red leaves and Robert Frost.When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it.
We throw away half of our refrigerator each week meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day.
Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.
At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt.
I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.
Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.
People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist.
For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three.
That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet c
eight things about growing up.eighteight things about growing up.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite something with wings so I could touch the clouds.
I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly.
That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)
My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human.
A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him.
I guess love is kind of like that, too.
Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October.
My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain
fumesthe talkfumes2 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
despondenti.despondent3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"are you sleepy today?"
"but you were sleepy yesterday."
she stirs her pomegranate green-tea until it turns from clear to purple
setting it on her bedside table and climbing back into bed again.
her fingers follow the bluer-than-usual constellation veins on her wrists and down
to the freckle on her forearm and then the scar on the inside of her elbow
crossing the tendon as if it were crux.
and then she remembered that God hasn't been with her lately.
today is long and sunny but when she steps outside the humidity creaks her bones
and her skin starts to inflame.
she assumes that if getting the mail is a struggle, having a child would be too.
often times when she sets her tea down she remembers that her Bible is in the drawer beneath
along with the crucifix necklace that her mother made her.
her husband comes home late nowadays and she never questions why that may be
because she knows.
she would do the same too if she had a wife who took four different
queen of nothing.what I've learned:queen of nothing.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I still remember singing in my room when I was six, and having my mother come down the hall and slam the door so hard that the windows shook.
Her nails hurt when she scraped the tears off my face. "It doesn't matter what you want," she'd always tell me.
Like, when that drunk driver swerved and hit her car I didn't want her to leave me, and it didn't matter.
Once on vacation I bought a pair of fuzzy leather heels for two hundred dollars, and when I wore them to dinner, I found out that
1. "Suede" is a fancy word for "fuzzy leather."
And 2. Good things don't last: That night my cousin told me that she thought 135 pounds was a little too big for five foot eight. So I tore my tights up to the thigh and threw those new suede heels in the garbage.
It felt good later, to know that they couldn't hate me more than I hate myself.
My six-word story from ninth grade reads, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry."
When I read that treating people like trash to gets them to nee
short-term memory.and you'll never forget:short-term memory.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
When you realized that everybody dies alone.
When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.
When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)
When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."
When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."
When he told you, "More than just a long time."
The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.
When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.
When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."
When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper – and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
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
of the ground-of the ground3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was Sunday night when Geo climbed into my room from the fire escape. I was painting my toenails and listening to the sounds of the city: police sirens, pulsating bass, the kids in my tenement running guitar riffs back and forth with the street musicians on the sidewalk. That was the year I turned sixteen and took a two-month vow of silence to honor the death of autumn. A premature snow had robbed the season of its delicate warmth and color, forcing the maples to weep their leaves into the gutters. All that rainwater, all that decay. How could anyone create when October was dying outside their windows? Pete and Jake practiced acoustic that entire month. The rest of us were too fragile to play in suicide weather, when the right chords might move us to open our veins.
Geo sat down next to me, examining my bottle of red lacquer. "'To Eros is Human,'" he read, and rolled his eyes. "I'll keep that in mind."
I offered him my shoebox of nail polish. He selected a purple the color of opium
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
Nothing to See (Being Revised)I wouldn't have taken any notice if it hadn't been for the laughter. It wasn't merry or even cruel. It was the barbarous laughter of evil and vicious darkness and it chilled the marrow of my bones. Turning my head to look down the dim alley, I saw them: a semi-circle of four men focusing on their entertainment for the evening—namely, a fifth fellow and what I assumed was merely a cheap piece, some drugged up doxy earning a wage for her next fix.Nothing to See (Being Revised)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Oh God, how I wish she had been a whore. Some pathetic moll who let herself be roughed up and down for a few bucks, but this was no whore. I wasn't innocent; I'd seen plenty of cocottes and the looks in their eyes that craved money or men or both and I'd witnessed the haunting desperation for something better, along with a resignation to what they had. This woman—so very young—this wasn't a two-bit cyprian, down on her luck, trying to make a dollar and feed a habit.
