resonanceiresonance in Free Verse More Like This
does she know the astrological significance
of the bruises starring along
your wrists? if I could, I’d
run away somewhere where
the sky is silent and the people
hate honest eyes. here’s my problem,
I’ve wasted all my time daydreaming
in the universe of your scars. I wonder
if substantiality is lethal.
[when will you move on
like you know what
you’re doing with your life,
like this tiny existential
failure is only a hazard sign
on the roadmap of your journey,
like the world weighing down
upon your shoulders is an
exercise in vanity and quietude
instead of someone
lists of necessities: methods of
starvation, hours to fall asleep by, sharp
objects, words that mean nothing.
I’m sorry this isn’t better. I’m sorry
I’m not better and I’m sorry
nothing is bright anymore.
things you remind me of:
the november sky
right before it rains.
existentialism and shoddy metaphorsI was violet-cheeked andexistentialism and shoddy metaphors in Free Verse More Like This
diamond-hearted; a work
of art in reverse,
tearing between my ribs
and calling it beautiful,
and I wonder now why they
never taught me this in school;
the sepia-saturated glow life
gives out some point after
you’ve realized wishes are
for those who’ve not yet
woken more alone than when
they went to sleep,
they never taught me all
the reasons why or that
sin tastes sweet. I met
my maker once in a backalley
bar, stormy eyes and peppermint
breath, charming off a hangover;
he sighed, “I know how many
days it’ll take you to give up
completely. I know how many
dreams you’ve sold away and
how many lies you need to
swallow before you can fall asleep.
I know that you’ve never quite
grown up and I know that
you’re afraid of me” he
smiled silent and downed
another drink, losing himself
in the ramblings of a solipsistic
existence where “I” am finally all
that matters (and sometimes
I believe I was built hollow
scraps and sacramentsyou,scraps and sacraments in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful siren girl with melodies
entangled in her hair: you are
shell-shocked and sea-struck
even though you cannot stand
the sensation of sand beneath
you have fingers for prying, picking,
pulling at your skin and nesting
in that hollow space between
your bones. and if anyone asks,
you will swear there are monsters
sleeping in the concaves of your ribs;
there are ghosts beneath your tongue,
embittered, and you are not the words
they say there is an answer, little girl
(sometimes you begin to believe you are
a scarecrow on the border of reality
begging people to turn the other way;
and the mirror will agree)
how far have you gone? a feather in
the breeze who won’t promise to return
again; there is a wandering warmth in
the hesitation of your harbored fear.
where will you be in six months when
the future has become itself and you
are still astray? little one, no one is like you
in the way you sway to the cadence of a
dissonant night. no one knows your
why we pity angelsto him;why we pity angels in Free Verse More Like This
you are afraid of phonecalls. you
are afraid of your own voice, and
opening your ribcage to let
your heart come live on your sleeve.
you are afraid of living without caffeine
or alcohol, whatever the day calls for;
you are afraid of being real
without laughing afterwards, becoming
everything you worked so hard to get
away from, acknowledging all
that you still are. know this:
I am afraid of loud noises.
I am afraid of honesty and drowning,
people I don’t know and words
I won’t say. I am afraid
of growing old and living alone and
you not accepting me. I am afraid
of myself. In that, we are the same.
I have the compulsion to grab you
and cup you to me like you are some
half-alive bird, like that sound
as the lazy sun paints you a portrait is
your hummingbird heart and not my own
shallow breaths. in the beginning,
you were my peace of mind. you traced
the contours of my being with a scalpel
and held me up, a shadow puppet,
as the darkest, blackest figures I gav
Dandelion QueenI dream of the ocean;Dandelion Queen in Free Verse More Like This
that paper-thin line where
the current swallows the stars
and the water churns violet
(you tell me to be
dandelion queen, we've
heard all these words before)
I will sleep heavy
and wake a few hours before dawn,
only to forget my name
my wave-weathered heart will cry,
I will cry (my biggest fear
is drowning in too many
of my own weighted words
you tell me to be
so I can hear the world breathe)
I want to go home
in which I become beautifulI drown my conscience inin which I become beautiful 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.
