etch-a-sketchhe wrote his suicide note on an etch-a-sketch board.
elmo-red frame, golden paint drawing out the classy cursive logo, white bottle-cap knobs, and a fake digital screen.
a child's dream.
it took him six hours to revisit his childhood for the last time.
[it didn't take that long because he didn't know what to say, but because he wanted to finally do something right.]
he carefully turned each knob, forming darkened pixels into letters, letters into words, and words into spider-silk-thin sentences that would rip and fade, just as spider webs did.
his words faded a bit when you accidentally knocked it off his dresser so you could take it to the funeral.
faded a bit when you went over that speed bump on the road and the little board bounced around a bit in the car.
faded a bit when you walked over to his open casket and dropped it next to his mortician-treated body.
faded a bit when the mini-crane dropped the casket into the grave just a moment too early, and so the death-box shook like a f
the things they should have told ussee, no one really warns us about growing up.the things they should have told us2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
they leave out things like heartbreak and gossip and broken people you could have saved but didn't.
it is this: the girl who holds her wrists and sits alone and tells me no child should ever grow up being afraid of someone who should love them. Her eyes are fierce, and something inside me is screaming but the clock ticks and the moment is past. i pretend i can't hear the pieces of her shatter as they hit the floor.
the next time we speak there are new shadows beneath her eyes and her shoulders hunch as if somehow she could fold into herself and disappear. maybe it would be better for us both if she did. but she doesn't. she can't and i can't and outside the sky is robins egg blue but inside a storm is brewing and the hallways smell of regret.
then, she is gone.
murmurs, rumors follow in her wake like dark ripples over stormy water.
she is gone, lost, taken, stolen, dead. in the halls, her name is whispered, softly, fervently, like a
fireflies in trainingonce upon a timefireflies in training2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i met a magpie
hatched in a nest of thieves
you might think this will be a tale
about how she grew up
turning story pages
and realized her brothers and sisters
as well as herself
and then she shifted
from evil to good
alas, but no
i came to her with a necklace
which she snatched in her beak
not to mention my wallet
and flew away
to share with her mafia family
but when she arrived at the nest
all she knew was
looking for what was lost
she flew across the globe
with jewelry rattling around her neck
she sat on the peak of the eiffel tower
soared together with soap bubbles in poland
was shot by a soft gun in japan
but nursed by a cup of tea
while i collected fireflies
in an empty jar
so i trained my jar of lit insects
to fly upside down
from her to me
we met again
and i complimented her necklace
she told me
«i have returned from a journey
i lost a leg
i saw the world
for what it is
birds sang about you
i learnt how you plucked
every egg of my famil
Billy's PterodactylsBilly was in what his mother called 'his dinosaur phase'. He'd been firmly ensconced in this phase for the past six months, ever since his Dad had taken him to see the Natural History Museum in Oxford. The first thing he'd seen on entering was the huge bones of the Tyrannosaurus Rex glaring down at him, and that was it; he'd been hooked ever since.Billy's Pterodactyls2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
In the time since then his entire room had been re-decorated with a Jurassic theme. Dinosaurs were on the bedsheets, the curtains, the posters on the walls, and little plastic ones covered his floor to the point where it was dangerous to walk across it. Unless you were Billy, of course. No dinosaur would dare to harm Billy, who reigned supreme among them and controlled their every move. Billy was in his element and entirely at home within his dinosaur-infested room.
Every now and then the dinosaurs would venture outside of Billy's room, in an effort to invade and infest the rest of Billy's house. On one such occasion his mother inadvertently
Let Me Down GentlyI never said I was an angel,Let Me Down Gently2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I'm a feather on its wing,
so when you let me drift
on the next western current,
let me fall slowly down,
I promise I'll land softly,
though you will not find me
where you left me.
Metastasis98.00Metastasis2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Autumn is the season when everything dies.
The leaves shrivel up and your lungs go with them, tiny dejected organs drying out inside your sternum, crinkling under our footsteps. The doctors pronounce their diagnosis as the leaves fall, listing medical terms and percentages and something about medication options.
The disease is metastatic: it has bored its way out of your lungs and into your bones. Dissatisfied, it's going for your organs, your liver, your heart. The prognosis says Christmas is a pipe dream, likely as the sun ceasing to set.
You promise it anyway.
November comes and I am a fish, breathing through makeshift gills carved into my hips, lopsided and crude.
I make fresh ones twice a day, slice myself open once in the morning and once at night in hopes the air will come a little easier each time. I make three and count them off:
and hope my heart stops.
The leaves have been carted away, pummeled into dust, and blown away in the wind.
beta physicsi.beta physics2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the rain wrapped impatience around your roof,
bored through the wood like a thousand million termites
(or one you-sized termite, blind, breathless)
and seeped from the cold clockwork like battery acid.
you lived in a widow's closet -
a house swarmed with antiques
that collapsed in their own gravity
and combusted -
and then you lived in widow's charcoal.
"galaxies are either lovers or termites," she mused.
(earlier, her fingernails bored into my back
Hubble's thousand million stars, all drops of acid
branding my spine.)
