IBBoiling pot brains,
how you toil yourselves!
Watchword, between thinking I count the fingers grow on my days,
and delight in grass children, do watch them flourish
as they tilt their heads to the sun;
yet you, hardly ceasing to breathe,
are engaged solely in the catching of thoughts,
tangled in your grey meat traps -
I doff my scalp to thee, and hope the exposure not indecent.
Jealous stealing tinkerers, all moonshine thoughts pour from your heads,
but burn brightest when others see;
for you, they lack lustre, and their afterbirth is sorrow.
Wherefore this morass, of such inferior superiors?
Mired in a fen, penned in a bog, lost widely across this wide and subtle expanse
of timed living and free-hand writing,
you are so very fig.
Loligag, I wonder - art thou wiser
than I, poor sprout of gibber wishes,
drinker of tea and lemons beneath a tree's spread,
whiles you bury in pulp and chew on words,
Exotic PartnersIt was during the second year of our marriage that I realised my wife was a large monitor lizard.Exotic Partners10 years ago in Humor More Like This
It was one of those funny little revelations that creeps up on one over time. I think the first clue came when she decided to hibernate for the three winter months. At first it did not arouse my suspicions. After all I myself enjoyed a lie-in, and had once slept in three whole hours past the alarm - on a weekday! - so I did not think it particularly note-worthy when she tucked herself in at the start of December and remained there until late February. Still, it aroused in me some small seed of doubt - for I had never before known her to go even three days without tending to the garden, let alone three months.
Her taste in gardening was minimalist, and this I applauded; it may have been one of the reasons I married her, I forget now. Instead of the silly sentimentality of a lawn or a flower patch, she insisted that the entire garden was covered in soft fl
The Bird"Found a bird in delta." I say.The Bird8 years ago in Science Fiction More Like This
John doesn't stir, so I repeat.
"Said a bird flew in. Little scrawny thing, but it got in."
"What I thought. But it did."
I can hear John stretch out in the bunk above me, the ancient springs groaning as his body and muscles shift across them.
"Where's the leak?"
"Sally's looking. Be in delta though - can't of got through a bulkhead."
"Better not be delta two."
I nod, because neither of us want it in delta two.
"What sort of bird?"
"Little scrawny bastard, don't know. Could look him up."
John swings himself off the top bunk, and sits down on the end of my bed to do his boots up.
"Nah. Still loose?"
"Hope he gets out."
And then we laugh, because it's just such a normal thing to think, because birds should be out, shouldn't they?
Anne Frank The girl was a bone,Anne Frank10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a stick held
by the fierce, unyielding passion
of her mind
and she was beautiful,
I could cry
and shout to the hills;
but when I closed her book,
she was dead.
Where to Play?Where to Play?9 years ago in Science Fiction More Like This
The nuclear blast ripped through Wembley Stadium, shattering steel girders like toothpicks and melting human flesh like butter. Ringo's head smashed into the concrete as the scorching air roared over him. It had been a pretty good day until this had happened.
Earlier, the make up artists and costumers had descended on the four of them like a flock of gnats. A touch-up here, a snip there. Mr. Wesely, clothed in a pin-stripe suit, was calmly standing by the door of the dressing room, watching the talent coordinator of PeaceAid 3 hop around like an insane monkey.
"We've only got 10 minutes!" she howled. "Get the hair right. No! Not the bowl cuts. More shaggy. This is in the Pepper era, not the damn Ed Sullivan stuff!" She turned to Mr. Wesley with an icy look of horror on her face. "They do know the program, don't they?"
Mr. Wesley nodded. "Of course. It was downloaded two weeks ago."
The coordinator howled in agony. "No! It's changed since then! It's changed!" she waved her data p
Ode from a hamburgerI saw you staring -Ode from a hamburger9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
how could you resist?
No woman here could blame you for
wanting me between your lips
(and maybe I'll go lower,
and get friendly with your hips).
And I'll bet you've never seen
so much meat in one place -
or a pair of buns like these.
I could be so bad for you;
but don't worry,
I won't bite,
even if you do.
Lesson 1 - Basics of MeterQUOTE OF THE DAYLesson 1 - Basics of Meter8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
"Life is tons of discipline. Your first discipline is your vocabulary; then your grammar and your punctuation. Then, in your exuberance and bounding energy you say you're going to add to that. Then you add rhyme and meter. And your delight is in that power."
