Please, forgive me.Like lies, you said
I make breathing the cosmos
through rose colored lungs
look easy- vertebrae stretched
toward the moon.
& I'm hanging my bones
out to dry, carving Saturn's
rings into my wrists- my
star burst ankles.
I swore then I'd keep my
black tongued poetry
& uprooted limbs far,
far away from you.
But, like lies, galaxies,
& night fevers, you
are the destination
on my star map skin.
ConstellationShe is dream dust,Constellation in Free Verse More Like This
too bitter or wise
for her own good.
A timeless dragon's soul
somewhere inside a
scaled shell, burning
the silence in her bones
alive, honeysuckle sweet.
She collects fireflies only to
set them free at 3am,
crying to an uncaring moon.
& she's begging for the stars
to take her away,
make this house a home
rigged in the sky.
She is already naked fever
swimming through the cosmos
& I orbit her.
Collection of poetic nothings.We were opal Tuesdays,Collection of poetic nothings. in Free Verse More Like This
tattooed into the
rose garden curve
of my vertebrae,
gliding me through this wild youth.
But, like Icarus—
I was a sky conqueror
& these silk wings
touched the sun.
My inhalations are heavy,
like the earth he bruises
beneath his fingertips
as I chase silence.
"You've got a tongue
made for words." He says
against the arrogant thorns
of my briar spine.
"Learn to love yourself."
How do I say I love you
without saying I love you?
"I want to replace my heart with you."
You are spider silk woven
into my harvest moon
limbs traveling this road map
of songbird sin.
You are not just in my head now,
you are dancing in the lingering stars
of my night-witch frame
& setting me on fire.
You're not bruised enough
to write poetry.
Allow these bones to tell your story, Love.
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
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?
FrostI am devouring chaos,Frost in Free Verse More Like This
chasing it down with winter's chill.
Spare me your fingerprints,
summer's lovechild. Those knowing owl eyes
have me second guessing the wild churning
in my bones. You are the sleep that sweeps
my eyelashes, drowning me in my own daydreams.
When was it...
that you plastered yourself to my ribcage?
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.
William,If I am nothing but an actorWilliam, in Free Verse More Like This
on a stage in this dust town
of rose torn bones and washed up
stars, why is it that the galaxy sculpted
crescent moons in my palms
No wander about it, just lust.You were a mid-morning train wreck,No wander about it, just lust. in Free Verse More Like This
the embodiment of poetry.
& my clavicles whispered too many nothings
about your summer storm hands,
folding like paper cranes
to make wishes upon themselves.
wishes are for the weak-
do something about this quaking heart
& freezing fingers.
I think I found God then,
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.)
wet scribbles, tattooed tragedyI am shedding my skinwet scribbles, tattooed tragedy in Free Verse More Like This
like the poetry that bleeds
from your ink-cracked lips
onto the bare bones of my
Unfold these moon-shy limbs
that chase silence
& beg stay-with-me.
For you are the only verse
hidden within this labyrinth
of scar-damaged flesh.
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
In Piecesrum-lust lips make gentle friends,In Pieces in Free Verse More Like This
words slurred in hands blurred,
burning in between the lines to find
drunken concoction of wilted laughs
and heavy sighs, scented sultry
you are that
rasping in my throat when my voice
deteriorates and I am left breathless
and hopeless and raw, my
muscles ache in memory of the
motions to forget-
we do not let go.
and cold beds call, stability,
metal frames and sunken heads –
rest now, rest with
a prayer on your lips you don't
care to share, a dream in
your mind you'll never get back;
rest and the earth will lend you peace
you will stop. the rivers will clean
your bones; the sand will smooth
your tongue; you will stop, brain blank,
as smooth ivory promises persist.
(interpretations mean less than nothing)
you will stop and rest,
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
it's the little things that follow you to sleeplately, i’ve been wasting every minuteit's the little things that follow you to sleep in Free Verse More Like This
choking on inevitabilities; wondering
how many times i’ll promise myself
this year i’ll be different until
i move on to something less
unattainable. truthfully, i’m just sorry
for the ones who still think
and i have been waiting an
ugly amount of years for my
prophetic completion-- a love like
i say you’re beautiful when really i mean
you make my heart stop, like
i was born to meet you or perhaps
i’m actually breaking some universal law
of equilibrium; loving something
i want a love like that:
napkin poems, handwritten
and tender and accidental collisions
igniting a thousand forest fires
beneath my skin; me,
blossoming like a wildflower
on a california highway, basking
in the sun and ignored definition
of earthly limitations. i want to believe
that somewhere, there’s a boy
built of summer sunsets and shooting stars
for every homesick girl who never
quite fit in, t
ghostwriterhere, everyone’s pupils are dilatedghostwriter in Free Verse More Like This
and skin is stretched too tight
to expose the wind-swept spider webs
writhing beneath their porcelain composure
here, the shadows are afraid of us.
(and it is our desire
to finally come down to that place
at night, the rigid ghosts rock me to
sleep. their cardboard hearts and
inky eyes just begging to be seen
(it is only in the
darkness that I am
perceived to be more
than I am; holy
star to guide them
the current carries my name,
I have spent too little
too long on rivers that
only flow south
I vomit up saltwater and
try to remember,
wallflower clippingsthere's scar tissue in her throat,wallflower clippings in Free Verse More Like This
swollen around the words she never said;
dark rings around her eyes
like planets unremembered, and
a staleness to her touch,
the crystalline Dead Sea.
she's living like a story
that's already been told
"if no one loved you
would you mean anything at all?"
in that moment,
we forget to exist.
Nostalgiashe fell in love with the sound ofNostalgia in Free Verse More Like This
dying storms, and lost herself in
the blind spots accompanying her
every furtive glance
her downturned spine labeled her:
and her relentless divulging to
overcast skies defined her as
needy; but still she offered the
seeds of her pomegranate heart
to anyone willing to settle down
inside the breeze
and she was abandoned, long ago,
(once upon a time, no one cried)
by wolves with insipid fangs
and human eyes (her glittery irises
never quite belonged)
they discarded her when she asked if
self-delusions were a state of mind
she is poorly veiled, so see-through under
our cracked gaze; you can watch her
heart beat and her thoughts spin
(and you can watch her when she
invites death in)
she's a glass asylum, they breathe
in dampened sighs-
and when she shatters to a thousand
pieces, she only smiles
because love would do the same
Storybook AddictionsI want you to love me as much as you doStorybook Addictions in Free Verse More Like This
the thorns in your side; seeds planted and
forgotten and bleeding cyclically.
when the swallowed night drowns and
drains darkness like a trickled lullaby, I want
to be the last thing in your dreams.
