What If We Were Poets?Do you ever wonder what it's like to come face-to-face
with the planets? To curl your fingers in the air without
meeting thousands of plaster ceilings? What if I showed you
how to cross Saturn's rings, inhale the atmosphere of Venus?
You would enter the Earth (and it's a strange place to call home,
really) with ice crystals at the corners of your mouth and ash
clouds stuck to the insides of your fingernails. Let me tell you,
it's a beginner's worry that you'll burn up in the atmosphere,
but I've had helium and hydrogen daubed on the base of my tongue.
Oh, and do you ever brush past the windows on train carriages
and wonder what cornfields are like when they're your sky
and your Earth's crust? What if I took you to the white cliffs
of somewhere or other and taught you how to spread your wings
and not hit the ground? What if I showed you mazes, and became
the red threads around your thumbs? If you'll just trust me, I'll let you
see that getting lost should only worry you in jungles of co
wanderlust, and what i knowi know things.wanderlust, and what i know2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i'd like to pretend to the listening frost on car windscreens
that i know these things from the song of birds down my ears.
'a little birdy told me' they say, but what they're forgetting
is that birds, if they could talk, wouldn't waste time telling
humans other peoples's secrets when they could be teaching
me how to grow featherdown and fly. yet here i am, a bird
telling scraps of paper what i do and don't know.
Collab: holding starsDid I tell you about that girl?Collab: holding stars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I should have done, always talking of her
Always on my mind
Jumping on my mind
I have no ways to explain how she makes me feel...
What words in the world could we use to describe
What words could you use to describe how much
you really love somebody?
Maybe a thousand astral cords tied to the tip of
your tongue, and maybe just one spiral galaxy
wrapped around your ankles.
But what is as perfect as a hundred leagues
under the sea, that first gasp of ocean and rock
salt, with years of rainwater rushing through
the gaps between your ribs and the walls of your
Our love growing like the universe, by particle, by stars, by worlds, getting ever wider to line up our perfect future, our world together, her love is my star, the warmth of the sun by her touch, the smile as wonderful as the eclipse but never as rare but still as perfect.
The shooting I saw on its path,
i write bad poetry.You are made of bone, sinew, gristle, synapse, skin, keratini write bad poetry.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
not inkwells and Hemingway, galaxy-cuttings and star-trimmings
or dream, Edgar Allen Poe, absinthe, reflections and sin.
You know a hundred words to describe every pockmark that dots
your face and the way your pens fit into arrow-quivers by that
ricketty old desk of yours but
Words will not
from your mother-of-pearl lips
Apply cleverly-done descending letters here
and sprinkle one jaunty hyphen across the page
because after all, punctuation is a hitchhiker
and you're speeding down the word count like a cargo truck
till you crash into an abrupt ending or more likely
a lack of poetic inspiration.
Today and yesterday and seven days before, you might have
prostituted your muses, a penny for your thoughts, looked with
cross-eyes at your empty lined pad of paper and then
wrote seven pages about a cloud you saw that eventually scattered
into dreamy folds and smoke.
The sky is blue.
The sky is big.
Apply 'the sky is
EmpyreanMomma said to never marry an astronaut,Empyrean1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
they will always prefer the twinkling starlight
to the light in your eyes.
They'll only end up in ships that float
aimlessly in zero gravity and you will not be there.
Momma said to never marry an astronaut.
You will stand firmly on the earth,
clutching the ground and knowing
they will always prefer the twinkling starlight.
Planets will fracture and stars will collapse
long before he recognizes he can travel
to the light in your eyes.
the drifterthe drifter1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
i tried to tell you that Marley was a ghost,
but you wanted to walk with wings
across gleaming midnight.
How marvelous, this stone stands
sturdy and musty; this glorious church holding up a ticking sun
that slowly cracks the trippy stained glass.
you drilled way below the church stone,
and found dried palm leaves and old joints
like clues to the map of an exceptional life.
I love this torrential literature,
I love a racing heart.
i cannot sleep, i keep dreaming,
ezekiel's visions leave me breathless.
Take it up with the Big Man.
Surely the cannabis creator
must exude a presence that lingers on synapses.
i've lost my ability to fly.
a tender sky with reddening clouds,
the sights of death give birth to no life.
