darwin's revengein the embryo of the city
in their cage
they paint their nails not
that the sun is watching
from his trap door
in the cloud ceiling where
whales can't swim but go
and drop down their weight in rain
not measured in pints
but lives overflowed
in lost archipelagos full
of automatic islands
that catch the eyes like needles
when viewed from further away
than the end of the world
WhitmanI am all that grows from meWhitman4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and all that grows from me is sacred—
my hair, dirty roots reaching towards sky,
fed by sky, shifted by its undulating currents
my fingers, spiders, crescents, twigs,
gaunt, blunt, probing, inquisitive...prurient
my ears, awkward conch shells jammed on as if by mistake,
rigid and ridged, elven,
innocent like unexplored caves for children to bound gaily into
resounding with echoed cheers of courage wanting
as if a dozen more children waited within, fearless guides;
my nose, obdurate.
The reach of my eyes knows no bounds;
what walls are there to throw my body against?
crystallophonethere is a punchcard sincrystallophone3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like a queen of spades smoldering in an alley.
you hear how the gears churn,
singing faster than we did before
back when black magic dropped like a
pair of socks from the sky with supplies
taped to a note that said
(oh, look at you now)
such a beautiful brain:
runs on gasoline?
have a gallon
or we can call it a balloon,
and a new pair of glasses
for your tapered eyes
(you peel the bark back on the logs,
but you're not sure what you see),
and life says,
either nail jello to a tree,
or keep your
icicles hanging from the eaves,
caterpillars frolicking in the ashes,
your 'Sam, I still don't have your number,'
and your totaled passion:
someone to hang inside out with,
string you up like a steak with.
what the hunger
is trying to tell me
my brain churns like butter,
my insides aflare, my chakras combusting,
Your Daughter has Sold Hundreds of Local PapersBut listen to me: I will tell youYour Daughter has Sold Hundreds of Local Papers3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
how to love a bedspread;
a car seat; a sun dress
that you cleaned two months ago.
and should they find her
in the breast of a riverbank
or a cabinet,
I will tell you
facts about scavenger birds;
kettles, wakes and how to chair a committee
with a body on your desk,
as scavenger birds do.
amphitrite IIif my lip will still be split when the austral summer starts,amphitrite II2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and, all wrapped in rising sun, we're coccooning,
if we're throwing all the good things into a bucket of riverness
(and lawn flowers),
will we want to wake up?
I know I'll want to pour
my slice of eternity into a bottle of coconut essence,
make my foreverafter sweet and tropical,
and if your hands are balsam I can
carve my song in stone,
and I will never die.
But don't you ask yourself
why paper boats always sink, in the end?
I don't think I care.
I think they just sail off to a land without horizon
deep in the underwater of the bathtub.
You'll know when, and
you'll hear me sing a sea shanty, maybe.
I want to take my ship until the end of the river.
I want to see the spring pouring down blossom offerings
into the ritual water, I want
our coast of muck and destruction to be aflame with
I'm a shellfish and my fingernails are painted green,
I'm silent-all-these-years and fallen,
I'm wondering where my watercolor
despondenti.despondent3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"are you sleepy today?"
"but you were sleepy yesterday."
she stirs her pomegranate green-tea until it turns from clear to purple
setting it on her bedside table and climbing back into bed again.
her fingers follow the bluer-than-usual constellation veins on her wrists and down
to the freckle on her forearm and then the scar on the inside of her elbow
crossing the tendon as if it were crux.
and then she remembered that God hasn't been with her lately.
today is long and sunny but when she steps outside the humidity creaks her bones
and her skin starts to inflame.
she assumes that if getting the mail is a struggle, having a child would be too.
often times when she sets her tea down she remembers that her Bible is in the drawer beneath
along with the crucifix necklace that her mother made her.
her husband comes home late nowadays and she never questions why that may be
because she knows.
she would do the same too if she had a wife who took four different
DormantWinter is a blank slate,Dormant3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but not like Rousseau's
sucking out warmth like poison
leaving only windburnt frost
tacked to the window pane
all we remember
is the numbness
skittish steps across the ice
snowflakes pasted to our faces
smoke rising from our lips
dragged across bleak clouds
winter has us captured
bound by fur and walls
drifting in our eggshelled silence
bone cold until we birth ourselves by warmth
emerge from our shells wet and heaving
uncurl our fingers one by one
joints crackling like fire at our backs
until spring comes
drip by tender drip
old wounds thaw
we are found raw,
graced again by feeling.
a second skeletoni. introductiona second skeleton3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i was born 4425 miles away from here.
my heart still lingers there.
i don't want to have it back.
i go through the motions,
don't ask me for emotions.
i once thought i could be happy,
my mistake can be forgiven;
i was so much younger.
now i know better
than to expect anything.
because the only time you can lose,
is when you love something.
that's why i love myself.