- Robert Frost
As Robert Frost is saying, meter and rhyme are not the most important parts of writing. They are the most intricate when creating poetry, but poems can be written without them. I began my poetry with free verse, and gradually became more and more fixed as I went on to learn more about how meter affects the poem, and how rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and the like also affect the reader's experience with a piece of poetry. And my free verse is all the better for it. Even if you never write another fixed poem after finishing this course, an intricate understanding of the rules of conventional poe
The Celestial GirlThe Celestial Girl10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I search for the lonely sparkles
So uniquely recumbent and undercover.
Ambivalent towards popularity's pupils
but perilously potent to mine.
Merging towards a merger
she migrates from malignance.
I now spy the girl with stars in her eyes.
Engulfed with eternal enchantment
I sit still as she
meekly models magnetism
on the lunar lit catwalk
Shall we bequeath this blanketed beauty?
Unwrapped for all our pleasures
The masses refuse to respect
her austere allurement.
Gibbous gasps with great gusto
as she peels away the hidden agendas
So picturesque unlimited…
...With gravity breeding synchronicity
Unification is no more a dream.
and seduction subscribes to its senses
The 'Northern Lights' still seem so far away.
Skin DeepShould we pity the poor young pelican?Skin Deep7 years ago in Other More Like This
Red in the face
a balding sequence of ambivalent metaphors
This is a strange fragility.
A comic evanescence
of stocking feet
all laughter and wonder
You hear this alot
no gleaming cup
for the non-technical among us
Its all narrative really.
A false swan wedged between
multi-millionaire pretty boys.
Im having second thoughts
They have declared war
on sexual ardor.
It is a very simple game.
Such violence is tribal
With so much ugliness,
when will you ever get a chance
to do something personal?
Were not going to the moon now.
I am a child again,
the roots of plain function
Gather me into the sunlit gyre of pelicans.
no titleand so we climbed to the darker recesses of the building,no title9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for to find the darker recesses of each others mind,
encouraged by the other's ragged torn, half-breaths
and illicit thrills of imagined forbidden ventures.
each other - in our gloomy sanctuary, our half-dark haven.
and stared - conversation spilling unchecked from our expectant mouths, until
my cheek with careful fingers (on the false pretext of my hair being in the way?)
a surprised smile upon my lips, at so unreservedly tender a gesture, but, then
and in the half-dark edged meagre inches away, to some half-supposed safety, and so
i didn't mean to lead you on, or lead you up those stairs in such a way,
became as ragged as those breaths and both continue unsure because i pulled away.
The Thing About ClichesI.The Thing About Cliches6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
If this were a cliché,
A poem, or both
It would be about sparkling midnight skies and heartbeats and flowers and sex.
There would be oceanic eyes and rain that tastes like tears. Well throw in anxiety-riddled murmurs and metaphorical bullets and allusions to sharp objects for pity.
This is not a cliché anymore.
So instead I wrote about the flavor of emerald and the fragrance of April hope. I painted pictures of a perfect pencil, poised over a blank page.
If this were a romance,
A message in a bottle, or both
It would still be cliché, to capture electric fingers and longings locked away with skeleton keys, and drugs.
Wed find footprints in the sand and read angels into them. Wed collect rejected roses, tarnished rings, and hopeful held breaths where the tides washed them up, tie them up with ribbon, and cork it all away for someone else to worry about.
This is not a romance either.
So instead I baked coffee cake while it rained, and picked the wee
Abandoned HousesGlimpsed before they were salted with dusk,Abandoned Houses6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
each like a deserted scene from Chernobyl
or Three-Mile Island: breakfast tables
abandoned, family photos left behind,
jackets still hanging on the backs of chairs.
Cutlery slowly fossilising, turning the colour
of anchovies. Their undissovable memories
chirp like Geiger counters when the street
is silent, unspooling household wiring.
Sometimes you might see patches
of dandelions in the front gardens bend,
as if in the presence of breath.
insomnia.one a.m.insomnia.6 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
i couldn't sleep. i was too busy tossing and turning and throwing my pillow at the shadows dancing in my room.
i tried counting sheep, but somehow, one became two became three became fifty became purple became what the hell is wrong with me?
i glanced at my phone and thought about calling you. and then i realized that you're never the one to call me, and that stung, and i decided to count the stains on my ceiling instead.
some idiot set his car alarm off, and the other cars answered, forming an odd sort of melody.
i wanted to answer with a scream of my own, but i forced it to stay in.
sleep was calling my phone, but i couldn't find it to answer. i wondered if i lost it.
i finished counting the stains, and there were twenty-six on my ceiling. the shadows were laughing at me - or maybe it was me, laughing at myself.
i stumbled through my closet to find my phone, finally answering to sleep.
