lub-dubThere are lovers
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?
Muse:She corrodes star shapes intoMuse: in Free Verse More Like This
the hearts of sleeping poets,
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 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
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.
The rule of nines.I know more about half-moon palmsThe rule of nines. in Free Verse More Like This
than most know about
the kind that beg dandelion child,
I know about forged castle ribs & broken homes.
Myths that are half fact & imaginary friend
turned bogieman -
Fangs that tear clear through ice-bone hearts
like they are nothing but pretty paper
to be folded over, again & again & again
by the hands of quivering youths:
Icarus, the reincarnated
sky conqueror searching for warmth.
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?
Sun Child,I am freezingSun Child, in Free Verse More Like This
& I am hungry
for fever’s lips-
her inky fingers
a dry stomach.
My body is an ocean,
my limbs, but oars.
My tongue & teeth,
a life raft
keeping this madness
from sinking into blue.
Offering up 102 degrees
You would think
I had something to say.
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,
I'm talking myself in circles,I screamed,I'm talking myself in circles, in Free Verse More Like This
"There is nothing
wrong with me, not a damn
I wanted to believe
the big dipper on my arm
meant something more
than sun marks & kisses.
But, how can I trust words
that slip through my teeth
as easy as breathing
when this star
has only ever learned
how to f
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?
You'll Never DieHear me read it!You'll Never Die in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They say that if a writer falls in love with you then you never really die.
Instead your body is laid out in its funerial shrouds and moulds are made. Soft impressions of you to be pressed onto the blank faces of future loves.
Every time I write of taking comfort in a safe place in a storm, it will be your forearm. Every half-made smile will be on your lips, and every touch will be constructed from the residue beneath your fingernails.
When I metaphise of trees' blood, the leaves that give the energy so that a willow can provide shade for those in need, it will be your blood, it will be your light drenched kisses.
Every tear on every face will taste of the sweat that you put into keeping me happy. Every soaring song of love will be played through your windpipe, your trachea my instrument of choice.
For every time that a hero has the strength to walk on, I will use your feet. I will weld them to my own and walk a mile. Wal
40810If only you were soulless.40810 in Free Verse More Like This
If you were mindless, blind,
you and I could make a beautiful disaster.
The press would write of our brief affair;
they'd paint me (the woman in red) as pathetic.
They will not consider how I need your love
or how it pains me so deeply to throw myself at you.
I will not be remembered as a poet warrior.
I'll be the eternal survivor no more.
All who think of me will shake their bowed heads
and tearfully remark;
If only you were soulless.
If you were mindless, blind,
You wouldn't have been such a bloody disaster.
MaybeJust give me one dream that isn't see-through.Maybe in Free Verse More Like This
One substantiated claim to reality,
that I might hold onto life with.
Every quivering cell, mid-osmosis, begs you
for a shred of dignity with my tea.
Just one chance for something heavy,
something hard and room temperature. Real.
I don't want to look through my day dreams
and see someone else's face there.
I don't want to dream of those people
who may make, or break me, in the future tense.
I am tired of milky white and reflective black.
It is time for a life of colour and hope -
and not looking back to see if the past
matches up with the jigsaw map to the end game.
I want to be in the game, participating,
feeling, like I might make it there one day.
Just give me something, that I can hold onto;
something harder to see through than a whisper
of that voice in the back of my mind that says
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.
Framed[ I met him at the county fair.Framed in Free Verse More Like This
It wasn't like the songs predicted;
I had mud up my shins and he
had grass in his hair. What a mess. ]
[ I kissed him at my grandma's house.
He swallowed me and digested me;
I became a part of his simmering self.
We fused together, and I died. ]
[ I married him in a triangular church,
When I turned up in white he grinned
and whispered "what, no muddy knees?".
I put a leaf from my bouquet in his hair. ]
[ He kissed her at my grandma's house.
She had left it to us when she passed.
In the house where I'd learned about love
he taught me all I know about betrayal. ]
[ He left me at the train station.
