Post MortemI am a walking, talking universe of dead poets
who tattoo their stanzas into my flesh
with ghostly, typewriter fingers.
I live and breathe their worldly disasters
like a nicotine addiction I've never had.
Drowning in their scribbles
I kiss their shoreline romances,
envy their Annabel Lee's,
& carry their hearts in my heart.
I am 7am coffee on Sunday mornings:
a half drunk, hungover limerick
waiting to happen.
I am jealousy:
nothing more than weak words,
& a tongue-tied cliche-
but death becomes me.
A Gods DebtSutured together by artists,A Gods Debt in Free Verse More Like This
hallowed out, & spit back up,
( you are afraid. )
Hooks longing for her ribcage embrace;
god-hands that can't seem to keep to themselves
grapple the gargoyle exterior of her deflowered frame.
( spread your legs. )
Red-inked and trembling,
prosetry masked as screams
knots into her anatomy.
Her Musethese words are not poetryHer Muse in Free Verse More Like This
swimming liquid fire through ashes
of dead phoenix veins.
no, they are rough and callused
with over use, their own faithless artists
spewing black tar from their lungs
in the hopes to one day breathe again.
nothing moves her.
she would rather scribble her heart out
on physical manifestations of her own reality-
on skin and bones she worships like a temple.
"Write of me," he says, "right here."-
planting sun-stricken kisses
along the hollow of her burning throat.
"I want to be where your heart sleeps."
RepossessionYour words tore into my abdomen like vultures feeding onRepossession in Free Verse More Like This
the raw emotion their filthy wings stirred up from the dust.
My ribs cracked from the blow.
But, I think sometimes
of how these were the ribs
that should have chased you away from me,
quietly wondering how you managed to
slither past this cage of bone and flesh
to engrave your fingerprints into my marrow.
You were sweat & spice & scars-
a thunderstorm of black and blue sex
jarring and devouring my insides,
shaped a faithless religion
through the cracks & broken shards
of my hollowed out womb.
(I want my insides back.)
Stephanie -Collab(I wrote us in free verse over every inchStephanie -Collab in Free Verse More Like This
of your tattered surface ).
you were the beatific grin
of a kindergartener high off oxygen,
mouth stretched wide as the entrance to hell,
black tongue bleeding virtuous sin like ichor.
(You taught me praying was for the weak
as I fell for your gypsum nails,
white teeth scrabbling over my chalkboard frame).
scribbled flesh tells no love story
but three layers of skin
worn thin along the length of our feverish bones.
(Garden flowers tucked away worms and dirt,
my ribs hoarded misspellings of my mother's name).
dipping your origami limbs into my ink,
you lost yourself within the dark tangles
of my labyrinth roo
fly.this is hard for the world around us to grasp:fly. in Free Verse More Like This
these wildfires raging in our retinas
& the sins we wear like demonic similes
on our tongues- they are not enough.
& i am so fucking sorry of saying i'm sorry.
but, tell me,
what is a young poet(ess) to do
with veins made of kite strings?
astrological.i. On some nights,astrological. in Free Verse More Like This
street lights guide
this lonely heart
to her lonely bed.
ii. In this universe of twilight skin
& mismatched bones,
I wonder just how many poems sleep
beneath the inkwell of her eyes.
iii. My body is a house of stars,
and her palms are black holes
sucking ( me ) into their vortex of
iv. She says, "Please—my moon,
please—give these bones a reason
& I am whispering lovelies
into the sanctuary of her heartbeats.
v. "Goddess temple,
sunset eyes, &
my windowpane love-
Let us eat the stars
BloodI've got a filthy mouth,Blood in Free Verse More Like This
& a house of stars
thriving in my throat.
& I still have yet to tame
this grounded constellation
I call my temple. -Slithering
tongue hissing too many
"fuck you's" against my teeth.
I fear I will write myself hollow-
or until my bones are corroded away
& I am nothing-
an insignificant nebula
orbiting the wrong atmosphere.
But, my veins bleed sweet ichor,
& words are only words, Mother.
FeverI like pretending I mean something to the ghostsFever in Free Verse More Like This
who wreak havoc on my bones-
impaling these masochistic butterfly wings
on railroad spikes
between heartbeats and bedsheets,
I got a heart in New Orleans,
palms engraving names like
Juliet, Alexandria, & Christine
on the seats of greyhound buses.
& I'm offering up 102 degrees of skin to a godless moon
as I breathe in her night scent.
HeroineSometimes,Heroine in Free Verse More Like This
she tries to fall into the night,
tipping her strawberry heart
like a tea bag into hot waters-
always scolding herself
kissing ocean beds.
Her hips, tides rolling
towards the antagonists
of myths & legends.
with a thousand leagues
of sea behind her eyes,
she will always save herself.
Sometimes, you enjoyed being blind.Over 1,000 letters have found their waySometimes, you enjoyed being blind. in Free Verse More Like This
to the pulsating heart of my wastebasket.
You carried them away saying, "I'll use these
to fill the empty spaces of my universe."
You proceeded to tape them to your eyelids,
wear them like Augusts leaves along your limbs.
"I will be your voice and I will sing your words to the trees."
Slender spider fingers prancing across my misspelled scrawl.
scar-crossed(my fingers are colder than the solemn bluescar-crossed in Free Verse More Like This
buried in her eyes. so much dead beauty,
like an ocean without waves).
she is fading and i cling to her,
and in this tiny little moment
we barely even exist.
we should celebratei.we should celebrate in Free Verse More Like This
i tried to think of pain as a flower,
first it blossoms
it wilts away.
but i won't let myself disappear
along with it,
give you that.
(it's not the agony that makes
me scream, it's the flavor).
and you whispered softly
"i'll rip your heart out and replace it
with a song,
it's christmas soon, and
we should celebrate".
you've always used my scars
as a calendar,
as a way to remind yourself
"today is tuesday
and i still exist".