Well, I'm l
defeatheredand this is where we bury our hearts,defeathered2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
between self-defeating personality disorders
and burnt bridges and midnight ramblings
we promise ourselves aren’t true;
embedding our memories in forsaken homes
like it is a conscious decision to shed
our wings (reptiles don’t fly)
and maybe I am the monster of every
myth: wide-eyed and jagged toothed and
looking to regain a piece of myself the
world borrowed, many moons ago
as I falter and stumble over my own unaware
feet, wreaking havoc, reeking of self-acquittal--
all I ever wanted to do was belong.
dreams are flaws much like the hearts we
flaunt on our sleeves, and I seem to
have lent all mine away; I am
something entirely ignorant, in the dark,
believing fingers fumbling can find answers.
they never told me reflections are backwards
and the world spins the wrong way and
hurricanes are really an embodiment
of all our own withdrawals:
but one day, these walls will crumble,
and I will learn to breathe in dust.
Let Your Daughter Be a PirateLet your daughter be a pirateLet Your Daughter Be a Pirate1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
if she asks for a wooden sword
help her build her ship from empty boxes
and sail the vast backyard
because a box doesn’t only
have to store dead dreams
and she is so much more
than just a vessel.
Let your daughter be Robin Hood,
if she wants to be an anarchist,
a hero, a rebel, a rogue,
give her bows, and arrows,
let her fight for the plight of poorer folk
because Robin isn’t just a boy’s name.
Let your daughter be a princess
locked in a tower so high
let her be her own prince,
don’t tell her to wait for a hundred years,
let her swing from her own hair
and grasp her own freedom.
Let your daughter be whatever she wants
especially when she’s young
and you’ll be enamoured by
the woman she becomes.
a modern opheliashe found fennel beneath her pillow,a modern ophelia4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and felt the familiar flutter
of glassfish between her ribs.
to distract herself, she
scattered the reddest petals
in her bathwater.
she braided poppies in her hair
let regret invade her lungs.
Water SignsThen water, you and I,Water Signs1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Scorpio and Cancer, respectively,
yours the calm fathomed passion of lake
mine a spring fed, fast-tumbling brook
You taught me to swim in your deep
with caressing breast and leg stroke
I flashed my silver moon flair, leapt,
like a fish, into dizzying ozone air
matched my fall-free
drowning-dive to your quiver.
Oh the silky innuendo,
shimmered laughter and sparkling jive -
though you wanted more of wet and more wet,
I, the tiptoe through shallow
fearful I could get lured, hooked
by such a catch-and-release kind of man.
Life Boats for Paper DollsI still throw salt over my shoulder becauseLife Boats for Paper Dolls3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it makes the devil thirsty.
He drinks from an oaken bucket.
We can live our lives without him.
I know a tree in Pennsylvania.
A girl nobody saw leaned against the moss
every day after class.
She wrote in a journal as ants
crawled between her silent fingers.
The summer I turned eighteen she tried to
hang herself from it
Not the journal.
I suppose our words may often feel like gallows.
You never forget the first time you
taste sour milk.
The feeling of time's betrayal.
Some things still have to be taken on faith,
not expiration dates.
Today, I saw her under a tree in Minnesota.
She still writes about damnation but only with a smile.
There is something beautiful about rotting wood.
Sparrows and Train TracksSparrows and Train Tracks1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
She listens to the corpse of a wingbeat.
The stories of faraway people
etched on sea glass and flower petals,
like legends told for lullabies
printed with rose thorns
in the absence of paper.
Do the fingers of clock hands
hold the questions of children,
the way wine kisses guilt
and disposable wedding rings?
Handmade letters and gift-wrapped packages
resemble the music of a laughter
that isn't really there.
