A lion among sheep.There are ghosts in my bloodstream
kissing concrete cells &
the bedroom eyes of nerve endings.
( foreign words
engraved into my marrow, birds in my chest
& wars not yet fought between my hips. )
I've taken myself apart every night
since I learned how to swallow a pen
limb by steady limb.
Passed around by grabby hands,
a sold, & borrowed daughter;
I am a lion among sheep,
drunk on life & ink.
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.
It's all about her,-I had never wished to know the moon,It's all about her, in Free Verse More Like This
or the burning gaze of her lover.
I am merely a forest of silences,
old dogwoods & untamed hair.
-But, I made a promise
to a bone collector once.
He could have my spine,
my kneecaps, &
one flowered rib,
wrapped & bowed-up
like a present
-if he could fall in love
with things that slip through his fingers:
-“It would be a sin to love you,
my dear sweet wolf;
you will always cry for the moon.”
NaPoWriMo: Day 10 Have you ever been so cold, Sweetheart,NaPoWriMo: Day 10 in Free Verse More Like This
your knees q u a k e d like that Jenga piece
that buckled just before your whole foundation
& no matter
how many times
I've restarted your heart,
one would think
I'd grow tired,
I'm still writing you in poetry
(in the most inappropriate of places.)
You forced yourself beneath my blades
& my fingertips,
Licking unstable knees,
you were death on my tongue:
angry apricot eyes, unforgivable sin
scaring my limbs &
haunting my dreams.
& I'd still try to save your fucking life.
No wander about it, just lust.You were a mid-morning train wreck,No wander about it, just lust. in Free Verse More Like This
the embodiment of poetry.
& my clavicles whispered too many nothings
about your summer storm hands,
folding like paper cranes
to make wishes upon themselves.
wishes are for the weak-
do something about this quaking heart
& freezing fingers.
I think I found God then,
NaPoWriMo: Day 8I was toldNaPoWriMo: Day 8 in Free Verse More Like This
to slice through the thickest
of scar tissue this evening.
Let all my inner demons
fall to the floor
& write them out
in my own black blood.
It’s not red anymore,
even though needles
& the bruises
laid out like war-lands
on my arms
I don’t think it ever was,
My mind is a mess
of free versed insecurities,
cat’s eye marbles,
& untamed forest fires-
I still don’t have the nerve
to slice open my skin
& bleed for her.
Hear me howl.Tell me again, Father,Hear me howl. in Free Verse More Like This
I’m the perfect daughter-
when all I want to be
is the crescent moons
resting like strong soldiers
in the grooves of my palms.
I am but
quaking with frostbite,
numbed with rage.
A wolf's jaw:
locked, teeth tearing
into the chilled flesh
of your neck.
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.
Muse:She corrodes star shapes intoMuse: in Free Verse More Like This
the hearts of sleeping poets,
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?
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
Poets Always Lieambrosial fabrications arePoets Always Lie in Free Verse More Like This
easier to swallow down when
incandescence is a blessing bestowed
only upon those with silky tongues.
deceptions are beautiful
in the right words
because they are salvation, like a
rapture, they save the sickly,
self-indulgent souls from those
tragedies they used to write on the insides
of childhood notebooks about who
they could never be [themselves]
they rescue them from tremulous
corners and closets, hideaways
where they've grown too akin to
the demons they nurse; and drag
them into a land beautiful enough
to wear light as a second skin
(where lies are never discussed
but always shared)
are so much more comforting
than the absoluteness of reality
because self-resentment is as
natural as a heartbeat to those
who were born breathing and
abhorring and denying all from one
steady gasp of what the existent world
had to offer to them
back then their eyes opened, and
their fingers fumbled, born, they realized
the world wasn't as pretty as promi
Lovebirds' Sorrowshe was the girl with catLovebirds' Sorrow in Free Verse More Like This
eyes: broad and judging and
carnal; he was the doe
with a broken collarbone,
yet she found herself lost in
the warmth of his sighs and
asked simply for a set
of sweeter lies
[because it's only after you
sell yourself to the earth that
you learn love is not a
chemical reaction anticipating
every ignited glance and soured
word; no, it is a thing
of obligation that sleeps upon
your doorstep, knowing you
will always come back,
knowing you could never forget
he called to her on hollow
nights, and she found his
voice when she had nowhere
left to go
he was the cereal box savior;
she only needed a place
to bury her bones
[it was never sparks but
instead a dull roar that
filled their ears until
life was a blur of static
when she whispered I love
you, he really believed it.
on how I need youtoday is a six-word story:on how I need you in Free Verse More Like This
I’m tired of waking up
I will peel back your
every insecurity and anxiety
and watch them fall to the floor
like vodka petals, regurgitated mosaics,
I will see you naked and
reborn and you will break apart
into passive aggressive poetic
dedications and unsent letters and
I will hate and love you
for the very same reasons and
I will move on.
wallflower clippingsthere's scar tissue in her throat,wallflower clippings in Free Verse More Like This
swollen around the words she never said;
dark rings around her eyes
like planets unremembered, and
a staleness to her touch,
the crystalline Dead Sea.
she's living like a story
that's already been told
"if no one loved you
would you mean anything at all?"
in that moment,
we forget to exist.
ghostwriterhere, everyone’s pupils are dilatedghostwriter in Free Verse More Like This
and skin is stretched too tight
to expose the wind-swept spider webs
writhing beneath their porcelain composure
here, the shadows are afraid of us.
