Totems and Godhoodi. As a child, confronting giants.
I take the pine tree as my totem,
learn to love the nakedness of its nether-regions
and its northerly fibers stretched and waiting
for the weft to its warp.
Girlhood is still a part of me as the
learning what I am. In the end,
I haven't climbed a tree in a long time;
I am small, and scared, and ringed round with walls,
and I beg the moon to teach me
to use my pine trees as a ladder.
ii. In the way only young love can.
you are pine chips, and I carry you
like a fetish in my mind.
You are the first vampiric sweetness
to suck the breath from my body:
unknowing, the feeling of yearning;
I am fibrouscelery stalk,
pale and clutching my thread self together.
Watch as I petrify,
stretch until my bones
will not bend to let me drink.
With age I become a god,
brittle-boned and cackling; with age
the osteoporosis will leech my fibers dry
and my pine sap blood will freeze in my chest
to keep me warm in winter.
bad days.on my bad days,bad days.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.
indulgencei will peel away every individual shade of colourindulgence2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in this seven-thirty pm sky
like stickers on empty beer bottles in the space
between your ankles
i will drink down this crescent moon cocktail
and get tipsy on night air,
clinging to my skin and summer
will run through my veins
but i don't want winter to come)
and sometimes i'll look down and realise
that my fingers are still sticky with sunsets
but i never want to be clean,
not ever again.
I was never a writer. I: HalfsleeperI was never a writer.1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I fell in love, once.
A snowstorm melting from my hair - dripping cataract:
diluted coffee. A dark room filled with language
so beautiful, I almost understood what was said.
Children are getting younger, and this land has no end,
where do you rest your head?
All things are in a constant state of vibration,
a harmony in the space between
our fingers. our hands.
I’ve only ever stopped to listen
A Short Love StoryI counted your teethA Short Love Story2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when you died,
all twenty-eight of them,
because it gave me more time
than counting your toes
and fingers (and thumbs),
or just looking at your face
and telling the coroner:
he's the one.
dust-centred bones she can'tdust-centred bones3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
say she holds
the world on her
drags her down
like nothing else:
until she thinks
SeafoamSeafoamSeafoam3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is the hush of the ocean,
the glossy paint on your car,
the gleam in your eyes.
It's the ruffle of parchment in the glove compartment
of your susurrating '57 Thunderbird
as we leave the last rumble of brontide behind
on a salt-crushed highway.
Traces of powdered sugar noses
and mint milkshake lips
were cold reminders
of warm nostalgic days
when summer could melt the tarmac
like my bones under your gaze.
For the love of birdsThree little birds pitch on my doorstep.For the love of birds2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
I keep them in a jar
nothing I have is truly mine.
I am only the lonely,
waiting for it to come back to me.
Metaphorically SpeakingPeople are like books;Metaphorically Speaking1 year ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
full of stories and easily
broken at the spine.
WherewithalOnce I met a girl who carved the world flat just to tell me I was beautiful.Wherewithal2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It went without warning, in the morning when we left our sheets and searched for a bed of leaves beneath my mother's apple-tree; I settled crooked as she leaned against my side, and even as my muscles cramped I wouldn't shift her burden from my shoulders even to walk a free girl again. I was the real Atlas, the true one so willing as to ask to bear the weight of the world on her back for all of time, and you wouldn't know it to look at a ghost like me.
August, I said to her, and when I waited for her calling voice to come back I couldn't stop thinking about the way the russet leaves were crumbling under our spines with every movement; it was like we were grinding gold dust, collecting fortunes with every breath that I felt her lightly shake against me. It seemed like a waste, all this precious metal for a kid too haunted to wear the jewelry that would slip straight through her neck, but I couldn't stop myself
pigeonhello, pigeon,pigeon3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he says with a smile
like somehow, he already knows
she's been sad for a while.
and she just looks at him,
with her brokenhearted bambi eyes
and she hopes that he understands
because nobody understands,
pigeon, he says,
and he does.
he knows that deep in her heart,
she just isn't happy.
not today, not yesterday,
and maybe not even tomorrow.
he knows that she wants to be happy,
wants to know what it's like
to be filled with sunshine
(and he thinks maybe that's why
she loves sunflowers so very much.
because she thinks they exude sunlight,
and maybe, just maybe,
if she were bright yellow,
she could emanate happiness, too)
she breathes fluttery, feather-soft breaths
into his chest as he holds her,
and he whispers,
pigeon, I know.