Bruises marred her
april 18th, 2012.therapy:april 18th, 2012.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"I'm not an artist. I'm just a kid with a keyboard."
“And, y'know, I’m probably not really sick.”
“I read a lot of books. I probably just act like this because I saw it somewhere on the Internet.”
“I just want to be more like my dad.”
“I’m really just a pathological crybaby who wants attention,” I tell you.
You say, “I think there are better ways to get attention than fake a mental disorder.”
“Maybe I’m doing it for fun.”
The problem isn’t that I need to see a therapist.
The problem is that I need to see a therapist because I dream about slamming your head into a tree.
Right after we broke up, you took me to the bike cage and promised me everything would be okay. Then you got together with that fifteen year old from Michigan and told our friends that I was a freak.
Slamming your head into a tree might be painful, but nothing will ever hurt more than kn
LingerieEvery woman owns one garmentLingerie2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that remains tucked away,
saved for special occasions
when it will be seen.
It is almost always midnight
black, or blood red, and
covered in lace, or made
of mesh, soft and delicate
as the skin it covers.
Such things should be hidden,
lest the owner be labeled
as something other than "lady."
It has a power we can't
control, one that transforms
denim and cotton clad
ragdolls into Barbies,
perfectly proportioned plastic,
smooth and flawless hourglasses
that turn on command.
We groan and flinch
as satin strings pull us
apart and together,
and heartstrings are plucked
as we scrutinize our reflection;
we are not diamonds
with perfect exteriors--
we are fractured, as we
realize hourglasses can be exchanged
for quartz watches that are
faster, more convenient,
incapable of failure
made by the obsolete.
zero.5. I think I'm afraid of sex.zero.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
It's terrifying that two people can fit together perfectly, without even really liking each other at all.
4. I'm afraid of the day I start replacing myself with somebody else in all of our pictures; of the day I'll see my reflection and wish I didn't have to.
3. I'm afraid of doctors, and medicine.
The first time I took lithium, I couldn't hold it down. So I locked the bathroom door and flushed the entire bottle.
The second time, I couldn't walk more than ten steps without falling.
Honestly, I'm just wondering why they use poison to purify me.
2. I'm afraid of the ocean.
I'm afraid of looking down one day, and not seeing the edges. Of there being nothing there.
I'm afraid of falling and having nothing to catch me.
There's already nobody. The ground is really all I have.
1. I'm afraid of breaking things.
Like, once, I broke my dad's trust in me.
Once I broke somebody's heart.
Once I broke my kindergarten teacher's favorite
Five Seasons (Alternate) There was this moment, early last May, when I could have glanced up from the book I was reading at the breakfast table.Five Seasons (Alternate)2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I could look out my window and see you standing on my lawn, this waif in a windbreaker grinning at a daydream you're probably too old for. I could bring you an umbrella. I could invite you in for coffee, and we could lose the whole day debating questionable Scrabble plays. We could take to the streets after dark and try to find an all-night diner that will feed us both for less than fifteen dollars. I could fall in love with you.
But I don't.
You go home with nothing but a story about how springtime leaves you feeling lonely. Your roommate blows off a dinner date to take you out for drinks. You send a Chardonnay up to the stage between sets and the singer takes you home.
The new girl at work works up the nerve to ask me out.
I don't have a reason to say no.
a picture of a plane.The day her daddy got sent away, the whole neighborhood fluttered with closing curtains and eyes watching through cracked doors. His wife called it a mistake, the cousins called it rape and said he was a pedophile.a picture of a plane.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And she just kept dipping her fingers into paint and dreaming about kites and the eyelashes on dolls, because she didn't know what any of those words meant.
A year later, he came back, and she washed the sidewalk so he couldn't see that she was drawing their secret in light blue and petal pink chalk.
"Those are nice pictures, baby," her daddy would tell her, but she hated it, because he always sounded sick, and he would rub her back with those big, rough hands until the neighbor's blinds twitched like the nervous wings of a bird.
