It's not hatred, it's incredulity.when i was ten years old my
teacher asked the class,
"if you were god, what would
and i remember
biting my lip so hard
that it bled. carefully,
i wrote about
how i would teach
kids from an early age on how to
love yourself and no one
else and that there is no such thing as
an almighty power that will pity
you and answer your desperate prayers
at three a.m. because you're the only one
who has that kind of control.
when i handed it in she just looked
at me like i was the
her child's bed. the next day i
was sitting in her office wondering
why it was so wrong to
talk about what's in your heart at a catholic
school when that's what the priest tells
you to do at every sunday mass and
the teacher asked me
another question, "do you
hate god?" and i
wanted to scream "yes, yes!" because
how can a god let the world
slip through their fingers like this one has?
but instead i answered,
"no. i just don't think there is one."
and sat in the chair,
staring at the cross on t
A lesson in realism:you areA lesson in realism: in Free Verse More Like This
There is no such
thing as stardust
floating in your veins or
gloomy poetry stitched
right into your heart.
Your blood is made of
iron - unbreakable,
unbending and unmatched
by any other stronghold,
for you are a fortress
that they will never invade.
wipe those tears away
and know that
you are the only one
who can reinforce these walls.
a poem on the inner workings of my chaotic mindit isn't like i'ma poem on the inner workings of my chaotic mind in Free Verse More Like This
lazy or anything it's just that
the thought of getting lost
in a crowd of ten or more people
makes me want to puke.
this is not just some
stupid little hang-up that you can
joke about when i'm
digging my fingernails into my palm so
hard that blood is drawn as we walk through
school hallways so packed that it feels
like we're suffocating from too much
oxygen but i just grit my teeth and
laugh "yeah, i know, i just don't like
being around people sometimes."
but you know,
there's just something about the way
my mother says "go out and have a life
and stop looking like the world
betrays you every day"
that makes my stomach drop
or when my dad looks at me and just
sighs, like they've finally realized
i was never good enough to be
and to everyone who believes that
i just need to relax,
to just calm down and think:
fuck you. fuck you for trying to pretend
like you know how it feels when my
bones grind together like broken
gears as i walk by people who may
I can't write poetry for dead girls.there are tooI can't write poetry for dead girls. in Free Verse More Like This
many pills in this
world and too
much misery in
the human heart
but that didn't mean
that you could just
up and leave when
we both know it
could have gotten better
and i miss you like
a wolf misses her pack
or a goddamn dragon misses
her fire and i'm sorry
that i can't give you
a bouquet of jasmines
(they were your
favorite, after all,
because that was
the only princess
with a pet tiger)
because poppies are
too cliche and i'm
sorry i wasn't there
when all you needed
was a hug and for someone
to whisper "it's okay,
you're perfect enough
for me, don't listen
to that junkie bitch
who just happened to
give birth to you" and did
you know that i'm still waiting
for a reply to that one
email about the world's
best puns because fuck,
there's a stubborn part
of me that still refuses to
believe that you're gone.
How to pretend that you are a writer.Act like you're notHow to pretend that you are a writer. in Free Verse More Like This
okay when you are and
that you are when you're
not. Run barefoot in
the snow. Stand out
in the rain for an hour
and think about anything
and everything you can.
Fall in love with
riddles and things that
aren't real and the
way some stars
shine. Cry when
you realize that life is
just one big sham and write
one hundred cliché poems
about it, and then write one
that you actually mean.
Use profanity. Be the
one fucking introvert
in a room full of
extroverts and scream
shit just for the fun of
it. Swallow every goddamn
metaphor you ever dreamed
of and write them down
with your own blood.
Eulogize your own
misery. Put a crown on
it and let it rule your
heart for six years before
you throw a coup d'etat
but just end up with
your head in a basket.
Ask yourself why
you feel so
empty and when
you forgot how to
laugh and where you
last left your smile and
who you even really are
anymore. Mean every word.
Don't cry at funerals. Cry
yourself to sleep every
other night for
No rest for a weary heart.Yesterday my mother asked me what INo rest for a weary heart. in Free Verse More Like This
would name my children and I told her that
I did not want any. She scoffed at me
and shook her head, insisting
that once I found the
all of that would change.
