wrapped in your name is a hundred games of hide and seek, afternoon tea parties, and the squiggles of letters as i taught you to read goodnight moon and if you give a mouse a cookie. we were ten dirtstained fingers, one broken arm, four firefly eyes, two dark heads bowed as if in prayer over your broken-syllabled benediction.
every shopping cart is a cage from when we were wolves caught in the grocery store, growling at strangers until our mother made us get out and walk. the nightlight still plugged into the corner socket glows with every breath you took as you fell asleep when they moved your crib into my room.
one day at school they told you the rainforests were disappearing, and you hid in your bunkbed and cried for hours. when i finally found you, you made me promise we would both give our entire allowance to protect the trees. we washed our hands and said grace and ate dinner, and you never stopped caring about beautiful things.
i taught you how to read, and
daughterI find her in my kitchen, one ordinary morning with the harsh winter sun tipping full through the window. I haven't seen her for six months, and yet here she is, bruised knees pulled up under her chin, the light pouring through her hair like dull bronze. Despite the cold she is only wearing shorts and an old gray t-shirt, two sizes too big. Upon hearing my footsteps she looks up from picking at her nails, covered in chipped black polish, multicolored threads and silver rings slipping down her wrists. Her hair is tangled and long; longer than I can ever remember, and she tucks it behind an ear studded with piercings that glint in the dark strands. Her face is still in the shadows but a smile breaks through the silence and for the smallest moment I am stunned by the sheer momentum of life; the scent of baby powder, fireflies in the live oaks at night, the first time I felt her weight in my arms in a hospital bed, her tiny heart beating like a butterfly against my palm.daughter4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I have to sift
the art ofit was too late;the art of3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
far too late,
by the time my gaze found his
across the dim and drunken
tangle of a scene.
his eyes were dark, the color
of burning wood and
dust in a foreign country, the
kind of eyes my mother taught
me to fear, and rightly so;
i could already feel his
handprints welling in a
malady of black and
five-o-clock blue just
beneath my skin, bruises
deeper than bone
as i pushed my way
ten reasons whyten reasons whyten reasons why5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i can't write:
i can't write because when i do i
take inefficient showers and get in
with all my clothes on and sit there
like an environmentalist on strike until
my jeans are soaked all the way through
i can't write because
when i do i tell my cat, bonnie,
that her name is really beatrice and
that she is descended from a long
line of cat-queens and one day her
real family will come and claim her,
and that's really not very nice of me
to lie to her like that.
i can't write because when i do i don't sleep
because there are all kinds of spitting
things waiting in the dark full of words
and words and words and words and teeth and
tongues that lick the backs of my knees
and neck while i lay in bed listening to
the beat beat beat words beat of my heart and
i can't write because when i do
i try to convince strangers in the
library that they are my soul mate
without using any words, i just stare
them down through my book
and tell them that our children
would be bea
lost and foundwe are awake.lost and found3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
we are awake in the way that everything is dark and smells like airports and fluorescent lighting, in a way that feels like long journeys and bad coffee. we are awake. i kiss your lips and you taste like powdered sugar and winter.
we are awake at 4 am because it is cold, and because we have to be.
the car starts on the 3rd try and even though the temperature is near freezing you roll the windows down and the night crashes in, chapping your lips and tangling my hair in long, cold ropes. you hum a little in the driver's seat and i can hear great expanses and guitar strings and a jealous acoustic melody that stirs somewhere just beneath my spine. i touch my finger to the back of your hand and i can feel the tides ebb and flow, life gathering in the space between us, stars sprawled like madmen somewhere high above our heads.
i take pictures of the night sky, the glove compartment, our hands twined on the steering wheel. i take pictures of the darkness out the passenger window
room 211there is a boy and i say this, notroom 2114 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because he drives too fast through
the foothills in the raw of evening or
because he runs with the sundogs
in the latest rays of the afternoon
light, no -
i say this because he is dying
and in a way, that makes him just a
little more alive than the rest of us
oh God he breathes and breathes and
i can see eternity and the rise and fall and
rise of each rib underneath his skin
and the scrape of oxygen makes me think of how
i never kissed the place on his chest where
the demon now rests its bony head and
still, i cannot say
Written LoveItalic represents the inner depths of our emotions, an endless well of truth. Within lies the rawest image of the self, the naked reality of vulnerability, doubt and discovery.Written Love5 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Will I ever find love? Am I destined to be alone forever?
