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,
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.
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. )
NaPoWriMo: Day 4I might have a scrappers knees,NaPoWriMo: Day 4 in Free Verse More Like This
wildflowers growing on my knuckles,
& I might remind you of every nasty thing
you ever did,
but I don’t see you in my mirror.
I just have the right
to hate my own face.
I think this hitchhiker’s heart
is breaking &
I don’t have the medical skill-
or the time
to suture the pieces
back together again.
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.
Muse:She corrodes star shapes intoMuse: in Free Verse More Like This
the hearts of sleeping poets,
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?
NaPoWriMo: Day 9More respectNaPoWriMo: Day 9 in Free Verse More Like This
for hungry lions,
doesn’t want to write this poem.
As she forgets how to use words
(on most days,)
relying on curses
like casting some witch's spell-
with only ten dollars to her name.
The oldest daughter:
she’s still somewhere in the middle,
because they had no other way
to categorize her.
Getting her first gravestone at three-
not to the gods,
but to the lily stargazers
in her palms.
she would become a bird,
& never come back.
She doesn’t want her death
laid out like a fast-food
how does she begin to explain
cultivating in her breastbone?
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.
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.
Escaping Narcissusii.Escaping Narcissus in Free Verse More Like This
there are no explanations, none worthy
of your contortionist spine and
sky-hungry hands, no sorrow;
this is the happy song for the happy people:
raise your paper heart to the heavens
[I wish god would take pity on me
and flood the abomination right out of my
skin, drown the impure, start new
with a dove that doesn’t know
in my head,
I’ve already left you a thousand times over.
sometimes, I wander through the streets and
idolize the living like a curious phantom
with a nonexistent pulse; sometimes, I run
desperate to the woods that seem
to breathe and mourn, where the trees
resemble bodies of people weaker than me,
and sometimes, I fly away because it turns out
the needles nestling beneath my skin
were feathers, waiting to cry out, and
I watch as your shadow dissolves
into the unsympathetic
but every time,
I come back, crawl into our weary bedsheets,
and number off your breaths until I fall
Actualitywhen I was young, I wantedActuality in Free Verse More Like This
to be a punk rocker
metal holes lining my body like
trophies of war, hair teased
and bleached and styled for hours
on end until it looked effortless,
inked up with words and symbols
I swore were profound with
a cigarette hanging lazily
from my fingers, lonely
for a reason
(and he told me, sweetie,
you are like a fucking eclipse,
the bloody dawn
God plagued us with
I always wondered
if mistakes understood
the reason they
came to be in this world
I guess not).
he's just not that into youlong-legged and twitchinghe's just not that into you in Free Verse More Like This
like the spiders
you watch run
he doesn’t call
you pretty. you remember
his hands tracing the ink
of your veins, but he
doesn’t call you pretty.
he doesn’t hold
the door, and you
think you’re a liar
but the truth is quivering
naked in your voice
(we will name our children after
extinct kingdoms; dead beautiful
things. i will polish the dull spot
in your eye that you developed
after a terminal case of unnoticed
living. i will never be a cure but
damn it if i won’t be a diagnosis)
the static of his vocal chords
brings you back, martyr
without a cause,
he doesn’t call
you pretty and you
don’t question why.
Hunger PainsIt begins with a bang.Hunger Pains in Free Verse More Like This
I forget to eat for a few months and
I drown in cheap ideas with pretty names,
the ones they fill books and barren wrists
and stormy heads with, and soon,
moonlight shines from inside
my ribs and I am a lighthouse.
Thank you for the things you gave me,
intrinsically, a knowledge of
how to properly wear
myself. Thank you
for not fixing me.
I used to write about the color
of your voice, always blue-- the sky
before I fell asleep and the morning
dragging me back; I wonder
that you could’ve loved me better
if you explained who the
Something was that shared your bed
at night, or why insincere words
were your favorite.
My poems still cling to my skin
even when I sleep. even when
I wake, an anchor. even when
I boil myself alive and unfold
like a pallid lily inside your
and after enough time,
I forget to say goodbye.
I pick the scabs on my hips,
kiss the sorry out of your smile,
and breathe like this air
isn’t already a million years old.
