i believed in a god once,
prayed to him for a whole week,
i swear, the south is a place of
mundane beauty, written on the
alabaster walls in parentheses
he was silent; you were too
sometimes it's people that i fear most,
millions of years of millions of cells
of millions of bodies,
edged up against the cliff so that
the icy breeze howls on the arch of our
the ooze of manifest evolution, we rose
from the slime of the sun and ran
blindly into nuclear tomorrow
the worst we could do is be forgotten
listen, i've been trying to find a way
to make myself content with dying,
we're sacred, temple deities to homeostasis,
watching the summers drain down
with a glass of cool lemonade,
at night, my insides glow like fireflies
i'm made of stardust,
and i'll tell you a secret:
you are too
waking upand imagine my surprisewaking up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when my insides bloomed
into so many dandelions,
and in a single breath
indulgencei will peel away every individual shade of colourindulgence2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in this seven-thirty pm sky
like stickers on empty beer bottles in the space
between your ankles
i will drink down this crescent moon cocktail
and get tipsy on night air,
clinging to my skin and summer
will run through my veins
but i don't want winter to come)
and sometimes i'll look down and realise
that my fingers are still sticky with sunsets
but i never want to be clean,
not ever again.
I was never a writer. I: HalfsleeperI was never a writer.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I fell in love, once.
A snowstorm melting from my hair - dripping cataract:
diluted coffee. A dark room filled with language
so beautiful, I almost understood what was said.
Children are getting younger, and this land has no end,
where do you rest your head?
All things are in a constant state of vibration,
a harmony in the space between
our fingers. our hands.
I’ve only ever stopped to listen
things you don't learn in schoolI found a cricketthings you don't learn in school2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the roadside, put it
in a mason jar to show the world
and called it by a first name.
He died of loneliness shortly
thereafter and i learned how wretched
it is to be forsaken.
When I was twelve, I watched a boy
slit his wrists with a plastic spork
at lunch, and though I
laughed at the irony, all i kept thinking was
"I really hope he washed his hands."
He bled tears
of scarlet red that looked
just like tomato sauce, but I just stood
there because it was the coolest thing
I'd ever seen.
The boy, he smelled of dirty
laundry and cigarettes and sorrow
and used to sit by the window
until the bell, where he'd wait until everyone
had gone outside to make sure it was safe.
His eyes were the hollowed rings
of Saturn, with freckles
like stars & cosmic bruises
up and down his arms.
If he spoke, it was of distant shores and escape,
and we believed it
when he talked of things like freedom,
hearing the scratch of gravel
roads from within his throat.
I realized one day that I'd nev
whitewashedmother refuses to drink the honeywhitewashed2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she paints our rooms with, for
curtaining the timid female quarters of home
is just as frightening
as a monsoon-poor September.
the kind she weaves
with her own words seem far
sweeter than the jars they make
in the farm down
the tree-cut boulevard.
she hides stories in her collars, spilling
only when her honey jars are raised
her red-hot honesty
and our yellow, foolish,
the forlorn scent of industry
seeps into the cheap marble floor
and cracked bathroom tiles,
till it reaches father's nose where it
vaporizes in fear of being shunned.
father will paint the ceiling blue
because aloof girls make broken homes, sewn seam
by seam to a delusional perfection.
we are perfect, bent at the knees and spine
to the fetus we compare to
but the shoulders we always are.
we dare not tremble;
his reign, unquestionable,
deconstructing in your sighsideconstructing in your sighs2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it’s not like they said it would be easy.
when you look at me
open-mouthed and dewey-eyed,
negligent; and your laughter
slurs together like runoff sewage,
and your voice is drowning in
a certain kind of sadness, the one
reserved for the faults
we never asked for; and you sigh,
heavy, like I am back sitting in
your throat between your adam’s apple
and the truths you dare not speak;
you pity me.
it’s that very same weakness which
delivered me naked and trembling
into the skin of a person
I never was; pity
does not require action, disappointment
does not take away from the burning human need
to overcome oneself. I’m sick of living
tomorrow regretting the person I am today;
I drained her all out in a fit of desperation,
and filled myself through with vodka giggles
and scribbled lines and you, darling, you,
who fears nothing but the skeleton girl
sleeping quietly in your closet.
on clarity, seeing yourself as you arewe're all hypocrites here.on clarity, seeing yourself as you are2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and we're all artists.