It also depicts instant sparks of thought, blurted words mute to the world.
Shes cute! I wonder if she could ever like someone like me. Did she just smile back at me? Was she being polite, or ?
Bold equals bravery, chance and gamble; the lion heart in which shaky words express daring suggestions, challenging the fate of solitude.
Want to go for a coffee sometime?
Can I call you again?
Bold lettering calls for faith, hope and trust. Self esteem brings it out, jumping from the white of paper, but even the timid can brave life with its encouraging energy.
Underline is exclamation. It is the reaction to news, the call of passion or the declaration of triumph. It can be coupled with t
griefmary sleeps beside me, it is morning; we aregrief2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
dream-sunk and tangled in her quilts
honey warm and bathed with sun, we are berry-stained
and slow-breathing, lips purple
from last night's wine -
it is morning; we are softened creatures
and the light has come to hold us.
mary's phone is a wasp, a bramble, is a vaguery that
we cannot be bothered with. it is morning and
mary's phone is wrathful, insistent, needling us
into a sluggish consciousness. we break the
surface without grace or tact and
it is morning, and he was just here
he was right here and he was breathing but now
he is gone; he has passed through, passed on,
passed into the other, the ether, the endless,
the place we cannot follow, has passed
away from mary, from the green and the gray,
from the earth that bloomed when we
were not paying attention, from the sky and
the hearts of the trees.
mary, it is morning; it is morning for mary and
she is disassembling before my eyes. i place my palm
flat on her spine and feel t
bring may flowersxbring may flowers2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The first time I met May she was crying simple, petulant tears, because she never got the flowers April promised her. I took her hand, so small it was nearly childlike, and promised that before it was all over she'd have so many blooms; azaleas and orchids and dogwood blossoms, that she wouldn't know what to do with them all. Her smile was so bright I almost felt bad making a mark on that perfect skin, but she offered her arm without hesitation and I drew a line through the first box.
She was pretty, in a plain sort of way. There wasn't anything special in the tilt of her jaw or the curve of her spine, but there was something about the way the light lingered on the windowpanes when she was around and stayed a little longer in her curls that made everything that much more alive. Her teeth were as white as the cotton-hearts that would eventually dot the countryside like a strange snow, and when she laughed every stalk and shoot leaned into the benediction until nodding buds turned t
untitledon our last night on earth you held my hand so tightlyuntitled2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it felt like every promise a boy ever kept to a girl. you
smiled down at me, lion-maned and strong-boned, hanging
constellations and broken guitar strings in my hair.
we talked until our voices were frayed at the edges, bodies
twining like rivers in the quiet of your bedroom. you made
me so beautiful i could hardly stand it, and so broken i
could hardly breathe.
the next morning you stumbled into wakefulness with a sigh,
arms tightening around me. you pressed your lips to my neck
and i felt the smallest of words escape: stay.
in that moment, i knew -
i knew that nothing would ever be more important
than the freckle on your lip, o
weak ends.monday.weak ends4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
today is the first time in a long time that i have woken up afraid; afraid because i cannot see the sunrise, and because i do not remember who i am without you. we listen to the weather report on the radio, and your fingers are freezing in mine.
the storm that blew through in the night shattered my bedroom window, and i breathe you in like burning driftwood as you help me clean up the soggy leaves and broken glass. i cut my finger on a jagged edge, and neither of us speak as you help me wash off the blood, because some wounds leave you with nothing to say.
my room smells like smoke and vanilla and the way you used to touch my skin. now we lay like parallel lines along the mattress, silent and unable to breach the darkness that separates our bodies. i fall asleep crying and in the morning there is salt on my eyelashes. i leave before you wake.
i don't kiss you anymore, and my heart is so cold. you are my best frien
To Dream of FallingI dream of falling.To Dream of Falling4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It's not a dream common to angels. After all, we have a pair of wings--or two or three--and we can use them. We float upon the air, dance among the stars, shape the clouds with our breath, and so on. All that lovely wordplay to describe an indescribable. A joy, a graceless power. Flight.
