AnonymousI am the girl who hides between moth eaten paper backs
And slips into bookstores and devours leather bound spines
I am chloroform lips bitten down, red and rosy
Ink stained finger tips that fold book pages between my pupils
I'm the girl who drowns herself in coffee and cough drops
While remaining curled between Tennyson and Steinbeck
Wasting days wondering why grass is green
And how it can be greener for others and not I
Then I realized its all artificial food colouring
And polystyrene picket fences
Sticky notes yellowed at the edges reminding myself how to smile
I've pasted them on my skin in makeshift paper Mache armour
But like all mangled words I will be thrown inside a wastebasket
Saved for a rainy day
Empty GardensIt was a wine-petaled pansyEmpty Gardens2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that my mother pruned from the garden box;
it reminded me
that I had blossomed late and wilted.
At fourteen I created pansy petals of my own,
waking up with hot-fisted cramps
and the proof I was a woman.
I was not a rose, perennial,
as I went from blooming monthly
to not at all.
I would rather spend a day
curled up like the fetus I may never carry
than flat on my back wondering
why God allowed worse women than me
to bear children.
I Call Him CompulsionThree. Four. Five. I like five; it feels complete. Okay, one more time. SixI Call Him Compulsion2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"How long does it take to get a glass of water?" my husband calls from the living room.
"Sorry, I'm coming." I resist the urge to rinse the glass a few more times. Cleanliness is not a factorit's the numbers. The completion. The habit. I take a sip of my water and force myself to stop asking if I should just run the water one more time.
I join Sam in the living room and sit in my usual spot: the center recliner. He always lies on the couch to watch TV. It works.
He hits the play button, and we watch ten minutes of reality before the demon sneaks into my mind again. This time I see fire. It sparks from the dryer, blisters the walls, and rushes tsunami-like towards my son's room. It licks at my daughter's curtains.
I see them lying in their beds, unaware of the destruction. I see walls of flame keeping me from them.
"I have to go to the bathroom," I say. Sam pauses the show. The beast in
Moon-spun mothsPerched in your throat,Moon-spun moths7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
it is like a prayer;
against your palms,
soft as a secret
in the womb.
How weightless we are
under the tender moon
in this enchanted twilight.
SorrowbirdI watched him flap helplessly between the teeth of a barbwire fence, screeching for help.Sorrowbird1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Papa, look Papa! A boy!"
My papa stood dazed for a moment, dust billowing at his legs, his eyes teetering along the field. It wasn't until later that evening he told me he hadn't understood what I had seen. What he had seen.
With grass tickling the backsides of my legs, I bounded toward the boy, "What are you doing? Are you okay?"
As I approached him, I felt his skittish eyes rake across my every movement. With his ten-year-old arms slung inside the gaping maw of a fence and darkened feathers pasted along the creases of his face; he looked squarely at me. I could hear his bird-bones quaking at my voice, he pushed harder against the fence. I winced for him.
"Hold still, we'll get you out," I turned back to my papa who stood alongside the road, "Papa," I pleaded, "Please! Help him!"
Reaching out, I touched his shoulder, "Don't be afraid. We're going to help you."
He didn't pull away from me. I thou
Simple ThingI’d like to be an off-beatSimple Thing4 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
syncopated little thing;
note and stem floating on the melody, just sitting in
appoggiatura, grace-note, special thing.
I’d like to be a sailor
swinging on the ocean wind
coarse old rope between my hands and salt-spray where my toes begin
nimble little sailor, clever thing.
I’d like to be a bed-sheet
gentle thing to warm your skin
thing that you hug tighter when the morning starts to filter in
falling through your creases, lucky thing.
The Rot of FlowersI am so bored of flowers.The Rot of Flowers6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I dream in wounds
And I am bored of trees
Stretching to heaven;
They'll never reach.
I want to see the rot within,
gnawing on the insides,
I want to taste the pollution,
The city's poison
To distill, bottle, and sell
- humanity for consumption
I want to scrape off the makeup,
Turn the flesh inside out
And lick the rot.
Only then will flowers be beautiful.