And I thought back
to all the times when my palms
sweated and my throat ran dry
and my cheeks heated up just because
a girl walked by whose lips
were so pretty and pink that all I wanted
to do was taste them.
I replied, swallowing the acid
that was threatening to crawl out of
"it will take a lot more than that
to convince me."
Because despite the fact that
the mere thought of a man
with arms that could carry the weight of the
world holding me tight could
make my legs crumble beneath me,
I just don't know if it
would be the right choice.
I remember once
when I let it slip that I supported
those who loved all genders
my parents stared at me as if I
had admitted to murder. "It's wrong,"
my father had exclaimed and to me,
his words were a toxin more deadly
Evanescentonly the mostEvanescent in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful of creatures
live the shortest.
red roses and quivering
butterflies and other
useless things, like the
way she wishes on every star
she sees for a different
soul because she can't stand
the way it's rotting inside.
and it's only when
the thorns beneath her skin
start to bleed that her
monsters whisper, "have
you ever trembled, my dear?"
because they know
for every whimper that hides
faintly in the dark,
there is a pair of lips stretched
into a smile pretending
that all that is beautiful
is timeless and unbroken.
red red rosesi am not a goddessred red roses in Free Verse More Like This
nor do i
believe i wish to
i'd rather be a half-forgotten
or a girl with opium
eyes and a
who doesn't believe in
kisses demons with lips
that whisper poetry as artificial
as the mannequins in a
i want wings:
appendages stitched from
and the feathers you
can find on
the ground - dirty,
ripped, but still
and i would soar
higher and higher
and buy up
all the stars.
if i am being
i fall in love with
and wolf boys
much like the way a candle
melts; fast, hot, and dripping
wax down the side.
i just want to fit
between these ugly bones
and the too-tight skin
that stretches across them.
CapriciousWords have becomeCapricious in Free Verse More Like This
tasteless to me,
like rotten apples
fit for the worms.
it feels as
though I am
pirouetting my way through
a ballroom full of
tongues made for poetry.
wicked witch when
you need one?
All I seem to do is
dream while I'm awake and,
if we're being honest,
I was never much of an alluring tale
in the first place.
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
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
.you're afraid. in Free Verse More Like This
to let anyone
stoke the fire
in your chest
you will burn
.some people are dead. in Free Verse More Like This
long before they die -
there's just no burial
for the spirit
.some thoughts get so loud that. in Free Verse More Like This
you cry out for them to leave;
they scatter like birds startled
out of their trees, before landing
again where they were
and after a while,
you just have to
let them sing
.chloe says. in Personal More Like This
i need an angel
with big white wings and skin
that shines like gold,
do you believe in angels, charlotte?
the plants are all dead in here,
how can a plant
know something i don't?
and i'm not religious but the only time
i ever felt peaceful
was when i sat in church
luke comes in, and chloe says
luke, you believe in angels?
he says what, like them feathery dickheads
with halos and stuff? nah i don't -
then we sit and watch a fly bash it's brains in
on the window
that it can't see what's killing it
neither can we
(the plants are dead, but we are still waiting)
.sometimes. in Free Verse More Like This
in my head
curl up in
the beat of
.she says. in Personal More Like This
you weren't made
for anything else
(cutting this cord day by day)
.death has a way. in Free Verse More Like This
of assuring you
that he is your
he's the only
one that will
stay with you
reach the end
.the world's a stage. in Personal More Like This
but he says
don't make a scene
(it's growing boring)
.i woke. in Personal More Like This
(numb from the wrists down)
And There Was Lighti.And There Was Light in Free Verse More Like This
He was seventeen when he died.
I never went to the funeral
but I walked past it the day of
the service. His mother
was in the backseat of a blue Dodge,
door open, head in her hands.
"My baby," she kept repeating.
"My baby." It would go from sobbing, to
screaming, to a soft whisper that
I could only hear being carried
on the wind.
It was a Wednesday afternoon that they found
his old red pickup truck parked
out front of Slim's, two beer bottles in
the back and the windows cracked to let the stale
I heard that his dad told the police he was
gonna take that old truck and fix it up, because
he had promised his son before—
because it's always in the before—
And in the after, his mother never had dry eyes
and I'm pretty sure my mom told me
that she saw his dad at the bar every night,
drinking his sorrows down because some people can't
handle the stress.