How many faces
are the reflections of a moment
dying in the second of a memory-
or the dances in the i love you's
that you never told me.
everyone gets a miracleeveryone gets a miracle.everyone gets a miracle2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the thing with miracles is that who can tell a
miracle what it is? is it watching the sun bleed
into the horizon holding your lover's sweaty hand,
all cheap perfume and hour-old petrichor like a
twenty-first century version of numinosity, since
it's amazing you even found their heavy-lidded,
flecks-of-gold eyes in the first place? is it near-death
experiences where you're lifeguarded back into the world
by a kind stranger in a surgical mask? or is it nothing
spectacular, at least by those standards, but just
simply waking up in the morning, having the eyes and
lungs and heart to do so, the mouth to speak 'i
am alive and that is pretty awesome in itself'?
but, see, everyone gets a miracle.
a true, unrelenting one, the kind where your heart
swells up to nearly burst out of your body and your eyes
well up and the only word you can speak is 'wow'. maybe
you're twenty-eight or eighteen or forty-two and perched
precariously under fog and mist and shying away from the
Bedtime Stories : The Tree That Was Seen*The Tree That Was Seen*Bedtime Stories : The Tree That Was Seen2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Once upon a time, on a planet far away, there lived a little tree. But this was no ordinary tree, no, this little tree could speak. She could speak to the Sun, oh what bright conversations they would have! Every morning he would greet her with a loud, boisterous HELLO!!! and then the two would talk for hours.
They talked about the brightness of his light, his magnificent rays, the perfect symmetrical shape of his body, and how healthy he made her leaves. But before long, the Sun would go to sleep, and a smaller, dimmer, shy little moon would appear in the sky.
He watched over the tree every night, but had never, not even once, said hi. The little tree, being a lover of the day, would fall to sleep, and wait for sunrise. And so it was every day and night, the Sun would shine, the Moon would pass by.
Days, turned to years, and the tree grew strong in the Sun. The Sun, would gloat about what he accomplished. "Look, dear Tree, and see what I've made you! I'v
The Lover and the LionLover:The Lover and the Lion3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am made of matchsticks and red ribbons and tiny
sparks of Saturday-morning duvet hopes ricocheting
around my brain into a pattern of torn petals from
daisies. Lovers are destroyers of flowers, we know
this. This is why we belong under trees and in wheat
fields, letting buttercups and dandelions grow between
our toes and around our shoulders. We are made to belong.
Whoever said that a lion is made by birth was
not telling anybody the whole truth. If you would
like to know how, when you stand up, when you roar,
does it feel right? Are you brave? Only the brave can be lions.
a sheep dressing itself in fur and mane will only convince its herd
that it is delusional. You can take the lion out of the desert,
but you will never take the desert from the lion.
Anyone who thinks otherwise must know that you cannot tame what is not willing.
I am made to serve my purpose. To hold anyone who is interested
in the palm of my hands and in the chambers of my heart, to chase
Supernova (someday, I will marry an astronomer)You are firing words into space at stars that will never understand.Supernova (someday, I will marry an astronomer)3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Let them guess. Have you ever tried explaining to them that you'd like to
pluck them from where they stand to glue them to your ceiling?
They don't know you like I do, they don't know you're scared of the dark.
Comets and asteroids are tricky things. They'll burn a hole through your roof
so I hope you like the troposphere singeing your nostrils.
'What do you suppose stars do after they become supernovae?'
'They become neutron stars. Or black holes, I guess.'
You went quiet after that.
Maybe I should have said that they stay beautiful forever like Hollywood
would have you believe. I could have said that they blaze on and on
for as long as the universe wants to keep us held in the clutches of spiral
galaxies. That they linger on and become what makes up a newborn child
and the last breath of people who have seen eight decades and more. That
they filter down into the shells of your ears and become the fabric and s
Pocket UniverseI can smell the typewriters beneath your skinPocket Universe1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
metallic, halting, smudged vibrato
wavering note stretched out far beyond
the edge of the universe tucked in your front pocket
breathing out in time with your heartbeats.
All along the wall I find notebook pages
old teabags hung for too long, green flakes whirling
while you sit in the lean of the willow tree
and watch the play that is my life
chew the scenery; the stage collapses with a groan.
You pull your scarf in
and wrap the scars in burnt umber
while the show goes on
EnceladusIs this what it means to be overthrown—Enceladus2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
reduced to a mere satellite, a scale
of someone else's might? My scales, my own
heart, are no longer my own, so I ail
beneath the gravity of an immense
mass, like a giant shackled by a god.
