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?
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.
Muse:She corrodes star shapes intoMuse: in Free Verse More Like This
the hearts of sleeping poets,
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?
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.
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
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,
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.
NaPoWriMo: Day 2sometimes,NaPoWriMo: Day 2 in Free Verse More Like This
i have this
sudden urge to cut
most of the time,
i just wish I were anything
other than me.
a rocket ship, a bird-
the sweet flavored smoke
I promised my girlfriend
these briar patch lungs
would not in.hale.
i have fallen in love
with the strangest of things-
eyes that intimidate
the way my scars
play hide and seek
with her hands. -
the love letters
that start and end
pressed against limbs.
i make promises
i know i can not keep.
but if i were a liar
i would say i was tired
of writing to the stars.
9729 kilometers away, to be exact.i have these bones like flowers-9729 kilometers away, to be exact. in Free Verse More Like This
fragile and finely plucked,
these lily stargazers
are kissing ocean beds,
making love to sirens
for a taste of her
i want to tape maps to my limbs-
throw caution to the wind
as i gather up
every love letter receipt,
from every false attempt
i ever wrote her
& forget for just a moment
that even still
she does not love me.
DebussyRestless under theDebussy in Free Verse More Like This
dreams quiver like
a long-lost muse.
IcarusFledgling of theIcarus in Free Verse More Like This
(dawn is quiet
when the noose is
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.
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.
1,001 NightsIn a land of1,001 Nights in Free Verse More Like This
dreams and dust:
the curve of
a half-hazed sun,
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.
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:
NymphTranslucent asNymph in Free Verse More Like This
a dragonfly wing—
her hair fans
in the water, and
the sun bleeds.
The WindblownLike a sparrow, you perch; toes curled and brown eyes wide, arms tinted blue with cold. In my haste to reach you I trip upon your shoes, tiny little things still drizzle-damp and abandoned at the door.The Windblown in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"What are you doing?!"
Your legs stretch for summers as you stand, dress billowing from you like a white flag of surrender.
"Ava, come inside. Come inside. Please."
You stare past my outstretched hands and step away—a sparrow, caught in a downdraft.
Sky EyesDesert hands tell talesSky Eyes in Free Verse More Like This
of a hundred arid summers, but
you are no longer as cloudless as they
(there is a storm
creeping through blue, blue veins).
But tell the sky to keep her sorrow,
that grey cascade blurring against
eyelids and horizons;
and suppress her misbegotten
droplets, seeping into the sodden
for there is still sun in your sky eyes.
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
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
The Bone CollectorSometimes my breath catches in my throatThe Bone Collector in Free Verse More Like This
and the very stillness of an earth going
a thousand and three miles per hour
gets lodged there.
Sometimes these simple exchanges
leave me breathless, croaking on dust:
the unfiltered pigments of other people's skin
and blood and ash
but with my tarred lungs and itchy eyes
I sit and sift through charcoaled remains,
alphabetising them from c to c. I am lost
in a world charred brazen.
Many things I have loved have turned to ash.
Many people. I was naive enough to think
that there was some perfect nutritional truth
that could outlast hell-fire.
I claw through a world turned ashen
and know those dead embers collect in my cells
They are the harbingers of a truth
I do not want.
The skittish earth throws its skirts about again
to unsettle us all, and I am unsettled
Alone in the dirt, organising piles of bone-dust
he did not love, at all.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
handle with carethere are 206 bones in thehandle with care in Free Verse More Like This
human body. it only takes one good
squeeze and your neck can snap as
easily as a twig.
once, when i was at the grocery
store, i came across a crate of
peaches. they were on sale because
every single one was bruised and it
made me think, "we're all just pieces of fruit
left to rot. as soon as we've been dropped on the
floor, no one wants to help us back up."
i've forgotten how to think in poetics.
three months ago i would have
compared people to roses. pretty little petals
that can be crushed with just
one little pinch and thorny stems that
whisper "don't touch me."
i think we're more like
together like suffocating sardines in tiny
wooden boxes decorated with red
paint announcing across the sides
"danger: this side up."
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.]
