summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?
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.
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.lovesong for sailorboy2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of ocea
the cure for everything is saltwaterand my voice is choked with pebblesthe cure for everything is saltwater2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and my veins are thick with ink
so i'll bleed out all my lovesongs
wash them down the kitchen sink
and i'll tell you that i'm leaving
and i'll flee this soulless town
for the silent sea is calling
and i'm not afraid to drown
and i'll search out quiet islands
let the blank horizons be
drench my soul in every ocean
sink my heart in every sea.
astronomerswhen we're togetherastronomers3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
dusk is containable; the moon in my palms
and the stars on your ceiling.
we lull the city to sleep
with our theories of life; my tongue curling
do you remember,
when Jupiter was a silver wick, lighting its countless moons?
you balanced a cigarette off your lips,
and I watched the vermillion flame burn life
as a newborn sun;
planets moulding and constellations snaked
above our eyes.
what it would be like to be curled
inside the embers creator and destroyer
so close to your lips.
Wildflowers, Imperfect BirdsI breathed your name like wildflowers under vast broken skies, in wide-open spaces. The wind blowing through them spoke of dew and dirt and petrichor, and there was sunlight on the ground like a mosaic patterned by god's own hands.Wildflowers, Imperfect Birds2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I said it like a monarch claiming new land: a declaration, a butterfly breath over old earth; like it was coffee on a warm morning with the sun in my eyes, interlacing with my lashes; like it was a dream; like it was a prayer like it was a miracle wrought of air and bone and body: you, in, out, in, out, in and in and in.
I cried it out like an earthquake between lip and lip, continents that don't quite fit: your name, a fault line that doesn't know how to apologize.
And I whispered it like it had grown nothing where there should've been feathers, no wings to fly it on, like my lips were the nest it would always call home.
So I breathed it,
And I whispered it,
And I said it,
And I sang it,
Like a castle; like a mirror; like it was the big bang and ever
MEi. I fell in love with a girl who catalogued darkness,ME3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sat in her room with the blinds closed and wrote down
187 ways it felt
in all of the different times she couldn't see.
My name was one of them,
#143, ash velvet, and I didn't know what she meant at the time
but the only description she wrote beneath it
was good night for stuffed animals
bad night for worn pillows.
And I'm sorry I made you dream of the rivers.
ii. I fell in love with a girl who never looked in the mirror
but dressed to perfection, somehow
in her blue skirt and black socks
white tennis shoes
and a smile crooked as the bottom side of Indiana
yeah, I fell in love with a girl
who could never quite get it straight but hey,
I've never been 100% straight either,
and the one corkscrew curl you have
opens me up like fine wine
each time I see you smile in that cracked bathroom mirror.
Makes me half-drunk,
iii. I fell in love with a girl who was depressed by Paris,
but loved Italy beca
you need to have a plan...so here's toyou need to have a plan...2 years 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
Astronauti.238,900 miles awayAstronaut3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the Earth gleams in the darkness.
A cat's eye, opalescent blue
flecked with terra verdant,
fifty-two cream colors
Under a heavy lid of night,
it glares. Angry.
As if to say to the Sun:
I was dreaming
of all the fish
in my seas.
As if to ask why
it had to be woken.
Thoughts are protozoan here;
with glass-thin skin
transparent as the first lie
he ever told as a child.
I didn't steal that candy bar.
He can see the mechanics,
They divide like dreams,
Whole and unbroken
as they tear apart. If
he could stretch far enough,
he could pop his home planet
like soap bubble.
he's too small
to make much
of a difference.
238,900 miles away,
there is a small click.