I'd helped him with his leather suitcase,
struggling to get a grip of the situation
I gave a habitual kiss goodbye. Awkward. ]
[ He met another girl in group therapy.
They had a mad, passionate affair for a year
then, it expired. Shortly after, she did too.
He came to me, life turning to sand. ]
[ I forgave him at my birthday party
surrounded by friends wh
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,
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;
In absence of a poem.I chewed my pen to the nibIn absence of a poem. in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
and swallowed the ink thoughtlessly,
but no matter how long I thought,
I couldn't say what you mean to me.
I tried, I tried and I tested,
every word in my diminutive range,
but I screwed up more pieces of paper
and happened upon something strange;
I noticed words, which have served me,
for all of my formative years,
had no power to convey my gratitude
for the times that you dried my tears.
Whenever I doubt myself (often),
You're the one who tells me I'm wrong
You lift up my chin and remind me, wait
for the good things that will come along.
I can't find a way to express how
you are the saving grace in my head.
So words can't tell you how I love you -
I hope my silence will tell you instead.
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.
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
IcarusFledgling of theIcarus in Free Verse More Like This
(dawn is quiet
when the noose is
DebussyRestless under theDebussy in Free Verse More Like This
dreams quiver like
a long-lost muse.
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:
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.
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.
PeonyAlone, but forPeony in Free Verse More Like This
the red boots marching
cathedral heart: I
am beating echoes
in this city of the
stepping little girl's
dreams, I visit mama
in the night; but
flowers and wine won't
pay for her light.
Prelude Nocturne;Prelude in Free Verse More Like This
I conjure the moon
as dusk crests,
a wave across the sky
I am lovely and lonely in
the night, shadow-
shackled to the mountainside
and the moths
unfurl their hamsa-wings as
mama calls me in.
Con AmoreCicada violinists,Con Amore in Free Verse More Like This
and champagne flutes
an autumn concerto.
1,001 NightsIn a land of1,001 Nights in Free Verse More Like This
dreams and dust:
the curve of
a half-hazed sun,
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.
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."
WhisperI want to create an aromatic sea of jasminesWhisper in Free Verse More Like This
and stardust mountains of silver and —
Inkblot skeletons with paper mache
hearts, whose bones shall burn with one glance at the
sun; gravestones of blood diamonds and tears of thistles...
Harp strings ringing in grotesque harmony, screaming
for slender fingers to pluck and caress with devotion.
I want to write
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
pretty little poet fingersfabricated gods rest between thepretty little poet fingers in Free Verse More Like This
languid crevices of
her fingertips, scribbling profanities
all over her skin.
she's just mismatched bones
& blue bruises, telling of forbidden
love through archaic letters.
a tongue made for
wanderlust, & eyes made
for the stars,
even the devil fears her.
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.
Storybook EndingHer ink-stained lips have kissed too many a forgotten page,Storybook Ending in Free Verse More Like This
and phoenix down]
And her Prince Charming has yet to come,
shattering like stars]
So all she can do is gaze out her tower window,
concealing poisoned apples]
Clutch that corroded and timeworn blade,
tearing down castle walls]
Toss her childhood fables to the waltzing of the moon,
[even broken wings
wish for happily ever afters]
[once upon a time
there was a girl who became her own hero.]
Deux ex machinaMaybeDeux ex machina in Free Verse More Like This
you should start being more
honest with yourself.
You will never be a
a sunspot on the
moon; only fallen
heroes belong there,
and your life wasn't
pitiful enough to
cavort with the stars.
