Dear Poetry,I might be dangerously on the verge of being poetic, but-
Sometimes I don't feel me in my own skin.
I am too many breaks between pulses,
& a heart still living in the autumn of 99.
I'm telling stories about a girl.
A soul made of ink & godly metaphors,
too much for a non-homeostatic body.
There were once fireflies in her smile,
alight between the gaps in her teeth.
love letters carved into wrists
she never sent.
She is Porphyria, & you are her lover.
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?
dust.I'm chokingdust. in Free Verse More Like This
on the ink-dipped fingers
of verbs & metaphors
still lodged in this bruised,
paper crane throat;
of your words,
still kissing my ribs.
How can you judge me-
when you don't bother
to read the naked poetry
beneath the temple of my flesh?
How long can butterfly
ankles hold up a
Don't bother whispering
your secrets to nebulae,
not even the dust in my veins
will listen anymore.
I am trying to be honest,but I write so fucking floweryI am trying to be honest, in Free Verse More Like This
it makes me sick,
rose scented stars & love.
Her: helpless as a lamb,
I want raw, aching
bone against bone
exploring the exposed, naked
poetry of her universe-
( warm, celestial hands
forging sandcastle ribs. )
Southern earth beneath her feet,
wanderlust burned like Apollo's touch
into her spinal cord, please awaken
the empty space between her skin
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.
lub-dubThere are loverslub-dub in Free Verse More Like This
I will never be able to
crawl out from underneath;
I’m caving in, lungs
no longer able
to exhale lovely things.
However hollow, I’ve got
these artist hands,
these god hands of mine
that can save lives.
What’s the point
when I’ve got little
& no one can ever seem
to find my pulse?
NaPoWriMo: Day 10 Have you ever been so cold, Sweetheart,NaPoWriMo: Day 10 in Free Verse More Like This
your knees q u a k e d like that Jenga piece
that buckled just before your whole foundation
& no matter
how many times
I've restarted your heart,
one would think
I'd grow tired,
I'm still writing you in poetry
(in the most inappropriate of places.)
You forced yourself beneath my blades
& my fingertips,
Licking unstable knees,
you were death on my tongue:
angry apricot eyes, unforgivable sin
scaring my limbs &
haunting my dreams.
& I'd still try to save your fucking life.
NaPoWriMo: Day 8I was toldNaPoWriMo: Day 8 in Free Verse More Like This
to slice through the thickest
of scar tissue this evening.
Let all my inner demons
fall to the floor
& write them out
in my own black blood.
It’s not red anymore,
even though needles
& the bruises
laid out like war-lands
on my arms
I don’t think it ever was,
My mind is a mess
of free versed insecurities,
cat’s eye marbles,
& untamed forest fires-
I still don’t have the nerve
to slice open my skin
& bleed for her.
I want to forget names,& faces,I want to forget names, in Free Verse More Like This
I want to forget their veins,
fingerprints forever burned into my eyelids;
wrists I can't look at
without longing to tear apart.
Spine full, and spiteful:
I want to cry
roses in my midnight tea
for these star collapsed lungs.
I want to cry for her
& for me.
she wont allow me the courtesy.
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.
astrology.i lost my cigarettes today whileastrology. in Free Verse More Like This
sparing kisses to too many witches
with apastron blackberry tongues.
& like the scattered stars of scars,
saturn's rings whispered secrets
to the telescope eyes of these strangers
cradling galaxies between lovely bones-
( their fingertip heat
knowing nothing of intermissions. )
scraps and sacramentsyou,scraps and sacraments in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful siren girl with melodies
entangled in her hair: you are
shell-shocked and sea-struck
even though you cannot stand
the sensation of sand beneath
you have fingers for prying, picking,
pulling at your skin and nesting
in that hollow space between
your bones. and if anyone asks,
you will swear there are monsters
sleeping in the concaves of your ribs;
there are ghosts beneath your tongue,
embittered, and you are not the words
they say there is an answer, little girl
(sometimes you begin to believe you are
a scarecrow on the border of reality
begging people to turn the other way;
and the mirror will agree)
how far have you gone? a feather in
the breeze who won’t promise to return
again; there is a wandering warmth in
the hesitation of your harbored fear.
where will you be in six months when
the future has become itself and you
are still astray? little one, no one is like you
in the way you sway to the cadence of a
dissonant night. no one knows your
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.
