Here I lie, motionless,
A prisoner within my own body.
Yet there lies a subtle clarity;
A moment of understanding, achieved by infirmity.
And though my body is racked with pain,
My conscious mind delves ever deeper into the pool of the soul.
My mind is flooded with a racket of noise.
I am cast into the swirling rip-tide of forbidden knowledge,
Clinging to the flotsam of sanity as a Leviathan roars below.
It swallows me into an acidic whirlpool.
Drowning me deep beneath the bubbling surface of the past.
And there, in the murky depths where my very self begins to rot,
A grinning maw of tongues and fangs, bids me a cold "hello!".
-Chen Yuan Wen, 26th June 2013
Into The Mental AbyssInto The Mental Abyss:Into The Mental Abyss in Free Verse More Like This
To the edge of the very abyss I have travelled.
With worn feet, gone bloodied and bare;
Dragged upon stones that stretch like sharpened spines,
Leaving tattered spoils of flesh in my wake...
Even so, I am incapable of halting;
Like a zombie, I remain numb and hypnotised.
Shambling ever onward, toward the glimmer of light.
Eager to be behold the 'she' that awaits me:
A wonderous wellspring of inspiration and knowledge;
Perfect, yet fragile, in both shape and form...
It is her majesty, her radiance,
That leaves me drained...
Alone in the depths, I am humbled and awed.
Yet the admiration that I feel soon turns corrupt,
It renders my thoughts both dark and cracked...
For if any other were to find her,
They would wield her as a weapon.
They would have no need for inspiration.
Creative thought would be an utter simplicity:
Leaving a perfect world, without opportunity...
Indeed I could never share such a thing.
Jealousy leaves me ugly, but still I c
What Are You To Me?What Are You To Me?:What Are You To Me? in Free Verse More Like This
I have walked in this world,
And they have told me of kings.
Of brave rulers who make the tough choices,
Men of example and outstanding character.
But it was then that they said,
What is a king to a God?
What is a mere mortal to a higher power,
One who holds our fate in his hands?
They said he was benevolent and kind,
Wrathful and jealous, magnanimous and selfish alike.
He was the perfect ideal, embodying all things
And we were made in his image...
It was then that I was laughed at,
By he who asked this question:
What is a God, to a non-believer?
One who lives by the truth he sees...
He is the man who acts as per his morals.
He lives through his eyes and is judged by his fellows.
He submits to no higher being, not a one does he fear;
Comfortable with his own conscience...
But all three, I beg; I ask ye this:
For what is a king to a God,
A God to a non-believer,
And all three of them in comparison,
To the madman who watches the world burn...
The Flower of EvilThe Flower of Evil:The Flower of Evil in Free Verse More Like This
Evil is but a blooming flower,
It is born from a humble seed
And grows to corrupt a forest.
To watch its infection spread;
To be a part of its existence...
I can think of no better prospect,
Indeed one might baulk at the idea,
Of seeing millions suffer.
To watch worlds scream and writhe;
To see them suffer and die, with living eyes...
Yet there is a mysterious beauty in such devastation,
Fear that shakes me to my very core;
Is transfigured into a twisted pleasure:
As I am frightened, so too am I aroused.
I am addicted to the ephemeral sensation;
To the borderline between rapture and rupture.
To see my own blood soaking from splitting wounds;
Leaves me maddened amongst these blooming flowers
-Chen Yuan Wen, 1st May 2013
Secrets Should be SilentSecrets Should be Silent:Secrets Should be Silent in Free Verse More Like This
What is in the nature of a secret?
It is not to be known, nor to be seen.
It is that which we bury beneath layers of deceit.
Why then, do we bury poetry?
why then, do we bury prose?
Why secret that which is meant to be seen,
And showcase that which is meant to be secret?
Are the words of our soul less important,
Than mere phrases designed to seek attention?
Are the words that we carve from experience,
Taken as less than a general phrase of emotion?
...No, I would hope not.
For I do as any other might,
And my skeletons are kept under lock and key.
For a secret displayed remains secret no longer;
Merely a gossip's fancy.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 6th July 2013
Under YouUnder You:Under You in Free Verse More Like This
Beneath the surface of the water,
There is silence, peace and darkness.
To mute the mouths of men,
To drown the voice of the world.
Surrounded by ignorance,
I choose not to hear your whispers.
Without death or pain,
Without birth and life;
Surrounded by denial,
I reject this sense of self.
Without colour or light,
Denying all that is around me;
Surrounded by emptiness,
I am blind within this cage.
Muted, ignorant and blind,
I sleep beneath the surface of the lake.
Eternally drenched, eternally drowned,
I am the you beneath the surface.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 8th July 2013
Are We Not Free?Are We Not Free?:Are We Not Free? in Free Verse More Like This
Ye say that nothin' changes;
That all we're tryin' t' do is fer naught.
Ye say that nothing's wrong,
That we should be acceptin' of our fate.
But why should we simply accept things as they are?
Are we no' a free people?
Are we no' allowed t' speak our minds?
Every man, every woman in this land,
Has the freedom t' choose their own path.
If our ideals must beg us differ,
Then that too is a part of the change that grips us.
What exactly do ye have t' fear?
If yer stoic in ye ideal that nothin' will ever change.
Why not simply ignore us;
A passin' flight o' fancy that we are...
Yet still ye try, ye attempt t' change our minds.
Ye pacify us with the notion of acceptance,
Highlightin' the fact that the world is fine.
Ye say that this is the way that things should be!
That m'friend, is yer personal freedom;
I'll not impinge upon it, fer it be yours.
I only ask, if ye could kindly mind,
Not to treat us, like we're bleedin' blind...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 18th July 2013
PressurePressure:Pressure in Free Verse More Like This
You try to breathe, but you're barely breathing,
You can't think clearly; you can barely speak.
Your mind is filled with needless thoughts.
Your cheeks are red and feverish...
You know what you must do,
But you can't bring yourself to do it.
Instead you jump into a thousand distractions...
Mindlessly seeking the thrill of the 'anything',
You cringe at the progress of time on the clock.
And with lips gone dry from an internal hell-fire
You continue to evade what you cannot face...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 22nd June 2013
The Real WritersThe Real Writers:The Real Writers in Free Verse More Like This
There are those who sit with their laptops and tablets,
Clothed in a scarf and an artistic hat of some sort.
They ponder; leaving a stack of books beside them,
Sipping their decaf as though they are literature personified.
What works do they prepare, other than blatant copies,
Perhaps a half-baked romance designed to woo a lady.
So convinced are they, of their own aptitude;
They are blinded by the beams of their burgeoning ego.