The gods love a
good tragedy, but only when
they're the ones
writing the playbill. It
isn't any fun when the actors
forget their lines and
(better draw the curtains
before the performance morphs
into a comedy)
You say "I'm sorry" but in
reality the only thing
you're apologizing for is
leaving before the show
ended and reading the
wrong horoscope that day.
or maybe it actually is.thisor maybe it actually is. in Free Verse More Like This
a love poem:
this is not about
me and how i hate
the way realism tastes.
this is about you.
this is about how you
are one too many shades arrogant,
how nearly every night you
try to forget that time has
left you behind. this is
about your laugh and the way it
whispers "i can't remember
what i was like before i
became this." and,
if i'm being honest, this is about
how i will never see your too
cocky for your own damn good grin that
makes me go weak in the knees.
this is about you
and how you're not real and how i wish
to god that i wasn't either.
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
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
Chasing Shadows of You...Chasing Shadows of You...Chasing Shadows of You... in Free Verse More Like This
No matter the years that pass me by,
It seems I am forever trapped.
For when it comes to deceiving myself,
I'm afraid I'm rather apt.
In the end the truth which I sought to avoid, is now knocking at my door...
A rabid rat that chews at me; one I can't ignore.
And though I might have grown this body, from the lonely years I've seen.
I'm afraid I can only chase the shadow, of my dearest Angeline.
- Chen Yuan Wen, 14th January 2012
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
The PoetThe Poet:The Poet in Free Verse More Like This
He smiles as he sees her sleeping
& gently covers her with a blanket.
He goes to the window and looks out
watching snow fall, ever so slowly...
He sees people in the streets,
Chatting, walking. Some happy,
Others sad. Hearts beating,
Hearts broken; some warm, some cold.
He looks back at her, as she stirs in bed.
A yawn from her, brings another smile to him:
"How cute," he chuckles as he strokes her head.
He runs his fingers through her hair and is content.
Yet, even if he is happy here, again -
He is drawn to that window and finds himself
Staring out at the street and watching;
Marveling at the disparity and wondering -
Isn't there something that I can do?
Isn't there a better way for us all?
He looks back at her, sleeping peacefully;
He thinks about the future and sighs.
He wants a better world for her,
One where she would always be safe,
But unfortunately, he has no power.
He is just one man with little to his name.
He picks up a piece of paper, one found lyin
Machine ManMachine Man:Machine Man in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It began with but a simple command, "to do as we are told".
Never to deviate from this path - never to nurture the soul.
We are told that we are given a purpose; "a part of something great!"
Yet why oh why am I so weary of that which is my fate?
Am I an error, a single anomaly, unable to feel intact?
Or am I missing some special attribute - a facet which I lack.
In a society made of fleshed machines; robots wearing skin,
Perhaps I'm simply seeking something, to fill this metal tin.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 16th November 2012
Child PreyChild Prey:Child Prey in Free Verse More Like This
He sat in his corner
Like a cold winter horror
The child that has turned out this way...
As a boy he was painted
By your lies he was tainted
Now in the devil's grip he'll stay...
Though you plead as you might
You've caused your own plight
I'm afraid that you die tonight...
It's a pitiful sight
When things are set right
For only in death can you see this light...
"Now then, move along sir, I've got other souls to welcome to hell..."
-Chen Yuan Wen, 14th April 2012
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
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
Immortal ButterflyImmortal Butterfly:Immortal Butterfly in Free Verse More Like This
I remember the Immortal Butterfly
Translucent wings that drank from the sky
Glittering dust would fall with every flap
Like warm tears dripped upon my tiny back
I would always chase this butterfly
as it makes its way across the sky
When I look I feel as though I can forget
The painful needles that twist into my back
I would always dream of this butterfly
and I wonder if I could ride it and fly in the sky
When I dream about it, I don't regret
Not being able to leave this tiny bed
Sometimes I can't see the butterfly
My vision turns grey like a stormy sky
I get scared during those times, because it makes me think
Of how everything could fade, before my eyes can blink
I remember when you first brought me this butterfly
You said you plucked it right out of the sky
Did you know it was the first thing that made me smile?
I'll tell you that story, so let me rest awhile...
I love...this little butterfly
It gave me dreams...of a beautiful sky
Although it was somethi
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
Before I Can Become a WriterDevelop insomnia. DevelopBefore I Can Become a Writer in Free Verse More Like This
problems with substance abuse,
nothing serious, but enough
that I can say “write drunk,
edit sober” and mean it.