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
Growing Upit seems that by now I’ve been diagnosedGrowing Up in Free Verse More Like This
with a mild case of weightlessness, mindless
drifting past empty homes and the emptier people
that purchased them. I remember conversations
with you about existentialism
and the almost intricate fabric of my mind and
everything in between, and you-- the way you
paused before making a point as
the words defined themselves in your head:
I remember the day I told you I was God.
Creator of all things unimportant, trapped
in the body of a girl with nothing left to give, you
it must be a beautiful place
inside your head, with a world
that revolves around hope and expectations
the way it was supposed to; all
storybook-perfect like the
wars promise we’ll one day
[I’d like to think that every great leader
once cried themselves to sleep wondering
if they’d ever mean anything and
did things to stand out like smoking
or drinking or pretending to be someone
they’re not and every morning they’d tilt
I am the wayward childI wish I had something more to offerI am the wayward child in Free Verse More Like This
when your joints ached and your bones creaked
and you wept dust; (the cobwebs around
your tongue were a comfort once)
but I am three times screwed
over backwards and turned right around,
breathing in gravel and praying on
the only consistencies I know like
on Sun-day we are in the house of God
and it won’t rain and dad won’t speak
and mom will sit with pursed lips counting
all the times we didn’t kiss her goodbye
and everyone will call it normal,
everyone will look at the way I write words
on cracked pavement and get glassy-eyed
when they speak softly and forget the sound
of my own voice when I’m afraid; all those times I
tripped over my own feet and walked away
with wounded knees, and they will call me normal.
I’m at it again, building barricades
from ashes and calling them friends
(this here is fear, he visits me nightly;
and that stale stain in the corner
is actually anxiety, recuperating
from the moment it caught a
Blind ThingsI’m losing all my friends likeBlind Things in Free Verse More Like This
it’s an obligation; this is
the witching hour and
a trickling down my back,
along my shoulders, ghost fingers
of someone who used
[English is an ugly language,
not enough ways to say
I don’t like what I’m
the evening is a lover
who never loved me right: leaving
telltale bruises where
no one else will see, walking
out the door as I heave
up my various
meanwhile, she whispers
“it’s a sickening thought—
we’re nothing but speculations
in a dim room”
something lacking this way comesshe smells of smoke, tastessomething lacking this way comes in Free Verse More Like This
of cheap dreams and cheaper makeup,
sounds like someone who's used
to giving; her eyes are two
glossy sunsets out of a few
trillion that have set before--
when she shuts them, no one
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
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,
United, We WriteHear me read itUnited, We Write in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
0hgravity, if by some divine fortune you should decide that today is the day you will fail me, then let me soar through the ChemicalSkyline. Grant me a-lovely-anxiety that raises a storm InTheStarryNightSky for me to riseandbe above all else. Let me soar.
How I long to be the frail rider-on-the-storm and not a victim of the RoamingShadow, Rogue-Of-The-Night, that BlackVelvetNightmare of my nights and days. I long
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.
MutantHear me read itMutant in Free Verse More Like This
I am a mutant.
| My skin does not sallow in the sun
and I do not blush jaundice through my cheeks.
| I do not have extra fingers, or toes -
although my spine;
it boasts an ironic vertebrae,
it is a long tally of the hearts I have broken
and when I straighten my spine the bones Pop out of place.
I am out of place.
| I do not have a super power,
I lack exceptionality in all but my ordinariness.
| there is a vengeful bacteria feasting -
on my shoulder places;
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.
with a whisperthis is how we rule the world,with a whisper in Free Verse More Like This
the forgotten, lobotom-ised,
of a long lost dystopast.
not with a SHOUT,
we do not argue.
we do not even unsheath
we whisper in your children's ears
the memories of what should have been.
the life we all crave.
the death we all crave.
WE do not discriminate
our opinions onto others
pressing the side of the blade
down onto the flesh
all are bitten
with the fever of our belief.
this is how we rule the world,
we tell stories,
we incite a generation
with their own scar/r/ed lungs
with a whisper.
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.
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.
BuriedUnder the paprika house,Buried in Free Verse More Like This
are the bones of my father
and nestled between rib
and reason, is our love.
The GhostAlright, I'll bite.The Ghost in Free Verse More Like This
I'll squirm and fold myself over
as a swelling of dough
pats down into itself;
hunkering down for the night.