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,
AutonomousShe asks me to tell her a story,Autonomous in Free Verse More Like This
a quiet ignorance of the self,
the unaffected scratches
on her freshwater skin and
years she spent
searching for the dreams orbiting
her like forlorn moons;
love happens on the sharp
nights unbalanced with
a little too much of the things
you don’t understand. She never
liked her eyes, full and honest and an
unignorable admittance she was real.
But she never was a cheater,
she claims, no one
put a price on her; the things she gave
away cost too much like
doctored up, re-polished
silence. Sounds familiar.
Imagine a place where
no one has a nightmare. No one
has a voice, their lives are
in their hands: calloused and
beautiful. They wake unweathered
and they are not blind and
she is the sun, unaware she
could never catch her
dreams. Even now, she
wants to be a bird when she
grows up (the endless cliché
when you’ve already sold all your
time in exchange for a pleasant
absence of memories)
with wind gliding down her back
on how I need youtoday is a six-word story:on how I need you in Free Verse More Like This
I’m tired of waking up
I will peel back your
every insecurity and anxiety
and watch them fall to the floor
like vodka petals, regurgitated mosaics,
I will see you naked and
reborn and you will break apart
into passive aggressive poetic
dedications and unsent letters and
I will hate and love you
for the very same reasons and
I will move 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
Absolvedecho girl drops down so far,Absolved in Free Verse More Like This
(so dark) she swears it is heaven:
exodus, this final breath
strapped to the wings of fairies
and forced to fly away,
light like the gossamer sun
seeping in her skin and the
repetitive reshedding of her
meager lungs, exodus
the awakening and glorious release—
swan-dive into everything she ever wanted,
where the broken jaded looking glass
never shines right and the spiders
nest between her spine and he
still calls her beautiful and she
drops this faithlessness in exchange
for a quiet dawn.
nakedness and heavy lungsand now, I’m defined by thenakedness and heavy lungs in Free Verse More Like This
confines of my body, the faults
I carry like misdemeanors against
the ones who translate me in
lines and curves and scars that read
look, but don’t touch. now, I’m
busy catching up in revolutions
around the sun and laps within
the indignity of my own mind;
swallowing travesties and memories alike—
the sun in your voice, brightening
me inside as I wake up and breathe
like an eclipsing star, my bones clanking
together like wind-chimes, my legs
giving out like ghost people
who’ve given up. this is beautiful, this
stripping of layers upon layers
of reality and pretending
I’m not ashamed to stand naked and
quivering before those who judge me
in impersonal numbers and figures
as though I were irrelevant, that I’m not
holding my breath in hopes I will
float away like a balloon, beyond
human comprehension, light and fading
like the handwritten notes and promises
scrawled across every inch of me,
just so I could be forgotten
in which I try to forget my dreamswith Sunday-heavy lips, she calls mein which I try to forget my dreams in Free Verse More Like This
selfish and means it. I remember
dreams better than people, strangers
greeting me in the grocery store over
a common past and sorry selection
of red grapes. I remember Katie
being beautiful and happy and
wearing the same abnormal toe shoes
and being a few decades older than time
would allow, I remember Emily
being alive. I remember me
escaping to France to defy logic
and stow away in a pretentious,
overpriced tourist resort where
I’d learn to speak a language
I’d never use and love people
who’d never know me; I remember
she tells me trust is not a virtue.
responsibility is gained and
taken away when you prove
unable to learn to be normal and
defiant at trying to breathe. she says,
I love you, but I don’t understand,
and she cries, saucer-eyed,
and this time I can’t
a letter for someone who hates thinkingin the beginning i wrote poemsa letter for someone who hates thinking in Free Verse More Like This
about death and darkness and
the complex metaphysical arithmetic in which
that would equate to the love i carried for you,
beneath the headaches brewing like bruises
between my eyes, my ocean eyes;
even after convincing me the planets
were dead gods, powerful skeletons with
internal expiration dates and the stars
were their lingering parables, their stories
blinking out years before we were born, i knew
you were a nuclear angel, atom bomb
savior sent to save me from
there is no more mystery
in the world. i sent you
five letters to the PO box you told me
about in florida, the first
was a catalogue of every
angsty song lyric or campy postcard
or description of a flower
crooked in just the right way
that reminded me of you,
the second was a retelling
of every dream i woke from
forgetting who i was, the third
was an apology-- i'm sorry
for who i'm not and who you
need and that your dad always
reeked of bacardi, i'm sorry
for my bukowski-wannabe complex a
The Petals OnlyAnother late nightThe Petals Only in Free Verse More Like This
sober, without conviction.
Not loveless, not
a cat in the road,
not even moss on the doorstep.
The heat shimmer is bawdy
and the kids go to sleep
early for a reason.
