HereFour year old Keaton gripped a green crayon in his tiny fist, pressing it hard against the paper. His parents fought beneath the sound of the tv in the background. Scribbling in rhythmic circles, he furrowed his brow. His mother came into the room, a dishtowel in her hands.Here6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What are you drawing, Keaton?" Her voice had the tremble of someone forcing their words to sound happy.
"Money," he said, then glanced up.
She came closer, examining the pages scattered around him from behind. All contained a dollar, done again and again in various sizes.
"You've drawn a lot of it."
"Yeah," he said, "we need a lot, so we can be happy."
She put a hand to her lips, standing there, then bent down beside him. "Money can't make us happy, Keaton."
"I am going to draw so much that you and daddy never fight again."
His mother sighed, putting a hand to her forehead, and was silent for a moment as he continued to color in green bill
ScaredShe extended her hand and reached for the door. Her body trembled violently in fear.Scared2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Gently, she wrapped her fingers around the brass knob.
It was time to face the day.
Dirty LaundryLoading up the washing machine, and my mind is sprawling around in several destinations far from this cramped room. I spritz my clothes- no, actually I drench them with that spray- the kind that's supposed to work miracles on any stain before the affect fabric even goes in the washer. This was my favorite shirt. My favorite shirt. I'm just not thinking today, am I?Dirty Laundry5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The cotton feels good on my fingers, even though I'm stuffing it roughly into the machine. And all the towels...I didn't learn it until I'd moved out, but Mom was right: washing towels and clothes in the same load led to an outright ungodly amount of lint stuck in everything. I pause. Do I really want to do two separate loads?
Yeah, why not? Water begins to fill up, and I'm dousing it with that lovely detergent that smells so good and pure.
I sit down opposite the machine and just stare at it for a while. It rumbles pleasantly, numbly, and my mind drifts. What a nice sound, surely one could just meditate with i
She Was a Stormcloudshe was a stormcloud, and you loved her,She Was a Stormcloud4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the two of you took walks and wore
nothing but promises,
broken chains and
strands of pinkish pearls.
and the two of you kissed under trees that attracted silver lightning
(metal branches scraped the sky, and you, always faithful,
tipped your coat over her head to keep her dry.)
but she never stayed that way.
in an instant, she had whirled into the rain
and danced without clothes,
and she left you
with the pain of frostbite on your naked skin
where you trusted her to kiss you warm,
and you thought you heard her laughter
when the sun came out again the next day,
and the next.
she was a stormcloud, and you loved her,
and you didn't know it at the time but
(and they never
Tumbling Down He said he was smart enough to be a Mensa member. She asked what that was. David said it was a group of people who took a test and were admitted to Mensa only if they tested as geniuses. Susanne just looked him, not entirely surpised and not entirely convinced David was right about that. Without knowing, and in light of what David did or didn't do for a living, Susanne went back to reading a novel she picked up on her weekly trips to the library.Tumbling Down5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Susanne and David had arguments now about those novels she read. She read everything from bestsellers to older classics, including children's books (she had no children) and non-fiction about fiction.
David insisted that reading any fiction was a waste of time.
"Why?" Susanne asked.
"Because fiction doesn't teach anyone anything," David said.
Susanne put her current
Get upHear me read itGet up3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She sat on the edge of her bed staring at the floor. Within her scope of vision there were many things she could look at. Many things to think about and process. There was a slate blouse that had wilted at the bottom of her bed, or her pale foot placed beside it. The foot looked unnatural there, with no pressure to grip it to the ground it looked unbelonging, like a cast aside prop. Yet she did not look, or think, or notice.
She just stared, blindly, for an hour, her thoughts were obnoxious and churned the paltry paste of self-disgust in her heart muscle, but they were relatively quiet as she repeated over and over in the forefront of her subconscious "Time to get up."
Time to get up. It was time to get up. It was time to get up and get on with her life. It was time to get a life. It was time. It was time to get up.
Unprovoked tears swelled and scattered loosely amid this trail of thought. She kept going, over and over, It
a Physicist's diary[April 17] Maria is getting sicker; tuberculosis is washing her life away day after day, but all the beauty of this World still shines in the depths those tormented eyes. I'm not as strong as she is, I can't bear my impotence. As a scientist once I used to think that the matter had no secrets I couldn't unveil: "Oh, how fool I was... miserable small ant!".a Physicist's diary2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
[May 10] The physician has suggested a period of rest on the mountain. Two or three months should be enough, then we will back home and he will visit her again. While telling this, he has looked me shaking his head almost imperceptibly. I hate him with all my heart, for that motion and for he can't save her; I hate God, in which in the past I didn't believe at all and now I need so much to have a guilty... and I hate myself.