I know when to fold
and when to hold; so I'll wait.
Wait while you leave me
packing up the uncomfortable
furniture in my mind.
I'll bubble wrap my dreams
and hold my breath in storage
and leave myself hollow
with only the echo of us inside.
You have me on the hook
So it's alright to let me wriggle
and slip through the carrion;
the wrecked remains of
my maggotous life.
I can't help but drop my head,
lose my pride, wait for death.
Maybe heads will roll
onto happily waiting Guillotine
and depart me from my troubles.
Until then I remain
the pestilent, petulant skeleton
rapping its ivory against the door
- Let me out of your closet.
I don't want to be
a secret that you hide from yourself
in the royal tower in your head;
a delusion, or the girlfriend
of only one personality.
I don't want to drape my cerements here
and let them stick to your floor.
If I must die, le
The Way We LiveThe Way We Live:The Way We Live in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
We all have our own little struggles;
Pushing on forward as the tragedies double.
A life led with pain and exhaustion too immense,
I'm pushing down walls as my muscles go tense.
But these are the words that you'll never hear me spit.
I'd never say I'm 'giving up' or if I should 'quit'.
I'm really freaking stupid so just tell it to my face,
And even then I'd never give up the right to race.
I'm like a lone arrow drawn and shot from a bow,
Blustered by the winds of all the things I don't know.
I'd never figure out if I'd reach the final mark,
But I know that I'd never lose my glowing inner spark.
And that's all it takes just to keep this body going.
With calloused hands in this ocean I'm still rowing
Searching for some land out amidst a sea of black;
A wandering gypsy bearing burdens on his back.
- Chen Yuan Wen, 14th January 2013
These Words Aren't PrettyThese Words Aren't Pretty:These Words Aren't Pretty in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
My verses are ugly and I admit to the fact
I can't use pretty language when I'm working with rap
Because the things that I write, are just the things that I feel
I ain't an Edgar Allan Poe or a Danielle Steel
And I'll be honest with you, I've got an envy inside
Because some poets got a flow that's as smooth as the tide
I read some stuff that they write, it's just so dope I ignite
Burning shame and my anger at the beautiful sight
And like birds of a feather, they're flocking together
These poets are the Gods and I'm nailed by the weather
But as the rain pours down, lightning resound;
I try to write pretty words but my lips remain bound
So deeply silenced by fear - the darkness I hear,
Afraid to be unloved by the ones I hold dear
I've hit the limit of time; my lyrical crime
These words that I've lived are just turning to grime.
So I wish I had their talent; just a sliver of that
If their skill was a mountain then I've broken my back
It's like t
UndyingUndying:Undying in Free Verse More Like This
How many days do you spend now, putting me down?
The coffin call for a dead man waiting around
"He's just an underground laughing stock, never to rise"
But on the seventh day I'm coming back; these are my ties!
The kind of promise that you made with the devil inside
You try to take away my soul, but I take it in stride
I ain't a doll that is crushed by the weight of his pride
I am the real and the raw of the things you denied!
You're playing snake games, selling oil, pass it off strong
You're just a pot head, weed dead, smoking your bong.
You try to look away, play and hide; apathy's best
But I'm the kind of bad boy you don't put to the test!
-Chen Yuan Wen, 7th February 2013
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
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
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 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
She's Not Your ToyShe's Not Your Toy:She's Not Your Toy in Free Verse More Like This
Mmm, it's okay sweetie
Just stay quiet
It'll all be over soon...
Creaking springs and quiet eyes
Cold without emotion
The smell of fear is mixed with sweat
Breath like a churning ocean
The waves and tide will push and pull
as water fills the cave
The heart longs to stop itself
when there is nothing left to save
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Jenna
Happy birthday to you...
A shock of pain brings her back to the present
The muscular form above her contracting in the dark
She remembers now that her limbs are pinned
but she would not move them anyway...
Happy birthday sweetheart, you're older now
You've grown up well haven't you...
A single shuddering thrust means that everything has ended
and once again a wet worm is pressed to her lips
The weight lifts from her body, leaving red marks around the wrists
limbs denied blood begin to buzz softly as the silence suffocates
She will not move from here, because i
Memories of WarMemories of War:Memories of War in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
What is this long-lost memory inside?