Humans dream of it often, I am told. It makes sense. They have no wings save for what they create with their hands. Airplanes, hang gliders, helicopters. Kites. They are obsessed with the sky, more so than the angels themselves, many of whom will fly three thousand miles rather than walk across the street.
And yet I dream of falling.
And in my dreams, I always start out as what I am--a bookish secretary pushed into a role never intended for him--and I always end as a human.
And the first thing I feel is falling.
Sometimes I jump off the edge of one of the Heavens.
Can't Go Home Again My name is Jacob Mullins. I just turned 24 last week and got a phone call from my father telling me to come home. Now, as I get out of my car and head up the walkway, I'm not too jazzed to be walking back into the house that reminds me of my childhood. It took me a year and a half to move into an apartment and get a decent job and now I have to take a leave of absence to take care of the old codger before he croaks. If I lose my job over this there better be something phenomenal in that will of his to make up for it.Can't Go Home Again3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
As soon as I open the door the smell of dust and sickness reaches my nostrils and my lip curls. I make my way down the hallway and into the old man's bedroom and don't bother to knock before I step in. He's hooked up to a oxygen tank and his eyes look glazed over as he fixes them on me. I lean against the dresser and fold my arms across my chest.
"So I'm here."
"And insolent as ever, I see." His voice is raspy and there's a t
the goodbye alphabetr.the goodbye alphabet5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i have three more piercings in
my left ear than i did the last
time that i kissed you, but that
is irrelevant to the fact that
our lips do not remember each
other's names like i thought
your hands around my hips
sound like a song i tried to
sing once, but it never quite
i tell you i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm
so fucking sorry a thousand
times a day but i'm starting to
wonder if i'm sorry for making
you cry or if i'm really apologizing
to myself for what i've become.
i know that these are the
three sad staples of cliche
radio love songs, but i am
raw and there is nothing
else to say: 1. i miss you
2. i love you 3. please come
To Sleep, Perchance... It was raining. It was always raining. I could hear the neon lights hum in the windows of the bars and clubs as I passed by. Inside people were enjoying themselves, or thought they were, lost in their alcohol soaked daze. The neon painted colourful pictures in the oily puddles at my feet. I walked on..To Sleep, Perchance...4 years ago in Science Fiction More Like This
I pulled the collar of my coat up around my neck against the cool damp air. I needed to find someplace, anyplace to get out of the rain. These places werent for me. In these clothes, who was I kidding. Besides I didnt even have enough for the cover charge.
I didnt belong in their world, a world oblivious to people like me.
As I made my way along the street, the buildings began to get a little shabbier. The proprietors no longer concerned with the appearance of their establishment, and less concerned with the clientele.
I found a twenty four hour auto-mat. A bored cop eyed me
until the mountainsi will remember you like this, always.until the mountains2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i will remember you vital
i will remember your skin wild as an animal
your body slung lazy and volatile, the
mountains in your shoulders and
summer in your eyes.
i will remember you in snapshot progression,
last night's snowfall prising reality from our grip.
i will remember your kiss with the
taste of smoke always, always.
i will remember the sandpaper on your tongue,
the ash in my hair, the way the dragon's breath
curled from your lips like a dream,
hindsightShe called him Benjamin, because it soundedhindsight4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
strong, like a name that could move
mountains, or put food on the table for
a family of four.
He called her Hallelujah, because
it sounded like the way he felt
when her fingers brushed his cheek.
She called him Fahrenheit, Lion Tamer,
He called her Skinsong, November,
She was his prayer; thin breath on
freezing windowpanes and barefoot
secrets on the bedroom floor.
He was her safety net; wide eyes and
hands and promises in the coldest hours
just before dawn.
He called her Jumper because
she was always looking over edges.