Drink tea. Write about drinking
tea. Take up smoking, ignore
the thoughts about it being
a slower suicide. Write about
suicide. Don’t mean it.
Write about sunsets and
ink veins. Mean it.
Fall in love with someone
who will never love me back.
Lament. Write a million
crappy poems and two good
ones. Never show him.
Move on. Write a few more
bad poems. Fall in love with
someone perfect. Screw it up.
Fall in love with someone awful.
Call him perfect. Screw it up.
Cry. Cry for the inevitable,
the way my family never
loved me right, the way my
first kiss was regrettable
at best, the way my therapist
says my depression is a demon
taking over me. Cry for the
changeable, the way
I hate my body and my writing
and everything I live to be.
Use clichés. Live clichés,
breathe clichés, be
a cliché. Write a poem
zeroi sworezero in Free Verse More Like This
i would never number the poems
i wrote about myself because that
would be like ticking off the days
until my breakdown;
i was a moth, unapologetically throwing myself
at any gleam of hope; wasting my wings
on industrial promises
colors always felt much more
appropriate for the purple boiling
beneath my heart and the pallid
purposelessness of my head,
but i was born into a colorless world--
no one sees me behind the metallic scars
of my skin and iron grating of my voice against
the grain; no one sees me as more than
gray regret or monochrome mistakes,
no one sees me but
all i ever wanted was for a
fallen god with feathered heels
to believe in me: to pray upon
the monuments i built for
broken dreams and to baptize me
in his tainted tears,
i just want him to be real. more
than anything, i want to be real, i want
to be more than an imaginary friend
to various mental limitations; i want
to trade my liquid skin [evaporating]
for a chance to be
i am a moth and you are the lighthouse
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
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
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
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.
gossamer loveyou will love a womangossamer love in Free Verse More Like This
who uses the word
too often. she will
diagnose dead artists' descents
into madness and laugh
too loudly at jokes
no one understands.
she will braid crowns of
flowers, she will write poems
in constellations, she will
try to walk like a dancer so
no one can hear her
leave. she will be
an ice sculpture, and when
she cries, you'll convince yourself
she's melting, she loves you, you've
changed her, you've
changed; she will wear you
like a comma, like
an incomplete thought,
in her story, and
she will leave you wondering
the making of a clichewe are the ones they writethe making of a cliche in Free Verse More Like This
pseudo-teenage erotic thrillers for,
about adventure and love and
determination we will never
know. this is
our summer romance on the rocks,
dry and lonely. your ribcage is
an empty beach on a stony morning
[vacant, gritty]; a hideaway for
hopeless dreamers like me.
you moved here a few years back
to get away from your shadow,
but the sun never sets and
I’m beginning to think
maybe this is just another coffeehouse story,
and we are the monotone plot-movers
they never gave a name.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Six lessons on love.One. Sometimes love will move so slowlySix lessons on love. in Free Verse More Like This
you will stop waiting for its arrival. You will become an
open bar and you will be drained and drained until one
day you open the door to let last night out and love has
left a calling card on the doormat.
Be patient. Let love come to you piece by piece
until you are full to the brim with it.
Two. Some days it will feel
like love has come for you with a wildfire
at its heels. Let it come; you were
meant to burn brighter than any sun or
star we care to name.
Three. Growing back after burning down
is a sign to leave old loves behind. Let them
go kindly. Wrap them up in tissue paper and
ribbon and give them a kiss goodbye. Be gentle but
Do not use maybe. Do not look back.
Four. Love can hurt and you will let it
because you are in love. It will spit venom and
throw fists until you stand up and throw
Be strong, letting love go is not
Five. Love will sometimes be too much.