Some people can't figure out why their son would
"Some men just want to w
six steps to fixing youstep onesix steps to fixing you in Free Verse More Like This
cry. scream. bang your fists against the walls
that keep you locked inside.
kick your feet in the air. tell your sister she's stupid
and wrong and that you've never loved her.
cry. scream. apologize via him to you.
let your tears catch on your lashes
until you can no longer see anything but your own
demise. taste the bitterness left in
your mouth from your own bitching and rot in it.
break a mug. break two. kick
the pieces around the kitchen floor and cry some more.
break a plate. break a cup. break a bowl.
break a finger because nothing can take away this
sort of pain. you are empty and yet
you are filled with so much anger.
break a razor and paint pictures across your skin.
you are okay, you tell them.
you break three days later and you lie
in bed, unable to move.
start picking up the pieces. clean up the mess
you've made and he's left.
use windex to polish off the dirt and
i keep my hair like i keep my blue jeans: shortthe beginningi keep my hair like i keep my blue jeans: short in Free Verse More Like This
she was all curls falling over shoulders and small hands and slender ankles, but she was also all crooked toes and cheek moles and half-baked smiles. she wore skinny jeans too long and too big on her and she always wore a jacket because she was always cold. and he thought that she was pretty beautiful the first time he saw her in a parade, sitting on top of a dodge truck and waving with both hands so that no one was left out. she was the kind of pretty beautiful that only came around when he said something stupid and she shook her head at him, trying to hide her teeth but failing miserably.
she wore glasses but only when she was doing work or when she had a headache because she thought that her eyes looked too wide in them and all she ever wanted in life was to be people magazine's definition of pretty—which she wasn't (but don't tell her that.) she drank tea on sleepless nights, sitting on her porch and stargazing; she thought that ma
6 ways on learning how to swim1. toes first6 ways on learning how to swim in Free Verse More Like This
when i was younger i thought i was
beautiful. not like the other girls, of course, but i thought that
the sun followed me around because it thought i was pretty.
and i am a shop-a-holic. money burns a hole in
the back pocket of my jeans because i love to spend it.
but i do not like to go shopping. i love the idea and hate the activity.
there are few days that trying on clothes brings me
happiness because there are even fewer days that i love my
body enough to look in a mirror.
but i am trying.
("i love this dress! i can't believe that it fit!
i dropped another size!"
"what, mom? why are you looking at me like that?"
"...oh, please. one size?")
there are days when i don't leave my house and there are days
that i spend the time to put on makeup and
nice clothes to open the door and feel the fresh air and
to admire all the lovely, smiling, silently judging people who
i think are looking at me, but they probably aren't
in flesh and bloodHe finds her unassumingly. She's just standing there, cheeks ruddy, bundled in a forest green jacket lined with fake—he thinks—fur. He finds her, hands in pockets, feet atop the grass. The light that floods the panes of her face casts dark shadows beneath her eyes and along her jaw and he thinks for a moment that she might be kind of beautiful.in flesh and blood in Short Stories More Like This
"Why are you standing before the Eiffel Tower and looking so sad?"
Her head snaps. He counts, one, two, three, seconds, and then she turns her face upward toward the monument in front of the two. They are alone. She doesn't say anything and then she's saying something and he has to turn his attention from the angles of her face to her brown, brown, brown eyes.
"Do you think it's lonely?" Of course not, he thinks. Of course not.
But all he can utter is no as he stares up at it. When she asks him why he sputters and turns to face her again, and sh
i am alpha and omegaShe stands up, dizzy and drunk. Wonders when her heels came unstrapped, and grips the glass she's got in her hand tighter than she holds her rosary on sleepless nights. Her vision hazy, she trips over her own twisted ankles trying to stand up and pulls the bottom hem of her dress down because her mother taught her two things: One, a lady never shows her ass in public. Two, a lady only drinks the strongest of whiskeys. That was before she had skipped town to pal around with her new boyfriend that had pockets deeper than Lake Baikal, if you know what I'm saying.i am alpha and omega in Short Stories More Like This
The silence is heavy as she slowly makes her way out of whatever hallway she had found herself in, stepping over someone else's body that's marinated in liquor for only god knows how long. It takes an effort not to tumble down the stairs in her shit-faced state, and she barely makes it out alive. There's a door. Opens it. There's a city outside cast in the glow of a purple sunrise,
first-class liars go to hellyou played juliet in yourfirst-class liars go to hell in Free Verse More Like This
school play and fell in love with her
he played your fairy tales
just like he played his old fender
guitar, taking you along
for the ride.