Where oceans turn; what have we left behind
With star-burned wings out above the sky.
The sleeping sons are lovingly left to lie...
A thousand tears you've cried for all,
Now its time for you to fall!
Will you open up the door,
To the future we ignore?
Are you simply lying broken,
From the memory awoken;
Are you simply living lies,
Bitter taste with ropes you tie...
And the world will soon forget.
Fill my heart with this regret?
For the victims written in stone.
Unspoken sin you now atone...
Yeah I've seen this world where we livin' in pain,
Wrap my body round with chain.
Now we both know we be broken;
Give this man his smokin' token.
Held up guns with both his hands;
Not a boy he's cause he's a man.
Order comes by a suit and hand.
Will you flee or will you stand?
This is a memory of our war,
Of all the things that we can't ignore.
And staying blind to the cries of pain...
Will lonely ashes be what remai
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
Things I'll tell you when you're older.The monstersThings I'll tell you when you're older. in Free Verse More Like This
don't fit under beds
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.
my soul is leakingthe steady drip drip of it in the kitchenmy soul is leaking in Free Verse More Like This
sink has me grinding my teeth
what a waste you said, and in vain
tried to tighten the taps as I laughed
a waste!indeed I am.
you told me, pride is a virtue you seem to be lacking
and I said pride leaves the blinds open and you laughed
and left the the blinds open.
Shiny black patent shoes, I watched as you were
lowered into the ground and wondered if that's where life got you,
if that's where life always got you,
what good is pride anyway?
Depression.To be depressed isDepression. in Free Verse More Like This
to carry every unwashed thing
in your life in your
The dishes you
couldn't clean pile
up with your innards,
jostling for space
amongst the lungs you've
smoked black and the
heart you've loved
Your unwashed sheets
hang around your shoulders,
gathering dead skin cells and
catching hair you habitually
tear from your skull, a
nervous twitch you never
You wake up one morning
and find that your hands are
still stained with dirt
from that time you buried
your lover in the backyard,
wanting to let go
but discovering that letting
go feels a lot like
giving up and
you're not ready for
but you will be.
It's still you, I swear.When I lightIt's still you, I swear. in Free Verse More Like This
and when I sing
but when I roll
over in the night to
find a breathing boy
instead of your
it's not you.
It's you in
my morning coffee
and it's you in
my favourite jeans,
and it's you in the
blisters that form
on my fingers.
Only I have taken
you out of me and turned
you into things I love
and do and read because
I wanted to love him
Insomnia.The sleep I'm not sleepingInsomnia. in Free Verse More Like This
cornered me behind the garden shed
and split its knuckles
on the sharper edges of my
I think it was trying
to kill the restlessness
Letter to a loved one, on losing a loved one.I want to tell youLetter to a loved one, on losing a loved one. in Free Verse More Like This
that this grief is temporary,
that even if you feel lost,
you are not a ship adrift
without a crew.
But darling, grief still
sits heavy on my tongue and
I will not lie to you.
[Grief gathers at the back
of my mouth and renders me useless
on days that feel like the day
she died, my limbs heavy,
my heart sore.]
Instead I am going to tell you
that grief is not the last thing
you will ever feel;
there will still be
rumpled sheets and lazy smiles,
your fingers will still find
my naked waist beneath the blankets
and mine will still fit neatly between
the knobs of your spine.
We will still drink too much coffee,
smoke too many cigarettes, and love with
urgency but not with haste.
I will sit with your grief,
as you have sat with mine and
we will be okay.
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.
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
SirensThey run when they hear sirens -Sirens in Free Verse More Like This
it's all they know.
They hide under bridges
and fire escapes,
like their fathers
and their fathers' fathers.
They know the sight
and sound of thick
black boots in hallways
and the anger of an engine
unwinding in the streets.
They remember how unfriendly
four a.m. can be,
hunching behind fences
that wait with open jaws.
And they remember
how sour fear actually tastes
when it lingers
in the back
of the throat.
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
Bone BlossomsBone Blossoms in Free Verse More Like This
a ghost of iris-
blue so pale,
it slips off the page
You know the scent;
you borrowed it
from some girl
who was your best friend.