© 2013 themagpiepoet
Crossing ArielYour wedding;Crossing Ariel1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
you spoke your way toward it
one prospect at a time;
having not been
the cripple or whore,
you settled for
singularity, no future or past,
just announcement and umbra, joy in shade,
soft smiting breath.
How though did you put your children away?
squinting toward dawn.
If your days had been counted
perhaps you would have gone off
fatter, sated as a rook scavenging
in the quiet
instead of blindly staring out bread crumbs
like a gassed canary.
The shine of your boy's hungry mouth
did not dissuade your long whim;
to any call of loneliness
the answer was a towel,
clean and wet
and a ration of cold milk.
Did any irony strike you
like a bell hammer?
Aimlessly you once doodled
no small feet wiggling
toe-ward to fill them.
Gentle prophecy of
immortal effigy for the beauty of drowning.
The flaxen-haired siren
counting out pins from her hair,
swallowing them slowly to armor her heart,
a myth of eaters
and sadness consumed
he's just not that into youlong-legged and twitchinghe's just not that into you5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
like the spiders
you watch run
he doesn’t call
you pretty. you remember
his hands tracing the ink
of your veins, but he
doesn’t call you pretty.
he doesn’t hold
the door, and you
think you’re a liar
but the truth is quivering
naked in your voice
(we will name our children after
extinct kingdoms; dead beautiful
things. i will polish the dull spot
in your eye that you developed
after a terminal case of unnoticed
living. i will never be a cure but
damn it if i won’t be a diagnosis)
the static of his vocal chords
brings you back, martyr
without a cause,
he doesn’t call
you pretty and you
don’t question why.
Tea BrownIt was all about finding those edges where the shore metTea Brown4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
took a trip at first, a little dip to test the water, tea-brown and murky
but swimming was easy and keeping one hand on land
was like trying to climb a mountain of sand
and the tide, a rip, took us out to sea
It was all about keeping your head above the water
because you'd never see the monsters underneath in that lightless place
but they could only get you when you got tired or
when it got too hard to escape that place
deep-space diving got dangerous
It was all about coming up for air to fill your lungs
and trying to keep the hair out of your eyes even though you couldn't see
it felt safer, like running at night, faster and silent
but the only way was down and deep
with all the added weight
It was about remembering what floating was like back when you could always
put your feet down and walk out when you were done swimming
or when the water got too cold or when you just needed
to get someplace dry but now every direction is
Dead Bodies Don't Cryi.Dead Bodies Don't Cry1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
You are born with twisted feet
and a pockmark on your chest.
Your poor mother is drenched in sweat,
straining to breathe,
thanking God it's over.
She cradles you in her arms
and kisses your forehead with curved lips.
Your father reaches out to hold you
but has to pause because
your mother will not release you yet.
The family pays a visit,
hovering in awe, praising, laughing.
You look around for someone to blame.
When you learn to write
you use all the wrong letters
because you feel sorry for the ones
that get left out, like X and Z.
And you wear mismatched clothes
because you don't like the idea that
only certain colors "go together."
The first time you are punched
in the face it is by a girl with pigtails and braces.
You're sitting on a swing,
digging your toes into the dirt,
when she approaches
and says she thinks you're weird.
You tell her she's even weirder, and her fist
goes sailing into your jaw.
You're red and sore for two days.
You meet your first crush
on bleachers that
The Redacted Qur'an (Excerpts)I THE EXORDIUMThe Redacted Qur'an (Excerpts)4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
IN THE NAME
Praise be to
the straight path
of those who have gone astray
80 HE FROWNED
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
He might have sought
to purify himself - but that
wealthy man remained to
cleave asunder the thickets,
to delight in each brother;
each of them beaming,
smiling, joyful, face veiled
88 THE OVERWHELMING EVENT
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
Have you heard
of men, worn out, drinking
from a bitter gushing
fountain, soft silken carpets
spread, and Heaven leveled
to their account?