and he used to tell you that your hair
reminded him of fireplaces
and christmas and
the "better times"
but i don't think he ever did tell
you what the "better times"
he was a smoker and
you were a ballerina.
in your act III,
instead of killing a tybalt and
threatening to kill
himself if he was separated from
you, he took a gun
and put it to your head, asking
if you ever did
and when you told him that
you would leave if that
made him happy,
he kicked you out, placing the
gun in your hand,
and you think that might've
been the denouement
to your love story.
you went home and decided
poison was too pretty
a way to die,
and you placed the barrel
in your mouth.
blood danced across the
cigarette hanging from his lips,
he sets fire
to everything he has
slowly, and then all at onceand for once, he slips on his wedding ring, to cure the monotony. it slides over his knuckle, a perfect fit, and in the morning release of sunlight the silver gleams at him. it glares, calling him a liar: she is not a whorehouse and you are too broke to own her, you harlot, you. he buttons up, tucks in his shirt tail, and buckles his belt. the clinking of metal parts is the only sound in the room besides the dusting of her breathing beside him. and when he's gone, the only thing he leaves behind are the bruises on her collarbone.slowly, and then all at once in Free Verse More Like This
you find him because you're lonely, (well, it's actually the opposite.) he finds you because his wardrobe is black and his shoes are scuffed and he asks you where your castle is. you're the only princess he sees 'round here. the rain soaks into his shirt and he curses it, grinning. and damn girl, you follow him, because you think you see some kinda warmth in his ice blue eyes.
it takes you days t
5'6 in heels5'8.5'6 in heels in Free Verse More Like This
36, 25, 38, it'd be nice.
long, healthy blonde hair,
typical caucasian female.
miles of legs,
collarbones of a model, yeah.
how pretty, yeah.
i went in for a checkup, momma made me
get my blood panel done.
it's always the same. blood pressure,
check my ears, hold me down for the
life that runs inside me because needles are
nasty. she made me step up to the
wall. my mother snorted.
she made me step onto the scale.
my mother 'tsked.'
i'm half asian and the other half white and i couldn't
give a damn about what i would have
to give up to be either or.
46, 32, 48, give me a break.
the man in the diner calls me sweetie and
asks how i got so pretty.
i can't afford to put my alarm clock on snooze.
i roll out of bed,
pull two-sizes-too-big jeans on and button them.
i tuck my uniform shirt in. i go to the bathroom.
the lights don't come on until
i have brushed my hair at least twice; once to get the
knots out a
i.i heard you howlingi. in Free Verse More Like This
at two a.m. in the bathroom,
the rain drowning out
i heard you tearing at
the hollow of your throat.
you'd think that no one else would be
as sly as you to know
you aren't really what you say,
you're not okay--
you're not okay.
you named her anne after
the mother that never raised you.
called her your baby,
but never once did she
press her tongue against her teeth.
i saw the song lyrics
scrawled on the back of your hand
when you were sound asleep,
fist in stomach.
she's got bruises on her neck
that match up with yours.
she's got fingers like your daddy;
about that one i'm sure.
i read the words that hung
on the top of your lips.
i read the in betweens
the unders and overs
and the everything i could.
you took her in the
bathroom with you last night,
and i don't remember if
it was howling that i heard,
or illicit-sounding screaming.
she's not what you want her to be.
and i read in the papers
yesterday or the day before
about a girl
Let the Fall Make You Stronger."Hey! Are you all right?"Let the Fall Make You Stronger. in Emotional More Like This
"Sure, why wouldn't I be?"
"Um...because you just fell from the roof of the hou-"
"See, that's where you're wrong. I didn't fall. The floor challenged me and I accepted."
"And how did that go for you?"
"The floor won. But only because it had the advantage."
"Of being non sentient and vast in size, along with the fact that there is a freaking storm out!!"
"Nope. I just attacked from the wrong position."
"I overestimated my skills."
"I'll say. You're bleeding!"