It's just like
when you find out
you weren't born special.
When you find out
the pretty ones do
have petals on their beds.
Stepping on the sheets.
It's the pin-prick stars
that are sick of waiting
It's telling the clouds
what they look like.
Grab a handful of a dirt
with your back to the grass,
and choose which finger
to point at the sky.
Drink DeepWe are not yetDrink Deep in Free Verse More Like This
dead, but the
have you believe
that we are dying.
We have rehearsed
the methods of our
We make muses
from nature and
from each other.
We assume, like the
canyon's high-water mark,
that the floods
will not come.
Who am I
to say that
this is false,
that we have
that hold us apart-
(we are ever so slightly
levitating off the ground
and from each other.)
And the streets protest
by rehearsing the methods
of our end.
When our blood
turns to alcohol
and the first thing
they see of us
is the white
of our bones.
Second SphereI found part of me by accidentSecond Sphere in Free Verse More Like This
in a Parisian cardboard box
with satin rags; purple ink
depicting people and clouds.
Tungsten from the wires
of lightbulb husks.
He kicked my hand when I pulled him out,
my fingers caught up in the blonde.
Here there are boys who count
the golden rings of Saturn,
and retinas that lick up the sunset.
Pictures of Japanese lanterns on the sea-crest
and swarms of orange fireflies.
Girls who do not dot
their I's with hearts,
and wait for iodine skies
with slow, dripping
BoxcutterWe areBoxcutter in Free Verse More Like This
in her hardwood apartment,
that we bought
because of the neighbors
and the windows
that light up
the dust on the floor.
She is kneeling
in front of
sliding the knife
down the sides
with a paper sound.
And I am staring
into the empty rooms.
If she pushed
into my lungs
the air would rush out
When you look at me
and bite your lip,
I see brown hair
and darker eyes.
And I would let her too
if it didn't
make such a mess
for the dust
and the neighbors
and the hardwood floor.
WildYou could never be strangers againWild in Free Verse More Like This
in that void of charged space
between the eyes and the air.
And the other people, who are
less than faces in the crowd.
Maybe it was a true dream of
dark times, always walking,
you are thief protected by gloss
that they could break
if only they knew how.
The lion at the zoo could
jump the fence, the wolves
could dig beneath the glass.
Safety is a mutual ignorance,
and it is something to be reminded
through wilds of the woods,
that she has fangs
and so do you.
GaspThere was noGasp in Free Verse More Like This
she pressed her
lips to his
An Infinite MomentThere is so much writingAn Infinite Moment in Free Verse More Like This
and music on our
death, our inescapable
we are fighting
and we deserve this.
It is not something
to dwell on,
or mourn ourselves
with cracked speech.
We are here for
each other, as
together we will
pray for rain.
HeldWhen you took me from my petalHeld in Free Verse More Like This
and cupped my frailty
between your hands,
it was like my chrysalis was back
and I am changing again.
It was just as warm as I
paintbrushed your palms
with my monarch wings.
You opened up your smallest fingers,
and I saw five hundred facets
of your child's eye.
I saw every angle of your innocence,
I saw the sheen on your corneas
when you flitted those threadbare wings.
I saw the shoebox with corners
like a prism.
And your call was so loud
when you carried me home.
And I witnessed
your five hundred pins,
and five hundred books.
With five hundred fingers you
pinched me out,
and held me to brutal surgery.
I can feel my death like pollen
on a candy bar.
I only ask you start
with my insides.
Tone"Yes, there is an ache in this worldTone in Free Verse More Like This
and you can feel it in the pause between telephone rings."
She mutters this to me,
rubbing her neck and the tattoo of a crown
as if it had fallen from her head.
ClenchGood movements andClench in Free Verse More Like This
from a second story
Oil from the fingers
with the walls-
words that break up
easily, calmly and
without argument or
pulling out the muscle fibers
in your wrists,
worse than handcuffs
in a concrete room.
Now listen to this:
I want you calm and
a timid spider
touches the edge of
a sugary cola drop
from the lips parting for light.
I want you without predation.
I want you with forgiveness
the mountains have gone dry
and sleepy from
watching over the hills.
so very cold.
I want you broken
and untouched by man.
Without faith. Undirected
rage, a passion for
the romantic wars.
The warmth comes close
but is stopped at the edge of the skin.
With every breath my life is given off
as moisture and heat and words and air,
you cannot take this from me.
And whispers, and everything.
