Honesty on a flat-topped shingled roof (vignette)"Baby, if you were the stars, I'd lay and watch you all night." His words were roof-top spoken, and five stories above a Brooklyn street.
She didn't notice, though, because she was tuned into every noise beneath them: Radios, cars, buses, bikes, steam lines, subways, fans, air-conditioners, televisions, power transformers and a high-up plane were lapping up her consciousness and weaving a lovely blanket of humanity where she could stay warm.
Cold was his distance on the aging roof. She realized a long time ago that his love had fallen for an idea, and that she fit that idea in form only. The short, dark-haired girl with glasses motif was one she wore well. He lived on that ideal: every evening of their lives together he would heat up that film-covered, plastic tray with the neatly organized concepts of her in the microwave of his mind and enjoy it bit by compartmentalized bit.
But the variable of her heart was incalculable in his equation. Knowing that what she loved was no
Science Fiction of the Most Disappointing OrderOne day I sat at my listening post in SETI, drinking coca cola, eating chips, and making jokes about what aliens would say if they actually saw my fat lazy coworkers and I, when an extraterrestrial race contacted us in a series of beeps on our high-frequency radio.Science Fiction of the Most Disappointing Order3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Needless to say, I nearly crapped myself in recording the message, for it was clearly binary and our autistic junior member to the team, a great big fat man with a neck beard who insisted his first name was Xoo (I think the real name was Dawson), immediately understood it. He began rattling off a list of simple mathematical equations, getting more and more complicated as it went on until we were certain the message was a list of coordinates or directions. Of course, by that point our superiors had crowded into the room, as had their superiors and a couple of government officials.
I sat at my cramped little desk with Xoo breathing over my shoulder as he scribbled down what the binary code meant and I transcribed the ones and
The Intelligent Are So SadA cascade of words parade around,The Intelligent Are So Sad3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with thoughts of atoms and connotation.
She is brilliant, they say,
but she knows she is lost.
Numbers are her companion,
she understands their mean, average.
Words can twist her brain,
she loves the wonder they bring.
She is intelligent, they say,
she doesn't feel clever enough.
Sometimes she feels clever too much.
Excusez-moi, in perfect French,
but nothing is gained by perfect word tense.
She is clever, they say.
But she is not clever the way they know.
She sees things as they are,
and she prefers her thoughts to the world.
She knows she loves them more than they in return,
and her friends will be there until they wont.
Friends reassure her, you'll be okay,
she puts a smile on her face.
She loves them as much as any,
even though there aren't many.
They bring out the best in her,
the happy girl,
not swamped by words.
The one who isn't drowning in formula.
Test scores and numbers don't mark you smart,
she knows this now,
engraved in her
SorrowbirdI watched him flap helplessly between the teeth of a barbwire fence, screeching for help.Sorrowbird2 years 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
Am I Worthy?Am I Worthy?Am I Worthy?3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Maybe I don't deserve all the views and the comments.
Maybe there are better writers out there that deserve acknowledgment.
Maybe I am not worthy of any recognition and attention.
Personally I don't think my work is even worth mentioning.
Maybe my words wont amount to anything substantial.
Maybe I wont make it in terms of a financial,
Atonement but can we just think for one moment
That maybe I write to express my thoughts on a page.
To release all the feelings held hostage in this mortal cage.
Maybe others can relate and reciprocate my words.
And to you this notion may seem insulting and absurd.
But all these favourites and feed back gives me an added purpose.
And for that split second when reading them, I feel like I actually deserve this.
That my whole hearted words are not dispensable and worthless.
That maybe I can actually make something of myself.
Give the people something real to purchase from life's obscure shelf.
