Star-crossedYou woke up on
the wrong side of
a cosmic bed
A pillow of
under your head
are all the tears
which you have shed
Your ring finger
in outer space
among a dreamed
Your light shines bright
but not enough
to seize the day
Let your love be
then I'll wish to
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.
broken dreams and invisible heartstringsEvery morning,broken dreams and invisible heartstrings in Free Verse More Like This
she wakes up to a
hollow chest & stormy,
red rimmed eyes.
It's so easy to be in love
with being in love;
swallowing fake truths
& sincere lies.
But her heart—
it forgot how to smile
two years ago,
because no one can tell
the difference between
imitations & reality.
please find me;
I'm lost between the cracks of
Desperate to breathe
yet wondering how it would feel
she's never belonged
in this universe.
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."
sati(ate)dit's ironic,sati(ate)d in Free Verse More Like This
isn't it? the way
they say "hunger gnaws"
like the way our teeth
scrape against bones.
for all the
calories that are counted,
you still feel
empty. you aren't
you are digesting
nothing but air
and maybe your own guilt.
that's just the way
living is these
glass shards to
slice up your insides so
you can ignore
the other kind of pain your
stomach is feeling.
but when people ask
if you're doing okay you just
smile and nod even though
you can't help but
think "if honesty was
tangible, i'd eat it right
an acquired taste and
some days you'd
like to rip your
or maybe it actually is.thisor maybe it actually is. in Free Verse More Like This
a love poem:
this is not about
me and how i hate
the way realism tastes.
this is about you.
this is about how you
are one too many shades arrogant,
how nearly every night you
try to forget that time has
left you behind. this is
about your laugh and the way it
whispers "i can't remember
what i was like before i
became this." and,
if i'm being honest, this is about
how i will never see your too
cocky for your own damn good grin that
makes me go weak in the knees.
this is about you
and how you're not real and how i wish
to god that i wasn't either.
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.
handle with carethere are 206 bones in thehandle with care in Free Verse More Like This
human body. it only takes one good
squeeze and your neck can snap as
easily as a twig.
once, when i was at the grocery
store, i came across a crate of
peaches. they were on sale because
every single one was bruised and it
made me think, "we're all just pieces of fruit
left to rot. as soon as we've been dropped on the
floor, no one wants to help us back up."
i've forgotten how to think in poetics.
three months ago i would have
compared people to roses. pretty little petals
that can be crushed with just
one little pinch and thorny stems that
whisper "don't touch me."
i think we're more like
together like suffocating sardines in tiny
wooden boxes decorated with red
paint announcing across the sides
"danger: this side up."
Deux ex machinaMaybeDeux ex machina in Free Verse More Like This
you should start being more
honest with yourself.
You will never be a
a sunspot on the
moon; only fallen
heroes belong there,
and your life wasn't
pitiful enough to
cavort with the stars.
The gods love a
good tragedy, but only when
they're the ones
writing the playbill. It
isn't any fun when the actors
forget their lines and
(better draw the curtains
before the performance morphs
into a comedy)
You say "I'm sorry" but in
reality the only thing
you're apologizing for is
leaving before the show
ended and reading the
wrong horoscope that day.
wild thingsthere are days iwild things in Free Verse More Like This
want to run with wolves.
to howl at the stars because
the moon has never done
anything for me, and swallow roses
like their thorns never
but this cage -
it seems there's no way
and i fear it's
for anyone to hear me.
life is just a zoo full of
all our monsters, and
[it's our fault] we
Do not be ashamed of who you are.At one point in your life,Do not be ashamed of who you are. in Free Verse More Like This
you didn't mind being a girl.
It was only after you met
her that you thought, "Maybe
this isn't the right fit." Because,
if you're being honest, she
deserves a knight in shining armor.
You are not Atlas, my dear.
Your shoulders do not
merit a world of troubles,
but instead love-lined clouds
that whisper, "Do not be
ashamed of who you are."
A woman can be a
champion whose heart burns
with more gold than a king's
castle holds. Perhaps if
you had more faith,
you might find that's just what
free birdit’s a need to feel the suns golden fingersfree bird in Free Verse More Like This
teasing figure eights along my back,
& the wind on my cheeks.
i must have been
a bird in some past life,
a swallow or a hummingbird.
because, i swear on some nights
i can feel the growing pains of an atlas
ready to burst through my skin like wings.
i just want to be
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
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
binge eatingi have a buildupbinge eating in Free Verse More Like This
of black holes
suffocating my arteries,
having swallowed down
the bitter taste of too many
girls with galaxies traveling
the length of their spines.
i ate them in mouthfuls,
gaping & sad like a binge
reaching for the skies-
unable to hold them all in.
i don’t think the universe
is as vast
as it used to be,
of my ribs;
i am hungry.
