Old BoysOld Boys3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Riding down country roads
to local farms on a Saturday
with my granddad
to see equipment auctions
as the old boys cashed in
Standing there in bib overalls or Dickies
with their dark glasses on
smoking pipes and cigars
they'd talk politics or crops
their deep voices rumbling quietly
I was enthralled...listening to the auctioneer
rattle off prices at breakneck speed
for a Farmall tractor going once
Sold to the man in front...
Or grandpa would take me with him
to the local VFW Post 6464
on Thursday evenings
to play Euchre with his friends
I'd bring along a few dog-eared
Reader's Digest magazines to read
as they played
Every so often I would walk over and
say hi, see how grandpa was faring
Usually he was cleaning house
winning almost every hand he played in
The ladies would bring a cake
and we'd have that with coffee
It felt...comfortable in a way
I find hard to explain
Sitting there surrounded by veterans
men who still wore those black-rimmed glasses
and their hair was
Tread LightlyFeelings are like landmines.Tread Lightly3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
how lilies weepobstacleshow lilies weep4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are a kind of faith,
as if through some
a bruised clock
veins and cloaked
timed to burst.
i am nothing
if i am not a dream
of yours, waking
from the geometric light
of my window
into a shimmering cup,
poured full of your words
my hips dripping
their tiny mechanisms,
swirling in incense,
growing new teeth,
to bleed through.
i drip and cough
and sleep and bleed
that i am strong enough
for someone like you.
i am taped
and covered up
but you can still see
the endless flaws.
i watch the trees break,
the elastic stretch between moments as
one thing lives and another dies,
as each day i create my chances,
i hold my deck of cards and slice two in half,
i eat one, i rip another,
and i still win the game.
you are the card i never play,
the one i hold on to,
the lucky coin
CharlieWe're all just kids playing a part. That's what it boils down to.Charlie3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I'm the kid who gets to play hitman today. The other kids, they're playing guard. Hands in their pockets, feeling up their guns. Makes them feel big. Calms them down. A security blanket in a holster.
That's what it boils down to. Dressing for the part, having the right props. If you're running around in your street clothes, you're a thug, a hood, a gangster. You put on a ninety-dollar suit you picked up at Ross, and all the sudden you're a mobster, a wiseguy, paisano.
You're still just playing Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Thugs and Mafiosi.
Rule of three. Say it enough times, and you'll convince yourself of it.
Look at yourself in the mirror, jacket and tie and shoulder holster. Tell yourself, "I'm a badass." Wash, rinse, repeat until it sticks. Get into character and stand around, chest puffed out, one hand on your gun, one on your cock.
Repeat the lines you learned watching other people pretend t
OCDI count the cracks in between the blocks of cement beneath me as I walk. Two. Two. Four. Four. Always four sets of that. Always two, two, four, four. Four times each. Look up. Blink 8 times. Two sets of four. Then back down. Two, two, four, four.OCD3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Safe. Those numbers are safe. Even, not odd. Odd is bad. 'Odd' is what people call you when you're different. Bad. Wrong.
Two, two, four, four. I try to focus on something else, not on how many steps I'm taking, because there are people behind me. Person. One set of footsteps. Bad. Half of two. I think of it as two feet, and that's better. I feel better.
I round a corner, looking for my goal. Always a goal; always a pull. It's getting stronger, so I'm getting close. I have to hurry, I have to lose the person behind me. They kept walking straight. Good.
It's raining again. It's been raining every three days for the past week. Three and Seven. Not good, but not the worst numbers. They add up to ten. Even. Safe. I duck into an alley, and stop sho
downpour.Drip, drip.downpour.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Mother always said that raindrops were the tears of the people of the heavens, crying because someone great had died.
"Shouldn't it always be raining, then?" I had asked when I first heard this.
"No, only when someone great has died. They might not have known they were great, society might not have known they were great, but the tears still flow," she patiently explained to me.
"Did it rain when Ben-jay-mine Franklin died?" I questioned.
"Yes, it rained when Ben-jay-mine Franklin died," Mother answered.
I waited a moment, then ventured again, "Did it rain when Thomas Ed-son died?"
"Yes, it rained when Thomas Ed-son died."
"Did it rain when Rosey Parks died?"
"Yes, it rained when Rosey Parks died."
"Did it rain when Father died?"
My mother paused for a second, looking down at her clasped hands in her lap. She finally replied, "Your father isn't dead yet." With that, she got up and put me down for a nap, beginning dinner.
It did not rain the d
Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can beVa'eira4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible. The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
Words, Words, WordsIt was the end of the last normal day for Jonathan Fields. He had finished work at five and had come back to his modest apartment without a sense of accomplishment. Having fixed himself a hearty dinner of microwave soup and wrinkly carrot sticks, he sat down on his grey couch and turned on the TV. There wasn't anything on that really interested him, but he got some sparse enjoyment from complaining about the lack of content. He had almost reached that blessed hypnotic state the television could sometimes induce, when his cell phone bleeped and buzzed a tired tune that he had long since ceased to hear. He picked it up without looking at the name.Words, Words, Words5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Hi Jon! It's Angela. Are you ready to go? I'm super excited! I can't thank you enough for going with me. We're going to have so much fun!"
"I couldn't let you go alone. It's too dangerous. Anything can ha
LossIt is more than death: a loved oneLoss4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
vanishes into a gathering of ashes,
and still they are not immortalized
by that lump in the throat, that sense
of wrong, that homesickness, that love-
sickness--the unnameable, named. Baudelaire,
I am an unhealthy man now--
this is past forgetting, past frailty.