I want to be your mistake East of Eden, your lack
of redemption; when they tear apart your paper
flesh with metal claws, I want to be the one you
come crawling back to with bloodied knees.
[right now I am an empty vessel, unfulfilled
and metaphorically obsolete. I want to clear
my throat for once, without seeing the ashes
of my disease.]
I want to love you like a swansong;
breezes make your bones ache and
I am always cold-- no one wants the
wind: it bites and they identify my
prickled flesh as its invitation.
[I wish I weren’t the pendulum
around your neck, counting the days
until you’d finally leave]
I only ever wanted you to love me.
myths and the things that really matterin a season of wavering willmyths and the things that really matter in Free Verse More Like This
and ripe regret, I was born
too old - into a fragile world
of butterfly feathers and
springtime secrets, tied tenderly
around hollow hallucinations and
carefully called a "dream"
they promise you things
when you are too young to
understand the monsters under
your bed are really fragments
of you, left to disintegrate
in the dark. they say: you
will touch the world, you will
know the stars by name, you
will be our deliverance from
all the things we were not
you will be strong.
but they don't know, no,
I am a yard sale:
I sold my heart to a boy
with lilting lies and eyes
that looked human
I lent my bones to an
I whispered my wishes away
down empty wells, and only heard
the shallow echo of myself
I sent my lungs down the
river – gasping for forgiveness
and I gave my voice
to the ocean, in exchange
for a little sleep
when they finally see me, I say
with a sawdust screech, I am
not all these pieces of me--
I have to believe somewhere
behind the com
casual blasphemyfor the past four yearscasual blasphemy in Free Verse More Like This
I’ve been in love with a boy
who’s too busy loving life to notice
I exist. I don’t think he’s ever seen me
past his tunnel vision living--
I’m in love with a boy who
wears black gauges and swears
he’s a deist who’s fed up with
the backwards-fucked system
that governs our lives; he talks to me
about the symbolic importance
of hunger and need and rebellion
and isolationism and death as
Orwell and Golding must have written it,
and, god, I just want to crack open
my ribs so he can see the literary
starvation destroying me, the not-quite
metaphoric devastation of my liver and
paper cuts scarring my heart. I want
him to talk to me about the reasons
we ought to avoid college
and capitalism and commitment and explain
to me what this all really means.
[I want to be so unflinchingly honest
with you that it will be as natural
and sinful as all the others
before, just without the glare
of bare skin and self-hate. I want to tell you
I Comfort MyselfWith a warm drink, whispering secrets to my own reflection.I Comfort Myself in Free Verse More Like This
The struggles that plague me, though none may know,
Are only for the ears of my quiet mirror, who smiles
Softly, warmly and with care. He tells me, I'm fine
I've done well for now and soon I may finally rest.
Though the silence continues to press upon me,
Weighing upon my soul like an iron crate.
Still I find comfort in whispering secrets,
If only to my own reflection - holding a warm drink...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 17th October 2012
A Shattered IllusionA Shattered Illusion:A Shattered Illusion in Free Verse More Like This
A day that was born of the brightest light
Has now shattered like crystals in the sinking dark
Where once the spirit was unfettered and free
Now it weeps painfully in a cage of thorns
Blood is drawn from its tender flesh
And drips slowly down to mark the skin
A tattoo of pain forever remembered
By a ghost that lives within
There is emptiness in this void
A cold and lonely song of existence
A solemn note born from the sheer magnitude of the silence
That it deafens both the heart and mind
In the quiet serenity of utter despair
What is born from the lack of a sense of hope?
A cold determination to steal the future
From the wanton wheel of fate...
"Such is the nature of desperation, when caught in an endless cycle of hate..."
-Chen Yuan Wen, 10th July 2012
Whispers of the MadWhispers of the Mad:Whispers of the Mad in Free Verse More Like This
Your lips remain painted with the scars of torment
Carved so as to split with every word of speech
The glass that slices through your softened flesh
Bears the marking we know as 'Vinashuka'
And now he lies beneath the falling sand
Drowning in a world that is sinking away
Though his feet will seek the stability of ground
He finds himself caught by 'Vinashuka'
A disturbing word that rings hollow at best
For it carries the tone of a tainted solitude
A heart that has been corrupted by physical pain
Can only scream 'Vinashuka!'
How does a man know when he has gone insane?
To descend into a world where logic is naught
A moon that carries the colour of blood
Shall paint my skin with 'Vinashuka'
I have lost all sense of meaning in this place
There is no where else for my soul to flee
Caught within the whispers of delusory madness
I can only repeat Vinashuka...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 13th July 2012
The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden:The Secret Garden in Free Verse More Like This
To those who are waiting in the silent shadows;
To the sisters I've been trying so hard to find.
It is time we came together as one
For here we shall leave the past behind...
In this secret garden, my voice is clear
Soft and gentle like the flowing wind.
Yet here I am; a dirty spirit
A simple soul that sinned...
Gathered in silence, bearing cowls of night
You've come like moths, to a burning light.
These lovely witchlings, so tender and lush
Soon I will give you, a blessed blush...
Take my marking into your flesh
And bear the stigma of our ancient creed...
Tonight you feast in my humble honour
For in your bellies I have planted seed.
Soon it will grow and begin to mature
You will feel it breathing inside your heart.
The gift to change this wretched world;
But first it must be torn apart...
"I am Chaos and I am sin..."
-Chen Yuan Wen, 26th April 2012
DishonouredDishonoured:Dishonoured in Free Verse More Like This
He stands before the adoring crowd,
Basking in their cheers and standing ovation.
But he has already been dishonoured -
By means of his perverse innovation.
For none could know of the dark secret;
About the art that he claims to be his own.
It is naught but an illusion, smoke and mirrors -
A theft for which he must atone...
But this disgusting creature, this worthless abhuman;
So desperate for the glory which he sees upon the stage!
Will quietly don the skin of another;
An urge he must assuage...
Biting his nails, a cracked smile upon his lips, he whispers:
"No one will know, no one will find it and I am great..."