& with a collection
of moon sighs
as a reminder
in my pockets,
i will just have to learn
how to calm this swollen
Milky Waymy body is a road mapMilky Way in Free Verse More Like This
of hazard signs
but on the days
when the mirror
is nice to me,
i can hear
like little racing
beneath my skin:
you are not worthless.
you are strong.
your ribcage has a meaning-
these bruises are
ste ti & you are the Milky Way.
Poetry,Poetry,Poetry, in Free Verse More Like This
it’s like cultivating a greenhouse
with broken fingers.
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.
-this windowpane loneliness- in Free Verse More Like This
has devoured too many stars
making love to ocean beds.
Scarificationblood oranges areScarification in Free Verse More Like This
slice them open
without a moment’s
their crimson juices
licked from our lips
& that is what
i want to be. -
i sucked from
your mouth -
along my spine.
- i was cut open
Dear Poetry,You will find out that I am not a strong person. Dragons do not make a home beneath my skin to hoard their treasured princesses. I am not that lucky. For I have misplaced collarbones just as quickly as I’ve misplaced hearts, a pulse still rhythmic against my fingertips. I am a monster of words, devouring Cummings and Plath with no ounce of self control left in my body. I promised myself this weight would not fall for the sharp edges of stars ground into your knuckles. But, write air into my lungs, poetry. Give this wild thing a reason to learn the definition of tamed.Dear Poetry, in Letters More Like This
Write me a poem, and I will promise to fall in love with you, slowly and then…all at once.
.the sun did not. in Free Verse More Like This
kiss my skin
yesterday, he slept
face around noon
and then went back
to bed; the
.they say that you are the. in Free Verse More Like This
work of the devil; you'll have
black orbs for eyes and a tongue
as sharp as your fathers
and i hope you will not feel a thing
when they pull back your blankets
and carry you out, when they leave
me with nothing but creases
.i've been breaking out of. in Free Verse More Like This
hell, but the devil don't
he slips a return ticket
into my pocket and says,
you're gonna wanna
use this, kid
.she calls down angels. in Free Verse More Like This
just to burn their
to see them rise then
fall, those flailing
she tells them, this
is what it's like
to be human
and they say judgement
will arrive for you, my
girl, you will be
cleansed by burning
and i strike another match
.hell is. in Free Verse More Like This
the devil's chest,
an empty red cavern
he's simply trying
.little robin, wings. in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
outstretched in the dirt, a smear
of red on your breast
.when i look back at. in Free Verse More Like This
the past, she looks
right back at me
she points at the
future, glint in her eye
Beneath the RoseI can't burn the street down, the tar will fill our lungs,Beneath the Rose in Free Verse More Like This
I can't fix the bridges, or the bolts bedded in our tongues.
I can't explain the constant, buried deep beneath the rose,
with all the other things I broke; death and all erodes.
Who Are You - I - KaniahliesWhen asked who she was,Who Are You - I - Kaniahlies in Free Verse More Like This
she panicked -
her heart blurred;
a humming pressure
behind the strikes of her ribs.
into the fizzling of anxiety.
Who am I? Who am I?
- 'Something wicked'
How She BurnsShe has astral eyesHow She Burns in Free Verse More Like This
and the tongue of a phoenix
that scorches you
should you dismiss her.
With those milky whites
with a galaxy dropped in
and spooling in the iris
she sees right through.
She has asteroid eyes
that flicker so fast
you might not notice -
you just might not
notice the milky ways
that a galaxy dropped in
spools in the iris
of a phoenix gone wild
Goodnight MoonThe battered sky bloomsGoodnight Moon in Free Verse More Like This
as the dark teabag stain
under her weary eyes.
Like the couplet
strung around her necklace
with teeth marks -
jewels impressed into
the vast expansive sky
of her laden shoulderbones.
The bruise darkens
and the stars seem impossible.
Too far away
and smiling a long dead smile.
But somewhere a pomegranate lip,
swollen with the disdain
that he made her swallow -
somewhere, those lips
find the courage to say
How CharmingI'm desperate to find herHow Charming in Free Verse More Like This
to steal another kiss.
should be simpler than this.
Hope Dies At LastMoths;Hope Dies At Last in Free Verse More Like This
of dreams long gone
dead and passed –
They ache for the love
but their blind groping
for the truth
In the end,
all moths die
as Icarus –
as infantile projections
of our innocence
as hope too, dies at last.
