infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowing
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
a meaningful poem about nothing.this is a poem about how fixing peoplea meaningful poem about nothing.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is not romantic.
we’re not meant to be somebody’s answer,
we’re not meant to make someone feel alive again.
this is a poem about why you shouldn’t kiss him
because he’s broken
because you want to save him.
save yourself first.
kiss him because he holds a place in your heart, not
because he's the only thing making it pump.
kiss him because he’s in your life, not because
he is your life.
hold him, but don’t hold onto him because you believe
(get to dry land first.)
this is a poem about how i find poetry in everything.
breakups. my dad telling me i mattered.
nightmares. my neighbor’s insomnia.
how it drove him crazy.
how he swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills to fix it.
my neighbor’s funeral.
this is a poem about the split-apart theory.
the idea was that when humanity became arrogant
toward the gods, we were split in two
and were doomed to spend our live
dichotomy.i.dichotomy.2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
there’s a monster inside of my head.
it moved in four years ago, but they say it’s always been there. my daddy has one. so does his mom.
they say that’s where i got it. dad says grammy’s monster made her beat him until he was seven. dad says his monster made him drink until he blacked out, for twenty years.
they all say, “don’t let it in.” they all say, “it’ll control you, because you are weak.”
(actually, they say “vulnerable.”)
they tell me its name, so i can paint it on my wrists, on my forehead, along the curves of my ears. keep out. no BIPOLAR DISORDER allowed. they say it notices loud things. capital letters, for one. or crying children. or hatred. or fear.
they do not tell me what it’s like to see it. they do not tell me what’s it like, to feel it burrowing under your skin.
when it came to me, i pleaded with it. i said, “please go away,” and it didn’t listen.
things i want you to know.0.things i want you to know.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is a picture in my living room
of my parents in their twenties, in sunhats,
there is a picture of my father holding me
when i was two years old.
there is a picture of my parents
on their wedding day.
there is a picture of me when i was
ten, eleven, twelve.
i’m seventeen now and
i won’t let my mother
take any of the pictures
i need to believe that, at one point,
this house was more than just
i was born on the second-to-last day
i weighed seven pounds, two ounces,
and it was ninety-nine degrees out.
four years before that, in 1992,
the officers who beat rodney king
within an inch of his life
five years before that, in 1991,
a cyclone in Bangladesh killed
138,000 people and made 10 million
ten years before that, in 1986,
a fire in a Los Angeles library
damaged more than 400,000
and on that day, april 29, 1996, i was born
and i’d like to pretend
that it was a go
two-fifty an hour.let me save you the trouble:two-fifty an hour.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because what i'm trying to say is
i'm not a good person.
i don’t tell valerie about how i planned to rekindle
my friendship with charlie’s best friend last year
just so i could get to him and hurt him.
(i don’t tell her how, in the end, i ended up liking
his friend instead, and charlie dated another
fifteen year old
because shit happens and what was i doing,
expecting things to go my way?)
there are certain things she doesn’t need to know,
certain things i can’t say because
putting it into words what it was like waking up,
that sort of shame that came with it –
it was like – it was like looking into a window
and swearing there’s a monster behind it
before, slowly, i realized
it was a mirror.
what therapy promises me: love yourself, forgive but
never forget, tell us your past
then let it go.
what i learn in therapy: nobody has all the answers.
we certainly don’t.
adults.i.adults.2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.
They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”
They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.
Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.
They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
In the second grade, I learned that
short-term memory.and you'll never forget:short-term memory.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
When you realized that everybody dies alone.
When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.
When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)
When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."
When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."
When he told you, "More than just a long time."
The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.
When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.
When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."
When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper – and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
Writer ScarsI have told my secretsWriter Scars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
through loves ink -
painted them to my skin
with watercolor defiance.
& writers, we sometimes
write about our scars
in riddles, layers upon
layers of thought, -
care for them
on the warlands
of our bodies.
we give them faces,
we give them names,
we give them gravestones.
We kill them off
in our stories,
make them villains,
make them heroes.
I have wrists that roar,
& I will be damned
if I don’t let them
tell their stories.
why i never wrote you a poem.last summer i triedwhy i never wrote you a poem.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to use the words that you fell asleep to
to write you a love song but
every time i tried
my fingers froze up.
i failed the test of describing you
in a paragraph
in a sentence
in a word
there is nothing in my head adequate enough
to describe how you look
on the train station platform
when you smile at me.
i can tell you that
my heart climbs into my throat and
my body prickles with heat and
everything disappears, for just a moment, but
the thing i cannot describe
your mouth caresses my name
like it’s the most beautiful sound
it’ll ever know,
like it understands me perfectly,
you are not made of verses.
you have no meter.
you are not written in stanzas
that i understand
and i find myself captivated
at how beautifully complex
your language is.
you say i’m the mesmerizing one, but, baby,
you've stumped me.
