A Product Label.Love. (Requited Edition)
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crystallophonethere is a punchcard sincrystallophone2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like a queen of spades smoldering in an alley.
you hear how the gears churn,
singing faster than we did before
back when black magic dropped like a
pair of socks from the sky with supplies
taped to a note that said
(oh, look at you now)
such a beautiful brain:
runs on gasoline?
have a gallon
or we can call it a balloon,
and a new pair of glasses
for your tapered eyes
(you peel the bark back on the logs,
but you're not sure what you see),
and life says,
either nail jello to a tree,
or keep your
icicles hanging from the eaves,
caterpillars frolicking in the ashes,
your 'Sam, I still don't have your number,'
and your totaled passion:
someone to hang inside out with,
string you up like a steak with.
what the hunger
is trying to tell me
my brain churns like butter,
my insides aflare, my chakras combusting,
RebirthI was born twice.Rebirth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Once in a McDonalds’ hospital
with Mickey Mouse sheets;
my first gasp of Aunt Mary’s smoke,
my last of formaldehyde.
Laid upon today’s paper,
I was outlined by the headline
like a halo: “Diana Dead.”
Grace is my mother,
but she’s never stepped
foot in a church.
She wore hot pink to my birth
and hot pink to my funeral too.
I was named Heaven in her womb.
She didn’t care for me much
I died once
sometime after high school
but before I made anything of myself.
I cried every time I flipped on the TV.
I caught myself with sharp things
like it was Valium. Popping pills
on the side of my leg. They rolled
in circular shapes on flat surfaces.
Diagnosis was a standardized test
that only the strange didn’t pass;
I didn’t pass. I didn’t live either.
I died only once
in the bathroom of a Panera.
If you don’t know what that is,
it’s a pastry place or something.
It was the first ordinary store
I saw w
The Soul Broker I am the buyer and seller of souls. I’ve bought them all and I sold you yours. For the world must run like the gears of a clock, and sometimes you tick or sometimes you tock, but everything given will be taken away and for every silence kept, a word must be said.The Soul Broker3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Naturally, you must assume there is cost. For everything gained, a penny is lost; of course this life can be no different--when the check arrives, you must pay the difference. But not all who ride on the sunday train pay the same price to get out of the rain: a king’s ransom might obtain far, far less than the pauper’s cheap pain.
Your father paid the price of sweat, a back bent under the yoke of the world; accrued worldly financial debt but was recompensed with the jokes of a girl. And he would say he walked away wealthy, with his empty bank account, for his daughter lives today quite healthy and loves him in equally large amounts.
6:30:09what i wouldn't give6:30:092 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to have my body sink down
into yours, cocooned
in the tumultuous quicksand
of human flesh.
i have never been so moved
as by your touch, the slinking seeping
brush. the universe dispels
and in the absence of everything,
i am less alone
than i have ever been.
Little EggsOne green morning, our fat little facesLittle Eggs2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Look out the kitchen window and
Find a robin and her nest on our windowsill.
She carries baubles and trinkets—candy
Wrappers and foil—before her vivacious
Red breast and weaves them tenderly into her nest.
My mother, laughing, says
She’s dizzy with anticipation, painting ponies
And clouds on nursery walls.
Soon enough little blue eggs fill
The happy twigs and their gaudy trappings
And the robin settles—snug, waiting.
We, too, wait for spring miracles on the
Windowsill. Weeks pass—she sits faithful—but
Eggs remain eggs.
Mother gets an odd pallor and avoids the
Kitchen window. Sometimes I think she wants to
Chase the robin away, but understands she’s dear to us.
We want to give the robin our support—she’s
Like family, now—but wonder how long it
Takes for eggs to hatch. Surely not this long?
“Sometimes things go wrong,”
Mother answers to our curiosity.
the trouble isi'd like life to bethe trouble is2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
quiet and lovely
like distant church-bells
chiming through snow,
muted by the smell of
an old book and the
feel of a fire warming
me into my chair, and
a mug of tea, steeping
the moment in hushed
gratitude, easily in reach.
a ribcage drenched in dusti have your ribcage, you said.a ribcage drenched in dust3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what should i put in it?
i told you i'd always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but
you're made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.
you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it seems like it's trying to speak
and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you're not as alone as you thought.
i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i'd ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.
i've got it, i said.
a second skeletoni. introductiona second skeleton2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i was born 4425 miles away from here.
my heart still lingers there.
i don't want to have it back.
i go through the motions,
don't ask me for emotions.
i once thought i could be happy,
my mistake can be forgiven;
i was so much younger.
now i know better
than to expect anything.
because the only time you can lose,
is when you love something.
that's why i love myself.