You slept together in the same bed;
she borrowed your sweater
and kissed you
when mother was not looking.
You fed her books
left out in the sun,
ripe as the boy
She put her hand
one warm night
and asked you
what it made you think of.
you said -
teal and purple,
feathered like summer -
like the summer
when you were five
and the heat
just could not keep away
and the sky went out.
Cat LadyWhen I grow oldCat Lady in Free Verse More Like This
I will be the crazy cat lady
all the neighbors talk about.
I will dwell
in a house of sycamore
and live off taffy and gin,
and paint my ceilings yellow.
I will dangle carrots
off the clothesline
and only bathe on Sundays.
I will keep 47 cats
(or maybe 63)
and give them names
like Cumberbund and Camembert
and let them sleep in the kitchen sink
where they can dream of midnight raids
on the pantry-
of sardines poached in pepper sauce
and mocking bird and beetle pie
and we will fish off the crumbling pier.
I will tie bells to their tails
to warn the birds
they are invited for a meal
and watch them flying over
their wings a tell tale
sigh of autumn weather.
And at night we will curl
up on the porch
fur bristling under blankets
and October's jumbled moon
to dream of chasing
mice among the rafters.
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.
FlamesThere are flames whereFlames in Free Verse More Like This
his head should be -
forty pieces of silver
a dressing gown, a pipe
a poem left in the fireplace.
This man promised you a winter
so warm and bountiful
spring would be ashamed.
He called you by name -
not the one that father knew
shoved under his bible
But the one left behind
in the branches,
in the bucket of brambles,
and the columbines
buried at your feet.
Stone angels on the battlefield
surrender in the grass.
What did his face
even look like behind the curtain,
counting those coins
and loosening the damp earth
from your shoes?
LosswhatLoss in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
should I do now
living with the memory of your losses?
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,
WinterA dream of silver coins and gossamerWinter in Free Verse More Like This
of frankincense and sacred myrrh
tugging, gently tugging at the coverlet
the draperies drawn,
the candles lit.
Winter's wizened face and beard sent packing
by the blazing willow log
a'crackling, gently crackling in the fireplace
the shivered wind
leads on apace
These dreams to warm us lingering like a balm,
and cider mulled with cardamom
bubbling, gently bubbling in a bowl
blots out the wind
and shuns the cold.
AwayI want to fly away,Away in Concrete Poetry More Like This
up, in the sky.
down, back to earth.
I want to go.
Away, anywhere, nowhere, somewhere.
Leave, let go, live.
I want to fly away,
somewhere I can stay.
What about thisI'm going numbWhat about this in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
I'm losing myself
I think I'm losing my mind
I'm feeling dumb
But no longer care
Everybody thinks I'm fine
It's just a phase they say
It'll fade away
But what about this, what about me
I want to be left alone, can't you see
That you think it's a problem, but I know I'm fine
What about this little way of mine
I'm looking around
And taking it in
But in no time it's out
Trust me it's not wrong
Just my way of dealing
With everything around
You think I'm not ok
just listen when I say
What about this, what about me
I want to be left alone, can't you see
That you think it's a problem, but I know I'm fine
What about this little way of mine
I just don't know
What to say
What to do
How can I satisfy you?
What about this, what about me
I want to be left alone, can't you see
That you think it's a problem, but I know I'm fine
What about this little way of mine
.the sun did not. in Free Verse More Like This
kiss my skin
yesterday, he slept
face around noon
and then went back
to bed; the
.little robin, wings. in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
outstretched in the dirt, a smear
of red on your breast
.i will bury myself. in Free Verse More Like This
outside in the garden;
like the spare key
or the dead dog,
i'm never there when
you need me
.i was born with the. in Free Verse More Like This
cord wrapped tight
around my neck; it
would seem fitting to
die the same way
.you forget that. in Free Verse More Like This
roses have thorns;
a prick of the
skin will tell you
that you're holding
her too tight
.the sea spits. in Free Verse More Like This
me back onto
the shore -
the waves say
this is not the
right tide, the
.horrors prey on. in Free Verse More Like This
dreams, and sleep can
do nothing about it
a lamb strays
from the flock;
a wolf grins
.everything i hold dear. in Free Verse More Like This
i hold too tightly;
i am so sorry you were
marked when i had to
let you go
his mother in readingit might've been the weighthis mother in reading in Free Verse More Like This
she gained in her
hips and stomach
her only child,
or the heft of responsibility
brought on by jobs and bills
and eviction notices,
but she wasn't beautiful
some key element
left her skin empty
and let it sag
and slump like her shoulders.