DesperationYour spine is a secretDesperation in Free Verse More Like This
my fingers can uncode.
Your vertebrae cracks open,
your secrets are exposed.
I suck out the tender marrow
and scrape flesh off the bone
hoping; if I absorb you
I will no longer feel alone.
That Kind of ThingI took an overdose of liquid nitrogenThat Kind of Thing in Free Verse More Like This
hoping it might numb the pain -
it didn't. It simply froze my blood
so moving felt even heavier than before -
but I used to do those kinds of things.
Used to seek out sharp edges and use them
to balance the blunt, abrupt nature,
of my depressed self image.
It never worked, but sometimes it detracted.
So believe me when I say I'm sorry
and that I try to stop my veins defrosting
when I see you smile - I really try -
I don't want to feel that heart go again
I'm not used to that kind of thing
and I don't want to be reminded
of all the agony of its fractures and its ruins.
Please, forgive me, if I melt around you
even when I know full well
that you are not looking for that kind of thing.
At least, not with me.
I can't help it. You're out of my league
and I'm out of my mind -
but you're warm and even though I fear the thaw
you remind me that there were also good things
that I used to feel.
NovacaineShe clenches her jaw in her sleepNovacaine in Free Verse More Like This
and there are furrows in her forehead
where mountains are being made
from mole hills inside her dream-mind.
She wakes up and takes two aspirin
to relieve the bite of her headache
brought on, I'm sure, by the repeated
night to night, day to day, grind.
The daily grind of life pushing her down
as almost dead pencil onto paper
Life tries to squeeze every last atom
of her capabilities from her time.
She grits her teeth in her sleep.
Toothache festers as she bites back
all the things she refuses to say aloud,
all the pain she tried to Novocaine.
She grinds the words into the enamel
and chews up the dust and decay
of a half swallowed tooth, truth,
and tries to rest before starting again.
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
Graduation DayGraduation Day:Graduation Day in Free Verse More Like This
They told us we would be alright...
We had fought with honour and won our titles.
We had overcome trials together -
Watching dozens of our siblings fall in the line of duty.
For this they had promised us, a wondrous welcome;
A bountiful world of adventure, with a myriad of paths.
All this, they said, awaited us in the stone cities.
Large metropolises, where the working folk resided...
There were hundreds of us, who made that journey.
Walking miles across the scorching desert,
Clinging to a hope of the fortunes beyond.
Yet what awaited us was not a promised land -
Nor was it a life based on the merit we had earned...
Instead we found ourselves quarantined,
Pitching tents of inexperience-
Huddling together for comfort and warmth;
As the great gates of employment stood eerily silent.
-Chen Yuan Wen, 18 June 2013
DesperationI wonder how many days you've spent feeling lost.Desperation in Free Verse More Like This
Thinking that you're going somewhere.
Never actually getting anywhere.
You look at the same four walls over and over again.
You can paint them in different colours,
But you know they're still the same.
And you convince yourself that you're making progress,
Nothing's changed, but you're making progress.
Things are getting worse, but you're making progress.
And then you wake up and realise,
That shit has hit the fan...
Suddenly you're forced to do the things you couldn't,
The kind of things that you were never comfortable with.
And you find out you can do them.
You find out that the only reason you couldn't,
Was because you were afraid to try.
It's hard - trying to take that first step.
It's hard - trying to convince yourself to take that chance.
How to Insult PoeticallyOnce I happened upon a callow young lass,How to Insult Poetically in Free Verse More Like This
Who apparently thought that it was cool to be crass.
And she turned her tongue upon the profession of writing;
Apparently she felt that it was in need of a smiting.
Though her raving and ranting made very little sense,
She seemed to be taking a rather harsh stance.
Apparently her pain was too great to be understood,
Far beyond the comprehension of this man from the hood.
So I stood there in swagger, clad in my bling.
While she behaved like 'Moon-Moon', in search of a thing.
She spouted some nonsense, some far fetched line,
About never idolizing the keen writer's mind...
If that is the case, then why ape my technique?
Why submit to several galleries; is your brain on the leak?
You are writing to be seen; you seek attention as I do,
What are we if not performers, is that not true?
Did you believe that you could use your past as a shield?
It counts, I'm afraid, for nothing, I feel;
For you see, I'm a killer, as bold a
Thoughts of YouI wonder how many days I spent dreaming,Thoughts of You in Free Verse More Like This
Of all the things I could never say.
And just when I'd written it all in a letter.
You showed up smiling in front me.
