The Craven: A Parody of PoeOnce upon a court inquiry, while my witness plead sincerely,The Craven: A Parody of Poe in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Over whether or not he witnessed a murder on a mansion floor,
While I prodded, nearly smacking, suddenly there came a cracking,
As of someone's neck snapping, snapping behind the courtroom door.
"Tis some murderer," I muttered, "whacking behind the courtroom door.
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, we linked the oft dismembered mobsters of a chic September,
Yes, the mob's each dying member spilt their guts upon the floor.
Eagerly I swished espresso on the morn I named the torso,
She who until late fought escrow, clauses, deeds, and more.
A wry and wise defense attorney whose office door had read 'Dior.'
Jobless here for evermore.
And the sulking, sad and witless weeping from each extra witness,
Chilled, fulfilled me, raging 'tween the jury's and the judge's snores.
Yet now to hush my unbelieving mind, standing there conceiving:
"Tis some nameless witless witness bleeding 'hind the courtroom door,
Some late nameless witless witn
Man:An arachnid needling into nothing;Man: in Free Verse More Like This
Thrown rope nestled in NASA's outer space;
A Hindu clarinet player's helper
Ascending an airy, azure ether.
A phalange of "my gawd" (an ice/ash pillar)
After an airborne space craft's absconding,
A moon-landing. Impossible motion,
Mired in unimaginative minds
Meditating on Om, missing the flight.
Come Home: A PantoumYou'll always come back to meCome Home: A Pantoum in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
when the lights in the far hills
are done searching. For, new beds
entice adventurers. Too,
when the lights in the far hills
come home, the homespun dream they
entice adventurers too,
but they can't. (Dream we're neither.
Come home.) The homespun dream they
turn pioneers to homebodies,
but they can't dream we're neither,
our wanderlust fit to turn
pioneers to homebodies.
We've always made love free, so
our wanderlust fit. To
turn ourselves towards our home
we've always made love. Free. So
when the last adventurers
turn themselves toward their homes
in faraway lands, I know,
when the last adventurers
are done searching for new beds
in faraway lands, I know
you'll always come back to me.
Anxiety Attackwith both eyes unfocused/Anxiety Attack in Free Verse More Like This
open my hand
contains the water falling on windows
the distant stars of traffic lights
as far as the eye can see
is in me, because with both eyes unfocused/
open one hand becomes two
now dared to deal
I'm two ghosts pretending to be one man
I'm worried you won't put me back together
see me as whole
see me as falling apart
I'm worried you'll never lose the photo of me
superimposed against the world
pregnant with it
and immortally unimportant
SpacefeintThe astronauts had no rear-view, lying vertical,Spacefeint in Free Verse More Like This
eyes to instruments affixed, octopoid arms aflight,
moving eerily as one
Like college-bound teens, they didn't look back,
the mother's faint tears smothered by
the thunder of flaming engines.
Old films and space museums first alerted their minor selves
to the intoxicating blue of the earth's
In the simulator, they swigged digital earthshine,
complex watertanks faking weightlessness --
the sim just wasn't the same.
Belts unbuckled, floating on ballerina feet, a speechless face
in each porthole, no one noticed the captain's
His hypoxic brain unbetrayed by gravity, his limp spine
erect, his outstretched hands drifting clouds,
his eyes wide shut.
In his dream: father sat stiffly at breakfast,
the paper clumped in each fist, with
Long before Jupiter's great red beauty spot, the iron
hearts of stars, the moon's cephalic
sea of tranquility:
an unbuttered crust of bread,
Puddles From What We DenyWilted ProspectsPuddles From What We Deny in Free Verse More Like This
From Another age
You're not who you wanted to be
So you attempt to just turn the page
But you Catch yourself
In a nearby mirror
Sitting on a shelf
And you wish you were someone else
Who's that in the mirror,
Can you identify?
Malformed by lies it seems
It's dreams became the most defied
Consumed by time wasting fillers
As to not try
Forgetting your morals and needs
Bleeds from what You Deny
You get my Metaphors?
I see your lies
Leaking from your pores
I know 'cause
I'm just the same
Seeing my youth Yelling,
Screaming, behind locked doors
From our inner parts
Making constant shaking
So it spews from our hearts
Who's that in the mirror
Can you identify?
No? 'cause it seems
It's Dreams became the most defied
Now it seems your feeling down
Sitting in your home;
With eyes of stone.
But inside you give yourself a spin
Fighting all out
But when you fight yourself No One Wins.