The Price of Dying“I want to be interred after I die,” Mr. Peters said. He made that clear to his family while he was still lucid, before old age and illness rendered him unintelligible. Seventy wasn’t that old, but he recognized the symptoms that were creeping up on his ailing body – the aches, the fatigue, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Despite his daughter’s attempts to assuage his concerns, he sensed his own mortality.The Price of Dying3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The worst part about dying, Mr. Peters thought, was what happened afterwards. Even since he was a small boy, he had been afraid of fire. He could never forget the scorching heat of the orange flames searing his skin, the dark billowing smoke entering his nostrils. The time that his house burned down, the fire almost took him with it. How ironic then, to escape the fire only to be fed into it after death.
So one day, he sat his son and daughter down after dinner. “I want to be buried whole,” he said, emphasizing the
rootslike drowned men who have lost theirroots4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
clothes and faces, they lay suspended
facing the sun and grinning without
eyes through the ripples of the water.
those passing by wonder how they got here,
these homeless men without fingers or toes
long spindly stumps twisting into lost roots:
reaching to the east, to the south,
to the homes they have forgotten.
A ParenthesisYou were (a parenthesis, that pausedA Parenthesis3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the daily, mundane stuff
a bundled breath
of fresh joy,
and borne in the wonder
Gasping and grasping,
'til in quiet you laid
and I, my Child,
lie in quiet, still
And now, that is all you are,
and still so much more.
Whale Songs of the PacificListen, the girls swallowed by whales are the ones that grow up lucky.Whale Songs of the Pacific3 years 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
harmonizei'm built on broken bones and metronomesharmonize3 years ago in Scraps More Like This
her alto trills, his hollow tones
a second verse she'll never know
so sweet and sweet and down we go
the cords stretch and scratch but never match
the off beat tears he'll surely catch
the droplets lead a song of their own
recorded on heartstrings, a song i know
his words they ring and the hurt they bring
it's been so long but i choose to sing
and maybe he'll hear the music we make
( it's been so long but i choose to break. )
earth circuitAnd when the sun sinks, the earth's skin crawls:earth circuit3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wonder if this awkward creature would notice me the way I notice him.
He's so tragic at his throne
I stare after him longingly.
He never realizes that I'm the one
Who forever basks in his brilliant beams.
If only he knew how much brighter he could burn
He'd light up the universe.
I heard him speak of thirst, once.
The quenching lust of the stars had run dry.
So that night, I brought along a jar of acid.
(And how it gleamed in his glow).
I handed it to him, wrapped in taffeta ribbons,
I wish curdling joy
On my gurgling boy
I love his eyes, now
Clouded white like milk from a poisoned tree
And his throat,
Swollen and clotted
And his lips blue as the
I try to get him to laugh but
His body is stuck and
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.
starspunobserving the romanticismstarspun3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of hooded cemetery kids,
smoking cigarettes pretending
they are not dead.
you were always so sure
about my uncertainty,
all my pick up lines
we built the heat
of the evening from the solidity
that two teens at the park
is the stuff of teen novels
(cliches dim on
our leaf-gold horizon)
your eyes darted
from the gray expanse
of the churchyard & wandered
i wanted to ask you
if i could follow. shove
the words aside &
remember that i came here alone.
i remember our innocence
in the static b e t w e e n
about how youth without you is th-
awing out the lines in my whittled-out eyes.
look to the hooded
wonder what we'd have been like
if we grew up as nothings,
like them. teenage
nothings with chiseled
marble in our
out of our parents' adulterated
lies and the excitement of alcohol.
i settle for a star.
it's almost as luminous
as the after
the back of your head against my washed pillowcaseI find itthe back of your head against my washed pillowcase3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are the King
of my own Head
& that I am
by my own
My bones, your
to your insatiable
I find this
rebirths in my
three years of
the wrong gods
you are the best muse
for struggling artists
everywhere & worst
case of the bubonic plague
since the bubonic plague
I find you
in the middle
of any where,
I shot a flock
& ate Adam's
I remain ignor
ant and ignor
ed by you
I find Nothing-
& leave me be.
SolsticeOnce upon a time, when you were still sunlighthouses and shimmering existence wherever you were needed most, you found him. He was November, shaky on his first last legs, and you saw through the mind-twistings he feigned to the mind-twistings that were really there, knotted up in his dreams.Solstice4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
You were still birdsong then, and thunderstorms, and your bodyheat melted the frost claws that held him tight. You held onto him as his November deepened. When he howled, you howled with him, and the wind played with your voices and pressed the softness of your lungs against your cageribsand then against each other's.