And all of a sudden, the letter didn't matter anymore... (^_^)
BedriddenBedridden:Bedridden in Free Verse More Like This
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
If you give in, they winIf you give in, they win:If you give in, they win in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
There ain't no one in the world who can decide your limit,
Cause if you're playing this game, then you're playin' to win it.
I don't believe in the words of the hopeless and dry;
These wings are born full of freedom and they're achin' to fly.
I don't care if the world gives me scars on my back,
Cause I will wear them with pride over a suit that is black.
I am the heaven and the hell and I'll make you believe it;
I am an angel and a demon and I swear that you'll feel it.
Cause I ain't never gonna give in - never say die.
Until the moment that I am ash I will always have tried.
Until the very last minute, when the skies are grey,
You see it raining black lightning but I'll never go astray.
Because the path is before me; it's laden with dirt,
But I will trudge across the mud to the heart of the earth.
I am the core of what makes you; the drill that'll breakthrough,
So follow if you feel me cause I'm comin' right at you.
Your attitudes are made from a bo
Lie to MeThere are those who stare into the water's edge.Lie to Me in Free Verse More Like This
Gleaming eyes fixed upon their reflections.
I am beautiful! they say to themselves,
And all of you must accept that as true!
To say otherwise would be a social suicide.
Their friends will defend them to the bitterest end.
In a circle of illusions cast by the group,
You are forced to accept this person as 'pretty'.
To me you are not beautiful, you are simply lazy.
You have done nothing for yourself,
And now you wish me to accept you?
But I must tell you the truth.
And though that truth may wound you,
I believe it is for the best:
Because girl, dayum! You just look so bad that my eyes are cryin' YOU a river.
- Chen Yuan Wen, 11th August 2013
The Toymaker...Ah my dear, how are you feeling?The Toymaker... in Free Verse More Like This
Not too uncomfortable I hope...
You see, you are another,
A wondrous being, handpicked by me,
For you are perfect.
Before you start screaming,
Before all that noise and unpleasantry befouls these soft red lips.
I've taken the liberty of removing your tongue...
Wag, wag, wag;
That's all it was doing when I extracted it.
Like some, infectious insect
But oh, I shouldn't raise my voice.
That's not very proper of me, hehe.
Now, let's put some markings on you.
Mmm - I'm going to have to get rid of all this, excess.
You see, I can't have a toy that's all bulging in the wrong places.
Dolls are slim, dolls are pretty.
So no, we can't have that...
We'll just slowly slide this tiny slip of metal.
Shlip, shlop, shlip, shlop - and pull!
You see, you see?
It comes right off, like a laye
Painted SkinPainted Skin:Painted Skin in Free Verse More Like This
He smiles at you, as you enter the office;
Wearing eyeliner made of contempt and disdain.
His cheap cologne invades your nostrils immediately
And you quickly suppress a cough.
"Yes, yes, indeed we have to review this...er, many things are involved."
His face is powdered with a layer of self-importance;
Lips reddened by the polite harshness he spews.
His forked tongue flickers as he prattles on
And you're really getting quite tired.
"Oh I'm sorry! Of course, of course I understand; but my way is much better!"
You're getting really bored now, so you take a look around the room.
The expectation is to see it bedecked with acolades;
Yet bare walls, cold and empty, are all that greets you.
"Are you listening to me, I'm telling you why this isn't good enough. LISTEN TO ME!"
You take a look at the cup of coffee you were offered,
Cheap and lukewarm; you narrow your eyes.
"Is there a problem? I'm being honest, this is for YOUR OWN GOOD!"
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
things i want you to know.0.things i want you to know. in Free Verse More Like This
there is a picture in my living room
of my parents in their twenties, in sunhats,
there is a picture of my father holding me
when i was two years old.
there is a picture of my parents
on their wedding day.
there is a picture of me when i was
ten, eleven, twelve.
i’m seventeen now and
i won’t let my mother
take any of the pictures
i need to believe that, at one point,
this house was more than just
i was born on the second-to-last day
i weighed seven pounds, two ounces,
and it was ninety-nine degrees out.
four years before that, in 1992,
the officers who beat rodney king
within an inch of his life
five years before that, in 1991,
a cyclone in Bangladesh killed
138,000 people and made 10 million
ten years before that, in 1986,
a fire in a Los Angeles library
damaged more than 400,000
and on that day, april 29, 1996, i was born
and i’d like to pretend
that it was a go
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
tocophobia.the world of pregnancy and childbirthtocophobia. in Free Verse More Like This
has been boiled down to the white,
neurologically healthy babies
in pink and blue knit caps.
“that one,” says the tearful father.