People rarely ask,
But when they do
You're "perfectly fine"
Lesser PieceDrifting off to wishes now I am consumedLesser Piece in Free Verse More Like This
By the mile
Went in my head to relax now I'm
Lost in all the Files
Now Information's stopped its way to
My melancholy Melon
For Sanity's arrested me, I'm a
Some may say that it is a crime
To live in my head all the time
I just can't figure how they think
Without inner thought I am on the brink
So please no disturbing
While I think out my own lesser piece
It's only me in here
And it's me paying off the lease.
A novel LustMeaningfully StareA novel Lust in Free Verse More Like This
At the windows near the roof
There is a reason why
But I Never have the proof
So Questions not in I
Provoke their Inner thought.
Something they've to strive for,
For it can never be bought.
Yet here we are poetry
Part of what may separate us.
A longing for more insight
Of what may calm the lust
The most uncommon lust
For not wealth, nor skin, nor bone
The lust for use of time,
For knowledge, emotion, or skill to hone.
From Never EnderSedate your thoughts at the moment,From Never Ender in Free Verse More Like This
Let our worlds join together.
Never Mind the lack of "insanity" outside,
Let's be more than we are.
Ironically they are no different,
They just lie to form who they are.
Not for I, I'll say the truth from here, on
Yet my word won't get very far.
I don't care, as long as you're here,
I over-think less every day.
Sanity's lost its ungraceful grip on me,
So I am staring to mend to you in different ways.
Sedate Normality at the moment
Tell me how you truly feel.
Forget the lies you are programmed to say,
My attention you can steal.
Atlanticyou were the ghostAtlantic in Free Verse More Like This
who made the apple fall.
it's not you,
sometimes the seeds
turn into trees
or flowers, strange
the strangest force,
and, at other times,
the wind lifts them away
so they never
touch the ground.
there's nothing left but course.
of course you are, but i must know;
do you go door to door,
knocking on the stars?
an architect's answer
to a philosopher's question.
over the atlantic you sing
like the end who just learned
he was a beginning.
over the atlantic you sing:
"god is an ocean,
and you can only pray
by kneeling on the ground."
cosmic background radiationThey say that the big bang was not an actual "bang". It was really just static. Static, like the interference of radio waves. Of course, the universe did not happen instantaneously. The big bang took 760,000 years to happen. 760,000 years of static, and bang, the universe happened.cosmic background radiation in Short Stories More Like This
I get myself together and actually go out. I go to see the New York Philharmonic perform the works of John Cage at Lincoln Center. I walk out during the second movement of 4'33". There's a very small difference between life and death. I walk home, my chin pulled down against my neck. I hum a constant note, providing myself with my own tinnitus.
I focus on this note. I cross Broadway where the walkers cluster on the curbside, awaiting the turn of the traffic light. People talking and the bioacoustic noises of their bodies moving. I walk against the signal. The tires of taxis scrape against the road. I go west on 65th Street, past Brooks Brothers and the slimy sliding of the revolving door, past vans parallel
a poem about driving in pennsylvaniaI'm driving west and at the state line all I can seea poem about driving in pennsylvania in Free Verse More Like This
are canvases of steaming light waiting to be painted
in the brushstroke forest that lies like a crescendo
across the reservoir where the grass washes over our ankles
and my eyes will never open so wide again.
June 12th had all the markings of a fine poem:
thick music scattering lights to the night city
reflecting in the same warm cadence of breezes
and your head resting on my bony shoulder.
You asked me with such sweetness if you could read my poems,
but please don't leave me with my love, with the cats
spilling out of your arms into the contaminated water
of taking in the divine ecstasy of just existing.
I want you to be so happy that when I swear to protect
your solitude, you will promise to escape for me,
to tear off the anxious rivulets that keep us netted
in the seasons as they appear in the Hudson Valley:
three sadistic ellipses promising comfort with the turn
of the next gentle equinox and rattled atmosphere
and my eyes are di
ChicagoA soul would need more stagnation to be one for the saveChicago in Free Verse More Like This
for I didn't know my words could hold a body over a city,
and I didn't know this disgusting and lovely city drew blood from strong veins
unstable city emerging from the underworld pink and primitive
in short gasps of promise and disappointment, I can promise you
that this was the saddest I've ever been:
your friends and me throwing magnolia petals into Lake Michigan not knowing
being afflicted with acute missing in New York still not knowing
having the most permeable love confluence not knowing
hanging a map with your city in the middle and stabbing it until the marker runs dry
can only hold me over until I know your world is beautiful
and the most beautiful thing is it doesn't stop being beautiful
and these moods we have are its beautiful rotations humming
and the city I can't stab through, it's just saving up its beautiful for you
almondsWith almonds in our palms we tell our storiesalmonds in Free Verse More Like This
in late night kitchen conversation
foreheads on sticky tables
hands face down voices flown
getting saved is a story
removed from the hopeless
scratches our chapped lips,
hides our hearts of oak
and our hearth is a wooden evening
not enduring yet,
just taking us away
from the shifting
away from where the river winds
and the seasons change
it's a long fall,
it's a long way down
from the top of that bridge
and I can save you.