starry eyes implodeshe cannot recall allstarry eyes implode in Free Verse More Like This
the things she's
pretty pills, rancid
razor blades and
wasted words coat
her sorry throat
she can't count her
fingers, like she can't
count the days again--
it's zero to zero, in it
to spin it:
time is measured in
lengths of abandonment.
she comes home empty-
"I gave up again
I gave up I gave it
away I gave up"
repeated like some
and once more she
apologizes to a
just hoping to
better to go
and when she walks,
she holds hands
with the yellowed
skeleton of a
forgotten little girl--
on their tour of
the world. she
stops at the
edge and whispers
'there is a point of
no return' with
a guiding hand;
she sends her off
and realizes she's
Before I Can Become a WriterDevelop insomnia. DevelopBefore I Can Become a Writer in Free Verse More Like This
problems with substance abuse,
nothing serious, but enough
that I can say “write drunk,
edit sober” and mean it.
Drink tea. Write about drinking
tea. Take up smoking, ignore
the thoughts about it being
a slower suicide. Write about
suicide. Don’t mean it.
Write about sunsets and
ink veins. Mean it.
Fall in love with someone
who will never love me back.
Lament. Write a million
crappy poems and two good
ones. Never show him.
Move on. Write a few more
bad poems. Fall in love with
someone perfect. Screw it up.
Fall in love with someone awful.
Call him perfect. Screw it up.
Cry. Cry for the inevitable,
the way my family never
loved me right, the way my
first kiss was regrettable
at best, the way my therapist
says my depression is a demon
taking over me. Cry for the
changeable, the way
I hate my body and my writing
and everything I live to be.
Use clichés. Live clichés,
breathe clichés, be
a cliché. Write a poem
Curing Depression in Seven Easy Steps1. apologize profusely toCuring Depression in Seven Easy Steps in Free Verse More Like This
the ones you were honest with,
the ones who believe in you,
the ones who never cared,
the boy who thought you were
worth it, the girl who stayed up
all night to hear you breakdown,
the doctors, the nurses, the stars,
your scars, your little brother
who told you he hoped your sad
would go away, yourself
2. fall in love with someone
who doesn’t understand you.
write poems about his eyes being
a lighthouse, and his hands
being sirens. tell him he is
your happiness, he makes you
better. tell him his scars are
beautiful, he is so breathtakingly
beautiful that it’s reasonable
you should cry; love him
infinitely, love him like they say
you need to love yourself
3. eat away emotions
you didn’t realize you had. eat
when you’re sad, eat when
you’re bored, eat when he forgets
to call. eat when you think
you’re the only person alive
in a dead universe, eat when
you don’t remember when you
were last happy; pretend
the emptiness is
Injectedmy midnight thoughts are scratchy like old recordsInjected in Free Verse More Like This
pauses, cracks, holes - rips in sanity
jumping to conclusions that have no reason
how could i blame the needle? how dare i
pin a fault on the syringe that keeps me alive
(although they say it dulls your eyes, kills my spark)
disjointed, unconnected, an unfinished puzzle
emotionally blank and missing seventeen pieces.
and don't lie to me; love can't complete
a broken toy like me. but don't worry, love -
i always carry my own little repair kit
(but sometimes my hands are too shaky to inject)
i've forgotten what it was to fear god and death
or to wish for better things; shooting stars
always seem to ignore me, anyhow.
they leave me wondering what i ever said,
what i did to lead myself down this kind of road.