"they are drawn to each other for years
and in an instant, once together,
eat themselves alive."
lessYour phone bills are smaller now,less2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with no long distance calls to make,
and your car insurance reduced to reflect lower mileage
and all those journeys not made, those roads not taken,
those lanes that you know like the back of your hand -
Left, right, straight ahead, right, right -
are no longer driven. You did not see the bluebells wake
and spring burst forth in the countryside,
did not see the snow on the fields, cold horses in their
quilted coats pawing, nibbling, pawing.
Christmas stamps still tucked in your wallet,
and fountain pens dried up next to watermarked
John Lewis writing paper
with no letters left to write.
Weekends stretch out, lunchbreak is a blank and you have more time
but you have less.
Nuclear Winter'Mother, tell me again about the sun.'Nuclear Winter2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
She pauses scraping the stretched hide,
thinks. So many images she could give, in words
he wouldn't understand golden, sunrise, light.
Her son was born to cold darkness, has never seen
the sun, animals in clouds, gods in the midnight sky.
Some days, what she misses most is the sky,
more than electricity, than fresh tomatoes, than sun-
shine. The white tails of planes created scenes
of foreign adventure, when only thunderheads could hide
the horizon and the day produced its own light.
Now the horizon chokes on ash and she on useless words.
She never lets him see her cry when her words
become ghosts, unable to puncture the thick sky
and rest peacefully. She has nightmares about the light
from each subatomic explosion that burnt out the sun,
and she's haunted by a notion that there's nowhere to hide,
nowhere to run from the nuclear eyes of God and not be seen.
Before the years of winter, she and his father had seen
mankind linked with hopeful
Puddled GasolineHear me read it! Puddled GasolinePuddled Gasoline2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Someone left the car on
with the garage door closed again;
streak the harsh winter concrete
as I breathe past the fumes.
at its finest,
or some other form of noise
I'm not familiar with.
He will not hear me screaming
when I tug open the door
and you spill out like a puddle
onto my freshly-buffed shoes,
because I will not be screaming
For the first time
in almost twenty years of marriage,
you've silenced me.
SuperimposeHe doesn't look like a gymnast. He's all button down shirts and frazzled grey hair framing wire spectacles, a picture perfect professorial archetype down to the very tips of his frayed shoelaces. But he was a gymnast once, or so he tells us, and I believe him because he smiles like he knows something while he's chatting before class.Superimpose2 years ago in Sketches More Like This
It's strange to see that image superimposed over the current one the distinguished professor in pressed khaki slacks and a jacket, worn brown loafers exuding a faintly courteous manner (you can always tell them by their shoes), and a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand versus the athletic kid who went to college for a semester and grew nine inches too tall to keep doing what he loved so he took up a tennis racquet instead. Gymnasts don't wear suit jackets; no steel mill worker has such manicured nails. But the images are all there, flickering just under the surface and bubbling up again when he's recounting stories about his days in Pi
Fine, Fine, FineFine, Fine, FineFine, Fine, Fine2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Nothing changed in the classroom when Maria Diaz went missing. It was as if she'd never been there, sitting in her spot in the corner where the teachers couldn't rescue her from the other kids. Whoever said words never hurt was a liar in denial. Maria would have preferred the sticks and the stones. A broken psyche doesn't mend as cleanly as bone.
"Yo, Clarissa, wake up." Before she could turn in the direction of his voice, Sam punted a paperclip right into her forehead.
"What was that for? I was totally awake already." She whined. Mrs. Benson wasn't even finished her lesson yet. The fat witch was still writing math equations on the blackboard, oblivious to everyone snickering about how her ass was so big it didn't even look connected to her back. Mrs. Benson was gross; math was stupid. Clarissa was bored. Typical school day.
Sam grinned that imperfect grin of his. He needed braces. "If anyone would have invented a way to see through their eyelids, I guess it'd b
cwe're travelingc2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
at the speed of light
and we won't stop for nothing
(there are no br(e)akes
in this vehicle called life)
so let's keep going until we can
reach the far edges of the universe
where the blackness seeps into your skin and
you passed the last star a couple thousand
light years ago;
and return home to each other as
old folks who've aged nothing but
gained knowledge of all the
mousetraps of the cosmos
Crows"Crows," I whisper and she flies,Crows3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
brown arrow shot
from the bowstring of a word.
another notch on the wall. 1.another notch on the wall.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a while now,
a while now has passed
with bruises crying jagged from your voice
and pretty little nicks upon
( tricky partners dancing
within your hands cupped around a flame,
for artists draw and
another curse at the bleeding night
snipping stitches and
weaving nightmares into weary minds.
16.7.1945You can't blame them for what they did, not really.16.7.19454 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Their war, ensnaring the most powerful countries in the world and sending millions of their finest young men and women out as if to the slaughter, had been raging for nearly six years. Both sides showed no sign of faltering, entertained no thought of surrender. Something had to be done to break the psychological stalemate. Something that would make men fall to their knees in awe even as their cities and their people disappeared in a flash of white light.
