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?
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
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
ShockwaveFoetalShockwave in Free Verse More Like This
Trying to fold the pain up
To trap it between the paper cut limbs.
But the shockwaves come
Pulsing from inside
To trap it between the paper cut limbs.
Trying to fold the pain up.
ParchmentI speared you with a black-ink pen.Parchment in Concrete Poetry More Like This
I tried to balance the weight
of our weare-worn shoulders.
Tried to counter it with beauty
and hopefulness , with my hopes,
persistence & with my dark love.
They came to see it in hundreds,
Droves, of similarly seeking
hope and a reason to continue.
Reasons to love, even when it
hurts. Reasons to try when the
vast weight of differences 'tween
us can't be fixed by adding
a single strike of strength
through the middle. Our love
wasn't strong enough for poetry
to save. It crumbled to nothing
but the paper beneath the pen, and
my half broken voice whispering a
tale of our forgotten, broken, love.
.you should have. in Free Verse More Like This
emerged with life; your
little roots should have
clutched the soil in their
tiny white fists, and
i did not mean to trample
you, i did not mean to
let my body kill
.i remembered. in Personal More Like This
the conversation with the anesthetist,
he said place your thumbs over your eyes
and press gently, and i replied isn't that
and no i can't feel my hands but i'm
not really bothered, i will sleep
sleep and sleep, i won't need them,
and please keep an eye on the sea til i
wake, it might pack up its fish and
go travelling, it might leak through
the holes in the earth like a sieve,
all the shipwrecks and sharks will
(i don't believe in anything, and that makes me a liar because i believe in that)
.he splits hearts like. in Free Verse More Like This
oranges in the
sinks his teeth into
ripened flesh, and
leaves nothing but the
rind, too hard to
.the sea spits. in Free Verse More Like This
me back onto
the shore -
the waves say
this is not the
right tide, the
.my bedroom. in Personal More Like This
so sometimes i climb
out the window and
curl up on the
there used to be a tree
down the side that kept his
arms open for me
but he said i don't think
you're ever gonna know
how it feels to be
you know you've
already got a heart
of gold and eyes
i said now
to touch me
(i can drop down into the alley from here, or sit with the cat like a gargoyle)
.i dream of drowning in. in Free Verse More Like This
lakes, belly up, a petal
shaped bruise of your thumb
on either wrist
i dream that what lays
in my bed is so much
more terrifying than what
lurks underneath it
.some thoughts get so loud that. in Free Verse More Like This
you cry out for them to leave;
they scatter like birds startled
out of their trees, before landing
again where they were
and after a while,
you just have to
let them sing
.in the night. in Free Verse More Like This
time you are
skin and stitches
you up with a
purer love, until
the morning comes,
the sun runs his
teeth through your
seams again, splits
Muse:She corrodes star shapes intoMuse: in Free Verse More Like This
the hearts of sleeping poets,
NaPoWriMo: Day 4I might have a scrappers knees,NaPoWriMo: Day 4 in Free Verse More Like This
wildflowers growing on my knuckles,
& I might remind you of every nasty thing
you ever did,
but I don’t see you in my mirror.
I just have the right
to hate my own face.
I think this hitchhiker’s heart
is breaking &
I don’t have the medical skill-
or the time
to suture the pieces
back together again.
NaPoWriMo: Day 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
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.
No wander about it, just lust.You were a mid-morning train wreck,No wander about it, just lust. in Free Verse More Like This
the embodiment of poetry.
& my clavicles whispered too many nothings
about your summer storm hands,
folding like paper cranes
to make wishes upon themselves.
wishes are for the weak-
do something about this quaking heart
& freezing fingers.
I think I found God then,
NaPoWriMo: Day 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 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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tired, Exhausted, DrainedTired, Exhausted, Drained:Tired, Exhausted, Drained in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I am bloody exhausted! Drained to the core of my soul.
I wake up every morning with bags; burning ever deeper into my eyes.
Sunken masses of flesh, reminding me that the dreamscape -
One in which I sought refuge; is now buried where it lies.
Yet still I force myself to trudge through this wilderness.
Forever caught in a moon drenched, delusory twilight.