you have left a girl,
a person who wants to build their life
titans.they don’t tell you thattitans.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sisyphus just let the rock roll down
and collect his body
they don’t tell you that you can still walk
with holes in your legs
and you can still love
when your heart has already been ripped open.
they don’t tell you that
you are 75% of an ocean
that is six miles deep
and eats ships alive,
75% of the water that shapes canyons,
75% of the rain that drowned the earth
for forty days and nights.
they don’t tell you that
your body is made of the same carbon
they don’t tell you that
there is a fire burning inside of you
or that your bones are stronger than steel
or that the things that fuel you
fuel tigers, too.
the greeks and romans wrote stories about
how strong you were
and you are icarus,
and you died laughing
because they didn’t tell you
how beautiful the world really was
even as it was swallowed
by the waves.
tocophobia.the world of pregnancy and childbirthtocophobia.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
has been boiled down to the white,
neurologically healthy babies
in pink and blue knit caps.
“that one,” says the tearful father.
“she’s beautiful,” says the nurse
while the mother rests.
but why is it
that the default image of motherhood
is a white middle-class couple with a picket fence
and a golden retriever?
let’s postpone that cruise to the caribbean
and make a baby.”
what about the prostitutes
who get pregnant?
what about the girls in africa
who carry their rapist’s babies?
what about the babies left on the firehouse steps?
what about the welfare mothers
because they can’t pay the hospital fees?
who have heroin tracks on their arms
(like stitches that can’t hold them together)
where the patient bracelet is snapped on?
what about the 500,000 american children
waiting to get adopted?
what about miscarriages and women
who can never have kids?
we preach for the
Second star to the rightThere are days where sheSecond star to the right2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
forgets how to fly;
wings all tangled up in
"There is nothing wrong with me,"
"Nothing at all.
I just can't seem to
The clock strikes
she's nothing but
and withering pixie dust.
Another Language called EnglishI took your adjectives for granted. There was something about the way you skipped over your 's'es and gleaned over your 'i's and 'e's, that never really made me want to kiss you. You'd sit there with your languid fingers clutching a book that was half finished, and read me words that were completely mispronounced. It would prickle me under my skin and I would grit my teeth, wondering when you would stop. I would never understand the english language you thought you spoke, and your confidence in your own words annoyed me.Another Language called English2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was comical when you spoke in front of our friends. Your mistaken pronunciation of the word 'pronunciation' in particular made them giggle. I would stand in a corner, clutching a glass of rum and coke and cringe, flushing in second hand embarrassment. You would smile at me from across the room, and continue with your tangled tongue as though nothing was wrong.
I felt sorry for you. But not sorry enough when you took your favourite writing pen from my d
Love as an AsthmaticI snatch my breath after we kissLove as an Asthmatic2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because I want to feel you
in my wheezing, useless lungs
not just a craving
a desperate need
in the physical urge
to breathe you in,
make your mystical secrets
a part of my body.
numbering the steps.I'd like to count the number of times you fucked me over, but I only have ten fingers and toes.numbering the steps.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I never mentioned this but I really should have.
Because it was so hard that you were blowing me off, especially after the third/fourth/fifth/fourteenth time.
Or in September, when your eyes could look everywhere but mine when I finally stopped telling you, because I knew you weren't listening.
Oh, and you killing yourself last April. There's that.
(Your note said: "Tell Scarlett I'm sorry." And oh God, Charlie, please believe me, I tried so hard to make it right, I did.)
Fourteen days, two hours, and fifty-nine minutes: how long it took for us to fall in love.
Overnight: how long it took for you to fall out of it.
You loved me like a bomb loves a crowd. Like the boys mothers warn their little girls about, except you had softer hands and nicer eyes, so I never thought you could take everything when you left.
You wouldn't have come to me in January if our par
april 18th, 2012.therapy:april 18th, 2012.2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"I'm not an artist. I'm just a kid with a keyboard."
“And, y'know, I’m probably not really sick.”
“I read a lot of books. I probably just act like this because I saw it somewhere on the Internet.”
“I just want to be more like my dad.”
“I’m really just a pathological crybaby who wants attention,” I tell you.
You say, “I think there are better ways to get attention than fake a mental disorder.”
“Maybe I’m doing it for fun.”
The problem isn’t that I need to see a therapist.
The problem is that I need to see a therapist because I dream about slamming your head into a tree.
Right after we broke up, you took me to the bike cage and promised me everything would be okay. Then you got together with that fifteen year old from Michigan and told our friends that I was a freak.
Slamming your head into a tree might be painful, but nothing will ever hurt more than kn
was it easy?i.was it easy?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When I met you, I would only bring tragedies up to the rooftop, or down to the street corner, or to the bike cage. You asked me if any of them were true.
"You make the saddest stories so beautiful with that pen," you said, on the same day that we held hands for the first time and I found out you smoked.
