Lake WindermereWe are sometime tourists,
in open topped buses
tie-dyed amongst Mercedes.
smelling of campfire smoke,
our pockets filled with menthol cigarettes,
and skipping stones.
We find ourselves
basking in the glow of laughter
under the dripdrip
of cave music.
Beers and sticky chocolate bars
fill our tattered canvas bags,
alongside leather flip flops,
discarded for bare footed expeditions
and daisy chains.
fat.I oncefat.8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
knelt to kiss
my mother's belly
as it spilled fluidly
over her waistband,
the milky, mottled
soft skin stretched
taut and drawn
in thick puckers
of flesh. I pressed
grateful lips to the swell,
the feathery, darkened scar
where they wrenched us
Full Fathom FiveFull fathom fiveFull Fathom Five8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
She lies, drowned,
In a world with
No light or sound
On her side, 'mongst
The corals and the fishes,
Longing for the
Breeze she misses
Full fathom five
She stirs and groans,
From her bones
And rising from
Her frigid bed
She reaches from
Beyond the dead
Full fathom five
She leaves the gloom,
Seeks the comfort
Of the moon.
With a whisper,
She breaks the waves;
Her skeleton crew
Wake from their graves
Full fathom five,
She sails still,
Upon a gossamer mist,
Weaving a chill
Around the hearts
Of sailing men
Who cross themselves and turn
From this phantom wind
Full fathom five
She flees the dawn
Seeking the night
To which she's drawn
But when the sun
Climbs into the sky,
Full fathom five,
She'll, dreaming, lie.
ThiefThe man with the umbrella smileThief6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and bright crooked eyes
strips down the daylight
like a hunter skinning first kill
He lurches under a darkling moon
tucking kite string under his coat
where the wind gathers tears and leaves
and scatters you in bits and pieces.
He has cold hands without gloves
and loves to touch you secretly
when he thinks the moon is not watching
and your lips are stitched shut
by a mother's weary hands.
His sighs are solitary shades
growing in a damp knot
under the stretch of your dress
where he baits your breath
and forces you to hold it
until you turn blue.
He offers you pieces of stars
and pretty things to wear
places promises on your tongue
that hang like cloaks in dark closets
and presses you to keep secrets
arched between your thighs
tucked up inside your belly.
He unpins night from the sky
and rolls it up under your bed
tucking it in safe and secure
in the corners he hides from your family
disguising the abomination
that calls itself sanctuary.
School Nativity PlaySchool Nativity Play12 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Miss Williams! Miss Williams!
You'd really best come quick!
The wise men keep on arguing,
And Joseph's just been sick!
The star somehow got broken,
We don't know yet who did it,
Some say that it was Lizzie -
I think it was Ned Pitt.
The girls were playing with Jesus,
And his head somehow came off…
And the boy that sings the solo,
Just got a nasty cough.
The wise men are still bickering,
Over which of them is most wise,
And one really seems to think,
That he's God in disguise.
The shepherds have just lost their sheep,
And don't know what to do –
I don't suppose that you'd know where
To find a random ewe?
Betsy says her tooth's come out,
And that she wants her mum;
And by now Joseph is looking
Really rather glum…
The audience are coming in,
But we're really in a state,
Do you think they'll mind too much
If we're about an hour late?
The scenery's fallen down again –
I just thought that you should know,
And, Miss Williams, you'll never guess…
Miss Williams? Where'd you go?
Strawberries By Sunset.Admire--Strawberries By Sunset.6 years ago in Scraps More Like This
the halcyon of wind carries
away from golden acres
on which blossoms my treasure
bush-cradled until prosperity.
the hush valley whispers
poetry under sheets
necking a residuum evenfall
in which our ghosts remain
kissing strawberries by sunset.
Catapedamaniai know they dont want me to jumpCatapedamania6 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
I have forever harbored inside me a fascination with edges.
My first memories are of standing on a cliff, wanting oh so badly for it to crumble under my feet. I saw a line separating earth and sky, and an urge rose in my chest to blur it.
This feeling of always being on the very tip of reality, wishing I could lose my balance and plummet, only intensified as I grew older. I found such sweetness in thoughts of stepping over sidewalk cracks to plunge into a world with nowhere left to stand on.
At the same time I was afraid normal boys didnt think of falling as I did, didnt want its escape from the cold, rigid ground. So I never mentioned it to anyone. But I didnt want to stop the desire blossoming inside me. I feigned interest in hiking and went out looking for the highest places to lose myself.
the throng is seething below, mindless chat
The First MovementThe First Movement8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I left my lover on the floor,
arms bent like a lamp cord.