"Only a little. Ask me again."
"If I'm fine."
"Is it because you're bleeding?"
"You're supposed to ask 'Why'."
"God, you're so bloody difficult!"
"But cute. Just ask."
"Because this world we live in, it gives us these dreams, you see. These great big beautiful colourful galaxies in our heads of ideas, thoughts and empathetic conclusions to our fellow humans. Our brain tells us, go on, be curious, make those mistakes.
The Girl Who Was Afraid To BeShe speaks to me fondlyThe Girl Who Was Afraid To Be in Free Verse More Like This
of passions and talents,
of guitars and stars,
with such breathless intensity
then stops short and
for speaking at all.
All because somewhere in her life,
someone she loved broke her heart
her beautiful words
and telling her to
keep it down,
People aren’t born sad.
We make them that way.
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
SpinelessMy mother always told me I was born with four spines. They stay there, side by side, in my ramrod straight back, the reason for my very correct posture. So when my back began to arch, people noticed.Spineless in Free Verse More Like This
My parents were first. You look different, they would suppose as I would approach every morning for breakfast. Is something wrong? My mother would question. Are you ill? My father would ask.
I had a gift with the vague and I used it to my only advantage in this scenario. Because telling them the truth would be a lot more devastating. How would I tell them about the fact that my bones, my spine, the very part of me they admired most, was depreciating?
I suppose the trouble with most relationships is to trust someone, knowing that you would willingly lie to them, just to protect them from getting hurt. We all do it, and those of us who claim we don’t, only lie because their lies are smaller. I lied to protect them from what had happened to my bones. Not just my spi
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
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
The Girl He LovesThe girl he loves is midnight, like the blue of the sea cradled by the moonlight.The Girl He Loves in Free Verse More Like This
The girl he loves is verdant, the very green of the hill kissed by the summer delight.
The girl he loves is coral, as pink as the roses that grow in his mother's garden.
The girl he loves is crimson, red like the autumn leaves that lay abandoned.
The girl he loves I can never be
Because he's allergic to violets,
And violets are too much like me.
Why I Hate Romantic Comedies1.Why I Hate Romantic Comedies in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Because they say that for every single boy who counts the stars, there is a little girl who is wishing upon one. (And they never mention what happens after the stars fade into morning and the other falls into oblivion)
Because they say that people fall in love when the time is right, they are true to each other and are ready to be together. (But no one ever mentions how she is so damaged she can barely think, and he is so cynical that he may never be ready.)
Because they insist that your soulmate is going to be a good, kind, caring human being who will love you from the bottom of their hearts. (This is due to the fact that even if there is someone for everyone, bad people are immune to the soulmate theory.)
Because they always have a happy ending (And real life begins after the sun has set and she has realized that he may not be everything she hoped for and he begins to have second thoughts about commitment.)
Because everything is assured in i
A Prayer for the Scar Mappedi hope you find someone who loves you for your scars.A Prayer for the Scar Mapped in Free Verse More Like This
your scars are the battles you fought
alone, scared, broken at midnight
navigating the map of your lost soul,
wearing nothing but threadbare dreams,
with demons who would not die,
and who could not rest.
and still strong, you fought on.
i pray you find someone who loves you for your scars
your scars will tell the stories your lips cannot.
your scars will reveal secrets your heart cannot.
your scars will create meaning to the little things you do.
so find someone who loves you for your scars.
this is all that I can pray for, for you
and for you,
and for you...
bipolar.after they diagnosed my father,bipolar. in Free Verse More Like This
my mother told me,
if she had known,
she would have never had children.
it scares me to think that,
one day i could hear a small voice saying,
“mommy, i don’t feel right.”
“you don’t look sick,”
they say, noticing that i’m not dragging around
an i.v. stand.
noticing that my sweatshirt is black
and not a white hospital gown
swinging around marbled, knocking knees.
“but i’m still unwell,” i say
in a voice that doesn’t shake
and they just look disappointed,
like i don’t fit.
like i’m the skewed painting
on the fucked-up-person wall.
“but,” they say, “don’t bipolar people
usually kill themselves?”
“but i tried,” i say
with my wrists unmarked
and they just shake their heads
almost as if to say
not hard enough.