(mother told me i only have myself to blame)
if it's my fault, then i only have one person
that i can apologize to; myself, and i try -
but i'm sorry, i think you've gone too far
to ask for redemption of any sort now.
how can i ever a
shoot me upshoot me up, take me back down, leave me here a while and i'm sure i will feel loved again; sometime in the next five hours i'll wake up and remember you and everything might be okay.shoot me up in Short Stories More Like This
until then hang out the washing and take care of my daughter, pretend like i'm sleeping because i'm tired and look in on me every five minutes just to make sure, because you can't be anymore. it's deathday my love, and i thought when i'd die it would be on an elegant bed with velvet covers and my family gathered all around me but that's not what it is, it's me lying on the sofa because i can't walk anymore and you can't carry me up two flights of stairs; it's me unconscious because it's too painful for me to be awake; it's me too scared to tell my family and in the end they'll find out after i'm gone already; it's me not ready, oh god i'm not ready to die i'm not.
memories pierce through my dreams but not where i can see them. my eyesight left me a while ago, i can't remember when exactly beca
the golden skeletonpeel me apart my lovethe golden skeleton in Free Verse More Like This
starting with my fingers
lift back my nails and
just keep on going
watch as my skeleton
reveals itself, opening
its own closet it seems
don't be scared away
when you get past my elbows
you start to see what's
really underneath - the lies
the black disgusting dirt
that even soap and hot water
can never seem to rinse
embedded in my flesh, coating
my arteries and my veins
the doctors say i'm just a
pessimist, a skeptic, somebody
who can never see the good in
but oh god, tell me now please
what good is there to see?
a walking skeleton cast in
gold i stole from other graves
nothing but filth beneath my
deceiving outer layers
scrape it away my love, don't
be scared - see if there's anything
worth scavenging, at all.
Disappearance of Anne MorganTottering in dark blue heels and clutching a gun like you know how to use it, you collapse against a tree like your backbone has turned to fine glass.Disappearance of Anne Morgan in Short Stories More Like This
You've established that the ground tastes of oranges and tomatoes, and reminds you of last summer and the fresh smell of fruit; the pleasure of knowing that you have given birth to something, although the doctor tells you that the way you want it will never be possible. The way he said it, it wasn't awful, it wasn't the end of everything, it wasn't the end of scarlet hair; it was just another woman who could never have a child. But the way you heard it, it was the end of your future. Who knew that two words could kill you? I'm sorry. That's it, that's all you heard before he launched into his clinical speech like a rocket into space, except nowhere near as beautiful. But 'I'm sorry' is all you needed to hear to have all that awful knowing inside like a disease rooting itself in your bones and eating away at the corners of y
crawl, shiveri think my heart is growing legs and armscrawl, shiver in Free Verse More Like This
and maybe fingers too, because sometimes
i feel little spindly sticks sticking into my insides
and i feel the beating growing a little louder
and closer to my mouth
like it's crawling up my throat.
i'm sorry? what did you just say?
i just can't seem to concentrate today
with you in front of me, saying something that
well, I just can't make out so much because
I'm much too busy staring at your lips
wanting you to kiss me.
and of course it's all very well when i can just
lust after you, but it scares me a little
when my heart just starts to crawl like that
and i get scared because i know, oh i know
i'm putting too much on you, yes i am
because you could take it all away just like that.
what are you planning on doing?
are you going to climb right out my mouth
and give yourself over to this man?
the thought, it gives me goosebumps.
my love raises a shiver over my skin.
leave itstop with the fucking clichés.leave it in Free Verse More Like This
flames don't dance; they gorge
themselves stupid on oxygen
and stagger uselessly all over
the coal and crumpled newspaper.
he doesn't make your heart beat
faster; he makes you regret all
the stupid things you said, and
all the clumsy things you did.
snow doesn't glitter; it reflects
the sun so your eyes ache and you
miss the tangle of sheets, pillows
and blankets that you just left.
you're not going to have a happy
ending; there will always be times
when you wish for an end, a fast
reprieve; escape is so inviting.
no, not everything is as perfect
as i desperately want it to be.
i wish i could be content with
settling for less than my dreams.
don't let yourself sink into the
bitterness of pessimistic thought;
keep your mind open and your silver
linings in check; count blessings.
leave a little hope in your heart.
purple dawnoh, it was just anotherpurple dawn in Free Verse More Like This
violet sky this morning.
lilac clouds licking against
the edges of my sight
and lavender sparrows
calling out to their mothers.
you roll from my bed and
pull on your clothes;
the sun shines through the
glistening condensation on
my window and your skin
sparkles with its purple rays.
but you don't notice.
in seconds you have left
my bed, my room, my house
and I am left to stare at
blinding lilac light, wishing
for a morning star.