Even the sun goes away quietly, slipping
behind strings of morse code poems,
leaving us alone on the dark blue
drop shadow earth
where we could keep sleeping since hours are permanent,
we could be chthonic river eaters
riding the swells.
Instead, we go home.
We have chamomile and hibiscus,
spearmint and honey.
ChorusIf heaven exists, it's a heaven of choices.Chorus in Free Verse More Like This
I go there to choose my own death.
Life is what death talks about.
Look at death conversing with the flowers
it chose to push out of the heavenly stems.
Death is what life talks about.
Look at life consciously building
the stems flower governs by serial choices.
The wind expresses itself in many ways.
One of these ways, I think, is the same way
that choice becomes a method of dying.
No oceanNo one sleeps the night the army comes home,No ocean in Free Verse More Like This
and memory storms the shore, bipolar and sexy.
You always knew where to go and what to drink,
where to find the crows that stalked the summers
left lying wrinkled on shorn boardwalks,
Augusts headless and Julys scuttling over hills.
When you were gone I fucked Arthur Rimbaud
in a Parisian basement. He hooked his eyelashes
under mine and made waves on my skin.
Tolle, lege, like the parable tells me.
World of floods.World of floods in Free Verse More Like This
Driving on the curb cured of swamplands and horizontals
my atmosphere dear takes wholesome bites of water
outed are the undersides of bridge smudged chasms
birdy hellcalls and undone song
he knows only fire pursues the winged
torn letters three years gone of the antediluvian
disintegrated into charm and clarity and the promise
of a moment in time that springs everlastingly
will be flooded
and the pulmonary one ways dripping varied shades of moving cars
in fresh killed greys keeping time with the hacks of self against love
while our hands are crossed in universes pleading
with the dying that cannot slow down but winds and winds around
the pulsed city of language tying the sacred grammar to plurals
another and another
until they grow into the flicking tongue that time will harness
to toss rogue prophets into the pockets of New Jersey
where in being shelved we meet among starships
will be flooded
and the candles that when burning exhale signatures into the air
DecemberIn hiding our skin from the cold that comes down to hug usDecember in Free Verse More Like This
latching the wooden gate slowly
the rust sounding like tumbling
rain drips in chiseled rivers making
stars on the sidewalk
the endless whir of distant traffic meaning something's leaving
already consummate in the cracks of winter trees
a bird's hollow voice her hollow bones squeaking
from this I learn constancy
from this I learn the earth's inner warmth means time has passed
I think I should pose more challenges to it
because of passing
but I think I'll just go back inside
I think I'll just go back to bed
He said he was afraid of the oceanSpring's splattering blood orange dustHe said he was afraid of the ocean in Free Verse More Like This
on branches fallen into place and when I scratch
my skin open, it's because I want to see it bloom,
red and icosahedral. Our mosaical tome
of shifting tenses questions the swift
years dwelling behind my teeth. I offered you
handfuls of pink diamonds with green dirt
caught under my nails and I expected you
to tear my throat out of my neck,
but I can't come with the sound of the sea
rushing through the architecture,
your body keeping house for all your slender ghosts.
Here we're so electrified and warm,
the air pressure inside our lungs so low
that we could drown in breath
but I would rather
be sitting on the rails with you,
quiet together and scared
of oceans until the blushing waters
sting our bleeding heels.
on watching the night close its eyes on you1. I will not tell youon watching the night close its eyes on you in Free Verse More Like This
you are pretty.
How can the halls and angles of such honest humanity
be so pinched between sounds as elementary as these?
2. You need not be two stringent boughs of syllables
nor weave your viney bones abreast these five petty letters,
whirling in the fire of the river
Do not attempt to peel yourself layer for layer,
leaving all the disgust behind.
Do not tally your body six lines
too short, hemming the holes into
puckers red as those volcanoes of strength
bursting at the base of your hips.
3. Blood is not satisfaction.
Blood is not patience, waiting for the rooms to empty
JackMy grandmother fell in love with my grandfather when his skin was still yellow with malaria.Jack in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
At twenty-four, he had just returned from war, his pockets heavy as his heart, weighed down with souvenir scars and unspent bullets. Gaping trenches hung beneath each of his dark eyes like open, sore wounds, or sorer memories. At nineteen, she had not known the taste of oranges. The first time she held one, she bit straight into the pasty skin, expecting sweetness and coming up with shell-fragments.
