all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio.
i want to remember
the rumbling piano baritones
high notes like hailstones--your hands
running soundless scales.
i want the summer seas
the vineyard overlook, the olive
trees and sunwarmed coasts.
we filled the empty pages
with whole notes and halftones,
oceans and lovesongs.
we lived, we live
inkstained and drowning
through nights thick with words
and days shot with sound.
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?summergirl1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are crowthroated and tumbling
through the aspen grove
hair on fire with sunrise, lungs
full of sky.
eyelashes like wildflowers
and every morning brings
a new spray of freckles
and a sharper curve to your collarbones.
the cornfields hold no shadows
for your lighthouse eyes
and there are no endings in that
ii. you have grown
autumn finds you with broken ankles
leaning on an oak branch
and watching the skies.
crow to sparrow--you are quiet.
summergirl, there is peace in silence,
fallen antlers in your hands.
you will come to mourn your deer.
keep them close.
iii. by winter you have paled,
and like the streams
your eyes have frosted over.
you feel the chill--
there is no need for sight.
suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don'tsuffocation keep1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
no, at best
we sing in sign language:
the hushed glances, the solidity
of shoulder blades
let's leave the choking crowds
and chase out somewhere
where the wind blows
wide and rich--
where the knotted songs in your
to take these beartrap ribs
and let us
you need to have a plan...so here's toyou need to have a plan...8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
to some forgotten shore.
2. fall desperately in love with
i. the ocean
ii. the sky
iii. the honey sunrise and
iv. the steelgray winter dawn.
soul-deep into the water and
4a. search out the requisite words
i. from behind white and blue curtains
ii. and underneath clam shells
iii. and in the wakes of fishing boats, and
4b. pluck them from the ceaseless
scrawls of sunlight
against the slopes of waves.
5. make time for
ii. and other
syracuseListen to the audio version for the full effect, pretty please.syracuse1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
cloudshot sky like an oil painting and i am watching the
darling, i will swim for you
and swallow every whitecap.
i will pluck myself a coat of pelican wings,
sew them up with salt and spray--
become icarus for you.
you are calling me across the waves, love--
but you pull against the ache
in my bones, the hollow--
the clawing out for unseen sunsets and unturned tides.
i hear you, love
give me time.
i will always listen.
lotusshe was newness, heart wholelotus10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and unblemished, bones
whispering promises and
fresh limbed innocence.
when life bent her, gritty
and silted, she bathed her
soul in minute puddles
and whispered comfort
to the tears of her bones.
where others hardened,
she split herself, spilling
heart fragments and
leaving the bitter seed
of hurt buried beneath
a concrete landfill--
devoid of food
it could not grow.
stretching, limbs taut
and ready, she flung
herself wide and wild
rebuilt her innocence
into a new kind of purity.
with thanks to salingerAudio version.with thanks to salinger11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
it's on those cold mornings
when you are nothing but indrawn breath
swirling and knitted up inside too-big
skin and weightless bones--
when the horizon arches up against
the half-thawed tendrils of sunrise
with golden teeth,
and smiling, begs--
it's on those cold mornings
when leaving is easiest.
the car will be cold, and you will
shiver, and the engine,
much too loud,
will smack of blasphemy
but you will find peace in the steady roll
of tarmac and the yellowing light
spilling across it,
with dust motes kicked up and carried
like fish in the undertow.
when you come to that first
crossroads, it will shock you:
the way the decision hangs there
trembling and desperate--
but there are no right answers and you will not
hesitate. and each successive choice
will be made of its own accord,
and you will roll the windows down,
and draw down the scent of ear
north pacificAudio version thisaway.north pacific1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
icewater and tumblestone beaches, and i wonder, clifftop,
if the fog tastes like forest.
the ocean carves its histories
in the driftwood--creation stories and
lullabyes worn smooth,
bleached to a polish.
it might be sand shifting but maybe--
maybe i can feel the whalesong,
low and deep
thrumming in the hollow spaces of my bones.
i envy the seabirds
who have more room to feel.
with thanks to frost Now with a reading.with thanks to frost7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
two roads diverged in a soulless dawn
and you pull over,
idling on the shoulder of route 50.
it's a polaroid morning and
the world is as grainy
as your eyes,
and one million miles
is not far enough.
it plays back, filmstrip,
blurred along the length of
and here you are:
facing a choice between
this loosejointed, hollowbodied
this is what
TransientThe once sanguine walls—Transient2 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.