An endless cycle of failure and renewed hope;
Giving rise to the very stubbornness that defines me.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 5th February 2013
SeeDrinking malt whiskey in a bar in West EndSee in Free Verse More Like This
the smoke cocooning us in lazy curls
I watch the fall of dew of the glass on your hand
your fairy elf smile and shy eyes meeting mine.
The air is cold at 1 a.m. and our breath is before us
we breathe each other in.
I catch your hand
and you offer me your coat
but I'd rather feel my own heartbeat in my chest
insistent to be warm
warmed by your words and your press of your body alone.
We get lost in the city together
10 hours of steps tattooed into asphalt
and of drinks left full of hushed promises
waiting on empty tables
the soft slush ice melting pink like the blush
on your face.
We're leaving footprints through empty streets
a disappearing trail of breadcrumbs
to find ourselves again
and the backstreets are a home for restless feet
I could listen to your laugh forever
and wrap myself in your voice.
We laugh and stand together over the river
the city lights soft blurs
on the water like a surrealist world.
We talk about art an
Hospital Collection: Room 11Im in room 11Hospital Collection: Room 11 in Biography & Memoir More Like This
and I think its a coincidence.
11 was always my favourite number.
Two lines, never touching,
but never alone.
First Night pt2I.First Night pt2 in Biography & Memoir More Like This
Theres a green line pulsing
Across an empty black screen
Im frozen under its stare
With my fingertips pressed
The dark blue hospital
Im feeling desperately beneath myself
Listening for my heart beat
Searching for evidence of red beneath
A strangers hands are cold
Against my body
Stealing the essence of my soul
From the vapour of my words
My mouth shatters into pieces
Onto the floor.
My shoes whisper
Into the silence
Forgiving my mortality.
A nurse pours gold
Into a coffee cup
Hands me a liquid lifeline
Of bittersweet orange juice.
And I wonder what I would have tasted
If the drugs had
Deep memory spreads
Into my subconscious
Drowning me in sound
And shades of grey.
I wake, breathing whispers
Onto the pillowcase
Too afraid to bite my lips
In my surrender
To find myself
In an echo of a dream.
I watch quietly
As my horror grows
Out of the gentle dark
Hospital Collection: A FishA Fish Without Lungs.Hospital Collection: A Fish in Biography & Memoir More Like This
The oxygen mask
steps over my mouth
like soft frog's feet
and breathes into my lips
sticky with blood.
And I cough up pale white pills
like tiny frog's eggs
sticky and ripe in the dark.
The air tastes heavy
and vapour drops.
Hospital Collection: NamelessThere's an anorexic patient with meHospital Collection: Nameless in Biography & Memoir More Like This
in the mental health ward.
I've never heard her speak
or touch her lips
to the plastic hospital food.
Her skull is wrapped in
the alien fingers of
a pale feeding tube.
And I wonder if she's still
the keeper of her soul.
Her wrists are as frail as
the silver threads
of delicate spider webs.
Her skin is fragile
I've never heard her speak
or touch her lips.
She's just another patient
(without a name).
Her eyes are lifeless,
And I wonder what that makes
who sees only
Hospital Collection: SideSide EffectsHospital Collection: Side in Biography & Memoir More Like This
I swallow my meds
Even though I cant pronounce the name of them,
or remember why Im not dead.
No ones told me the side effects.
Hospital Collection: BeadsI make my sister a clumsy braceletHospital Collection: Beads in Biography & Memoir More Like This
In the craft session
While the patients argue over beads.
The SeizuresSkye has a seizure at dusk, and we're alone.The Seizures in Free Verse More Like This
I hold her wrists
so she doesn't fall from her hospital bed,
turn her on her side and hit the nurse distress button
screaming for someone to help us.
She's shaking uncontrollably,
and the bracelets on her wrists move
in a discordant lullaby.
Then it's over,
and the nurses come and check her pulse,
her blood oxygen, her motor control.
She can talk again, but she's confused
and doesn't know who she is.
She can't move her legs.
I stroke her hair and tell her where she is,
help her slow her breathing, and help the nurses.
Our roommates return, and she starts seizing again
dancing in the
mind far away in a dark sea of electrical currents
whispering as the tide pulls her out again
soft puppet masters taking hold of our heart strings
lifting her palms to help her drown with them.
