When your hands can mimic birdsWhen your hands can mimic birds,
you lose the need for sound.
A flight of words that bear no chirp
are none the less profound.
They don't perch on a pitch.
They don't possess the need .
They fly until you've seen their song,
then silently recede.
No one could find more freedom than
the freedom granted flight.
No one can see more beauty than in
words passed left to right.
Automatici.Automatic3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"So where are you from?" The boy leans toward me, questions swimming in his eyes. I smile.
"Oh, I'm from Boston."
"No, I mean, where are you from?" My smile falters as I realize where this is going. It's an all-too familiar conversation, one I've been having since I was old enough to reply.
"Do you mean where was I born?"
"I was born in China."
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"Does your family speak Chinese?"
He looks befuddled. I sigh.
"Oh!" I see the light bulb over his head go off in a shower of sparks. "Do you know who your real parents are? Like, your real parents?" My temper flares. I stifle the urge to throw something.
"You mean my biological parents?"
"Oh." There's an awkward pause. I have learned to wait it out, to prepare my next automated response.
"When were you adopted?"
"When I was a year old."
"Did you live in an orphanage?"
"Like in Annie?"
Rolling my eyes seems appropriate.
"No, not l
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
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.Solstice4 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
IfWe canIf3 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
What Soft DreamsWhat soft dreams we lay -What Soft Dreams3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
What soft dreams, like infants put to rest -
Frightfully bare, and compromised,
Our kisses on their breasts.
We close our eyes and trust them safe,
Kept 'til break of dawn -
Forgetting that the night is fickle,
And dutifully, as long -
It safeguards some,
Moved by neither coin nor threat
Nor anguished mother's cry.
DormantWinter is a blank slate,Dormant3 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.
compareeins.compare3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the smoke pouring out of her mouth,
(misty coils of a vague filth,
dancing to noir jazz, fading with each note)
smudged lipstick on the side of of her mouth,
and the little streak that crawled to her tooth
when she bit her lip in a supposed wonder,
and her eyes threw a faint film over themselves,
(like an elegant lady wraps a silk shawl around herself in a light breeze)
the light feet of a dancer
whose calluses were hidden under tight shoes,
whose toes would arch like Nut over her children,
(and she or you would spin with the earth, holding her frame as if-
as if earth was something of mass, as if it had a shape to hold onto)
whose leg would stretch over her head,
her arms, long, pretty, snakes, her fingers curled, and her wrists tense
(her eyelashes were grazing her cheekbones,
her ballet whisking her like a beaten egg, and the laces of her shoes
caught on a rusty nail, which sliced her ankle open, a wince danced on her lips,
I Took To Howling With YouI was shy at first, timid in my dealings,I Took To Howling With You3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I laced the trap against my throat,
sang sparing, tip-toed
around your poems.
The tone, the slow vibrating
from the shoots of my shoulders
to the gleam of polished talons,
it purred around inside me.
Oh the song, Coyote,
the same resigned call, it
paled before you, swallowed down its insides,
I took your little hand in my big hand,
flew out towards Crow, and for a while
My Love, there were poems
and the world was enough.
I took to howling with you,
down from the branches, safe
womb of the tree, I spread
dirt between my toes, sang happy,
sang the song of free,
your wild howl, your musk,
I lost the language for
the pain of bird calling.
Do you remember when we realized
Crow would no longer sing
her crooning songs beside us, trill
through a night among us?
She had gone, no longer writing
poems for coyotes or exlovers,
no longer touching out for a girl
beyond the mountain,
and we were suddenly alone, Love,
you and I, alone to sing, to warble,
WanderlustI've been sleeping with my jeans onWanderlust4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and seatbelt unbuckled,
So I can leave early
before my regret wakes.
In the check-in, on the road,
I distract myself
Walk, go, leave
go further, leave again
I like my life
I never meant to break your
(steady and warm)
But truer ways of joy I found
on the road,
in long railways and stranger tongues
And I'm sorry that we never
Quite catch up with each other.