He said to me things were
different looking up;
the ceiling was brighter,
my eyes were lit up.
And he sank into sand tiles,
his hands were raw and waiting,
He Idles At the Break of DayHe idles at the break ofHe Idles At the Break of Day3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
day with a hum-song
from his engine, winds careening
along windows cracked, and the
copious chirps of an April bird.
"Is it music?" He wonders - that
ordered-chaos-well-from-the-soul - an
ostinato engine to the stringing
of windly breezes - and the singing,
oh how the singer sings her sun-dust
melody, like angels from tree-lined
shadows on a horizon of blazing light.
SocksYou can't always win a nobel prizeSocks7 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
or vicarious eyes
while thinking of ways to rhyme
with a 2 syllable word;
I spew lizard,
despite how absurd,
and whether or not
that strikes you in awe
or raises a brow,
or opens your jaw,
regardless of whatever you're thinking right now,
this has no relevance... to anything. At all.
Sometimes you write
about humanity's flaws,
write to grant laughter,
or analyze God,
but then when you write,
you imagine your bed!
so maybe you'd rather be writing
about... socks, instead.
It shouldn't take long
since i'm very much familiar
and quite frankly, an expert,
in the subject matter,
I mean, I wear socks
like, every day, man.
It's I think something
everyone should try.
At least once,
just sit down and write.
No theory, no philosophy,
no literary temptation.
Just write shit about socks,
and the feet that wear them.
Bathtub EscapadeI am writing this to youBathtub Escapade8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
From a bathtub in Jerusalem.
This room is gold
like the city itself:
stone sitting smugly
on strata pedestals
looking down haughtily
at my scrawny form:
into scraps. scripts. dusty dreams.
Till tongue is soaked
in movements and images of
people burying all mystery
in the same old void.
I was speaking to
the Rabbis wife tonight,
Slurring my words
and cursing myself
and only thinking about
The dead bird stuck in the Wailing Wall
Its beak jammed in there
like a personal love letter
its wings flapping like dead weights.
From here the world looks grey.
The faucet dripping behind
a backdrop of spinal chord
and emerging puddle,
The edges of our world are desiccated.
In a land that has been ravished, raped, bastardized,
I dont go hunting for boundaries
So in my mind,
let us live here
syllables spilling softly
drunk with the drip.
of this golden tap
in this golden city.
Pain PAINPain7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Hangs from your pelvis
like an incomplete, conjoined sibling
with no mind of its own
but enough of yours to make you fear it.
Comes when you are sleeping
to perch on your face and dip its beak
redly into your dreams.
Shucks its claws
on the upholstery of your flesh.
Is a fog-eyed poet, reading aloud to you
endless reams of his own passionate,
Squats in the waste it has made of you,
you dare not look in the eye.
Remembers the body when it moved
with the ease of light across a lakes delicate skin.
Watches your babies grow
skins so thick they cant feel you.
Is an illusion
overcome by mastery of the mind,
an ascetic life, a clean colon, eighteen
valium and a quart of Scotch, a bullet
or all of the above.
Miyamoto Musashi's Poetrywe reconstruct the manMiyamoto Musashi's Poetry10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from shards of paper and pottery
(a shrike in ink
a small wooden bodhisattva
a practical treatise on swordplay)
he said his only teacher was Nature
which is a fine thing to say
when you're good at everything
they say he slew Ganryū
with a length of oar
he'd whittled on impulse into a sword
so much for the soul of the samurai:
not metal, flashing and hard
priceless and irreplaceable
only a discarded wooden spar
emerging from refuse
to refuse returning
and perhaps his poems were the same
nourished by earth and water
whispering an answer to wind
burbling off towards the long sea
and this is how history left him
and this is how I might find him:
an old man on a mountain
preparing future warriors for poetry
writing his way back
into the world that wrote him
when he emerges from his grotto to converse with the single scarred wholeness of the moon, I steal towards his poems and brush the pages across my hands, like reaching for a damselfly at rest, to see how his b
Death in the BoondocksDeath in the Boondocks9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
your violent facade is fading.
you walk the edges of town and make
misery feel like malt liquor, hard and hazy
and painfully addicting.
you carry a loaded semi-automatic and preach
the wickedness of gun violence. you feel weighted and
sunk to the bottom of the Charles.
in the South, the streets crumple and you feel
violently double-crossed by the dead weight
of morning as you sit in your car and watch the city bleed.
at Quincy, the rows of 4th of July ribbons deride you
as you stumble by; the air is bubbling and you
don't have any more legs to stand on.
it's a hot morning and Harvard is gray as dust.
