OrnithologyI sometimes imagine us,
Years down the road, sitting
On the patio of a London bistro
Much more sophisticated than we are.
We'll waste the afternoon drinking tea
As impolitely as we can.
We'll chat too loudly about absolutely nothing,
But with such authority the woman one table over—
The one with the ugly scarf,
Because it's always the one with the ugly scarf—
Will mistake you for someone famous.
We'll spend the next hour reminiscing
Youthful conquests, like Cleopatra might,
Or Anne Boleyn.
Then we'll make-believe
Like nothing's wrong with us.
We'll call it a day—
Find a good pub and drink a bottle of gin,
After watching an English bird glide by
In a sundress, and we remember that
We came here to forget.
We used to call it "hen-hunting,"
This want for a wife,
Back when we had a sporting chance.
dressed to the nines.You wear your words like a crisp black polodressed to the nines.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
clothing you in ink and
your metaphors nestled comfortably
against your dreamer's skin
your adjectives silhouetting
your lean frame against
the sunsets you love to spin.
You wear your words like a pair of faded black slacks
with your author's notes
fraying at the edges,
sewn up with syllables
oh so sweetly
your punctuation marks
threadbare on the dark cloth
of all the curiosities you
have managed to weave
You wear your words like a fierce, fiendish smirk
all your apostrophes lined up
and beaming at the world,
splendid, spectacular, stunning
and your run-ons
softly teasing, disarming,
nonsensical sentences that
kiss lightly and
sing the stars into
you and your poetry
are just so damn
h a n d s o m e.
I Hold You In My Hearti. In variance to the stagnant nightsI Hold You In My Heart3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the starving rains, you are
a country waiting
for the sun.
(You deserve so much more than me
if I only come to this land
intending to leave it.
I'm not a girl worth
ii. I know someone
whose heart belongs across the sea.
He has the soul of a star and I know this,
though I do not know him,
I have buried sparrows with
him, too-tall and big-boned.
He made me believe
and believe but sometimes
I forget that he
is still so much a boy.
I will hold you in my heart.
that it is never too late for love.
iv. I want him
still, this silent, dazzling,
He reminds me of the days
were words in my hands
and dreams in my lungs.
(Breathe for me)
and without apology, you
My heartbeat was alive, I
was alive, you
were alive in my
You have made me brave.
(For is it not
the greatest of gifts,
to be loved on this earth,
to be held
Santa Fe de BogotaSimón Bolívar found you como una Flor de Mayo.Santa Fe de Bogota3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I know that in your swelling city heart
you long por el mar, por la sal del mar,
but instead you straddle the roads,
hunker down over your landscape and breathe
your car fumes, inspiras las fumas como sombras,
espiras tranquilidad inquieta.
Colombia, madre, you have become
bloated in your old age, have grown your
ankles, pálidos e inflamados;
you should have been a sea lion,
morena y rapida y a la cresta como la espuma.
Mi alma, I will bring you the sea salt to run through your hair,
diamonds with which to crown your mane.
ColorblindI gave away my name todayColorblind3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and it might be a metaphor, but I think
we only remember the quietest suicides
the walls are thin enough to listen
as the angels try to scratch free;
bloodied fingernails and God says everyone
screws up, sometimes
I'm waiting for a silent night.
I only ever believed in solid ground
and depressions' tides, and sometimes,
those little wounds I nursed deep
within my vocal chords (because
my voice is dying, too)
I can see the beautiful people, now
overdosing on their own opiums of
self-acquittal and dissolution
they ran out of ways to ask for help.
I'm fragile, but my glass ribs
aren't holding much
and I'm through trying to find something
different, because it's scary to know
what exactly's the same
yesterday I was someone else and
tomorrow I'm further into inevitabilities of
who I promised I'd never be--
I'm waiting for a happy ending,
but if you love something
you let it go.
Oceans of the LostI’m lost on an oceanOceans of the Lost9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Born of thoughts and whispers.
These waves, which once I should have known
Are now but alien cosines, bound in a
Reflecting pool. Shadows,
Cast from their fumes,
Envelop the very fabric
Twenty-five point seven dimensions
Wrapped in a dazzling display
I thought to understand
So very long ago;
Yet my very thoughts escape me now,
Like every mortal hope, as I drift
Aimlessly across this plane -
This entire body of water condensed
Into a two-dimensional space.
Up and down: meaningless.
I am orthogonal to
The skies and the birds,
The depths and eldritch horrors
That lurk far beneath, waiting to steal
My soul, my very existence
Away from me.
They need try no more.
I’m trapped in an infinite
Square well of possibility
Stretching around me.
A standing wave, forever ensnared.
My energy perfectly compatible
With my current state
I’m lost on an ocean
Born in a thought experiment.