A tiny latch
as his 14-year-old daughter
slides her seatbelt
She's learning how to drive,
and how to feel a new kind of terror.
of collision. Of bone
or brick breaking,
bad days.on my bad days,bad days.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.
we are not a fairytalewe are not a fairytale.we are not a fairytale2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am not the strong lead with a heart of fire,
bones of steel, and eyes of vapid curiosity;
motivation seeping through
my every last intended action because
I was written this way
(the heroine falls only to rise again:
proverbial phoenix, burning out
because it is the cycle of my
life) and you, you are not
the beautiful travesty, perfectly composed
to strike me where I’m weak and
[almost]human, delicately woven
like the tapestry of my dismantling—
a subtle irony where somewhere, a writer
chuckles softly, understanding
we are blinder than church mice, born
in a makeshift world of darkness where
I’m not sure whether or not the sun will
rise again tomorrow, because it won’t exist
until someone breathes life into it,
but no. we were never so lucky
to be carefully orchestrated,
a composition rendered for
another’s satisfaction. I am not the
climax, nor the resolution, but a lamb
with Stockholm Syndrome and
a tendency towards people
ApsaraFind me sunken into theApsara2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
lotus field, bathing skin silvergreen,
waist-deep and pink
in sunset, and we will cry:
for three-faced elephants,
for the dancers threading grace
between their fingertips—
until I dress in the heaviness,
a sarong of heat.
waking upand imagine my surprisewaking up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when my insides bloomed
into so many dandelions,
and in a single breath
wallflower clippingsthere's scar tissue in her throat,wallflower clippings2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
swollen around the words she never said;
dark rings around her eyes
like planets unremembered, and
a staleness to her touch,
the crystalline Dead Sea.
she's living like a story
that's already been told
"if no one loved you
would you mean anything at all?"
in that moment,
we forget to exist.
the beauty's in the leavingRead aloud here.the beauty's in the leaving2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sweetheart, let's head out. let's
drink up the desert asphalt and that last bottle
of johnny walker blue--
one last toast to the copper sunsets,
to the good earth. a pair of
tailgate stargazers, you and i:
roaming curves across the glove compartment map, until
every foldline is worn flannel-soft
and it'd rather stay open
let's forget route sixty-six. let's forget
and pick up terra cotta dust--
breathe in the mojave. let's pretend
that the world's already ended
and it's just us.
let's leave the door unlocked
Stay Dreamingyou are pale in the half-light;Stay Dreaming3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
all the fire you carry with you in the waking world is doused in the sweetness of your hair across the pillow & your frame insinuating itself in the sheets, in pockets of weight & pools of shadow that say "i am a body", "i am a girl"
(vulnerable yet terrifying)
& in life you are larger than you seem, thunder & lightning inside colored glass. you are cruel-mouthed but soft-eyed, & brittle queen (you would rather break than bend for me), you are all the lovelier for your frail-boned pride.
it is strange how much i see of you when you are not looking back, how i feel as though it is only in moments like these (in not-quite-daylight, in dreaming) that we are truly at peace. for is it not that our natures may be likened to those of sea & sky? were we not born to crash & storm & shriek & boil against one another? (what is the nature of the place where we meet? for i do not believe in the horizon; blue on blue, it can only be an illusion
scraps and sacramentsyou,scraps and sacraments2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful siren girl with melodies
entangled in her hair: you are
shell-shocked and sea-struck
even though you cannot stand
the sensation of sand beneath
you have fingers for prying, picking,
pulling at your skin and nesting
in that hollow space between
your bones. and if anyone asks,
you will swear there are monsters
sleeping in the concaves of your ribs;
there are ghosts beneath your tongue,
embittered, and you are not the words
they say there is an answer, little girl
(sometimes you begin to believe you are
a scarecrow on the border of reality
begging people to turn the other way;
and the mirror will agree)
how far have you gone? a feather in
the breeze who won’t promise to return
again; there is a wandering warmth in
the hesitation of your harbored fear.
where will you be in six months when
the future has become itself and you
are still astray? little one, no one is like you
in the way you sway to the cadence of a
dissonant night. no one knows your
sirensAudio version here.sirens2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes the mermaids will watch the sailorboys, and green ocean eyes will take in the powerful shoulders and the instinctive sense of balance, and sometimes one will fall in love. and sometimes this love will fill up her chest so much it hurts, and sometimes it will make her reckless--make her swim silently up to the sides of the boats and reach up (carefully, with just the barest sound of water droplets tumbling back into the depths) and rest her arms on the wood that's long since been worn smooth from salt and sun. and sometimes the sailorboy will turn, but he'll see nothing--but when he hauls in his net it will be brimming, straining at the seams, and he will look out over the ocean for a moment, all the way to the blank horizon, and sometimes he will wonder.