(and it is our desire
to finally come down to that place
at night, the rigid ghosts rock me to
sleep. their cardboard hearts and
inky eyes just begging to be seen
(it is only in the
darkness that I am
perceived to be more
than I am; holy
star to guide them
the current carries my name,
I have spent too little
too long on rivers that
only flow south
I vomit up saltwater and
try to remember,
it's the little things that follow you to sleeplately, i’ve been wasting every minuteit's the little things that follow you to sleep in Free Verse More Like This
choking on inevitabilities; wondering
how many times i’ll promise myself
this year i’ll be different until
i move on to something less
unattainable. truthfully, i’m just sorry
for the ones who still think
and i have been waiting an
ugly amount of years for my
prophetic completion-- a love like
i say you’re beautiful when really i mean
you make my heart stop, like
i was born to meet you or perhaps
i’m actually breaking some universal law
of equilibrium; loving something
i want a love like that:
napkin poems, handwritten
and tender and accidental collisions
igniting a thousand forest fires
beneath my skin; me,
blossoming like a wildflower
on a california highway, basking
in the sun and ignored definition
of earthly limitations. i want to believe
that somewhere, there’s a boy
built of summer sunsets and shooting stars
for every homesick girl who never
quite fit in, t
RestlessI’ve been living in the same breathy dreamRestless in Free Verse More Like This
for too many days now; I’m bed-ridden and
stale and I reek of those moments that come
full throttle like a car crash on a winter night
this is evolution where weak hearts
are afraid of the shadows and where
an apologetic wind births no remorse;
he will move on—anchored ship
set sail, I am the sunken wreckage
that never learned how to swim.
he will move on, Darwin says
I never had a chance
I wish I were the textbook sadness,
symptom and solution and endurance
but I’ve spent too long sleeping on the
thoughts of shooting stars and gravity
and reasons, scientific calculations with
thrice-checked proofs for the skeptics
that don’t believe in the sleight of hand magic
reality wants to imply
I am not the insomniac writer with
better things to do than sleep; I am
the heavy bones afraid of what
lies in the darkness beneath
the skeletons of childhood monsters
ColorblindI gave away my name todayColorblind in Free Verse More Like This
and it might be a metaphor, but I think
we only remember the quietest suicides
the walls are thin enough to listen
as the angels try to scratch free;
bloodied fingernails and God says everyone
screws up, sometimes
I'm waiting for a silent night.
I only ever believed in solid ground
and depressions' tides, and sometimes,
those little wounds I nursed deep
within my vocal chords (because
my voice is dying, too)
I can see the beautiful people, now
overdosing on their own opiums of
self-acquittal and dissolution
they ran out of ways to ask for help.
I'm fragile, but my glass ribs
aren't holding much
and I'm through trying to find something
different, because it's scary to know
what exactly's the same
yesterday I was someone else and
tomorrow I'm further into inevitabilities of
who I promised I'd never be--
I'm waiting for a happy ending,
but if you love something
you let it go.
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
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."
pretty little poet fingersfabricated gods rest between thepretty little poet fingers in Free Verse More Like This
languid crevices of
her fingertips, scribbling profanities
all over her skin.
she's just mismatched bones
& blue bruises, telling of forbidden
love through archaic letters.
a tongue made for
wanderlust, & eyes made
for the stars,
even the devil fears her.
lies, she wrotei. just a mimicry, really;lies, she wrote in Free Verse More Like This
desperate to shine.
ii. counterfeit & clockwise,
tasting words on her
iii. with a dysfunctional mind
& apocryphal dictionary,
she cannot clone it all.
iv. "say anything," the pen
whispers as she trembles
among ink-scented fraudulence.
v. but she just laughs & plays the part,
forgetting what the pages told her:
"truth is stranger than fiction."
Second star to the rightThere are days where sheSecond star to the right in Free Verse More Like This
forgets how to fly;
wings all tangled up in
"There is nothing wrong with me,"
"Nothing at all.
I just can't seem to
The clock strikes
she's nothing but
and withering pixie dust.
