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 Order4 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
Am I Worthy?Am I Worthy?Am I Worthy?4 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
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 Sea3 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
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.
United, We WriteHear me read itUnited, We Write3 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
after you diedi.after you died7 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
SorrowbirdI watched him flap helplessly between the teeth of a barbwire fence, screeching for help.Sorrowbird3 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
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.Memories4 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
The RunawayMy muse left a noteThe Runaway3 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
Falling HardYou love me in the morningsFalling Hard4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and hate me in the evenings.
Some say the sauce
is like truth serum.
I suppose in a sense
like a catalyst
for a raging heart.
spiral out of control
and large problems
Needless to say,
I don't drink much these days.
Maybe it's because
I don't trust myself
I don't trust you.
In either case,
I feel I should keep a clear head.
Because our situation
tends to go south
in a hurry.
You see it's all about fair-weather these days.
It has to be
with so much is wrong,
but it's storming outside
are falling hard.
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.
tense intentionsiv.tense intentions3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you lurk behind my sternum and
lace my uneasy breaths with
doubt and self-deprecation, I
can't breathe. I
guess I didn't need to sleep.
I am smudged in between the lies,
an asymmetric astrology chart
mapping misguided dreams
when you make a wish on me,
I sell away another piece
(I wish I were my own)
it was always me, it was always
the blood clotting in my heart
and words coagulating on my
tongue – I swallow cyanide to
vomit up my narcissistic tendencies
it was nothing that ever mattered
when the dust settled and you
could finally remember my name
(and you settled down into my bones
deciding I was hollow enough for a stay)
I will never leave
but I warned you my poetic dedications
were never pretty
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 sorts4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
hanging from the rafters in the skyclocks in a motel room;hanging from the rafters in the sky3 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
the years go by like one day
with these old photos in my hands.
how do cities understand?
that by skating on the edge of the world
we carve north stars in Styrofoam
on the edge of reality.
we are all waiting to be found
when stars die.
(i used to have a name)
now i'm dreaming of the simple things,
and i'm ready to fight my way.
somebody told me:
"i have loved the stars too fondly."
between gray and gold
there are flaking photographs and shattered memories;
the heartlines of drunken sinners chasing stars.
cold hearted, you bound our spines.
(and breathe out)
it is not enough to know the colors of my soul,
like a painting hung all wrong, or
and unwanted diary.
dreams catch in the lungs.
let go, little bird.
(but don't forget me)
without you, my fickle muse,
the city daydreams,
desperate to connect with
the world near your feet.
(lost wishes can be found
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.
SilenceSilence.Silence4 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
art in all its formsi'd like to own a typewriter and hire a mechanic to have himart in all its forms4 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
it's the little things that follow you to sleeplately, i’ve been wasting every minuteit's the little things that follow you to sleep3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
choking on inevitabilities; wondering
how many times i’ll promise myself
this year i’ll be different until
i move on to something less
unattainable. truthfully, i’m just sorry
for the ones who still think
and i have been waiting an
ugly amount of years for my
prophetic completion-- a love like
i say you’re beautiful when really i mean
you make my heart stop, like
i was born to meet you or perhaps
i’m actually breaking some universal law
of equilibrium; loving something
i want a love like that:
napkin poems, handwritten
and tender and accidental collisions
igniting a thousand forest fires
beneath my skin; me,
blossoming like a wildflower
on a california highway, basking
in the sun and ignored definition
of earthly limitations. i want to believe
that somewhere, there’s a boy
built of summer sunsets and shooting stars
for every homesick girl who never
quite fit in, t
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 Babe4 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
CountedI am a number.Counted3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
twenty times I broke, fourteen times I lied, six pieces of my heart lent
goodbye, two times I didn't want to make it, one failure
and countless broken things;
infinite words abandoned trembling and lonely and cold.
I'm so cold and it's spring and the ground is alive to make up
for the mistakes I bury; the cherry blossoms are wilting
black, drooping so low to the ground that it is a blanket
as far as the eye can see:
fallen flowers die like starsick soldiers, begging please, oh,
please take me home so
I can leave on my own threshold and kiss the walls of
my own making and see my wife for a final time, please,
take me home where there are lullabies and nightlights
and bedside wishes; where the air isn't thick with the
scent of sinning men, oh god I'm sorry
that life is inevitability and the failure before me is as set
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.Undressed3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
Lullabyborn from damp earth and oceansoul,Lullaby3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her sparrowbones sway in the wind
—too light to hold herself down: the unbearable
weightlessness of her own actions.
she digs her feet into the dirt,
hollowing out the pores, so her mother can breathe;
ash spews up from the earth’s core, shimmers
incandescent like stardust in the last rays of light.
oh, how mother mourns her empty womb:
everything dies, everything dies
in oil-spun fibers and oxygen-starved epithelium.
she holds herself down, presses her fingers into flesh
and curls inside herself, like a seed
and she welcomes it, the sleep that comes:
oh, how it sweeps over her like a deathblanket.
sweet whispers from her roots, how they dig
deep into the earth.
her veins grow stiff and brittle as they mature,
sloughing her dead cells in an effort to cleanse,
weathering away until spring.
it rains, it rains,