(it's morning now because
i can see
through my eyelids
a bright summer day,
the flowers are
everything's imaginary, even the truthi picked my words casually,everything's imaginary, even the truth in Free Verse More Like This
like a bored child
on a picnic,
pulling weeds from the ground.
(i don't remember what we spoke of, but
afterwards we walked home
with our eyes locked to the pavement).
and i just don't understand,
why you hold onto me
like a precious secret.
i am always disoriented by daydream landscapes,
reality passes me by in an instant,
a departing train.
and you have to pull me back, to grey cities
and pedestrian crossings.
(i'd be lost without you,
would be happier, wouldn't you?)
there are no cars in the streetsi seek distance and i find itthere are no cars in the streets in Free Verse More Like This
in the cold air
as i walk
with no direction, gasoline
lingering in the streets like bad perfume.
she swears i smell like death
when i come back inside,
for a minute i believe her.
i exhale oily shadows and when i catch my reflection
in the mirror i have no face, screaming
i try to scrape off the emptiness
with broken fingernails.
and when she tells me to calm down
her lips aren't moving.
if you meet a wolfwe swore an oathif you meet a wolf in Free Verse More Like This
not to acknowledge it,
and i should have asked for more just to be certain,
but i will never ask for your blood
just to mix it with mine.
she read between the lines of each word and crafted her own story,
just as i had crafted mine. neither was
as simple as the honest truth.
if you meet a wolf, pretend it is not there.
pick your blueberries and do not
think about the wolf.
it will not harm you.
do not, under any circumstances, look the wolf
in the eye.
(i stood in line at the florist's and realized the lilies i chose had withered.)
she returned home from a funeral, and it
did not feel like death to see
so many flowers,
lowered into what they dub heaven.
(she thanked the man who dug the hole, and had to stop herself
from asking if she could join him for the next one.
i stood silently beside her,
i could be nothingsome days you look at me as if i ami could be nothing in Free Verse More Like This
glances studying my face like a road map.
but mostly, i find your eyes stuck in the static
of the pavement, or lost
in the clouds
gathering before lightning.
and we never promise anything, just share the air like strangers
when we don't know what to say.
(it always ends with a silence more desolate
than broken trust.)
you said this is the calm before the storm
but what if
it never slows down
enough for me to notice
that there are days when we can exist
without doubting every second. you have a tendency to whisper
too quietly, leaving room for me to imagine
callousand this is where i fall apart, bleedingcallous in Free Verse More Like This
but not as we know it.
you emptied me of sunsets, of the sweet scent
worn by summer air,
of the silence found in longing, the wish
for something far away.
you scraped off a layer of my skin,
there were dancers and drifters, bound by
rhythm but not by time.
(i was a child, wandering, sipping the atmosphere
like tap water.)
you demanded truth in layers of secret pathways,
but lost yourself in tangled ribbons,
choking us both like frightened snakes.
what keeps us aliveshe hollowed out the fear in you, that once rested in your rib-cagewhat keeps us alive in Free Verse More Like This
like a safe haven, somewhere to lose yourself
when falling. (she stole it with less than a whisper).
you stood cold and resilient, the void tugging at your sleeves
with fierce determination.
you stood empty and brave.
she never gave you a destination, wordlessly she carved your route
out of denied tears, an unfinished map with no coastlines.
you left and the abyss followed your trail like a bloodhound,
promised to devour you whole.
you left to find the sea.
footprints some days you are absent,footprints in Free Verse More Like This
and i sit waiting even if i know, that although
your bike is parked at the usual spot,
you'll be nowhere to be seen.
i never ask where you've been.
maybe you found a place where heartbeats sound
like autumn leaves swirling in the wind.
maybe you just couldn't face me.
and you wear silence like a wedding gown,
soft silk sewn together with a brutal honesty.
there is no going back.
(she threw her regrets off a mountain, memories
carving their way through the cold stone, slowly forming
and now she feels no thirst, only
a longing slowly drowning her.)
in the end, you had to face me.
we sat on a beach, your fingers drawing patterns in the sand,
mine clutched around a seashell.
"we're only a bike ride away from extinction,"
you said, "and you're too slow, always
caught in the invisible ink printed on my eyelids."
i borrowed your silence,
labyrinthiani guess i've started to doubt(my)humanity,labyrinthian in Free Verse More Like This
we bat our eyelashes in morse code
and expect to be heard,
but nobody really listens.
(and i must say, you are quite good at acting
like a person, but people
are only a facade, when it comes down
why should we matter more than mosquitoes?)
you'll always keep wondering
about the meaning of life
"maybe it's all in my head," you said. "a nightmare
meant just for me."
but honestly, why would we mean anything?
(you yell at the stars to come closer, cry out
for god to let you see.)
but god hides behind closed doors
just like schrodinger's cat,
neither alive or dead.
ocean lungsyou weigh something like gravityocean lungs in Free Verse More Like This
in my tired expanse. you are
(my once splendid mountain)
my love is the ocean
that has worn you down.
with my monstrous tongue,
i pulled you in.
as you fall,
sweeping peacefully into the depths
and filling each crevice,
i am learning to inhale shores.
some would say i'm suffocating
and bring me buckets of air (only to have it
escape my slippery grip).
no, the tides need something heavy
to make of her
she reminds me of myselfI'm sorry, Alice, the looking glass lies.she reminds me of myself in Free Verse More Like This
Flowers don't sing
and hares don't keep time.
Your world of wonder
is all make believe -
Why else would your reflection
giggle and wink?
You aren't a child any longer, my dear.
Have a matchstick for your dreams
and a hammer for that mirror.
Our hands may be calloused
as we coddle our pasts
but delusions are enemies
and wistful muses pass.
I will wait for you, darling,
I will write for you, lass.
I will capture life's beauty
and contain it in glass.
Though, the singing that lingers
is the voice of my own.