For the writer is not the man who is tapping away at keys,
He is not the man fervently reading with lensless glasses.
He is not the hipster debating ancient literature.
For he is a monster, wearing human skin.
He is the deranged madman, eccentric, uncanny.
He is the one who sits catatonic;
An entire world of fantasy playing in his mind.
He has gone through millions of scenes,
Thousands of scenarios, hundreds of plots
And dozens of characters.
He is not the man you expect him to be,
For a true writer is utterly WEIRD.
Player versus PlayerPlayer versus Player:Player versus Player in Free Verse More Like This
Elemental artisttry, as lightning weaves through the air.
I see the bloodthirst in his eyes, the hunger for victory.
A demand to be recognised, yet soon to be silenced;
Perfect and perfunctory - my opponent made defunct...
As I stand above this dying creature;
The flicker of life soon fading from their eyes.
I smile and whisper a word of parting,
For the fool who fell where he lies.
-Unfinished piece by Chen Yuan Wen, 10th April 2012
What's Left Behind...Some days I find myself staggering from this hovel;What's Left Behind... in Free Verse More Like This
To stand with shaking legs upon the window ledge.
I look down at the tiny world below, wind rushing before me;
And I wonder if I'll be able to fly tonight...
The caress of the wind, so gentle upon my skin.
One step, one leap and I'd dip myself into the eye of the storm.
But just before my courage sends me;
Just before I take the final plunge.
I find myself looking back, at the world I'd leave behind...
Stacks of paper and a pot of ink,
Reams of stories too precious to burn.
Ideas and fears both rolled into one;
And pages of poetry left undone...
It always leaves me smiling...
For these were the treasures so close to my heart.
They are the wealth of my mind; my soul, my art.
And I could never ever leave them be,
Where another might burn them, without thinking of me...
"Apologies father, I cannot join you yet:
For in this world, a treasure still exists.
A treasure tha
It is 9 in the afternoon& I have forgottenIt is 9 in the afternoon in Free Verse More Like This
how to write in poetics-
tongue kissed & gaping like
a siren missing from her sea.
I have been coughing up black
for days. Unable to clean the taste
from my mouth, these broken
typewriter keys sewn into my
fingertips scream something fierce.
They ache with longing
to tell of a story
that left them
for a better high
a story that never deserved
to make a home under the skin,
to crawl breech through an
-& out through the wrists
of young girls much too ripe
to fall from their beds.
I am so damn tired
of looking over railings
& wondering what
it would feel like
RelapseIt’s like countingRelapse in Free Verse More Like This
along your limbs -
remembering a time
‘just one more’
made you feel better.
- & you’re sitting there
Draco, stuck in limbo
always looks like he’s
You stole my heart...It's been ages since then,You stole my heart... in Free Verse More Like This
but it still beats--
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I've spent light-years
holding you in these
aging arms of mine,
like the 6 trillion
miles you must be
away from me right now.
I'm cold and rusting and
lonely without your
and those sneaky smiles
reserved only for me.
Three days and the world has gone
August Lover,I want to wrap myself in your air,August Lover, in Free Verse More Like This
hold your secrets between my
ribcage-embrace & just
A Gods DebtSutured together by artists,A Gods Debt in Free Verse More Like This
hallowed out, & spit back up,
( you are afraid. )
Hooks longing for her ribcage embrace;
god-hands that can't seem to keep to themselves
grapple the gargoyle exterior of her deflowered frame.
( spread your legs. )
Red-inked and trembling,
prosetry masked as screams
knots into her anatomy.
Writer ScarsI have told my secretsWriter Scars in Free Verse More Like This
through loves ink -
painted them to my skin
with watercolor defiance.
& writers, we sometimes
write about our scars
in riddles, layers upon
layers of thought, -
care for them
on the warlands
of our bodies.
we give them faces,
we give them names,
we give them gravestones.
We kill them off
in our stories,
make them villains,
make them heroes.
I have wrists that roar,
& I will be damned
if I don’t let them
tell their stories.
You should never attack a poet,we are the best at exploiting weakness.You should never attack a poet, in Free Verse More Like This
the night you took a scalpel to my chest
& fed my heart to the stars,
you told me i could hate you
if i needed to.
with an exorcism
i tried to cast you out
of my body.
i was contorted limbs:
the language of tongues
trying to find myself
in the cosmos
of lit kerosene fingertips,
& the kinds of habits
that only choke me at 3am -
when my eyes aren’t yet heavy
enough for sleep;
my mind tells me to do awful things.
between fucking &
you are the calories
in the mathematical equation
i think of shy moons
and i don’t eat for three days.
you only liked me
when this poetic tongue
space shrapnel aside-
you’re too far down now
for even the stars
to graph you into their maps.
I'm talking myself in circles,I screamed,I'm talking myself in circles, in Free Verse More Like This
"There is nothing
wrong with me, not a damn
I wanted to believe
the big dipper on my arm
meant something more
than sun marks & kisses.
But, how can I trust words
that slip through my teeth
as easy as breathing
when this star
has only ever learned
how to f
Bones mend, but tell no lies.You have cataloged your scarsBones mend, but tell no lies. in Free Verse More Like This
like your body is a library-
to be read through &
You think of
all the little boys
whose greedy fingers
You are angry-
cared for you
They left you
on a shelf
to gather dust.
should you ever
Scorpiussometimes,Scorpius in Free Verse More Like This
i wake up with bits of Orion
still stuck between my teeth.
& i grin, remembering
the face of every lover
i’ve managed unscathed,
to crawl out from underneath.
‘ad astra’ inked into ankle bones
like little wings, Pluto’s underworld
ripe, coursing through my veins:
i stake claim to clavicles.
between the constellations
of tongues & weak limbs,
i get off
on all the ways mere mortals
beg me to sacrifice them
to the heavens.
Eternal SleepA sirens song,Eternal Sleep in Free Verse More Like This
Calls my name,
Sorrowful and beautiful,
Filled with pain,
The call of death,
Promises of peace,
An eternal one,
Of endless sleep.
Her open arms,
Hold me close,
As the coldness
Of death takes hold
Numbing and frozen
As the pain eases away
I close my eyes
And with my last breath
Say your name....
Tears of an AngelTears of an AngelTears of an Angel in Free Verse More Like This
I don’t know how much longer that I can be strong,
This storm is so great, I feel like I am coming undone,
Winds wrapping around me, I can hardly breathe,
The rains breaking me down, tearing at the seams,
Burning eyes I have, that don’t shed a tear,
The weight upon my shoulders, I can no longer bear
What once was strong and impenetrable, these walls of mine,
Are slowly crumbling around me, dust into the ground
No longer able to shield myself, from all that’s going on,
A heart slowly dying inside, no longer filled with joy,
Sadness and sorrow have engulfed my very soul,
Sometimes I truly wish that I wasn’t here anymore.