Give my parents the life that they so justly
MemoriesI remember lying in bed with you, longing for a deeper connection. You would always sleep with your back to me, in an almost fetal position, as if you were physically guarding your heart. All I wanted was to touch those scars that ran down the center of your chest, but you told me you were not okay with someone else's heart beating within you so I let it be. The look in your eyes when you woke up in the morning; the sleepy surrealness of a dream playing at the corner of your lips, and the early morning light goldenly surrounding your messy hair like a halo was enough to quench any thirst I had for you. It was enough to resonate in me for a long while, and I saw through your eyes, at least I believe I did, for a split second.Memories3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I remember how much you loved to drink and make sweet tea. You always told me that the more you add to a recipe the more love it would reflect. You would always warn to only add equal amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg because it was vital that one not overpower the ot
SilenceSilence.Silence3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
A language that everyone speaks.
But one that we are not able to hear.
A place where emotions and abandonment meet.
Of which we are forced to confront our buried fears.
There are no more lessons that the agents of society can teach.
An infinite amount of words expressed through a solitary tear.
People dish out advice but never practise what they preach.
A language with the same traits as a hopeful prayer.
A society where people judge others, as they sit back in their self proclaimed seats.
They can no longer understand you and they aware of the darkness that draws near.
Many lives led but we are all accompanied by the same drumbeat
Maybe you don't want to be heard but people will forcefully lend an ear.
Lips fused together, unint
UndressedI never said no, but I never said yes. His lips drew my heartbeats into palpitations. A sharp tongue brushed over my chest like a paintbrush. His brushstrokes left my skin coated in a cold red as though his tongue had drawn blood. I had mistaken manipulation for lust and I had mistaken lust for love. Where does the mind go when the heart is breaking? Emptiness used to walk the halls beneath my ribs, but this is a whole new kind of void. I don't want to lose myself under the weight of his hands any longer. For when I breathe, I want every inhalation to be my own. I want to bathe beneath silent waters and find a sense of calm as the ocean waves come to sweep me away. Oh how I wish to rest upon the shores of my sanity once again, to feel the sunlight drip down onto my spine, melting away the memories, leaving me with star shaped scars.Undressed2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
United, We WriteHear me read itUnited, We Write2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
0hgravity, if by some divine fortune you should decide that today is the day you will fail me, then let me soar through the ChemicalSkyline. Grant me a-lovely-anxiety that raises a storm InTheStarryNightSky for me to riseandbe above all else. Let me soar.
How I long to be the frail rider-on-the-storm and not a victim of the RoamingShadow, Rogue-Of-The-Night, that BlackVelvetNightmare of my nights and days. I long
Elegy to the Seathe autumn leaves fell—delicate, flickering in the wind—and then, the snow came just as fragile, only colder. and the whalesongs whispered from the sea, catching on the waves and capsizing in our ears. you wanted to fly away, and i—;Elegy to the Sea2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
oh, how i wanted to disappear inside your bones. i would seep into the marrow, infesting the lymph nodes: you could soar, but you could never leave me behind. the house creaks. it creaks. the wind may well tear my soul from its foundation.
but i wouldn’t mind. no.
i could start over—take myself apart and rebuild. the snowflakes fall, and the grass looks so like glass. if i touched it, perhaps it would shatter under the sheer weight of my fingertip, like the earth. our feet sink into the freezing sand, and the wind is bitter and i am, too. it’s cold. so, so
and i can’t take it.
i’m losing it, i think. and i, i, want to hold onto something—you accidently brush my a
The RunawayMy muse left a noteThe Runaway2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the frost on my window,
"Call me when your ink runs out."
I imagined her vaulting from the sill
into the freshly falling snow
cocking her hat just so
as she stepped into the East
before it iced over.
She leaves no prints for me to follow,
no re-imagined trail for me to trod,
and I could spend years
tumbling after her shadow,
only to find her
blue and gold are not just colorsshe had been blue-sightedblue and gold are not just colors3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
dawn cracked her forehead.
it was the dress she wore on his funeral
the color of her school flag
the shine in her father's eyes;
she waited in blue and gold.
no, she refused to set a bar
life didn't just come to her.
she earned her place
in her mother's womb
when each blood vessel questioned her
each nerve ending, if she could live
and each antibody, if she was worth it.
see, she doesn't need new dresses.
she has a memory
for each of hers in her locked closet.
she may not wear all of them
(and most she cringes at the sight of)
but her heart
every time bits of her old life
show unconnected dots
she forces back together.
yes, she waited in blue and gold.
but not for you
you threw a smile at her face
that was never hers to take
but you love your girls vulnerable
and you love your numbers copious.
there's a great chance she
hates those colors now
because everyone who waits outside her window
fails to notice there's no movement
By Fifty,I'll publish or perish;By Fifty,3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
find someone to cherish;
move someplace phenomenal;
display an abdominal
physique to inspire,
which I shall acquire!