In the pictures, my grandmother, radiant in her gray wedding dress, stands before my grandfather. Those trenches are still there, still yawning beneath each eye like caskets, but they are beginning to fold under, to fill themselves in. Standing together, they are joined by out-stretched hands, his free fingers reaching up to hold her cheek in his palm, the pale skin there blushing the softest pink: a single petal, unfolding, held erect in his hewn hands. In the pictures, it is there in the space lef
The Little SparrowHer name was Emma, and she wasn't afraid of falling. For as long as she could remember she had been jumping - always plummeting. She understood the laws of nature: no matter how high she climbed, gravity would always carry her back to the ground; gravity would always grant her momentum to fall and wind-resistance to float. She understood why birds had wings and humans didn't; it was because humans would just as soon leave, and they belonged on the ground.The Little Sparrow in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They always called her a little sparrow, always trying to fly, but they never understood that she didn't want updrafts or wings, she only wanted to scale walls and scurry up trees, to test the limits.
She wanted to throw herself from rooftops and swan dive from balancing bars, challenging inertia and gravity and the laws of motion. She wanted to cannonball into puddles and see if the ocean caught her, or if she merely fell through the earth to the steaming, bubbling core. She wanted to lift up her arms in triumph, her hair
The Symphony of True LiesThe skin deep marks on my soulThe Symphony of True Lies in Free Verse More Like This
show the road map of trial-and-error;
The blood stains on my eyes
revealing the tears no one saw
and the dreams no one cared enough
to believe in.
My hipbones hold a symphony
between their hands;
A musical procession of notes
cascading down my stunted waist-line,
leaving dents in my wrought-iron limbs
where accidentals were missed,
and accidents became purposeful.
My face is a grotesque, twisted façade
of 20-thousand I'm fines covering up
the monotonous repetition of I'm not fine;
A mask with a smile scribbled
across its face
that only now shows the places
where the paint has begun to
crack and flake
- the broken caricature
of a skeleton who yearns
to be less.
This is who I am;
underneath all the layers
of I'm just tired,
I'm just having a bad day,
lays the true lie:
This isn't me.
I am -
--the daughter who
hasn't necessarily forgotten
how to laugh,
but how to see the importance
in a smile;
Who hasn't forgotten how to love
only 19 year olds will knowthe vineyard comes crawling up through the soil, the ivy cups the weeping brick walls, summer saunters down from jackson street and decides yeah, maybe it will stay for a threshing season or two. i am on my hands and knees spreading earth over earth, shoveling 3/8ths gravel into a wheelbarrel that sings a rusted five year song as rain comes to the valley. the rocks in the circles and loops steam and dry as we water the dust down, compress the paths so flat that we smooth ourselves completely away. i can’t tell where my knees have been.only 19 year olds will know in Free Verse More Like This
summer has strung every person on the street with beads, glistening neck shapes, a husky scent of heat under their skin. there is suicide in these walls. the cement becomes moist for the first time since it set, the way i am slowly let go of by the chair. i am taller than any of my parents' height lines, the roll of paper tacked up on the living room walls, showing the patterns of our growth. i lift up on one foot to touch the contents of the plast
on things that die and burn afterwards,Remainson things that die and burn afterwards, in Free Verse More Like This
signify the act
of staying in permanence,
the way inertia quicksands to the tips of its
professor's tongues who preach
"sometimes things linger
for worse or for better."
The way eyes blink before shifting;
the way the pendant hanging from the rear-view mirror
even as the rest of the world
Think About It.I'm being ruthless with my writing again;Think About It. in Free Verse More Like This
slitting open lines like tissues and transplanting
them onto paper plates,
cradling nouns gingerly in my palm
as if they were someone's heart or kidneys
(hot and still [dimly] pumping).
I'm a writer, not a surgeon:
I may not be able to clear ventricles and
but I can preserve the people I love in the pages
of my notebook, press words like decaying flowers between
I may not be a surgeon, but I can save people.
They called me a pretentious bitch;
a nerd without even the common courteously to
wear glasses (so I can at least look intelligent.)
Apparently, formulating an atypical lexicon and
utilizing a dictionary makes you a freak.
They hate that I know the difference between breath and breathe
off the top of my head (one is a verb and the other is a noun, idiots.)
I'm sitting in a lawn chair watching the rain pour
beyond the edge of my shelter;
drawing a shivering hand through my hair
and breathing out a hot b
We Were All Going to be WonderfulKathy's mom, shaped like a ripe pearWe Were All Going to be Wonderful in Free Verse More Like This
black-haired, she wore it long, tied back.