Wings battered and bruised, fail me as I fall to my knees,
No longer able to glide and fly, enjoying the breeze,
Dreams that were once so real, burning to nothing but ash,
Are blown away with the wind, floating by so fast,
I watch them as they fade, all my hope is gone,
A sad melody fills my ears, as my tears finally fall…
Dying From LoveDying From LoveDying From Love in Free Verse More Like This
His sweet words touched her heart
Now it is bleeding and torn apart
His gentle touch as he held her hand
Now it is empty as a barren land
His tender kiss across her lips
Ignited something deep within
Now they are parched and dry
Craving moisture that he would provide
He caressed her heart with his love
Now it is screaming from the pain
Dying slowly as she cries in the rain
Forever MoreForever MoreForever More in Free Verse More Like This
It's said true friendship is strong
A tree hundreds of years old
yet I saw a withered leaf falling
And the green begins to fade
Look beyond the withered leaf
See past the fading green
Look down into the soil
Where strong roots do grow.
I can hear dry branches cracking
And all the oncoming storms
Black clouds darkening the sky
Are we strong enough to prevail?
Though the branches may crack
As the winds bend them back
Look beyond the darkening clouds
The rays of the sun can be found.
I don't want to lose what we had.
I don't want to see it die.
But the wind takes the leaves away.
A barren skeleton is what is left.
You will not lose what is there
The beauty of nature will prevail
For beneath the soil the roots will grow
Blooming leaves that are forever more
When did we stop to care?
Hoping the tree's big enough
Our visits became rare
OvercomeOvercomeOvercome in Free Verse More Like This
I do this...well...when it is needed.
I haven't written in so long
Yet tonight it is needed
For my emotions have been drawn
Like a fountain they pour
All that is inside of me
Silent words never spoken
The tears that are never seen
I am not sure if it will help
I am not sure of much at all
To many emotions
I wish it would stop
I want it all to go away
I wish I truly had wings
Maybe then I would be free
Maybe finding peace and serenity
Yet that is a childish thought
For the world we live in
It will always be a dream...
FadingIt hurts to moveFading in Free Verse More Like This
It hurts to breathe
Looking at a cracked reflection
That is now me
Lost and drifting
A soul fades away
Like the morning mist
On the dock of a bay
Maybe it will be better
Once it is complete
No more pain
No more tears
No more me....
Just A DreamJUST A DREAMJust A Dream in Free Verse More Like This
So fleeting is that moment of happiness,
Touching you in an instant,
Caressing you with its gentle touch,
Then it disappears, you open your eyes,
Finding yourself in the same darkness,
A heart lifting and soaring,
A smile full of happiness and joy,
Sounds of sweet laughter drifting in the air,
Then it disappears, you open your eyes,
Finding yourself in the same darkness,
Shining in the light for a moment,
The warmth filling you full of life,
Feeling carefree while riding a wave of bliss,
Then it disappears, you open your eyes,
Finding yourself in the same darkness,
No sound of laughter is heard,
Eyes looking around a barren room,
Wondering if it was real,
Or was it just a teasing vision,
Feeling a deep emptiness,
You're in the same darkness,
A single tear leaves your eye
It was all just a dream
MutantHear me read itMutant in Free Verse More Like This
I am a mutant.
| My skin does not sallow in the sun
and I do not blush jaundice through my cheeks.
| I do not have extra fingers, or toes -
although my spine;
it boasts an ironic vertebrae,
it is a long tally of the hearts I have broken
and when I straighten my spine the bones Pop out of place.
I am out of place.
| I do not have a super power,
I lack exceptionality in all but my ordinariness.
| there is a vengeful bacteria feasting -
on my shoulder places;
Trees know how to be braveThe trees are resigned to dyingTrees know how to be brave in Free Verse More Like This
and still they do not shrivel
against the brutal winds of August.
They reach out. Reach up. Grasp.
They etch out, as veins,
into the tender flesh of the sky
and pierce the sun with broken fingers
trying hard to warm aching bones
for their first and final days
of a life as a skeletal dream.
Trees know that tragedy is not death
but what we let die in us, in life.
Just Don'tDon't tell the people that they are close to God.Just Don't in Free Verse More Like This
Don't tell them that he hears
the half-broken whimper from their strangled voice box
that is wrapped tightly shut
( so the demons don't hear and intercept our hopes )
with the fraying cord of our dreams. Don't.
Don't tell the people that they can be heard.
Don't tell the ants
that the watchful eyes that hover above them know nothing
of their struggle
and do nothing to assist them.
Do not break their dorsal aortas with your clumsy
malnourished ideas about eternal love. Don't.
Don't tell the people that they can be heard.
Don't hope to cure meningitis
and malaria with a well-placed verb
or a splinter of metal into vertebrae.
Some people are not to be saved that way.
Don't tell the people that are close to the
HatredYou are a hemorrhage. You are the violent implosion of my blood under my skin that makes it itch like I am morphine-high. You are my blood seeping from arteries into artillery and shooting holes through my over-ripened heart. You are the snarl on my lip and scars across my forearms that burst open when I over reach my capabilities. You are the writhing groaning dying beast in my ribbed cage that aches for a kill. If I released you, you would snap my neck and watch me spurt out the only truth between us; my blood. You are venom and sap, holding my structure together from otherwise limp apathy but nonetheless you are poison, and how I hate you, hatred.Hatred in Free Verse More Like This
I will remember for youDo you remember;I will remember for you in Free Verse More Like This
It was September and I was seventeen.
I was gnarled into the corner of a bus
Mithering away at my gloomy mood;
Trying to shake the oppressive landscape in my mind.
It was unexpected.
It was unexpected to see you there.
You were folded primly onto a bus shelters seat
With her hand enveloped in yours
You both lifted your other hands, synchronised,
And waved to me with your familiar smiles.
I was surprised.
I was surprised to see you there.
Your grey hat tipped so rain slipped off
And her glasses whitening with the steam of her laugh
I just looked at you, gluttonous,
I absorbed every detail of that moment.
It was unexpected.
It was unexpected to see you there.
But there you were nonetheless,
Eighty years old, clasping hands awaiting a bus
My eyes leaked they were overfull of the sight
Of two people, quietly, silently in love.
I was surprised.
