WhyHow do I verify your presence
By the unease which canonizes the air
By the irreligious sunspots in labor
A startling ate a cat so I knew you were here
I hid among sterofoamed images
So you could not read my pale spare sweat
I scattered bees among the grapevines
So you cannot hear the pressure of my steps
The moon will still flake its anger
No light will debase our faces
Fireworks, the color of death
I love you
I would not listen to the warnings of goat herders
I love you because we both bleed
I hide the winds among the weaving of a sun dial
You cannot smell my callous sweat
I scattered bees among the grapevines
So you cannot hear me stumble
I flaked away the moon so no light will debase our faces
We will have fireworks the color of death
Stars which faced like yesterday laundry
I love you even though we both bleed
I will have words while you have sentences
By the stubbornness of a flaking moon
I was stubborn, I would not listen
To the warnings of morning
Not FleshNot FleshNot Flesh2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
He wants to paint the virgin with skin blue
as a stillborn child, as blue as his wife's eyes.
Around their cot in the earth, their seven babes
wait in line for the opening of the sky.
Christ will come back, the priest intones. But this time,
he will not enter through a woman's flesh.
How would he paint a Christ not flesh
the painter wonders? Will he be stone, the bitten skin
of a plum, a fly's wings, threadbare flaxen cloth,
or a white canvas, so white there’s no air to breathe?
"Blue skin," the painter thinks,
Mary's face pooling beneath his brush.
An angel caresses his back until feathers fret
and knot beneath his skin, wanting out.
Going, going, goneGoing, going, goneGoing, going, gone3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Three dollars, three fifty, four, the bristles
of Daddy's hairbrush, a handful of porcupine quills
rough as his unshaven face. In the trees,
moths roost like hens, their wings so still
as though Daddy had painted them.
The auctioneer, his black felt hat drooping
with the heat, strides across the snow of their wings,
Daddy's wristwatch nesting
in the palm of his hand, a raven. "Nevermore,"
Daddy would read to us. "Never again,"
Mama said bundling up Daddy's things with prickly twine.
He painted everything: house, barn, yearlings, tractor. "Sold,"
yells the auctioneer, a weathercock in his arms,
wings rough as the hides of Daddy's painted calves.
"Death is too smooth to paint," Daddy said.
But the faster he painted, the faster he died.
I cut the bristles from his brushes,
but he simply tied horsetail hairs to sticks.
Daddy even painted himself, skin translucent as moth wings.
I would sit on his lap. "Paint me, "I would ask,
patting his stubble until my hand stung.
ExhaustionExhaustionExhaustion3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wake, swollen with noon heat.
Half dressed, I stumble,
elbows and toes catching
on the clawed feet of chairs,
the blunt holes of open cupboards.
I sometimes forget my name.
In the kitchen, I pepper the rice
instead of salt. Black flecks surface
in the boiling water,
sea turtles migrating.
If I knew where you went,
I would follow. But all you left behind
was an old sweater, an empty notebook,
complete and infinite
as the space around a closed fist.
FallingFallingFalling2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The body is weightless,
bones hollow as flutes.
They sing startled crescendos
beneath the world distant and harmless for once,
a map of what was.
"Here lie monsters," they warned.
Here lie creatures luminous, grotesque, incandescent
beyond anything you might know.
DullDullDull3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Your voice falters,
your hands chopping
cauliflower, parsley, grace.
Saint Theresa felt the love of God as an arrow.
You don't know what to say.
Adomni Christos, her stigmata is an open mouth,
articulate with blood.
"We could try ...." you start to say,
the knife slips, a pale bloodless cut.
"Let me see," I ask, even though
there is nothing I can do.
This thing that has caught us
is dull not sharp.
StoriesStoriesStories3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Green pills, yellow pills, white pills. I wonder if they color code the pills to match the malady, green to soothe, yellow to wake, white to purify evil thoughts, black like ravens who peck and caw, Jezebel's bones, sodden red tulips, dogs lapping, tongues so black, black holes that like eating novas and girls like me that just happen to see the testifying of bricks. "Here someone was murdered", fickle neurons, scandalized hieroglyphs of blood, constellations of wolves such bloody tongued dogs.
"Open," the nurse says checking to see if I have swallowed her pills. I always do hoping such sacred behavior will loosen me of this place. If I promise to believe everything they say? But Nurse Mary is quite contrary, maiden's breath grows in her garden, clouds of crushed stems, pollen and powder. Maybe she sees the wolf. My flamingoes feel the unease of rhyming couplets and badly played croquet. What would Alice do? What would the Duchess do? What happened to Jack and Jill after they s
Serendipity and SnowfallI am la vie en rose,Serendipity and Snowfall2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a newborn with as many mini bones in my body as possibilities.
I am potential waiting to be tapped into.
I am a spectrum of light,
serenity in the symmetry of a snowflake.
I come veiled in lace from everlasting love's womb with my budding,
goose-flesh tucked tenderly underneath.
I spread my spirit wide,
outstretching my feather-tips &,
supplicated by twizzles,
I catch my ballerina's foot & fly.