She looked foreign, she should have been a gypsy--
silver and red, smoky and asleep;
should have smelled like cardamom or cloves
but she smelled like onions and carrots, potatoes and oregano.
She leaned at the sink in the tiny kitchen
peeling potatoes, head bent, sallow-skinned, heavy-hipped
her dark hair traced with the first lazy spider webs of gray.
We slunk past the gray-mouthed man on the sofa
with his Reds game and his beer;
men weren't soft then, but the new kind was coming along.
The suburbs were a garden
through the hot summer days and the Catholic schools,
and it wasn't the dads who had the dirty fingernails.
But he worked every day, by god he did,
drove a truck fat with bakery goods
flaccid and without souls
(whole wheat was a color not a life.)
Robert kept the kids fed, didn't interfere
with their summer afternoons.
"Come in here, Josie, pull down my pants and make love to me."
She only grunted,
Fluid DynamicsI would kiss you 37 times.Fluid Dynamics in Free Verse More Like This
You would approach like restless weather,
your taste against my tongue like heavy air,
warm and dense, a coming late-day rain.
There would be low cloud and rising wind.
Just before the downpour,
we would go inside.
SubtractionWhen the scything was not yet doneSubtraction in Free Verse More Like This
she sat, a run of sweat between her breasts,
a nascent blister on her palm--
before she took the whetstone to the blade.
Lower down the hill the horses grazed,
tails brisk against the flies,
coats damp in the torpid air.
Robbed, she was.
The day was loud with birds and bugs;
the mowing smelled like lust or love,
She sat and watched the silver sky
and felt the wetness dry along her ribs,
along her thighs and tired arms.
She watched the swallows courting.
One plus one.
water processspirit-sloth and overdone;water process in Free Verse More Like This
wonder-lost and undercome:
you are trenchant, sweet love.
you planted early mornings-
I lay coffee-drunk and thin;
the stir of your brown hands.
Crows"Crows," I whisper and she flies,Crows in Free Verse More Like This
brown arrow shot
from the bowstring of a word.
Witches MarketMidnight fell like an old black bird;Witches Market in Free Verse More Like This
I meant to wait for you.
There were tables rich with
amethyst and pearls,
and fragrance by the fistful,
mint and petrichor.
I meant to wait for you.
You were gliding through the haze
with your knotted bag half full-
shadows flicked their tongues
above your knees;
you meant to look for me.
Moments ran like mice;
a silver pot, a cup of tea.
She stank of vinegar and thyme-
the hand was hers, the heart was mine.
Her iron eyes reflected flame;
she took my lungs, she took my name,
though you had meant to look for me,
and I had to meant to wait for you
amid the black salt and the brew.
Ash for the handle,
Birch for the brush,
Willow for the cord that binds the twigs.
JulyThe breeze was a tender thing;July in Free Verse More Like This
he was glistening and nut brown.
The grass sank before his blade
He cut a wider arc than mine-
I watched his muscles slide
in swing and stride;
grass fell before and to the side.
Two dogs dripped, panting beneath the trees.
Blades shushed with every pass, till all was done.
With the field set low in the heavy afternoon,
we swallowed fear, we raised our eyes.
EasterRemember what you love,Easter in Free Verse More Like This
you with sand in your teeth
and the feral burn of hunger
in your eyes.
God sends his regrets.
He made you grasping and slow,
in a late hour
when the wine washed low.
Remember what you love.
Fall to your knees in the toss
and the swell, quell
the appetite of the cold black sea.
Beg blessings for your home
and the salt-sick trees.
Reach what lies near:
the fat-faced child, the sweet-soft lamb;
tether the tantrum, trickle the blood.
Offer psalms to what is holy,
whisper the name of what you love
as it bobs in the bleak mad sea.
ripplesin the small dark pool where youripples in Free Verse More Like This
slip into yourself my friend
take your name like a pebble
cast it away
cast it away
cast it away
PlowIt's finally snowing again,Plow in Free Verse More Like This
blankets of peace falling
with a freshness that lacks innocence.
Nearly forgotten, they're here as expected,
clearing the streets,
trying to push aside all the worry
that makes things unsafe, but
the steel mouth askew grates against my heart;
its thick bass scrape pushing more than piles of white aside,
it pushes my blood aside too,
piling it up in the corner of this pumping vessel that falters,
ice-caked and bitten, stiffened,
and keeps faltering,
until the air is silent
and the street no longer shivers in torture.
The only evidence is the blanket of white
that keeps falling,
like fluffy stuffing that's been yanked out.