Aleksander finally made her daddy stop, because he sat on his porch all day with a scratchy blanket in his lap, saying prayers beside a full ashtray.
"Why does he do that?" she asked him in July. "I don't like it when he does that."
He patted her
A ParenthesisYou were (a parenthesis, that pausedA Parenthesis2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the daily, mundane stuff
a bundled breath
of fresh joy,
and borne in the wonder
Gasping and grasping,
'til in quiet you laid
and I, my Child,
lie in quiet, still
And now, that is all you are,
and still so much more.
chromaWe were merely children when the stars came.chroma2 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
starspunobserving the romanticismstarspun2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of hooded cemetery kids,
smoking cigarettes pretending
they are not dead.
you were always so sure
about my uncertainty,
all my pick up lines
we built the heat
of the evening from the solidity
that two teens at the park
is the stuff of teen novels
(cliches dim on
our leaf-gold horizon)
your eyes darted
from the gray expanse
of the churchyard & wandered
i wanted to ask you
if i could follow. shove
the words aside &
remember that i came here alone.
i remember our innocence
in the static b e t w e e n
about how youth without you is th-
awing out the lines in my whittled-out eyes.
look to the hooded
wonder what we'd have been like
if we grew up as nothings,
like them. teenage
nothings with chiseled
marble in our
out of our parents' adulterated
lies and the excitement of alcohol.
i settle for a star.
it's almost as luminous
as the after
was it easy?i.was it easy?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When I met you, I would only bring tragedies up to the rooftop, or down to the street corner, or to the bike cage. You asked me if any of them were true.
"You make the saddest stories so beautiful with that pen," you said, on the same day that we held hands for the first time and I found out you smoked.
It's all we are now, though. Just more depressing words from my pen. You loved my writing that much; and that was more than me, and it ruined us.
The January before you turned twenty-one, you told me you were afraid to become an adult. "I don't want to be somebody a child will hate."
You had always smelled like peppermint, cologne, and the truth, and it made me so sure when I told you, "You won't be. You're different."
And hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
We spent the summer talking about baby names and our house in Colorado. You wanted a daughter and I wanted four boys, and one of them had to be called James.
It was October when
the first day of springyou are new in the way flowers are new:the first day of spring2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
brilliant green, soft purple,
the good smell of rain and soil.
let the miserable winter wind
chase its own tail for a while;
there’s something beautifulwonderfulmine
at the end of a sunlit driveway.
if she were any more tomato she'd be blueberryxvii.if she were any more tomato she'd be blueberry3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i want to write about how this world of
absolute truth, knowledge, and solid food
that which we hold high between two fingers is always
full of watery applesauce and little white half-truths.
and about how utterly strange
it is that all the simple things that people
write about on pages are, in reality,
very few and far between.
and i want to write about how there is
peace and war and
poverty and treasure and
cruelty and sometimes,
i want to write a poem about why the hell i'm wasting
my time writing poems when i could maybe
actually be doing something productive
or contributing to society or
and i want to write about why there aren't
nearly enough apple trees that grow
in dark moldy closets or underwater
or on the sun or inside craters of the moon
or in the desert or in the deep winter.
because god knows those places
need them now mor
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
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
cosmic background radiationThey say that the big bang was not an actual "bang". It was really just static. Static, like the interference of radio waves. Of course, the universe did not happen instantaneously. The big bang took 760,000 years to happen. 760,000 years of static, and bang, the universe happened.cosmic background radiation4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I get myself together and actually go out. I go to see the New York Philharmonic perform the works of John Cage at Lincoln Center. I walk out during the second movement of 4'33". There's a very small difference between life and death. I walk home, my chin pulled down against my neck. I hum a constant note, providing myself with my own tinnitus.
I focus on this note. I cross Broadway where the walkers cluster on the curbside, awaiting the turn of the traffic light. People talking and the bioacoustic noises of their bodies moving. I walk against the signal. The tires of taxis scrape against the road. I go west on 65th Street, past Brooks Brothers and the slimy sliding of the revolving door, past vans parallel