ThrownBones heapedThrown1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
like uncaught bonfires.
Crash lander, skyborn,
splintered like frostbitten stones,
like trees fallen deep
from the snow line.
Eulogy of a man that was,
and the name of his lover written
in femurs, vertebrae and ribs,
waiting for the thaw,
the salmon and the sea.
All memories carried by wolves
to their starving cubs.
Open skull for the rainfall
and the birds.
The landscape of skin
imprinted on the ground.
A fading map
with footstep borders
in the tide of time.
amorphouscontoured shadowsamorphous1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
slipping inside the
choking on the
chemical †sp † ill
gnarled beak &
why pitted teeth
cratered stars but the
all the dreams from
Lullabyborn from damp earth and oceansoul,Lullaby1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
her sparrowbones sway in the wind
—too light to hold herself down: the unbearable
weightlessness of her own actions.
she digs her feet into the dirt,
hollowing out the pores, so her mother can breathe;
ash spews up from the earth’s core, shimmers
incandescent like stardust in the last rays of light.
† † † † † † † † † † oh, how mother mourns her empty womb:
everything dies, everything dies
in oil-spun fibers and oxygen-starved epithelium.
she holds herself down, presses her fingers into flesh
and curls inside herself, like a seed
and she welcomes it, the sleep that comes:
† † † † † † † † † † oh, how it sweeps over her like a deathblanket.
sweet whispers from her roots, how they dig
deep into the earth.
her veins grow stiff and brittle as they mature,
sloughing her dead cells in an effort to cleanse,
weathering away until spring.
it rains, it rains,
† † † † † † † † † †
into the deepAudio version over thisaway.into the deep1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the world will crumble, darling, but we will watch the stars--
watch the coasts curl up at the edges and the foam-slick sea drag them under
and history will bloom in brass and copper nebulas,
untainted by the tortured earth and its pleading
flecks of ash below.
but we will watch the stars
watch the galaxy unwind, spirals stringing out
the taste of ozone and plasticities.
the heaving sea will recede--the glaciers
pour their hearts out
the dunes rise up to the sated horizon.
will watch the stars.
and the hungering infernos hold no sympathy.
lightsdon't be fooled--lights1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
the sky is not static.
there is an infinity between any
infinite hex codes
between the bounds of the spectrum--
this is the great secret of the universe, this
cosmic light show
we can't detect--
the changes too small for our
perhaps there is someone out there--someone else
even if he cannot see.
is not my blue--perhaps it all comes down
to the chemicals
the spin of individual molecules that all add up to become
our own blue.
maybe it's all on us.
the cosmos isn't trying because, really--
if i were the cosmos
i would have better things to do.
maybe there is something
in our ability to overanalyze
and oversimplify--our ability
to realize we know nothing
and try again, anyway.
they get married without a wedding cake-can you hold it againstóthey get married without a wedding cake-1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
a sycophantic apparition in the daylight
you've got patent leather heels toeing through the ash
he's a blight in the night with sky stained black
ink and glass slashed in the middle of a map
in the pouring rain
waiting for the call
where there's blood there is love in a
casket or a house that was a museum before
and a store or a bed and breakfast
in the guise of a business arrangement
instead of splendid cavalier
he's your romeo and you're his new perspective
wrapped in contract wax and gauzy continuity
[ murmur how to pick a lock, steal a car †
that her nails don't quite match her lipstick and ]
you cannot ignore
[ to make improvised incendiary weapons
out of matchsticks and petrol soaked rags ]
although you are made up
Isaiahdid you hope with me, Isaiah?Isaiah2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
or did I merely dream the days of our stand;
of red strings, of stardust,
of too-small hands & too-long hair,
& of the words, the words, the words
(the ones you had me
believe you were worth)
for it was you who said,
"go big or go home.