. . . Or perhaps, just retire.
1: an introduction of sortsThe thing was that my mother continued to insist that the ceilings in our house were low, thereby ignoring the obvious, which was that her son was a giraffe. It wasn't the fact that she was trying to kill me with kindness that bothered me, it was that she was pretending to not see what was right in front of her eyes. In fact, my entire family (which consisted of my parents and the stray cousin or aunt that sometimes dropped in unexpectedly from obscure places such as Majorca) had a way of glossing over the fact that I towered above them like an obscenely tall office building. They'd crane their necks back and squint up at me and say, "Why, Tate, you haven't grown a bit!" It drove me mad to the point of making me irritable, which is saying quite a lot. Usually when something upsets me, I'll hide in my room and quietly let it stew for a while before reemerging downstairs as if nothing had happened. But when a relation looked me in the eye and smiled as if they were mentally cutting me in1: an introduction of sorts3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Backseat BabeShe rides in the backseat of his car because the front passenger's seat gives her motion sickness. Not wearing her seatbelt, she leans forward and hands him a half-smoked cigarette. "To Vegas, baby," she says.Backseat Babe3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He scowls at her"Fuck you"but heads towards Vegas anyway.
He steals glances at her in the rear view mirror as she tests various shades of lipstick and puckers at her own reflection. When he rolls his eyes and shakes his head, she says "What?" and then tries another shade without even bothering to wipe the old one off.
She's only fifteen, he reminds himself. But that doesn't soothe the headache.
She likes to read the map and point out places she'd like to visit along the way. He just keeps driving straight and doesn't say a thing.
"Why haven't you fucked me yet?" she asks one day, sprawled across the entire backseat of the car, her shoulder against the door, her eyes studying her fingernails which she pretends to pick.
"You're too young," he replies, his
this is not a romance, this is an affairOften times I think I love him,this is not a romance, this is an affair2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but then I think,
I'm not supposed to be this fragile anymore,
yet I'm still waking with dry, cracked lips
and a raspy throat,
thirsty for love
and drenched in blood.
after you diedi.after you died6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
they asked me if there was something
of yours that I wanted to keep
to keep your eyelashes, your breath,
I said this, and they looked
sad, said they meant did I want your
clothes and possessions, your things
I didn't know what I wanted
cradling my head with my arms and
quietly saying no over and over
dry with the taste of morning sickness
and old seawater
a month later, I wanted all your clothes
I was scrub-faced and tired
of the walls hurt my eyes, buried in wet
towels, sleeping naked on the floor every
I fucked somebody else
after the funeral
"somebody else" sounds wrong now
as if you are still alive, kissing
my shoulder in the morning
I'd taken cocaine
and it made a sound in my ears like a hummingbird
like someone banging on a door or just that tiny high pitched scream
that someone starts to make when they have grown tired of crying
your mother was fixing my hair in the kitchen
a bobby pin tucked
Willfully LostIn these whispering moments,Willfully Lost3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I take your heart in mine
and hold it fast.
You make me forget
things like flower names
and cloud shapes,
where I came from
or why I'm going,
as my thoughts are filled with..
Every crack in the sidewalk
carries your name,
and the grass rustles soft your wishes
to tangle your fingers in my hair.
My breathing drops
like the autumn wind,
would that I could,
I would throw myself into it,
will myself towards your southwestern
your dusty mesas abutting
my mountains green.