I hold her limbs and the nurses hold the shape of her face.
The girls are terrified,
and the doctors come and get them to leave.
I stroke Skye's hair again
Victoriafragile bonesVictoria in Free Verse More Like This
and marked wrists
anorexia creeps the fingertips
into her ribs.
blue hair falls into
Victoria, in the
bed next to mine.
Hospital Collection:SmallSmall WorldsHospital Collection:Small in Biography & Memoir More Like This
Tamae was my best friend
when I was ten.
While Im waiting for a doctor,
a young nurse smiles at me.
Ruby. Im Kimmi, Tamaes mother.
Do you remember me?
I go cold with shame.
Tamae is joining the Peace Corps
and Im in a mental health ward.
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
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
you call me an angelyou call me an angelyou call me an angel in Free Verse More Like This
in spite of the bruises left on the fronts of my knees
stains of sin left on my skin;
the knots in my back,
you liken to the wings soon to burst from my shoulders
&tell me you can feel no sadness
when looking at my face-
eyes you analyse
into paints of the colour wheel,
several shades i have yet to see;
despite its crooked nature
thinning enamel from my sickness-
you still find me amongst the heavens.
as this once,
i kissed you to shut you up.
my skin is removing itself after my clothes
in the winter,
too unlike the white night of russian summers.
i kissed you &it was wet because i was crying
&every time our lips parted
another sob stuttered its way through the gap.
you heard what words i couldn't swallow,
the ones straining to pass over my tongue
yet drowned upon existence.
you listen to me until i lose my headstrong aim
to starve back to bones,
to see the angel wings i've lost in my skin
you touch &feel are there;
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?
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.
001 i am a whirlwind of001 in Free Verse More Like This
an aching heart
a regret that could
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.
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
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.
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.
the city is my witness.there was a fire, in the pits of her stomach, filling her with warmth that wrapped around bones and flourished on her skin like war paint. it made her fight even when the rain was pouring down on her, like a shower of bullets. it was in there when she was sleeping, making sure that she continued to breath and not let anything take her away from the mission, the war that she was going to win.the city is my witness. in Free Verse More Like This
she had baggage that was heavy, and she was starting to notice it more and more as the years started to change from a trickle to a hurricane force that was threatening to completely destroy her. oceans rising, the flames licking her ribcage, and bones creaking under weights that just kept growing as each month passed.
the flourishes on her skin were becoming darker and less like trophies and more like tiny deaths that she couldn't shake. there were places that were permanently discoloured, angry and sore. the fire gave way to tangled thoughts and a twisted stomach with a constant sinking feeling, a
Dreamscapehis mind was lost in music, playedDreamscape in Free Verse More Like This
by the gods: headings
she saw potential energy, and
there was a synergy
it's the last time he'll try for
skies, too pitch black for
it's three a.m. and her sheets
are riddled with pilling, the by-
product of a restless
one has met the other, if
only within a dream.
Mid-month momentsthings i have done today:Mid-month moments in Free Verse More Like This
crawled out of bed, hands
& knees scuffing carpet, collecting
dust encrusted memories in
lost myself in the
shower, soul wandered off
up the exhaust chute
& left me staring at
broke my dam over lamb
& chips, salt on salt until my lips
puckered under the assault and
your name came tumbling
straw housesi.straw houses in Free Verse More Like This
there are mice in the
walls. i share my
secrets with them in
you left a mug
of cranberry tea on the
windowsill and the local ants
have made a swimming
pool of it -- their bodies
leave a dirty,
trail across the bench
i didn't bother to
feed the cat and she
has calcified, tortoise-shell
body wrapped around the
only pair of shoes
you didn't take.
the neighbors collect
your mail because i refuse
to scoop it out
of the old postbox you
nailed to the fence -- the
spiders are at home
your mother calls. it
might be once a
week or every
other month, i've
lost track. she talks
about seeing me, cooking
a casserole or three
and force-feeding me: i
dead or gone
or both and
i can't afford the
Guiltywe sit in the pale half-light; summer dies around us. you reach over and pluck the cigarette from my fingers, inhale like it's the last time. and maybe it is.Guilty in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
the jury is out there somewhere, preparing to sleep on their choice. we both know that you may not come home tomorrow, but neither of us are willing to say it out loud.