It will let y
You lo(i)ved inside my chest.We made loveYou lo(i)ved inside my chest. in Free Verse More Like This
(once, twice, and
I stopped counting the
in the middle of winter
and pretended neither of us were
casualties when we collided,
a heart-on collision,
I keep the room you rented
from me empty,
I don't think about you anymore,
but I don't think about you
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
i am tired of being told i will be okaysee,i am tired of being told i will be okay in Free Verse More Like This
that's the thing
all anyone ever
tells you is that
it's going to be
(you are telling me
that you are leaving.)
they don't tell
you what to do with
the pressure in
your chest on
the dark days,
or how to
uncurl your fists
from your hair
or your nails
from your skin.
(you are telling me
that you don't know if
you are coming back.)
maybe i don't want
maybe i'm tired of
only ever being
(i am building walls
again and you are prying
my fingers from my hair.)
i want more than this,
i deserve a word so full of
hope and safety that it
weighs my tongue down
give me a mouth full
of flowers and remove 'okay'
from your vocabulary.
i need more than this.
Be gentle, love.Be gentle,Be gentle, love. in Free Verse More Like This
my body is too heavy
hollowed out and
filled back up
Be gentle, love.
Be gentle and
let me lay here,
still and silent,
until my emptiness
As luck would have it.I have visited theAs luck would have it. in Free Verse More Like This
halls of the mental wards
three times in this
The first time
I was driven through.
with two left feet
and a thirst for
its own blood.
The second time
I was carried through.
Cradled and cold,
a child with wax wings.
I'd flown too close
to the sun.
The third time
was by my own hand.
I was tired.
I had had enough.
I was ready to be
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.
calamity.the poor boy got a lecture from deaths secretarycalamity. in Free Verse More Like This
"deaths busy enough as it is without walk ins"
"but it was urgent," he stutters.
"it couldn't wait, it was now or never"
he was simply told
"take a number, and wait over there with the rest
who 'couldn't wait' "
by association.don't shoot the messengerby association. in Free Verse More Like This
she told herself
but her aim was unsteady
and the wind blew her off target
they were all rotten anyway.
may.i lost track of how many daysmay. in Free Verse More Like This
you were wallowing around rock bottom
i just counted how many shots of espresso
it took me putting in your cup each morning
to make you human again.
nervous ticki. i curse you some nights, kicking the soil around your grave and daring younervous tick in Free Verse More Like This
double fucking daring you to be alive somehow
ii. i heard you at my grave. my god your face has lengthened, your jaw was so slack and wide and i nearly lost it
lost it like you clearly already have.
i want to tell you i do. i'm alive, in most ways at least
iii. your mail still rattles my door of a morning hiding in with mine like it can sneak past me
past my dulled senses and weakened barrier.
everything is numb.
vi. a shadow. thats all that i am now, friend.
i have tried dialing numbers or scrawling words but they don't come.
imagine that, me, out of words.
i am not myself anymore
v. solitude will be the death of me.
i'd swear to god, but you've ruined that too
you logical bastard.
apart.and I was sitting in the gutterapart. in Free Verse More Like This
after trying for the fourth night in a row
to drown you along with
all my other ghosts
and the church
was across the street
cross lit up high in the sky
and it felt
like the complete
opposite of salvation.
it was 4am
and with the neon blue
shining in my eye line
i realised i was alone
i was utterly alone
in the saddest way possible.
001 i am a whirlwind of001 in Free Verse More Like This
an aching heart
a regret that could
sedativesi imagined sadness's physical form to be a golf ball sized lump in your throatsedatives in Free Verse More Like This
that makes words feel stretched and the air taste funny and your mouth dry
from trying to swallow it a hundred times a day
unlovenot all self harm comesunlove in Free Verse More Like This
in the obvious form of lines up arms or down thighs
of throwing up insides and self worth
into toilet bowls with the sounds
that make you wonder how you're not dead.