-Chen Yuan Wen, 24th October 2012
It Came From The DarkIt Came From The Dark:It Came From The Dark in Free Verse More Like This
Amongst the ashes, swirling from the darkness of the pit,
Emerged a hand, dragging a battered body across the rocks.
Blood leaked from the wounds so callously self-inflicted,
And teeth ground with a focused determination and seething anger.
It cared not for the warm rubies - staining the jagged rocks,
It cared not for the sensation of pain...
All that it remembered was a dream, An obsession -
One that drove it ever higher; ignoring all else!
Eventually it emerged from this shadowy hole, this dreary depth,
And in that moment, it learned of the truth.
For this creature, denied sunlight and warmth -
-Chen Yuan Wen, 11th December 2012
The Real WritersThe Real Writers:The Real Writers in Free Verse More Like This
There are those who sit with their laptops and tablets,
Clothed in a scarf and an artistic hat of some sort.
They ponder; leaving a stack of books beside them,
Sipping their decaf as though they are literature personified.
What works do they prepare, other than blatant copies,
Perhaps a half-baked romance designed to woo a lady.
So convinced are they, of their own aptitude;
They are blinded by the beams of their burgeoning ego.
For the writer is not the man who is tapping away at keys,
He is not the man fervently reading with lensless glasses.
He is not the hipster debating ancient literature.
For he is a monster, wearing human skin.
He is the deranged madman, eccentric, uncanny.
He is the one who sits catatonic;
An entire world of fantasy playing in his mind.
He has gone through millions of scenes,
Thousands of scenarios, hundreds of plots
And dozens of characters.
He is not the man you expect him to be,
For a true writer is utterly WEIRD.
I Know You Hate Me Now But...I Know You Hate Me Now But...:I Know You Hate Me Now But... in Free Verse More Like This
Just give me a chance alright, I'll explain
To me, you're the girl that I notice everything about.
The way you laugh, the way you smile;
We got along great back then, even if we don't now.
And to be honest, I miss that...
You had the most lovely silky smooth hair
You'd give me the cutest anime girl smile
I wish I'd talked to you more about Manga,
Hell you got me started on the whole thing.
You were fantastic at drawing too
Man I was always jealous of that talent,
And I loved your drawings, like I once loved you.
I wish that you could have been a professional.
I would have bought your book every month y'know...
You encouraged me to write.
Back when my stories were shit,
Back when my poems were still baby's rhymes.
You taught me not to give in and I was grateful.
Now just let me finish alright?
I know that you won't speak to me.
That's okay, I admit to being an ass,
But the reason that I'm writing this poem to nobod
You Left Me StrongerYou Left Me Stronger:You Left Me Stronger in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Hey there, it's been awhile, do you remember me?
I guess you might not, since I wasn't very important to you.
You know, I spent so many days thinking about - what I did wrong
I questioned if maybe, I was at fault or if I was screwed up.
I thought a lot about the things you said...
The things that were my fault, my problems.
I took them to heart at first, but then I realised you were wrong.
I realised that you are selfish and ugly on the inside.
On the surface you pretended to care, but like a cancer;
You amputate someone the moment you think they've gone bad.
You hide from the rigours of life and only emerge like a parasite
When everything is good - when everything is fine and dandy.
I used to think that I was afraid of you leaving,
But now I know, that you've left me stronger than I was before.
You know, this was supposed to be an emotional whine; an emotional spill,
Maybe I was supposed to cry tears and beg you to come back, but you know wha
I Like To Play With SkinI Like To Play With Skin:I Like To Play With Skin in Free Verse More Like This
My dear friends and watch,
As the feeling of life itself
Crumbles beneath each ounce of pain.
Needles slowly piercing into the body,
Paralyzing nerves and expressions.
A mask of pure horror; living terror,
Kept alive on the barest limit of the border.
Such tempting features,
Leave me eager to slip a knife beneath flesh.
Ripping soft layers of epidermal mache,
Tanned and dried, woven slowly into a loving mask.
And with my latest acquisition complete,
Only twenty spaces remain...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 28th April 2013
CapriciousWords have becomeCapricious in Free Verse More Like This
tasteless to me,
like rotten apples
fit for the worms.
it feels as
though I am
pirouetting my way through
a ballroom full of
tongues made for poetry.
wicked witch when
you need one?
All I seem to do is
dream while I'm awake and,
if we're being honest,
I was never much of an alluring tale
in the first place.
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.
ashes to ashesi am the girl withashes to ashes in Free Verse More Like This
more faith in myths than in
there are more dead bodies in this world than the living.
and if that doesn't frighten you, then i
don't know what would. i guess you could
say that graves are just the closets in which
we hide our skeletons in.
there are ghosts all around us.
and i think that maybe,
i'd rather take my chances down in
the underworld with them than up
here where the earth is slowly
all because of the living.
sati(ate)dit's ironic,sati(ate)d in Free Verse More Like This
isn't it? the way
they say "hunger gnaws"
like the way our teeth
scrape against bones.
for all the
calories that are counted,
you still feel
empty. you aren't
you are digesting
nothing but air
and maybe your own guilt.
that's just the way
living is these
glass shards to
slice up your insides so
you can ignore
the other kind of pain your
stomach is feeling.
but when people ask
if you're doing okay you just
smile and nod even though
you can't help but
think "if honesty was
tangible, i'd eat it right
an acquired taste and
some days you'd
like to rip your
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.
handle with carethere are 206 bones in thehandle with care in Free Verse More Like This
human body. it only takes one good
squeeze and your neck can snap as
easily as a twig.
once, when i was at the grocery
store, i came across a crate of
peaches. they were on sale because
every single one was bruised and it
made me think, "we're all just pieces of fruit
left to rot. as soon as we've been dropped on the
floor, no one wants to help us back up."
i've forgotten how to think in poetics.
three months ago i would have
compared people to roses. pretty little petals
that can be crushed with just
one little pinch and thorny stems that
whisper "don't touch me."
i think we're more like
together like suffocating sardines in tiny
wooden boxes decorated with red
paint announcing across the sides
"danger: this side up."
-My mind- in Free Verse More Like This
s h u t u p.
Too many "fuck you's"
that morph into
drip off this
Try and make it better. Fail. Try again. Break down.
So many faults
that seem to just
turn me into someone
Look into the mirror. See nothing but a clone. Fabrication. No longer me.
I stare and want
to break that glass
so that I can also
b r e a k.
