Red Riding Hood's CabaretA dancing girl with fiery hair,Red Riding Hood's Cabaret2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Twirling smoke around her finger
Dances in darkness for a sea of howling wolves
Unclothed, her emptiness is put on stage
To burn in the spotlight
As claws scratch at the floor
She plucks a hot cigarette from one of the fingers
Puts it to her lips and takes a warm sultry drag
"Look, but don't touch" she mutters,
Stepping just close enough for a claw to rip into her thigh
And she whispers into the snarling crowd
"What more do you want?"
as her hips and crimson lips rock smoothly and tempt softly
And while her legs move, her eyes dance and smile,
Unsolvable mazes of golden brown for irises.
A subtle wink gives wolves the night of their lives.
Sequins stun, glitter falls,
and the cabaret is full to burst of testosterone
Roaring with the stench of festering whiskey
But all eyes are on the girl, with a hood of scarlet hair
Tempting wolves with whispers and lies
Of a night alone with fire
Nowadays. Side Ways.thisNowadays. Side Ways.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is more paper here than clothing
my iron is broken
the water leaks onto pages
with their own ink
it boils when it spills
my shirts are ironed dry
they and I
crave the water
the paper is indifferent
lemonwe walk down the streetslemon2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of a city named after the last thousand years.
a breeze floats by
and for a moment your hair lifts off your shoulder.
the way it doesn't touch you,
i want to touch you.
there are traces of lemon in your light,
a vague sense of mint on your fingertips.
the way honey tastes
drifts inside your shirt.
entering the city
walking calmly while the light falls
is like listening to your voice,
like waiting at the bell by the river
for a clamoring to do justice
to the patterns on the water.
the way the bells never end
i want to brush my hand against yours.
the way you drop lemon into your water
i want to live.
The art of blacking outHow I wish I could say strangersThe art of blacking out3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
crept inward, night by night,
stealing my medication and
rearranging my furniture.
But I know it's not true.
There are holes inside
my head. Oxidation.
No one unlocks this door
but me. I am just
One of those NightsThe morning sunOne of those Nights2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
beams through the front windshield
like an intruder:
brash and unwelcome, forcing you to wake.
Whiskey eyed, smelling like an ashtray,
parked at the back end
of some ghetto ass neighborhood
wondering what the hell you did the night before.
It's like trying to remember words
you haven’t written yet.
One thing is for certain:
a little bit of rope goes a long way,
but a lot of rope
will hang you.
Georgie's CrumbsThe scars lie in zigzags across my throat. I don't remember the knife that made them, and they're not the point of this story; Annie is, and I'm mentioning them because she never asked about them. I loved her for that. Instead, when she found that I always played extras at the drama club because there were days when I couldn't speak in anything but a whisper, she taught me how to mime. I spent hours practicing in their dusty living room, swaying to the clatter of Georgie's nails on the piano keys. Georgie plays piano like Annie rides horses.Georgie's Crumbs2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I still find the memory of her down by the old dirt road, where he put Georgie's piano. I turn my head and catch the scent of the wind, the way the air felt when she smiled, the way the dirt tasted when I stumbled off the horse and she caught my hand and brought me up beside her, drew me up to the sky.
I sometimes wonder what she'd have done if I'd been on the ground that day. I drew up Rook before the corner because I wasn't bold like Annie, didn'
A Note on DrowningI am writing this letter for myself. If you have found this letter, please give it to me. If you find that I lack the will to read, if my mind is gone, if my hands are bloodied, tell me at least, that the song is near its end. If I am dead [indistinguishable]A Note on Drowning3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
[Written in the margin: IF I AM DEAD THROW ME TO THE SEA]
In laying out the bones of my terrors, a solution may be found.
I’ll start before the beginning, when Mother took me for walks on the beach and told stories. Together we missed my father, who sailed the sea. These are my earliest memories, but I remember things had always been this way. We walked together, and I counted my many steps and Mother’s few. When I stretched my legs, I could make it so my path went over only her footprints.