[May 22] We took a nice Chalet in Courmayeur with a marvelous view of the landscape and the night sky for me and rarefied air so precious for my bride. There's something no honest man can deny about Italy: this c
The DancerHear me read itThe Dancer3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The night I met Jessie she was beautiful. She swayed to the almost intolerably loud music as if her bones were made of it. She was something unknown. I remember the sharp cut of her hair had run across her cheek, parallel to her carved-out cheekbone. It looked like a wig, I wanted to touch it. I wanted to touch her, and see if she felt like plastic. Who could ever believe that someone so perfect could be so real. I regret that. I regret doubting her reality.
Eventually she bought me a drink; she called it an Appleté but trapped in the pulsating fuchsia lights of the club it looked purple. It tasted like jealousy; sour and eye watering. When I told her this she laughed a little, apparently she'd heard that one before. I drank it anyway. I wanted to slot into my assigned role in her fantastical world.
We talked a little. She served other men drinks. The ones in the shadows could have been my reflection. It was confusing. The
A cappellaMy mother, a famous classical violinist in her day, was on her deathbed and I didn't care. She was bedridden by the usual suspects, old age and a fall, and had been for many months when they called me. "Come see her," they said. "She'll pass on soon." They told me the nurses played Tchaikovsky, her favorite.A cappella6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"No," I said, and hung up the phone, slamming it against the wall, the cord jerking about in a wild dance. I glared at my CD player, as though it would suddenly come to life with violin concertos, then grabbed my coat, and left the house.
The critics never tired of saying she was passionate, that's what always got me. I remember going to her concerts; it was true, she had the most intense face, and her rigid body echoed the tension and frenzy of the music she loved to play. When she practiced, nothing could shake her from scales climbing, climbing, climbing. As a child, I always imag
Mother of Mine"i have loved you plenty"Mother of Mine2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she screamed as she slipped
away across the street, across the state,
across the country we spent hours loving,
sparklers in our hands and her lips by my ear.
"never forget where you come from."
well mom where i come from
they love you just enough to give you hope
and then they leave you
mom where i come from
hope is a curse because it keeps you from
cutting too deep at night,
it keeps the pills in the bottle and the
knife out of your veins,
sometimes the only thing that keeps you from
what you really want,
it's the only thing stronger than your need to
hurt, now tell me
how can you be okay with it when i scream
"let me die,"
how is it okay for me to hurt while
you hope that
whenif i make it through
i'll somehow still remember who you are
and that once upon a time
i loved you.
i remember where i came from.
a womb poisoned with fertility hormones and
reese's cups and hopes that this one
won't come ou
Once Upon This WorldOnce upon this world, I was asleep. Asleep and content, blissful unawareness had overtaken me and I loved it. Once upon this world I saw what I wanted, however briefly, it was no less mine. Once upon this world, there was nothing that could make me happier than time cast into oblivion carelessly abandoned in the ether. Once upon this world, I woke up.Once Upon This World3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
...and so i gave you thisyou asked me for a poem....and so i gave you this3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes i fall in love with words
and wish that words
would fall for me.
you want a poem? how about the darkness of the morning
when the sun still rubs the night from his eyes,
the dew on the grass and how your feet jump from the itch.
how about the laughter of a creek or the roar of the ocean,
there, that's a poem.
you want a poem?
ask me about watermelon kisses
or how a blackberry whispers love to the backs of my teeth.
ask me how my lips know every curve of my knees
and my spine knows the unyielding wall,
ask me about sunsets and the giants who paint them,
who gave the frog his croak, and why,
why the ravens never seem to cackle
on those dark and maddening nights.
how about the way the muse and i do things
that make her a saint and i a sinner?
how about the soft hiss of my breath when my mouth falls open,
the crust that sleeps in my eyes until i scrape it away.
this too is a poem.
you asked for a poem?
the way honey drips off a spoon,
Carving Treesonce i spoke to the balding forest,Carving Trees2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
hushhushhush cried the wind and he
knifed through my jacket
like flames lick ice like
lovers find reasons to peel off clothes,
i stroked the branches
of the sycamore and
felt its long, smooth trunk and the letters
scraped dreamily in the bark, and
let someone else grow up with our regrets,
let our names stretch and bend
and remind us
that once upon a time we didn't cringe at
warm wet breath on the
backs of necks,
at least i was innocent as i
lumbered back and forth over frozen ground
like some lost and lonely stormcloud,
like some flame guttering before dying out,
at least i was as many cupfuls of insanity as i could swallow
before my stomach
tricked my brain tricked my heart into thinking
"this is all okay,
(and at least my name is not expanding
somewhere in a forest,
carved lazily into trees that
grow and grow in spite of
all their broken love.)
palsied branches and the forest and the moon
those burning nights in parisif paris is easy, then easythose burning nights in paris2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is the way i like my love.
there are souls folded into cafe corners,
there are lives we'd like to taste and try on.