she looked like wet laundry
hung like papier mache
streamers dragged down
by a cold summer rain.
it choked the life out of her
i can see it in her eyes
in her face
she just sits in front of the television
she doesn't feel love anymore-
telling a story that has no end,
breaking her heart just to feel again-
there is a big nothing
where love should be.
breathe deepbreathe deep.breathe deep in Free Verse More Like This
breathe it shallowly if you need to,
if filling your lungs to bursting
is too much,
but breathe the depth-
of tree roots
and ethnic roots
and the roots planted by love.
and the orgiastic fullness
it gives the empty shell
you try so hard to stuff
but nothing sticks;
because deep is star-soaked
desperate with creeping beauty
like attar and trellis
and the june moon.
this is how you keep her.
this is how you say,
this is our permanent address.
this is how you say i love you
with something more than words.
for those who want to be in loveyou want to fall in lovefor those who want to be in love in Free Verse More Like This
hard enough to break your bones and
lighten your feet
lighten your heart
so softly that the butterflies you feel
pattering with their gossamer wings
beneath the cage of your ribs
and the breath,
blue in the summer,
can kiss you and the monarchs
as sweetly as your love
and her lips.
you dream of them at night.
silken like clean bedsheets,
familiar as your favourite chair
when you curl up with
a mug of herbal tea.
you feel at home
with her body curled in yours,
only able to sleep
with her skin under your fingers
scenting the blankets
with something no perfume
could ever mirror.
you write love letters
you dream emptily
unless she is there.
you want to fall in love
the way the gods drink ambrosia,
you want to treat her
better than their nectar,
sweeter than honeybees
and their summer-sticky feet.
you want a love beyond poetry,
from winter flurries
to springtime rosebuds
to summer sweet lemonade
to autumnal red leaves u
the commutei keep your kissthe commute in Free Verse More Like This
under my bed:
i won't lose it
just because you aren't here.
i will hesitate in the spaces
between the weeks
we are together,
and we are
i will write you letters
and gaps and commas
when my head stops spinning
and my pride takes a bow
to the lion of my heart,
and feel the stinging air
seep out of its balloon.
put your (love) affairs in order, dear
and find me under your blankets;
i want the places i know best
to be the ones made of skin,
secretly tucked away
in the crook of your elbow
where my body rests, or
behind your ear,
like a pencil-
i want you to write me words
that make me start to hum.
the sickness of breathing emptinesstoday:the sickness of breathing emptiness in Free Verse More Like This
and my god, there's no way to pretty that up. pain is not beautiful, it is painful. use your common sense. there is no glory in suffering, there is no sparkle to sacrifice. hurt is hurt is hurt. and you can't take it for someone else, no matter how hard you try.
what i hate is that you're leaving. like, a thousand miles away worth of leaving. and don't tell me that distance means nothing to the heart, because it does: enough to make you break me before you kill me. honestly, i wonder which is worse. honestly, i'd probably rather you kill me because i've broken enough times that i don't have much left to break.
what i hate more is that i love you. i have fought harder against it than i've fought against anything else in my life, i fucking swear to god. i didn't even consider that i could love you for months. an
with love.my throat thickenswith love. in Free Verse More Like This
to echo the songs of sparrows
the shape of your lips
whispered through mine.
when i lift your shirt,
i see the mountains
traipsing over your heart,
i see the valleys
as i trace your stomach.
i am an adventurer,
crossing the fragile east indies,
the spartan deserts of upper africa,
looking for exploration.
my hands are my ships, your skin my ocean.
your waist breaks into your hip,
the shore of foreign lands,
cresting wave and falling tide.
drinking cups of stars,
we are thin nylon skin,
abashed teenage heat
erupting from our cores
and every orifice
as we proclaim our love
for the moon,
from our bodies.