I never loved goodbyes,
but I love leaving all behind
In the movement I found tranquility,
easing for this burn.
Don't think I'll be able
To ever forget you, no
You're like Venus in the nightly sky,
guiding with your sulphur burn -
you left a mark in me,
in the air I breathe
Though we never quite catch up,
we never quite meet.
And it breaks my heart either way;
I don't want to leave,
but I cannot stay.
on commuting with no hurrythere you goon commuting with no hurry6 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
lighting matches in the rain,
walking with two feet
that the gods gave you
because they cannot walk,
heading home as if with news
of some miraculous disaster,
counting the steps between yourself
and the clouds that disappeared
behind the grey veil of October.
thunder and lightning unfold
so close above
and you dream of a destination
somewhere in the south
where birds and stormy weather coexist.
behind you there is nothing,
running water will erase
every footprint you have left
on the dark sand of this metropolis.
before you there is distance,
enough to live your life
in a constant state of travel,
but not nearly enough signs
for you to know
where you are heading.
close your eyes
as not to be blinded
by the red lights and the yellow warnings,
those ever changing speed limits,
and open your arms
as to be looked at by the sun
that will soon peek out behind the nothingness,
ripping the veil
of the vast, unending
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.
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 radiation5 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
in the seams(a) when I was young I was a robin that stole the eggs from another's nest.in the seams3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
fitted upon my stare there was a warning
personal's too personal for me, well i
would not use wings if i had 'em.
a child of rye with a silhouette spoiled by the sun, I was, I am.
and sometimes I see some vengeful sparrows still under my fingernails;
their glistening beaks snap melodies that rib a hundred bird-bone cages,
so light you could blow 'em away with a twist of your lungs.
and there are still words jailed between my teeth and my tongue and I do not speak of,
do not think of
but they rattle between bone and flesh and I
drown them sometimes when I sing.
(b) oh, you:
"love is a hobby like anything else, and I no longer have the time."
she asks me what I'm writing:
I am constructing a corpse can't you hear
me as I speak the meaning out of my name and
you bleed like I smile:
slowly, and without malice.
Across the Sea and Around the KotatsuSpringAcross the Sea and Around the Kotatsu3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Mom starts with rice. Japanese rice, one, two, three Japanese cup-fulls of rice grains into the cooker, because Sis eats a lot of this stuff. It's one of her favorite dishes, taco rice, and Mom's always happy to make it for her because it's the only way Sis will eat her tomatoes. But back to the rice. "You want to rinse at least three or four times, until the water's kind of clear," Mom says as she cups her hand under the cooker pot, letting the cloudy water wash over her hand.
Rice cooking's easy though – just fill enough water to the point the rice's covered, punch in a time (or set it to "Quick Cook," which with our creaking rice cooker still takes about an hour) and let the cooker do its thing.
Ground meat goes into a well-greased and heated frying pan. Break up the block so that it crumbles into fine little pieces, and do this with wild abandon, because this is taco meat. Mom uses any taco seasoning that happens to be cheap; most seasonings rack up t
darwin's revengein the embryo of the citydarwin's revenge3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in their cage
they paint their nails not
that the sun is watching
from his trap door
in the cloud ceiling where
whales can't swim but go
and drop down their weight in rain
not measured in pints
but lives overflowed
in lost archipelagos full
of automatic islands
that catch the eyes like needles
when viewed from further away
than the end of the world
WhitmanI am all that grows from meWhitman3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and all that grows from me is sacred—
my hair, dirty roots reaching towards sky,
fed by sky, shifted by its undulating currents
my fingers, spiders, crescents, twigs,
gaunt, blunt, probing, inquisitive...prurient
my ears, awkward conch shells jammed on as if by mistake,
rigid and ridged, elven,
innocent like unexplored caves for children to bound gaily into
resounding with echoed cheers of courage wanting
as if a dozen more children waited within, fearless guides;
my nose, obdurate.