The sand was soft where she had stepped. Elsewhere was gritty, and unclean.
I was young for all of Mother’s stories. Here I will write the relevant one as best I remember.
“A sailor was on a ship. This ship was far of
how to move mountainsthe mountains came down to listenhow to move mountains2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
or was it
that I went up to tell them
of these winter snows
that hit early spring
as if they couldn't
those mountains, shake it off
themselves. ink on my quill is
a thought not yet written.
a simple stick in snow could
write the same questions
and the answer too, along with
the snow's fading presence.
Blackbird's FeatherBlackbirdBlackbird's Feather2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
sweeping across the snow
left me a feather
and away he goes
and away he goes
drifting up on the air
but I seem to be stuck here
melting in the cold
cannot rip my eyes from the sky
cannot get my fists to unfold
the words have frozen to our tongues
that's what happens to winter love
so you think this feather is enough to make a wing
so you try to free me from it,
but your claws only sting.
i walk away
come to regret every footfall
but I can't keep you down
because you're up
and I'm frozen to the ground
laying pale in the snow
he can soar no more
you didn't have to do that
have to fall on your own sword
cut your wings apart
to get me back home.
and as I see you freeze
I know now what it is I believe
that someone could give up everything
come down to the winter
do you know the secret, Bird?
learn to live with the cold
though you turn blue
the heart beats hot inside of you
I know it
the science of sleep.i don't sleep anymore. or at least i don't think i do. it's one of those things i stopped keeping track of like the number of words that make my mother cry (cancer, lists). if i'm being honest, i stopped sleeping (maybe) around the time i started thinking in a series of parentheses.the science of sleep.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
because i don't sleep, my arteries demand too much air (oxygen, clean) from the space outside my window. i make my room my heart, cold. it fills with a wind only bricks can breathe, an ice only soil is willing to withstand. i am winter's soul.
the world becomes a different place when you stop noticing sound (mute, black and white film) and start noticing every movement your bones, your muscles and the acid in your organs make. you start twisting your spine to imitate the birds spreading through the branches like cancer and you force your fingers to bend in unnatural angles to stop the shaking. but aren't we all just mocking birds (mockingbirds)?
when you stop sleeping, your body becomes the experiment and y
StillHe was waking or he was falling asleep, neither, both at once. This was a dream. This was the only thing he had ever known. It made no difference, he trailed his own body like ripples after a rock, smoothing and breaking and smoothing again.Still3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His feet moved tirelessly, without thought. No longer human, only the Walk was real. For minutes, or for months; time was fluid and distant. Walk.
He broke and a low mountain pulled him forward. Smoothed. Broke into flatlands, into shallow water. Into the evening, into the weak dawn.
Smoothed, back into the soft yellow lights behind his eyes. Walk.
He was not alone. This thought came from his bones, the heavy vibrations that shook them. It was something known, not something learned. It was like becoming aware of his own breath.
After a moment, without any real intent, his head raised. The yellow lights flickered. He could see three trees surrounding him. No, three hills. No. Three monstrous beasts. No. Three brothers.
He was waking after
Imitating NatureThe morning sun streamed through a series of large plate glass windows lining the library's east wall, its rays warming the room's wooden paneling and illuminating the cavernous space. Tall bookshelves stuffed with literature from across the world towered over polished oak reading tables, each furnished with a plain, green-shaded banker's lamp. On the far side, a massive painting gracing the west wall depicted the solemn face of Saint Patrick, whose protective presence could be felt watching over the library's sole visitor.Imitating Nature3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
All was perfectly quiet, save for a tap, tap, tapping that echoed in the otherwise silent room. Seated at a desk near the door, glued to the screen of his laptop, Eoghan quietly tapped his pen against the notepad in his lap as his eyes scanned through the different news reports.