What the scientists and the handful of informed onlookers say today in the desert under heavy rain will never be known by man, for the age of man will end in approximately ten seconds. There was talk that the test be delayed until the storm has passed to avoid magnifying the fallout, but orders came from far above that they need these results now, and when the scientists get an order like that, it would cost them more than their lives are worth to ignore it. They place bets while t
the hanged manThis little red book you call the human body:the hanged man3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
take it up and shake it. Shake the flaking pages
out of it, shake it from endpaper to endpaper
until the last of the phrases are gone; shake it
until it's aching and empty, the soul of a bird.
I will give you new words.
windstorms and labworkafflatus, inflatus, my morning globe,windstorms and labwork1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
as lithe as your impermanence.
and home! dread homes! are rabbit dugs,
spoonholed piles of mexican brick
where nothing ever touches down,
nothing here alive receives
the plains’ poor offering of gypsy light,
the ugly wind that meets the mudline.
1. a mottled fence
2. and how these storms hold faceless teeth
that slat their eyes through butter-wood
then purge their guts on wintered florets
4. some freshly headless nativities,
their polyethylene skirts upturned
from violent sacks
5. and knowing i’m a souless
i lick at what is manifest
beneath your hair
each poison tab
and religious studies
i know, i know you never mean
but do not say “live for yourself”.
i’ve come online to see the god
that came before me.
we are so poorly married
like bookend spines of Plath and Hughes
up on the shelf
The FountainThere were sixteen tall windows. She'd counted them over and over when she was small, her chubby finger outstretched as she spun in tiny circles. Eight walls, sixteen windows, thirty-two black curtainsthe arithmetic of her childhood.The Fountain2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Eight window seats, Daddy. Eight buttons on eachsixty-four. I counted."
The fountain stood dry and dead-center in the middle of the black and white tiles. Eight sides, eight lion-mouth spouts. Sixteen limestone mermaids poised gracefully around the edge. Four thousand and ninety-six blue tiles. Five hundred and twelve white.
And two doors. Always the two doors, huge and solid and radiating a sense of looming disdain. The rough oak had bitten her hands and it bit them now, when she pressed her palms against it. The doors eased open like wings outstretching, coming to rest against stone doorstops.
Her boots clicked against the marble flooring as she advanced, each click reverberating through the silent room. A mute ghost of a man stood in
Whale Songs of the PacificListen, the girls swallowed by whales are the ones that grow up lucky.Whale Songs of the Pacific1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Listen, no one will warn you about the little boys with the magpie eyes and the fists swinging splinters of glass. No one will warn you that their smiles are sweeter than their words are sweeter than their souls are sweeter than their intentions. No one will warn you of the sheer weight of the world.
Listen, sometimes girls are fragile. Sometimes girls are frothy. Sometimes girls let boys nuzzle "I love you"s into their necks and sometimes girls drink the wine of believing them.
Listen, sometimes the boys really are sweet, and little girls' tart puckered mouths can't taste the difference.
Listen, writers are the ones that drip fishhooks down their throats to coax out their hearts. Writers are the ones who fling those heart-hooks into the sea even if they have a message but not a bottle. Listen, sometimes fish swallow them. Some of those fish sink to the bottom of the ocean with the weight of the world in those heart
Undressing PoetryShe clothes herself in poetry,Undressing Poetry2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
seals her skin within the verse.
Each line becomes another garment
that conceals her fixed form's curvature,
but peels away when read.
Last night I dissected a stanza,
clamped it tight between my teeth
and tugged it down her legs.
Her body breathes warm and sweet,
speckled red like a summer strawberry field.
I sucked the juice from her lines and
spit the punctuation like seeds.
My lips mouthed the shape of her words
as my skin grew more sticky with
every splash of imagery dripping down my chin.
I peeled apart her soft pages
with sticky, pink fingertips that left them
clinging to my skin.
A single flawless line remained
between the cloak of poetry, her and me,
so we spoke the words in unison,
revealing everything and setting her verse free.
carbon monoxideIt had been Javiers idea for the tattoos. "It'll keep you safe, Diego. No one will touch you." On the streets, no one had touched Diego to begin with. In order for Javier to earn the tattoo, he had to steal. When he stole the teenager's purse, she screamed and only chased him for half a block before giving up, but Javier didn't stop running. Back at his friend's apartment, when they opened the Coach bag and dumped out the contents, besides lipstick and a compact mirror, the wallet held cash and credit cards, a little iPod with the headphone cords wrapped around it and most of all, a digital camera. It had been a lucky find, and they'd sold everything but left the camera to Javier, who would use it to take pictures of his brother.carbon monoxide4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Diego agreed. He agreed because Javier scared him at the best of times. "If you don't get this, you'll die, Diego. Someone will get mad and put a bullet in your head," Javier emphasized this, formed his hand and fingers in the shape of a gun and pressed his fi
Working ClassSmoking is a working class diseaseWorking Class2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
They said; he smiled at this.
Lean in body and broad of mind
With shirtsleeves rolled,
A modern man's philosopher
Who stuttered over the words
Like his fingers did over her chassis
Detroit rolling iron beneath his palms
Grease and lubricant under the nails.
The cigarette cherry glows in the dark
Giving him a hard edge aura
The gloaming settling into the lines
Of his work-worn face