I Took To Howling With YouI was shy at first, timid in my dealings,
I laced the trap against my throat,
sang sparing, tip-toed
around your poems.
The tone, the slow vibrating
from the shoots of my shoulders
to the gleam of polished talons,
it purred around inside me.
Oh the song, Coyote,
the same resigned call, it
paled before you, swallowed down its insides,
I took your little hand in my big hand,
flew out towards Crow, and for a while
My Love, there were poems
and the world was enough.
I took to howling with you,
down from the branches, safe
womb of the tree, I spread
dirt between my toes, sang happy,
sang the song of free,
your wild howl, your musk,
I lost the language for
the pain of bird calling.
Do you remember when we realized
Crow would no longer sing
her crooning songs beside us, trill
through a night among us?
She had gone, no longer writing
poems for coyotes or exlovers,
no longer touching out for a girl
beyond the mountain,
and we were suddenly alone, Love,
you and I, alone to sing, to warble,
Before You HowledI had forgotten for so long why I sang,Before You Howled3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so many, my song turned into tumbled
bedsheets, bodies strewn,
nectar of a kiss overdone.
The lonely hoot low and languished,
I loved, My Love, I loved strong
and solid, the hollow notes,
the lonesome bones.
Crow, she came and whispered in my ear,
said your song is lovely dear,
take a feather from my wing, we beat
somewhat the same.
But the song, it was the same,
beneath the shadow of the bat, as
the love of a man
I nearly slew.
When she would call, month's later
the chiming at my ear, o' my heart
my little heart,
I heard her and she was me,
and I, without us, her little
black wings, my greedy perch, months
I'd call back, filter through the poems
I hear your notes in me.
Some nights she whispered love stories
of a girl, small-handed
across the mountains, a candid song
of love and loss
and loving loss, that which learns
to rumble after. She wrote of you,
far across, the distance
a somber color.
O, I listened to her song an
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.
compareeins.compare3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the smoke pouring out of her mouth,
(misty coils of a vague filth,
dancing to noir jazz, fading with each note)
smudged lipstick on the side of of her mouth,
and the little streak that crawled to her tooth
when she bit her lip in a supposed wonder,
and her eyes threw a faint film over themselves,
(like an elegant lady wraps a silk shawl around herself in a light breeze)
the light feet of a dancer
whose calluses were hidden under tight shoes,
whose toes would arch like Nut over her children,
(and she or you would spin with the earth, holding her frame as if-
as if earth was something of mass, as if it had a shape to hold onto)
whose leg would stretch over her head,
her arms, long, pretty, snakes, her fingers curled, and her wrists tense
(her eyelashes were grazing her cheekbones,
her ballet whisking her like a beaten egg, and the laces of her shoes
caught on a rusty nail, which sliced her ankle open, a wince danced on her lips,
WhitmanI am all that grows from meWhitman3 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?
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.
WaitingWe are still waiting for the thunder from the distant stars,Waiting3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The echo of mortality,
the whispers of a storm, half-remembered,
in sepia-coloured hallways in buildings that smell like books.
Time gets slow in waiting,
ghosts are formed from the wanting,
taking shape in the spaces where sunlight,
or moonlight doesn't touch.
The stars shake from the vibration,
and the ghosts shimmer in anticipation,
but we can't hear your voice in the dead of the night.
Come Home: A PantoumYou'll always come back to meCome Home: A Pantoum3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
when the lights in the far hills
are done searching. For, new beds
entice adventurers. Too,
when the lights in the far hills
come home, the homespun dream they
entice adventurers too,
but they can't. (Dream we're neither.
Come home.) The homespun dream they
turn pioneers to homebodies,
but they can't dream we're neither,
our wanderlust fit to turn
pioneers to homebodies.
We've always made love free, so
our wanderlust fit. To
turn ourselves towards our home
we've always made love. Free. So
when the last adventurers
turn themselves toward their homes
in faraway lands, I know,
when the last adventurers
are done searching for new beds
in faraway lands, I know
you'll always come back to me.
terminali.terminal3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we landed in oklahoma
and drank cheap martinis in the terminal;
you carried my guitar and fell in love
with my voice but not my tongue,
not my hands.
there's a man with a garage
that looks like a plane because nothing
meant more to him. will you make a model
of that bar? will you make a model
of my red cheeks? or will you live in a townhome
with her and three children?
the problem was you're not gay.
the problem was there was feeling
but it wasn't for us. i had you but
it wasn't for us.
i'm not sure if i resent you,
but i remember that bar and every pockmark
on the stool you sat on while i played
the song that parted your lips;
you remember every pockmark in oklahoma
like they were ours.
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,
windstorms and labworkafflatus, inflatus, my morning globe,windstorms and labwork3 years 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
6:30:09what i wouldn't give6:30:093 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to have my body sink down
into yours, cocooned
in the tumultuous quicksand
of human flesh.
i have never been so moved
as by your touch, the slinking seeping
brush. the universe dispels
and in the absence of everything,
i am less alone
than i have ever been.