we paint ourselves
onto someone else like
it isn't painful for them,
like it isn't killing them
in the process. we give them
ownership of our failures,
we lay our flaws under their
tongues so when they speak,
more often than not, we hear
some distorted version of
ourselves. we expect them
to love the way we love. we expect
them to fight the way we fight. but yeah, we're
all fucking artists, right?
and we're all individuals, of course.
we're all on our brave, one-man
trip to enlightenment,
we're proud of the way
our word has been shaved
down to feelings, and moments,
mood swings, and oxy
off the bathroom sink.
well i can't be the only fucking
one who's tired of being an artist.
i can't be the only one tired
of seeing my skin stretched out over
everyone i know. i am tired of watching
my reflection shimmer and fade in their
smiles, in their wrath. i am tired of becoming
silver in one moment only to tarnish in the
next. i am tired of asking
in which I become beautifulI drown my conscience inin which I become beautiful2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the holy water of my wrists,
I carve hearts from empty
paper for my galaxyboy
with stars written in his skin,
and I swallow moths to
muffle the emptiness and
help me fly away.
we were found beneath the seai've been meaning to tell youwe were found beneath the sea2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
(i swear i have)
i'm hopelessly addicted to throwing
messages in bottles
and losing them
the milky way.
i had once thrown them across the mid-
-length of seas
but then you would
and leave them,
much like the nights you found
rhythm in my
i found your messages
(i swear i have)
i'm tired of shooting seagulls
and watch them fly
the milky way.
i had once chased them shouting mid-
-length of the sea
but then you would
write a letter,
throw it to me,
and windowsill sit,
much like the night you found
poetry on my
and then i found verses
(i swear i didn't mean to)
i thought you stopped
yelling metaphors to keep me
i just thought you'd
stop painting your dreams
on my salty
i wrote fabricated honesty
(i swear i didn't mean to)
i wanted to whisp
Otherwise Good ConditionI have worn the same dressOtherwise Good Condition2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for four days, because
I am sick, exquisitely
black and gold, your drunk
dimestore Nefertiti. A
white stain announces
itself, a muddy star:
here. Undo yourself,
those sallow words you drink,
let the silk fall loose. I've got
a face like dirty laundry
and burial grounds --
What I touch becomes
unwell. I wear my hair
like it pains me,
like a little girl
sucking her teeth
at cars, the caked little
tombs of sugar that crumble,
under the hot milk
of the sun.
Goodnight Enigmatic SongShe was the song you hear and, at first blush, don't like.Goodnight Enigmatic Song2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Well, you don't know how you feel about it so you keep listening in an attempt to discover how exactly you feel and then you reach the end of the song and you realize, you don't like it; you love it.
That was Grace.
She was my coworker and she was my friend.
We carpooled together, I drove and she slept most of the way.
"Don't get much sleep at night, do you?" I asked her, catching those drooping lids mid-descent.
She looked out the window streaked with rain; it spoke in percussive touches filling the car with quiet overcast conversation.
I felt the warmth of her smile in the corner of my eye. The blur of her hand reached at the window to feel the cold of the droplets.
"When I was a girl, I used to race these. I thought it was funny the fat ones always won," she giggled and I imagined her as a little girl in the passenger seat then, legs too short to reach so kicking, and hair messed in the bac
How to Pocket a Man's HumanityFirst, convince him to adoptHow to Pocket a Man's Humanity2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a rescue cat, fat, days away
from slaughter. Find one mis-
sing half his tail. The pair
will purr in tune; this step
is important. Next, rush him,
him and his rescue, to their
home, and then keep them dry
and healthy. Move deliberate-
ly, with articulation. Shape
the sound. Watch cat and man
sup together, sleep together.
Spring happens upon them, as
it does, and the man and his
rescue walk along the bridge-
less route to the forest and
grove without wind. Convince
him to let rescue race aloft,
to the distant hill-top. And
he will, and he does, and he
is gone. The man screams out-
ward into the meadow, scream
after scream weaving through
stalks of wheat, but nothing.
No clicks or mews. A nothing
against the rust of night on
the horizon. Help the man to-
ward his doorstep. Help keep
him apprised of the treeline
and its shadows. Finally, he,
rescue, appears, and the man
grabs your collar and shouts
and walks and runs and stops.
Rescue has brought home life
onco genes couldn't kill youyour frameworkonco genes couldn't kill you2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and well-rested bones
of their own comforts
have caught my fancy
you need to know
you're deliciously vulnerable
it is you
who has the power
my dear, i will
pollenwasp-waisted beautypollen2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
pray into my collarbone
let your snake tongue slither
with the syllables.
i wish for soft-chested nights,
and the trickle of champagne down crystal glass.
poppy-lips, lull me to sleep,
nurse my coiling tongue with yours;
tap my scalp like a silent drum,
and wind my hair in between your fingers
like broken guitar strings.