“she’s beautiful,” says the nurse
while the mother rests.
but why is it
that the default image of motherhood
is a white middle-class couple with a picket fence
and a golden retriever?
let’s postpone that cruise to the caribbean
and make a baby.”
what about the prostitutes
who get pregnant?
what about the girls in africa
who carry their rapist’s babies?
what about the babies left on the firehouse steps?
what about the welfare mothers
because they can’t pay the hospital fees?
who have heroin tracks on their arms
(like stitches that can’t hold them together)
where the patient bracelet is snapped on?
what about the 500,000 american children
waiting to get adopted?
what about miscarriages and women
who can never have kids?
we preach for the
why i never wrote you a poem.last summer i triedwhy i never wrote you a poem. in Free Verse More Like This
to use the words that you fell asleep to
to write you a love song but
every time i tried
my fingers froze up.
i failed the test of describing you
in a paragraph
in a sentence
in a word
there is nothing in my head adequate enough
to describe how you look
on the train station platform
when you smile at me.
i can tell you that
my heart climbs into my throat and
my body prickles with heat and
everything disappears, for just a moment, but
the thing i cannot describe
your mouth caresses my name
like it’s the most beautiful sound
it’ll ever know,
like it understands me perfectly,
you are not made of verses.
you have no meter.
you are not written in stanzas
that i understand
and i find myself captivated
at how beautifully complex
your language is.
you say i’m the mesmerizing one, but, baby,
you've stumped me.
you have left a girl,
a person who wants to build their life
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.
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.
Kiss Your Scars GoodbyeAs liquid regret drips down your face,Kiss Your Scars Goodbye in Free Verse More Like This
I ask you to kiss your scars goodnight,
Because one day, I promise they will fade into yesterday,
And be erased for the next tomorrow.
Your most frightening nightmares could transform
Into your most glorious daydream.
Remember to say goodbye to your tears,
Because once they leave,
It will be quite a while before they do return.
Darling, lift your sleeves,
And show the world that what was once hidden
Behind fear and lost emotions,
Is now exposed and ready to flee from your
I ask you to kiss your scars goodnight,
Because one day…
I promise, they will fade into yesterday…
And be erased into eternal tomorrows.
Bipolar DisorderDear everybody,Bipolar Disorder in Free Verse More Like This
I’m not just moody.
I have Bipolar Disorder.
I don’t choose to have this unbearable depression,
Where I sob uncontrollably and the most unpredictable times.
A sadness that paints your entire mind,
Down into your soul.
And you don’t know when it’s suddenly going to
Change, from being a terrifying unhappiness,
To being such a fantastic happiness
That you can’t even connect your thoughts with your own brain.
Where you challenge the world,
Because you feel bigger than a speck of dust for
The first time in your
It changes from being such an incredible mess of emotions
To being the creator of no emotion at all.
And soon, the lack of emotion
Starts to eat away at your heart.
And you don’t choose to…
But it turns into an
A sadness that paints your entire mind
Down into your soul.
This is Bipolar Disorder.
This is me.
This is who I am.
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.
Stop asking me...Stop asking me what's wrongStop asking me... in Free Verse More Like This
Because I'm never going to answer.
Stop telling me it gets better
Because I've accepted that it'll never change.
Stop begging me to let you in
Because even then, I'm just going to fake a smile.
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?
I AmI am the shadow, and I am the lightI Am in Free Verse More Like This
I am the sunlight, and I am the night
I am the battle, and I am the fighter
I am the water, and I am the fire
I am a raindrop just ready to fall
I am the world, and yet…
No one at all.
Think of This..You want to end it?Think of This.. in Free Verse More Like This
Think of this.
You write your suicide note... And you set it on the table.
You take your razor, your silver, two inch razor. And you start to slide it across your wrist. You barely feel a thing. After all, the pain of life is more than the pain of the blade.
And you take that belt you never wore, the one that was too tight, the one you starved yourself to fit into. And you wrap it once, twice around your neck... and you pull it tight.
Barely breathing, you put the ends of the belt on something to hold you up.
Something to strangle you.
Something to kill you.
And you die.
And that's the end, right?
So, so wrong.
Your younger brother, the four year old little boy that you loved so much. He walks into your room, only to find you hanging there, lifelessly. Only to find you with dried tears on your pale face. Only to find your suicide note... the one you left right before you died.