Witch OilThere's magma boiling in her frostbitten veins;Witch Oil in Free Verse More Like This
incandescent pixie dust and
sluggishly making its way through
a childish heart — wishing for one last chance
to spread her wings and soar to
Evanescentonly the mostEvanescent in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful of creatures
live the shortest.
red roses and quivering
butterflies and other
useless things, like the
way she wishes on every star
she sees for a different
soul because she can't stand
the way it's rotting inside.
and it's only when
the thorns beneath her skin
start to bleed that her
monsters whisper, "have
you ever trembled, my dear?"
because they know
for every whimper that hides
faintly in the dark,
there is a pair of lips stretched
into a smile pretending
that all that is beautiful
is timeless and unbroken.
constellations, ambitions, and things in betweeninstead of poetry,constellations, ambitions, and things in between in Free Verse More Like This
i want to live in
draco & orion,
wrapped in nebulae.
oxygen is too
want to breathe in
neither the gods
nor my demons can
stop me —
i will make the universe
are my words poetic enough for you?maybe not.are my words poetic enough for you? in Free Verse More Like This
because i will never be the fire-hearted girl with remedial stardust lips,
dancing with the astral wolves that hunt beneath her moon-kissed skin,
with the courage to plant wilting lilacs into every crippled soul she finds.
but what if they were?
then i would be the ink blots coating the archives of humankind,
the fractured jewel tucked away in a catastrophic dragon's chest,
and the lyric every mismatched bone engraves into their marrow.
A lesson in realism:you areA lesson in realism: in Free Verse More Like This
There is no such
thing as stardust
floating in your veins or
gloomy poetry stitched
right into your heart.
Your blood is made of
iron - unbreakable,
unbending and unmatched
by any other stronghold,
for you are a fortress
that they will never invade.
wipe those tears away
and know that
you are the only one
who can reinforce these walls.
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.
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.
Feet up on the dashboard.We're driving and I don't know where.Feet up on the dashboard. in Free Verse More Like This
I know that once upon a time
beauty and terror happened to me all at once
and since that night I haven't been able
to tell the two apart,
and I know that your left hand is
more beautiful than your right, but your
right knows how to touch me best.
"every mouth I've ever kissed
was practice for you,"
and I said,
"darling I don't care,
I've kissed them too."
And you know that what I mean is
I've kissed the ashes of their memory from
your lips and shovelled them from between
your teeth with my tongue,
that I'd pry
them from the back of your throat if
I thought you'd try to hide them
And we know so much
and so little between us, it's
enough to keep us driving
through the night.
Feet up on the dashboard,
headlights and streetlights and endlights
we just keep going,
no feeling has ever been
as final as this.
Be gentle, love.Be gentle,Be gentle, love. in Free Verse More Like This
my body is too heavy
hollowed out and
filled back up
Be gentle, love.
Be gentle and
let me lay here,
still and silent,
until my emptiness
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
The art of self-destruction.I have spentThe art of self-destruction. in Free Verse More Like This
my whole life perfecting
how to separate my
insides from the
outsides without a
scar to show.
My arms have been
weapons instead of shields
and I have built no other
walls to defend me.
I grew up in
this house of flesh
and instead of tending
to its needs I have
been letting people
set it on fire instead
of loving me.
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
Insomnia.The sleep I'm not sleepingInsomnia. in Free Verse More Like This
cornered me behind the garden shed
and split its knuckles
on the sharper edges of my
I think it was trying
to kill the restlessness
Lucidity.The dreams leaveLucidity. in Free Verse More Like This
me with scars I can't see,
bruises that don't show,
wounds that can't heal.
I'm carrying ghosts around
in sentences and sleep.
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.
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.
We Poets Are Frustrated...We Poets Are Frustrated...We Poets Are Frustrated... in Free Verse More Like This
I am sure that you have all experienced this feeling:
A masterpiece eclipsed by the baying of a brat!
A raucous rhyme, so emotionally raw;
Shadowed by a child's melancholia...
Alone in the darkness, you lick your lips and growl.
Your anger, so evidently understandable; yet you forget your own abilities!
In despair, my dearest sibling, you have forgotten — yourself
Why fear an obstacle so easily overcome?
Why shred your works with such heavy tears?
Have you forgotten that we are the original craftsman?
Our tongues birthed as our chisels and axe!
We need only take these simple themes
And corrupt them with all our twisted fears...
This hatred inside of you, this bubble of frustration and anxiety —
Let it swell like a pus-filled abscess of anger!
And with your words unleash this vicarious plague!
Take the unblemished works that have scorned you,
And inject them with the very darkness of your soul!
Let bleeding lips,
These Tears Would Come:These Tears Would Come:These Tears Would Come: in Free Verse More Like This
If my tears could tell a story of two -
What would they have to say about you?
Of a boy who spent his whole life seeking
And a girl who found it in the arms of another…
Would they tell us of laughter? Beneath a starlit sky,
Or of harsh words exchanged on bitter nights.
Would they speak of moments, so beautifully captured;
To be enjoyed in memory, like a perfect wine.
Or perhaps they would tell us of an untampered truth:
Of the lonely nights spent longing, for an Eden lost.
Captivated, habituated, to this lonely habit of you;
For her alone, these tears would come.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 31st march 2013
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
Dark Sadistic Muse:Dark Sadistic Muse:Dark Sadistic Muse: in Free Verse More Like This
I seat myself before the computer,
With fingers poised over fading keys.
Eagerly awaiting my latest epic;
Yet frozen by a lack of inspiration.
Here I sit, staring at the blank document.
The dark background mirroring the world behind me.
I swallow hard as my body locks;
Hairs tense as I sense her arrival...