It's all we are now, though. Just more depressing words from my pen. You loved my writing that much; and that was more than me, and it ruined us.
The January before you turned twenty-one, you told me you were afraid to become an adult. "I don't want to be somebody a child will hate."
You had always smelled like peppermint, cologne, and the truth, and it made me so sure when I told you, "You won't be. You're different."
And hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
We spent the summer talking about baby names and our house in Colorado. You wanted a daughter and I wanted four boys, and one of them had to be called James.
It was October when
Bones mend, but tell no lies.You have cataloged your scarsBones mend, but tell no lies.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like your body is a library-
to be read through &
You think of
all the little boys
whose greedy fingers
You are angry-
cared for you
They left you
on a shelf
to gather dust.
should you ever
WORDLESS WORDSThe writer attempts to writeWORDLESS WORDS2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Describing the indescribable
Limiting the limitless
Naming the nameless
A thousand lines of ink
Written a thousand ways
Cannot describe love
The abstract emptiness
The beauty of colour
The sorrow of loneliness
Burn every book
Destroy every line
An alphabet of ashes
Meaningless is knowledge
Worthless are words
Reading what is written
In ignorance remain
The subtle reality
Beyond all language
Our MasksThe masks we wear are perfectOur Masks2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Never loose and rarely tight
They keep us safe from others
And keep our demons out of sight
They smile when we are broken
And laugh when we simply must
No blemish or imperfection
A creation that will never rust.
I seldom ever remember
Who I am without my mask
That to peel off that layer
Is such a daunting task
All others carry one as well
Wherever they may go
And no matter what is on their minds
Only the molded mask will show.
The lies they preach in public
Or the scars along their wrists
Are left mute to others knowledge
Ignorance is such a splendid gift
My mask is oh so perfect
Not a crack will show
Always sitting in its place
No matter what life will throw
See I’m worried of getting rid of mine
Too scared to let the world see
That behind my safe disguise
Is a dreadful, wounded me.
I’ll keep my mask tied tightly
I’m happy with it for now
But truth is I can’t remove it
The real me doesn’t know how.
on becoming alivethank god for sleeping pillson becoming alive2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the man who gave me a bag
to quiet my mind.
thank god for boys with open hands
and curious minds and naïve hearts
who make me young because
god, you birthed me old
you birthed me old,
so I could be the one to
measure the livelihood of stars
while the others made
their childhood wishes
thank god I have a mind
that runs a million miles faster
than I ever could, because
I believe my heart is an hourglass
of honey and grime, and
I’m slowly running out of
time, and I fear
these days are numbered.
thank god for people
who write the words bleeding in my heart
without knowing I exist, thank god
for beauty and my understanding
that I only exist in relation to it
and in appreciation of what
I can’t become.
thank god for my rebirth
because I spent all those
eye-opening years of my life
sleeping behind the wheel, thank god
someone was there to wake
me up. (thank god that I can
weep for happiness and depression
in the same day,
For every goodbye I ever gave,there is a void that has yet to be filled.For every goodbye I ever gave,2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
probably don't remember when
we stayed up all night counting
stars or how this world
We were our own gods.
The day your faith died
was the day your mother whispered
"He's living with her now" and you
long enough to forget I was standing
Fast forward to
we locked eyes in whitewashed
written in the creases of
your skin like narcotic
borderlines between living and
acting and you could only
pretend like I wasn't
whisper in the wind
that reminded you
of being human once upon a
For the love of
all the smoke in your lungs and the
ache in my heart,
I hope you know who you are now.
The music is gone.I remember emotionThe music is gone.2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Like the deaf recall a tune.
I still have the notion,
But even that will be gone soon.
The songs are muffled at first,
But the notes remain.
I can still be immersed
In musical joy and pain.
But like a copy of a copy of a copy,
Notes are lost and misplaced,
The whole thing gets sloppy,
A masterpiece defaced.
Finally, the end of the blaze
The last notes die in a frost
Leaving the profound malaise
That something beautiful was lost.
Dead is the feeling I once had.
Left in a mute concert hall,
I wonder how it can hurt so bad,
To feel nothing at all.
constellations, ambitions, and things in betweeninstead of poetry,constellations, ambitions, and things in between2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i want to live in
draco & orion,
wrapped in nebulae.
oxygen is too
want to breathe in
neither the gods
nor my demons can
stop me —
i will make the universe
do not marry a writer.do not marry a writer.do not marry a writer.2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
their only love is a pen,
or weapon of choice.
their only home is the mind.
do not marry a writer.
they will leave you for hours,
lost in different worlds.
pulling them out is like waking a sleepwalker.
they will never live the same moment again.
thoughts are lightning quick,
and will never strike the same place more than once.
marry a writer.
only if you want your body
transformed into words.
do not marry a writer.
if you are a flower
requiring constant watering.
you will die, and we will turn your ashes into l e t t e r s.
but marry a writer,
if you want to live forever.