And so he runs in tears to your mother. And she reads the note, barely able to brea
Love AgainHear my worries, fear my criesLove Again in Free Verse More Like This
Dread the whispered lullabies
Drown beneath the spinning skies
Feel the truth you can't deny
Taste the blood upon your tongue
Feel the poison fill your lungs
I am she who lies among
Those who know where things belong
Feel the weapons kiss your skin
Listen to the screeching wind
See my power, watch me win…
And never fall in love again…
Growing Upit seems that by now I’ve been diagnosedGrowing Up in Free Verse More Like This
with a mild case of weightlessness, mindless
drifting past empty homes and the emptier people
that purchased them. I remember conversations
with you about existentialism
and the almost intricate fabric of my mind and
everything in between, and you-- the way you
paused before making a point as
the words defined themselves in your head:
I remember the day I told you I was God.
Creator of all things unimportant, trapped
in the body of a girl with nothing left to give, you
it must be a beautiful place
inside your head, with a world
that revolves around hope and expectations
the way it was supposed to; all
storybook-perfect like the
wars promise we’ll one day
[I’d like to think that every great leader
once cried themselves to sleep wondering
if they’d ever mean anything and
did things to stand out like smoking
or drinking or pretending to be someone
they’re not and every morning they’d tilt
in which I become beautifulI drown my conscience inin which I become beautiful in Free Verse More Like This
the holy water of my wrists,
I carve hearts from empty
paper for my galaxyboy
with stars written in his skin,
and I swallow moths to
muffle the emptiness and
help me fly away.
a different explorationwe talk abouta different exploration in Free Verse More Like This
astrology and ex lovers. the raspberries
dying in the heat, the way the water
bit our skin, the homeless man set out
to buy California, the center of our universe,
you. that feeling labelled “blah,”
and the notion I am not my own.
we leak questions
like overrun rivers, excess spillage,
draining curiosities about that tragic skeleton
balled up beneath your clothes.
and for you,
I’d travel the length between heartbeats,
shallow and vain like your promises,
your liquid eyes.
above all, we were lucky.
miracle children. one in ten,
one in a million, a pair of stragglers
in seven billion exempt from
clarity and unclaimed skin.
I know this guy who had
sorry lips and scars down his spine
without a story. we didn’t have
a thing to say so we talked about
how the stars were our newest horizon,
the undefined, and how we’d escape to them
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.
Hunger PainsIt begins with a bang.Hunger Pains in Free Verse More Like This
I forget to eat for a few months and
I drown in cheap ideas with pretty names,
the ones they fill books and barren wrists
and stormy heads with, and soon,
moonlight shines from inside
my ribs and I am a lighthouse.
Thank you for the things you gave me,
intrinsically, a knowledge of
how to properly wear
myself. Thank you
for not fixing me.
I used to write about the color
of your voice, always blue-- the sky
before I fell asleep and the morning
dragging me back; I wonder
that you could’ve loved me better
if you explained who the
Something was that shared your bed
at night, or why insincere words
were your favorite.
My poems still cling to my skin
even when I sleep. even when
I wake, an anchor. even when
I boil myself alive and unfold
like a pallid lily inside your
and after enough time,
I forget to say goodbye.
I pick the scabs on my hips,
kiss the sorry out of your smile,
and breathe like this air
isn’t already a million years old.
I am the wayward childI wish I had something more to offerI am the wayward child in Free Verse More Like This
when your joints ached and your bones creaked
and you wept dust; (the cobwebs around
your tongue were a comfort once)
but I am three times screwed
over backwards and turned right around,
breathing in gravel and praying on
the only consistencies I know like
on Sun-day we are in the house of God
and it won’t rain and dad won’t speak
and mom will sit with pursed lips counting
all the times we didn’t kiss her goodbye
and everyone will call it normal,
everyone will look at the way I write words
on cracked pavement and get glassy-eyed
when they speak softly and forget the sound
of my own voice when I’m afraid; all those times I
tripped over my own feet and walked away
with wounded knees, and they will call me normal.
I’m at it again, building barricades
from ashes and calling them friends
(this here is fear, he visits me nightly;
and that stale stain in the corner
is actually anxiety, recuperating
from the moment it caught a
reasons why I don't fly awayabove half-hearted streetlights and industrial floodingreasons why I don't fly away in Free Verse More Like This
and vague misinterpretations, I cut
a little too deep.
it always comes to this; hungry shivers,
dry voices, heavy breaths as your eyes
fixate upon a set point in the distance
which you label as happiness, a nirvana
in plain view but too far
for your rubber legs to take you there.
back then we were theorists developing
a new frontier; we were two dreamers,
two corpses on a collision course in
the desperate season. you warned me
there weren’t enough words to say
beautiful; as it turns out, we
were a slip of the tongue.
I woke this morning
a butterfly. you would like
the sun pouring through my wings and
the feathers collecting
at the foot of my bed.