Slender fingers soon wrap themselves around my throat.
With claw-like nails digging in painfully,
They prick the skin that lies just beneath my Adam’s apple;
Leaving me nursing a rather painful necklace.
"Your hands aren't moving," she coos softly,
Her clawed fingers gently stroking my chin.
"Why is that, I wonder?" she asks with a grin.
Her expression reveals a pair of pointed canines,
Both framed by lips as seductive as sin.
"I'm sorry my lady", I whisper in reply.
The excuse tumbles slowly from a paralyzed tongue.
"I have had no inspiration you see;
No dreams with which I am able to write."
She laughs at this; cruel and cold,
Tossing me from
Counting All the VoicesCounting All The Voices:Counting All the Voices in Free Verse More Like This
How many voices choose to speak; a debate within my head.
As I lie awake, counting cracks, on the wall above my bed.
I seem to think of random colours and things you've never seen.
But I don't like to hear the ugly voices, some are rather mean!
Though I suppose we are a loving family and thus I must accept
That when it comes to stashing bodies, we are most adept...
Best of luck detective, you have three days to find her (^_^)/
-Chen Yuan Wen, 8th February 2013
An Oath to My FatherAn Oath to My Father in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
An Oath to My Father:
The chill of winter is nothing, when compared to the cold inside my heart.
A fire, once stoked by the warmth of family, has quietly died, five falls past.
I dream of my father, who watches from beyond the realms - and my ancestors
Who fought against an endless army of giants, to win the lands we have today.
Just as a devout man honours his God through worship, I honour them through my axe!
Each stroke of the whetstone, each screech of the metal, brings me closer to them -
Even as I draw closer to my doom. Oh how I can feel him, for the anger in my blood
Boils evermore as I sense him approaching my camp. He is hungry, he is eager;
Slacks of drool hang from his twin mouths, as a jarring roar shakes the mountain!
Though I shiver at the sight, it is not from fear - I shiver in anticipation
Of the battle that is to come. My steel may rend his flesh and break his bones;
Or perhaps I shall be sent to glory - but it is useless to think about such things,
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
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
To The Beautiful YouTo The Beautiful You:To The Beautiful You in Free Verse More Like This
Here we are, sitting behind these screens of glass,
Reading lines of text, yet smiling, laughing and crying.
It's strange to think that I could have this much fun -
Considering that I've never met you before, but then again
Perhaps that's the reason why I don't have to pretend.
Some people might tell me, that what we have is just a fantasy,
I doubt I'll have the chance to actually see you in this life-time.
But even so, in the time that we've spent together - Well,
I feel as though I've connected with you, more than anyone else.
I feel as though I know you better, than those just a few feet away.
You might take this little confession as something silly,
Maybe you'll even forget about it as time passes,
But I for one could never forget about someone like you,
And so I'd like to dedicate this piece, to the beautiful you.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 17th December 2012
Breaking FreeBreaking Free:Breaking Free in Free Verse More Like This
I sit here waiting, in the coldest of cells
Outside I hear them screaming for blood
I know that they mean to kill me soon
Yet somehow my spirit remains resolved and calm
As they march me to the gallows, wrapped in chains
I grin knowingly as they force me to kneel
Each and every man in the audience, waits for this moment
They know that something is about to change!
An eldritch wind ripples through the air
And I can feel it wrapping around my beating heart
It makes me feel like breaking the conventions:
The ones that I've torn apart...
And as they make me bow before the guillotine
I can feel a sense of unrivaled excitement
This is the moment where things will change!
I can sense it in the way that the air is moving
As one I see the masses rise, they become tall-
Like giants made of flesh and anger!
They break like the tide upon the guards holding me
Setting me free once more...
And as I redeem my hat from the clutches of the self-righteous
GrowthI remember the day I caught him 'gardening'. His cheeks stained cherry with the brisk wind that trotted beside him up and down the smothered garden path. He dropped a seed as his feet brushed past each other. Up and down he walked, a solemn lieutenant. I asked him what he was doing and those wide sky eyes reflected the ice as he told me he was trying to grow flowers for his mother. I looked at the seeds spilt on the snow and told him that they could never grow in these circumstances. I will never forget the clench in my heart when he responded, with a child's tongue; "I know".Growth in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
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,
Losing my BreathIt's 2amLosing my Breath in Free Verse More Like This
and the calling birds
are hatching in my heart,
I feel it crack and they emerge.
Feel them drilling on my ribs,
the steady anxious thrum
of a flight risk
waiting to happen.
and I can't breathe,
memories of you
are nesting in my throat
I can't work around them.
It's cutting off the circulation,
and my frantic heart
tries to keep on.
and tears scratch their directions
into my cheeks,
they flounder and meander
and they erode.
My skin and soul is scraped down
layer by layer
and another day is heralded
by the angry flutterings in my chest.
I try to swallow my pride,
dam the tears
and crawl through the dark again.
Coughing up blood
and inhaling iron filings
(The remainder of
what used to be my life).
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
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
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.