The fragrant flowers are dying
even while their seed is sown.
polyester tastes like silencea blend of fiberspolyester tastes like silence in Free Verse More Like This
twists around my insides
and juts from my lips.
this is how they silenced me.
they wrapped my bones in gauze
the squeaky, tell-all bits of me;
i am a doll.
i am a doll
made of tin-can, rust-ridden joints
and wide, murky-water eyes.
my skin is the color of negligence
from sun-scars and
my ocean hair smells of salt and weeds.
i am the once comforting thing
you throw in the wash that gets lumpy
and disfigured and
you slowly lose comfort
in my misshapen seams
(but i will always hold your secrets
beneath the muffled mess of me).
desiccatei.desiccate in Free Verse More Like This
you were 22 years in the making,
a sponge without water
since the day they plucked you from the ocean
and left the sea salt to sink into your pores.
I was something too heavy to wade in,
barely able to breathe,
21 years in the making
with floodgates barring my emotions
since the age of four.
At the first sign of droplets,
the salt of you drew me in
and eased the heaviness of my heart.
In your confessions of self-love,
in your tales of embrocation,
I was only ever your liniment;
was a thing to be forgotten from the start.
summer homei've rearranged the rooms of my chestsummer home in Free Verse More Like This
to make room for you.
i won't say it didn't hurt
to make myself your Adam;
until you found a comfortable perch.
there, beneath my unguarded breast,
you construct your nest of
every lovely thing you've come to love
(while the rest of me flaps wildly
like moth wings against the cold walls
of my exposed heart).
i should've known you'd leave
when winter froze me.
don't apologize [for the ache].
you kept the beautiful bits of me
(while they died).
cagedother lovers sawcaged in Free Verse More Like This
that i was a danger to myself
(i've always thought of it
as more of a challenge to trust).
they took their prison arms
to hold me,
to keep me from myself
(to keep me from hurting them).
some pushed my suicidal heart
from its shelf
thinking it was what i truly wanted
(to be free).
they watched, helpless,
unknowing of my thoughts,
as i stood on the ledge
with my calloused toes dancing over
and wishing on every feather
the breeze brushed
from my crooked wings.
but they had been clipped.
and how could i say,
"they should have known" -
who falls in love with a bird?
you fashioned a cage out of your chest
and set your heart aside
(to make room for me,
your wounded bird).
you forged a single key
and placed it carefully beside me
(afraid i'd spook easy
with those jerky eyes
rapt with you).
i hear your heart
beat lullabies from the closet
(and i only shut my door
to dance in private
because birds are hideous dancers)
and you always ask why
i'm so afraid to sing atop
i am the silencer to their gunslittle girl,i am the silencer to their guns in Free Verse More Like This
you had your fill of the world
before you were 12
and i'm sorry.
i should've said something to someone.
and i'm sorry
they taught you,
was never an option
and that you were never
i love you.
bug-eyed and wide-mouthed,
knowing little of the sin
you will encounter as you grow,
as you falter -
on wavering limbs
with a flimsy heart
and feathered head full of dreams.
with hollow screams,
your tiny fists tug tufts
of teddy's fur
as you're chased along wooded paths
and into an unseen cottage with the ghost
of your mother
and decrepit stuffed animals -
when all you have to do
(you remind yourself every night
before you fall asleep)
is leap from the edge of a curb
and take flight
you know you'll always fall
hitting that dresser by your bed).
i'm sorry i left you breathless
with empty cries,
i silenced you long before
they ever did;
for that, i apologize.
i love you.
ripei was born in the darkripe in Free Verse More Like This
and they tried to keep me away from the light;
apple-red spilled through the windows,
pooled on the floor beneath her ankles
and around my gaping mouth
as i became acquainted with stale air
i'd chosen a better place
a better time).
he would say he was tired
and she would say her baby girl was beautiful
(or so i was told
between her bouts of blubbering
while she was imprisoned).
i've come to believe souls are collected
while we are young
(i am a cavity, my spirit
plucked, under a harvest moon).
because we're too afraid to fly in daylightjust when i thought i was home,because we're too afraid to fly in daylight in Free Verse More Like This
the welcome mat
turned to tacks beneath my feet.
i apologized for the blood
that crept into the cracks and stained your porch.
this isn't the redwood i had in mind;
but i think it's kind of beautiful,
in the same way
a moth can't find its way to the stars
from inside the garage so it
flicks its maddened wings to make a
ting, ting, ting
on a dying lightbulb.
"abyssus abyssum invocat,"
i whisper to the winged-dreamer
as she makes her way across my cheek.
i know she hears it as she
eases past my softly, parted lips.
ex glande quercus,
her wings thump morse code
against the rawness of my throat
and i swallow to quiet her pain.
hush, now shush. be still, my dear;
trees do not talk or bleed.
you've given your wings to grow with me
and we will reach the heavens.
we will be greater than the oaks
as our forest of hair plants us among the stars;
then, we will be home.
hitched to the sky
with the veins of your wings
and stuck with the red of
caustic and cautioustonight-caustic and cautious in Free Verse More Like This
even she is jealous
of our passion
ripping apart the
earth with her
attempting to thieve
our warmth with her
she hollows old bones
like a drill
with a surgeon's
tarry the night
tarry the day
is beyond the
Autumn AutopsyAs lovers,Autumn Autopsy in Free Verse More Like This
we were reckless;
in a field of mines.
We traded kisses
and carefree caresses
and blackened skin.
at the cost
of darker afternoons,
of the dying season;
We didn't ask,
we never questioned
of our expenditures.
I shed my skin
in the Autumn of youth,
the viscera and
bared the bone --
a scarecrow of worms
and raw meat,
amongst the stalks
of reddened corn.
to dusty artifacts,
laden with memories
of decaying potency;
rising from the cooling wick
will never be
as sweet as
when the flame
Undressing PoetryShe clothes herself in poetry,Undressing Poetry in Free Verse More Like This
seals her skin within the verse.
Each line becomes another garment
that conceals her fixed form's curvature,
but peels away when read.