first weekend and realisationsyou begin to talkfirst weekend and realisations in Free Verse More Like This
because talking means that
someone else can't
&you start to realise
(as most girls do)
that you have a boyfriend
he's not just a boyfriend;
he's your boyfriend
&he's not just better than
anyone else in the world
he's better than
anything else in the world
&you would trade years off your life
to spend a little longer with him
or to see him smile when he's sad
or to feel his face in your hair
the way he does when he hugs you
&you can't feel it
because right now he's too far away
but distance is only the space between
point a and point b
between you&between me
&if you give it just a little more time
you'll realise nothing has changed
and the disjointed rhythms
your heart beats out like a drum
sticks like a song in your head
the moment you watch recognition
hit his eyes
when you walk in.
the scars on your shouldersthe scars on your shouldersthe scars on your shoulders in Free Verse More Like This
are braille to me, so that i
can read your skin, so that i
can know you better.
i like to listen to your heartbeat
and how it resounds differently
from mine, just so beautifully
like two songs played in tandem
to harmonise in rounds;
i like to hold your hands
and rub your back
so that maybe my love
can find its way through your pores
and seep into your blood
(never can i find the right words
to tell you just the way you feel to me)
and to think that and how i nearly missed you
makes me miss you more
every minute and mile we spend
i can't sleep with another body
in my bed,
but sleeping without you
leaves the space next to me
much emptier than i'd like.
my only company is
the sadness that comes from
being alone, and having no strong arms
to reassure me that i am beautiful
and no dream can hurt me-
i can only hope that
you are not the exception.
this is the pen finally knowing
this is how we hold onto the bones
we support in our bodies.
you call me an angelyou call me an angelyou call me an angel in Free Verse More Like This
in spite of the bruises left on the fronts of my knees
stains of sin left on my skin;
the knots in my back,
you liken to the wings soon to burst from my shoulders
&tell me you can feel no sadness
when looking at my face-
eyes you analyse
into paints of the colour wheel,
several shades i have yet to see;
despite its crooked nature
thinning enamel from my sickness-
you still find me amongst the heavens.
as this once,
i kissed you to shut you up.
my skin is removing itself after my clothes
in the winter,
too unlike the white night of russian summers.
i kissed you &it was wet because i was crying
&every time our lips parted
another sob stuttered its way through the gap.
you heard what words i couldn't swallow,
the ones straining to pass over my tongue
yet drowned upon existence.
you listen to me until i lose my headstrong aim
to starve back to bones,
to see the angel wings i've lost in my skin
you touch &feel are there;
love letters from a girli am dangling in airlove letters from a girl in Free Verse More Like This
like the stars.
i am slow string,
forgetting your name,
i am the creeping silence,
the empty air that haunts
your sleep. i am a fish,
sending you my love
as i bleed on the hook.
the ebbing ocean
stings with salt, open wounds
with the departure of my blood
is the departure of my stability,
and i swoon. i am a fish
on the hook, sending you my
love like a bobbing lure
as i start to stumble and
Joey had a smoke and burned the moon downOne night on a long road trip to NebraskaJoey had a smoke and burned the moon down in Free Verse More Like This
The skies opened up and bled onto my pupils
And the taste of gin burned my throat
As my star strewn spine strained against
The static of the radio blasting from your car stereo
We chased god
Only to find kerosene angels
And glow flies hanging from tree tops
In ruins I sat playing crack the sky with wolvesI haven’t changed since the last time we spokeIn ruins I sat playing crack the sky with wolves in Free Verse More Like This
At least I don’t think so
Because my knuckles are still rusting over
And I can see you still have those lovely diamond lips
Sometimes I glance over at your cloak and dagger collar bones
Remembering how they would hold galaxies in them
While I rambled on about cabbages and kings
And you’d laugh and call me a child
Even when I wore skirts and dresses and heels for you
I’d still run past you and the stars
Chasing the sun in order to burn out my lungs
So I don’t have to breathe you in
And remember the taste of your synapse vowels
I don’t know why I still talk about you in my insomniac spiels
Of wild type written pages and cups of black coffee
But for some reason I can’t get you out of the hollows of my jaw
You've ingrained yourself in the valleys of my veins