All is silent,
except the fond memories that peel away
from my heart in little shreds,
and the plows, scraping fresh wounds again.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
ConfessionLips met in clumsy haiku,Confession in Free Verse More Like This
against each other, pressed,
the way the earth touches the sky,
soft and whimsy as the dusk.
Tongues painted passion-
halcyon atmosphere, infused,
-upon every awaiting space offered.
Metaphors dotted the hallows of limbs and tasted like the seasons-
a bursting and vibrant spring,
a hot and passionate summer,
an adventurous and teasing autumn,
a cozy and comfortable winter,
-all at once.
Skin smelled like Frangipani, an offering-
blossoming with intensity as the sun draped itself in twilight's shawl,
-and felt like a brick wall crumbl
Seam StressThe heaviness settled in like an anvil being dropped on me. I couldn't take the fog inside my head and the lead inside my heart anymore, so I sat in the sun to melt it away. I wanted to sear every surface until I couldn't feel anymore. What kind of life is that, though, to never feel anything? To never feel the joy of love; the way it wraps its arms around your heart and traces its fingertips along your veins? Even the pain of looking back at love's scattered memories is necessary to understand how beautiful the feeling once was; how lucky you were to have ever felt its lips press to your cheek, its breath collect in the hollow of your neck. Love does these things, sews itself right up inside you to close the holes within.Seam Stress in Emotional More Like This
You'll be told you'll find another. You'll be told to go, go and find happiness because all this is, is hurt, and nothing else. The problem is, your heart doesn't understand the complexities of bad timing or fear or settling for another because of low self-worth. You
No Longer AnonymousNo longer can I remain anonymous, just another girl checking in for her doctor's appointment. The moment I tell them the visit is to be billed to the state, and present this voucher, which might as well be painted in bright red blood, dripping and leaving a breadcrumb trail for all, with a neon sign that reads "sexual assault," I become that girl.No Longer Anonymous in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I see the way their eyes change. I see how they look at me. The hardness of the day, painted in the lines on their face, softens, just a bit. Their eyes, normally cold and focused, now try to melt my heart with their temporary concern.
I sit in the waiting room amongst the anonymous people. There's the elderly couple across from me; the Hispanic family: three kids occupied by the mom while the dad talks loudly on the phone, his bulbous body exceeding the chair he sits on; the blonde woman with her adorable blonde-headed daughter in the white linen dress; and all the other an
FisheyeYour honest words perch upon brash lips,Fisheye in Free Verse More Like This
teetering on thoughtful intentions; a super hero's cape
embroidered with moth holes, gossamered secret identity
shielding the crestfallen heart you disguise as armor,
forgotten about with a forced amnesia
until its lonely beating rips a hole
through your defenses.
I'm your kryptonite and your sunshine
the thing that makes you human, and weak,
and a villain to the unloved,
and my savior.
I'm the have and have-not,
the desired and the disdained
for your every rib aches to feel the pressure of my palms
and the tangle of my fingers witching for your marrow;
your every fiber argues my nearness and my absence,
and your heart murmurs a welcome and a warning.
You retreat from the latter,
because hope was never meant
for someone like you.
I've been wanting to tell you for so long,
your honesty is a lie.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
MuseLilting words descend me into solace,Muse in Free Verse More Like This
held within flares of sanguine walls and
grey matter couches where I escape,
while graphite fires ignite, and discourse
finds life on paper.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved.
The Growing Seasoni.The Growing Season in Free Verse More Like This
we slipped between each other's flesh,
intoxicated on the nectar
never careful enough
to avoid the bitter seeds
of a previous commitment.
each night the pregnant ache coaxes
wicked acts to replay
along my nerve endings and synapses;
each night, the gardener's
were I to untether myself,
to prune the growing stillborn
from my chest,
you'd have no secrets
conceived of sin;
no reason to carry my face,
my voice, my touch,
in a painful miscarriage
of our unprotected actions
less than a weed.
each morning my stomach rejects
the early hour
into my utilitarian bathroom's sterility,
spitting out the insomnia
of the night before
like pomegranate seeds
in the least.
There was nothing casual about itYour lips whispered secrets,There was nothing casual about it in Free Verse More Like This
permeating the skin on my cheek:
forgiving our sins.
It still resonates. Reverberates.
Echoes on my skin.
I feel it
I feel you
as I close my eyes.
as I dream of you.
Inescapable. Inevitable. Fated.
My fingertips search my cheek;
there is no mark, no texture of a scar,
but they know the place your lips branded me.
Lost thoughts and nervous habit find them caressing that spot.
Eyes close and pulse quickens.