'alyssa.' i didn't reply.
People Are AwfulPeople Are AwfulPeople Are Awful6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
If Id known what was going to happen that day, I probably would have broken up with him by phone. Its not even my problem. Its Bens problem. He was late. Hes always late. Not so much now, but anyway. He was late, and he knew Id be angry. But I wasnt angry because I knew that all I was going to say to him was:
Its over, were finished, Im ending it, I never want to see you again, were breaking up, you disgust me, Im leaving, dont call me.
So it didnt bother me whether he was five minutes or ten minutes late, or an hour late, just so long as he turned up. I wouldn&
Coffee Shop MemoirsPhilosophers thinkCoffee Shop Memoirs6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We may dream our reality.
With earphones attached liked IVs
I dream my own melodic universe.
Until someone laughs behind me
And strikes up conversation with a friend.
And in that moment they become my anchor
Are they spinning through my dream
Or am I spinning through theirs?
Sometimes life fits in a coffee cup,
Sometimes inspiration pours out slowly like a packet of honey,
And sometimes it all mixes together
Like liquid incandescence that I drink right after brewing.
When no one speaks to me for hours
I begin to wonder
Is everyone dreaming a reality that includes
The whole café but me?
The street outside the window
With passing strangers, dogs and cars
Is a whole new Milky Way
Waiting to be discovered.
But I am no space explorer
Aliens are beyond my reach.
Whispers of the people around
Reach my ears distinctly
Like waves lapping on the shore.
Words on paper go no way
Towards proving that I was ever here
My identity is slowly condensed
Not into the people who kno
So I writeGod,So I write6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I can barely remember
when we were strangers
and all I knew was your name.
And I could sit next to you,
and not feel a thing.
I could look in your eyes
and not know exactly what you were thinking.
I wish I could draw out my feelings.
But all I would get
is a mess of paper and pencil
and some scrambled up picture
of demented people
with missing heads and limbs.
Or no faces.
So I write.
Because theres something so methodic
about the rolling of a ballpoint pen
running over college ruled paper.
Its an antidrug in itself-
rehab in every letter
and safety in every punctuation.
No, not like a cut.
Not like a sharp, shiny razor
slicing a beautifully, unmarked arm.
No, nothing like that.
Nothing compared to the constant typing of words
or the forming of sentences. And thoughts.
So I write.
Measured in YearsEliza is six and theres something unusual about the morning. The day seems to have forgotten to wake up. Its black outside the windows except the silver pools the streetlights leave on the pavement. She can hear a faint, familiar noise: her parents alarm, an ongoing stacatto rhythm that usually ends just after it begins. She goes downstairs in feeted pajamas, one warm thing in the dark house, one pink smudge in the somber white living room with its vaulted ceiling. She sees her mother sitting on the sofa in her nightgown, part of the pale triangles that lace the shadowed room.Measured in Years7 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Eliza stands in the center of the carpet and her mother doesnt move and the alarm doesnt stop. At some point, her mothers head comes out of her hands. Sweetie, why are you up? she asks. Eliza crawls into her mothers lap, but she doesnt find the comforting circle of arms and steady heartbeat she expects. Instead there is a strange communicable urgency in
irresolute heartsi.irresolute hearts6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
now you have not broken my heart yet
but you are bending it more than i am
used to; it is creased where you folded
its edges to fit comfortably in your pocket
and you have not stolen my breath yet
but i can feel stardust catch in my
bronchial tubes; we can meet at the lips
and you can breathe deep the butterflies
the words in my mind are not misplaced yet
but you are starting to disorganize them;
i am forgetting that it is politically incorrect
to tell you that i miss you, you are amazing
you have not blinded me yet but i can feel
the corners of my eyes begin to lose focus;
your freckled skin is exotic on its own but
the shadows of your secrets make you beautiful
truthfully speaking i have not gone and
fallen for you yet; lately my stomach
has been twisting and my balance is slowly
beginning to succumb to your gravity
This Organized LifeWe are having dinner at a place I cant afford. Carl has gotten into middle age at some point, complete with good posture and brown loafers. Hoping he plans to pay but erring on the side of caution, I order soup.This Organized Life7 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
It is not awkward. We speak easily as ever, despite the pricey menu, Carls shoes, and the last time he and I stood yelling in a room together, each so loud the words became one great indistinguishable noise.
Im so glad we ran into each other, he says. The waiter pours more wine. I begin to assume he is going to pay; that is what a man his age does when he brings a woman to a restaurant like this. You always said it, and its still true: I rely on statistics to predict Carls behavior.