She called him Wes because
that was his real name.
he called her Taste of Tears,
Hearthold, Stay With Me,
he called her
apologiescrash sound and thunderstorms andapologies5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
apologies on coffee shop
napkins and disasters and
hunger strikes and fresh scars on fingertips
and camera clicks black eyes and
broken hearts from hide
and not seek to lost and not
found shaking hands and shoulders and
Train taint constraint conceitTrain taint constraint conceit10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a train journey
night, she sits serene
on the opposite seat,
and her gaze drifts to
skybirds on thermals soaring swooping emotionless joyful.
advancing, the Inspector of Tickets, the Taker of Fares
in his municipal in his green and strident waistcoat authoritarian
stride peaked cap tickets please tickets please tickets
she doesn't have a ticket. money
is alien-tainted hate-polluted isn't worth a damn
to her, let alone railway tickets.
she calls me to the open window – So
she jumps as the train starts to slow - So
she glides to the ground
and turns to me calling follow.
with her - i don't know, not
with her voice at any rate. hidden now
by a wooded glade still calling
nineteenwhen i was 19 and beautifulnineteen4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i watched you watching me,
my hair light and full of sunshine,
skin young and stretched over
long straight limbs, whole and
just waiting to be broken.
we swam in your father's pool and took your little brother out to lunch. we tried to make christmas cookies in july but i dropped the eggs and just before i could start to cry you threw the bag of flour on the floor and i blinked through a haze of white, the fine powder settling into the creases of your smile. we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the floor and laughing so hard that i cried anyway.
when i was 19 and stupid
i let someone who was not you
kiss me on a picnic table
under the spreading leaves of the live oaks
in the cold 3 a.m. chill, and regret
began to taste like home.
you spoke, sometimes, about the pull of the ocean or the way the winter branches looked at twilight; like frozen ink, injected into a network of veins against the greying sky. i murmured back, weren't we all just pa
A colorful life - 1His name was Bilious Green and if he was skulking around, then it was a cinch that Hideous Pink wasn't far away. They'd been dogging me for days, ever since I told our boss, Runny Palette, that I wasn't going to tout his numbers no more.A colorful life - 16 years ago in Humor More Like This
Bilious was a slob - his marking was as sloppy as his clothes and his personal hygiene was in the same class. Hideous always dressed in bright scarlet, which matched his whiskey-blown features to a T; he was scum, but at least he knew it. Bilious was scum as well, but the difference was, he thought he was real bright. I used to feel sorry for him ... until he stuck that shiv in my neck.
I'd woke up in hospital with Misty Mauve peering anxiously down at me from behind a cloud of cheroot-smoke. 'You gonna live?' She'd puffed out enough smog to make the guy in the next bed cough.
'Great ... ya rent's due.'
Misty was Runny's girl but she liked me better. We'd had a fling for a while; more a half-hearted toss if the truth be told, but it
the speed addictthe speed addict knows if he stops moving,the speed addict11 years ago in Other More Like This
he will die. so when inertia takes hold
his heart falters and his head slams against
a future, lit by the dashboard. he hears
his veins stuttering like gears grinding out
a staccato refrain, while the wheel spins and
goes numb. as his breath twists away from his grip,
rasps a hol
Europe, Twenty-SixAnd there, to the west,Europe, Twenty-Six4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
was a skeleton
that wasnt made of bones
and carried no flesh,
stretched taut across the skyline
and motionless, as if taken surprise
by the sudden black of night.
We gazed across the city,
electrified, two small eyes
peering out from the bright skull.
You lifted your arm,
fingers splayed like dark eyelashes
to catch the bright orbs
of streetlights on the horizon
and cupped them in your hand,
like small candles burning,
flickering luminescent in the midnight pupil.
Why I always fancy the bassistThis poem has been temporarily removed in order to be submitted to a kick-ass anthology on the theme of rock 'n' roll. If it doesn't make the cut, it'll be back soon.Why I always fancy the bassist3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
MetaphorsWe tried to find a metaphor for the zombies.Metaphors4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Emma said it would make things easier.
Then they ate her,
but we thought maybe she had a point after all.
There were the old standards, of course,
The ones they'd made movies about when zombies were still a morbid fantasy
And not roaming our streets,
smelling like cemeteries,
gnawing on stray cats and the homeless
and causing a threat to public health.
The zombies were
a commentary on consumerism;
the dangers of hubris