Last night I dissected a stanza,
clamped it tight between my teeth
and tugged it down her legs.
Her body breathes warm and sweet,
speckled red like a summer strawberry field.
I sucked the juice from her lines and
spit the punctuation like seeds.
My lips mouthed the shape of her words
as my skin grew more sticky with
every splash of imagery dripping down my chin.
I peeled apart her soft pages
with sticky, pink fingertips that left them
clinging to my skin.
A single flawless line remained
between the cloak of poetry, her and me,
so we spoke the words in unison,
revealing everything and setting her verse free.
red leaves and Robert Frost.When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it.red leaves and Robert Frost. in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We throw away half of our refrigerator each week meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day.
Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.
At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt.
I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.
Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.
People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist.
For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three.
That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet c
tocophobia.the world of pregnancy and childbirthtocophobia. in Free Verse More Like This
has been boiled down to the white,
neurologically healthy babies
in pink and blue knit caps.
“that one,” says the tearful father.
“she’s beautiful,” says the nurse
while the mother rests.
but why is it
that the default image of motherhood
is a white middle-class couple with a picket fence
and a golden retriever?
let’s postpone that cruise to the caribbean
and make a baby.”
what about the prostitutes
who get pregnant?
what about the girls in africa
who carry their rapist’s babies?
what about the babies left on the firehouse steps?
what about the welfare mothers
because they can’t pay the hospital fees?
who have heroin tracks on their arms
(like stitches that can’t hold them together)
where the patient bracelet is snapped on?
what about the 500,000 american children
waiting to get adopted?
what about miscarriages and women
who can never have kids?
we preach for the
eight things about growing up.eighteight things about growing up. in Emotional More Like This
I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite something with wings so I could touch the clouds.
I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly.
That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)
My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human.
A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him.
I guess love is kind of like that, too.
Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October.
My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain
short-term memory.and you'll never forget:short-term memory. in Emotional More Like This
When you realized that everybody dies alone.
When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.
When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)
When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."
When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."
When he told you, "More than just a long time."
The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.
When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.
When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."
When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper – and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
things i want you to know.0.things i want you to know. in Free Verse More Like This
there is a picture in my living room
of my parents in their twenties, in sunhats,
there is a picture of my father holding me
when i was two years old.
there is a picture of my parents
on their wedding day.
there is a picture of me when i was
ten, eleven, twelve.
i’m seventeen now and
i won’t let my mother
take any of the pictures
i need to believe that, at one point,
this house was more than just
i was born on the second-to-last day
i weighed seven pounds, two ounces,
and it was ninety-nine degrees out.
four years before that, in 1992,
the officers who beat rodney king
within an inch of his life
five years before that, in 1991,
a cyclone in Bangladesh killed
138,000 people and made 10 million
ten years before that, in 1986,
a fire in a Los Angeles library
damaged more than 400,000
and on that day, april 29, 1996, i was born
and i’d like to pretend
that it was a go
zero.5. I think I'm afraid of sex.zero. in Emotional More Like This
It's terrifying that two people can fit together perfectly, without even really liking each other at all.
4. I'm afraid of the day I start replacing myself with somebody else in all of our pictures; of the day I'll see my reflection and wish I didn't have to.
3. I'm afraid of doctors, and medicine.
The first time I took lithium, I couldn't hold it down. So I locked the bathroom door and flushed the entire bottle.
The second time, I couldn't walk more than ten steps without falling.
Honestly, I'm just wondering why they use poison to purify me.
2. I'm afraid of the ocean.
I'm afraid of looking down one day, and not seeing the edges. Of there being nothing there.
I'm afraid of falling and having nothing to catch me.
There's already nobody. The ground is really all I have.
1. I'm afraid of breaking things.
Like, once, I broke my dad's trust in me.
Once I broke somebody's heart.
Once I broke my kindergarten teacher's favorite
and i have tried to make it right.i.and i have tried to make it right. in Free Verse More Like This
let me tell you a story
using six words.
their names become parts of statistics.
let me tell you a story
using six words.
“suicide is the easy way out.”
let me tell you a story
using six words
that will never be told.
pain is not a fucking
do you still pray,
knowing there will be no answer?
see, i cannot speak for those
who have no voice to give
but, sincerely, these are the six words
i respond with:
i wish i could save you.
we live our lives being told that
there is always a safety net -
that there are people designed to protect us.
i’m going to use six words because,
the saddest stories
take the fewest words to tell.
for them, there was never anyone.
blades can cut wrists but
here are six words:
blades can cut stories short, too.
i have approximately 250,000 words
to choose from
to try and describe to you what suicide is
but i don’t
boys that want you, boys that love you.1.boys that want you, boys that love you. in Free Verse More Like This
there are four kinds of love.
the first is honest.
the first is messy.
it’s smeared makeup.
it’s tears over a martini.
it’s people dancing alone.
it’s off-key singing, at the top
of your lungs.
it’s unmade beds.
it’s the hickey on your neck.
it’s the gasp he gave
when he first saw you,
how he missed your lips
when he tried to kiss you.
after he made you cry.
the second kind is what you feel
for the boy lying next to you.
there’s cigarettes in the ashtray,
panties on the floor,
a lump in your throat,
and he does not love you back.
the third kind is when you'll meet
and that little moment will stretch
into something huge and permanent,
into a month/six months/a year
of a million glances that you'd thought
it’s when you'll say nothing
and neither will he
because there will be no need
because he'll very nearly smile
and you'll know.
suicide can come in bottles.dad was an alcoholicsuicide can come in bottles. in Free Verse More Like This
by the time he was twenty-two.
he was thirty-three
when i was born.
i am eight years old.
dad is drunk on the couch.
he wakes up and tells me to buy him food
and i tell him i’m his daughter.
he gets up to yell at me
then, as if realizing, starts laughing.
i am scared.
i am nine years old.
there’s a picture i don’t understand
printed out on the table.
i look at the web address and type it in
and there’s a site full of them.
the men look like they’re hurting the women.
they call them mean names
and tie them up.
in the one my dad printed
there are no faces. just genitals
and i am nine
and i understand.
i don’t tell my mother.
i am nine years old.
every night i get up when dad leaves
to close the browsers open on his computer.
there are seventeen open
and i close them
one at a time.
some of the pictures are scary.
one woman is screaming.
another is one who looks young,
like a high school girl.
bodies like star systems.“the neighbor’s house smelledbodies like star systems. in Free Verse More Like This
like the ocean when i walked past,” you say.