Another roadside bomb outside of Kandahar, three dead, all soldiers. God frowns upon careless mistakes gentlemen. You should have noticed the dead dog along the side of the road.
letters from the seai.letters from the sea1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes when i wake up
before the sun rises, when i’m all alone
and it feels like i might be the only person in the world
i notice that my face is wet
and i wonder if it’s because
i’ve been swimming with you in my dreams
i remember you
in the summer nights under the corsican stars
and the warmth of your skin in the cold seawater
how the phosphorescence coated our bodies
as we swam together,
the salty tang of the ocean and your fingers up my spine
and us glowing like soft stars in the night
i remember how i wished it could last forever
now i wonder if the tides and my tears
were so different after all
Time Traveller's EngagementExactly ten years from tomorrow, we'll be married here. My wife doesn't know that, of course. In a certain sense, neither do I.Time Traveller's Engagement4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's a beautiful spot, now. Now meaning today, when the sunlight is still pure, and the sky is still blue. The ivy still climbs in green snakes up the side of her father's chateau, the pennants of the House of Renard are snapping gaily over the towers.
I hear a lilting laugh that even now sends my heart into my throat. Euryale Renard. She is only a girl today, no older than my little sister is in the days I left behind. Even at twelve, my Ury's curls catch the sun like molten amber, with a flower basket flung wide as she runs. Behind her tumble the Twins, her best friends, their giggles almost as musical as my Ury's, their golden hair belying the poison in their hearts. I remember the snarl on Cassandra's lips as she spilled out her wine glass on the floor after Ury's father toasted our engagement. I remember wiping Chloe's spit from my eye on the same
Tea BrownIt was all about finding those edges where the shore metTea Brown2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
took a trip at first, a little dip to test the water, tea-brown and murky
but swimming was easy and keeping one hand on land
was like trying to climb a mountain of sand
and the tide, a rip, took us out to sea
It was all about keeping your head above the water
because you'd never see the monsters underneath in that lightless place
but they could only get you when you got tired or
when it got too hard to escape that place
deep-space diving got dangerous
It was all about coming up for air to fill your lungs
and trying to keep the hair out of your eyes even though you couldn't see
it felt safer, like running at night, faster and silent
but the only way was down and deep
with all the added weight
It was about remembering what floating was like back when you could always
put your feet down and walk out when you were done swimming
or when the water got too cold or when you just needed
to get someplace dry but now every direction is
Nothing Lives Foreveri.Nothing Lives Forever2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When you were a child, we would sit on the porch to talk about your day. And sometimes, we would find a dead bird, or a frog on there. And you would ask me about death and why it happens, looking at the poor creature in my hands, its life cut short and touch it tenderly. I would always say the same thing.
Nothing is meant to live forever, my dear.
The school called me in on your twelfth birthday and asked if I had known how clever you were, that your test scores were the best in the state. They asked me if I knew I had a genius child on my hands who grew bored easily in class and tended to distract others in his classroom, sometimes causing arguments, fistfights and could manipulate his classmates into doing anything.
We don't think this is the school for him. He needs to be challenged appropriately.
You fell in love at seventeen and she was lovely. Kind, caring and beautiful, I couldn't ask for a better girl for you. She was our neighbour
just wave goodbye dearest,just wave goodbye3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
today i was
i tried to
could only get
as far as sand before the
cratered moon pulled me back again.
Victory in defeatAmid the horror and the bloodshed, weeping,Victory in defeat1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I dared to look at my loathed foe.
He smirked and then he promised:
“If you bow down to me,
upon my word, it
ends. Bow to me,
and go home.”
The Redacted Qur'an (Excerpts)I THE EXORDIUMThe Redacted Qur'an (Excerpts)2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
IN THE NAME
Praise be to
the straight path
of those who have gone astray
80 HE FROWNED
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
He might have sought
to purify himself - but that
wealthy man remained to
cleave asunder the thickets,
to delight in each brother;
each of them beaming,
smiling, joyful, face veiled
88 THE OVERWHELMING EVENT
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
Have you heard
of men, worn out, drinking
from a bitter gushing
fountain, soft silken carpets
spread, and Heaven leveled
to their account?