Your Daughter has Sold Hundreds of Local PapersBut listen to me: I will tell youYour Daughter has Sold Hundreds of Local Papers2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
how to love a bedspread;
a car seat; a sun dress
that you cleaned two months ago.
and should they find her
in the breast of a riverbank
or a cabinet,
I will tell you
facts about scavenger birds;
kettles, wakes and how to chair a committee
with a body on your desk,
as scavenger birds do.
the hungry look...the hungry look,the hungry look...2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the gully of your throat like wraiths,
we can feel you rusting, lost one;
i know that drainpipes and fenders
begin to crackle after winter wet
and that there’s a touch of snow
in all of us,
but no one,
no one could hold you as tightly as you do,
your whole body, bloodless in this arrest,
and if you will not let your fetters show
i will show you
there’s a place for going, and you haven’t gone there yet;
where quantum particles, once in contact, can retain a connection
even when separated
wander up to a stranger
with your shirt inside-out
and say ‘don’t mind me, i am just a deer come out to observe the world’
some strange magic, that once done, cannot let go
magnolia nights and ivory starsi.magnolia nights and ivory stars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i threw the stars out into the cosmos & used my fish hooks to hang the moon too; hide the sun from wanting eyes beneath the zaffre mountains (look how they sleep) painting the night (wisteria) with such grace.
for who could know the wonder growing a pair of antlers can bring for a small child. time to decorate [find what you can]: shattered compasses, gears [never do they turn], maybe glitter. look how pretty she is with her elegant horns- all isabelline white & with its specks of fallow & teeth splashed with honeydew [no makeup] & a compass too many to show her the many ways to make mistakes.
has anyone ever wondered how a butterfly sleeps? does it keep flapping its wings in the night until its lull brings it to dreams? only to create a cosmic latte, for all the world to see. does it hide among the twist & turns of the yellowing tule trees, waiting for the sun to rise? only to close its eyes again, slowly. waking in the dead of night to create cosmic cream of vanilla sta
SaturdayWe slept on the floor when you drank.Saturday2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
– Like worried puppies
too small to reach the bed,
and sat with our backs to the wall
by the bathroom while you showered,
we hid car keys,
Peering over ledges,
I watched your listless eyes
wander to windows
thinking of your mother and marriage,
toes curled around the coffee table corner,
and we begged you to sleep.
Zach cleaned the sinks,
the rugs and the ashtrays,
capped the bottles and placed them
high on the shelves.
You woke to cartoons,
a headache, a fresh
pack of cigarettes. –
We never talked on Sunday mornings.
Mono.One morning a black pillar appeared in the center of town, within the boundaries of the park and right outside of the library. It stood at least thirteen feet tall and was as wide as a mature oak. They deduced it was made out of some kind of polished stone. Some guessed it was obsidian; others argued it was too strong to be such a fragile stone. It could have been granite, but when was the last time you saw black granite in that quantity, and in that shape?Mono.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"We should knock it down and drag it away!" someone shouted.
But they were too afraid to touch it.
"Why not just leave it here?" another suggested.
But they wondered what would happen if they didn't do anything at all.
Whoever put it there didn't do it alone. They'd need a truck to transport the thing, and they'd need some way to get it off the flatbed and stand it up straight. But why go to all of that trouble for a pillar of rock? Or was it part of someth
The TimesI was printed on the evening of November 27th, 2008, just as the weather was turning from chilly to cold. I was tomorrow's news. At the moment I came off the press, I told the future. I knew things before the rest of the world; it was wonderful. I knew what my purpose was: to inform as many people as possible about the world's happenings.The Times3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As I was put to bed, bound against my brothers and sisters, I dreamt of being passed around a construction site, making sure all the workers were aware of which sports team triumphed, and which celebrity was getting a divorce. I dreamt that corporate peons debated over politics, and the state of the economy and which policies would be most effective in fixing the existing problems. I slept contently, snuggled warm in the middle of a stack, ready to be shipped out the next day and sold to whoever wanted me.
The next morning was cold and blustery. I was so excited about being sold that I allowed the wind to ruffle my pages, since I couldn't move on my o
still,"i want grandchildren."still,2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that car ride ruined some things
threw a wine bottle at the wall
15 years sitting
it was good enough or
it wasn't good enough
all the silence forced
my pride to jump out the window
if any rested in her
she showed it off like a speech bubble
tied it to her teeth
slammed it in the door
had it under her pillow for months
and years and years and years
there was no statement
there was no outstretched hand
just steering wheel clenching
knuckles white and jaw taut
(all because who i bed was not her mindful of
i still think i'm a tumor
she shows it off like a speeding ticket
i put a pin through it
i put it on her sweater
she never wears it
Nothing to See (Being Revised)I wouldn't have taken any notice if it hadn't been for the laughter. It wasn't merry or even cruel. It was the barbarous laughter of evil and vicious darkness and it chilled the marrow of my bones. Turning my head to look down the dim alley, I saw them: a semi-circle of four men focusing on their entertainment for the evening—namely, a fifth fellow and what I assumed was merely a cheap piece, some drugged up doxy earning a wage for her next fix.Nothing to See (Being Revised)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Oh God, how I wish she had been a whore. Some pathetic moll who let herself be roughed up and down for a few bucks, but this was no whore. I wasn't innocent; I'd seen plenty of cocottes and the looks in their eyes that craved money or men or both and I'd witnessed the haunting desperation for something better, along with a resignation to what they had. This woman—so very young—this wasn't a two-bit cyprian, down on her luck, trying to make a dollar and feed a habit.