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
Escaping Narcissusii.Escaping Narcissus in Free Verse More Like This
there are no explanations, none worthy
of your contortionist spine and
sky-hungry hands, no sorrow;
this is the happy song for the happy people:
raise your paper heart to the heavens
[I wish god would take pity on me
and flood the abomination right out of my
skin, drown the impure, start new
with a dove that doesn’t know
in my head,
I’ve already left you a thousand times over.
sometimes, I wander through the streets and
idolize the living like a curious phantom
with a nonexistent pulse; sometimes, I run
desperate to the woods that seem
to breathe and mourn, where the trees
resemble bodies of people weaker than me,
and sometimes, I fly away because it turns out
the needles nestling beneath my skin
were feathers, waiting to cry out, and
I watch as your shadow dissolves
into the unsympathetic
but every time,
I come back, crawl into our weary bedsheets,
and number off your breaths until I fall
he's just not that into youlong-legged and twitchinghe's just not that into you in Free Verse More Like This
like the spiders
you watch run
he doesn’t call
you pretty. you remember
his hands tracing the ink
of your veins, but he
doesn’t call you pretty.
he doesn’t hold
the door, and you
think you’re a liar
but the truth is quivering
naked in your voice
(we will name our children after
extinct kingdoms; dead beautiful
things. i will polish the dull spot
in your eye that you developed
after a terminal case of unnoticed
living. i will never be a cure but
damn it if i won’t be a diagnosis)
the static of his vocal chords
brings you back, martyr
without a cause,
he doesn’t call
you pretty and you
don’t question why.
InfiniteWe’d make a beautiful constellation,Infinite in Free Verse More Like This
You and I –
shivering galaxies that may implode
but who keep expanding,
still hiding in gravitational lenses
of sheer splendor -
a thousand and one stars;
we could wish for personals
or maskless parades
without crippling facades-
not nameless but known.
You and I,
we could be brighter
than the sun.
A Poet's RomanceShe was the quiet sort,A Poet's Romance in Free Verse More Like This
within her eyes,
to pottery skin;
she would mold herself
into moonlight butterflies
and glist'ning calla lilies,
pure and white and
and when night cast
itself upon her in
heated, hard'ning flames,
she’d smash herself
upon the rocks
and in morning start
Pack-a-dayA diamond queenPack-a-day in Free Verse More Like This
smoking pack-a-day dreams
for 95 cents more than
zirconium-falls in slim nicotine
(but the cancer in ashtrays never
stops anyone from trying.)
There’s truth in gusts of sleep,
while I struggle in the
security of windbreaking
as heaven opens up to scream.
Hysteria QueenMy spine is a codeHysteria Queen in Free Verse More Like This
for you to hack
open like little
white moon flowers
( I was never good
except when I
couldn’t be. )
I keep falling down
and nothing seems
clear enough—good enough,
while you sit and smoke
without realizing you’ve
phoenix girlThere is a mother inside of me,phoenix girl in Free Verse More Like This
calling the ink and the summers
to blanket the cardinals nesting
within the embers of her smile.
Never have I thought myself maternal
(I care for my wailing spine
with the distaste of smoker lungs
atop a writhing beauty’s lips)
but perhaps our birdsong is related
because she sings the same, sweet tune as I
but from the comfort of a frostbite
far deeper than my own.
There is a mother inside of me,
and I do not question why or how…
but I’ll nest in her regardless,
beneath the embers of her smile.
Who knows… perhaps she is a phoenix.
comets in my head againThere are bruises on my legs again.comets in my head again in Philosophical More Like This
Maybe I tried too hard for the stars - struck hemispheres of dreaming too big - while I count one, two, three, four, five shiners on my legs, ten lookers on each arm (your jointed peals of rage) and, probably, forty-four on my heart – though it’s not like I ever counted the number of times you beat me down, before.
It never did matter if I was enough for the 16 years - or for the Escitalopram - because I was never a star jumper that could trade in comets for the cratered, disfigured life of meteors.
There are bruises on my legs again, and I think I should stop dreaming.
Within a WatercolorI miss the wind chimes,Within a Watercolor in Free Verse More Like This
the way they'd tenderly collide like contrasting colors in a
watercolor, spreading music with each avid kiss of silver.
We used to sit and listen, for endless hours, in a silence
only wind chimes dared to crack.
Now it's just me,
no company of clinking chimes, sideways
glances, or upturned lips;
and I despise this nothing, this torture of my own thoughts,
left completely within the core.
Everything I hesitantly feel,
everything I reluctantly am,
has been rearrangedreassembled and shuffled,
like a puzzle left to a child; carelessly, senselessly.