90 THE CITY
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
I swear you
are a created
91 THE SUN
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
The sun and the moon,
the day, the night spread
Him with knowledge of sin:
"Blessed shall be the man
who kept pure ruined pride
when Allah's own spurge razed
the city. He was afraid
Burning Out, and Falling FastYou're sitting in your parents' old corvette (if you had bothered to check, you'd know it was older than you), flicking your eyes between a lighter in one hand, and a box of matches in the other. You forget when fire became such a need, a distraction.Burning Out, and Falling Fast2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Spencer is right beside you in the car, his fingers stroking idly at your forearm, watching you with hooded green eyes.
"If you want to die," he says, "then just kill yourself, but do it with style."
You met The Boy Under the Sycamore Tree when you were four. Your mom encouraged you to go see the lonely boy, and when you first went over to him, he ignored you. The Boy Under the Tree, that's what you called him for the first day you knew him, was a little older than you with dark hair and smoky green eyes.
With encouraging looks from your folks, you walked right next to him and sat down, pressing your back against the tree's rough trunk.
the science of sleep.i don't sleep anymore. or at least i don't think i do. it's one of those things i stopped keeping track of like the number of words that make my mother cry (cancer, lists). if i'm being honest, i stopped sleeping (maybe) around the time i started thinking in a series of parentheses.the science of sleep.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
because i don't sleep, my arteries demand too much air (oxygen, clean) from the space outside my window. i make my room my heart, cold. it fills with a wind only bricks can breathe, an ice only soil is willing to withstand. i am winter's soul.
the world becomes a different place when you stop noticing sound (mute, black and white film) and start noticing every movement your bones, your muscles and the acid in your organs make. you start twisting your spine to imitate the birds spreading through the branches like cancer and you force your fingers to bend in unnatural angles to stop the shaking. but aren't we all just mocking birds (mockingbirds)?
when you stop sleeping, your body becomes the experiment and y
Life Boats for Paper DollsI still throw salt over my shoulder becauseLife Boats for Paper Dolls2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it makes the devil thirsty.
He drinks from an oaken bucket.
We can live our lives without him.
I know a tree in Pennsylvania.
A girl nobody saw leaned against the moss
every day after class.
She wrote in a journal as ants
crawled between her silent fingers.
The summer I turned eighteen she tried to
hang herself from it
Not the journal.
I suppose our words may often feel like gallows.
You never forget the first time you
taste sour milk.
The feeling of time's betrayal.
Some things still have to be taken on faith,
not expiration dates.
Today, I saw her under a tree in Minnesota.
She still writes about damnation but only with a smile.
There is something beautiful about rotting wood.
the consequences of walking in circlesThe lady wore black and her eyes shone gold,the consequences of walking in circles11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
veiled face and veiled intentions, a smile
in her right hand, a dagger in her left.
Slicing with either in confident stride
like the sea-breeze slices across the morning air
and the ocean of her heart bled,
beckoning with wave after wave of depths untold.
When first I gazed upon lascivious lips, I pined
for the days of old, I dreamed of songbirds.
I spoke in languages forgotten. (or maybe never learned.)
I learned quickly the dark plays tricks on the mind.
She spoke, her voice was a shadow on the night's breeze
carried away on a landslide of eluvium. Her teeth were sharp,
and strangely intoxicating. Her scent, like gentlest whispers,
spoke to me of nurture and reminded me of death.
Her pupils were impossibly large. She smiled,
and I felt my will unfold like petals and fall away like leaves.
She stripped me of my outer bark, it fell away in clods of excuses.
I was adrift in an illusion of confusion. And her final wispy words
still echo in wha
salti of you,salt8 months ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
such a beautiful mess, intertwined and overrun.
your arms, copper lips, citrus,
a lovin' with a twist.
my summer away at space pirate camp,
i took to howling with you the first thunder of june;
the hunt for human brains,
Maybe Zombies Just Want To Hug?