November became solstice, and you felt him shiver through that long night and didn't mind the coldbitten nails that grazed your skin. He slept when the moon drowned below the treeline, but the iceflakes began to drift in like small animals seeking the pulsing riverheat of your blood, and chilling you. He lay there, vulnerable as his world turned slowly towards the light, and you
on watching the night close its eyes on you1. I will not tell youon watching the night close its eyes on you3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are pretty.
How can the halls and angles of such honest humanity
be so pinched between sounds as elementary as these?
2. You need not be two stringent boughs of syllables
nor weave your viney bones abreast these five petty letters,
whirling in the fire of the river
Do not attempt to peel yourself layer for layer,
leaving all the disgust behind.
Do not tally your body six lines
too short, hemming the holes into
puckers red as those volcanoes of strength
bursting at the base of your hips.
3. Blood is not satisfaction.
Blood is not patience, waiting for the rooms to empty
don't get tired of elephants yetI've had my crippling moments.don't get tired of elephants yet4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
They'd either start in my stomach
with an ache like broken glass
or stab me right in the catharsis,
somewhere near my heart or breath
or maybe my left foot.
I wouldn't know how it feels
to hurt to walk, but I imagine
with a destination like farther,
it's no pilgrimage.
So take the burden off your back.
Life is not a sandstorm
and your lungs are only a mirage
if you expect to see your breath
every time you breathe.
So take a breath
back, just one step
and listen with your smoke signals.
Help is on the way.
I just can't promise
it knows much about this lifetime.
It's the same way I could never promise
elephants remember everything
or that every Elvis impersonator
means thank you very much outside
of his facade. Don't bother asking God either.
He wouldn't know and he wouldn't care.
He's still trying to number the hairs
on my head, hoping he won't lose count.
Our days are often double-digit jerseyed.
And go ahead and tell me now that this isn't a game.
It starts with a flash-bang and a Majulahi.It starts with a flash-bang and a Majulah3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
June's hauled her here again and
she's tapping at my classroom window,
A gazillion tiny fingers rapping in succession
(When she said "invitation" I didn't realise she meant
soaking half the country, the spike in umbrella prices has
nothing to do with me)
What's worse than an impatient child
is one with the whole atmosphere as her battering ram
when she tries to say something the urgency brims over
and one million exclamation marks
is beginning to sound like static frazzling
out on the pavements
She is without choice: when Cloud mother tips her out
she must go, and go she will
caught in an obtuse cycle, fought over by heat and
gravity wanting to claim her as territory
thrown about in their wiggly intersections she
falls, rises, and falls again.
Her talent is splitting herself up,
a single place, and then everywhere at once.
She has mastered the skill to the point
that she is a fractal in the air
even before she hits the ground.
She is a cell in a body 66 percent water.
She is a s
plumbumshe has a heart of goldplumbum4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she, a heart of lead
and she, a heart of uranium.
and they go walking sometimes, the three of them.
gold is confident in her worth,
bought and sold and bought and sold
the virgin whore
and lead behind,
heart heavy in her chest
guilt from bullets
and pride from pipes
and anxiety from irreparable brain damage
and somewhere off to the side treads uranium,
white skin glowing,
thin frame for a dense core.
the trouble isi'd like life to bethe trouble is3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
quiet and lovely
like distant church-bells
chiming through snow,
muted by the smell of
an old book and the
feel of a fire warming
me into my chair, and
a mug of tea, steeping
the moment in hushed
gratitude, easily in reach.
Star SwallowerShe'sStar Swallower5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her head, a stadium drowning with applause.
yet its seats are empty like the notebooks
where armies of words should be marching.
instead she dismantles clocks
thinking she can play with time.
behind the mountains lurks a darker reasoning
a twisted labyrinth of rationalizations
hidden from the suns brilliance.
Years alone beneath the bleached fluorescent
reading those already dancing in the moonlight.
she is living a literary half-life through them
hiding from the symmetry of the writer.
licking salty rocks of excuses.
saving her secrets for posthumous excavation.
decades of productivity left for moths to chew.
you're throwing coffins into the sea
with each day that passes wordless.
denying us the sweet whistles from inside your skull.
meaningful, impacting stories only you could pen.
Stop climbing broken staircases
towards the pale summer stars of obscurity.
these are still fruitful years of beauty.
remove your armor.
claw beyond your fears.
allow us into your wonderla