Try and say something. Turns into nothing but rage. Take it out on you.
This shattered heart
only wants to make it
and become one again.
"I want to hate you."
"But I can't."
"So I hate me instead."
"But why won't this stop?"
"Why can't you make it stop?"
"...it's not my fault."
Say what you want to say. Honest brutality.
"H E L P M E"
It's time for me to
s h u t u p.
phantoms from a sleepless mindmost nights,phantoms from a sleepless mind in Free Verse More Like This
it takes a war to close
my eyes, & even then i
still see monsters.
my mind is a cemetery
full of whispers
best not mentioned
(because you'd never
believe me if i told you).
i just want to be free.
to wake up with a
craving for sunshine &
supernovas nestled in my
rib cage, instead of thorns
beneath my skin & bones
between my teeth.
intricately ordinaryI am the wayward child,intricately ordinary in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
subliminal and defeathered—
What's that in your heart?
Myths and the things that really matter
like wallflower clippings,
unfiltered and restless.
Don't forget to let me go;
the keepers of my heart
sleeping behind the wheel.
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?
queen of nothing.what I've learned:queen of nothing. in Emotional More Like This
I still remember singing in my room when I was six, and having my mother come down the hall and slam the door so hard that the windows shook.
Her nails hurt when she scraped the tears off my face. "It doesn't matter what you want," she'd always tell me.
Like, when that drunk driver swerved and hit her car I didn't want her to leave me, and it didn't matter.
Once on vacation I bought a pair of fuzzy leather heels for two hundred dollars, and when I wore them to dinner, I found out that
1. "Suede" is a fancy word for "fuzzy leather."
And 2. Good things don't last: That night my cousin told me that she thought 135 pounds was a little too big for five foot eight. So I tore my tights up to the thigh and threw those new suede heels in the garbage.
It felt good later, to know that they couldn't hate me more than I hate myself.
My six-word story from ninth grade reads, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry."
When I read that treating people like trash to gets them to nee
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.
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
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
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
two-fifty an hour.let me save you the trouble:two-fifty an hour. in Free Verse More Like This
because what i'm trying to say is
i'm not a good person.
i don’t tell valerie about how i planned to rekindle
my friendship with charlie’s best friend last year
just so i could get to him and hurt him.
(i don’t tell her how, in the end, i ended up liking
his friend instead, and charlie dated another
fifteen year old
because shit happens and what was i doing,
expecting things to go my way?)
there are certain things she doesn’t need to know,
certain things i can’t say because
putting it into words what it was like waking up,
that sort of shame that came with it –
it was like – it was like looking into a window
and swearing there’s a monster behind it
before, slowly, i realized
it was a mirror.
what therapy promises me: love yourself, forgive but
never forget, tell us your past
then let it go.
what i learn in therapy: nobody has all the answers.
we certainly don’t.
a meaningful poem about nothing.this is a poem about how fixing peoplea meaningful poem about nothing. in Free Verse More Like This
is not romantic.
we’re not meant to be somebody’s answer,
we’re not meant to make someone feel alive again.
this is a poem about why you shouldn’t kiss him
because he’s broken
because you want to save him.
save yourself first.
kiss him because he holds a place in your heart, not
because he's the only thing making it pump.
kiss him because he’s in your life, not because
he is your life.
hold him, but don’t hold onto him because you believe
(get to dry land first.)
this is a poem about how i find poetry in everything.
breakups. my dad telling me i mattered.
nightmares. my neighbor’s insomnia.
how it drove him crazy.
how he swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills to fix it.
my neighbor’s funeral.
this is a poem about the split-apart theory.
the idea was that when humanity became arrogant
toward the gods, we were split in two
and were doomed to spend our live
listen:1.listen: in Free Verse More Like This
People will let you down.
You’ll love them, anyways.
Don’t let anyone romanticize
It won’t be beautiful
when somebody breaks your heart
the first time
or the second
or the eighteenth.
Pain is not beautiful.
Maybe on paper
but not inside of you
not in numbers.
A million people
but you’re still here,
and that's important.
You're doing something
My father told me
“Be selfish –
if you don’t take care of you
I liked to think
that this is the reason
he ignored me
I don’t have good advice
on this one.
Because the people who let you down,
are the ones promised to save you.
Are the ones promised to love you
and protect you
and I’ll tell you,
nothing quite hurts
like waking up in the morning
to the police in your doorway.
Nothing quite hurts
like being eleven
and hearing a cop say
“Poor girl had to live wi
infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowinginfinite/opposite. in Free Verse More Like This
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
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.
Lend me a kissLend me your sweet lipsLend me a kiss in Free Verse More Like This
Give me a soft kiss
Stay with me till the end
Let's stop playing pretend
Don't let my heart break
Let's learn from our mistakes
I'll let your love embrace
Mend me with your lovely grace
They never leave my mind
Your cherry colored lips
The roses that I have picked
And the sweetness that one day I'll kiss
I'll wipe off your tearsTrust me when I say this, everything will be alrightI'll wipe off your tears in Free Verse More Like This
I’ll be here, to comfort you every moment of your life
Cry on my chest if you like, only if it lets you feel right
Because I will always be here, right by your side
I know some things can be unexpected,
And sometimes the bad can’t be evaded
But I’ll try my best, so you can be able to rest
And I’ll try my best to relieve you from stress
Because I care too much to leave you with pain
It tears my heart to see you like this again
You’ve told me to step back, but it's too sad and tiring
I promise you, this will be the last time you’ll be crying
The tenderness that's herWith every word written, with every word spokenThe tenderness that's her in Free Verse More Like This
I try my best to express myself, without it being broken
For what I feel is deep in my heart, is love that I want to be showing
Every day it develops, every day I feel more loving
Is the tenderness of passion, which I’ve never felt before
A feeling that I got from a girl who I truly adore
Beautiful as a rose and gentle as a peaceful dove
My heart gets filled with warmth, a feeling I describe as love
She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve seen, that’s as simple as I can be
So very cute and filled with joy, she’s the only girl who I want to see
Her adorable smile that always cheers me up, she’s the only one I need
She’s everything I ever wanted, I thank god that he gave her to me
Hard TimesI see you’ve been weeping for some time nowHard Times in Free Verse More Like This
You’re all torn out and cold
Even if all you see is darkness
You’re the bit of light that’s shining
And I know you don’t have control
But you can't just let go
Because if one day you do, you might lose yourself
Then I’ll be left alone, with no one to hold.