I want you to tremble
when the amber shatters
and black bugs spill out with syrup on their
poetryI write because I canpoetry in Free Verse More Like This
I write because I will
I write what's on my mind
And I write that with a quille
No need for memory
Or any sign of sin
Just some words from my mind
And here's where it begins
I sit in a room of hurt and dispair
Maybe start writing about that girl crying over there
She seems so lifeless, tired and weak
With long black and red hair covering her face while she weeps
They aren't always right
They aren't always true
They aren't always about me
Not all about you
But they're about something
I'm yet to find out what
They come from my mind
Sometimes from my heart
I can write of love
I can write of pain
I can write of hate
I can write in vein
But one thing I can't do is say what I know
Because that young girl crying could ruin the show
The one in the corner with the black and red do
That one about the crying is about me not you.
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).
MatterIt is only a matter of timeMatter in Free Verse More Like This
until the stone lays down with the sheep
Rested firmly above the holes
where our eyes used to be.
It is only a matter of matter
until epitaph and eulogy diminish to dust
becomes the eternal home,
not where our souls used to be.
It is only a matter of fact
that our words will become reductionist, redundant,
the world will forget
where our words used to be.
I Didn't Hear YouWhen you say goodbye to me - said goodbye to me. I didn't hear you. I didn't really consider the tangible loss of us. I was busy. Because in my mind I was hearing years worth of goodbyes, that run in a steady loop of vinyl to make the white noise soundtrack to my tears. I was busy listening.I Didn't Hear You in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You left me for a logical and reasonable reason. I'll never understand it. I'll never really process what your goodbye meant or how it was intended. It was lost on me. I was busy. Because in my mind I was listing all the reasons that I told myself you would eventually leave me over. It was the hummingbird heart of our relationship that behind what I would say, there was what I thought. Two very different things.
Underneath a less than gracious acceptance of you moving on, there are cracks so wide that the substance that the cracks are between becomes the cracks in the emptiness. My head is empty space with slithers of pain far and few between.
But on those cliff blades that make up the terra
How She BurnsShe has astral eyesHow She Burns in Free Verse More Like This
and the tongue of a phoenix
that scorches you
should you dismiss her.
With those milky whites
with a galaxy dropped in
and spooling in the iris
she sees right through.
She has asteroid eyes
that flicker so fast
you might not notice -
you just might not
notice the milky ways
that a galaxy dropped in
spools in the iris
of a phoenix gone wild
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.
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
You are not an islandI have been alone. This man is an island.You are not an island in Free Verse More Like This
The cliffs of my shoulder blades
hang heavy with grief, ore, suffering.
I am draped with the permanence of gravity,
So do not believe that you cannot move.
Come to me, water babes fully grown,
Allow yourself to be swept in salt and ash.
Tumble with your brothers into my arms
and be at peace, at last, on the shore.
I too was once drowned, but I arose
and as the caps melt, all things will erode
For no man is an island alone.
The Bone CollectorSometimes my breath catches in my throatThe Bone Collector in Free Verse More Like This
and the very stillness of an earth going
a thousand and three miles per hour
gets lodged there.
Sometimes these simple exchanges
leave me breathless, croaking on dust:
the unfiltered pigments of other people's skin
and blood and ash
but with my tarred lungs and itchy eyes
I sit and sift through charcoaled remains,
alphabetising them from c to c. I am lost
in a world charred brazen.
Many things I have loved have turned to ash.
Many people. I was naive enough to think
that there was some perfect nutritional truth
that could outlast hell-fire.
I claw through a world turned ashen
and know those dead embers collect in my cells
They are the harbingers of a truth
I do not want.
The skittish earth throws its skirts about again
to unsettle us all, and I am unsettled
Alone in the dirt, organising piles of bone-dust
he did not love, at all.
The DescriptionHe drinks coffeeThe Description in Free Verse More Like This
its the art of seduction,
and quite honestly
when he does it
it might as well be.
You'll catch him
frowning into it
as he hastily scribbles
in a notebook
to make the world
El cambia a español
en la mitad del frase
and I don't think
he even realises.
He loves the world
that to be a part of it
leaves you feeling
He makes the world seem
to contain his love
and when he smiles,
because he reminds me
that there is hope
to be had.
For the world,
For people like us.
He is soil,
Salt of the earth,
of everything good
that will grow from
He is a ramshackled
waking up to
the realisation that
he is an innovator;
and that his passion
could change the world.
In The StarsIn the stab of the night,In The Stars in Free Verse More Like This
when there is no moon
or modern light to guide you -
there will be stars.
They will burn themselves out
with the vehemence with which
they shine for you.
They will desperately radiate
their message to you
across lightyears of dead air,
they are full with it.