InfernoSeptember is a sultry tangleInferno2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of curly hair and corduroy jackets stretched
over broad shoulders that I've been leaning on,
He won't press for answers
and I won't trouble him with my problems.
So he complains about the weather
he's never gotten used to these sticky, southern delta summers
while I hold the door
and press the call button.
The half-lit elevator drops us off above Dante's first layer.
I feel sorry for anyone beneath,
but I've indulgences to buy
and my own hell to return to.
But there's a light in my pocket
abandon not all hope,
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
where i dance alonei. I mistook a shy boy for a thunderous one in the days when I lived inside his lungs.where i dance alone2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
ii. I wanted your hands in the early morning, or in 8 o' clock light. (Does it matter? I just wanted you.) Hands like paper cranes, hands like wind chimes. Then we could've been like lovers in a parody: "I love you, I love youno, I don't. But you are beautiful." And while I was not your lover, neither was I your queen. Either way, you wouldn't hold my heart.
iii. Our fingers would've taken flight and then the rest of us, too. Then you would've known of the ballroom in my chest, the migrations inside my body, of the tiny secret nothings that make their way like monarchsas if by instinct, as if they have been here beforefrom ballroom to piano hands to the museum that is my mind to my stomach. But you are the only lost boy afraid to fly.
iv. I was a foreign land and you would not dare travel without a map. But I do not possess a souvenir shop in which to purchase one. I am a des
Divination as a Means of Finding a Way Back 1. I say nothing I am thinking.Divination as a Means of Finding a Way Back3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
For twelve years I have wanted
to do exactly this, but suddenly
pronouncing my own name calls up
the question of who it belongs to
in the same breath Like
Solomon I was born a singer
but in the wrong key and my
chords will not carry me, will not
summon the wolves to me only
packs of hungry dogs
stupid with domestication
but nearly feral And like
a hungry ghost I have learned
not to speak against those
who will give me food
2. A sketch of myself.
He says I must have been born
in the wrong culture, he says. I got a taste of
the crackling heat here, heat to drive you crazy,
and suddenly I open my wide arms for
New Orleans, find myself needing the wind from
the Great Plains. Like a buffalo I have the spirit
of the Sun and I carry it with me. I am a plant
of burnt umber,
brown, ready and waiting like
sage bushes, like the hill you go to that is best
for collecting jun
the boy with twelve bracletsthe cobwebs of your past clingthe boy with twelve braclets2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to the inside of your ribcage
and gently strangle your heart.
when i saw you for the first time
i had already known you for weeks,
taken part in your gorgeous
conversations and watched you spread
laughter like a perfect virus
among all the people you met.
you wore twelve bracelets,
six on each wrist;
once upon a time they served
to cover a mistake you made
when you were thirteen,
but it wasn’t a mistake now
so much as a story
about a boy who was brave enough to keep breathing,
and you kept the bracelets just because their memory annoyed you
when you took them off.
that was what you said, anyway.
then i learned how sure you were
that you were only pretending
to be brave.
you wore a mirror as a face,
silver and starlike,
molded to your features and well-rehearsed
in reflecting just what you
knew people wanted to see
and one night,
terrified of seeing nothing but myself
[and greedy to see your face]
i smashed the mirror.
i expected you to scramb
My Mouth, a GraveyardI buried my wordsMy Mouth, a Graveyard2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
under my tongue
& turned my teeth
Here lies hello,
too shy to be uttered,
just left to wither
while my fingers tapped out
& here lies goodbye,
so scared of being alone,
it left the roads between
me and we empty.
Love died the day my
heart started beating,
when it pumped out
too much sense &
not enough courage.
Sorry was found murdered,
its meaning stolen,
the day it would have been
I smothered help with my claims
that I didn’t need it,
then I forgot how to breathe
& no one could see it.