I want upheaval, an earthquake, intense
destruction, and I want the world to laud
me as its maker. I want to rage, strike
out, trumpet a whole planet to arms, but
each complete revolution leaves me like
the one before, in just the same place. What
can I do but bide my time, surrender
(for now) to this great system's defender?
to be a waste of grey matter with no self-esteemforgive theseto be a waste of grey matter with no self-esteem1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
rorschach nerves &
mercury veins -
i am no tragedy boy,
but i have self-decay
down to an art.
this tar tongue only starts
marlboro conversations &
i only start fires.
steps.humans were made to run barefoot.steps.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we were made to climb mountains, fighting gravity
and to fly across stony deserts and dangerous forests.
we were not made for these,
these bastardizations of heels and soles and
humans were made to run barefoot,
we were always meant to leave traces of ourselves
on everything we touched, every inch
of the world that we would walk.
we were always meant to take with us
the scars left by the walls we would climb,
the bruises left by the falls we would take,
the hard skin and the instant familiarity left
by the paths we would forge
so worry not.
you were never meant to feel the skin of this earth
through designer heels and combat boots.
you were only ever meant to feel the weight of yourself,
a breathing, bleeding, human
charged with electric emotions and spinning
out of control
upon the ground,
meant to break yourself on the roads you paved
and the dreams you wrought in sto
Our DutyWe swallowed the path homeOur Duty1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Because we were hungry,
Though starving is an ongoing
Story, an empty bag
Dancing in the streets,
Full of an unfastened voice
Walking through the house,
Wind unchained, heart admonished.
Heaven fills its eyes, crawls away,
That sleeping boat content to follow
The vacant waves, intervals
Of dying that we dare not interrupt,
And we watch the kind ear shrinking
From our charcoal docks; heaven
With a full stomach crawls away.
This is what we were put here for.
Don't StepDon’t step to meDon't Step2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I may wear a frilly pink skirt, but I will TAKE YOU in a fight.
Not even because I’m angry, I could just use the exercise
In humility, so throw me your best haymaker, and I’ll take it, because I’ve never had a bone too beautiful to break it. No, throw me to the ground and I’ll memorise the sound because it’s profound that you think your pride can push ME around.
They say words are the way to make a man break. But while you’re focussed on finding a phrase to prove your ego more great, you won’t see my hands palming your hate. Making mental memos of words, mementos of the curse. Those things you think will hurt me that I’ll later ridicule in verse.
Don’t step to me, no.
In fact, you should fear me, my foe.
I fight like a COWARD.
I fight like I fear every moment of pain, like a boy whose stuffed tiger was taken away, like no eye-gouge is too cruel for someone in my way. This isn’t a weekend spar, a
for holden caulfieldwhen i was sixteen years oldfor holden caulfield1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
holden's words were echoed to me, ironically
in a voice not his own. phoney, he'd call it,
but as my literature teacher would say 'reading aloud'
but too softly
too kindly for the room, nineteen of us
all with bored, hooded eyes -
and wouldn't he just hate us?
the boy awkwardly ruffling his hair and turning to
his reflection in shiny glass, smoothing more strands
and the girl whispering and the one next to
her pretending to listen, smacking gum
and me, tracing words with my pupils
doodling stars and clouds on scrap paper
'what do you think of holden?'
'he's weird', 'he's right, i guess?'
but i pity caulfield.
and if i could travel back in time and
scoop up all of holden's baby teeth and
tie them in a little necklace and wrap them around
his neck, i would, and if i could tell
holden caulfield that childhood and cigarettes
are the same: both end.
but it is up to you what you do afterwards
and if you choose to grind it in the ground, do so,
and if you choose t
An Enchanted EveningI knew I had work to do, but it was an impressive sunset.An Enchanted Evening1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
The clouds were charcoal-grey, streaking away from the sun as it sank into the sea. Each had its own orange halo, as though catching the reflections of a fire that was burning the whole horizon.
I watched it for a few minutes, letting the sound of waves lull me into a waking dream. Then I smiled and shook my head. Time enough for that later. For now, there was still important work to be done: the world's best date was not going to set up itself.
I stood up and started my trek down the beach for driftwood. Anything I needed would have been dumped at high tide, near where the sand turned to grassy parkland. There was little enough of it; just as well I'd thought ahead to buy some timber. But driftwood was necessary for the feel.
Thinking ahead was important to tonight. In dates, like most ventures, planning is half of success. The other half was luck. But start with what you can do, right?
So by the time the sky had gone fr