They are children
holding their breath
until you beg them to stop.
They are waiting for you
to be ready to hear them.
In the ache of the night,
when there are no whispers
or echoes to guide you -
there will be stars;
and those stars will be couriers
baring these words to you
emblazoned with their royal seal.
They will be eternally pressed
in the spaces between space
Somehow in the cracks
of infinite nothingness
you will find my words.
Wedged behind a stereo
until you think to move it.
They are waiting for you
to be ready to feel them.
In the grimace of the night,
when there are no tears
or smiles to guide you -
there will be stars.
They will be distant eyes
full of my love for you
that will watc
ApsaraFind me sunken into theApsara in Free Verse More Like This
lotus field, bathing skin silvergreen,
waist-deep and pink
in sunset, and we will cry:
for three-faced elephants,
for the dancers threading grace
between their fingertips—
until I dress in the heaviness,
a sarong of heat.
AsphodelA beckoning:Asphodel in Free Verse More Like This
watercolour sky shrinking,
too late, teeth fall; pearls
from a broken string.
Blink and the moon ignites—
but the sheets are still
HaikuWriMo1HaikuWriMo in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Church spire, stretching,
weds the moon.
and a heavy heat;
steeds of elven knights,
armoured all in blue.
upon orange glass:
a specimen, fossilised
veined in gold—
fallen like snowdrops.
Eagle in flight,
great wings cradling
peeking from a soft,
smoky grey duvet.
The world settles;
the heavens awaken—
two arrows in tandem.
The yellow of an
crinkled paper moon.
Tangled in old web—
a spider, noosed.
of a smudged landscape:
pot of molten gold
along the treetops.
1,001 NightsIn a land of1,001 Nights in Free Verse More Like This
dreams and dust:
the curve of
a half-hazed sun,
HysteriaMoon sliver arms raisedHysteria in Free Verse More Like This
to the eventide sky,
hysteria dripping like wine
like a prayer, slipping —
hallowed lips no longer, and
the weight of every loss
and ticking clocks
cracking dappled ground.
MuselingRed wine ramblesMuseling in Free Verse More Like This
curdle the air, but still
you dream; half-moon
body curled in the
lamp light. I am leaving,
I am leaving, choking on
some holy word—
the floorboards creak,
a sonata for my
whilst you, hair tangled upon
the pillow, are spun gold.
SundropoSundrop in Concrete Poetry More Like This
rise and rage
with a new year
untamed and glorious,
pulling the years together
with a snap of your fingers.
but some days you are languid,
stretching like the summer dusting
of freckles along your forearms, the
slumberous strands of hair shuttering
your sky-eyes from the morning light.
on these days, I think the earth spins
slower and the birds sing a little
quieter. on these days, I look
at you and I think:
Sky EyesDesert hands tell talesSky Eyes in Free Verse More Like This
of a hundred arid summers, but
you are no longer as cloudless as they
(there is a storm
creeping through blue, blue veins).
But tell the sky to keep her sorrow,
that grey cascade blurring against
eyelids and horizons;
and suppress her misbegotten
droplets, seeping into the sodden
for there is still sun in your sky eyes.
SeashineSacred skinSeashine in Free Verse More Like This
where heavens and ocean
an imprint on salted lungs
of aching, of
a moonlit yearning upon the
O FevraleWitching hour, welcomed with a sigh,O Fevrale in Free Verse More Like This
bare-breasted and ink-stained in the night.
Half in love in this half-life half-light;
pisat O Fevrale navsnryd, dreaming
of the gods. Wanderer, today I died and
died again, and whispered prayers
to clasped hands… until the nestled
droplets fell away like sunrays at dusk;
and when moonrise came, I sang again.
Yeah I'm Stupid!Yeah I'm Stupid!:Yeah I'm Stupid! in Free Verse More Like This
Indeed you are absolutely superior. A divine being, more intelligent,
Learned and completely right in everything you say about me.
However, if I might be permitted to as they say in slang
"Drop the beat", then I'd like to show you my own style of doing things.
Art thou ready for this my sibling from a different parent?
Sir can I have just a moment of your time? I think I lost
My will, let me sit and bust a rhyme rappin' like I'm
Edgar Allan singin' Raven songs, thank god I have a
life and love that keeps me really strong. See I
Understand the fact that you may not like the things I do,
Structure in your brain is wrapped tight like a metal screw.
But this is what you do when you are young
I'm breaking all the rules until I finally get sung!