And refuse to be carved out
A mermaid stole my bonesI want to deteriorate into the ocean and feel the wavesA mermaid stole my bones in Free Verse More Like This
Break over my spine
Because I’ve learnt through trial and error
That holding my breath only makes my heart beat faster
And plain white pills do nothing to soothe
The anxiety sewn deep within my bones
The bitter aftertaste still lingers in the back of my throat
much like the feeling
of her breath in my lungs
Negative space boy ate the sun to taste its warmthLost boy shoulders bearing the weight of a thousand sunsNegative space boy ate the sun to taste its warmth in Free Verse More Like This
Fingertips grazing Icarus seams
Tracing empty palms and grainy pupils
As the taste of time hangs heavily on his knees
Jaws clenched to swallow wishes like alcohol
Boy with the lion’s breath and Kurt Cobain mind frames
Shapeless pupils swallowed up by infinity
He wears Dali like vintage misery
Draped in gauzy mystery like those old black and white movies
Where the dialogue meant more than it was supposed to
Kissing pebbles to feel the weight in his bones
He likes to stare up at the skies when the moon longs for the sun
Throwing pennies to the skies to see if they’d turn into stars
Because pennies spent on thoughts
Are just side effects of the kaleidoscope dreamers empty days
If you drink enough vodka it tastes like loveHe’d whisper sweet nothings to treesIf you drink enough vodka it tastes like love in Free Verse More Like This
Hoping the roots would remember his name
I watched him drop pieces of himself like bread crumbs
His lantern limbs quivering
I don’t think he ever really knew how lovely he was
And on a sunny day when the pavement was sweating
Out onto the roadside
Everyone else found out too
I don’t think I’ll ever forget him because he was like a dream catcher
So quiet and magical in the way his eyes turned green in the dark
And blue in the winter
Like he stored the world’s secrets behind his cuckoo spit heart
Girl with the circus limbs and seascape heartShe is the girl with hot air balloon limbsGirl with the circus limbs and seascape heart in Free Verse More Like This
Double pike statuettes with florescent tendons
Straining membranes and spines against crystalline waves
Girl with the Vatican pulse echoing in constellation veins
Star shine flares burnt into golden retinas
Sea shell pivots curled into her dragon breath lungs
Diamond bones white washed into impossible shapes
Contortionist with wild foxes in her hair
And a humming bird smile wound tightly around her jaw
Storm catcher strings tied to her wrists
Wild girl with the seraphim song
Knows how to splinter the sky to make it rain.
The hidden grave and underdogs vendettaPhosphorus regrets laying deep withinThe hidden grave and underdogs vendetta in Free Verse More Like This
The juncture of my hips
My glass lips turned blue as the clock struck midnight
And out from the car window I saw monsters
They sang lullabies to the bruised sky
I watched Jack and Jim jump over the moon
They never came back
Inside a silent room my weather like heart stoppedThe fever in my bonesInside a silent room my weather like heart stopped in Free Verse More Like This
Is restless and my breaths
are raspy and ragged
As my lungs fold in upon themselves
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat
You ask me how I am
The rock pool blue of your eyes
Glance at the sleeves in which I have buried my heart
Knuckles folded deep into my thighs
My fucking hands always give it away
I grasp for a rope and am met with blurring synapses
Trauma settling itself into my collar bones
I tell you how last night I was contemplating Greek mythology
While caught between a rock and a bottle of Paxil
I think I saw heaven hiding behind my alarm clock
It turned out to be the afterglow of street lights instead
A half visible mirage rots in broad daylightI think I fell down a holeA half visible mirage rots in broad daylight in Free Verse More Like This
That was six feet too deep
And I don’t know
If I want to climb out anymore
Because it’s so wonderful down here where the stars
No longer hold meaning
And voices can no longer be heard
Over the sound of decaying matter
Waiting to be recycled
The lost one's weepingListening attentively to the burnt out soundsThe lost one's weeping in Free Verse More Like This
Rusted wrists don’t know how to do anything
Other than to harm
Crack open the loaded guns
Clench a cigarette between breaths
I’d come to realize lungs are suffocating
So I cut them out with dandelion limbs
And tore out my eyes to avert my gaze
Aching for salvation I was greeted by empty pews
And broken hymn books scattered among the graves
Lost lamb prodigal son, there is no home to return to
Only ruins and car crash features lay
Where tombstones used to stand