I was surprised to see you there
Jacked UpMy boyfriend slashed one of my car tires.Jacked Up in Short Stories More Like This
I didn't realise it at first. I had the day off work and we'd been lazing together in our seasonable bed, when he suggested we go out for lunch. Now my boyfriend is many things but keen to leave the house he is not. He likes to be at home, tinkering in the shed and whatnot. I should have been suspicious but it had been such a hazy dreamy morning that I just wanted to spend time with him before Monday morning ruined it all.
It took some time to get out of the house though, because as I was brushing my hair he commented on how it was all lit up from behind by the sun and the look in his eyes simply had to be kissed away.
Can you blame me?
Anyway we got to the car eventually, although he had to rush back into the house to get his wallet. I tried to protest, I could pay, but he insisted. That's when I noticed the tire. At first it only seemed like a flat tire but as I knelt in the autumn debris I saw the hole. I swore.
"What's up babe?" - he was co
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
Double NegativeI have never loved you.Double Negative in Free Verse More Like This
I did not love you from that misty
September morning when we met.
I did not love you the first moment
I gazed into those saccharine eyes.
I have never, in fact, loved the roughness
in your soft voice when it says my name.
I have never loved the look on your face
when you smile over your bagel at me.
I don't love the cocoa streaked in your hair
or the way it ruffles its feathers upright
when you fall from your warm bed-nest,
half asleep, vulnerable and shy in the morning.
I do not love you.
I did not love you in that very moment
when your breath snagged against my lip
as it finally brushed yours - no, I did not.
I did not love you the first, second, or last time.
Listen to me carefully, my sweet -
I have never loved you, I will never love you.
I will not love you until my very last breath
and the absences of breath beyond that.
I will never love you for all that makes you
the warm, compassionate fighter in my corner.
I won't accept you for all your innocen
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
But I will.Fight me.But I will. in Free Verse More Like This
I promise not to fight back.
I promise to smile, I promise to laugh.
I promise to be nice
Even if it's a sacrifice.
I promise to be strong
Even when you treat me wrong.
Because I've learned how to deal with ignorance
Better than you've learned how to use it.
And I promise to smile, and promise to laugh.
Yes, I promise.
I won't (but I will) fight back.
I tried.I tried.I tried. in Free Verse More Like This
I tried to save you,
But you kept falling.
You wanted to crash.
But I tried.
I tried to protect you
But you kept escaping the shelter.
You wanted the disaster.
But I tried.
I tried to keep us together.
But you kept running.
You wanted to leave me.
But I tried.
I tried to do everything to please you.
But you didn't accept it.
You didn't notice it.
You didn't appreciate it.
You didn't love me for it.
You didn't even care.
You wanted it your way, more than you wanted me.
But I tried.
Depression...No, depression is not just getting sad.Depression... in Free Verse More Like This
It's a constant sadness that melts into your bones,
An indescribably heavy weight upon your shoulders,
Never mind your heart and soul.
It's believing so many lies (maybe because you've learned to accept them)
And no longer appreciating your self-worth.
Wishing you no longer existed, wishing yourself gone.
Depression holds you back from your dreams
And pulls you into a nightmare.
It takes full control of your existence.
It makes you never want to get out of bed,
And when you finally do,
You just want to get back in it.
But you know the hardest part?
Daddy, Daddy.Daddy, daddy! Come play with me.Daddy, Daddy. in Free Verse More Like This
I'll be the princess filled with glee.
You'll be the king, you'll reign over the sea.
Daddy, daddy, come play with me!
Daddy, daddy! Let's play a game
I'll grow up and like magic, i'll change
Into somebody so odd and so strange
Daddy, Daddy. Let's play a game.
Dad, hey dad! Let's do something fun.
I'll pull the trigger of this heavy gun
After I've given you some time to run
Dad, hey dad, let's have some fun.
Dad, come on now, can't you see?
This knife in your back and this bullet in your knee
It's who I've become, who I've grown to be.
Daddy, come on...
Come play with me.
In a Little Girl's MindThere sits the girl with the things in her eyesIn a Little Girl's Mind in Free Verse More Like This
Monsters, destruction, and sweet butterflies
Hopscotch and daisies, surrounded by screams
Beautiful dresses now torn at the seams
Crayons and paintbrushes, villains and grins
Young, gladsome innocence, hatred and sins
Little red houses on roads left to fade
Gorgeous moonlight shining off of the blade
Blood pouring out as she cries her own name
Knowing she's forced to take each bit of blame
She could have stopped it and left it behind
All of these things in her troubled young mind
She could have saved them if she dared to try
Rather, though, she left herself there to die.
Now, others watch as she sits on the ground
Keeping their distance and letting her drown
In her own worries and things she won't tell
Waiting for her mind to kill her as well…
Till Death Do Us PartThe poison resting beneath my lungsTill Death Do Us Part in Free Verse More Like This
As fire in the rain
The lies painting my tongue
The crimson blood stains
A scream drenching the skies
A shining blade of diamond rings
Sinking into your cries
A nightmare of the prettiest things
A demon with wings
Resting in my heart
So tell me again,
Again and again...
"Till death do us part."
Watched it burnKing being murdered upon the throneWatched it burn in Free Verse More Like This
Dreams made out of solid stone
Learn to fly and learn to crash
Nightmares in a lightning flash
Life's what you get, not what you earn
Too bad you sat back and watched it burn...
Tastes Like...Daddy likes to make meTastes Like... in Free Verse More Like This
Eat my words.
I see him hit Mommy
And I know she hurts.
So I tell him, to get her
He has to go through me.
And, well, I can no longer walk
And I can no longer see.
Daddy makes me eat my words
And reality starts to flood.
Yes, Daddy makes me eat my words…
And my words taste like blood.
Good Enough... for YOU.As I sit here cradling the blade in my handsGood Enough... for YOU. in Free Verse More Like This
Treasuring the moments I wish that I had
I can't stop growing more lost and confused
I can't stop thinking... am I good enough for you?
As I sit here, wrapping the rope around my neck
No one will understand a meaning so complex
I simply can't stop thinking about it somehow
Thinking, am I good enough for you now?
As I sit here, pulling the trigger on the gun
I think, maybe I was never meant for "the one"...
goes the bullet.
For when I think it through...
I really won't ever be good enough for you.
To some people.To some people, it’s called breathing.To some people. in Free Verse More Like This
To me, it’s called inhaling poison,
Which drenches my lungs and sinks into my bones
And melts into my mind.
To some people, it’s called anxiety.
To me, it’s called an unbearable shakiness in my soul
The nervousness preventing my from ever escaping
This disease in my heart.
