WaitingWe are still waiting for the thunder from the distant stars,
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.
6.12There are days when I recall the litany of your kisses over my shoulders and I wonder, numbly disconsolate, how I ever maintained my disbelief in god, when your movements over me were so profoundly biblical, when my name filtering between the fog of our joined breaths was so much like a prayer - when I would think, for those minutes or hours or days we spent locked in the grip of fever, unaware of the movement of those heavenly bodies outside the reach of our bed, that there was hope for me after all. That I could be saved.6.122 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I remember so clearly the feeling of loving you and I wonder at what point, when it was, the exact moment, when that love became terror, when the realization dawned that I was wrong, all along, that, with or without each other, or our sighs that scraped like sandpaper while our bodies bruised at hips and ribs and our lips bled from the force of our desperate kissing - with or without the iliad of our romance, we were doomed.
I have always poisoned beautiful things.
Survival of the IllestAre those hints of lemon I detect?Survival of the Illest2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Look, I'm just here to get wasted, don't try
to make it more than that.
I'd drink motor oil if I thought
it could get me high; chase it with a shot
you can keep your survival instincts,
in that pretty velvet box (along with all
those other things
you thought you could convince yourself
you lived for). Instincts are the bare
bones of the impossibilities we wanted
to believe in,
those times you tried to tell me that
adrenaline was God's way
we were His chosen ones, we were
special, we were free.
I tried to tell you that instincts and God
can't exist side by side, but I was already
far gone, cornea constellations
spiraling and you looked at me with such pitiful
I just gave up the fight.
I told you once that my goal in life
is to kill myself slowly, immerse my organs
of whiskey and scotch
over a fifty-years-or-so period. "Just think,"
"it will be like an ocean, w
PlowIt's finally snowing again,Plow3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
blankets of peace falling
with a freshness that lacks innocence.
Nearly forgotten, they're here as expected,
clearing the streets,
trying to push aside all the worry
that makes things unsafe, but
the steel mouth askew grates against my heart;
its thick bass scrape pushing more than piles of white aside,
it pushes my blood aside too,
piling it up in the corner of this pumping vessel that falters,
ice-caked and bitten, stiffened,
and keeps faltering,
until the air is silent
and the street no longer shivers in torture.
The only evidence is the blanket of white
that keeps falling,
like fluffy stuffing that's been yanked out.
All is silent,
except the fond memories that peel away
from my heart in little shreds,
and the plows, scraping fresh wounds again.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
Golden Ink and Going BackI thought I was in love with that four-year old red-haired boyGolden Ink and Going Back2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Shining in a silver knight costume with a black dragon sewn on
Because I was in the pink Sleeping Beauty Dress
I was a good Belle, too
(Back when I hadn't picked up a book
Except for the blue one with the golden pages
Brimming with witches and fairies and magic)
I wanted to be a princess, back then
They were the ones who always found love, at the end
I wanted to be Wendy, too
Because she wore a blue nightgown and learned to fly
Now, I'd rather be Peter Pan, honestly
Because he managed to swerve this whole ordeal of growing up
(And maybe a little because of the flying)
Now, I just want to go back
Back when the only kissing I thought about
Was in The Princess and the Frog
And the only houses I had to be weary of
Were houses made of candy
Back when the only disappointment
Was when my parents were too tired to read me a bedtime story
Or when I found out that the real Little Mermaid
Dies by Hans Christian Andersen's hand
moondust.we live in a world where our lungs are black and outlined with angry streaks of red. we plant diseases and destruction in the holes of our stomachs and watch them grow they shoot up fast and clog up our throats with ashy leaves.moondust.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
our fingernails are ripped, jagged edges digging into pale skin and leaving white hot lines in their wake. our wings are crumpled, feathers bent and pressing into the expanse of our backs they're the weights on our shoulders, and there's no space left for anything else.
your tongue is cracked and so is mine. words no longer form, sounds no longer rise. dreams and wishes fall into the cracks as nightmares rush past them out into the open. that breathtaking sequel to life you were hoping for no longer exists we are now aimless, hopeless, and craving for sin.
we swallow moons and exhale moondust; we stray from orbits and into vacuums. but all we ever wanted were the touch of lightly powdered lips against our flesh.
the day we diedIt started when space implodedthe day we died3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you pulled me back, landed me on the moon,
so we could sit in the vacuum silence
and watch suns spiral down to hell.
You radiated, my minuscule flare,
your worn heat baked my bones brittle,
but it somehow made me stronger.
It ended when your eyes slid lateral,
fractured feelings leaking out in tears;
it was the first and last thing
I ever saw again.
This ridiculous happenstance,
simple in its impossibility,
was what broke us apart:
While solar light is beautiful,
it blinds when reflected by
Pausing By The WineMarriage isPausing By The Wine2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the frustration of reality
when the man who works the wine section
pauses in his tracks to make sure
you've found everything you "really need...are you sure?"