I will give you the world,
or nothing at all.
this, I promise to you."
so dear to me, the vowels & the verbs,
the air hissing through
your teeth: gateways
to a barren land
like wind through the trees,
like ghosts through the tombstones.
have you left me, Isaiah?
I travel north & farther north, still,
for humans do, subconsciously,
but you are nowhere to be found
except in the silence.
& never have I ever known
such a selfish, selfish boy,
would warm himself with my faith
then snuff it out
with no change
of light in his eyes
I am a cup, & your words
are not water, but dead earth.
& so you will always have
a part of me
did you love me, Isaiah?
for it was heartbreak
desert soulsociety sweetheart, you comedesert soul1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
with broom and holy water in hand
intent upon exorcising the contents of my closets
and sweeping out the dust of
my soul's a desert, darling,
and the sandstorms are unforgiving,
so spare your quiet cavalry.
some walls are best left standing, some graves
best left untilled.
The Garagei apologized because God was silent;The Garage11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
though we called His name,
His voice did not ring from the Heavens
or even tremble in the oil puddles
already quivering at our feet;
His hand did not descend to guide us
and you could never feel His love
when i promised it was there;
"is faith stupidity?" you asked me,
dragging a stick through one dark smear,
rainbows shifting on its surface;
gray clouds shifted;
i apologized because God was silent.
RiftTrains collide through a fist of hot snow. Her eyesRift10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and mine. Soot against the thick storm skin,
flashing metal and scraping bones, the earth
screams something primal. She looks away
and through the peppered sparks of fire
a silence prevails.
Quiet lips say too much. I follow spotted horses
to the meadow, the waterfall is broken, and
I see her mouth make fog. Lumps of coal
are stacked in the distance, making a hut.
I do not enter, the windows are tied to the sky
9am there was a rift in the evermore. They said
the sky belted open, stars wept plasma coffins,
and out of the dew she put one foot,
then the other. In her left hand there was a blue fig.
I could not see the other. The arctic sun set
and a desert sun rose.
Her hair was put back with paperclips, glimmering
in the cold light. I fell into a vat, watching
a thousand four hornets unnest from behind her. I felt high,
but sank deeper until I touched bottom. She pulled at me
Guardian"A day like today happens--maybe twice in a whole season."Guardian1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It's all hot sun and achingly blue sky, and you're sitting leonine on the hood of your battered pickup. I wish I could draw just to capture you like this--squinting into the horizon, one knee drawn up to rest your elbow on, hair windswept. I'd keep the white t-shirt and jeans, but I'd add wings: big, dusky gray things, relaxed and resting open on the windshield, pale underbellies to the sun. It'd fit, somehow, with you.
"Remember that big storm they had up north last week?"
"Yeah." I wouldn't have forgotten, not after the charts and scans you showed me. I only saw a mess of swirling colors like an end-of-the-day paint palette, but you saw sense in the chaos.
You ease off the truck and walk toward my white picket fence perch. "The wildflowers bloomed like all hell out by the lake." Resting your arms along the top beam, you gaze off into the distance for a minute longer before turning mischievous eyes my way. "Want to go see?"
Compendium1.Compendium8 months ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Pair of lovers:
the greyed doves perch,
an old married couple.
a bumblebee lands, graceless;
the flower droops.
The rain-swollen sky
bruised purple, and darkening:
work of angry gods.
a thousand midnight suns;
night becomes day.
yearning for raindrops
a window away.
weaving through fields—
meets the stained glass door—
Night sky, aglow:
yellow gleaming of the
an afternoon respite
by the lemon tree.
systemhe said that one day I,system1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
who have grown accustomed
to accumulating moons,
drawn like moths
to my Venus-brightness,
would meet my match.
he told me I would be
captured by the brilliance
of a star,
a Betelgeuse, a behemoth:
supergiant turned supernova turned
supermassive black hole.
he informed me, peeking out
from under my gravity,
his erratic elliptical orbit,
that one day I would be
and that it would be poetic justice.
tree, fiddler crabIt took days to hollow out the soft partstree, fiddler crab1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
of the trunk, dig out the tree-flesh and sap,
polish the raw wood so that when he sat,
there would be no splinters. He carved his name
into the side, like a blessing, a declaration
of good fortune, and stowed his forest inside.