To some people, it’s called living.
To me, it’s called never being able to run away.
Never being able to truly go, truly leave.
To me, it’s called being caught in a nightmare,
While struggling to dream.
Chasing a mystery with no solution.
Escaping your own sanity to reach more sanity,
Freeing yourself from your happiness to find more happiness.
To some people, it’s called life.
There’s no such thing.
The JokeThe first joke is when they tell you to be strong for everybody else after your father leaves for the fourth time.The Joke in Free Verse More Like This
The next joke is when they tell you to stop being sensitive when the children at school choose to hurt you for being differentstrangeodd.
The wrong joke is when they tell you to be quiet after the beating your mother has given you has bloodied your face and you can't see through swelled shut eyes.
The funny joke is when they tell you to shut up when you stand up against the man with lifeless eyes who tried to make you as lifeless as himself.
The unaware joke is when they tell you that you should have defended yourself when three men come at you in a dark alley.
The painful joke is when they tell you you should be grateful that the man who raped you didn't kill you as well.
The angry joke is when they tell you that you are wrong for existing because being gaybilesbiantransexual is a sin.
The ignorant joke is when they tell you to be less provocative with your man when he pu
Austenesque Therapy“Hello.”Austenesque Therapy in Free Verse More Like This
“Good afternoon. Why have you come to see me today?”
“Because I had to.”
“I see. So tell me... what’s bothering you.”
“I lose my breath because I can’t believe that this is all I am going to be.”
“What is wrong with what you are?”
“I’m not loved.”
“You have your friends, your family-”
“Come on, you know what I mean. The devil-may-care-what-the-world-thinks, passionate, can’t-breathe-without-each-other, catch-you-when-you-fall-kind-of-love.”
“I don’t even know how to begin to find it in this world.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I prefer living in my books. I like how that makes me feel. And then I’m just disappointed.”
“And how does that make you feel?”
“It makes me feel sometimes, like I am completely unreasonable to say, that in a time of smart phones
Lonely GirlI painted.Lonely Girl in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You said I'm wasteful.
You said I couldn't hold a tune.
You said I made no sense.
You said I had two left feet.
You told me I was ugly.
I will be amazing one day.
Just to make all of you wonder why you didn't get to know me better.
One Like WaterWe speak.One Like Water in Free Verse More Like This
We all live.
We all die.
So tell me again.
make us so different
from each other?
A Little Bit of WonderlandHer name was Alyssa, and when she was nine, her mother built her Wonderland. After being raised on a healthy diet of Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and J.M. Barrie, it seemed like the natural course of action. She created it out of paper, each scene indispensably, indisputably perfect in its imperfection.A Little Bit of Wonderland in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And she did it because Alyssa was terrified of the idea of falling through a rabbit hole, into a place that allows magic only when you are confused. Mothers do the most impractical, exhausting things to show how much they love their children. It seemed a pity that it was this very effort that kept Alyssa up all night, staring at the paper people like they were coming to get her.
(If Alyssa’s mother knew, she would have spent all her time trying to explain to the little girl that it wasn’t just paper people she should be afraid of.)
God appeared to have a sense of humour when little Alice became Alyssa’s best friend. She lives across the street, her hair always
Wistful"I am the boy who wants to loveWistful in Free Verse More Like This
your misshapen words,
your broken hearted pieces,
your ink split fingers.
I am the boy who wants to kiss
those scar tattooed arms,
that tear stained face
mend what has been broken.
I am the boy who can
make your heart
sing poetry again."
If only he would say it
like he had
This is Not a Story about SuicideI am not here. These are not hospital walls. This is not a nurse who is speaking to me. That is not John unconscious, lying in a bed that faces due North, and that is not his mother trying to explain why his bed should always face North because he hates sleeping facing South.This is Not a Story about Suicide in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
This is not happening.
I am not taking a deep breath. I am not walking down the sickly white corridors with their bleach scent. I am not buying this cup of coffee from a cafeteria lady who is working at an hour that is reserved only for intensive care patients. This is not the way back to what is not John’s room.
That is not his heart rate dropping, and I am not running out of the room, screaming for help. We are not being pushed out, that door does not have a red light that claims intensive care, it has not been all night.
That is not John’s doctor explaining how they were not able to pump his stomach completely and it is not John who flat lined. That is not an empty hospital bed. That is not his moth
Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.Teaching Summer to Breathe in Emotional More Like This
You taught me how to drink that night.
(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)
Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)
You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.
Sea of Liesi.Sea of Lies in Free Verse More Like This
My father never read me the story of Icarus. I found it for myself. I suppose he did not want me to know what it was like to almost touch the stars. But it was only after I had read the story did I even try to reach so far. It is a little like falling in love...and then drowning in the sea.
(I would be lying if I said the fall didn't break everything I had once believed was solid.)
My science teacher knew well that I was a dreamer. When I told her I believed fairytales were as real as love is, I could see the disapproval and disappointment in her eyes. I suppose thats why in her classroom, when I was asked what the greatest force in the universe was, I answered love. I suppose thats why she laughed and reminded me that love was as much a fairytale as the fairytales I believed in.
(She was wrong. Love exists...its just been broken into a million little pieces, set afloat in a sea of heartbreak.)
My mother didn't want to speak about t
FragmentsI call them fragments, the parts of me that were too exhausted to stay. He calls them flecks because I am a flake. I wish I was a flake. It sounds prettier than being a fragment. Flakes are like snow. Soothing, falling from the sky on the tip of his tongue that melt and disappear. Fragments are archeological findings of a scarred past we really should not remember.Fragments in Free Verse More Like This
I want to remember my scars. So I am a fragment.
I draw on my legs. When my skin dries out, I use my index finger as a pencil and draw what the clouds are trying to tell me. Sometimes it’s a dog, and sometimes it’s a bear and sometimes it is his face looking at me disapprovingly.
That is when I stop drawing.