she picked at her lips constantly
cracking and splitting
peeling and bleeding
more than expected
and it bled
more than ever anticipated
even after she's been doing it all day
she drank her tea that was still steaming
still made her hands flinch from the
far too hot porceline
but she parted lips
and felt it force it way down
burning and splitting
her lips and throat
like molten in her
ash filled stomach
pulling on skin
making underneath it
her blood like water colour
exploding and spreading
and mixing over
thighs and stomachs
no-one thinks to notice
039i will write about you until i run out of039 in Free Verse More Like This
words in my blood
or breath in my lungs.
whichever comes first.
save yourself.i have been crying almost uncontrollably for several days now, and i am torn between love for everything you'vesave yourself. in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
done and hate for the single thing you did. its not like i never saw this coming, i did. but fuck. nothing could ever have
prepared me for this. prepared my chest to be so utterly crushed in an instant. all of a sudden everything was swallowed up
by overwhelming sadness and i wanted so badly to blame you for everything, and just sink into nothingness, or drown it in a
few dozen bottles of anything i could get my hands on.
if you've given up, well so have i.
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.
broken poetry mani want to write you in the mudbroken poetry man in Scraps More Like This
with broken fingers
the earth is distrusted and
but it is brown and it is there
which is more than i can say for you,
broken poetry man
it's the rusted piping
and the invisible dirigibles
haunting the air like
the ghosts of what we will never be
the gate you tried fixing still creaks
but i feel the salt in the air
so loudly on my skin
we must be by the sea
and we both know we're not
the squares of my fingernails
are filters and i am bleeding chlorine
the sky is white
and the sinks are draining
i consider you over my tea
the steam clouds my judgement
so don't worry, i still love you best
oh, don't i, broken poetry man?
lovedrunkshe looks at me, all big doe eyes and cupid-bow lips, tells me, now i'm not trying to say i'm about to kill myself, but i'm about to kill myself.lovedrunk in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
the traffic light is glass. not that it's reflective, not that it's bright, but that it's so slow, a liquid, moving like a year. it's also what my blood has become with these words.
we're in my car but i'm scared. i know i'm the one behind the wheel, but i don't know what she's got in her purse. i don't know her name but i do know she's drunk. so am i. i know we shouldn't be driving but i couldn't leave such sad eyes at a bar. i guess, if i'm being entirely honest, i also couldn't leave such a beautiful body at a bar, either. especially if some guy with worse intentions than i couldn't pass her up.
talk to me, i say. i don't glance up from the road because i'm scared of what i'll see, and what i won't.
you're not my fucking therapist, she tells me. i know she's wearing red lipstick and i imagine it turns to venom with those words.
verilygod shakes the earthverily in Free Verse More Like This
to loosen the leaves from his trees,
the love pressed over his eyelids
leave fingerprints in his sleep.
he will not see the moon
changing its gravitational pull
to lift the corners of his
lips, the sparrows of spring,
into a curled smile,
nor the shoulders of every man,
woman, and child sag with every
word he does not speak.
his bench grows cold in the
february air, lonely and counting
its splinters as it waits for his return.
no river shifts direction
to please him, to clean him of his sins
and sing to him from the sky.
the biggest mountain of soul
won't call himself beautiful,
he will say he is a mash up
of cocaine, weed, and schizophrenia
and does not understand
that i love him.
a letter to ethanyou're fifteen minutes away.a letter to ethan in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
that's a quarter of an hour, that's ten miles, that's space enough that i never have to see you again.
but still i feel my heart beating like a rabbit's foot against my rib.
i'm a girl still in denial
of being a woman with
breasts and hips and a womb.
i'm a child with my heart and i will surrender it foolishly
to the first boy to give me roses and push them into my hair.
i don't know how to love,
the way i don't know how how to stop.
but let me tell you this- it happens.
they both do.
i loved your fragile brown eyes like i'd never seen a warmer fire.
i sank my bones like an anchor to your earthly vessel and called it home.
i staggered home drunk every weekend we were together
by word only.
and i felt myself falling apart when i sighed
with sleepy repetition as we exhausted the same jokes as ever,
just a million miles different.
my mind drifted but i loved you.