Your StoryI'd much rather cry for youYour Story3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
'Cause my story is too painful to share
I'd much rather smile for you
'Cause my story is too painful to bare
So come here and I'll wrap my arms around you
Come here and I'll let your story shine
But after you share your story
Please don't ask me about mine
If only I could play the violin
I'd share my past through sorrowful chords
Vibrato on strings would be my voice
Fighting my demons with imaginary swords
Although I'm limited to words on paper
And the words aren't sung by a beautiful voice
These words make my story into a song
And this song confronts you with a choice
You can close your eyes
And pretend this is a fairytale
Pretend it's a meaningless story
That was never once true
Or you can open your eyes
And realise deep down
That the story isn't just about me
That you're the main character too
If you don't want to tell your story
As it is, spoken word to word
Turn your art into your voice
And you will always be heard
A picture speaks a thousand words
chromaWe were merely children when the stars came.chroma3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
They rained down from the sky in a burst of light, like shards of glass pouring down from the heavens. Supernovas blooming in the night sky, petals raining down onto the barren earth - angels, falling with their wings sheathed, glowing, as they glided down. We watched, starstruck, as the glow overtook us - we were mesmerized. We waited with bated breath as the meteors landed, the celestial light subsiding as dark forms started to pick themselves up from the dust.
They moved towards us with an otherworldly grace, their steps leaving no marks on the earth as they descended upon us. Frozen to our spots as they approached, our bodies simply unresponsive in their wake. We were paralyzed. They stretched out their wings, embracing us in a softness unimaginable - a polymerization of silky feathers made of pure light, like a soft touch of a rose petal - and suddenly, our eyes were opened. The world was the same, yet so new, as it was washed with a gl
art in all its formsi'd like to own a typewriter and hire a mechanic to have himart in all its forms3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
remove all the dots above the i's and j's so that i could type
the way i write. then i would sit cross-legged on a sandy beach
and write all day while the seagulls sing and the wind tosses my
hair until i have to spend hours untangling it. i'd write late
into the evening by the light of the moon, and i'd go every day
to see its waxing and waning and never-changingness as it peers
down at us from the dark heavens, forever in our orbit (just like
i will spend the rest of my life orbiting you). and i would savor
the simplicity of this moment, of sitting on the beach with my
typewriter and the stars (i wish you were here).
i know a boy who can take photographs with his mind. when i
told him of my adventures of squawking seagulls under the
moonlight he told me he wished he could have taken a photo.
i ask what sort of pictures he takes and he says 'only the
kind that make you look twice. the ones that make you want
to sit and wri
the way of two heartshe can't touch her distancethe way of two hearts3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
all the while
she ruminates on existence
and non-dairy creamers
he just resides
on the edge of potential
whole milk upbringing
she sees him, near-sighted
he acts in solid ways
rarely speaking, yet
and unaware lumbering grace
she just resides
on the peak support felt
in his rough hands
bringing her up, whole
they see. they are.
Placebo PainThose forced puppy dog eyes spill such warm placebo painPlacebo Pain3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
That when it's time for the farmer to sheer the sheep
The wolves act was found to be in vain
Cause when you bite the hand that feeds to try and ease your hunger pain
The bleeding hand that feeds runs out of blood eventually
Dear HumanDear Human,Dear Human3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You continue to write in me. You take a pen and mark my pages with memories. Why do you do this? I cannot help you; I cannot accompany you through your life. You will write in me and then what you write will stay hidden beneath my cover. These words do not solve any of your troubles, or make any of your joys greater. Why do you continue to write? I do not care what happened to you on March 16th, be that March 16th in 2002 or March 16th in 2012. I do not care.
I do not care what happens from day to day, the world outside which I have not seen in years. I am shut in a drawer in a desk that never changes. I do not know the people whose names you scrawl, sometimes with hate, which fills me, sharp words, sharp tip of the pen, stabbing, carving deep symbols, these words that indent other pages, stretching deeper, impaling me with your passions. I hate these names, these people, these deeds, with such hate that I cannot think beyond the fresh ink. The next page is blank and sends