Bruises marred her
the science of usacceleration = gravitational pull / massthe science of us6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You didnt send my heartbeat into a frenzy the first time I saw you. It was a month or two before I started feeling the little palpitations inside my chest and made sure that my hand accidentally brushed against yours every now and then.
(I wanted to make sure you got used to the feeling of my atoms colliding with yours.)
I told myself it was stupid and simply physical. You werent pulling my heart strings, you were toying with my belt buckle by smiling at me across the room and asking me to spend time with you on a Saturday afternoon. I was sold by the time you pulled into my driveway and my name slipped from between your lips.
(Sweaty palms and twisted vocal chords told me no one said it quite like you.)
I promised myself this was strictly a one-way thing. I feigned like I felt nothing, and in my nervousness I became the witty jackass. You laughed at my barbed-wire jokes and sped through a red light while I was watching
Open SeaIOpen Sea2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
fawn caught in
boulder on the
shoreline - a ghost in my dreams that's still breathing
I a &
001. beginnings.Beginnings are vague things. Quite often you can't pin them down to one event you have to trawl back further and further through foggy past, peeling apart what ifs and untangling strands of memories.001. beginnings.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Eventually one has to go all the way back to the start of the universe, and that's a question even the experts have to shrug their shoulders at. It's not like you can plug it into a calculator and come out with a balanced algorithm. At least, not yet.
But it is true that sometimes you can fasten down an occurrence or a moment or even just a single breath, like sticking a thumbtack through a dead butterfly, and label it as a 'beginning' in your mind. Identifying that one moment makes us feel secure, like maybe it was destined to happen instead of just being a random sequence of events that fed off each other and tripped over each other and eventually fell like dominoes to the unlikely conclusion.
Cvusscha Mistbane has pinned down a moment. Of course she knows that there are plenty of
Ode to my grocer...The grocery cart had old fruit smashed and dried to its grated floor.Ode to my grocer...2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
"Someone really ought to hose that off," thought I.
I've had this cart before,
and thought the same thing then.
The parking lot was conspicuously short on cars.
Saturday morning is usually busier.
A corporate megamart has opened
just five minutes from here.
I pushed the cart into my familiar market,
defiantly devoted in the face of change
to my beloved grocer, unpolished, unrefined
and unapologetically human.
The Pinova apples are painted vibrant shades of yellow, pink and red.
Perfect in their imperfection. Better there be scars than a thick polish of wax.
And the voices around me are they from Russia or Ukraine?
Is that Farsi or Arabic? I'm too ignorant to tell, but I love them all.
Alien music wafts through the aisles like invisible fog over a transparent bay.
Languages I don't understand, unique rhythms and instruments, too.
Wait! Is that Alsu singing Inagda? I haven't heard that since I was in Moscow.
Apologies to LaoEach day is its own microstep--Apologies to Lao3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
since I woke from my mother's womb,
I longed to mimic new words, trammel
the sound until it blossomed
like a newborn, and oh how I birthed
stories--told them how I wanted
the author's sacrosanct title
once I've grown. But growing meant
learning the practice of citizens
and their due contribution: beast-slaying
nature of please, thank you,
an apology: sincere
or not. Then there is time--the first
breath of nine, exhalation
of five, the suffocating mandate
of overtime. You grow used to it:
the cyclical disappearance of parents,
pervasive need of sleep, a home-
cooked meal's gradual transmogrification
to a microwave's impatient beeps,
the drive-thru's static, monotoned voice
by a man who has already learned
what I am learning: to cherish
the alarm's morning hymn over my mother's--
now I'm rarely late for work--can navigate
those can-lined aisles, the cold-grey
of the warehouse with deep strides
until I lose track of every step within
my eight hours--my mind
carouselwe laughed like children high on m&ms,carousel2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
danced like we were carousel horses,
and jump-roped our way through obstacle courses.
I saved our footsteps in mason jars,
in case we ever needed to follow yellow brick roads
to get home.
home was an illusion:
honesty without truth,
apologies without forgiveness,
I kept home sandwiched between
"never" and "have to."
caroline, they'd say. caroline,
stop being such a dreamer. stop taking
us for granted.
I packed every apology possible
into my breath, left runaway plans lingering
in the silence between family.
when I found you dancing in the street,
I listened for merry-go-round music.
I tried to take you with me, I'm sorry.
instead I left you breathless,
left you safe, left without you.
I took our footsteps, just in case I
ever needed a way back home.
sometimes, I wonder if I left you
without a safety net.
A Poet's RomanceShe was the quiet sort,A Poet's Romance2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
within her eyes,
to pottery skin;
she would mold herself
into moonlight butterflies
and glist'ning calla lilies,
pure and white and
and when night cast
itself upon her in
heated, hard'ning flames,
she’d smash herself
upon the rocks
and in morning start