I'm afraid of losing you.I don’t know if you feel it too, the feeling of wanting to break looseI'm afraid of losing you. in Free Verse More Like This
And just screaming “I love you” but I’m scared that we might lose
Because just of our age, or the time, or any person that doesn’t want you to be mine
But I know that if this goes wrong I’d be the one who'd cause the crime
I’m a bit afraid; one false move would make everything go away
And I’m always left wondering if what I’m doing is okay
I just want everything to be alright between you and me
Or is there something that I cannot see?
My head is rambling with questions that fear is inventing
Maybe is not fear, maybe it’s because I’m too caring
Am I paranoid? I don’t want to make a mistake
You said I’m doing things right, then why do I always shake?
If I kiss youWhat if I kiss you?If I kiss you in Free Verse More Like This
What if I pull you close?
And whisper you the truth
Will you say “I love you”?
Because you shine light into this dark room
I wish I could turn the whole world to slow-mo
Just so I could see this beautiful flower bloom
Maybe then you’d see how much you mean to me
I go on my days with my heartfelt thoughts
Warmth is what you’ve brought into my feather heart
And all of this just feels like the start
I know that one day, we will never be set apart
You're worth waiting forLet’s take it slow, if you want us to growYou're worth waiting for in Free Verse More Like This
Our love is our gentle abode, and I just want you to know
That my patience is unknown, but for you, I will hold
I’ll just have to flow, and always remain with hope
Because much time has already passed
And a lot has happened, so sudden and fast
But with each moment, we get closer and forget the past
With each mistake, we start growing, with each, we understand
But now that patience is a big part of my life
I hope that one day, you'll also be mine
It could take a while, it could also be soon
But none of that really matters, because I truly belong to you
Shattered heartWith this broken heart I'll keep moving onShattered heart in Free Verse More Like This
And the scar you left me will help me become strong
For my heart used to be so numb, but then you showed me love
Sadly then you shattered it, once you saw I held you dear
But I hope you don't regret what you have done
For what I felt, you'll only receive it once
Please, don't give up.You’re not alone, even if you feel such sorrowPlease, don't give up. in Free Verse More Like This
Please try to calm your mind and forget about tomorrow
I know that life can hurt, but from my happiness you can borrow
Please don't cry anymore, I will help you with the troublesome morrow
Even if the bad seem to be everywhere you go
Just keep in mind that you have to stay away from what’s below
And I know that you’ll learn from these bad experiences
So then you can help those who are inexperienced
Please don’t be sad, everyone has a reason for his or her existence
You can’t ever give up, push through and have resistance
The worst thing you could do is to lose all of your hope
Just promise me that you will try to never mope
Apart from loveThey say they never workApart from love in Free Verse More Like This
But we will let them know
It’s hard enough being alone
But it’s even harder without each other
Because, even though you’ve left my side
I can still hear you cry
Fear that brings all the doubts and lies
Forgive me please if I can’t show you my love from so far
Your heart and mine,
They’re fragile by the tides
We’re bleeding and bleeding
With nowhere to hide
We’ve got no home,
When we’re set so apart
Expensive LiesI sit and stare at the toilet bowl.Expensive Lies in Free Verse More Like This
A guy I know is bulimic.
When we compliment him
I see the twist of agony in his eyes
as his brain reprograms it
to sound like an expensive lie
that costs him another tear
in his tattered dignity.
Friends hurry to him,
to reassure him, to love him.
They tell him how beautiful he is.
We didn't know him before,
but he's definitely not fat now.
We whisper things in concern like;
body dysmorphic disorder.
'I know you'll never believe me
but you are so gorgeous -
not just on the inside.' Not just.
And they're right, I join in,
because they are right to say it
because it happens to be true -
he is stunning. Not just on the outside.
And we want him to see himself
the way we see him, beautiful.
And I join in because
I've felt that strangle of pain
in my stomach, bowels and belly,
when someone used to tell me lies.
So I know how he feels.
Only, he is beautiful on the outside
and I'm not.
He's not seeing reality in the mirror
and I am.
And people rush to correc
Losing my BreathIt's 2amLosing my Breath in Free Verse More Like This
and the calling birds
are hatching in my heart,
I feel it crack and they emerge.
Feel them drilling on my ribs,
the steady anxious thrum
of a flight risk
waiting to happen.
and I can't breathe,
memories of you
are nesting in my throat
I can't work around them.
It's cutting off the circulation,
and my frantic heart
tries to keep on.
and tears scratch their directions
into my cheeks,
they flounder and meander
and they erode.
My skin and soul is scraped down
layer by layer
and another day is heralded
by the angry flutterings in my chest.
I try to swallow my pride,
dam the tears
and crawl through the dark again.
Coughing up blood
and inhaling iron filings
(The remainder of
what used to be my life).
Perfect on PaperWe cut heartsPerfect on Paper in Free Verse More Like This
into paper to make streams
That was my impression of it.
That you ripped
the pieces you didn't want
until you got something that was
It's no wonder
that I can't believe that someone
would think I was paper-perfect,
GrowthI remember the day I caught him 'gardening'. His cheeks stained cherry with the brisk wind that trotted beside him up and down the smothered garden path. He dropped a seed as his feet brushed past each other. Up and down he walked, a solemn lieutenant. I asked him what he was doing and those wide sky eyes reflected the ice as he told me he was trying to grow flowers for his mother. I looked at the seeds spilt on the snow and told him that they could never grow in these circumstances. I will never forget the clench in my heart when he responded, with a child's tongue; "I know".Growth in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Flora at the PassHear me read itFlora at the Pass in Free Verse More Like This
I will never write of the cherry tree,
or think again on its impermanent beauty;
its delicate and breakable bones
or the pale flush of it's cheeks. I will not.
I will never again be pleased
to see its arms outstretched to embrace.
I won't call it my favourite,
or dream of it's presence at the momentous;
but at my wedding, there will be spring-bloom.
In my bouquet, my hair, my heart.
Enthralled in every quiet bud
of every quiet moment, cherries will be.
At my funeral, similarly,
entwined through my white coffin,
there will be the soft reflection
of its frostbitten petals. Even then.
For no matter what I am, or who,
there will always be blossom in spring.
There will always be cherries in my life;
and there will be flora at the pass.