My mouth became a cemetery,
& I chewed on petals
to keep the smell away,
but no matter how many
happy poems I recite,
my words I can’t revive.
Harvest MoonThree a.m. moonlightHarvest Moon3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
across lazy dust motes; a
tree scrapes the window.
Your arm weighs on my hip like
whispered promises of love.
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.
i would say my father is a wari would say my father is a war horse but that is a failed symboli would say my father is a war2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
because he has been dragged through the dirt as many times as this metaphor
i want to write in abstract like in a book of
contemporary poetry i bought over the summer;
it was all syllables and lines of 'talk talk talk' repeated over and over
i want to write something that describes how i feel without saying a word that describes it -
dust and ache and tired and bone and overflowing and lonely and fuck and .
i want to write poems that have meaning without being cliche i want poems
that defy grammar and space and time because when someone reads them, they become me
i want someone to read this and know
it is approximately 12:04am
and my ears are itchy and my eyes -
my eyes -
i feel a deer prancing behind my eyes, his heavy antlers pushing
against my forehead and i should name him athena because i've got an olympic-sized headache
but instead the deer yells WANNA GO?
and he says it like an angry, unde
silver stitchingwe broke each others'silver stitching3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
without [like fevers]
knowing the cause. i could
have held you to my chest
like the sun
and told you it's okay - and it is -
but you blurred your outline with
tequila and anti-depressants.
i overdosed on guilt. i killed us,
i gave your heart
a pacifier to soothe its
pixie dustpeter pan and ipixie dust3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
some sort of understanding.
he was hovering around
my bedroom window
when he saw me crying
and i said, i'm turning twelve tomorrow.
that's when he offered
his hand and a little pixie dust
his hair was wispy, his cheeks i guess
still held a little baby fat.
and i couldn't help but notice the small
tinge of regret, the sense of neglect
that no child should ever feel.
maybe his eyes held all the wisdom in the world
all the secrets of the fairies,
how to reel in the little boys
how to build a family
and the terrors of being alone.
and now i'm seventeen, and i vaguely wonder
how old he would be if he grew up like me.
whitewashedmother refuses to drink the honeywhitewashed1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
she paints our rooms with, for
curtaining the timid female quarters of home
is just as frightening
as a monsoon-poor September.
the kind she weaves
with her own words seem far
sweeter than the jars they make
in the farm down
the tree-cut boulevard.
she hides stories in her collars, spilling
only when her honey jars are raised
her red-hot honesty
and our yellow, foolish,
the forlorn scent of industry
seeps into the cheap marble floor
and cracked bathroom tiles,
till it reaches father's nose where it
vaporizes in fear of being shunned.
father will paint the ceiling blue
because aloof girls make broken homes, sewn seam
by seam to a delusional perfection.
we are perfect, bent at the knees and spine
to the fetus we compare to
but the shoulders we always are.
we dare not tremble;
his reign, unquestionable,
ZemiThings having to be returned to their transparency:Zemi2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
/ green mist-earth / knit
atmosphere / fathomless
blue-lavender / lights
spun out from light
are recalcitrance / and you
& - a fingernail of summer
- a melting of rain
- a crown of flowers
- a priest of sunsets
(beautiful? I love you, because. Zemi.
Zemi. are you beautiful because I love
you? Zemi? )
I imagine this is what it's like to breathe sea foam
over the Cliffs of Moher: hydration. absolution.
To Rilke, it's a melody that floods over us
when we have forgotten how to listen for it.
I never could forget this: for how could I know
my hand as both well and chasm? and how could I know
time, a windstruck dimension, standing in her white street?
We go on morning walks and Zemi
laughs at everything I say.
starvetoday, i don't hate myself enoughstarve2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to deny the hungers for -
a cup of coffee that will treat me like sin dancing to the pulse of my bloodstream
the absence of guilt
cracks in personality
screaming poems silently at my reflection
today, i will gorge
on the things i vowed to give up.
today, i will break vows.
today, i am a glutton
for relapse and binge cycles,
for starvation and changing reflections.
tomorrow, i will wish
i could be the skeleton that
hangs in my closet.
[ leave the tears where they lie,
take the fallen stars and ripped up wings,
do not regret spinning circles
around vices. ]