Breath unsteady. Bite of the lip and,
I'm there with you, again:
your dark curls falling softly in my face;
the scent of your skin overwhelming me;
your hand holding mine.
I feel you lingering inside my veins—
in that moment,
I felt your lips smile,
and your body gently quiver.
in this moment,
I am haunted by the memories,
and the fierce pull of needing to feel you
TransientThe once sanguine walls—Transient in Free Verse More Like This
broken and collapsed into wings
—have become grey, pinned still, within a desolate birdcage.
Migratory birdsong hatched from our birth place, from
scuff marks and peeled paint, where cross-legged lovers once sat,
where lips fed souls, and fingers clasped time tightly.
Time escaped on the winds we breathed;
its cold chill upon our cheeks,
our eyes closed to the changing seasons.
But lights shine through to eyes pressed closed,
and hearts know what we wish they didn't.
I carved your name along my rib, an epitaph,
and whispered safe journeys to you, weeping
your departure from winter grounds.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved.
sillageI hated that we were drunk when we made love,sillage in Free Verse More Like This
but you were smoking your anxiety and
tossing me beers and
one bottle became a dozen and
we kissed in the bathroom at the bar and
pressed our curves into a Picasso and
maybe I fell a little,
but you caught me.
Our time remaining became scant hours and hazy memories
but I remember sitting in the backseat and
I kissed your knuckles when you bloodied them and
we drank some more while dancing in your living room and
we made the bed ours if only for the night.
In the morning you begged me not to leave and
it sounded like the most beautiful thing in the world and
I wonder if you'd still mean it,
but I already know the answer so no,
that wasn't a question,
but tell me again. God, please say it again.
Instead I left with your scent wrapped around me—
My God, you smell so good
—and some bruises from your fervent appetite and
every intention of feeling you again and
You told me you had no regrets and
The Cartographer's DaughterEvery night, he would fold her into his arms before she slept. Creases grew into her, turning brown with wear, and she loved them. When she woke up in the night, dreaming of darkness, he would take her to his desk and draw for her a map of her face, turning it into another world. Tracing the contours of her smile, he would scrawl a warning, "Here be monsters", whispering to her that she was a dragon when angry.The Cartographer's Daughter in Short Stories More Like This
As she grew older, she populated his maps with creatures and peoples from the books she read, or her own creations. He taught her to draw, and to write with an old inkpen, in a cursive script her teacher could make neither head nor tail of. She made him angry once, drawing in the drying sand with her finger, and smudging the ink. When he was angry, mountain ranges grew across his forehead and caverns opened in his cheeks. Here be lions.
Walking home from school, she knew the local area inside out; from the maps he had drawn and taught her. He would copy them onto o
tree, fiddler crabIt took days to hollow out the soft partstree, fiddler crab in Free Verse More Like This
of the trunk, dig out the tree-flesh and sap,
polish the raw wood so that when he sat,
there would be no splinters. He carved his name
into the side, like a blessing, a declaration
of good fortune, and stowed his forest inside.
petrichorNiobe weeps.petrichor in Free Verse More Like This
gold scattered rough across
cracked earth and the last
remains of summer - they fell
like leaves in the arms of the wind.
some scents cannot be captured.
the gods bleed onto rock,
and the stone sends her prayers
in return: petrichor.
listen - the heavy thud of
rain on parched ground;
the monsoon sealing life back in;
the sky bows and kisses earth.
motionthis is an essaymotion in Free Verse More Like This
on the shared body;
a brief emission;
some kind of fragrance,
or gathering. this is
moulded into the shape of
ice cannot be sustained
and every angel
has ash in her pocket.
i have often wondered,
do dead men
refuse to speak
ill of the living?
time. time. time.
we follow the sun
snaking across the horizon.
if you put your ear
to my mouth, you might
hear the sound of the sea -
- because within the night
there are horses, and
within the horses there is
a lonely star.
the cavewhen i was a child,the cave in Free Verse More Like This
they told me stories
about the monsters
under the bed.
they did not explain
that as you grow,
the monsters come out
and lie beside you
as you sleep.
there is breath
on your spine
when you start
in the night.
it is always
long. by the
age of forty,
of your heart is
made up from
one morning i woke
and went to look out the window.
in the street, a man
was dying. i closed
and went to make
the monsters have always been there.
it is only now that we see what causes them.
rulesit ought not to have been done.rules in Free Verse More Like This
they dug up fossils
by the side of the road,
ancient tree-trunk things,
a gaping skull, wide with
laughter. we drove past
quickly, blew up the dust.
in the rear-view mirror
the sands ran away
and hit a stop sign.