WallpaperShe leaves the window to let the rain in. She watches the lazy river form and fall, seeping into the designer wallpaper and staining it. She watched the rain tug at the seams of the walls and imagined the room coming undone around her. She imagined the ceiling caving in and crushing her. She lay still and watched the rain fall. She lay still and tried not to breathe, to burn, to break.Wallpaper in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Mother EarthMy body is the earth;Mother Earth in Free Verse More Like This
See how under this bruise
A seed of malcontent sleeps.
See what grows out of each pore
As the pain pours over again.
There is rust in my fingerbeds
That poisons the roots
Of all good that hopes to grow here.
I am the convulsing, revolution
of the convoluted Earth...
I am the tectonic blades that clash
and shout when I curl up and hide.
You will feel me when I tremble,
and fear me when I explode
for under the magmanimous skin
There burns a core of hate
That can't be marred by human hand.
Never The Gold.I want my silver back,Never The Gold. in Free Verse More Like This
I need to melt it down and forge a new connection
With someone else.
I want all the precious bits of myself
that I so willingly quarried for you.
I want my silver back.
The White ThingsNothing is as far away as a minute ago.The White Things in Free Verse More Like This
No matter how hard you row against the tide
we can never reach it, never return there.
It's hard to sleep in the light of my regrets
that creeps through curtain and barriers
to rot away and bleach all things white.
It's hard to sleep knowing that no distance
is as far away as sixty small seconds ago.
Immalleable, we rot, and things turn white.
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
16 knocks on wood1.16 knocks on wood in Free Verse More Like This
the moon disappears every 28 days.
it wanes & waxes in fractions; it's smart
enough to not try everything at once.
i have been taught that every 7 years,
the cells in my body will die & be born again.
this means the moon will vanish & reappear 91 times
before i will have skin free of your fingerprints.
Proud Lake is located in Commerce, Michigan. at the crack of dawn,
you can find a boy with a gravel & honey voice casting fishing
lines into the abyss. you will wonder if he'll catch a good one.
time knows no boundaries;
just benevolence that doesn't always work out.
once, when i was 2 years old, i choked on the leaf of a mulberry tree.
not every seed bears good fruit.
sometimes, something is so beautiful that you can't breathe.
sometimes, you won't even try.
my palm is roughly the size of a nectarine.
in Chinese culture, nectarines symbolize mutation
and mutation is a change in structure.
i still don't know what my hands are trying to tell me.
a boy named Joshua tol
the art of leavingtimes like this, i am convinced that we were just faking it,the art of leaving in Free Verse More Like This
how we traded dreams and comfortable anatomy
for secrets and messy closets.
it is nothing less than an unmistakable truth
that our coils are curled around each other
like infantile fingers:
all passion for passing time, no direction or destination.
we were consumed by our desire for warmth,
by our shared ability to extract smiles and steady breathing.
we taught each other the art of leaving
and because of this,
my name jitters caffeinated on your tongue.
i am combing through my bed sheets
in hopes of finding the salt i shed
to decorate my wounds with stings.
the process of healing is one i am continuously beckoned into perfecting.
i have already tricked myself into believing i do not need you;
i have already forgotten the shape of your face.
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
swimming in spacelet's ask the stars to build us a castleswimming in space in Free Verse More Like This
so we can rest our shoulders like royalty -
put the weight of all these words
for a few millennia
and just breathe.
our lungs could use a few hits of truth
to open themselves up to the calming hymns of the heavens;
breaking ourselves apart shouldn't be too difficult.
(our wrists mean war - forests of insecurities & impatience)
wait a few more months
for distance to build itself a bridge between our arms,
saturn is stretching its rings across your chest,
deeming you responsible for all the black holes
and stray planets enveloped in the universe.
i went swimming in your blood stream,
no diver came in after me.
i dreamt that i was drowning in your veins,
the chill of september's rains still haunts my bones
from time to time.
colors without names flash before my eyes
making themselves a mantra of sins under my skin.
we lifted our heads in unison and crafted a tragedy
from all these mistakes.
the riverbed & jesu
02. nomad, nomadi set my good intentions down02. nomad, nomad in Free Verse More Like This
for an impossible duration to
make myself sleep sounder.
i strip myself naked & rough;
my frail convictions flow out
like acid rain droplets
on the sill.
and i am not a breeze, but a sharp gust -
wind blown into an envelope like a
29-cent secret never meant to be kept
and you were not a mistake, but
destroyed yourself before
i was given the chance
to undoubtedly do the same.
what does it mean to lie in someone's wake?
to be in the ever-presence of another human,
to feel breath short and isolated against an empty chest?
you showed me patience,
but never how to recognize hopelessness
when you stretched it like a glove,
testing my hand at tolerance.
i march across Chicago
from bus stop to bus stop
attempting to prove resilience.
i am fooling no one.
i wish i was colorblind
so i could experience you in black & white.
admire your ink-stroke eyelashes like artwork,
read your cracked-skin palms as if they were poetry,
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.
carnival ridesJesus came from smoke & moonshinecarnival rides in Free Verse More Like This
so whenever i blow out candles,
i write God a grocery list and
set fire to wax in the back of a church
with waning moons for parishioners.