CarvedYou are an oak carved tableCarved in Free Verse More Like This
that has been hewn and hacked
from its original pure form
into something someone found useful.
I was screwed tight together
with fixtures, fights and fittings
by so-called master craftsmen,
who wanted me to be firm,
who wanted my artificial endurance.
Men who wanted my knots undone
and for me to hold them up,
but I am a chair, and you are a table.
You have told me of the days
when seventy percent of you
was forcefully ripped out
leaving a splintered hollow behind.
I know how abrasive people
rubbed you up the wrong way
with sand paper to keep you quiet,
and with words to keep you down.
Plain men with plained minds
that have been stroked to the quick
and left only with the core
of their brutal carver instincts.
I know how you were made, table.
I am five pieces nailed together
With sticky tape for good measure.
You are one whole still, somehow
and when I need you, you are stable
and your legs are thicker than mine,
run faster and bear more pressure
on your leve
The WallI punched the wall.The Wall in Free Verse More Like This
The paper broke, a split lipped frown.
That was the thin veneer of joy you painted over my cracks with.
I punched the wall.
The paper bloomed into a paprika tulip.
That was the rusting screw in your jaw swinging off its hinge with your lies.
I punched the wall.
The paint broke into a smile
and I chipped out its teeth. They were the over polished hopes of our future.
I punched the wall.
The plaster spluttered out a storm.
Smooth and sleepy; I scratched at its eyes for promising to look out for me.
I punched the wall.
The plaster coughed hard again.
My anger was a consumption and its tendrils spasmed out from the source.
I punched the wall.
The plaster caved into a hole,
reminding me of all I'd given you and would never get back.
I didn't punch the wall
When the dust settled and its small red brick heart lay exposed, vulnerable, afraid,
You punched the wall.
40810If only you were soulless.40810 in Free Verse More Like This
If you were mindless, blind,
you and I could make a beautiful disaster.
The press would write of our brief affair;
they'd paint me (the woman in red) as pathetic.
They will not consider how I need your love
or how it pains me so deeply to throw myself at you.
I will not be remembered as a poet warrior.
I'll be the eternal survivor no more.
All who think of me will shake their bowed heads
and tearfully remark;
If only you were soulless.
If you were mindless, blind,
You wouldn't have been such a bloody disaster.
MaybeJust give me one dream that isn't see-through.Maybe in Free Verse More Like This
One substantiated claim to reality,
that I might hold onto life with.
Every quivering cell, mid-osmosis, begs you
for a shred of dignity with my tea.
Just one chance for something heavy,
something hard and room temperature. Real.
I don't want to look through my day dreams
and see someone else's face there.
I don't want to dream of those people
who may make, or break me, in the future tense.
I am tired of milky white and reflective black.
It is time for a life of colour and hope -
and not looking back to see if the past
matches up with the jigsaw map to the end game.
I want to be in the game, participating,
feeling, like I might make it there one day.
Just give me something, that I can hold onto;
something harder to see through than a whisper
of that voice in the back of my mind that says
She Sees StarsShe calls me a stormShe Sees Stars in Free Verse More Like This
with her head full of space,
and when she stares
up at the planets
they stare back.
They whisper to her
on different frequencies that
in her mind
like violin strings about to snap.
The universe sings to her.
It begs her
to release its story
and she -
she closes her eyes and sees stars.
A(nother) letter to myself.You have grown.A(nother) letter to myself. in Free Verse More Like This
You are not ten years
old and silent.
You've found the words
and you have made them
your sword and your shield,
your battering ram against
the walls you built when you
were too afraid to live.
And I know that some days
you feel like letting go,
That you wonder if it might
feel like flying if you spread your arms
and close your eyes and pretend you
aren't doing this to die.
You have stood on the edges
of rooftops and bridges
(To follow her, I know,
but you were not born to go this way.)
and you have climbed back down.
You will make it, my girl,
by the skin of your teeth.
And when you get here,
I will have built a life out of
the ashes of yours.
You will be born into me,
and I am strong enough for both of us.
Six lessons on love.One. Sometimes love will move so slowlySix lessons on love. in Free Verse More Like This
you will stop waiting for its arrival. You will become an
open bar and you will be drained and drained until one
day you open the door to let last night out and love has
left a calling card on the doormat.
Be patient. Let love come to you piece by piece
until you are full to the brim with it.
Two. Some days it will feel
like love has come for you with a wildfire
at its heels. Let it come; you were
meant to burn brighter than any sun or
star we care to name.
Three. Growing back after burning down
is a sign to leave old loves behind. Let them
go kindly. Wrap them up in tissue paper and
ribbon and give them a kiss goodbye. Be gentle but
Do not use maybe. Do not look back.
Four. Love can hurt and you will let it
because you are in love. It will spit venom and
throw fists until you stand up and throw
Be strong, letting love go is not
Five. Love will sometimes be too much.
It will let y
You lo(i)ved inside my chest.We made loveYou lo(i)ved inside my chest. in Free Verse More Like This
(once, twice, and
I stopped counting the
in the middle of winter
and pretended neither of us were
casualties when we collided,
a heart-on collision,
I keep the room you rented
from me empty,
I don't think about you anymore,
but I don't think about you
You spoke synonyms to me."I want to live inside your chest,"You spoke synonyms to me. in Free Verse More Like This
you said, "I want to burn between your legs."
Things I'll tell you when you're older (4).There is never a wrongThings I'll tell you when you're older (4). in Free Verse More Like This
time to love someone,
but sometimes there will be
the wrong someone who
will love you the
Love letter to myself.Small handed girl,Love letter to myself. in Free Verse More Like This
you've written the truth
of your scars wherever there's
space to write it
and I love you.
They painted over
the rape you wrote about
on the front door of
your Uncle's house
and I love you.
They took the floorboards
of your bedroom out where you'd
carved the shape of your
father's fist into their
and I love you.
You shook the sand of
your fifteenth birthday out of
your hair and into a jar
you keep under the bed to
remember a girl with crooked
teeth and bony knees who
fled and flew
and I love you.
You've built yourself into a
fortress with nothing but your
fingernails and shredded skin
and you let him in when he
waited by the door instead of
forcing his way
and I love you.
The problem with writing poetry.The problem with writing poetryThe problem with writing poetry. in Free Verse More Like This
is that real life doesn't write nice poems.