The time spent on wood-floored porches far
outweighs time spent so perfectly
as I watch the movement of a hundred suns, while one
thousand moons lay seemingly still,
fixed within one point of sky; blue and unfailing.
LandslideYearning for birds –Landslide in Free Verse More Like This
the reminder of anchors in
each half-moon cresent
so lovingly carved into my soles.
And you play hopscotch in my veins -
the ones forbidden now to bleed -
until I am beaten blue and flat
but there are sparrows in my brain
among cerebral cortex clouds,
and that should be enough...
only it isn’t.
spiders and flieswe are not childrenspiders and flies in Free Verse More Like This
who pinwheel through my mother’s garden,
who blur reality before we’ve even known the bliss.
we are not children who forgive easily
(like hearts aren’t robin eggs)
or who’ve never tasted the assurance from pinkies
and rattle-sore lips. and our sandcastles?
they will not house rapunzel but tumble before the sea.
It will not remember our footprints.
we are not children, though we may wish
to turn time like the three stirs in exciting, grown-up coffee,
like daylight on my father’s old clock, the one that
ended days too quickly
because we made chameleons of feasted lamb skins,
(because time was stolen, and time was precious),
and as hard as it is, we must adapt:
make-up masks and push up bras, to appear
inexperienced, but desiring, of a pleasure,
because although we’re deceiving, we can’t dream of blending.
You should know best of all,
that after everything, we couldn’t.
EmbryoI choked back the crumpled dreamsEmbryo in Free Verse More Like This
clogged in my throat like paper wads
of useless poetry
while the ocean continued to eat at me,
one amethyst toe at a time;
I sank like the anchor inked on my back,
and loved of my bones a heavier guilt
to sink and sink, beneath sorrow
and joy, and the shoreline graves.
What’s meant for salt
is meant for tears
but I was never a creature meant
wailing through crooked pipes
rusted and creaking from the summer heat
and a silence so well kept
that the dead would stare at me,
and tongue tied.
(You’d always said that drowning me
was poetry in itself)
Astrali'm the seraphicAstral in Free Verse More Like This
a hallowed body
like i am hellbent on
like catching supernovas in a plastic cupdelirium boy, you'relike catching supernovas in a plastic cup in Free Verse More Like This
no cavalry drum-beat
heart; disjointed, but
no lady lazarus,
no gold tongue &
you've never been
Frameworkshe tried to realignFramework in Free Verse More Like This
her spine with vinylbenzene
like she could be a plaster girl &
elegant & automated despite her
she fashioned butterfly wings
out of worn newspaper &
donned plastic tiaras,
bit her silvery split
fingernails & told you,
threadbare girls don't shatter, love,
(they just disentangle).
Quill Feathersgirls like youQuill Feathers in Free Verse More Like This
& saccharine, chattering
(love, we are
Cipherher marrow's ethylbenzene--Cipher in Free Verse More Like This
she's no crystalline girl,
she's only semitransparent
& intrepidly acidic
she speaks in caustics,
rattled off from fissured jaws like
gold smoke & gray water
sweetheart, she's no revolutionary,
(but she's always been a catalyst).
lattice bonesseafarer, you arelattice bones in Free Verse More Like This
vorticose & valeric;
you are an odyssey & i
am always sinking
i've found the gold
i can't keep walking on these dry-rot bonesoh, i am not a poet;i can't keep walking on these dry-rot bones in Free Verse More Like This
like the ink scratches
of plath, i am
specter boy: decay,
dispose, & disappoint
because this is the way
that writers wane -
(this hangman head is no
survivor story, & gods
do not burn out
the way you speak through incisionsoh, disaster dweller, you werethe way you speak through incisions in Free Verse More Like This
bone-ache blue & cyanotic.
we wore lonely luminescence
'round the wrists that held
our god-hands, but you were
livid skin & anesthetic to the
touch. a river of pitted veins,
you said: we'll all grow weary of
the rising of our ribs someday.
i have time to be a skeleton (lightheaded)i am all white noise -i have time to be a skeleton (lightheaded) in Free Verse More Like This
ipecac gums &
the grey matter in between
my ears is cotton, tulle, &
vile, vile boy,
i wish i could spit out
in the place of
words & emetics
dead birds detach my
skull from my throat, split
my brain steam in two
all we ever do is decayI.all we ever do is decay in Free Verse More Like This
nobody falls in love with saturn,
but everyone, her rings.
this disjointed skull is a smirking
mirror bending back reflections.
this disjointed skull is a sleep-smoker.
you were a utopian seven lives ago,
but nobody lives in this body anymore.