90 THE CITY
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
I swear you
are a created
91 THE SUN
(IN THE NAME OF PASSION)
The sun and the moon,
the day, the night spread
Him with knowledge of sin:
"Blessed shall be the man
who kept pure ruined pride
when Allah's own spurge razed
the city. He was afraid
FirefighterI'd always known what I was going to be when I grew up. Not everyone has that kind of clarity at such a young age, but I did. I was going to be a firefighter. I knew it the very first time I watched Fireman Sam - he was my hero.Firefighter2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I couldn't understand why people laughed at me when I told them of my ambitions. Even my father, who'd always been supportive of me before, patted me patronisingly on the head when I told him. "Yes, yes, and your brother wants to be a ballerina," he chuckled.
I didn't understand that. Ricky certainly did not want to be a ballerina. He wanted to be a masked vigilante. I knew because I'd overheard him talking to his friends the other day, but I didn't say that. There were certain things that you just didn't do, and correcting my father was one of them - I'd learnt that the hard way.
Ricky didn't approve of my ambitions either. I told him that he was the one being unrealistic for wanting to be a masked vigilante which wasn't even a real job; he just
paper hearts. Theres a crevice in the wall where she hides her little baby girl, all plastic smiles and mechanical giggles. She cuddles it like it has a soul and speaks to it like it has a name. Its soft rubber skin has been covered with paper hearts and marker stars, and its little plastic ears have been filled with whispers of adoration and love. Its wiry blonde hair has been crossed into braids, twisted up above its head, and she has pulled a dress onto its synthetic body with the brightest little smile. She reminds it that its beautiful, even though it cant hear. She fastens it tight into the beaten pink stroller and skips behind it as it rolls across the pavement, dancing in the sun like there is no tomorrow and yesterday is only a dream.paper hearts.6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And maybe she's only six years old, but she knows how babies are made. Not the ones you buy in the store, the ones you have to tear out of the cru
the letter that never arrivedas if grief had never hollowed out my heart,the letter that never arrived2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
caverns echoing with the memory of a laugh,
as if despair had never stolen my voice
until love whispered in my ear
and I knew what mattered,
of knowing: there are things
you will decide to protect yourself from,
you must never relive,
and some you must live
and live again,
no matter the cost
for frost: we need not live in vigilwe don't have to split a forkfor frost: we need not live in vigil2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in two (or ten or six); may then diverge
our Paths along the path
not finite, un-impossible? you
may have rule and road, miles and
sir. the Hoarfrost gathers great
on you, like winter on the words
you forged from wood and wakeful spurs
remainders); like ornaments
that decorate dull
in any other season.
you are boxed and labeled, kept
in the murky & foreclosed adjunct space
that borders the heart but never enters
a tease of a tease to touch
the lives of those who happen by
i've left minds more open and
know travels- even in the way
everyone travels- that will carry me
for miles until i sleep.
Sword SwallowerSix seasons.Sword Swallower2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Seventeen and one half months.
Nineteen and one quarter lunar cycles.
Five hundred thirty four days and nights.
Seven hundred sixty-eight thousand nine hundred and 60 seconds.
We spent every one of these units of time together.
In the shadow of the oncoming storm, a tree shudders within, dropping its' fruit.
Tides rush before the storm carrying generations to a land with wounded soil where they perish.
Numbers are not real. I count them 3..5..23..88, 89, 90, 91..98, 99..115..Habit. See it. Sum it. Submit.
Pulling, pounding, pushing, breathing, the song of the new cicadas.
In harmony a steady nightly rhythm. (701)
Soaked in an ocean of soiled linen, daring desires, pheromones, swollen lips and coliseum kisses.
Your spasmodic shell satiated, separates, splinters, shatters, sails straight South.
Through the long nights I've been cinched t