In these fleeting,
finite moments of ubermensch suspension in multiple salchows comes clairvoyance,
a kindness beyond the absolution of mundane minds.
With the key to perfection being repetition,
I pray you watch me as I molt my flaws away under the wondrous,
I shall soar,
from my axel I shall spiral sublimely on the outskirts of onlookers' smiles-
as well as my own,
& I shall skimpily,
glide through the snowflake strata unto the star-studded shangri-la.
I find my freedom in a winter only world.
Let me lease into my
Marie AntoinetteMarie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
They gave me shoes, velvet heels that spun like windmills,
dribbles of satin, laces gossamer as imagined spider threads.
They designed me shoes to be orchids, bees drowsed around my feet. I give them names.
But they took my language, words shaped in my own tongue,
familiar as milk and bed.
The language they gave me, I never exactly knew what the words meant.
I pouted, smiled, fluttered my eyelashes until they were hummingbirds.
They murmured of people starving, bakeries hollow of flour,
echoes of the rights of the man. But they said not to worry. Silly things.
So we dressed as shepherdess, lambs washed until they were pillows.
Our crooks hooked the sun. They gave me extravagant pastries,
almond, cherry palaces in my mouth. I could not shape the names.
Then they showed me the cards that were circulating of me, the crowds howled when they saw them.
My face was a false moon on some other body.
This body was on all fours, someone thrusting inside into it.
I heard other wor
Margaret Pole 1541Margaret Pole 1541Margaret Pole 15412 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She refused to lay her head on the executer’s block quietly.
Instead she ran screaming, clawing, knowing it would happen anyway.
It took 11 swings of the executor’s ax to behead her.
Her sin was to support Catherine first wife of Henry the 8th.
A silly thing to us, he simply wanted to marry another woman.
When I first died I was four, an operating table.
With the swiftness of a falling ax, they opened my rib cage,
felt my heart even though it lacked passion.
17 children went on the table that week, 11 died.
I lived in a jungle of IV tubes,
I lived in an oxygen tank, the luminous belly of a jelly fish, no working brain.
My mother noticed piles of rotting food trays outside my room.
Pears swollen until they might give birth.
Meat blossoming with green as though swarms of moths were slumbering on them.
The nurses didn’t bother to suit up to enter my private plastic bellows of a belly.
The air rippled around me with each breath as though the universe fe
Poem: ShakingShakingPoem: Shaking3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Lying, content and fine
I find myself yearning for more time
With age differences and time as an enemy
My mind and body shake
While my heart and soul call for the lost
Times are tough and hearts are broken
In a shaking world, where it all falls apart.
Poem: Hold OnHold OnPoem: Hold On3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I heard you crying last night
Did you stop trying last night?
You scream there is nothing left
You say there is nothing inside
You used to fly up so high
But you fell to pieces in the sky
You let go of your faith
And threw away your dreams
Try and find something left for us
I'll turn the lights out
Sleep for tonight
I have to leave,
You have to face this alone
You need to build your strength
You lost faith in me
And gave up
You know there is nothing
Left of us
You say it's too late
And nothing hurts
The feelings will come
And some will burn
But some will heal
If you keep strong
You won't hurt anymore
You can lay in the grass
And feel the sun
If you'll just wait for one
Keep shining darling
It's never too late
To turn your life around
Even if only for a day
You can reinvent yourself
And become someone new
Live a different life
And dry off your eyes
Just keep smiling,
I promise you it's not all gone
There is light at the end
All you have to do is hold on
Vie NoirYou were the promise of regret,Vie Noir3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
destiny wrapped in an egg shell,
something that temperance would not allow.
And you looked at me with cloudy eyes,
sipping your excuses while choking on tomorrow.
(We were the privileged few that God chose to endure the hopeless)
And you cursed my name while confessing every lie.
My borders grew as you clawed for the limits of absolution.
(We were the privileged few whose skin was hard to pierce)
And you loaded that gun with false bravado and ill intent.
The world was watching as you aimed it at the future.
(We were the privileged few who never forget to empty the chamber)
And you stared into the nothing, hoping to find me there
To Mix Gasoline and MatchesHer solar scars were aching for the aquafina kiss of relief.To Mix Gasoline and Matches5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
But who among them would soothe her charcoal freckles?
Who withheld the capacity to repair such a scorched surface?
He said it like it was the first rule of life,
like it should be so fucking obvious.
She clasped singed vocal-chords,
tattooing questions into chest crevices.
Stifled lightning ignited organs,
highlighting silenced thoughts with neon importance.
The thunder rumbled through her pores,
infiltrating the epidermis,
seeking her innards.
She felt it shivering beneath her bones,
whispering within her ribs.
It spoke of the culpable, the guilty.
A fork-tongued reminder spewing honesty.
"Ignore the ashes, Pyro Girl.
that once they've bathed in flame,
people all look the same."
I only pray you're able to stare d
SacramentSacramentSacrament3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Her belly hangs full and heavy, a sack of potatoes.
The painter's wife grabs at a pew to steady herself when she stands.