Your budget is not going to
inspire anything but stress, perhaps,
and the unwashed linen won't
make hearts soar.
To write nice poems,
you have to take real life and
twist vines into its hair,
set its bare feet down on the forest
floor and call it free.
Sweet deceit.Your promises areSweet deceit. in Free Verse More Like This
sinking cavities into
You burnt a hole
into my gums,
another on my
a million into
(I forgive you.)
-One day- in Free Verse More Like This
I think I will look
back on my life
and wonder how
I ever found such
weightlessness to be
And one day I will
look back on my life
why I was never
Cut-throat.When I was youngCut-throat. in Free Verse More Like This
I spat daggers at the boys
who jeered on street corners
at the girls who walked by,
summer dresses swaying,
Now that I am old,
my mouth is a fist-fight
with a gun for a tongue
and a war zone shell.
UndeservedI don't deserve to be an artist.Undeserved in Free Verse More Like This
I don't know how to hold deep meaningful conversations with strangers.
I don't lament at night about a lover I have lost.
I don't watch the white smoke ebb into darkness.
I don't spend lonely nights admiring the true beauty of the world.
I don't sleep restlessly from the truth of suffering within this world.
I don't lie through my smiles or struggle to create them.
But I do think I am a writer.
I am completely, irreparably damaged.
I cry all night over old words and emotional baggage.
I weep over my lost innocence.
I spend nights wishing for skin against my own
I long for insomnia to inspire me.
I beg for worlds to collide so I can breathe.
So am I writer really?
Or just another misguided artist?
You call it Judgement, We call it SinEmily needs the words to understand that she isn't being unreasonable. She just wants them to mean something and not be a string of words which flows into itself over and over again.You call it Judgement, We call it Sin in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She doesn't like her name either. Not because Emily isn't a pretty name but because she would rather be called something she feels like. (She has never quite forgiven her parents for choosing her name for her.) If she could, she would call herself Glass, because that is what she wakes up feeling like every morning. As if crystallised pieces of glass are edible and her insides tingle as she swallows them whole.
Emily lets the words call her names sometimes. She writes them on her knees so that she can remember them. Sometimes the words call her a whore, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes a loser and sometimes a tramp (She has never learnt that loving too much is a crime and boys with pretty eyes sometimes lie.). She sits in the bathroom with a pen the colour of blood and writes them carefully
Crayon SoulmatesDear Stars,Crayon Soulmates in Free Verse More Like This
I have a bone to pick with you. You see, when I was six, I called myself the nowhere girl... and I coloured myself a soulmate. I made him on crumpled sheets, with broken pieces of crayon, on a playground that was too busy wondering whether growing up entailed stealing their mother's cigarettes and their father's dirty magazines (I suppose I was already wise enough to know that growing up meant choosing one of the many ways of breaking yourself in two.)
I hope you remember him, stars...he was important to me (My best friend threw that drawing away on my seventh birthday and told me that someone like me was not supposed to have such dreams.).
He had hair as ebony as deep onyx and a smile that never grew up (Peter Pan would have been proud). He was magic in soul form, and smelled like cinnamon and the earth after it has rained. His eyes rivaled a lions on the best of his youth, his words were story shaped. His skin was an ink coloured canvas of wonder and even in crayon
Austenesque Therapy“Hello.”Austenesque Therapy in Free Verse More Like This
“Good afternoon. Why have you come to see me today?”
“Because I had to.”
“I see. So tell me... what’s bothering you.”
“I lose my breath because I can’t believe that this is all I am going to be.”
“What is wrong with what you are?”
“I’m not loved.”
“You have your friends, your family-”
“Come on, you know what I mean. The devil-may-care-what-the-world-thinks, passionate, can’t-breathe-without-each-other, catch-you-when-you-fall-kind-of-love.”
“I don’t even know how to begin to find it in this world.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I prefer living in my books. I like how that makes me feel. And then I’m just disappointed.”
“And how does that make you feel?”
“It makes me feel sometimes, like I am completely unreasonable to say, that in a time of smart phones
FaithI love your belief in God.Faith in Free Verse More Like This
Not because it matches mine.
Because it makes you even more beautiful to me.
You are the dream I always wanted, but never had.
(God likes to surprise me. Well, consider me surprised.)
It makes me want to sleep every single night by your side.
I want to wrap my prayers around you.
I want to press my lips to the segments of your body.
If you asked, I would rest my head besides yours
and dream your nightmares for you.
(You shudder in your sleep. I don't think you know.)
In faith, I'll be your dreamcatcher.
In dreams, let me wish all your nightmares away
MouthfulsYou take mouthfuls of meMouthfuls in Free Verse More Like This
Huge, selfish as they are
Leaving morsels of me behind
Teeth my words and chew up my heart
Bite through my spine with shark like jaws
I am used, you explain, damaged,
Dirty for existing.
Dirty for loving you.
I ask you why you like to hurt me.
"I love you most when you ache on the inside."
I have never hated myself more.
Nothing Lives Foreveri.Nothing Lives Forever in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When you were a child, we would sit on the porch to talk about your day. And sometimes, we would find a dead bird, or a frog on there. And you would ask me about death and why it happens, looking at the poor creature in my hands, its life cut short and touch it tenderly. I would always say the same thing.
Nothing is meant to live forever, my dear.
The school called me in on your twelfth birthday and asked if I had known how clever you were, that your test scores were the best in the state. They asked me if I knew I had a genius child on my hands who grew bored easily in class and tended to distract others in his classroom, sometimes causing arguments, fistfights and could manipulate his classmates into doing anything.
We don't think this is the school for him. He needs to be challenged appropriately.
You fell in love at seventeen and she was lovely. Kind, caring and beautiful, I couldn't ask for a better girl for you. She was our neighbour
Pros and Cons1. I am not writing a list of things that will make me hate you, as you supposed, but more a list that would help me move on. I always hated how you were very practical that way, even about emotional distress. I am not writing about the trouble with you being your incorrigible logic, your lack of tact.Pros and Cons in Free Verse More Like This
2. I am not writing this because I have a habit of doing what you say, and perhaps, just maybe this would give me closure.
3. I am not going to write about how beautiful your mouth is, and how it seems like something that would have been kisses by an angel.
4. I am not going to write about how your voice tremors when you speak of loneliness.
5. I am not going to write about how you are worthy of songs and dances and plays to be written for your lack of wonder at war, sex or alcohol, you aren’t that interesting.