(whose empty eyes? whose wrists are these?)
and they will beg of you
"oublie moi, chers amis."
and you will forget them.
paris is easy.
i have probed her underbelly,
felt the warm rumble of the coming rain, and
she has shown me her metropolitan drunkards,
stray cats and
women of the night:
the girls who slither through back doors,
(a feather lost floats softly,
kisses the ground and blows away.
"c'est la vie," she croaks,
and in her voice i hear diamonds,
wine bottles and a hundred
the wind that snakes between the legs of
the eiffel tower
has whispered wicked words to me,
she has teased the braille on my tongue and i
learned to read the love in a pain au chocolat, le foie gras,
le vin blanc.
i have learned that pastry chefs
are the worst kind of
paris has been my lover. i have traced
I Am Someone To HateDo you know who I am? Do you think that my soul is calm as you say? A tame mare you can bridle. A sight for eyes that searched too long? Another pretty face, to recall at the late hours of the night?I Am Someone To Hate3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
No. I am no princess from your fairy tales. I am no damsel in your accursed, grey, towers.
No. I am nothing like it.
I am the chill down your spine, colder than the winter months. I am the monster under your bed, naught but pale bones and empty eyes. I am the ghost that haunts you, dead and hungry for more death. I am all the things you hide from. I am something to fear. Something to hate.
I am the force behind the dark that keeps you awake. The one that keeps you still as you pray to god that it passes and doesn’t see you. The next time you call me beautiful think of every shadow that has touched you in your dreams.
Run from me, boy. Forget you ever saw me. Lie down and hate the day you heard my name.
I am no calmer than the height of the storm. The raging winds have
with a whisperthis is how we rule the world,with a whisper3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the forgotten, lobotom-ised,
of a long lost dystopast.
not with a SHOUT,
we do not argue.
we do not even unsheath
we whisper in your children's ears
the memories of what should have been.
the life we all crave.
the death we all crave.
WE do not discriminate
our opinions onto others
pressing the side of the blade
down onto the flesh
all are bitten
with the fever of our belief.
this is how we rule the world,
we tell stories,
we incite a generation
with their own scar/r/ed lungs
with a whisper.
from the blazing pages...because you listenedfrom the blazing pages...4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
at the tip of the stair,
the phonograph coughed its secrets
grew up thinking
that pretty women needed saved,
that apples were poisoned and
knights rode into sunsets without getting burned.
but the first one you held
taught you that
magic mirrors never tell them they're beautiful,
and you saw the spindle-scratches on her arms
(because princes have roaming hearts, and they
stay a little while and then
and the one you married wouldn't touch you
"i'm a golden egg, not a tiny pea,"
and you said it didn't matter
but she broke the beanstalk and sent you
and your daughter told you
"straw is straw, and
no matter how i spin it
i will still wear rags."
and when she kicked as you sized her for a
you thought that maybe
some are beyond your help.
then your son became a knight with sunset burns,
and you realized that death does not wear a cloak
because he is beautiful and so
SapplingBack in preschool the boys would always tease me.Sappling6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"You're a girl."
"You can't do anything."
Defiantly I would cry back, "Yes I can!" And they'd laugh at me.
The sad part?
They weren't the only ones.
In elementary school my teacher would always look at me in the same, tired fashion.
"Why didn't you do your homework?"
"Why aren't you doing anything?"
My reply would always be this:
"I was told I'm stupid and can't do anything."
Again, this wouldn't be the last time.
Middle school was always a barrel full of monkeys and fun.
Once again it was boy trouble.
They were all so handsome, so hot, so sexy, etc.
But did they find me attractive?
"You're flat chested."
"You're teeth are crooked."
"Your friend looks better than you."
Does that answer your question?
My friends would console me through my tears.
"Boys are just stupid."
Then explain why this keeps happening.
Before high school, over the summer, it was as if I'd been touched by magic.