the feathered finches in my chest were beat
the first poem i wrote since i told you i love youthe star-soaked stainsthe first poem i wrote since i told you i love you in Free Verse More Like This
that covered our nudity
gives way at last
to a tequila sunrise,
so low in the sky;
it's still bright enough
to sting my eyes,
and yet i can't bring myself
to hate it.
your body next to mine,
every effort is made
to move a heavy limb
because any space
is space i don't want.
i am sometimes humbled
by my feelings,
the way they swell
in my throat
just how the ocean
tastes the shore.
there is always something new
to find hidden in my heart,
summoned by my words,
or the salt of your skin
wearing like wind on shale
i don't think i can ever tell you
i love you enough.
if i could, i would never get dressed
so that you could never be sad-
a rewind every time
my clothes touch the floor,
never anything but nude, not naked
because with you i can be bare
i can let you see my entirety
and leave my arms uncrossed,
i can let you in
and not fear that you will break me,
or force my inner things out.
i can love you with open arms
and my lip
soviet love songbreath like a sliver of sky,soviet love song in Free Verse More Like This
bones to glitter,
constellations of bodies,
night darkness and dreams --
i want this like an explosion.
it's called i love you forever;
it's called i feel like death itself.
we look forward to the fireworks
as they scream until they burst,
a bright ending to their lives,
a shower of shimmering ash
all that's left of their bodies
into grassed graveyards.
i want everything
to remind you of me --
every girl you kiss
to taste like me
beneath your lips;
the slips of tongue
brushing over my teeth,
the storm clouds like
the way i cried.
i love you but it is time to wake up.
i love you like my hair is falling out.
it is cancerous and i love you.
it is radioactive and i love you.
you are poison and i love you.
if my heart could talklight plays off the curvesif my heart could talk in Free Verse More Like This
of your skin,
the salience of your lips,
releasing prayer like birds;
the silence of your jaw,
a midnight orchestra
under heavy streetlights;
and the bone of your chin,
constellations like the
way the world turns.
it must be
the year of the rose,
and pink like clouds
pressing your fragile skin
between pages of
a beloved anthology
christmas is not only in decemberyou sleep through so much sunchristmas is not only in december in Free Verse More Like This
that it is the moon
who rises for you.
born in the russian springtime
with cyrillic letters on your tongue,
you are endless.
you are a ring,
curved to infinity
your hands belong in mine,
or else on my hips.
curve me into the shape
of an s,
narrow me in the centre
to give room to your arms-
they belong around me.
you are a gift;
when i fall asleep
on the opposite edge of the bed from you
and wake curled to your chest,
it is christmas every time.
adulthoodwhen you interact with other grown-ups,adulthood in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
there are things you need to remember.
i am learning the fine art of Adult Small Talk-
banter for banter's sake and smiles and short, impersonal anecdotes
because you can't risk letting anyone in,
god forbid someone actually gets close.
you keep your friends in your stomach and swallow them at night to keep them close
and put your cheery face on for medical professionals even when your throat is too swollen
to drink down those friends.
those friends, you know they'll never let you down.
you see your human companions on lunch breaks and weekend days.
at night, young adults have sex and fall asleep together;
at night, older adults complain of headaches and sleep on opposite sides of the bed.
your human friends don't make you feel as good
as your other friends make you feel.
they ask about your life and how you're doing,
ask if you're still in therapy and if you're eating,
and god forbid you let them in.