Do not be ashamed of who you are.At one point in your life,Do not be ashamed of who you are. in Free Verse More Like This
you didn't mind being a girl.
It was only after you met
her that you thought, "Maybe
this isn't the right fit." Because,
if you're being honest, she
deserves a knight in shining armor.
You are not Atlas, my dear.
Your shoulders do not
merit a world of troubles,
but instead love-lined clouds
that whisper, "Do not be
ashamed of who you are."
A woman can be a
champion whose heart burns
with more gold than a king's
castle holds. Perhaps if
you had more faith,
you might find that's just what
-My mind- in Free Verse More Like This
s h u t u p.
Too many "fuck you's"
that morph into
drip off this
Try and make it better. Fail. Try again. Break down.
So many faults
that seem to just
turn me into someone
Look into the mirror. See nothing but a clone. Fabrication. No longer me.
I stare and want
to break that glass
so that I can also
b r e a k.
Try and say something. Turns into nothing but rage. Take it out on you.
This shattered heart
only wants to make it
and become one again.
"I want to hate you."
"But I can't."
"So I hate me instead."
"But why won't this stop?"
"Why can't you make it stop?"
"...it's not my fault."
Say what you want to say. Honest brutality.
"H E L P M E"
It's time for me to
s h u t u p.
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
Poetic Practice - Love Like AshPoetic Practice - Love Like Ash:Poetic Practice - Love Like Ash in Free Verse More Like This
Yes sir, he is clinging to insanity.
He remembers all the things he said, profanity.
Bare the shame on his naked old humanity.
He is the doll claiming love for his vanity-
When he woke up, desire!
He made a move like fire.
His whispers; a liar,
His heart snaps, like wire!
But what are you thinking of this man as I make him out?
Is it an image or a type that you seem to tout.
was it all his fault with no one else to blame,
Or were there cracks in the story that they both will claim-
Spit that and live that,
Hate when you love that!
You rip that and tear that,
Scream like you know that!
Stop for a moment and just listen to this silent cry,
Time has stopped now for both of us to say goodbye.
Both turning on these clocks, living lies that have stopped;
And when the love turns to ash, let the gloves be dropped...
- Chen Yuan Wen, 17th January 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
nakedness and heavy lungsand now, I’m defined by thenakedness and heavy lungs in Free Verse More Like This
confines of my body, the faults
I carry like misdemeanors against
the ones who translate me in
lines and curves and scars that read
look, but don’t touch. now, I’m
busy catching up in revolutions
around the sun and laps within
the indignity of my own mind;
swallowing travesties and memories alike—
the sun in your voice, brightening
me inside as I wake up and breathe
like an eclipsing star, my bones clanking
together like wind-chimes, my legs
giving out like ghost people
who’ve given up. this is beautiful, this
stripping of layers upon layers
of reality and pretending
I’m not ashamed to stand naked and
quivering before those who judge me
in impersonal numbers and figures
as though I were irrelevant, that I’m not
holding my breath in hopes I will
float away like a balloon, beyond
human comprehension, light and fading
like the handwritten notes and promises
scrawled across every inch of me,
just so I could be forgotten
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
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
things I learned at 11 am while I was half-asleepithings I learned at 11 am while I was half-asleep in Free Verse More Like This
I’m spending most of my time
not crying, and I’m sorry,
but I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone
as much as aspirin, or lullabies,
or the cheap wine sold for two dollars a bottle,
or overly-apologetic letters bending over backwards
to make a point of themselves, or the pink petals
blooming on my wrists like flesh and blood miracles,
or the songs named after women
things may not change,
but you will have to.
