was a messy pile of metaphors and we were scared that somebody would see us and try to clean us up. i still ghost the back of my hand over my lips and imagine that it's yours, but then i remember that "yours" and "mine" are not words that apply to you and me anymore.
here are three things that i never tried to tell you (though i really should have):
you are so goddamn vain.
you look so beautiful from this angle.
we really are fooling ourselves.
here are two things that i told you everyday ( and that i probably should have told you less):
i love you so much more than you could ever comprehend.
i want to be with yo
small talkhe doesn't do small talk; never has done in the seven-or-so years i've known him. he's a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy i met in a down-town pub. i'd been drinking he hadn't and he lent me an arm for the three miles home.small talk3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"irresponsible… alone… could have been hurt…” - the only snatches of his tirade i remember now.
we met again, a week later, in that same down-town pub. i bought him a drink - a thank you (soft, of course) - and basked in his approval at my own orange and lemonade. i once swore i’d never change for any man.
we got talking, there in the bar. the hum of the underage youths larking around by the pool table and the sound of whatever song was favourite that day faded away. we talked on our island, our utopia, until my ten o'clock curfew brought it down around our feet.
he walked me home again, and on my doorstep i pulled away from
when you wake up fromshe fascinates you. you know she shouldn't but she does. there's something about her wide baby-blue eyes invading her skeletal face, about her bony frame, those slender wrists, the way the illness has invaded her completely, inch by inch working its way through every molecule in her devastated body. it has taken her over, ironically enough it has devoured her, devastated her, yes, devastated, that's the perfect word.when you wake up from3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
perfection. it's what she's trying to reach because she doesn't realize that it's what she already has. she is too poetic to be real but too real to be merely a metaphor so she is fading away, dying slowly. her tragedy -- her actual, painfully visible tragedy -- is that she is too beautiful. she doesn't even realize it and that is why she starves, becomes thinner and thinner until someday a breath of wind will come and fly her away, in fact it has but somehow she is still here and she doesn't like it. it would have destroyed most people, her illness, would have ripped thei
And Here Is JohnParis, 1917And Here Is John1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Here is John, beside me again. Sometimes when we meet he gives me a small, courtly bow. Other times he’s tired and he can only muster up a smile as the words “Bonjour, ma belle,” fall out of his mouth. Sometimes his eyes burn feverishly, sometimes they’re dull, sometimes he’s drunk. It depends on where he’s been that day. There are only two things constant about my John: he always manages to smile, and I can always see the fear deep in every line on his face.
Paris is grim; the front is moving closer to the city, and we’re losing more battles than we’re winning. John spends his time here waiting, and afraid. He lost in these brown streets among these brown buildings, as are all the uniformed boys playing soldier.
Only they are not playing, really. Not anymore. Time is short for him, and the front lines rise up and loom in the darkness. He will meet them again soon. He is like a starving man, needing a good meal and a ki
Sheet of musicI am a sheet. My pigeon pages aren't filled with words,but with black lines revealing something far more beautiful than anything made up of letters could ever be.Sheet of music3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I am wordless, but not voiceless.
unspoken, yet expressing so much.
I only consist of sonorous melancholy and raging drums, becoming my own erratic heartbeat.
My words are the doleful deep sounds of the cello, the violine is my medicine, as calming as the waves, rushing against the shores up and down, up and down following their routine for an endless eternity. A wooden hollow space containing my lullaby, vibrating to the fluctuation of iron threads.
The rain is beating his own volatile rhythym and I'm spinning around dancing, dancing my feet splashing, while I disturb the melody. And I blend in.
And everything I am is reflected in the music.
And I breathe it, breathe it. I inhale it's beauty. The beauty of dust particles dancing around in midstair, moving to their own, soundless music.
The soft harp, touching my h