“it’s a sign that i’m drowning.”
“i stepped in two patches of fresh dirt.
it’s a sign that they’ll be digging my grave.”
“i saw the boy i’d lost my virginity to today.
it’s a sign that i’m going to cheat on you.”
“you wake me up with this shit,” he says in annoyance.
“is that a sign i should break up with you?”
“no,” you say, not looking at him, fighting
to keep smiling. “it means -”
he goes back to bed.
he thinks you don’t get it,
but you do.
he teaches you about chemistry,
about physics and the stars.
he teaches you that the universe is finite,
but constantly expanding;
he takes you hand to his chest, and says
“like my feelings for you.”
used to be, you thought he was your gravity
because you were so drawn to him
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
catch a falling star, put it in your pocketthere's something about those little brokencatch a falling star, put it in your pocket in Free Verse More Like This
dreamer girls with misproportionate promises
and lingering whispers,
who walk like angels, lost, and trying
to find a way back home;
whose hearts bleed abnormally loud
and resonant- those girls with
shadows like ghosts [dead and haunting],
that make them a flavor
to taint your tongue.
if you listen close, you can hear the
unraveling words that once knit the hollow space
between their bones,
you can hear their shallow sighs like
sun sets for a final time.
you can hear their ticking time bomb lungs
and you can touch their secrets, because they
wear them on their skin. not like wounds,
more like sun kisses or wispy tattoos
ingrained into who they are; you won't know
what they mean until you connect the dots
and find answers in their questioning stares.
they'd like to remain something unknown, because
they've identified the world as a disease- vile and
insidious, with the capability of sinking
underneath your flesh and changing who you are.
things I learned at 11 am while I was half-asleepithings I learned at 11 am while I was half-asleep in Free Verse More Like This
I’m spending most of my time
not crying, and I’m sorry,
but I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone
as much as aspirin, or lullabies,
or the cheap wine sold for two dollars a bottle,
or overly-apologetic letters bending over backwards
to make a point of themselves, or the pink petals
blooming on my wrists like flesh and blood miracles,
or the songs named after women
things may not change,
but you will have to.
I am most alone
surrounded by people
and the buzzing in my head of words
that should have lost their meaning
back when I discovered
they never meant anything
Dedications are only relevant
to people who appreciate shitty poetry,
or you. Insanity is writing the same thing
over and over and expecting it not
to sound clichéd.
and as much as anyone will swear otherwise,
I am a statistic. A number, an example,
a case study in the manipulation of
narcissism and moving on
Poets Always Lieambrosial fabrications arePoets Always Lie in Free Verse More Like This
easier to swallow down when
incandescence is a blessing bestowed
only upon those with silky tongues.
deceptions are beautiful
in the right words
because they are salvation, like a
rapture, they save the sickly,
self-indulgent souls from those
tragedies they used to write on the insides
of childhood notebooks about who
they could never be [themselves]
they rescue them from tremulous
corners and closets, hideaways
where they've grown too akin to
the demons they nurse; and drag
them into a land beautiful enough
to wear light as a second skin
(where lies are never discussed
but always shared)
are so much more comforting
than the absoluteness of reality
because self-resentment is as
natural as a heartbeat to those
who were born breathing and
abhorring and denying all from one
steady gasp of what the existent world
had to offer to them
back then their eyes opened, and
their fingers fumbled, born, they realized
the world wasn't as pretty as promi
unfilterediunfiltered in Free Verse More Like This
i’d tell you I hated you
if you had a voice or a face,
or any sense of tangibility aside
from the spider fingers you use
to crawl through my brain
you are not beautiful, like
all the other poets protest. you
are the red in my eye, like
a pen bled; the ragged to
my fingernails, the hitch of my breath
when it catches in my throat.
before i go, i’ll write a million letters (a million
pennies for my thoughts, bitter, embedded
under my tongue) and send them to people
i’ve never met, telling them how my eyes were blue
when i was little but now are the same gray
i’m choking on, how i am maddie and how that’s short
for a name i was never graceful enough for, how
i tell myself stories of lives i’ll never live so i
can go to sleep
because when i’m really gone, that’s all that’ll be left
(it’s funny what people
try to justify with words)
you never loved me,
you selfish thing, i wonder why
i wasted so many nights relivin
everything I'm becomingtwo weeks until the end of the world,everything I'm becoming in Free Verse More Like This
and i’m busy stockpiling all my regrets,
writing letters to flaws i don’t care
to fix, and trying to learn to draw
infinity. it’s time for two truths and a lie:
1. i was drunk for an hour on
good vibes and loneliness and
that quote “from the moment we
are born we begin to die”
2. and god, Bianca, you still show up
in my dreams; glaze-eyed and
more vocal than you ever were
when you were half-alive
1. (how close i came to arctic happiness
when you froze in my mind,
snowflake breath lingering like
the soundtrack of my breakdown)
now, she tells me she is sick
of the clothes stretched tight like
a second skin, and the gaping silences
between her ribs, and the singsong
unimportance glazing over her
hollywood-hangover eyes. she blossoms
like an earthquake, finally
growing into the goosebumps
and hollow bones her father
gave her-- i want to cure the world,
use a freeze ray to halt time
and kiss every empty wound;
on becoming alivethank god for sleeping pillson becoming alive in Free Verse More Like This
and the man who gave me a bag
to quiet my mind.