faith comes and goes like carousels,
so i guess that means that i can count on clowns
but i can't count on light.
crack your glow sticks upon our congregation
like rainfall amidst the baptized first.
i spend more time in bed with myself
than i do whispering secrets into the
onion paper of Bible pages.
i vandalize hymn books with my favorite lines of poetry.
i never bothered to ask God if he was okay with this,
i've just always been apt at assuming too much.
maybe, when my father's language unfurls like a Persian rug,
i will relearn the taste of cotton candy & confection sugar.
i will build monuments for my convictions
to make up for all those times i just faked it.
maybe, like a holy convict, i will shackle myself
to good deeds that do not self-fulfill but, instead,
teach every lesson i
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
SehnsuchtOctober again;Sehnsucht in Free Verse More Like This
and the curtains billow
with broken glass echoes and
Mendelssohn's bride waltzing
to better times
She becomes the rain,
and breaks her own heart as the sound
right through us.
SurrealismThree a.m., andSurrealism in Free Verse More Like This
God is in my bathtub
a freshwater moon
in the mother-of-pearl sky.
DebussyRestless under theDebussy in Free Verse More Like This
dreams quiver like
a long-lost muse.
AsphodelA beckoning:Asphodel in Free Verse More Like This
watercolour sky shrinking,
too late, teeth fall; pearls
from a broken string.
Blink and the moon ignites—
but the sheets are still
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.
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:
PaletteThe painted lady stands,Palette in Free Verse More Like This
and waiting for a cab.
1,001 NightsIn a land of1,001 Nights in Free Verse More Like This
dreams and dust:
the curve of
a half-hazed sun,
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.
i'm not an artistwe do not belong in boxesi'm not an artist in Free Verse More Like This
and bags and books or
and we do not sit contently
in wordsworth and shakespeare
and blake, burns, and brownings
or in the cold stiff bones
of raleigh's of long ago;
detect, and re-select
a virus--a disease,
a germ in every verse and line;
the first signs of
foolish waitings under
bridges and scolding parents
and nothing to signify at all
we are the blood of nations
and the heart of men
and the love of every
rhetorist and sentimist
we dance through the ballrooms of
the age and chat with
we shake hands with heros
and the homeless, dirty
type that gum over 'hello's
we are and aren't and will be
silly verse and
naive philosophers and sweet oxymorons
waving hello from the shore;
forever onward and never ending
like the stars in an
a ratio of freckles to starsvirginia,a ratio of freckles to stars in Free Verse More Like This
you are floating away in
of sunlight & marrow bones
i want to know
had vertigo then--
a certain horse sadness
i remember how you
would swallow the stars:
watch them glow through your cheeks
(no one told you
what they thought of light & dying
of being a constellation
drawn across your face)
you are the milky way:
a firefly drowning
but i will trail you--
hold your coat above the water
exploding a million miles away
with a number for a name)
you should be home by nowlast tuesday the house took my hand & said,you should be home by now in Free Verse More Like This
it's more of a hurricane than a fire
since he broke in & burned
but sometimes I see her with a lighter
& she finishes what he didn't do
(I think she's afraid
of settling in,
but last tuesday I realized that she kept the lights on
to frighten away the bridges & the people
so no one will come inside
& smash the teacups, steal the pipes
because since he burnt her beds out
no one lives there anymore
our walls are too thinsitting togetherour walls are too thin in Free Verse More Like This
you can hear my heart hitting
against my chest like a broom to the ceiling
& the neighbor upstairs
begins to scream
the wind breaks a hole in my skull
you can hear my thoughts:
words whispered in paper rooms
& you have a cup to my ear
i am 16 now
but sometimes we forget that
we are not teapots or socks in the wastebasket
& the holes in our heads are not signs of well-worn affection
all of your lives have been addictsmy catall of your lives have been addicts in Free Verse More Like This
my front porch
into a graveyard
as if to say:
this is what we need
she tried to lick my claws
back to hands
& I said to her:
"I do not have 9 lives
to spend on the bathroom floor
with 13-hour insomnia
can't we just kill the mockingbirds
pull the concrete
out of our throats
& get this dying
she's got 8 lives down
& doesn't answer questions twice
dead girls don't write poetrydear someone,dead girls don't write poetry in Free Verse More Like This
there are no funerals
for the flesh
for the mind
no curtains & no cremations
for all our pretty words
you can't save every patient
a corpse would warm your bed
I do not like you poetsI do not like you poetsI do not like you poets in Free Verse More Like This
breathing into my sorry head
like the air hasn't been wasted a half-a-million times
folding up my lungs
to place them neatly into a wastebasket
how can you make me stop hurting
& then just leave me
a limp lettuce leaf
on the backside of some dirty napkin verse
I am not the jealous type
but I'm going to call up Melpomene & ask her where she's been
send her drunk texts
because I'm too tired of filling up my skull
with cicada skins instead of led
while you make it all too easy
to sleep through a heartattack or two
my pygmalion, my god, my thing of legends
when you were being taught the siren's song
was I writing myself a migraine?