My once iron-board chest seemed to gr
Daddy's Little GirlAlexandria was never a patient woman. No matter the situation she never wanted to be kept waiting. Especially when something concerned her precious little girl, Maria. Her little girl was late coming out of school, she had watched the other children stream out for a good ten minutes now. Not even the crisp spring air that caressed her body could assuage her right now. Whoever or whatever was keeping her little girl was going to face hell. She waited for a few more minutes before walking up to the front door, ready to march in and drag Maria out herself. She swung the door inward and was met with a small force colliding with her midsection alongside a muffled yelp.Daddy's Little Girl5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Alex looked down and was met with the sight of curly onyx locks. Chocolate eyes looked up at her accompanied by a set of white teeth with a tooth missing up front. She knelt down and hugged her daughter.
"Hey there baby. You know better than to keep me waiting like that." She took her daughter's hand and walked he
Read Any Good Books Lately?I saw you yesterdayRead Any Good Books Lately?2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
For the first time...
In a long time.
I saw you from far away
And my heart
Did that thing
That they talk about in Disney movies.
Then when you came over
You smiled that smile
That makes me want to hate you
Because I know you can't be mine.
Not yet, anyway.
And when you hugged me
Like it was nothing
My dad's back was turned.
You didn't think anything of it
Because you didn't know
The clandestine conversations
That scared them and haunted me
From the last time I saw you.
But I made sure
His back was turned.
If it hadn't been,
I don't know what
I would've done.
Why did you risk it all?
But despite my father
And despite your father,
I want to plan a dream with you.
Let's plan a dream,
Much like you would plan
A road trip;
We are both well aware
Of the destination,
But the intricate back roads
That we will use
Are currently undefined.
The conversation won't lull,
It never does with you.
When we aren't singing those songs
That nobody pays at
MutantHear me read itMutant3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am a mutant.
| My skin does not sallow in the sun
and I do not blush jaundice through my cheeks.
| I do not have extra fingers, or toes -
although my spine;
it boasts an ironic vertebrae,
it is a long tally of the hearts I have broken
and when I straighten my spine the bones Pop out of place.
I am out of place.
| I do not have a super power,
I lack exceptionality in all but my ordinariness.
| there is a vengeful bacteria feasting -
on my shoulder places;
ImmortalImmortalImmortal2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Soft-spoken evidence, an opaque forthcoming,
Day after day, night after night.
Subsistence of an eternal, O so solitary being,
Roaming the air, scavenging an aeonian blight.
Longing for an ending to this perpetual state,
Hollowed, yet stained existence who knows no fatality,
Waiting for the bedding of oneself in the arms of faith,
The answer to this never-ending tragedy.
Come to me. Come to me, dear apogee.
Carry me to my kin, my darling souls with whom I parted ways.
For so long, the torment, the agony.
Lethality, I beg you to take me, I pray.
My sorrowful mind knows no rest,
A storm of imagery, a picturesque collision of souvenirs.
With this curse I once believed I was blessed,
Until my heart desired no more than the soft sting of a spear.
Baby Teeth Vina liques:Baby Teeth3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
every summer, when the door groans
open and shuts, unwillingly, in the fall
an abscess is opened, and closes
with uncomfortable contortions.
Carpe diem, just for the scraped white
on some teeth, like the wear
on this carpet, from fingers
as buttery as sin, or from the padded
footsteps of children, who
to injure; sixties décor
for fifties ambitions,
like blonde hair and sharp heels on the moon,
like the seer and the robotic mind-reader.
Solus ipse, for crowds
and background checks, for the
botox-preserved summer, for the challenge
Mea culpa, for the uninvited and
the untolerated, like sour soap for bacteria
on the breath, or a grab for unwanted organs:
appendix, tonsils, foreskin.
Yellow onceThat's the thing isn't it? Just the thing. Anytime, anywhere, any small biting coincidence. Or just some conclusion after a long series of mistakes, and words you shouldn't have said. And I get to think about that through the incessant buzz of everything in every corner of this goddamn place while Mary turns on taps and turns off taps and pitter-patters around the wet floor square we call a bathroom. And I bite down on my tongue so I don't snap at her.Yellow once5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I love her, sure. But god, god, sometimes. Sometimes I hate her.
She doesn't answer, she's turning on taps. She's picking things up and putting them down and focusing very hard on the mirror.
I close my eyes and grit my teeth. She walks by me, past the bed, and I watch her while she peers through the blinds. There are flies. Fly paper strips doing nothing to stop them. Traps never seem to work. I've never seen a mouse in a mouse trap other than on the TV. I've seen mice walk right round it and back into its