Age has whitened the crass lines
of my hair; apathy has sewn through
my thinning lips, has stilled each finger
from touching keys, or ink to paper.
Although I've shown the eye of each grape,
how they watch from a neighbor's unkept yard--
I care no longer about the sweetness
of their juice, or the miracle of finding
sense and hope in language--workhouse
of our tongue, long-suffering in our ineptitude.
I have long walked past that dreaded block:
can see it in the deep distance, in the dark.
Those others! Their arms stretch: their new
birthing, discovery of another light--glimmer
of each experience that seeps and sparks
as if tiny breaths. But, here, I turn--
hold my own breath. Discover the hard
When Dragons Die"It's on the beach!"When Dragons Die3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's on the beach.
Amy Dale fingered the pack of cigarettes in the baggy pocket of her jeans as she moved with the rush of the crowd towards the lake, her mind fuzzy with shock. Could it really have come to this? After all these years of hundreds of people searching, working, chasing, probing, trying to pin down the elusive Loch Ness 'monster' - after all her years of work, studying and scraping by and manuveuring with difficulty through her scanty network until she was part of the latest team sent searching for it - all of that ended like this?
It washed up on the shore?
She left most of the crowd behind at the first ring of policemen trying to keep unnecessary people away from the 'monster.' Flashing her ID, she slipped through them and went forward more slowly, the wet ground squelching under her rubber boots. The bulk of the dead creature was perfectly visible now, rising in a steady curve above the heads of the people surrounding it, pointing and talking
infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowinginfinite/opposite.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
I wish...I’ve been sitting on your doorstep for three days.I wish...2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Here are the nothings I left under the mat:
i.I do not feel like a lion anymore,
an alpha wolf, a hyena or
any other strong-willed beast.
I want to take my scars
out to lunch,
feed them your eyes,
& your tongue
until it bleeds sorrow,
and “please forgive me’s”.
iii. You wish I never existed
as you grind those words
into my wrists like they are
red hibiscus blossoms.
& I’ll have you know
I am a flower, bloomed,
rooted deep into the soil.
You are just a combination
of 26 letters-
an “I wish…”
YellowMy parents bought a little two-bedroom house when they first got married. It was run down, falling apart, but most importantly: cheap.Yellow5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Two years later, my mother fell pregnant with me. She immediately abandoned her job for some plaster and paint and set about decorating the untouched spare room. She splashed pastel yellow across the walls, replaced the dingy carpet and kitted out the room with furniture.
Sixteen years after my birth, and the yellow paint is flaking off the walls revealing the kiwi green beneath. I can peel back the corners of the carpet to reveal the worn underlay and half rotten floorboards. I can examine the fringe of my cream curtains where the bright yellow hasn't been bleached by the sun. The room is, more or less, unchanged. It has merely lost its sheen, much like the inhabitant of it.
I remained an only child; filling my days with quiet solitary games and elaborate stories whispered under my breath. My isolation only increased as I grew too big for the room that
When your hands can mimic birdsWhen your hands can mimic birds,When your hands can mimic birds3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
you lose the need for sound.
A flight of words that bear no chirp
are none the less profound.
They don't perch on a pitch.
They don't possess the need .
They fly until you've seen their song,
then silently recede.
No one could find more freedom than
the freedom granted flight.
No one can see more beauty than in
words passed left to right.
boys with bird names cant actually fly.i fill my lungs with blackberriesboys with bird names cant actually fly.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
& nicotine because it is the only way
I can stomach the taste.
a phoenix told me once
that he could teach me
how to burn properly,
as if scolding
[ like the intercostal
spaces of a ribcaged
he fell in love
with my words
before he knew
the height of my
or the annoying
sound of my laugh.
he said he could count
all my scars on one hand-
even the ones that wake me
at 3 am with an itch i swear
begs me to rip them open
& i told him he could keep
his pretty words and fiery fingers
creatively away from me.
i am tired of smelling of hell
& ash when -
Dear anorexiaWhat have you done to her?Dear anorexia4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
How did you make her act
Make her do these things to herself
Made her skip her meals
Made her throw
What little she'd eaten
Denying her hunger
Living in it
Living with it
Excusing her way out of eating
Feigning being sick
Not to eat
Not to get fat
Weighing herself all the time
Yearning for the lesser pounds
Making herself loose them
One by one
Lying to others
Hiding her illness
Being too sick already
To see it herself
But it's too late now
She's too lost in it
Not wanting help
Not knowing she needs it
She's ending up
Where she never expected to be
Where she somehow already knew
She's lying in the hospital bed
At the border of starvation
Not denying it
But at the same time
More depressed that ever
Lost in her emotions
Not wanting to break free
Not allowed to
By her mind
Loosing every single
How did this happen?
What have you done?
Where is this happ
SoundI'm surrounded by that soulful sound,Sound4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Can't you even hear it?
Reverberating all around,
Like the vibrations of a booming drum,
Or the strings of this golden guitar I strum.
I'm serenaded by that siren's song,
Can't you even hear it?
Enchanting me all night long,
Like the echoes of the morning bird,
Or the cries of faceless fawns yet to be heard.
I'm soothed by that sweet soprano,
Can't you even hear it?
Tantalising me to the bone,
Like the voice of an angelic lass,
Or the silence of her celestial class.
InvisibleShe’s in plain sight, but the world doesn’t seeInvisible4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
One of these days she’s gonna break free
She will leave behind a life full of pain
She will escape those suffering days
Not one more tear will ever fall from her eyes
Never again will she be despised
Death, at last- it is such a welcome thing
An endless sleep with nary a dream
No more nightmares that never seem to end
Gone, a life that never had a friend