two minutes at the bottom of the oceani open my eyes and the room is underwatertwo minutes at the bottom of the ocean in Free Verse More Like This
a refraction of light--
tail flicked & then the sediment settles
like dysentery, this narcoleptic soul
to pulse, spin
into a paralysis of the
this is the pressure that creaks in my bones:
this is the space between my mouth and my mind
& the few centimeters between my ears are pulsing
with the things I cannot get to my hands
but my head is not a fucking ocean:
it's a flaw in chemistry
wanderlusti was all sex and stitcheswanderlust in Free Verse More Like This
with every color on a TV screen;
(and between me and you)
your teeth, your tongue,
your ferret-hands and knowledgeable mind--
they scared me.
the foreign worlds beneath your skin:
the contortions of your spine and
you wanted to conquer; to claim
and plant a flag--
and i--i wanted cancer
no one is ever going to want memaybe onceno one is ever going to want me in Free Verse More Like This
this would've been
but i'm crying &
my face is scrunched
like a red rag
in the sink
slumped beneath a leaky
my hands are shaking
maybe i could make
but what i have
you won't like
and do you want them too?
stealing & paying
pressing bottles and
pictures to my sternum
maybe it's the silence
the tumult of words down
the sink and
across the floor
the empty heads
i was pretty then
bird-legs and stilted poems
numbering stars and
crushing books between
but no not today
i'm a husk
waiting for everything
to destroy me
to prick a hole
start an earthquake
no wonder it took him 1455 pageswhen i was seven years old, a group of kids in my grade threw rocks at me for liking neopets more than webkinz. from then on, i was convinced i knew what hatred meant. but i don’t know how to describe it to the little girl who sits in the corner of my womb and in ten years might call me mommy and ask for help on dividing the world into black and white.no wonder it took him 1455 pages in Emotional More Like This
would i point to the churches with their bigotry? to the cotton fields of the south in the 1800s? to the classrooms of modern day america? would i tell her about how the jews stood in straight lines, waiting to die, with fear in their eyes and faith in their hearts? or would i try and describe the sound tyler clementi’s body made when it hit the water of the hudson river after he jumped from the george washington bridge?
would i point to myself and say, “i am hatred, i am hatred to others. i am lying and cheating and stealing and coveting and jealousy and hubris. i am the idea of every time someone wants to kill someone
a town i don't want to call mineon the right of the turquoise green signa town i don't want to call mine in Free Verse More Like This
that welcomes you to columbia,
there are two gas stations and a church.
on the left side, there’s a morgue.
when i was five years old, my father pulled over
and stopped on the side of the road while black car
after black car passed us, going the other way.
“did we know them?” i asked.
“no,” he said, putting the car in drive. “but someone did.”
at seven, mr. jimmy down at the ice cream shop
let me have free samples of all the new flavors he made
before he put them out to the public.
a favor, he called it, for his little henry.
(years later i would realize that my mother
brought henry into the world.
i would realize my mother brought most everyone
in that town under the age of twenty
into the world, and she never regretted it
even if some of them became gang members, murderers, victims, and
little henry’s leg was crippled in a four-wheeler accident)
i would stand in line during church communion
cinderella died yesterday"burn your tiaras,cinderella died yesterday in Free Verse More Like This
bury your fairy godmother.
it's time for you to grow up now, you're
no peter pan.
forget never never land.
stars are just burning balls of gas that are
slowly running out of time- they can't
hear your wishes.
cast aside your dr. seuss books like you will
later cast aside your bibles.
after all, a fairy tale is a fairytale is a fairytale.
life will teach you that.
grace, you were born into a role
only a very strong girl can play.
see, society will hate you for being
what they don't want to believe.
surrender your throne, your castle is under siege.
stop being fascinated with the sky,
you'll never go there.
keep your feet on the ground, and steady yourself
before you help another.
your brain is more logical than your heart,
therefore take your instructions from it.
promises can be broken as easily as can be made.
do not rely on something as weak as miracles and love-
and if you only have one piece of armor,
defend your back from the people you trust the most.
count to infinity before you sleep.cause i knowcount to infinity before you sleep. in Free Verse More Like This
there are days when
it's painful to even breathe,
your throat closing up on the knowledge
that you don't know
how much longer you'll be waiting on this
band-aided, superglued planet.
every cell in your body vying to be the next to die,
and all you have to tell them is
maybe. maybe next time.
those are the days you spend
cutting rose thorns into your palms
and clenching your fists tight around
jagged reflections and prismed rainbows.
the days you realize
we're losing so much faster than we're learning.
we're maturing faster than we're growing.
adults stuck in the bodies of kids,
moving around, making the mistakes
no one ever wants to look back on.
those are the days you realize
it's not worth living here anymore.
you're using too many burnt-like sugar words
to get what you want, a mistaken human in wolf's clothing.
your lies are becoming louder than your screams,
but if the knife fits wear it on your skin.