6. I am not going to write about the day you sat me down and dragged me down with you, just so you could complain about how much I loved angel wings and sketches of pretty e
Never Let Him Look South WestThe distance between Dublin and Boston is approximately 3000 miles. You told me this when you were staring south west with the kind of madness I have only seen in sailor’s eyes when they lived in lighthouses too small for their giant ship dreams. It should have worried me, that glint in your eyes. I just dismissed it as one of your navigational tantrums.Never Let Him Look South West in Emotional More Like This
When we went to the pub later that evening, you told me I should have the fish and chips, but the way you like it, with more vinegar and no tartar sauce. I said that made it too salty, and you told me that was how real sailors ate their fish. My reactions always were slow to your behavior. I believe the expression ‘at sea’ was applied more often than not when you spoke.
I never thought that the walks you mentioned on the beach when we were children had any more to the idea than the romance of it all. So when you told me you belonged to the sea, I thought you were talking about your soul.
It never truly meant anything
SpinelessMy mother always told me I was born with four spines. They stay there, side by side, in my ramrod straight back, the reason for my very correct posture. So when my back began to arch, people noticed.Spineless in Free Verse More Like This
My parents were first. You look different, they would suppose as I would approach every morning for breakfast. Is something wrong? My mother would question. Are you ill? My father would ask.
I had a gift with the vague and I used it to my only advantage in this scenario. Because telling them the truth would be a lot more devastating. How would I tell them about the fact that my bones, my spine, the very part of me they admired most, was depreciating?
I suppose the trouble with most relationships is to trust someone, knowing that you would willingly lie to them, just to protect them from getting hurt. We all do it, and those of us who claim we don’t, only lie because their lies are smaller. I lied to protect them from what had happened to my bones. Not just my spi
Why Poets DrinkChrist,Why Poets Drink in Free Verse More Like This
there is a reason poets drink.
Abstention feels bad -
infertile and stuffed, swollen.
It does not sell books
or win those brass
angels on ribbons.
Tonight my lover is bourbon,
distilled in some soul
south of Carolina.
It plays tricks with colors
and the sounds on my tongue.
It grows words where
none have loitered for weeks
and handfasts me to
the rest of the world.
It is ransom -
a jest of seasons
and my bone idle brain
MoonlessThe moonless eveningMoonless in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
turns its back against the sky
and leaves it empty.
Perhaps the morning
will come back with its hands full,
holding up the sun.
SkinI like your skin visceral,Skin in Free Verse More Like This
dirty with meaning -
a rampant offering
to the night.
I want your lips stuttering,
sounds feral and damp -
cleaving to my chest.
Just peel me, angel -
let those tender wings
bruise these bones
and send me
EnigmaI am the saintEnigma in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
You are the sinner
I am the loser
You are the winner
I am the storm
You are the calm
I am the chafe
You are the balm
I wear your thoughts
You eat my soul
I'm all in pieces
You are my whole
I long for peace
You adore war
I am your virgin
You are my whore
I steal emotion
You live for reason
I am too loyal
You thrive on treason
I break your heart
You bleed my mind
You say I'm gentle
You're cruel to be kind
TroubleTroubleTrouble in Free Verse More Like This
left us holding our breath
but you said you liked it that way
and there was no excuse for
the bodies under our beds,
at least nothing that my fists
and brown sack of wine
I would watch you lie for
hours - something about
how the words ran and hid
from you and how school
children thought you look a lot
like Jesus or their big brothers,
your uniform a perfect trick
upon the light.
You made them play tag,
promising pennies if they
caught us, begging them to leave
a mark upon your jacket
so you could remember them.
The girls reminded you of our
mother and how her grin
when she said our names.
And the boys were no one in
particular - only after-thoughts of
neighbors always moving in and out
in the middle of the night.
And I would hold your hand
as we skirted the failing dark
hoping it would land on someone
else's house just this one time
and let us grow old and lame.
Mea CulpaSurely you seeMea Culpa in Free Verse More Like This
just how wrong this is?
Even the streetlamp agrees;
it saw the whole thing -
in a stairwell,
only bricks for company.
Oh my hands found her
so ready and willing -
the fog of rapture
wreathing her head.
found her best parts
tucked in and plucked -
from her belly -
and took it
I made a god
left her smiling,
BeadsAnd I will weaveBeads in Free Verse More Like This
and string glass beads across your skin.
I will pick them out - azure and turquoise
like the beach at noon
when the sand makes love to the waves.
I will decorate you in ivory and ivy
bands to kiss
your wrists and ankles and
I will teach your tongue wicked fortunes -
stories that only night can
follow and languages
man is too afraid to speak.
You will wear me
silk and water -
the warm rush of magic,
a noise that rumbles fiercely
and grows restless
in the dark.
RedThere is nothing discreet about this love -Red in Free Verse More Like This
it hangs on my chest,
a defiant noise -
the scent of something luscious
stretched between your hips.
Your back arches
in a way only Psyche can feel.
You wear it
in a cheap red dress
that comes apart like midsummer
in my hands
as we flaunt the stars,
the stones under our skin
stretching the bed frame
till we crack.
And I fill you up,
your arms a battle
raging in the waning lies
The Tell Tale HeartI feel the rhythm of his heart,The Tell Tale Heart in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
beneath the boards the beating starts;
as reason from my mind departs,
I fall apart, I fall apart.
The men who knocked upon my door,
not knowing what's beneath my floor
will want to settle up the score -
I do implore, I do implore
This guilt breaks conscience with my lie -
my wracking sobs and wretched sighs.
I never meant for him to die.
It was his eye, it was his eye!
TroubadourI do not fly under your flagTroubadour in Free Verse More Like This
or sup from your well of souls.
You will not find my name
written in your lists of legion
or my likeness slipped under your footstool
while your minstrels cower
and beggar men go blind.
I will not sing your praises
or sit at your table
below the salt
waiting like your dogs
for bonescraps to drop
or pray for rings to kiss
in the stark chill of something unborn.
I am no tattered remnant
of your majesty
no soldier of fortune
blinded by your promises
to make me better than I am
or raise my gifts
to unimagined heights.
I am but one man in a scant crowd,
born beneath your horizon
in places you refused to look,
watchful and impertinent,
and still not deceived
by the weight of your scepter
or the gleam mocking in your words.