it is hateful irony that the red streamers remind you
of blood rather than bliss.
you are a hooligan, and the hot steel is barbed wire
next to your skin. how many days has it been since you slept?
it doesn't matter, you know the real reason you carry that gun.
you always laughed at irony, even if it wasn't funny. you
laugh hysterically now, down at the end of the docks, the morning
introduction.---introduction.6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
if a man loves you he sees your
walls like a canvas for him to trace
his hand upon and write German love poems
in white paint. years later he will
find that hand print and measure it to
his own and laugh and say yes, I was here when
I was young and a different person and
you were yet foreign to my eyes. he will
laugh into your skin and introduce himself
again in case you forget.
hello, he will say, I'm the man who finger
painted my intentions on your distrust in a
language you didn't understand. he will speak
to you in German and you will still think it sounds
angry and he will say, you thought I was yelling
when I was only in love with you.
I know, you will say, I know, I know.
PROSE What Spies DoMy dad is a rock. He is solid, he is powerful. He can still pick me up and toss me over his shoulder. He is never seen to cry, he can never be swayed or damaged by opinion. He is a real estate agent, and he pushes those deals and sways those clients with confidence and experience. He flexes his arms at the dinner table when I ask him and points exactly which way it is to the beach or the gun show. He is a tree, a mountain, a thick and formidable presence in any room, in any place, against any person.PROSE What Spies Do7 years ago in Literature Submissions More Like This
Hes late, my mom said, and pursed her lips through the steam of her hot dinner plate.
My brother pushed a floret of broccoli with his fork. Cant we just start without him?
Absolutely not. She frowned. God help us if we become one of those families that never eats together. Its an important part of your childhood, and so ma
RaskolOur son and his wife sleep in separate rooms. They are painted the same colour and bear identical scars but are separated by a hall so long that by the time I walk from one end to the other, I am too tired to compare and know what is different.Raskol6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
That is the convenience of an oversized house, I think, that we did not have in our small one-room apartmentthey never have to see each others faces. You remember the nights when we were given no choice but to lie next to each other, against the hard corner, when we were seething in each others anger. How wonderful it might have been to stare at a blank wall, letting the heat of our hands seep into the plaster until we forgot each other, and how to be angry.
I never told you the fear I had inside my heart every time we tore apart and came back together again, that we would forget how closely we fit, or that in the short intervals when we were apart, a piece of the puzzle would come loose against us like a grain of sand, until w
if the woman .if the woman6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
If the woman is a stone
bury her in blue water,
If the woman is a knife
rub her til she's sharp.
His voice is a rattle at the bottom of a tin cup.
His arms are spurs, and rusted
where metal pinches leather.
He shakes like a drum in firelight
with the last fist still fresh on his back:
ama sa'ni, she grow curved low like a horseshoe,
she pull stories from lamb wool, wrap up
our toes in cotton words,
I go walk on her clouds when I sleep.
Before the men with chins like rocks and the women
like Trotsky in Mexicoi conjugate apples to appleslike Trotsky in Mexico9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
replacing you with
syntactic dribble, spilling onto
my shirt, buttoned
collar to crotch
i am marrying words
like you married your
dolls in the seventh grade
the little weddings, bride
a tacky white christmas tree,
white as pearl, crashing into
a cake, breast-like goblets
as the groom snickered
softly to himself
and slipped the ring
down his throat like
a hook on a fishing line.
she was left, a Great Red Spot
on her Jupiter panties,
a glazed wreck
on the tongue of red velvet.
i break myself on the wheel,
stretched like taffy over a
slow grid, my feet raped
by icy stirrups.
you both watched gleefully
as Joan of Arc burned as paper,
blowing into dust.
he said he wanted your smell
he said he wanted your taste
he wanted to wake up,
his breath all in yours,
his socks, bunched in a
corner of the room
he wanted your children,
and he wanted your life.
but i guess i am just
Trotsky in Meixco,
an icepick in my head.
i caught a glimpse of
His Never-Wed BrideBriskly comes the bloody winter winds ventHis Never-Wed Bride7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Gray dusk looms over my shattered homestead
The crows caw makes known the warriors descent
Across the dying pasture, misted red
Glory, comes now my once sweetly adored!
Fighting brothers with valiant reluctance
His tender eyes shut, his breathing no more
His body lies stone-cold with stiffened stance
How well he fought for his country and lass
Like Prince Paris, fighting for what he claimed
Now laid ready for a still, somber mass
His face in my conscience forever famed
Gone is the restful warmth of his skin
Gone is the honey-like voice from his tongue
Yet, here he lays, surrounded by my kin
His bluing ears deaf to their praises sung
His eyes like mirrors reflect my despair
His hand is unresponsive to my grasp
Though I know his spirit now watches where
He can escape all maddened soldiers' clasps
Heavens bells peal, the seraphine choir sings
For he has joined the chorus of angels
I can nearly hear his pleasant voice ring
EulogyThe dream-catchers are handmadeEulogy4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but each bear the same mark of boredom.