At night, when the rain falls, I sit at the bay window and pretend to write stories whilst he pretends to sleep. “What are you writing?” he will ask in his asleep voice. “A funny story.” It is not. It is a pale, scary story, and it looks like my skin. “Were you dreamin
HomesickThey say home is where your heart is.Homesick in Free Verse More Like This
Right now I wonder
if that means I am away from home,
lost on the road
between here and there,
or that I am
Nature morteNature morte in Free Verse More Like This
I tried to paint her
I had already set the background
the cold and warm colors, the surroundings,
the atmosphere, the light,
the soothing feelings,
the sheets on the bed, forever unmade,
a plate of fruits on the nightstand...
but then she left
and all I have now
is a fresh painting
d'une nature morte
with a plate of fruits on the nightstand,
the tortured feelings,
the atmosphere, the dust,
the cold and distant colors, the surroundings,
and her form, imprinted in the sheets on the bed,
PhantomWhen lifePhantom in Free Verse More Like This
or whatever it is
that puts things together
and takes them apart...
it left me
with a phantom
and you are still attached
to my body
when I dance
and make love
PersistenceI have a black old sweaterPersistence in Free Verse More Like This
some of you may know it
you've seen me wear it so many times,
too many... some might say.
it has a few holes
the sleeves are almost falling apart
there's a pink decolored spot
on the left side, near the stomach,
where bleach fell on it.
but it's my favorite sweater
and I still wear it very often
in fact I'm wearing it right now
while I write these lines
and though I don't attach myself to things
there are some that no matter how much you try
you can't completely replace
and you will always love
and you will always miss
after they're gone
NipponThe cherry blossomsNippon in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
are always expectant
before an atomic explosion.
GladiatorBeing an artist sometimes feels like being a gladiator.Gladiator in Letters More Like This
Though the occasional flowers heal the superficial wounds or boost the ego after an exhausting fight, they do nothing to keep pain at bay when I go back to my cage.
Just like gladiators who die in the arena, spilling their guts out in the concrete and omnipresent dirt, just like the reality of the screams and wails covered by the cheers of the masses... so do I spill everything I feel on paper, for your entertainment.
And just like the cuts of a sword through the flesh, going down with a shriek on the naked bone, are real, so are the nervous strokes of the pencil real, and the words are real, and the pain is real, and the love is real. And this is the only way I can do art, and you have it all, the gore and the sublime.
And I will keep doing it this way until I collapse in the dirt, with my guts spi
Metamorphosesat first you crawl,Metamorphoses in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the thoughts that race,
the body slow
and then you stop,
and sleep, and dream,
cocooned in silk,
no thought, no scream
at last... you rise!
into the night
a lunar moth
in search of light
EmptinessI stopped cleaning my roomEmptiness in Free Verse More Like This
dust lays everywhere
but I'm confident the void inside me
will suck it all in
and leave my room
There is no place for me.There is no place for my ideals or me,There is no place for me. in Concrete Poetry More Like This
There is no place for justice or mercy.
There is no place for true love anymore,
It's a sad truth, it saddens me at the core.
There is no place for me in this world,
Where the cries of the needy must go unheard.
I'm cast out for my ideals, my gentleman's code,
Well, I was born like this, a man in hero mode.
There is no place for a hero in this world,
The knight in shining armour must go unheard.
There is no such thing as a Fairy Tale,
I am not Prince Charming, just another sail.
On a boat afloat on a sea of sadness,
The winds of mourning passing through me.
There is nowhere in this world for me...
There is nowhere in this world for gallantry.
Without You.And as the blood runs off of this blade,Without You. in Free Verse More Like This
And drips out onto this far out glade.
I really wish I'd told you no,
I really wish I had told you "don't go".
And as the tears ran from your eye,
I wish I could've made them dry.
But right now I wish more than anything,
That you were mine, because I am nothing.
I'm going to cry.I'm going to cry for all I've lost,I'm going to cry. in Free Verse More Like This
And you can't or won't stop me.
I'm going to die for all I was,
And all you'll do is watch me.
I'm going to hide from you,
Afraid to show my weakness.
I would happily die for you,
But I still regret this.
I didn't want this life,
I didn't want these tears.
I didn't want this life,
I didn't want these fears.
I used to cause myself pain,
To make sure I still feel.
I'll do it now and again,
To make sure it's still real.
I'm going to cry for all I've lost,
And you can't stop me.
These tears I cry at my cost,
For once will flow freely.
There's a light at the end of the tunnel."There's a light at the end of the tunnel."There's a light at the end of the tunnel. in Concrete Poetry More Like This
Then I will run as fast as I can.
"Hang in there, get through the tunnel!"
Believe me, I'm doing the best I can...
I run dead ahead, trying to reach the light,
But the shadows surround me, and hold on tight.
As I break free from them, it takes all my might,
As I run, it seems to just get further out of sight.
But yes, I see it! That glorious light!
As I keep running, and the light gets brighter.
I propel myself forward with the last of my might,
Too late, I realise, the light is a flamethrower...
I am me.I am a rock, I am a stone,I am me. in Concrete Poetry More Like This
I am all the things that you bemoan.
I will not cry, I shall not weep,
Even with this pain, even if I bleed.
You cannot make me die,
No matter how hard you try,
I will not weep, although I may bleed,
I will survive, for I am me.
And once I am gone,
And have finished what I begun.
I will still be,
For I am me.
This one is Mine.I see the look in your eye as you follow her around the room,This one is Mine. in Free Verse More Like This
I saw the poem you wrote, and told her she'd know whom.
Who it was for is what she asked, and walked off without a clue,
And you stared at her back whispering "I love you.".
Well, I'm going to be nice and give you a warning here,
This one is mine, and only mine, do I make myself clear?
I know she loves me more than words can express,
And I tell you, she is mine, that girl in that dress.
I read that poem, and I must tell you something,
I love her, and she loves me, for me she would do anything.
So, whatever you're waiting for, the right place, the right time?
Stop waiting, because I'm not letting go, I'm telling you. She's mine.
We are out there.Through all this anarchy, a broken world and it's insanity, I walk on.We are out there. in Spirit Day More Like This
All of these people, I will protect them from the world, I fight on.
Through this snowglobe with shattered glass, I walk on.
All of these people with shattered hearts, I fight for.
An angel, a Fallen, a masqueraded messenger with black wings.
Walking with a purpose, war, murder, I save them from these things.
My weapon is a sword of ice, bound with blue fire.
I fight to protect them, but they think me a liar.
They don't know who or what I am, and I protect them with these lies.
But they don't know this, or don't want to, that I stop their sad cries.
This Fallen with black wings, protecting you from all these things.
He is sad that you do not believe him, for his purpose is protecting.
This Reaper, protecting you, walking through the world.
He goes unnoticed, and his pleas always go unheard.
You will have no parley with liars, never to talk to them.
But what they don't realise is, he tells lies to protect them.
We are one...We are many, We are Legion... But we are still, only one.We are one... in Concrete Poetry More Like This
Was the reply to the begging, to stop all the horrors that had begun.
Atheists say you pray to nothing, or that your God does not hear.
Your God does hear, which is what theists both hope, and fear.
Be it a God among angels, or a God among devils, or a God among men.
They are still only one God, even with the strength of ten men.
They would not be able to stop these horrors, keep them at bay.