thank god for boys with open hands
and curious minds and naïve hearts
who make me young because
god, you birthed me old
you birthed me old,
so I could be the one to
measure the livelihood of stars
while the others made
their childhood wishes
thank god I have a mind
that runs a million miles faster
than I ever could, because
I believe my heart is an hourglass
of honey and grime, and
I’m slowly running out of
time, and I fear
these days are numbered.
thank god for people
who write the words bleeding in my heart
without knowing I exist, thank god
for beauty and my understanding
that I only exist in relation to it
and in appreciation of what
I can’t become.
thank god for my rebirth
because I spent all those
eye-opening years of my life
sleeping behind the wheel, thank god
someone was there to wake
me up. (thank god that I can
weep for happiness and depression
in the same day,
Growing Upit seems that by now I’ve been diagnosedGrowing Up in Free Verse More Like This
with a mild case of weightlessness, mindless
drifting past empty homes and the emptier people
that purchased them. I remember conversations
with you about existentialism
and the almost intricate fabric of my mind and
everything in between, and you-- the way you
paused before making a point as
the words defined themselves in your head:
I remember the day I told you I was God.
Creator of all things unimportant, trapped
in the body of a girl with nothing left to give, you
it must be a beautiful place
inside your head, with a world
that revolves around hope and expectations
the way it was supposed to; all
storybook-perfect like the
wars promise we’ll one day
[I’d like to think that every great leader
once cried themselves to sleep wondering
if they’d ever mean anything and
did things to stand out like smoking
or drinking or pretending to be someone
they’re not and every morning they’d tilt
admittance is defeatthey called you beautifuladmittance is defeat in Free Verse More Like This
with porcelain eyes about to crack
and cigarette skin crumbling
away, a knotted spine and
you were never gracious.
you're slipping underneath, this
virulent smog masks a paper sky that
never allowed a dream and
you're afraid because it's soaking in
your pores again, unattainable and unoriginal;
the meaning of life never meant enough-
you were never hopeful.
there's a getaway map on the underside
of your pillow, and a lifetime of secrets
on the underside of your bones
you're a walking travesty:
your chest ticks, dull
your wrist beats, dying
time is keeping you but
you were never patient.
you lie large enough to make us believe you
don't entertain nightmares, but what if
no one could hear you scream?
remarkable, it seems
caged birds really know how
to sing out
(you were always beautiful)
Sleeping Souls Never Liethey buried youSleeping Souls Never Lie in Free Verse More Like This
with stars in your palms, because
they thought it was a crime
you'd never made a wish in your life
the dirt and darkness
was enough to extinguish
their dying lights
(it's okay, your silent skin
said, softly, I always wanted
the sky to bring me to sleep)
the priest begged, believing you
might rise from the hole
you'd dug for yourself
he wanted to let you know
there was something bigger than all of us,
someplace farther than 6 feet under
(I'm alright, your stony eyes
swore, sometimes falling
feels enough like flying)
their voices all filled with tears
even though you said you weren't worth
their worries, they wept for the future
you wouldn't get to live
(I wouldn't have lived it anyways,
they buried you
near the ocean, where the moon
always shone too bright
so you'd never again have to fear
any monsters of the night
they left flowers, photos, notes
and a little bit of themselves, too
when they finally left you
you believed it was right
My Poems are ScarsWhat is the point of poetry?My Poems are Scars in Free Verse More Like This
It only creates a record
Of things I would rather forget.
So why do I even write it?
Why do I document despair
To dwell on it later
And relive those memories
That should be old scars?
Is it because I cant remember
Without some trigger
And some masochistic part of me
Cannot let go of my past?
My poems are what I have left
Of that place I once called home.
But why do I read them
When Im so much happier here?
Am I Lying?My roommate thinks I'm straight;Am I Lying? in Free Verse More Like This
I haven't told her differently,
And I wonder...
Am I lying?
I use gender neutral pronouns when speaking of my ex;
She changes them to "he" in her responses,
And I wonder...
Am I lying?
We share close living spaces and talk about girl stuff;
She has no clue that I like girls,
And I wonder...
Am I lying?
Four Hundred miles away, and no one knows;
I haven't told anyone,
And I wonder...
Am I lying?
TrustWhat is trust?Trust in Free Verse More Like This
Is it that moment of stupididy where one lets their guard down,
And opens their vulnerabilities to someone?
Why would anyone want that?
Why did I want that?
Is it possible
To trust again and again after so many stabbings
In the back and the heart and the mind by those I once loved?
Why would anyone want that?
Why did I want that?
Could there possibly be
A person on this planet who can be trusted,
Who won't turn around and break me like all the others?
Why would anyone want that?
Why do I want that?
pretty little poet fingersfabricated gods rest between thepretty little poet fingers in Free Verse More Like This
languid crevices of
her fingertips, scribbling profanities
all over her skin.
she's just mismatched bones
& blue bruises, telling of forbidden
love through archaic letters.
a tongue made for
wanderlust, & eyes made
for the stars,
even the devil fears her.
Howling For TreacheryI wish I could liveHowling For Treachery in Free Verse More Like This
on nothing but air;
killing the hunger
to consume every
(Maybe all along,
I've been the wolf in
Why is it that when
I exercise my own
these fangs just
continue to hone
(It's too painful
to continue howling
at this contorted reflection.)
Yet every time
I take an ax to
its claws just leave
another patch of
scars on the inside
of my skin to remind
me just what I am.
(The girl who cried wolf
will never be able to
butcher her own heart.)
They say beauty is only skin deep,so hand over that defected scalpel in your bloodless handsThey say beauty is only skin deep, in Free Verse More Like This
and watch carefully as I peel away this tainted skin
to make way for my blackened and corrupted
And everyone can finally see
the grotesque monster that lies deep within
this soiled excuse they seem to enjoy calling
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
then why is it that I can't stand
gazing upon my reflection
every time I pass by a mirror?