“poor girl,” they say, looking right at me,
sitting next to my dad as he laughs too loud.
suicide can come in bottles.dad was an alcoholicsuicide can come in bottles. in Free Verse More Like This
by the time he was twenty-two.
he was thirty-three
when i was born.
i am eight years old.
dad is drunk on the couch.
he wakes up and tells me to buy him food
and i tell him i’m his daughter.
he gets up to yell at me
then, as if realizing, starts laughing.
i am scared.
i am nine years old.
there’s a picture i don’t understand
printed out on the table.
i look at the web address and type it in
and there’s a site full of them.
the men look like they’re hurting the women.
they call them mean names
and tie them up.
in the one my dad printed
there are no faces. just genitals
and i am nine
and i understand.
i don’t tell my mother.
i am nine years old.
every night i get up when dad leaves
to close the browsers open on his computer.
there are seventeen open
and i close them
one at a time.
some of the pictures are scary.
one woman is screaming.
another is one who looks young,
like a high school girl.
you are single.you’re not single because you didn’t forward that chain letter,you are single. in Free Verse More Like This
because your replies were too quick
because you missed one of his
because you said the wrong thing.
you’re not single because
your tits are too small or
her ass looks better in those pants or
you have a stomach or
“men want women with curves.”
you’re not single because you’re messy
you’re not single because you’re not ladylike enough
because you don’t fit in
because you’re too ugly
because you’re too this, you’re not enough of that.
you’re not single because who would date somebody like you?
you’re not single because you fall in love too easily,
or because you don’t open up enough.
you are not single because your heart is too big
or too small.
relationships are not gained through meticulousness,
at how precisely your words land
and how perfect your face is when you laugh.
you are not single because it’s what you deserve
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
titans.they don’t tell you thattitans. in Free Verse More Like This
sisyphus just let the rock roll down
and collect his body
they don’t tell you that you can still walk
with holes in your legs
and you can still love
when your heart has already been ripped open.
they don’t tell you that
you are 75% of an ocean
that is six miles deep
and eats ships alive,
75% of the water that shapes canyons,
75% of the rain that drowned the earth
for forty days and nights.
they don’t tell you that
your body is made of the same carbon
they don’t tell you that
there is a fire burning inside of you
or that your bones are stronger than steel
or that the things that fuel you
fuel tigers, too.
the greeks and romans wrote stories about
how strong you were
and you are icarus,
and you died laughing
because they didn’t tell you
how beautiful the world really was
even as it was swallowed
by the waves.
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
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
and i have tried to make it right.i.and i have tried to make it right. in Free Verse More Like This
let me tell you a story
using six words.
their names become parts of statistics.
let me tell you a story
using six words.
“suicide is the easy way out.”
let me tell you a story
using six words
that will never be told.
pain is not a fucking
do you still pray,
knowing there will be no answer?
see, i cannot speak for those
who have no voice to give
but, sincerely, these are the six words
i respond with:
i wish i could save you.
we live our lives being told that
there is always a safety net -
that there are people designed to protect us.
i’m going to use six words because,
the saddest stories
take the fewest words to tell.
for them, there was never anyone.
blades can cut wrists but
here are six words:
blades can cut stories short, too.
i have approximately 250,000 words
to choose from
to try and describe to you what suicide is
but i don’t
normal is a six letter word.something went wrong around the eighth grade, when those mean boys followed you home, when they cornered you in an alley and pulled your hair out of its braid and told you to get on your knees because one boy had never gotten a blowjob before.normal is a six letter word. in Emotional More Like This
nothing happened. you got away; horrified and shaking, but you did. it was after.
when everything happened.
used to be, you’d cry when you scraped your knees, and you'd let people finish their sentences before thoughtfully adding your own – but that was before, before those boys knocked something loose in you, because now it's a cycle of not stopping. you can't stop talking or thinking, thinking all these big, bold thoughts that can take you away, that can surround you like a deep, dark tunnel, you can't stop eating because girls are supposed to smile and sometimes eating fills that emptiness inside of you, just for a minute, but then you can't stop starving because there's no time to eat, because you can't stop,
quirks.when i was a child:quirks. in Free Verse More Like This
i loved to steal.
i would go around my neighborhood
and steal lawn ornaments.