Because every God falls trying, and most die where they lay.
One man alone, One God alone, Or Legion, alone.
They would still be helpless, for they are on their own.
I know this, yet I stand tall, a hero for you all.
I am on my own, yet I am proud, and I stand tall.
I am a hero, and I will spread my wings far and wide.
I will look after you all, I will help you, and be your guide.
Everyone fails, when they are on their own.
But I am the one who will do
Belief.I do not believe in God, and things I cannot see,Belief. in Concrete Poetry More Like This
I didn't believe in love until I looked into your eyes,
I never did believe, that someone could love me,
But when I look at you I see through your disguise.
I see a sad woman that needs a hero,
When others see someone strong and solitary.
I see someone that loves their hero,
Someone who is sad and lonely.
Silently with a smile always was your style,
But I promise you that you can speak to me.
Because when you're sad, I'll be there all the while.
For your hero loves you, and wants you to be happy.
The Black XX marks the spot, the treasure on the maps,The Black X in Free Verse More Like This
This mark feeds, courage and strength it saps.
This X over the frail boy's heart,
As slowly, so slowly, they all depart.
His courage, his strength, his force of will,
Without these powers he feels quite ill.
The dark used to hold no worries for him,
But now; it suffocates and swallows him.
That one little mark had changed it all,
The boy who always belonged in the dark.
He had been stolen, consumed by it all,
That boy now belonged To The Dark.
10 CutsOne for the love I once felt for you,10 Cuts in Free Verse More Like This
Two because I thought our love was true.
Three for how I let you play with my heart and mess with my mind.
Four because I thought I could change your ways.
Five for how much time I wasted on you,
Six because all you did is throw it all away.
Seven because everything we shared meant absolutely nothing.
Eight for the fact that I lost you,
and I can't do anything to get you back.
Nine because you chose her over me,
Ten because I'm sorry I am not perfect,
but trust me I will never stop loving you
LoveSay you can stay with me tonight,Love in Free Verse More Like This
And be with me until the end.
All I want is to be loved,
So wont you stay and hold me close.
Tell me that my waiting is done,
Because I found you, and you're the one.
promise that you'll stay forever,
Because I know I can't say bye.
Show me that you love me,
Scars and all.
Believe in me with all my faults,
And tell me that I'm perfect.
Love me so I'll finally be happy,
With you by my side.
Trust me when I say I'm fine,
And tell me no more cutting.
With that soft voice,
That let's me know I'm safe.
Kiss my scars,
And tell me I'm a beautiful piece of art.
Show me that love is true,
Because I don't want to die alone.
Not without you...
Life Isn't EasyDon't worry you say,Life Isn't Easy in Free Verse More Like This
Everything will be okay.
But how do you know,
Have you gone through my pain...
Do you know how I feel,
Or do you think this isnt real.
Do you think I'm a fake?
Because life isn't a piece of cake.
It's not a sweet ride,
Where nothing bad happens.
It is full of bumps on the road,
And life is just a habbit.
You wake up every morning,
As happy as can be.
But me on the other hand,
I wake up with dried tears on my face,
A pillow absolutely drenched,
And some dried blood on my wrist.
You don't believe it,
It cant possibly be true.
Well take another guess,
Because what I'm about to say,
Is the absolute truth...
Too Late...Can't you hear my plea?Too Late... in Free Verse More Like This
I'm caged up, And need to be set free.
I call for you,
But you don't come.
What do I need to do?
Fall on my knees and bleed.
Can't you see I'm hurt enough,
And all I need is help.
I call for you!
I scream for you!
But you don't come to my rescue...
What will it take?
To see me dead!
Will you notice then?
The pain I felt,
How lost I was!
Will you notice all my injuries...
The cuts and bruises.
What about the suicide attempts?
Will you count how many there were?
Or will you stand there,
And say what a beautiful girl she was,
When all you did was bully me...
Just...They tell me to stop,Just... in Free Verse More Like This
But I keep going...
It's not their choice but mine,
And I won't stop until they start showing.
Breaking the HabitShout into my pillow,Breaking the Habit in Free Verse More Like This
Let it hear my screams,
To feel my pain,
And know my fears.
I'll cry myself to sleep,
and want to do it again.
So I'll claw at my wrists,
and wish they'd bleed...
I'll look in a mirror,
And force myself to smile.
The mirror always lies to me,
It shows me who I want to be.
Not the real Nathalie...
I'll fall to the floor,
And start to cry.
I just need one more,
Just to stop the pain
I'm going through.
But I can't go back to it,
Because tonight I'm breaking the habit.
Suffering for YouFall to your knees,Suffering for You in Free Verse More Like This
And bleed out your dreams,
Of once truly being free.
Fluttering like a butterfly,
On broken wings of despair.
Can you feel my fragile soul,
As I'm falling through the air.
Can you hear my heart thumping,
As I'm jumping out
Of this lifeless body,
Can you hear my desperate cries,
As I told you how much I loved you.
Don't you see I was broken,
Truly broken on the inside.
Couldn't you see my pain,
As I looked you in the eyes.
Can't you see I needed you,
That I was begging on my knees.
Fuck Up...Quenching my thirst,Fuck Up... in Free Verse More Like This
Burning my throat,
Numbing my feelings.
Not allowing me to think,
Walking like a zombie,
My head clouded,
I don't realize what I do.
It's in my hand again,
How could it be?
It goes through.
And the sting brings me...
Back to reality,
Back to emotional pain.
I cut again.
Perfect ImperfectionsSociety paints a picture of being perfect,Perfect Imperfections in Free Verse More Like This
We as humans look up to that standard,
and then look down upon ourselves.
At a young age we're told what we have to grow up to be.
The 'perfect' woman with the 'perfect' body and that 'pretty' face.
But how can we allow our children to grow up,
and wish to be 'perfect' if it's not in their genetic code.
Society paints this picture of perfect,
as having flawless skin and a perfect bust,
with that happy family and a man that provides.
Of having a boy and a girl,
With that white picket fence and a catalog home.
But how can we live up to this?
If that actress that promotes flawless skin has been photo shopped,
And that girl with the perfect body went through 13 surgeries.
Teens today commit suicide upon not fitting that perfect image,
They starve themselves to get that thigh gap,
they turn to drugs to try and numb the pain and
they mutilate their skin because they don't fit in.