With a look that tells you
he finds you sort of beautiful
and you wonder how your life
might be different,
if any man other than this one
had ever looked at you like that.
for unseeing eyesladen with skyfor unseeing eyes3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and painted mockingbirds
on loveless branches
folding in our slender limbs
and ducking under our own
voices, fidgety and frail
against the wall of night.
between the dipping blades
and drawn shoulders
we learned to craft our words
a drumming rain
that carved canyons
in open hearts and
drew the sunshine to
our supping lips.
keen-eyed, we watched
remembering the weight
of unseeing eyes
and scalding remarks
and we learned to slip
the noose-knots and slide
through the soul-cracks
build kingdoms under
with lyrical uncertainty
and tender determination
we built a pyre of peace
in the shadows
and watched it blaze
the truth across our
as new leaves still curled
and stretching hands
unfurled in suppliance
we lifted our heads
in broken laughter,
for this light is our burden,
and even a whisper
can shatter silence
and bring the blind
All Falling in the EndYou start with yourself.All Falling in the End2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Before anything grand can happen, you have to make a decision. A vow of dedication to your cause. Your ideals. Your path to reforming the world. The one that won’t forget you to the last seconds of your life and far beyond in neither heaven nor hell. Now that you have picked your door in the corridor of choices, you walk in, and the door locks itself behind you. The exhilarating click of devout commitment.
You start with a person.
It’s surprisingly hard to wield a knife properly, but your palms aren’t sweating. Cool and clenched and excited. Confident, too, that you can achieve what you set out to gain. You finish, and the curtains are raised on the show you’re about to steal. The things you do are nothing short of theatrical and grand, just like a musical with marionettes as actors. You are the planet’s new puppeteer.
You work with the world.
They’re afraid. They’re amazed. They’re in love. Their cries of pain an
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.Solstice3 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
homeYou once told me that Star Wars felt like homehome2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And I laughed because
It sounded like such a strange declaration
And seemed so out of the blue
But then I started thinking
What could possibly remind the homeless of home?
note the difference between house and home
And I thought to myself that night
Long and hard
As I held you in my arms
In all my thinking I found that each place had a memory
But I could not bring myself to call any of those places
Because I am among the homeless
As I always have been
So I thought to myself some more
And after quite some time spent dreaming of long empty houses
I realized something
You remind me of home
Of warm nights spent with the one you love
Of laughing uncontrolably for ages
Of kisses stolen long past midnight
Of hopes and dreams and happy memories
fumesthe talkfumes2 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
DormantWinter is a blank slate,Dormant2 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.
Star SwallowerShe'sStar Swallower4 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
IfWe canIf2 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
a ribcage drenched in dusti have your ribcage, you said.a ribcage drenched in dust2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what should i put in it?
i told you i'd always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but
you're made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.
you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it seems like it's trying to speak
and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you're not as alone as you thought.
i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i'd ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.
i've got it, i said.
001. beginnings.Beginnings are vague things. Quite often you can't pin them down to one event you have to trawl back further and further through foggy past, peeling apart what ifs and untangling strands of memories.001. beginnings.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Eventually one has to go all the way back to the start of the universe, and that's a question even the experts have to shrug their shoulders at. It's not like you can plug it into a calculator and come out with a balanced algorithm. At least, not yet.
But it is true that sometimes you can fasten down an occurrence or a moment or even just a single breath, like sticking a thumbtack through a dead butterfly, and label it as a 'beginning' in your mind. Identifying that one moment makes us feel secure, like maybe it was destined to happen instead of just being a random sequence of events that fed off each other and tripped over each other and eventually fell like dominoes to the unlikely conclusion.
Cvusscha Mistbane has pinned down a moment. Of course she knows that there are plenty of
Worn Out Siren TalesI was once the moon-rippled, crystal clearWorn Out Siren Tales2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
disturbance at shore
and you found hope, resting
on the borders of
sand and wave.
When I moved, you breathed,
It just isn't worth it,
I was carved on ship hulls for a
and I was summoned from sleep to
drown myself in the clutches
of a sea that disowned me
for one too-
and I wrote on woody parchments
for more attention than
So when you moved, I stopped,
Tell me this is eternal,
I had not.
harmonizei'm built on broken bones and metronomesharmonize2 years ago in Free Verse 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. )
Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can beVa'eira3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible. The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
The Best is Yet to Comeif we grow oldThe Best is Yet to Come2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there will be a sigh
an attention to the change
as your muscles slacken underneath
your faded, favorite shirt
the one that's threadbare, "holy"
in a sense less than divine
I'll have washed it for
the thousandth time
our eyes will crinkle, wrinkle
in ways that start to match
and we'll hold hands and ask:
when did the nerves and veins
begin to let our hands get cold?
-if we grow old
EurydiceHis voice enveloped me, and I becameEurydice2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Myself again--I heard it in the song:
A mordent on a note he held too long;
A stutter in his voice. I heard my name
In these and felt a happiness the same
As when I saw him first. Oh, I had longed
To hear him sing again, but this last song--
It was so beautiful. And it remains
The best of human works, though none shall hear
Its sorrowed notes; the lyre's meand'ring tune
Through vast arpeggios and Death's expanse
Except the dead. It will not disappear
'Till all the world's destroyed, and hell's exhumed--
Such music must be worth a backwards glance.
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 Dying2 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