I suppose you'll be back
after work, sometime, or
tommorow; when the world
has taken the silver blue joy
out of your veins, and I am
left again to save your soul.
leave it to me. we'll gather
your sadness like creamy pink
bread; and feed it to the ducks
in the pond beside my garden.
I'll save you and them a spot
in heaven too, when it's done.
don't worry, my love.
the purple sun will always
rise again; and through
my window the dusty blue
will shine, coating your body
in lavender glow once more.
this bus is for dreamersthis bus is for dreamers,this bus is for dreamers in Free Verse More Like This
but they call it the 436.
people line the aisles and
slump against the frosted
windows, pressing shoulders
and heated cheeks to cold
glass, staring at nothing.
"where are you heading?"
the driver asks me, and
i want to ask him when he's
going by the opium fields,
but instead i hold out my
change and speak over the
passing cars; "st. clement's."
he nods, and i don't know
if i imagine his swollen
irises flickering back to
the wheel, black lakes
of euphoria within thin
rings of blue; in any case
i head to my seat slowly.
i clasp the backs of seats
to keep my balance on my
way to the seat i always
take, but the morning is
icy beyond belief so it
feels as if the cold metal
is grasping me instead.
heads move in my direction
and people nod blearily in
my direction when i pass,
thoughts and dreams clouding
sight and voices away; all
but a vague sense of where
we're going remains to us.
"are you going to church?"
a woman with skin like old
paper wants to know. she
my hidden travellershe says "will you come home with me?" and i stop for a minute, there's this music all around me with the bass making my heart shake just a little less than she does and i have to make it stop. her eyes are staring down at me, dancing and electric like static butterflies, joining with mine and spreading love like pollen in summer; and i have to think to myself for a little while before i even say no.my hidden traveller in Free Verse More Like This
i always wore shirts and jeans at school. other girls wore skirts and stupid little plimsoles, but that really wasn't my thing.
even i didn't suspect myself until i was halfway through high school. sometimes people would call my shirts dyke sleeves, and i always laughed; but then i started to question myself. why did i hate relationships so much? why did i submit to going out with boys just because i felt i had to? i said yes whenever i was asked by a particularly good looking guy, but when it came to the first kiss i would pull away from the awkward clash of lips and the next day it wo
Erstwhilei),Erstwhile in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Once upon a time our stories were simple.
Once upon a time our mothers turned the pages for us, held our hands, and promised to read out the words we still stumbled over, sometimes, if we were tired or alone.
Once upon a time we were taught to walk only so we could begin that ancient human race: the desperate sprint for success, power and fame. The one where your mother lets go of your hand and tells all her friends that you can do it without falling sometimes, if they pretend they aren't watching or they shake a rattle at you; the one where coach says the people sitting at the side-lines are only kids who can't run fast enough, who didn't try hard enough, who aren't enough; the one where you are named by your number.
Sometimes we are drowning in the texts.
Sometimes definitions escape us, and questions will plague us, and it feels as if our teachers taught us words only so we could understand what we should not say.
Sometimes we are reading so hard that we forget to stop and
SaltwaterI have tilted the table of all that you know. The glasses and dishes are shattering and spilling, and we only stop and stare at one another as the end falls around us - I ask you to speak, I ask you to scream, I ask you to cry, yet you stay silent.Saltwater in Short Stories More Like This
You are the warmest statue I have ever known.
I could pass my fingers over your lips and feel them still, the ghost of a smile or a frown and phantom breath escaping, and I want to paint you with gold.
I want to bring you into the world and tell it to love you, because you are too unassuming to ask and they cannot love you in your family's gallery; it's in the sea-garden, the fronds reaching around you, choking off the outside and you're suffocating under the weight of a thousand greenfingers, searching for some other girl that they can make grow.