Carl takes another sip of his wine, and I think about you. You do not know where I am. I have avoided thinking of you precisely to avoid guilt, and now I arrive at the thought of you and find it filled instead with weary affection. You do not know where I am
The World, UnknownWhen the desert raiders stormed the city's church they did not burn the Bibles, theological texts, or illuminated manuscripts. Instead they burned the maps.The World, Unknown6 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
Your maps, they said, are the feeble representations of shadows. They are veils behind which nothing lies, for the physical world, like the metaphysical, is ever-shifting and torrential.
For the priests, witnesses reported, it could not have been worse. They fell and moaned.
Throughout that year strange earthquakes troubled the deserts of New Mexico. A traveler passing through the region noted, "It seemed that every morning the Earth would groan and shift beneath our feet, as if tired and weary, as if our steps disturbed its slumber. The studied men spoke of the fall of Atlas . . . Our charts did not hold up. Landmarks rose and fell, were swallowed up by some intangible whim. It is miraculous that we escaped the borders of the State at all."
Not without correlation, an amateur astronomer noticed heavenly phenomena in the same reg
The Other WorldThe Other World9 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
I've been dreaming of another world. I'm the only one who can go there, because I've found the secret key. It must have been about a year ago when I found it in the July 1946 edition of Weird Stories magazine, page 45, line 12. At first this line didn't really strike me as anything important.
They shot the tower down.
It wasn't until the man spoke it to me in my dream that it meant anything. I remember I was dreaming of a murky, fog-covered plain, and the sky got dark--almost black. He withdrew from the shadows and faced me, but I couldn't read his features; his whole body was like a silhouette cut from black paper. There was only the outline of the fedora on his head and the light on his lips.
"They shot the tower down," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked him.
"These words open the door into the other world," he said, "the one you've always hoped for."
I told him I didn't know what he was talking about, and he
Sharing EdenSometimes, I think about John.Sharing Eden8 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I grew up in my grandparents' garden. It was fairly large and brilliantly colored in a way Crayola could never compare. I spent my days running through the pods of flowers, jumping from rock to rock, or simply laying on the grass, watching the birds, the bugs, and the days go by.
In my childish mind, I thought that God had one day decided to add Eden to Heaven, but accidentally dropped that forbidden garden on the way home. Eden shattered into pieces, and those beautiful shards fell to the Earth. When He saw how beautiful those fragments were, instead of sweeping up the pieces, he decided to leave them there as samples of Heaven. He sent down angels to care for the gardens so that they would flourish even when the area around them turned uglier and uglier.
I thought my grandparents were angels. Unlike most people, my grandparents did not plant healthy flowers. They had the remarkable ability to reconstitute withered and dying ones; weeks were marked with
Memory of a LullabyChapter 1:Memory of a Lullaby6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The silence shattered as the bells in the rafters above him began to sway and sound their morning tones. Kane, jarred from his meditation, sighed quietly and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the beam that stood upright behind where he sat. The solemn melody played on for a minute or so before the bells fell to silence once more, having finished filling the air with their resonating tones as the people of Delmaska woke to face another day. Kane kept his eyes shut a moment more, trying to remember the broken pieces of the melody that had haunted him from his rest for the last few nights now. But they had fled with the sounding of the bells, like the black night from the mornings glow.
He was perched in the rafters of an old church, defaced by time and run through with rot. The wall had even fallen away in one spot, allowing Kane a clear view of the cityscape and the sun as it rose over the east sector. Here in the vast sprawl of slums, he oversaw the poor a
Master of RavensMaster of RavensMaster of Ravens9 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
My little brother is nine years old the first time I decide to kill him.
During the night, snow fell over the jagged wreckage of our land. In the morning I realize he will follow me outside if I call to him. Like an awkward-limbed colt he'll stumble through the snowdrifts, and I can leave him to the ice and wind in the shadow of a three-walled building. No one will see me. Our father will think he has gotten lost on his own. I too will cry when they find his body. When the mourning is done, however, I will be my father's true and only son. 'Cam,' he will call to me, and I'll kneel down before him.
My father. Master of Ravens. Crow-Runner. The Blackbird King.
I pull on my winter boots, knot the coarse laces.
My little brother asks, 'Cam. Where are you going?'
'Out,' I tell him.
'To play in the snow?'
'To look at it.'
When he was born, my little brother was named Taliesin. His is a world without myths, of course. Such things perished in the great f