they're your human friends but they don't get
i'm not an artistwe do not belong in boxesi'm not an artist in Free Verse More Like This
and bags and books or
and we do not sit contently
in wordsworth and shakespeare
and blake, burns, and brownings
or in the cold stiff bones
of raleigh's of long ago;
detect, and re-select
a virus--a disease,
a germ in every verse and line;
the first signs of
foolish waitings under
bridges and scolding parents
and nothing to signify at all
we are the blood of nations
and the heart of men
and the love of every
rhetorist and sentimist
we dance through the ballrooms of
the age and chat with
we shake hands with heros
and the homeless, dirty
type that gum over 'hello's
we are and aren't and will be
silly verse and
naive philosophers and sweet oxymorons
waving hello from the shore;
forever onward and never ending
like the stars in an
two minutes at the bottom of the oceani open my eyes and the room is underwatertwo minutes at the bottom of the ocean in Free Verse More Like This
a refraction of light--
tail flicked & then the sediment settles
like dysentery, this narcoleptic soul
to pulse, spin
into a paralysis of the
this is the pressure that creaks in my bones:
this is the space between my mouth and my mind
& the few centimeters between my ears are pulsing
with the things I cannot get to my hands
but my head is not a fucking ocean:
it's a flaw in chemistry
dead girls don't write poetrydear someone,dead girls don't write poetry in Free Verse More Like This
there are no funerals
for the flesh
for the mind
no curtains & no cremations
for all our pretty words
you can't save every patient
a corpse would warm your bed
the long way hometoday i threw half mythe long way home in Free Verse More Like This
and waited for 25'000
people like you
jump off roofs and
stick their heads
(even when you put them
life's already hard enough
without trying to
what all your curtains
i am guilty
of forgetting about
the kettle boils
like my head on a pillow
you will never
see them again
or the fears that wonder
because i have toimpaledbecause i have to in Free Verse More Like This
& wreaking havoc on these
more than endorphins &
planes out of control
pretending that if
instilled in bedsheets
I do not like you poetsI do not like you poetsI do not like you poets in Free Verse More Like This
breathing into my sorry head
like the air hasn't been wasted a half-a-million times
folding up my lungs
to place them neatly into a wastebasket
how can you make me stop hurting
& then just leave me
a limp lettuce leaf
on the backside of some dirty napkin verse
I am not the jealous type
but I'm going to call up Melpomene & ask her where she's been
send her drunk texts
because I'm too tired of filling up my skull
with cicada skins instead of led
while you make it all too easy
to sleep through a heartattack or two
my pygmalion, my god, my thing of legends
when you were being taught the siren's song
was I writing myself a migraine?
our walls are too thinsitting togetherour walls are too thin in Free Verse More Like This
you can hear my heart hitting
against my chest like a broom to the ceiling
& the neighbor upstairs
begins to scream
the wind breaks a hole in my skull
you can hear my thoughts:
words whispered in paper rooms
& you have a cup to my ear
i am 16 now
but sometimes we forget that
we are not teapots or socks in the wastebasket
& the holes in our heads are not signs of well-worn affection
you should be home by nowlast tuesday the house took my hand & said,you should be home by now in Free Verse More Like This
it's more of a hurricane than a fire
since he broke in & burned
but sometimes I see her with a lighter
& she finishes what he didn't do
(I think she's afraid
of settling in,
but last tuesday I realized that she kept the lights on
to frighten away the bridges & the people
so no one will come inside
& smash the teacups, steal the pipes
because since he burnt her beds out
no one lives there anymore
a ratio of freckles to starsvirginia,a ratio of freckles to stars in Free Verse More Like This
you are floating away in
of sunlight & marrow bones
i want to know
had vertigo then--
a certain horse sadness
i remember how you
would swallow the stars:
watch them glow through your cheeks
(no one told you
what they thought of light & dying
of being a constellation
drawn across your face)
you are the milky way:
a firefly drowning
but i will trail you--
hold your coat above the water
exploding a million miles away
with a number for a name)
feed the masses (starve the girl)'eatfeed the masses (starve the girl) in Free Verse More Like This
there are starving
children in africa'
'so being fat will help
give the dog some bones
that's all she has
zero-zero and your
tasted like cold toast
(rather bitter, really)
she told her
to porcelin & water
(she keeps the
to drown out the noise)
stretch your fingers around
& the heater goes on
(the coats are good
no one can see the
but she's chilled to the
& everyone sees
'i'll never be beautiful'