On the reservation,
the dirt is red and separated from the turquoise on sale.
The tops of the mountains have been scraped off
like whipped cream from pudding cups
of beautiful alien rock.
"Plateau," my mother says.
I am not sure if it is a name
or a command.
The lightning storms are brighter in the desert.
I sit perched on the horizon,
the edge of one loss to another
given up my love, all my bottled water.
The mountains carry their own babies in the muddy puddles,
against the wind they huddle,
but their semi-circle somehow is just one great smile.
I let them tell me I walk over dinosaurs,
that their bones are beneath my feet.
earthy wire and string
these are the weapons I possess
to protect me from their ghosts.
The hollows are for imagination
and the web for night-terrors,
like a brain fraught with holes from pens
trying hard to fill a page,
when you've only got a page left.
She who destroys the lightfirst seedShe who destroys the light5 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Darling, you and I both know
in a better world I could be your Lethe
wrap around you, drown you
that ever tried to bring your fate down on you.
Still if I picked up the pieces
I'd hear their soft hum
the one shells moan for the sea
for even then there would be places in you
still not free.
Surely women must have learned by now
never to trust fruit.
A garden is a prison earned
and there is nothing satanic, nothing sacred
Yet when your body curls in on itself
seduced by not-seeds that need only thirst to root
you find your lips wet
and what might be blood or juice
becomes the same as sweat.
Your skin is singing
I swear, hymns to the colors
the way the world's ringing hurts your ears
the salt of the Dead Sea come alive in your tears
the smell only in the sky as the rain clears
the poppy-eyed bud people who spend years
walking around, faces turned toward the light
thrusting pomegranate crown
Unfinal SolutionJim and Dave shuffled down the street in the hot summer sun. Occasionally they would encounter an obstacle, such as a shopping cart, corpse, pile of trash, or burned out car. Depending on the size and nature of the obstacle, their zombie intellect would kick over into high gear, and a conversation such as this might ensue:Unfinal Solution6 years ago in Horror More Like This
Rains! Rains! Raaaaaaaains1 .
If the object was large, such as a chunk of flaming airplane wreckage, Jim and Dave would do the Zombie Shuffle around its perimeter, sometimes bumping into each other and the obstacle itself. On rare occasions, the not-quite-cooperative maneuvering deflected them from their original direction of movement, which was entirely random anyway.
If the obstacle was small or spread out (like the 2000 individually-wrapped packages of toilet paper theyd encountered yesterday, rolling and skittering before their tattered
The Breath of GodI.The Breath of God8 years ago in Other More Like This
My bones have been like cabinets;
the hinges all dust, wood punctured.
Breathe, hope, stamina (the grains wheat enough to take on
absence, sweat, and nausea) were misplaced.
Their dearth rearranged my skeleton in certain places,
and I stuck out heresunk in there.
The nonexistence was pushy
bored with the fractures,
ignorant of setting the bone.
I was ignorant of setting the bone, too.
Mirrors were poor reflections,
wasted glass, unable to diagnose.
I was intact. It appeared
that way. The angles spoke of it
they expressed the wholeness of body. Sure they did.
It spoke of other images, too, the one image, mine
like silverware sticking out of me obnoxiously,
unkempt and gray and sharp, with no regard for
But I was still fleshstill, I had
eleven ribs, eight fingers, two kneecaps.
And my marrow
had air pockets.
Goldenrod Skiesi dream of usGoldenrod Skies6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the field overgrown with wildflowers.
each a brilliant, shining, golden gleam
that reflected off your eyes,
and made me think of endless skies
and the touch of your lips to mine.
a never ending dream,
the fractured fairytale of us:
that got us lost in each others arms for hours
until all our breath was each others names,
and the wistless wind
carried them for miles and miles.
and the only witness to our
was the sun and cloudy stars above.
our heads, pillowed on the earthy dampness
the smell of goldenrod in our heads
and the sweetness of honeysuckle on our lips.
i dream of us
getting lost for hours,
somewhere, past the city where we met.
twenty miles south of nowhere.
where you would write
love songs on my skin,
with the tip of your tongue
tracing whimsical patterns into my mouth
and the only witness
to our sometimes bliss
would be the wind in our hair
and the goldenrod sky