this is the age where you feel caught between
what you bring to the tableyou know, today i read that humanswhat you bring to the table in Free Verse More Like This
are made out of stars
and i found that really interesting
because we all look up to celebrities so much,
like they’re sent from the heavens
when it turns out,
we are too.
your mom gave birth to you and
i think that’s beautiful—
the way one living thing can make
another living thing
and the second be completely different and unique
from any living thing that has ever lived before it.
but i also think it’s beautiful the way
you are made up of things older than
you can dream to be and it doesn’t define you
and it doesn’t break you and it doesn’t really change you—
you could have been a dwarf star or someone’s sun,
but now you can be anything you want and if you’re lucky
someone’s world can still
revolve around you.
worship yourself. love the bend in your spine
when you’re carrying a backpack full of your future,
the squint in your eyes from staying up too late,
your feet that without
Michaelasometimes, you meet people who are stormsMichaela in Free Verse More Like This
in bottles, who are ships cast away on rocky
coastlines, contained in a mason jar. sometimes
you meet volcanoes in human skin, earthquakes
with a laugh that sounds like skipping rocks
on summer colored lakes. sometimes, you meet
people who are whirlwinds wrapped up in muscle and bone,
who are more miracle than mistake.
i think about that a lot when i look at her.
to be fair, she is nothing more than me and you
but she has a hurricane brewing in her eyes
and dandelions growing through the cracks
in her sidewalks and i think that’s wondrous
i know our lungs are the same—on mondays
and thursdays, we both find it hard to keep
breathing and sometimes if i listen hard enough
i think i can hear the storms battering her shoreline,
but you could never tell with the way she smiles.
don’t tell her, but she smiles like the sun.
she smiles crooked, like baby teeth and morals
and the first time you try to hang up a sign.
god, she sm
one of those things, i suppose1—5;one of those things, i suppose in Free Verse More Like This
some things you just know, i guess.
like, when i was in first grade, i knew five things for sure.
i knew that humans had five fingers on their hands,
that dragons were real,
that i was going to be a doctor firefighter when i grew up,
that my mother thought i was perfect,
and that if you got hurt on the playground
you had to go tell a teacher as soon as possible.
the thing with getting older
is that everyone always tries to tell you
what “getting older” means.
really, it just means that you’re nine and no longer eight
and you’re not yet ten, but slow down that will come soon.
some things you just don’t know, i guess.
like, in third grade gym class,
our coach told us that if we wanted something
we had to work for it and he also told us
never say never and that practice made perfect.
i stuck my hand up and told him about miracles,
about how it was okay to say no and never
and about how we were all born perfect.
getting too attachedto the one night stand, probably sittinggetting too attached in Free Verse More Like This
in a taxi on the way back to his overpriced apartment,
this is just to let you know
that i wish i could love like you do.
that is to say, in under thirty minutes and not at all.
this is just to say
congratulations on being my first
one night stand
and also, i just wanted to tell you
that i’m glad you never gave me your name
because if you had, i would have tracked
you down through the whole city,
holding my heart in my hands
until i found you so i could give you
the damn thing.
it’s going to be a long time before
i can get those eyes out of my head, boy.
i wish you had fallen in love with me,
like in those movies or in those books,
and then you would have stayed.
i wish i could have met you
at my workplace and you would
take me out to dinner or to an arcade
or to a midnight showing of a B rated horror film.
i wish you were nervous the first time you kissed me
and that you tasted like a breath mint
instead of cheap
the 'd' wordwhen i was seven years old, my mother, tear-streaksthe 'd' word in Free Verse More Like This
drying on her cheeks, fingered her wedding band
and told me, “love hurts, sweetie,
that’s how you know it’s a good love.”
two days later, my father came back home.
he was missing his wedding ring
and when he left again,
he left a handprint on my mother’s cheek
that she carried with her even after the bruise was gone.
i grew up without a father influence in my mother’s world
and without a mother influence in my dad’s.
neither of them got remarried.
they had found each other and that was enough.
they had found each other and that was too much.
i grew up a thin string attaching one man and one woman
together in a way arguments and resentment could never snap.
they met in restaurant parking lots and in the bleachers
of my soccer games the way soldiers meet on battle fields,
trading me across the asphalt and steel like a
deadly weapon, a bullet hurdled back and forth.
he took me out to ball games b
tear the skeleton from his comfortzonei want to build a skyscraper, seventeen stories hightear the skeleton from his comfortzone in Free Verse More Like This
and fill each floor with a story from the people who never said goodbye.
a middle child, born in 1994,
she always wanted to be loved the most
until she learned how to give a blowjob
in an alley behind Miss China’s Takeaway
at knife point.
she lost her childhood
to an ocean who always thought it was small
and never stopped pushing its borders.
he’s not sure how he’s supposed to live without her.
staring at the closed coffin, he loses the ability to want to.
it’s not fair, she thinks,
that the house creaks when she’s trying to sleep,
but when he leaves, it doesn’t make a sound.
nine months and a small coffin later,
she thinks she likes the name “amber”
“tomorrow,” he says as she passes him in the hallway—
him from math, her to english. “i’ll tell her tomorrow,”
a thought he had had for the