RosesYou love too much, I am told by a man with a briar heart, thorny sinews and collapsed ventricles bearing down on him, hardly beating in his tight chest. He looks at me with flat, slate eyes, chipping and eroding. His hands are dark with cigarette burns and rough with calluses; I feel them on my shoulders as he looks down at me, face collapsing in at his eyes like a dead man's.Roses3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
For the first time, I realize he is dead. His briar heart dried up when winter killed his rose; my father, he is all thorns.
He squeezes my shoulders, too tight. You look like your mother, you know, he whispers, eyes shifting to the garden, to the yellow rose I planted for her. It is a rambler, sending shoots to the sky that sink back down. We never gave it a trellis. I loved her too much. And there are tears in his eyes, wet, heavy things that slip down his cheeks and on to the grass below us.
I don't know what to say, so I think of the rose, of her. I think that I'd like to send this
IfWe canIf3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
draw lines and give them names
as they are discovered
Or etch into our skins
this soloecal desire
until it is impossible to tell
where words stop
and life begins.
Find a common rhythm that includes
you in my arms, my hands
and lungs and thoughts
tracing the outline of you
entangled with me
colliding like two lost particles
locked in a shared gravity
drifting through the vacuum
Automatici.Automatic3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"So where are you from?" The boy leans toward me, questions swimming in his eyes. I smile.
"Oh, I'm from Boston."
"No, I mean, where are you from?" My smile falters as I realize where this is going. It's an all-too familiar conversation, one I've been having since I was old enough to reply.
"Do you mean where was I born?"
"I was born in China."
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"Does your family speak Chinese?"
He looks befuddled. I sigh.
"Oh!" I see the light bulb over his head go off in a shower of sparks. "Do you know who your real parents are? Like, your real parents?" My temper flares. I stifle the urge to throw something.
"You mean my biological parents?"
"Oh." There's an awkward pause. I have learned to wait it out, to prepare my next automated response.
"When were you adopted?"
"When I was a year old."
"Did you live in an orphanage?"
"Like in Annie?"
Rolling my eyes seems appropriate.
"No, not l
What Soft DreamsWhat soft dreams we lay -What Soft Dreams3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
What soft dreams, like infants put to rest -
Frightfully bare, and compromised,
Our kisses on their breasts.
We close our eyes and trust them safe,
Kept 'til break of dawn -
Forgetting that the night is fickle,
And dutifully, as long -
It safeguards some,
Moved by neither coin nor threat
Nor anguished mother's cry.
Submerged in Swan LakeSubmerged in Swan Lake3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Swans and wings are floating by
on a breeze imbued with jasmine and
willows outstretching their arms in welcome.
Through deep breaths he arrives
plunged in murky, pungent water.
A quiet whisper, and he prays -
"Please... may I linger here?"
Willows lower their arms
and jasmine falls to the Earth
where the wind dies and finally rests.
The crows are cawing hymns,
begging to be swans.
But only the duck submerged in Swan Lake
has delved the desired shore.
Its waters dangerous and plagued
by monsters baring their teeth;
most ghastly and putrid they are
that no crow may ripple its surface
nor any songbird seeking beauty fair.
The Swan Maidens bare their chests
and open their wings in veneration -
for the duck has sought beauty through courage
and earned his guise of grace and virtue.
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
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.
just wave goodbye dearest,just wave goodbye3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
today i was
i tried to
could only get
as far as sand before the
cratered moon pulled me back again.
The Animal(Howl into my ear;The Animal3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
give me your claws.
I want the animal in you;
in you I shall nest.)
Take your clothes off, take them off for me.
Let me see the scars and the marks,
those dark moles and faint sun spots.
I want to memorize the way your fur grows.
I want to tickle my cheeks with your goose bumps.
Let me count the bruises and the cuts.
I'll bless them with names;
I'll lick away the blood stains.
We can lie skin to skin for days.
I have enough kisses for your brows and lashes,
for nails, teeth and toes, for thighs and knees;
in your curves and dents I'll nuzzle my nose.
Let me see your skin dance.
Through and around; your every breath performs,
through and around, an ancient holy chant.
I don't want your dreams; forget the ifs and the maybes.
All those regrets you carry are nothing but sad stories.
You don't have to utter a single word;
your body holds all the promises.
Don't tell me any secrets, hold your confessions;
just take your clothes off, take them off for me.
© 2012 melekelif
Reverse Culture ShockFlying home was not flying home. Flying home meant grabbing the homing pigeon inside of me and twisting its imaginary magnet one hundred and eighty degrees to the north instead of southwards to Australia. The magnet still twitched stubbornly north even as the plane droned over Darwin, five hours before I finally reached home. Except it wasn't home. Sydney now looked as foreign as the glossy travel leaflets I grabbed from Singapore, its shine not quite matching the missing substance of my once childhood home.Reverse Culture Shock4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Thank you for choosing Singapore Airlines I hope you will enjoy your stay in Sydney, or a warm welcome home."
Winter air slapped me like a bucket of ice water as I emerged, searching for my parents and my sister. For eight years, their voices were tinny and masked by static on the occasional phone calls home. Today, they sounded as brittle as ever, Australian accents barely sheathing the chill emanating from them.
"Welcome home, sis," said my sister with an unusually bright v
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