at daycare, i would steal money
once, i stole my next door neighbor’s
when my parents confronted me,
the lie was smooth and solid:
i saw so-and-so take it.
when i was a child:
i loved to lie.
i would make up stories
to get reactions out of people.
to see if they’d believe me.
once, i convinced my friend charlotte
that i had twenty-four hours to live.
when she burst into tears,
i had to bite my tongue
to keep from laughing.
when i was a child:
i loved animals.
i would lock my dog in the closet
and in the bathroom.
a lot of my neighbors left birdcages out
during the day
so i set all of the birds free.
once, i imagined what it would be like
to kill an animal.
then, i imagined what it would be like
to run over it repeatedly
with a car
so i did it with my scooter
to a rose i found
because it was red
when i was a
here is my heart, and here is my home.i am done writing abouthere is my heart, and here is my home. in Free Verse More Like This
you can find me
in the "new beginnings"
isle, splashed with scar tissue and
dear child, open your
there are stars, a galaxy, and
there is breath in your lungs.
the past is never
you have lived through it,
swam through it and
maybe died a little
through it, but you
came out on top.
when this winter ends, it
will end harshly;
but spring comes every year,
and i hope that you
i hope you open your eyes
to rain and i hope
that you fall in love with
it, and i hope
that you let life move
like i had to.
we're legal murderers.how to love a writer:we're legal murderers. in Free Verse More Like This
will turn your passion
into works of extended metaphors
for death and decay,
slipping you scars
served sunny-side-up because,
hey, we all want to be
writers want someone, anyone
(usually the wrong one,
because pain sells more than
to try and pour cement
into the dents inside them
until they realize that they're really just
located in the wrong side of town
that cannot be repaired.
that is what we do.
we break people
for a living.
don't love me until you've seen me bleed.i think thatdon't love me until you've seen me bleed. in Free Verse More Like This
i'm falling in love
no, no no,
don't you say that,
because you've never seen me
at 4 am
with my eyes glazed
and my mind a battle field
(and my arms paying
for the weaponry).
haven't heard me
choke back sobs after midnight
because god dammit i can't sleep,
and the screams in my ears
aren't helping matters,
and i don't think
you will ever see me
bre a k
and shatter and
fall into the greedy grip
of a panic attack
and then try in vain
to claw myself back up.
but there is that hot hope
that tells me that you
can look past
the scars and the tears
and the screams and
the nightmares. and
for once in my damn life
i'm praying that i'm right
ellie.she was always aellie. in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
galaxy, and i am not
allowed to touch stars.
red.these cigarettes will killred. in Free Verse More Like This
me, but only if
i don't do it first.
(inhale, breathe, hold, exhale. then concentrate on the scenery. feel the smoke on your tongue and think about how you're killing yourself, when in reality, you're already dying.)
we're all going to
die, so what's one
day less? it seems like an
honest bargain to me,
but then again, you should never
listen to a word i
say, because i am
a class A fuck up
(or so they say).
see, i'm either too fat
or too skinny,
much too heart wild
for any man too marry.
("who would want to marry a girl like you? you're too stubborn," my father says. i am fifteen with purple hair and fire on my cheeks and my heart coiling away from my sleeve.
"fuck anyone who wants to take anything about you away," my mother tells me when i'm nearly 16, with sad eyes and a worn out expectation.)
but i think i realize now
that i don't
for me i am good enough,
good in general,
neshamah.apollo's misstep.neshamah. in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
look at your clock. it's tomorrow. all the seconds and minutes of yesterday are gone, disintegrated with the window dust. 12:00 a.m.; re birth.
i've always had this theory that in between 11:59 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., there's this vast ticking of nothingness that hovers between the minutes. just for a second, you are nowhere. the day is both finished and regenerating, and that's sort of magical. i always think that apollo falters, just for a second, as he puts the moon away, tucked neatly in his teeth.
born in a typewriter.
i can never think of how to start anything. the point, of course, is to grab the reader's attention before they become bored with your work and leave, and i don't know if i can do that. i am afraid i cannot ever begin to tell you all of my story.