The priest glares, his vestments white, the words:
"Fornication, serpent's tooth and Whore of Babylon"
lie like uncoiled strings inside his mouth. He knows,
she will drag them down to sin, her mouth a peddler's pack
filled with combs, bodkins and prickly heresy.
"Eat and you shall become as gods." But Ann only smiles.
The knife unfolds like a bird's wing. When she cuts her palms,
the Xs are red cross stitches.
"Drink and it will become wine," she says and it does.
The angels napping in the church eaves wake.
They remember Mary's blood. That is where it began.
They lapped it like cats.
Ann spins graceful despite her bulk.
Miriam the sister of Moses danced with the timbrel
when she saw the Egyptians fall into the ocean,
horse, rider and spear. They could not hurt her anymore.
She raises her arms above her head and laughs.
WatchingWatchingWatching3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I watch you again
and again as though
you are demonstrating
resuscitation ... resurrection,
pushing air back into
dying lungs, the needle
sliding so slowly
into your skin, your
body into mine.
Paradésio en tierre.
"A fuckin' perfect high, man."
My body is imperfect,
an euphoria balanced
on a pause, the pressure
of mouth on a breast,
between a thigh. They say
I should save you.
But how can I? When all
I can offer is an
earth on earth.
The Midnight InheritanceAll I had was the waxing gibbousThe Midnight Inheritance3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
admiring the tilt of my chin
as I played with one shower-fresh curl
still perfectly corkscrewed
and lightly perfumed.
What strange relief,
watching the advancing rain,
a walking wall of grey
that made the mountains tip their heads back,
to drink that midnight wine.
Before the storm could eat the moon
and whisper rumors to my windows closed,
I watched how Cassiopeia
alighted on my reflection.
Seven stars graced my brow like a garland.
I felt my heart swell like a myth,
my breathing hushed as I found myself anointed.
When the last bead of water
rolled down the small of my back,
the sky released her breath,
and washed away the promise of a crown.
Bad Mouth Habitsi.Bad Mouth Habits4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I carry God around in my lip like he's chew,
spitting his name out in poems like potholes,
I make everything a simile
for the hold he has on me.
When it comes to men,
I've the appetite of a Roman housewife,
I take, I taste, I tear,
swallow and then then toss up
for the next course.
I don't kiss anyone so dearly
as the glass pipe bridged between lips
Jameson, you're an Irish Lad,
a young ram of bucking proportions,
I let you rattle around my mouth
til I herd you in
Sometimes there's nothing so sweet
as the jack-hammer of angry words
or the steel trap clamp of silence.
I exercise my oral rights in
This Is Me, Confused Yet?Im confused.This Is Me, Confused Yet?3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My thoughts contradict themselves.
I love you.
I hate you.
Life and death.
Blood and knives.
I love you.
I hate you.
Joy and sorrow.
I love you.
I hate you.
Pained then numbed.
Breathe in and take my breath away.
I love you.
I hate you.
Fight and surrender.
care and don't.
Fear and be fearless.
I love you.
I hate you.
This is me,confused yet?
Vertebraewe dressed ourVertebrae2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
& bone crowns
spitting static through
our buzzing t.v. teeth
you're a silent migraine:
[& i want to be something
too pristine to
MineQueen Mab spellbinds the brain into feverMine3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
overheating sleeping lovers.
Dance on, with your feet in silk slippers,
send him no visions of her.
See how he reaches as though she is there,
calling her name when I lay right here?
Burn with a smile in your sleep.
TransientThe once sanguine walls—Transient3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
broken and collapsed into wings
—have become grey, pinned still, within a desolate birdcage.
Migratory birdsong hatched from our birth place, from
scuff marks and peeled paint, where cross-legged lovers once sat,
where lips fed souls, and fingers clasped time tightly.
Time escaped on the winds we breathed;
its cold chill upon our cheeks,
our eyes closed to the changing seasons.
But lights shine through to eyes pressed closed,
and hearts know what we wish they didn't.
I carved your name along my rib, an epitaph,
and whispered safe journeys to you, weeping
your departure from winter grounds.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved.
caring for p(o)etsscribbling down vicious verses oncaring for p(o)ets2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
tissue napkins while seated at
the corner of a sidewalk cafe is
about as romantic, raw and
honest a p(o)et
-outside of the four corners of your bedpost-
if you've got that person dreading over
drafts and dreams on end
-of you, for you-
consider yourself a new owner
it is now time to
tame this p(o)et's perverse mane
you've got your hands on
a fragile purebred
which can be very tricky for
I miss you, and i can't say i'm sorryI miss you3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because these slender, spider fingers
ache to trace the curved letters of your name tag,
emily. i notice you write everything in caps.
( have i ever told you
how much i enjoy saying your name, -EMILY. )
you are screaming to the world, quietly.
but we, we are mid-morning whispers
over stale, back room coffee,
silent eyes, and window pane love.
these hearts were runaways once;
hitchhikers on a trail to nowhere.
you shared pieces of yourself with me then,
emily, between beats and bathroom stalls.
you were a gargoyle under the heat
of july summer. evenings were our playground;
rose garden beasts lingering in feverish night.