So pass it on over if you're done with the whiny mic,
I'd like to show the world a new style it's the Chen life;
So everyone go 'Chen boo', this all the 'Chen boo',
They Watch UsThey Watch Us:They Watch Us in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Perched high upon the mountains;
With wings as black as night.
They watch us in the hour,
Before darkness turns to light.
I've seen them in my visions;
In dreams they come and go,
But the things they seem to tell me
I guess nobody should know...
I've seen children that are buried,
Beneath a frozen lake.
A maiden sits there weeping;
Her heart is soon to break.
The crows flutter downward,
A noose amongst their hands.
They take the maiden away,
To a dark and distant land.
And even if I follow -
Even if I try...
I'll simply end up buried,
Where the frozen children lie.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 10th November 2012
Poetic Practice - Love Like AshPoetic Practice - Love Like Ash:Poetic Practice - Love Like Ash in Free Verse More Like This
Yes sir, he is clinging to insanity.
He remembers all the things he said, profanity.
Bare the shame on his naked old humanity.
He is the doll claiming love for his vanity-
When he woke up, desire!
He made a move like fire.
His whispers; a liar,
His heart snaps, like wire!
But what are you thinking of this man as I make him out?
Is it an image or a type that you seem to tout.
was it all his fault with no one else to blame,
Or were there cracks in the story that they both will claim-
Spit that and live that,
Hate when you love that!
You rip that and tear that,
Scream like you know that!
Stop for a moment and just listen to this silent cry,
Time has stopped now for both of us to say goodbye.
Both turning on these clocks, living lies that have stopped;
And when the love turns to ash, let the gloves be dropped...
- Chen Yuan Wen, 17th January 2013
There are Things Beneath the GardenThere Are Things Beneath the Garden:There are Things Beneath the Garden in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
There are things beneath the garden,
Which you really shouldn't see.
There are things beneath the garden,
That don't belong to me.
There are things beneath the garden,
Gone rotten blue and black.
There are things beneath the garden,
In a dripping gunny sack...
There are flowers in the garden,
Which you really shouldn't pull.
There are flowers in the garden,
That sit on top of wool.
There are flowers in the garden,
With a really rotten scent.
There are flowers in the garden,
Above bodies burnt and bent...
I love this little garden,
It's a special place to me.
I love this little garden,
It's where I want to be.
I love this little garden,
Now wouldn't you like to see?
I love this little garden;
And you'll be number three...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 26th October 2012
Aren't You Ashamed Yet?Aren't You Ashamed Yet?:Aren't You Ashamed Yet? in Free Verse More Like This
Truly an object of mystique and mystery
A simple device, with a painted layer
That conceals a face of rotting worms
Oh, I'm sorry, was I supposed to overlook it?
Let me rephrase it in a more appropriate manner
You are a cowardly, pathetic, miserable, filthy
Unintelligent, soul-sucking, perfidious, bag of rotting worms
You who once held my respect, you who were once my friend
you shared in my secrets and you shared in my dreams
But in the end, it was the lies
The horrible, filthy lies that spew forth from your tainted lips...
I guess it was a simple decision
I had no need to keep up this facade
and so I decided that I too should enjoy this game
and I began to taint my lips with lies
Oh how I enjoyed your anguish and misery...
That wonderous feeling of having you squirm
and before I knew it, I found myself wearing
a mask to hide those rotting worms...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 9th
Eagle GirlEagle Girl:Eagle Girl in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
She soars above clouds,
Beloved, wild, unrestrained.
Ended by envy.
- Chen Yuan Wen, 27th January 2013
Letting Go of YouLetting Go of You:Letting Go of You in Free Verse More Like This
You abandoned me in the past
without so much as a proper goodbye
One day you simply chose to walk out the door
and you never did come back...
I was angry then, hurting badly
I wondered if I was in some way inadequate
I wondered if you left because I am so easy to despise
and eventually my sorrow turned to anger
I wanted to become great
to show you that you made the wrong choice
to take my strength and throw it in your face
just so you would regret it
But then I saw how happy you were...
In the time we've been apart
You've made a new life for yourself
You've found someone who loves and treasures you
and upon seeing that, my anger faded...
Your smile, that which I fell in love with
is more radiant now than the morning sun
a gentle blush upon your fair cheeks
takes my breath away, just as it did so long ago
Of course, I don't hold any hope for us to be friends
I don't think that it would be appropriate for me to come back
but perhaps one day, if
Practice Poem - Artistic FrustrationPractice Poem - Artistic Frustration:Practice Poem - Artistic Frustration in Free Verse More Like This
Wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG!
Everything is wrong.