(serenade me with the buzz of pollen in your kiss.)
i don't think im alive enough to die yet.we used to play russian roulette on dingy street corners,i don't think im alive enough to die yet.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
cigarettes hanging from soot-blackened lips
and morphine running rampant through our drugged up systems.
i remember how i was always shot.
you ran away when i didn't die
and left me to bleed out
onto the cold concrete.
but you don't understand-
dolls and wallflowers are empty inside,
and hearts constructed hastily with broken matchsticks
don't beat true. it's just dull thumping
in a hollow chest cavity.
(and even the best dentists can't fill this one up.)
tencourage must be a dominant trait,ten2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for how else could you handle
a pin-pulled grenade
with such delicacy
Paradoxes in her bonesand she always dismisses herselfParadoxes in her bones2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and leaves her pupils dilated
lighthouses and forget-me-nots tangled in her chest
but her thoughts shiver more than her dreams.
he calls her beautiful
as she longs to stick his eyes out with stones
and grasp his aching heart between her hands
but they both know he's already broken.
how can they stop when they've never started
she wishes she could send them reeling
with stalwart syllables and poignant sighs
even though she's never made a sound.
the storms outside are bitter
no sweet rain after dusk to wet her lips
the winds inside her are quiet, and seething
with all the words she's never said
and all the promises she's ever broken.
I would love to give upi.I would love to give up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
'there's a second hand that holds mine, and stuffs the words back down my throat.'
her voice a crack--
sticks & stones breaking
between her teeth
but when she tries to find the sound
her pen runs dry
[can someone flip the switch to 'yes' or 'no'
i've been so de
& my head is saying 'maybe']
(i would ask myself,
but i don't trust liars)
she tries to string the words
down a thread
but they always c r u mb l e
(& the cinders burn
with the same old questions)
but when you turn
she'll be gone
there are rocks in her throat when she asks you for help.
the words grind to sand on her tongue.
smoke in her head
smeared across her hands
her fingers are broken;
o k e d
she reaches for some kind of
at the corner
& turn of each & every page
the beauty's in the leavingRead aloud here.the beauty's in the leaving2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sweetheart, let's head out. let's
drink up the desert asphalt and that last bottle
of johnny walker blue--
one last toast to the copper sunsets,
to the good earth. a pair of
tailgate stargazers, you and i:
roaming curves across the glove compartment map, until
every foldline is worn flannel-soft
and it'd rather stay open
let's forget route sixty-six. let's forget
and pick up terra cotta dust--
breathe in the mojave. let's pretend
that the world's already ended
and it's just us.
let's leave the door unlocked
The Problem With Elia.she could have been a violin;The Problem With Elia.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
born a week too late, she had
melancholy in her bones: doctor lizbet
took time out of her schedule to pluck her
newborn strings - calloused sanitation against
mottled pink-and-yellow flesh & thrashing limbs.
in three more years, she will have
nothing in her bones at all: doctor estair
diagnosed her with iatrophobia to fuel her
instinctive chords - ripple-free shells of liquid
lobotomy & a capsule to callous her pink-and-yellow
flesh against the thought of just getting over it all.
ten years after that, her mother will
find her face down and thrashing: her dust
bunny bones will flex as she retches up her memories
for display - lawyers will spend the next few years pawing
through them with clawed hands and heaving breathing until
one day, they find lizbet and estair huddled amid the rubble of her bones.
an irrevocable truthi.an irrevocable truth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
snowflake child, you are a fine example
of the incandescence of a human light
even under innumerable umbras
i see you- ruby and blooming
ferociously fighting your way
out of a pile of rubble
my anemone, my halo
that comely wraps around my moon pith
do not fret if i self-stumble, fumble
with my fingers, and mumble to my toes
my center of gravity is oft frail and
meek to begin with
you are lead cause of the diamond flecks
scattering about the carbon of my pupils
you do not leave me
you teach me to be
snake-eyed yet shotgun-hearted-
a sapphire wanderlust livid
for life and star-gazing sights, you map
constellations on my freckles and fright
look now at how i'll find my lighthouse lover
then tend to some kids
and grow out of my gills and into grey hairs
then tend to some kids with their own kids
and reminisce about friends and phenomena
i signed my name on a patch of sky with
all on my own except
that your hand never left mine
that if i were to crumble
like the sandcastle