it was all
about the neverminds,
hardpacked earth and
sparseness. the wheels moved.
there was a tree
sideways in the next town
we passed, trailing
lightning wires and tele-tendrils.
the groaning roots
were instruments, red-stained
with sap and dust. a silo
was shaped like an onion but
it did not make me cry.
these are my vital organs:
a lamp, a
i break things away,
disperse them to white-bright.
the fossils were crushed
when the first bomb fell
but the rules were broken
eucalyptusthey tell me i am writing confessionaleucalyptus in Free Verse More Like This
poetry and i tell them, no, i am not,
i am writing my world.
i did not burrow in guilt's throat
and choose to spell out the softness,
no, i screamed out my soul and it was then
that i remembered how i used to pray.
i wanted to tell stories
but instead i sat and wrote:
about rain, and sorrow,
and the greek gods,
and pain, and the greek gods,
over and over, and dionysus, dionysus:
i plunged and dived dolphin-beaked.
i want you know
that death is a responsibility
and saltwater immersion
a fierce talent we cannot escape
so this is a confession for you:
i am not selfish
i am self only
and sometimes self is all i am
and you are not-self, you are nothing
and i am softly silent
and i am unashamed. i am condemned.
kelpiethe hedgerow peerskelpie in Free Verse More Like This
through the morningmist,
spiny and bristling with
winter. our car
jolts forward, updown
there is a stream
running with us,
spreading out, staying level,
kelpie fingers glinting
in the undergrowth like
wet sky. we are wild;
we are self-contained;
we are immediate. we are
many verbs away from home.
distance is not measured
in miles. it would cost me
more breaths than i have left
in my body to call your name.
have you seen the flight
of geese? groundbound they are
ungainly snapping things.
in air they soar.
so we, too, clutch at each other
in desperate clashing antiphons
until i tip away and leave you,
my greyfaced darling, trapped
in the lake and mewling in the night.
humpback/the bell-ringerthe years fold away, concertina-stylehumpback/the bell-ringer in Free Verse More Like This
like air between the bloated lungs of an accordion,
and the old tune plays on
tumbling down past my cochlea
the sound of waves
the sound waves
waves within waves and
the old masters are watching.
this music was birthed in the belly of a whale.
we were married long before i grew old.
360 Blind Eyes360° Blind Eyes360 Blind Eyes in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Those street corner pharmacies don't bother me...
cooking up that crack...
serving that black...
caramelizing those apples...
crystallizing that meth...
but at least it's not my kitchen...
He's Robin Hood...
on the level that Hollywood...
would be in contention...
terrorizing the scene...
mad scientist splicing the genes...
with killing machines...
but at least it's not my dimension...
They combine these positions...
with Columbine vision...
plus out-of-mind conditions...
lead to out-of-body renditions...
a suicidal homicide mission...
but at least it's not my decision...
and it's not my problem...
not my solution...
not my blood...
so it's not my ablution...
not my business...
not my institution...
it's not my crime...
so it's not my execution...
You know it's not my world...
these are not my people...
they are not my equals...
this is not my power...
this is not my evil...
this is not my chase...
they are not my steeples...
this is not my realm...
The Soul Broker I am the buyer and seller of souls. I’ve bought them all and I sold you yours. For the world must run like the gears of a clock, and sometimes you tick or sometimes you tock, but everything given will be taken away and for every silence kept, a word must be said.The Soul Broker in Free Verse More Like This
Naturally, you must assume there is cost. For everything gained, a penny is lost; of course this life can be no different--when the check arrives, you must pay the difference. But not all who ride on the sunday train pay the same price to get out of the rain: a king’s ransom might obtain far, far less than the pauper’s cheap pain.
Your father paid the price of sweat, a back bent under the yoke of the world; accrued worldly financial debt but was recompensed with the jokes of a girl. And he would say he walked away wealthy, with his empty bank account, for his daughter lives today quite healthy and loves him in equally large amounts.
let's start a revolutionour people are becominglet's start a revolution in Free Verse More Like This
what a load of bull when we go to sleep with
smiles on our faces,
ignorant to the fact that
forced compliancy in the form of conformity,
are the factors that make up this
gag me please;
it is a sad day indeed-
we've invented gender,
picking apart all who don't fit into
the social construct we call
clearly, there must be a problem here:
power and control has overrun the matrix,
blinded us in blatant fury
to the point where our existence
is not a way to exist at all!
call me a social nihilist-
i believe in nothing,
a day where eyes can turn to the
and see America
for the monster it truly is.
it is a sad day indeed when
the media feeds our children so much
that they cannot tell the difference between
and a nation that