The scarlet waves,
Dandelion's Lamentthe warm spring windDandelion's Lament3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
gives me life
no one desires to defend;
they call me Weed,
stomping me down
to the level of Crabgrass
and Poison Oak,
although I harm none
with my meager
I can grant your wishes
as your cold breath
sends shivers down my
stem; I can
thrive on the dream-fields
of children, who still
call me Flower.
Comatosethe clock rolls backwardsComatose3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
say hello to cold floors and breathing
ceilings and sleepless nights,
a snowflake city down in flames
and a humming monotony --
fingernails never dug deep enough.
you're stuck on words like I love him and
I miss him and this is it and I
love him I really really love- it's
better to have bled than ghosted
out into the
those are your thoughts suiciding themselves
under the smother of night, no
veneers can hide your
lines- time carved
you a new face and metered
asphyxiated and strung out by
your own needs, at least you had
to write it all off,
but not before you tore the wings off the
weak-willed sparrows and cried
bleached eyes and too much black
liner cover the fact you can't
anymore, you can't
the world and it shouldn't see you
you're sick of butterflies melting on your
fingertips and fairydust that's only of
dreams long dead, and
you nightmared these very days long ago- of
love as a hoax and siphoning smil
Origami GirlRolling towards the middle of my bed,Origami Girl3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I only felt more crooked.
Something said "Don't worry,
That is what a world does.
That is You-Land."
I looked at my workplace,
it rested slanted to one side.
"That's life in italics," my eyes said.
"That's you as a Cubist."
I bent my arms and legs and back
And they were all of them crooked.
"It's cool," said the something.
"No one's going to try to trim you away,
landscape you, mow you down,
build something on top."
I saw a tiny god make a crease
Molding a girl into a lost form
Her corners were obtuse and sharp
Everyone tried to fold them in
Their hands were useless and limp.
I looked at everything that grew over me,
it was slightly off-kilter.
I liked it that way.
Vicarious Vices and VictimizationYour youth yearns for yearsVicarious Vices and Victimization2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Lost in languid living, to lift
Itself from the itinerant iteracy
Of the off-putting offerings of
The terrible and tenacious toil
Escaped by every entrepreneur, enslaving
We, the workers; wrought with worry,
Making machines, manufacturing the means to
Life; and the lashes of our lavish lords.
Vicarious Vices and varying values
Corrupted and corroded by capricious catastrophes
Deftly designed by the decrepit designated deities,
Faintly fazed by financial fetterings.
Souls sold into slavery by sellers of snake-oil.
Violence vindicated and Victims vehemently vilified
Shortchanged into a soulless submission,
Culled from the creative class, crafts of
Skill, stolen and shirked... soon sold.
Fire, Water, Air, EarthI once worshiped a fire god,Fire, Water, Air, Earth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a man who wrapped himself in
flames and brimstone armor.
I burned myself trying to touch his heart.
He loomed above me and
no matter how high I reached
I was only grasping smoke.
I once worshiped a water spirit,
a man so elusive, running his own
course, even when it ran away from me.
His heart ran through my fingers.
He was cool to the touch, as
refreshing as rain, and cleansed me
for the brief time he allowed me
to swim in his pond.
I once worshiped a djinn,
a man of the air, whom I never saw
or touched, only felt in my lungs.
He sustained me, kept my own heart
beating, though I did nothing for him.
When he vanished the air left
my lungs in a rush, and I was
I have found now a mountain,
a man of the earth, unshakeable,
steadfast, a constant figure
on my internal landscape.
His heart is made of loam, a fertile ground,
and I revel in it. Together we grow
a garden in the mountains,
above the world, and we live like angels.
There Were Only StarsWrapped in piano strings,There Were Only Stars2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
The stars whisper:
Forgetting is everything.
The days remain the same:
Boxes of dead poetry
Wait for you
In the space between
Approaches and departures.
You fold paper for a living,
Ghost writing for
An empty audience:
Nothing is enough.
MediastinumI found a poem caughtMediastinum1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
between your knucklebones
like a prayer flag. It carried
the music of mountains; the scent
of summer breeze and pink
lemonade blotting the windowsill
like the soil-stained memories
of childhood mischief we
share. Between the silence
and the taste of citrus sun bearing
down upon the laundry drying
on the clothesline, you let a sigh
slip, dragonfly wings barely resonating
on my skin. Our silhouettes
behind the sheets warmed
the solstice sky while we
gave each other time
virginity is like an envelopemy mother said her mother knew.virginity is like an envelope2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i wonder if she stumbled home like i did,
fifteen and beer-loose
tied to the door like a thunderstorm with black lips
and i wrote a story about disaster,
a quiet two sleds long.
a box full of beads, i swallowed
fifteen needles, mommy. don’t
tell me i’m not sorry.
don’t call me a whore you bag of bones
you lock-loose suitcase do you even
recognize me look at my face my toothache skin
i am not the one with the knife.
my mother never slept with a boy
who didn’t love her never let a boy
sleep on her while she lay awake beneath
the shroud of his skin breathing only
when her voice-box gathered too much dust.
you have to know i didn’t do
it on purpose. he slid beers down my throat
till i felt like a landfill.
i was not yet a crescendo. maybe i was a polka-
you couldn’t tell. i got home
with my legs full of nightmare.
the doctor said xanax.
i said i am a ruin like the ones
we saw in peru.
a balloon in a funeral poem.