'As then sun dew drips from her eyes'-
Do I really think that'll be good enough?
Hours spent on each piece -
Punctuated only by sound of ripping paper -
To lie crumpled upon my wooden floor,
Unable to be forgotten.
As the hours pass and the day wears on,
More and more worlds are crushed by my hands.
Realities sprawled upon a single piece of paper,
To die as quickly as they are formed.
A man's whose romance is torn in two,
A vampire about to meet his prey.
A werewolf standing against an army
And a boy facing the world alone.
These are the lives that I hold in my hand;
Fictional lives, but precious still.
Yet as soon as I see their imperfections,
I destroy the evidence in a throe of shame.
These crumpled masses that now surround me,
They aren't the proof of perfection's pursuit...
They are merely my feeble, worthless attempts,
To disguise my own ineptitude.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 15th Decembe
Where Angels PlayWhere Angels Play:Where Angels Play in Free Verse More Like This
A lonely spark appears before me tonight
amongst the struggles deep inside of me...
Should I give in, will I breathe in?
How much more can I be forced to take
before my soul breaks?
Shards crashing into me
letting me know I am alive
I am barely breathing...
The moon lights my pathway
deep in dark, where we will fade
I've walked past the archway
Where angels will play...
The warmest touch, upon my skin
Wings that glow with sacred light, from deep within
They have come to take me back, to where I've been
Gone away into the winds, my voice forever lingering
Do I alone escape this and find my peace
without concern for what is left behind
Even if I could close my eyes in endless rest
The thought of you keeps me breathing...
The angel that leads me, deep in dark, where I seem to fade;
The lonely spark that keeps me, is the warmth of your heart...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 30th September 2012
I've Changed (Yeah right)I've Changed (Yeah right):I've Changed (Yeah right) in Free Verse More Like This
You know, I tell myself everday,
That I'm going to change - that I'll be different.
'This isn't the same; I'm not the same,' that's what I tell myself...
As I sit in front of the computer, praying time doesn't move.
Coward, you're weak and you'll always be weak! You bloody disgrace...
I pick up some new magazine, get inspired,
'I want to be like that guy,' is what I think to myself.
I give it a try for two or three days - I quit.
Same old shit again...
Making up excuses? It's what you always do, you gutless wonder...
I try to reach out with my hands,
Seeking something, anything that I can find to help myself hold on...
But I don't find it - I just find myself,
Sinking back down into the same black swamp - I'm drowning.
Awww, what's the matter? You gonna cry, you gonna cry?
Yeah, I've hit rock bottom,
And you know what? It feels pretty damn good down here.
Nice, warm, comfortable, familiar.
No pressure, no problems - just like everb
Open Heart SurgeryI've got ink throbbing through fissured veins,Open Heart Surgery in Free Verse More Like This
poisoning every atom of my soul.
"Bite your tongue," they say.
How I'd love to chew the damn thing off
and suck down every filthy syllable
just like the rotten bone marrow it is.
They'd all watch as my body spontaneously combusts
and becomes nothing but convoluted karma.
And so I wrote,
Teach me the ways of ripping out a human heart,
and stitching it onto ink-stained parchment."
The answer that came was rasped from a cauterized throat:
"Read your future in the collapsed palm of the stars;
find the abandoned pulse of your lionhearted muse;
steal their conformed scalpel and make it your own."
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."
Poetry is:Poetry is:Poetry is: in Free Verse More Like This
the adhesive to
a fragmented soul;
broken wings that still dream of
F L Y I N G
how snapdragons breathe stardust
and orchids perform ensembles.
when 'imagination' and 'reality' at last discover a
c r o s s r o a d s,
and rush to embrace one another with fervent limbs.
why gravity seems to f
l, taking the world with it.
what flows through the veins of every pair of [shipwrecked; star-crossed] lovers.
who I am; who I was; and who I want to be.
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.
How to pretend that you are a writer.Act like you're notHow to pretend that you are a writer. in Free Verse More Like This
okay when you are and
that you are when you're
not. Run barefoot in
the snow. Stand out
in the rain for an hour
and think about anything
and everything you can.
Fall in love with
riddles and things that
aren't real and the
way some stars
shine. Cry when
you realize that life is
just one big sham and write
one hundred cliché poems
about it, and then write one
that you actually mean.
Use profanity. Be the
one fucking introvert
in a room full of
extroverts and scream
shit just for the fun of
it. Swallow every goddamn
metaphor you ever dreamed
of and write them down
with your own blood.
Eulogize your own
misery. Put a crown on
it and let it rule your
heart for six years before
you throw a coup d'etat
but just end up with
your head in a basket.