They're looking on you, not through you, passing over granite and seeking sun instead - it only makes my eyes close and sigh saltwater to know it. We are too dazzled by the shallow pools and the bl
The Time Travelleri'm whispering to my friend jonnyThe Time Traveller in Free Verse More Like This
i wish that girl was mine,
she got eyes like the star altair
i wanna hold her bones and
feel her shaking with me
white sticks moving, calcium dancers
and five metres turns into miles
'cause she's never near enough
to hold my hand, my heart, my head
oh, jonny, that girl is a time traveller
she's filling me up with future
thoughts of years and white dresses
and dusty old photographs
sun-bleached on our mantelpiece
i want this now to be a memory
before i knew her, before she was mine.
WishbonesIt was 5am, and the sun was only beginning to hit the windows as she said to me, I think I wrote a poem about you.Wishbones in Short Stories More Like This
And I said, how does it go?
It goes like this, she said, and it was beautiful.
It was shooting stars, pulled wishbones and a thousand things unfulfilled, all blown birthday candles and dandelion clocks; the superstitions we embrace so that sometimes, for a few seconds, we're allowed to have any dream we want despite it all.
At the beginning it was the regret for things, said and unsaid, breaking into sharp pieces in our palms so we could never hold them; then it was a confession, and then a heartbreaking demand, only to know whether it could ever begin or be stopped; and the final line led me up into her eyes.
They were like the sea looks in all the magazines, the colour you buy expensive tickets to swim in for two weeks: clearwater oceans, the kind of world we know less about the bottom of than we do about the surface of our moon. She was too true and clear a sea, unrippl
SyncingThere was the night that we all got lost together, and not even by accident. Jack had two bottles of amber in his air-bitten backpack and I had plenty cigarettes for all of us, and instead of watching the women selling chemicals and insurance on my old TV we picked ourselves up and left the hazy domestics behind us.Syncing in Short Stories More Like This
Mr. Walters from downstairs was putting a new nameplate on his letterbox, all scripted and joined up like a wedding invitation to the tax companies and accountants; and he looked at us and said Where are you going at this time, August?
I said with the widest smile, September, anywhere, and we walked on.
It was on purpose and you have to know that, because we could all do with the same cold air running down our throats and a hunger despite it, a hunger for wandering and talking and never knowing, and Kerr said to me, This is better than what I live, not knowing where I’m going. Is that even right?
It’s better than right, it’s wrong,<
DallianceTonight we traded kisses on the same bottle, and passed it back and forth; always talking about everything that happened in our days except what came between us, because it was simply too dangerous to broach a subject that could ever use the word 'love'.Dalliance in Short Stories More Like This
You are too graceful to condense it to four letters, and I am too clouded to word it inside a thousand.
I'm saying, If life really gave out labels like our parents said, then ours would be blank because God ran out of ink just before.
You lean closer, and even as I feel my breath hitch like you're my seventh cigarette in a row, you gently take the bottle from my fingers and sit back again.
After you let the whisky chase reason down your throat, you say, I couldn't be happier to go without an entry in the grand encyclopedia of ambitions.
I let myself be quiet for a moment, because it always takes me time to speak after hearing something that shakes what I knew before. I need time to know that I can go on after it; just a minute, if you
Cynosure ClosureI wish the weather happened like it feels between us, because this morning is only a little warm and clear - yet beneath it we are standing on a dirt path and in my mind our skin is paralyzed by flakes of snow - they belong there, somehow, but the atmosphere has never synced with me; not by a long shot, not even by a taller glass of the same.Cynosure Closure in Short Stories More Like This
Don't feel bad for me, because I think you know about how much I love the cold; I don't mind all your words catching up in my eyelashes and melting down my cheeks, because that's all they are for now; later the freeze might set into my bones, leaving me shaky and frail for too long of an evening but it's nothing some rest and redemption won't bring me back from.
Somehow it isn't fair that I see the snow and you do not - you don't feel the cold like I do, you don't feel the weight on your shoulders like I do, and it was always the same when we were young and too busy thinking about the future and fucking, mostly hand in hand until we got too old to