I am most alone
surrounded by people
and the buzzing in my head of words
that should have lost their meaning
back when I discovered
they never meant anything
Dedications are only relevant
to people who appreciate shitty poetry,
or you. Insanity is writing the same thing
over and over and expecting it not
to sound clichéd.
and as much as anyone will swear otherwise,
I am a statistic. A number, an example,
a case study in the manipulation of
narcissism and moving on
on unlearning how to diethe space between intention andon unlearning how to die in Free Verse More Like This
inaction has been redefined. they say
the first step to sadness is
to be happy. the second step
is learning loss. they tell us
depression is an abundance of emotions
but everyone here is a balloon
deflated with time, a sun
dimming as years eat away years
and everything changes but
nothing's really different at all.
we drowned before we even saw
the sea, dreaming of that cemetery
a million miles deep; and still,
I cry for the people worth forgetting:
the girl who couldn't take enough
sleeping pills to live her dreams,
the boy so doped out on an inability
to live that he told us about his trips
to Jupiter and back, and
expected us to believe him. the girl
with a ghost smile named after the prayer
she was born to forget, the boy
who slept like an angel and cried like
a fallen, and me, me
choking on gravity and the ever-growing
weight of my own fucking inadequacy
tied tightly around my neck like a noose
not quite designed properly, right,
because I survived.
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
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.
For you, no more.I have spentFor you, no more. in Free Verse More Like This
most of my life holding my breath
above the waves,
just in case
they break me down
And I have spent
most of my life drowning in love
for hearts too full to home me,
propping myself up with cardboard
promises and sorry tarpaulins.
And I have spent
most of my life living for other
people; a doormat for woes and
loneliness; a spare body in their
bed at night.
I say no more.
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
A(nother) letter to myself.You have grown.A(nother) letter to myself. in Free Verse More Like This
You are not ten years
old and silent.
You've found the words
and you have made them
your sword and your shield,
your battering ram against
the walls you built when you
were too afraid to live.
And I know that some days
you feel like letting go,
That you wonder if it might
feel like flying if you spread your arms
and close your eyes and pretend you
aren't doing this to die.
You have stood on the edges
of rooftops and bridges
(To follow her, I know,
but you were not born to go this way.)
and you have climbed back down.
You will make it, my girl,
by the skin of your teeth.
And when you get here,
I will have built a life out of
the ashes of yours.
You will be born into me,
and I am strong enough for both of us.
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.
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
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
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.
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.stars in Free Verse More Like This
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
cartographyyou mapped out every inch of my being & whispered:cartography in Free Verse More Like This
when i leave you, i want the next set of hands
to know everywhere i've been.
i still fall asleep with my body curved into
the shapes your fingertips trailed across my skin.
there are paths of stars stained into my shoulders
and the constellations you crafted are still nameless.
i tingle at the ghost of your touch,
i am tangled in the web of worries
you wove into my lion's mane.
you are a saber-toothed regret,
a raindrop in the ocean of my imagination.
forgetting you is the hardest thing i've never done.
i will ache for you always.
stardusti keep myself covered most days.stardust in Free Verse More Like This
my waist is a melancholy echo of
the way he touched me 2 summers ago.
the way my right shoulder leans slightly lower
than my left is evidence of far too many misdemeanors.
the cracks decorating my ribcage are memories
of a brisk december morning when my pride
clawed its way out before i was ready.
i am not old; just soulful with the kind of passion
that flickers like the candles i light in lieu of all my
selfish prayers that i gave up expecting answers to.
all i need is someone who is willing to
open up my scars & sprinkle them with
stardust until they disappear.
palm readingsi exist in the city limits because i want the wind to make me frail.palm readings in Free Verse More Like This
fragile like a ghost,
a sorry sin i promise to abstain but inevitably commit.
my bus fare is a kick down memory lane.
i walk instead.
he told me i spun words that dissolved on the tongue
before he even had the chance to taste them.
he called me sugar like a midday ritual,
dressed me in compliments more fit for kings than commoners.
i turned complacent; comforted by new beginnings
and frightened by sudden endings.
my mother never taught me how to avoid heartache.
she only told me that my heart was a gold mine
and i should never let fake jewelry lay over it.
once, out of spite, i showed her my palms and asked what she saw.
she told me that in this world full of practice, there was no time for games.
when i showed him, he said that i am overworked.
now, it is the purgatory between autumn and winter that sinks my guts.
the waiting room lacks couches and candle scents.
the smiles are either plastic or
blood typethere is something haunting about the way blood flows.blood type in Free Verse More Like This
just think - all that crimson coursing through you,
scribing calligraphy inside your gut.
through your arms, through your heart.
it paints promises across the canvas of your innards, saying:
i promise to take time, to give you as much as you need.
i promise to stay warm even when chills tickle your spinal cord.
when blades threaten to sharpen themselves like buffers across your skin,
i will flow slowly, giving them a chance to see the light in your bones.
i promise to stay powerful.
i promise to stay abundant.
i promise to stay holy.
i will weave through your veins,
craft myself into a villanelle to savor your breath,
so that if you ever decide to drain me by your own 2 hands,
you can read my words and know that you are not worthless.