The reach of my eyes knows no bounds;
what walls are there to throw my body against?
Send Me the Raintoday, they're all talking about the fires.Send Me the Rain3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the people on TV, the voices on the radio,
the mouths that open and whisper
and softly touch tongues. even the sky is
revealing black plumes of smoke,
flaunting shameless and seductive curves.
the rain's been too dry and the lightning
isn't wet enough, panic is
rising out of control in this
burning city. that's
we have a crisis on
our hands- the balloons are
running out of air and even
the experts don't really know why,
and on top of those sinking rubber toys
my soul is losing moisture
faster than the crackling grass under the duress of flame.
i'm starting to see the subtle luscious contours
i might not exactly be news-worthy
but if i catch, then
the forest might too.
i'm considered a reasonable loss, however.
they heard it might storm tomorrow. and everybody knows
that means they'll be safe-
because they all talk about it.
it almost stormed-
the sky spat and then
thought better of it,
RosesYou love too much, I am told by a man with a briar heart, thorny sinews and collapsed ventricles bearing down on him, hardly beating in his tight chest. He looks at me with flat, slate eyes, chipping and eroding. His hands are dark with cigarette burns and rough with calluses; I feel them on my shoulders as he looks down at me, face collapsing in at his eyes like a dead man's.Roses3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
For the first time, I realize he is dead. His briar heart dried up when winter killed his rose; my father, he is all thorns.
He squeezes my shoulders, too tight. You look like your mother, you know, he whispers, eyes shifting to the garden, to the yellow rose I planted for her. It is a rambler, sending shoots to the sky that sink back down. We never gave it a trellis. I loved her too much. And there are tears in his eyes, wet, heavy things that slip down his cheeks and on to the grass below us.
I don't know what to say, so I think of the rose, of her. I think that I'd like to send this
The Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution Paradigm3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Ramu came up to our table. Glaring at me, he said, “You either order something or get out.”
I glanced away from the threat, and turned to Raghav. A single drop of sweat was running down his brow. Ramu saw that too and identifying his prey, he sprung.
Swinging around, he faced Raghav, “Order something or get out.”
Then Ramu just stood there. It was not as if we had rehearsed it before hand, but he knew. He knew that my co-occupants generally folded in the first round. Only the stout made it to second level, but they too buckled under Ramu’s relentless gaze.
I always had a policy of not spending on other people’s problems. My purse was already slimmer than the waist of a size zero model. So, I simply sat there, watching the lion circling his prey.
A few seconds later, the prey went down. “Two coffees”, Raghav said, wiping away the sweat with a handkerchief.
Ramu turned his head back, gave me a leering smile, and we
Whiskey Laden DreamsBitter eyes and tears might taint a drink, but sitting in this bar alone with your stool pulled out next to me, and the Martini poured regardless of your presence still brings a smile to my face; despite the taste. I'm having a whiskey myself; dry. Yes, I know I don't drink, but every once in a while you need whiskey to solve an intricate problem, and mine is the distinct lack of alcohol in my life.Whiskey Laden Dreams3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There are people everywhere and it amazes me how none of them are you, from the woman in the black dress coming down the stairs to the signing couple in the corner, laughing silently. They're not you at all, and that's what's amazing in an ocean of coal you're a marble pebble, smooth to the touch and pleasant to the eye, and you don't leave me scarred.
I'll kick back the tumbler for now, refilling your drink when necessary, despite you never having it. The waitress will look at me with tired eyes and concerned words, but I'll insist I'm drinking with a friend, whilst that sad g
October EyesSuch gentle colors drip across your freckled shoulder blades.October Eyes3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
A quilt of puddled watercolors soaked in auburn shades.
Spun of golden rivulets and rinsed in autumn skies,
So many endless currents swimming through your lonesome eyes.
Brushing under fingertips and over shattered songs,
Unraveling like morning glaze against my paling palms.
With beauty like October hills and hollow as the skies,
The water drops against the earth will be our lullaby.