smoke curls in the air between us; I pretend not to notice when your body begins to tremble. when you begin to cry, I tell myself you've rubbed ash into your eye.
god never meant for us to be anything1. patrickgod never meant for us to be anything in Free Verse More Like This
i expected wonders
from a boy with a tongue
like a viper and a small,
spare room in a strange house.
i did not get them.
i tasted my first cigarette
on your lips.
and couldn't wash the taste
out for weeks.
i never smoked again.
we were a divine mistake,
right down to the way
your hands skittered
over my flesh like deer.
read the fury on my face
as i left.
a dark room
and misplaced pillows
caught my disinterest
and muffled it
while you pulled off your shirt.
it never went as far as you had hoped.
you taught me
satin sheets hold.
i taught you
how to feel falsely oppressed.
you taught me how to appreciate
the shape of kind hands
and quiet lips
in a rowdy school yard.
i forgot your name
within a year
and recall it with doubt.
my hips had not
swollen to accommodate a fetus.
your interest lay with
The Problem With Elia.she could have been a violin;The Problem With Elia. in Free Verse More Like This
born a week too late, she had
melancholy in her bones: doctor lizbet
took time out of her schedule to pluck her
newborn strings - calloused sanitation against
mottled pink-and-yellow flesh & thrashing limbs.
in three more years, she will have
nothing in her bones at all: doctor estair
diagnosed her with iatrophobia to fuel her
instinctive chords - ripple-free shells of liquid
lobotomy & a capsule to callous her pink-and-yellow
flesh against the thought of just getting over it all.
ten years after that, her mother will
find her face down and thrashing: her dust
bunny bones will flex as she retches up her memories
for display - lawyers will spend the next few years pawing
through them with clawed hands and heaving breathing until
one day, they find lizbet and estair huddled amid the rubble of her bones.
don't name your daughter eleanorit's 4:06 a.m anddon't name your daughter eleanor in Free Verse More Like This
eleanor has developed an
complex within her stardust confines.
oxygen shimmies, lung
glitter on display,
into the hidden places between her lips.
an owl screeches and
it tears at her inner workings until they
grey rust and breed dichotomy.
anxiety triples beneath
the weight of the moon and
presses on her temples until they collapse.
the world touches her irises
and arches its belly into her memory
until she wakes coherent and pale.
it is 6:04 a.m and
eleanor has developed a taste for the
falsehood within dreams.
- untitled -she tries too hard to drown out the soft susurration of his lungs as he struggles for another breath, and then another. it echoes in her ears and her pulse pounds to the unsteady rhythm of it. she knows, with the keen instinct of a mother, that it is time and her boy will not live to see the shy spring unfurl beyond the cool white confines of the hospital room. she knows, but it does not make it any easier.- untitled - in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
after, she thinks that death is not what she had expected. anti-climactic and gentle, it whisked her boy away with a childish smile wavering in his cornflower blue eyes, his fingers small and warm within her own. death did not scare him and for that, she is grateful.
alcoholism is the last to blamewhen you don't drink,alcoholism is the last to blame in Free Verse More Like This
you can't blame the mistakes you make on inebriation.
you have to hold them close to your chest
and pray that nobody else sees them before you prepare your defence,
before you scratch away their most soiled parts
and spit-shine the rest,
and even then you spend your life
praying that nobody will ever look any closer
because spit and hope can only conceal so much.
To Lack Resolutionsthe television flickers, an oldTo Lack Resolutions in Free Verse More Like This
sitcom throws itself against the walls, wall
paper for all the poor men. she
watches nameless actors push through
their scene -- watches them wait
for queued applause, their blank
faces. curd floats in her tea, sometimes
spinning like petals let loose from their
flower. she dabs at them with a cautious
tongue, closes her eyes as they bob back to the
surface. the television flickers, an old
sitcom ends in a flurry of credits, a
poor woman opens her eyes to another year.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Starving sleep and apologies.My sleep is starving.Starving sleep and apologies. in Free Verse More Like This
It is shivering sweat like snow
across my shoulders as I sob scream
after scream against your skin;
"sorry, I'm so sorry,
go back to sleep."
I am sad
and struggling to stay
together but you slump
against my sickness
and hold me