and it's easy to love the girls that swim up from the bottom of the ocean with nets knotted up in their
where i dance alonei. I mistook a shy boy for a thunderous one in the days when I lived inside his lungs.where i dance alone3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
ii. I wanted your hands in the early morning, or in 8 o' clock light. (Does it matter? I just wanted you.) Hands like paper cranes, hands like wind chimes. Then we could've been like lovers in a parody: "I love you, I love youno, I don't. But you are beautiful." And while I was not your lover, neither was I your queen. Either way, you wouldn't hold my heart.
iii. Our fingers would've taken flight and then the rest of us, too. Then you would've known of the ballroom in my chest, the migrations inside my body, of the tiny secret nothings that make their way like monarchsas if by instinct, as if they have been here beforefrom ballroom to piano hands to the museum that is my mind to my stomach. But you are the only lost boy afraid to fly.
iv. I was a foreign land and you would not dare travel without a map. But I do not possess a souvenir shop in which to purchase one. I am a des
suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don'tsuffocation keep2 years 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
unfilterediunfiltered2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i’d tell you I hated you
if you had a voice or a face,
or any sense of tangibility aside
from the spider fingers you use
to crawl through my brain
you are not beautiful, like
all the other poets protest. you
are the red in my eye, like
a pen bled; the ragged to
my fingernails, the hitch of my breath
when it catches in my throat.
before i go, i’ll write a million letters (a million
pennies for my thoughts, bitter, embedded
under my tongue) and send them to people
i’ve never met, telling them how my eyes were blue
when i was little but now are the same gray
i’m choking on, how i am maddie and how that’s short
for a name i was never graceful enough for, how
i tell myself stories of lives i’ll never live so i
can go to sleep
because when i’m really gone, that’s all that’ll be left
(it’s funny what people
try to justify with words)
you never loved me,
you selfish thing, i wonder why
i wasted so many nights relivin
to a womanYou see it coming from the men.to a woman3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
You see the ways their eyes linger on you
When they're looking around the room
The way their bodies brush yours when you're walking through the hallways to class
The way they stutter and look away when apologizing for the accidental contact of skin to skin
You see it coming from the men.
You never see it coming from me.
God, was the world not complicated enough already
Without causing me to notice the interplay of textures in her hands
The calluses like mahogany mountains carving ridges of stone
Into her palms softer than Impressionistic sunlight?
I'm not supposed to feel this way about another woman. I'm not supposed to sit here
With a star around my neck and daydream about the way her tongue could taste like cinnamon,
Like my grandmother's home, like gingerbread cookies and the dawn of Christmas morning
These words are blasphemy, so I call upon God to give me a reason for my emotions.
Wasn't the world fucked up enough already without this?
Cut the coff
AutonomousShe asks me to tell her a story,Autonomous2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a quiet ignorance of the self,
the unaffected scratches
on her freshwater skin and
years she spent
searching for the dreams orbiting
her like forlorn moons;
love happens on the sharp
nights unbalanced with
a little too much of the things
you don’t understand. She never
liked her eyes, full and honest and an
unignorable admittance she was real.
But she never was a cheater,
she claims, no one
put a price on her; the things she gave
away cost too much like
doctored up, re-polished
silence. Sounds familiar.
Imagine a place where
no one has a nightmare. No one
has a voice, their lives are
in their hands: calloused and
beautiful. They wake unweathered
and they are not blind and
she is the sun, unaware she
could never catch her
dreams. Even now, she
wants to be a bird when she
grows up (the endless cliché
when you’ve already sold all your
time in exchange for a pleasant
absence of memories)
with wind gliding down her back