04. unfortunate conflict of intereststhe night you negated passion,04. unfortunate conflict of interests in Free Verse More Like This
the stars died out and the tinted atmosphere
you snickered into the creases of my elbows
and i swore to hold you in them
until you pieced yourself back together;
found your misplaced nametags and little-boy dreams,
remembered how to creep your spine
along the edge of the bed you share with loneliness.
september storms knocked both of us over
like broken convictions, but we are still dancing
to the rhythm of these empty promises.
1, 2, to the right.
1, 2, side-step commitment.
1, 2, to the left.
1, 2, you left.
and just like that, i lost track of movement;
traded split-soles for a never-ending soul-search,
and i am more lost than i have ever been.
my teeth, they lost my mouth again.
fell out 1 by 1, couldn't tolerate the lies i spat.
my tongue wouldn't sit still - bit down on it with
2 chapped lips that always seem to be dry in this fall wind.
ashthe first time i looked into your eyesash in Free Verse More Like This
was one year after meeting you.
my toes barely dipped into the pond
of blue before i realized there wasn't
much to swim to.
i fooled myself long ago into thinking that
if i was ever brave enough, i could plunge
into your endless depths and bathe in purity.
soak up your little-boy grins and weave laughter
with you, creating the most infinite soundtrack.
but when our irises finally connected,
i felt the make-believe ropes i had looped
through your fingers snap like convictions
too heavy to maintain.
it was the first time in a while
that i had a name for the reason
i was broken.
i shook in a rhythm so violent
our bones couldn't dance to it.
instead, they cracked in half
and crumbled to ash; remains
of what we never were.
boys who love their grandmothersnever fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.boys who love their grandmothers in Free Verse More Like This
he will be too gentle with your lips,
too sincere when he whispers blessings into your ears
pleading that he doesn't deserve you.
his tongue will not slither between your teeth.
instead, the heat of his mouth will melt your scar tissue
until there is no trace of your travels.
never fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.
he knows patience.
you will try to convince him
that it is one of the many virtues
you don't yet possess,
but he will dig through the flesh in your ribcage
until he finds it lodged beneath everything
you're too scared to confess.
he will teach you forgiveness, remind you that you are not a mistake.
he will wipe the trails of tears that always seem to decorate your cheeks
and replace them with rose petals, saying that he chose the color red
to match the passion he knows flows through your veins.
never fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.
he will trace the freckles on your skin
forest firesmy signature scrawled across allforest fires in Free Verse More Like This
of your sentences like a stain of apologies:
i'm sorry for anchoring you to my hip
like a one-sided promise, like a flood of insincerity.
i'm sorry for collecting you like a well of wishes,
for whispering you into every crack in these walls.
i do not have the depth to tether our limbs
with the tautness of our smiles, but i will
balance you on the edges of my knees until
you slip away.
i have been kneeling with my arms outstretched
but the divinity of your touch
never graced my expectant stance.
our bones built forest fires together,
but it was always my tears putting them out.
146 poundsmy mother tells me that i should be ashamed146 pounds in Free Verse More Like This
for dipping my baby carrots in salad dressing,
that my food doesn't need the salt i sprinkle on it.
my afternoon tea doesn't need any sugar, skip
the lemonade and drink the water instead.
do you really need that?
her sharp tone echoes like military orders in the face of combat.
she tells me that at my age, her jean size was half of mine
and i resist the urge to tell her that maybe that means she
had half the character i do.
shopping with her, she butts heads with a body-image complex,
telling me to quit fooling myself and pick the next size up.
i shock her time and time again when i cram my corners into
every article of clothing i selected on my own.
how will you ever get married?