Teens make fun of each other because we ha
not all the way through.i read once,not all the way through. in Free Verse More Like This
“Adults often forget
what it’s like being young
because they block it out.”
right after that:
“Similar to trauma victims.”
last summer, when i told that man
old enough to be my father
that i had a boyfriend,
he said “so?”
when I told him i was a minor,
he said “and?”
there are no boundaries anymore,
and don’t tell me
“boys will be boys”
because that doesn’t make it
don’t tell me
I was asking for it
because what I’m really asking for
is for it
i wish i was a person
and not numbers on a scale.
i wish i was a human being
and not the cleavage in my tank top.
i wish we would stop hating ourselves.
i wish girls were allowed to say no
and eat every day
and forget to shave their legs.
i wish boys were allowed to cry
and be ballerinas
and speak up
when something hurts.
i wish we thought
we deserved more.
(and don’t tell me
none of this is sup
listen:1.listen: in Free Verse More Like This
People will let you down.
You’ll love them, anyways.
Don’t let anyone romanticize
It won’t be beautiful
when somebody breaks your heart
the first time
or the second
or the eighteenth.
Pain is not beautiful.
Maybe on paper
but not inside of you
not in numbers.
A million people
but you’re still here,
and that's important.
You're doing something
My father told me
“Be selfish –
if you don’t take care of you
I liked to think
that this is the reason
he ignored me
I don’t have good advice
on this one.
Because the people who let you down,
are the ones promised to save you.
Are the ones promised to love you
and protect you
and I’ll tell you,
nothing quite hurts
like waking up in the morning
to the police in your doorway.
Nothing quite hurts
like being eleven
and hearing a cop say
“Poor girl had to live wi
breaking a writer's heart.never break a writer’s heartbreaking a writer's heart. in Free Verse More Like This
because your name
will forever belong to us.
you will sign it
into every broken bit
and one day, you’ll open a book
next to the words
"let me tell you about the time
i was hurt."
never break a poet’s heart
because between the beat
of the stanzas,
you’ll hear that heartbeat,
proving you wrong
with every line.
never break a writer’s heart
because we will take the pain
and make it into something
you could never live down.
you could live with heart monitors,
that measured the damaged pulse,
doctors who told you,
but you can’t live with the bold strokes,
smooth as a flatline,
that accuse you of being
the best thing
that’s ever happened to them.
you can’t live with it;
our soulmate, now writing.
You, now replaced
by a pen.
never break anybody’s heart
because you’ll cut yourself
on the pieces of it.
and see, hearts heal.
boys that want you, boys that love you.1.boys that want you, boys that love you. in Free Verse More Like This
there are four kinds of love.
the first is honest.
the first is messy.
it’s smeared makeup.
it’s tears over a martini.
it’s people dancing alone.
it’s off-key singing, at the top
of your lungs.
it’s unmade beds.
it’s the hickey on your neck.
it’s the gasp he gave
when he first saw you,
how he missed your lips
when he tried to kiss you.
after he made you cry.
the second kind is what you feel
for the boy lying next to you.
there’s cigarettes in the ashtray,
panties on the floor,
a lump in your throat,
and he does not love you back.
the third kind is when you'll meet
and that little moment will stretch
into something huge and permanent,
into a month/six months/a year
of a million glances that you'd thought
it’s when you'll say nothing
and neither will he
because there will be no need
because he'll very nearly smile
and you'll know.
you loved someone.i.you loved someone. in Free Verse More Like This
Chloe is nineteen when she dies.
She ends it with a shotgun
the night her brother gets out
They say he molested her
he raped nine women
ten eleven twelve women
they say no
it was nine little girls
ten eleven twelve
little girls, kids, the bastard.
he was a bad man
“No wonder she did it.
If he was my blood
I’d’ve done it, too.”
You go to the funeral
because that’s what good people
because your mother asks you
“You want to go to Heaven,
without looking up from her knitting
and you would laugh in her face,
but she’s your mother
and you love her
so you go.
A man you know stops you –
a friend of John’s –
John, who is not yours anymore
(even now, even in death,
you know he’ll keep her
longer than he kept you)
on your way to the bathroom.
“John really loved her, y’know,” the man says
as if you wouldn
infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowinginfinite/opposite. in Free Verse More Like This
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
bodies like star systems.“the neighbor’s house smelledbodies like star systems. in Free Verse More Like This
like the ocean when i walked past,” you say.
“it’s a sign that i’m drowning.”
“i stepped in two patches of fresh dirt.
it’s a sign that they’ll be digging my grave.”
“i saw the boy i’d lost my virginity to today.
it’s a sign that i’m going to cheat on you.”
“you wake me up with this shit,” he says in annoyance.
“is that a sign i should break up with you?”
“no,” you say, not looking at him, fighting
to keep smiling. “it means -”
he goes back to bed.
he thinks you don’t get it,
but you do.
he teaches you about chemistry,
about physics and the stars.
he teaches you that the universe is finite,
but constantly expanding;
he takes you hand to his chest, and says
“like my feelings for you.”
used to be, you thought he was your gravity
because you were so drawn to him
if i could.1.if i could. in Free Verse More Like This
i’ll be honest with you;
there is a certain authority to being
somebody said once that writers struggle with reality
because we spend all of our time
constructing our own.
the truth is, life may be impermanent
but the details are not.
time has one direction
the past cannot be revisited
and history cannot be redone
with a red pen.
what happens, happens.
we are walking permanent records
that can never be expunged.
no matter how many orphans we pull from fires
no matter how many dying children we sing to
we still made our mother cry once
we still let our little brothers find us passed out
on the front porch when we were nineteen.
imagination is our primary retreat
because there, that boy does fall in love with us
and our first kiss is not spit on our chins
or misses landing on our nose
(maybe there are waves crashing in the background)
and we say everything right.
there, we have crafted a version of ourselves
that lives perfectly.
“if i could,” someon
dichotomy.i.dichotomy. in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
there’s a monster inside of my head.
it moved in four years ago, but they say it’s always been there. my daddy has one. so does his mom.
they say that’s where i got it. dad says grammy’s monster made her beat him until he was seven. dad says his monster made him drink until he blacked out, for twenty years.
they all say, “don’t let it in.” they all say, “it’ll control you, because you are weak.”
(actually, they say “vulnerable.”)
they tell me its name, so i can paint it on my wrists, on my forehead, along the curves of my ears. keep out. no BIPOLAR DISORDER allowed. they say it notices loud things. capital letters, for one. or crying children. or hatred. or fear.
they do not tell me what it’s like to see it. they do not tell me what’s it like, to feel it burrowing under your skin.
when it came to me, i pleaded with it. i said, “please go away,” and it didn’t listen.
adults.i.adults. in Philosophical More Like This
The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.
They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”
They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.
Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.
They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
In the second grade, I learned that