Unheard of and undefinedSometimes,Unheard of and undefined in Free Verse More Like This
I have this sudden impulse to
bite off my tongue.
It wasn't made for
pretty words and kept promises
in the first place.
Back to back and
straight on til daybreak,
our soliloquy seems never ending.
When was the last time
you remembered to cry for all the broken hearts
that were not your own?
You WillIYou Will in Free Verse More Like This
Catholic school can really fuck you up.
“you have ugly hair”
Breasts at the age of nine.
Bullying makes you someone you don’t want to become;
hide all that blackness in your heart
with overly cheerful hyperactive personalities
(that make others think you’re a little strange),
Friends can’t tell when you just want to
and be alone
because of how deep you’ve dug yourself in.
Afraid of yourself, you think and think, and THINK,
until you are terrified you’re going to give in
to those dark thoughts -
(and if you do, then you’re just numb afterwards.
Staring at hands blankly).
Faith in everything, the world, God,
people around you,
all you can see is horror.
You hide it, fake it, pretend to be okay.
Why would anyone care to listen?
Just one person of billions
with worse problems than you th
IcarusSun girl,Icarus in Free Verse More Like This
the whispering stars
& feathered clouds dance
for you tonight.
Do not let anyone
clip your wings;
you were made for the skies.
AstrologicalI have lost myself toAstrological in Free Verse More Like This
Venus & Mars,
tangled in their mismatched limbs.
Just dream dust & shattered prayers
begging for a new set of skin
(she can't remember where she orbits).
Pluck these fractured wings;
the Sun & Moon no longer ache
to see me fly in their luster.
AquariusShe is the winter's heartAquarius in Free Verse More Like This
and a January zephyr—
amethyst ankles frozen in time.
(eleven stars circulate her glacial ribs)
Forever shin-deep in the seas of
a conformed humanity,
she shall always sanctify the stains.
Witch OilThere's magma boiling in her frostbitten veins;Witch Oil in Free Verse More Like This
incandescent pixie dust and
sluggishly making its way through
a childish heart — wishing for one last chance
to spread her wings and soar to
Last night,I broke every bone in my bodyLast night, in Free Verse More Like This
so I could have a reason to drown
in the isolated ocean inside me.
when my dilapidated lungs finally caved in,
I swam ashore and crawled across the polluted sand.
Only glass-edged skin
and salt-licked eyelashes
can help me now.
the psychology of a high school fuck-upwhen i was a little girl my parents would tell methe psychology of a high school fuck-up in Free Verse More Like This
the world is like a weight to your shoulders, and you shouldn't
grow up too quick, because it might break you tall
into the stone of the sidewalk, a ghost into your clothes,
a being with sordid backbones and shattered kneecaps-
but numbers are only derivatives to all the broken anapests:
like high school led pencils and spots all the cool kids
would sink into the soil like pot and get high under the smog
of broken shoulders.
i, too, am physically broken
by the glamour of all those little girls
who grew up to be all the pretty princesses they wanted,
complete with those pink ruffled dresses, heels that
prop their ankles from the ground and dolls
they would keep on their lap,
my shoulders, too, are broken
like every other little kid
under the weight of tiny cranes and buzzing bees,
the organs between my legs-
like every other kid
who was five when she climbed under her father's shed
to find the broken talisman
she now finds under h
foghe is like the arrival of birds:fog in Free Verse More Like This
slow, beautiful at first
but spreads gray like cancer
spilled milki am a girl with without feelingsspilled milk in Free Verse More Like This
the type with ccrossed legs and closed eyelids
the type with i don't knows written across
her lips and spines and collars crooked with
the weight of love across her back
i don't know
i am a repetitivve being who can't speak
without stutters or write withhout petty kkinks.
but i have shudders in my pupils and cringing
in the back of my throat when i close my eyes
to you, you-
the ugliest thing who can't let me write a word
without acid. without tickling in the back of my stomach
without the cramps in my chest, the slaps to my heart
people tend to call butterflies
though i beg to differ because butterflies aren't
supposed to fucking hurt.
so i'll just call them hammers and nails.
not the types of hammers with a metal crook,
but the type with flesh covering it, skin-
not the types of nails with rusted silver-
but the type with dirty, disgusting contorts
that don't penetrate but scrape my own skin.
i'd say i want mr. perfect
but not even god dates that wel
cancer handshoney, you should have knowncancer hands in Free Verse More Like This
i'm one of those tasteful girls
with all those tongues hidden
in her bones
and not one of those watered down ones
wasting their time with fake, ersatz tastes,
but the pilled, the ones that can be
and can't kill
with cancer hands
springwhen i woke to the melting winterspring in Free Verse More Like This
but then i remembered
he died with autumn.
the eleventh hourif i could steal people's touchesthe eleventh hour in Free Verse More Like This
and hide them in my pockets
i would steal yours-
i would take the kind of burning
that comes only with
the time right before you
officially touch, the friction
of your hands nothing compared
to the ensnarement of your eyes-
that time before you just feel
the breath of his resting upon your shoulder
in a clatter of emotion you know
no one else can understand-
that time where
his lips first open to speak
and you already know what
he is going to say, just
like smolder after rain-
that time between
night and day
and the sun bleeds into the sky
i would be prometheus;
i would steal the inferno
from even the most burning gods.
i would be a thief; the thief
of your most burning hearts-
the messenger of
the breath speaking in your lungs-
the harbinger of
the hair standing
on the back of
i will be that time where
the only power you can feel
is the burn of two of the most human things
doing the mos
if teen dreams were teen novelsthere was once a boy who had all the write words to sayif teen dreams were teen novels in Free Verse More Like This
with all those fancy allegories, metaphors and similes
and antonyms of synonyms, like rails and snares and storms
and organs and trains and drums and hurricanes and
and she was only a girl with plain words, the kinds of things
that are only found in piles of papers and pens, books
she keeps where she sleeps,
that will only break when he leaves in the morning,
but she shares everything, like a boat shares a bard,
like a cigarette shares a lung, like a mouth shares other mouths,
like an artist shares her heart.