& i wish i could tell her how boys have seen me naked
in the emotional sense of the word, how they have found
truth and honor ready to burst from my so-called "fat rolls."
she will never know that i am a garden with an unlocked gate
and that each o
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.
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' "
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.
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
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.
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
001 i am a whirlwind of001 in Free Verse More Like This
an aching heart
a regret that could
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.
almost joseph.joseph was the boy with flower-pressed lips the colour of burnt wine and childhood stitches mixed with just the slightest dash of grey, for memory. i see him often, in the small parts i have left, patched together into a shadow of what - who - he really was.almost joseph. in Free Verse More Like This
i remember thinking that the ridges along his lips must have held some chemical, enticing yet silently deadly - just enough to blur my vision and make my knees weak. i think now it was a poison, because even the memory of it is making my insides ache.
joseph was - is - my almost boy.
water-colour emotionsyou can't buy happiness, but you can buy tea, and thats kind of the same thing. i've been told that i have a knot inside my chest,water-colour emotions in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
like those of the inside of a tree truck, eternally circling and looping. thats kind of how it feels, heavy and unstoppable.
if i have a tree inside me, then maybe that could explain the shaking, its just the westerly winter winds blowing and
making my far too fragile limbs bend but never break. i soak the tea leaves into the roots that are deep within my
fleshy heart and hope the capillaries will carry to wherever the aches are most ingrained and unnatural.
mother told me three winters ago that she could read the leaves and tell me how my skin was going to grow
and how my head was going to think six summers from now. she told me that my precious head was ever tired
over nothing and my chests storm will ease after one final hurricane, that despite its best efforts will
not destroy me, simply leave my skin a little tougher and my m
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.
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.
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.
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
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
playing godi am the last paramedic you want to respond to your call.playing god in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
by no means am i inept at my job- i am, in fact, the best in my precinct. my problem is sometimes i think i'm god.
the people who are drains on society - the welfare collectors, the addicts, the elderly, the people who wronged me in high school or remind me of the people who wronged me in high school; the people who cost me taxes? oops, i made a mistake. i'm sorry, mrs. doe, but john didn't make it. our team failed to correctly assess and promptly address his condition. our condolences.
i have let hundreds die on my watch. just seen the spasms stop, the light leave their eyes. i have saved hundreds as well. i am god and i choose who is repentant and righteous and allowed to carry one; i choose who is to be condemned to an eternity of hellfire and brimstone.
tell me- does this make me a bad person?
the death of selfi can't find words tothe death of self in Free Verse More Like This
i can't articulate
and blood doesn't stick-
i am stuck with my self
and the monsters
who have inched in,
night by night
until their figures
loom over me,
i am mourning.
the loss of you,
no matter how temporary;
to destroy my body
beyond its crumbling pillars;
the sadness in every cell
that contains the ocean,
wave after wave of thorough dejection,
apathy and agony
that nothing seems to solve.
i do not move.
i exist because it is what i know to do.
i breathe only because it takes effort to stop.
the hole in which i am buried
is filled with heavy, sodden soil
and my blood offerings
and constantly emptying myself
receives no mercy from a deity,
i am mourning
the death of my self.
roamin'i named him charlie.roamin' in Scraps More Like This
charlie was the sort to sit on the concrete rather than the bench three feet away because it was ironic, his guitar case under his shoes and a cardboard sign on his lap that read, "roamin'." charlie was maybe twenty, with too many deceased train tickets and copper-plated coins turning in his jeans. i would bet the contents of his pockets that he couldn't remember where his hometown was anymore, what his mother's face looked like, or why he left.
i wanted him to hold his sign the other way, i wanted to see if there were more permanent-marker words scrawled on the back. i wanted it to say, 'drive me somewhere,' or 'take me to the west coast, take me back east.'
i wanted to drop my shopping bags and throw open my passenger door and tell him to jump in. his guitar case would go in the backseats and he'd kick his feet up on the dashboard and leave muddy traction prints along it.
i'd tell him to empty his pockets, see what he's got, make him chip in for gas money. i'd dr
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
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?