Ask yourself why
you feel so
empty and when
you forgot how to
laugh and where you
last left your smile and
who you even really are
anymore. Mean every word.
Don't cry at funerals. Cry
yourself to sleep every
other night for
Do not be ashamed of who you are.At one point in your life,Do not be ashamed of who you are. in Free Verse More Like This
you didn't mind being a girl.
It was only after you met
her that you thought, "Maybe
this isn't the right fit." Because,
if you're being honest, she
deserves a knight in shining armor.
You are not Atlas, my dear.
Your shoulders do not
merit a world of troubles,
but instead love-lined clouds
that whisper, "Do not be
ashamed of who you are."
A woman can be a
champion whose heart burns
with more gold than a king's
castle holds. Perhaps if
you had more faith,
you might find that's just what
constellations, ambitions, and things in betweeninstead of poetry,constellations, ambitions, and things in between in Free Verse More Like This
i want to live in
draco & orion,
wrapped in nebulae.
oxygen is too
want to breathe in
neither the gods
nor my demons can
stop me —
i will make the universe
an apology to anyone who'll listen It begins with a wishan apology to anyone who'll listen in Free Verse More Like This
and ends with a sigh.
I am in love with boys who
don't exist and girls who I sometimes
pretend are myself. Spineless,
spiteful, and one hundred percent
I'm becoming undone.
When I was
younger I thought it
was a sin if
your parents didn't
love each other. Now I
know that it's
just the way this world works.
I need you right now;
to tell me that
gaining four pounds in
three days is typical
to tell me that
living in a dream every
second is perfectly okay
to tell me that
I'm normal, that I'm
still sane, that I'm not
going to close my
eyes one day and never
open them again.
Don't look at me.
I can't remember
the last time I
had no regrets.
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.
Second star to the rightThere are days where sheSecond star to the right in Free Verse More Like This
forgets how to fly;
wings all tangled up in
"There is nothing wrong with me,"
"Nothing at all.
I just can't seem to
The clock strikes
she's nothing but
and withering pixie dust.
PoetryWith bitten lips and tear-burnt eyesPoetry in Free Verse More Like This
you tell her your new tragedy
she listens to the hurt and pain
and smiles as she writes it down in her mind
what you cannot say, she will shout for you
or sing, or whisper- whatever you prefer
her arms are tight around you
as you spit your angry words
and she listens and remembers
and tones them into music
into her world
and she dances as she tells your story
and makes faces when you're happy
and cries with you when you need her
not everyone can hear her
some believe she says nothing real
she'd never lie, but they don't understand
when she speaks, they hear gold-toned lies
or steel-stained epithets
or excuses for more hate
but her gift is taking words from you
and touching them with a silver finger
and giving them her beauty
and it doesn't matter if they hear her right
if they understand your feelings
she's trying her hardest for you.
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
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
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.
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
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.
painkiller.you show me a bottle of advil. you say to me, “if i swallow all these pain pills at once, do you think i’ll finally stop hurting?”painkiller. in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
“you shouldn’t joke about that,” i say.
in retrospect, i should have been grateful.
it was the only joke you’d ever told where i wasn’t the punchline.
i’d like to write your name in a bathroom stall. i’d like to come back every day, checking for tears in sharpie’d letters. for a “he’s such a scumbag.” for a “you’re not alone.”
i guess i want to think that you’re a criminal mastermind. i want to think that you’re a serial heartbreaker. i want to think out there, somewhere, is somebody else like me, who you’ve hurt.
(i know you’re none of those things. i know that you’re just a boy – and, really.
that's the saddest part of all.)
i taught you how to stargaze, and how to uncross your arms and let people in
dichotomy.i.dichotomy. in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
there’s a monster inside of my head.
it moved in four years ago, but they say it’s always been there. my daddy has one. so does his mom.
they say that’s where i got it. dad says grammy’s monster made her beat him until he was seven. dad says his monster made him drink until he blacked out, for twenty years.
they all say, “don’t let it in.” they all say, “it’ll control you, because you are weak.”
(actually, they say “vulnerable.”)
they tell me its name, so i can paint it on my wrists, on my forehead, along the curves of my ears. keep out. no BIPOLAR DISORDER allowed. they say it notices loud things. capital letters, for one. or crying children. or hatred. or fear.
they do not tell me what it’s like to see it. they do not tell me what’s it like, to feel it burrowing under your skin.
when it came to me, i pleaded with it. i said, “please go away,” and it didn’t listen.
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.
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
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