but there is a running in her heart:
not that type of beat she got when she was a little girl
and her favorite boy gives her a kiss on the cheek, but like when
he first shared his words with hers,
the kind of thing she gets only with naked skin,
and not like that kind of naked skin, naked, but before that
when she looks up and his eyes shine in that kind of way she thinks
might've happened when shakespeare was a teena
stonei know hearts break easy,stone in Free Verse More Like This
but i've still got a couple
honey, we're a couple wars spenti met a girl oncehoney, we're a couple wars spent in Free Verse More Like This
who told me she had a boy
with a war set in the crooks of his lungs
and vocal cords, the perfect mix between
a hippie and a marxist,
with fire in his eyes the size of hammers
and coal, a manifesto of cold stares and
the distant histories of hiroshimas, nagasakis
words stuck on the thickest
parts of his lips, sealed in the cracks
with democracy and deity, hitlers
and stalins and mussolinis,
the pawn of the highest pedigree.
but he had his own soviets, americans
and europeans, she said:
the calluses, muscles, of his own skin-
the finest of cells of the working class,
the bone and the brittle of worth and vice,
entitlements accompanied by the ache of
the bitten, copper tongues of liberty.
a confession1. in eleventh grade, our teacher told us disney was fucked up. she showed us some video where all these little girls said they felt bad for belle, but if she had listened to beast, she would be okay. she should let him hit her so they would be okay. so they could get married. but then all i could think of was how i remembered ariel gave up her fins and her voice for some boy. and all i could think of was how fucked up it was i would give my legs up for you, too, like i was used to strapping them to your thighs. that i learned not to speak, but move and wail. and that’s what love was.a confession in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
2. meeting you was kind of like meeting that part of myself i had forgotten. like i’d dropped you when i was walking to class one day. then i came back to you, through the arbor of the rain, soaking wet and on my knees, begging, my hair and eyes a collection of weakness and water. and you were a new kind of jesus, complete with blue jeans and a crooked smile, nailed to the bed, your halo a pil
Poets make the best liars. His black eyes were stars, andPoets make the best liars. in Free Verse More Like This
the c o n s t e l l a t i o n s in their depths
told me sad poetic stories of-
past lovers, grey mornings
Stone AngelsHe had tigers blood.Stone Angels in Free Verse More Like This
that called to me
like a siren's song,
while his demonic tongue
hissed 'S h i p w r e c k e d'.
We covered ourselves in ink,
danced along jailhouse walls
under street lights, the edges
of skylines, darkened alleyways
and the parking lots of churches.
We spoke in riddles gestures;
the quiet sweep of eyelashes;
cigarette smoke that lingered
long enough to shape heavens
within our irises while crows
rested on our shouldersperched
pecking, waiting for one to move.
As we were nothing more than
long-limb statues atop gravestones.
Old TricksYour lonely collarboneOld Tricks in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
whispers of destruction,
and flowery obituaries.
it sings of has been stories, and
But, only when I
dare open my eyes.
You weren't the pixie goddess
I painted with pretty words.
You were hard life pains,
and those nasty little pleasures
[ we never dared to talk about. ]
But, I'll save you the trouble
of a halfhearted denial&
Lurking between the foldsDear _______,Lurking between the folds in Free Verse More Like This
Words don't mean
as much as they use to.
These letters are pointless.
[ I tried to write
that wasn't centered
NightdanceWe danced like monsters:Nightdance in Free Verse More Like This
lurking shadows atop gravestones,
long-limbed, and hungry.
We were hips and stitched lips.
Clinging widows to a dying mate.
You held my hand, whispering,
S c r e a m
lets wake the dead."
And in the end,
like fallen soldiers.
Rats and RosesI don't like rag doll dreams.Rats and Roses in Free Verse More Like This
The kind where I literally
start falling apart at the seams.
won't you please?
I'm comparing rats to roses.
Because, and this hurts me to admit-
years and years before my bones
are washed clean of your fingerprints-
Sooner or later,
you're going to forget my name.
It will no longer slip through your teeth
to rest at the tip on my tongue.
in the eyes you found your 'other',
We will always be the lovers
who mixed their ashes with gun powder.
AcheI'm chasing shadows.Ache in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Weaving words together
along the silk threads
between villain ribs
and an ice queen heart.
I feel dizzy from
tornado fingers clawing
my empty eyes,
[ pulsing through
of old flesh wounds. ]
Tiger EyesHidden between a ribcageTiger Eyes in Free Verse More Like This
not fit for company, or
I grasped your heart, tightly.
We were a mess of ugly
metaphors, and tongues
gone limp-from far to many
late night, gunpowder kisses.
The kind that left nostalgic
paper cut hearts that burned
and ached, lonesome for you
after months of itching.
Tired, but deadly, I once found
you resting at my feet, peering
up with hungry tiger eyes and
[ I never wanted you more. ]
Fuck YouAnd this brown paper bagFuck You in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
filled with warm secrets,
that make me melt
from the inside out.
You say I'm masochistic,
that I crave the ache
And the burn of the knife
You slice through my spine
You bend me backwards-
contorting my limbs
just to spread my thighs.
For I was never made
to mold under your hands.
This liquid fire is
merely a reminder,
Of all the nasty little things
you have made me do.
You whispered, bit and tore
That [hollow] blood pumping
organ from out my chest.
Then, hid my heart away
under the floorboards
of your darkest dreams.
For this, you swore.
ControlGliding spider-like fingers along your spine-Control in Free Verse More Like This
I took pleasure in the way you s h i v e r e d .
I kissed your eyes, one at a time and back again.
You swore you saw the s t a r s
forming constellations behind your lids.
Please slipped between your gritted teeth
as you b e g g e d me to sacrifice you to the heavens.