Titles Don't Belong in the First LineTitles don’t belong in the first line,Titles Don't Belong in the First Line2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and poetry is not made of end rhymes.
The ventilated fluorescence and I
flicker at the incongruence
and I want to tell her
sometimes east is left
on the map
if you hold it right.
Loving a WriterWhen you read their work –Loving a Writer2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and it is work,
and you will often come second to the job –
it’s best to know which pieces are fictions,
which ones are wishes,
and which parts are for you.
Closed ParenthesisA very old young manClosed Parenthesis1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
told me I belong in Pittsburgh,
where it rains 200 days
of the year and all the people
have blue eyes. City bustle
would overwhelm my Southern
sensibilities, but, perhaps,
I could use a parenthetical
of my own, a brief aside
in a longer life where lazy
dashes become machine gun
And when I hit Return,
the tangent ends, folded
between those shoulders
in a closed parenthesis.)
FirefliesWe kept cicadas and caterpillars in mason jars, but never fireflies. My brother still has a cicada from three years ago, sleeping away under the lid. Grandpa says it'll stay that way for 17 years like all cicadas do, and it's okay to keep them safe.Fireflies3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But we don't catch fireflies; they don't live that long. They say light travels faster than anything, but our bugs are fat lazy things that travel nowhere in a big zigzag. The tall grass lights up with tiny little flashes every night all summer long and all is dark not two months later, but for the time being they don't even know they're dying.
Autumn was my first love.October, I follow you -Autumn was my first love.2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
from the magic lights of New York
to moonshines in Georgia,
until the colors dissolve.
The anxious poetry of autumn
made a memory of me.
Here’s to things I take for granted:
country road thunderstorms.
Unspoken words, unwritten ideas.
October, I follow you;
I thought I saw you on the shore
where the river runs through gold
on the last boat leaving the city of a hundred spires -
or perhaps Pittsburgh
(it was the lights I guess).
Here’s to the things we leave behind:
sunbeams in November,
letters addressed to no one,
poems, wounds, dead birds.
I’ve got that summertime sadness.
Maybe you’re gonna come back;
we’re changing our ways, taking different roads
and loneliness knows me by name
but October, I follow you;
without you I’m a winter heart,
a love story you don’t want,
a November shade of grey hunting ghosts
in cities that sleep inside our heads.
You told me you lied the night you kiss
Old SoulsDoc says I’m an oldOld Souls1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
soul, with my postcards
and letters, and waste-no-words
policy. Doc says old souls still make eye
contact instead of playing with iPhones,
mirrors that stare back, and tell
us who we are by knowing
who they are.
Doc tells me I’m an old
soul in a young body, taming
wild Internets and bringing my words
to heel like a triple score
in a game of Scrabble.
That I was born in the wrong
decade, that I was meant to punch
typewriter keys like a boxer,
that the twenty-first century
wasn’t made for old souls like mine.
Doc thinks I’m too old
to be twenty-three, constantly forgetting
the barriers of my few years.
Like that I never wrote about myself
until he gave me moments
worth writing down, and cared
about the person behind the words.
That I learned who I was by learning
who he was, and drew a timeline
of intersection points where each
node became a poem, and each poem
became a stepping stone.
Doc unearthed an old
soul in my notebook.
Old like a favori
We meet at the sea strandIf I was an old buildingWe meet at the sea strand2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
and if you were a sailboat,
the dialogue of the tides would
sing all the lonesome love
letters you never wrote.
three little wordsThree little words,three little words3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
said too much
CharlieI had a stalker.Charlie3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I didn't know his name but I'm sure he knew mine.
I called him Charlie.
He always had a camera hanging from his twig thick neck and he cradled it in his hands; a wispy finger stroking the shutter release. His dark brown hair was a curly mess and his shirts wrinkly and thin. He had the most perfect eyebrows, sweeping and gentle. He must have the most captivating eyes, I thought every time he'd glance my way. We'd never made eye contact. Charlie preferred it that way.
He came into the bookstore once a week, not to watch me leaf through the used books or reach high to shelve the approved ones, but to actually browse them. He read the unknowns; the virgins with their unbroken spines. I imagine he liked the smell of them aromas preserved for him alone. Charlie appreciated the books wearing dusty coats and factory perfume a decade old.
The rest of the time he spent on the outside looking in. My co-workers were tickled pink. "What a geek." "Poor guy doesn't realize you