- 6 lies to tell yourself if shipwrecked.
i can't explain the feelings i get.
blue dream before i sleep:
the soul cupping rice (glass figurines, lamp light eyes).
my fear is milk two sugars.
drink drink drink
beneath it all,
floral growth, silver spoons,
losing my spine, strange preoccupations with skin,
tell a liei. rivers are stronger than oceans despite their sizetell a lie8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
they tumble through sharp mountains
but they never, ever stop
ii. i can rush and pick up sediments
and disperse them where i wish
iii. i'm lying -
i knew you saw it anyway,
there's seaweed in my fingernails
and salt on my breath
autopsyher spine was cracked down the middle,autopsy4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
her skin unraveled at the seams.
bloated lungs and an emaciated heart filled her no longer moving chest.
her eyes were still open
and her hands stretching for the last thing she ever saw,
though she'd never reached it.
no one knew the exact cause of death,
except the shadow of a boy who avoided her funeral
like it was a plague.
like she was the plague.
coltyou can lead a horse to brackish watercolt9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
or lead him to the sea
but only he can choose to choke,
or stay away, and dig
his hooves into the firmer ground.
i know i am not much to hold onto anyhow.
but if he’s blood,
if he’s blood, i will call him brother,
though a friend by any other term
would still be as sweet
and red as rouge in baton
or as bluebrown as a river in lafayette
or so i've heard, since even if he’s a brother
we have never met,
Him the colt
and i the ocean breeze.
i'm a mess tonight. i'm a mess every single
night’s a wound to my heart
love like a cannibal
and i don’t know what to feel
with my chest the same in someone else’s body.
buck and i do not pull the bit
instead, i bleed like a tributary
and wonder like a longlost in silence
does that make me weaker,
or stronger than the beast
of burden, neck sinewy and stretching away
and if he’s blood, call him brother
call him brother by name
lead the hors
Reflections on the MetroThe population of the Metro car is sparse at eleven in the morning; people talk. The mother with her baby and young son, talking to her friend or sister or cousin sitting down. The young man and woman speaking exuberant Chinese, a language like a song. The group of students in floral dresses and Converse that my mom says look European because of their scarves. They're rapidly spewing French in the way teenagers do, only I've only ever heard it in English. It's comfortable, each of us with our companions, more like a restaurant or a museum.Reflections on the Metro3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
But at five thirty, at L'Enfant Plaza, when people are going home from work in their button-downs and suits and briefcases and iPods and tired eyes, it's different. Holding on to the silver bar above my head, I feel like I'm standing over the woman in scrubs holding her iPhone; I'm right by the doors they say not to lean on; it's crowded. And now everyone is silent, as if by proximity others can tell what they're thinking, and it's all they can do no
27He had 27 bones276 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
in his left hand, all under a thick netting
of coral reef. He had 27 bones in his right hand too, each perfectly preserved.
Both hands held their breath
as he approached stage exit.
Hit every bar, tour every state.
A river runs interstate through Texas.
Small yellow lines jump straight through it.
Take the US-27 from Fort Wayne to Miami. A second doesn’t make it
to his destination.
Cobalt. Aluminum. A third was found dead, drowned in his pool,
an empty shot glass floating beside him.
Cobalt weighed down his shoulders. Aluminum gripped his lungs.
She lets her hair tangle
through electrical sockets.
Finding a needle, she passes it through her mouth
to thread through every
single one of her fingers.
Upon approaching sleep, the surrounding trees
knit themselves into socks
and into eye sockets.
Feet grow quiet and still.
Behind open eyes, red
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Trust IssuesI. (Set the stage)Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Trust Issues1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
"The color of my bra is called Flirt," the girl says, popping a bubble in Amelia's face and winking. The sickly sweet scent of chemicals and sugar mixes with the chemicals and the sugar of the bar, hags low and heavy about their faces. The girl slides closer, beaming, her eyelids low. She's wearing too much mascara. Amelia grips her drink tighter and pulls her elbows in collapsing, she fills less space than she did before. Volume stays the same, the number of atoms composing her stays constant, but she appears to be smaller. Could this be expressed mathematically, or with a computer simulation, she wonders, and sips at her drink. She says nothing.
"See here." The girl tugs down her shirt sleeve and shows Amelia the thin bra strap pressing into the moon pale skin of her shoulder. The orange lighting makes her seem healthier than she is. "Flirt." She wiggles her eyebrows in a way that would be suggestive, if her makeup wasn't so dark that it made her look