if i were to be chronological, i would start with telling you when i began to write. but, 1: i am never
/ we smile at the universe with ashes on our lips. there are boats inside of our veins. the blood is a metaphor and, hell, i can't even begin to write about her./ in Short Stories More Like This
i could tell any story. if i wanted, i could write a novel about my mother and how beautiful she was a sixteen or i could make a lighthouse a person, but i cannot tell you the color or her eyes. it's that that i don't know it; i just can't tell you. it's not a color, it's a place.
her eyes are like Chicago. there's life and lights and lakes, but there's a sadness, too. even so, it's a happy kind of sad. the kind that gives you hope.
sometimes when i'm high i think that i'm dead, because i get numb. not physically senseless, but just mentally dazed. i forget where i am. i like that. it seems sometimes like i am a place, i am all the street signs and the cracks in the road and badly painted house down the way. see the really faint dot on the map? that's me. scribb
how to be a poet: the basics.kiss all the peoplehow to be a poet: the basics. in Free Verse More Like This
you know you shouldn't,
solely for the reason
that they look good
look at your scars
like mothers peer into
cradles. then make
more; make yourself into
a symbol for infinity,
or at least try,
because it never works.
patch yourself up.
say, "darling, you're okay,"
while staring at yourself in the
mirror with your hair
damp and your lips
chapped (refer to stanza
one). change. grow.
it's what we like to read,
miss the people in your life
until they leave,
and then miss yourself
as well. screw everything up,
and then write about it
like it had to happen.
try to believe it, ignore
the voice in your head that hisses
and groans in your sleep,
behind your eyelids.
"baby, you're a fuck up,
you know it know it know it".
try to carve the humming
out of your body
by exit way of your veins.
be hospitalized. give in, give up,
play along, stop writing.
but then you start writi
,the thing they forgot to mention, in Free Verse More Like This
about being a writer
is that we all live the longest
and die the fastest.
we feast on metaphors
with numb fingers and hearts
until we crawl under a half moon to sleep
and just don't wake up,
because everything we are
is arranged in our work
and we start to become
everything we've written about,
slowly but surely.
and now i'm not so sure
if i want to be a poet.
i just know
that i want to be a writer.
jesse owens, the boy who never died.my best friend's name isjesse owens, the boy who never died. in Free Verse More Like This
after the fastest man in
i think his name has
a sort of ring
"Jesse Owens, the boy
who can race the
and my Jesse Owens,
my lightning boy, he
has eyes like the sidewalk
if you don't know what that
looks like, or what that
feels like, then i
don't know what to tell you.
we used to race home from
buzzing bees behind our
fly away hair, the soles
of his shoes hit the
sidewalk like little
bombs: taptap taptap
if i listen hard
enough, i can always hear
Jesse Owens pounding through the
town. i hear him
in the quiet right before the
sun rises, frayed
shoelaces nipping at
but now he goes shooting straight
past my house, and we
don't run home from
school. see, my
Jesse Owens ran himself right
into a bullet,
which he swallowed better than
the pills his doctor gave
HumanityHumans are cruel.Humanity in Free Verse More Like This
Humans are killers.
Before guns it was knives
Before that it was stones
Invasions, burning homes,
Stealing lives and loves
Releasing crows and
Humans are good.
Humans are kind.
They live, love and laugh
They have the gift of hope
Helping them all to cope
Through evil human things
Sowing seeds and
Sewing angel wings.
Humans are strange.
Humans are incomplete.
Punches to kisses to games
Anger to love to insanity
Tragedy to crystal clarity
Whirlwinds of empty whims
Empty prayers and
Humans are living.
Humans are dying.
Ashes to ashes, soul to Hell
Or perhaps to Heaven
No human can really tell
If even either is real.
It Isn't BeautifulI used to cut myself.It Isn't Beautiful in Free Verse More Like This
Some of the marks faded,
But some stayed
And now I’m forever jaded.
People have kissed my scars,
Others have turned away
But here is what I have to say;
It isn’t beautiful.
When it hurts to walk
Because your thighs are bleeding,
When you can’t talk
About the help you’re needing;
It isn’t beautiful.
When it’s boiling outside
But you have to wear sleeves
Because of your bloody little
It isn’t beautiful.
When your friends
Are scared of you,
Of the things you do;
It isn’t beautiful.
When you feel so worthless,
So down and out,
Used up and empty,
And all you do is shout
But nobody hears,
Because you silence it
It isn’t beautiful.
When they find out
And you see how much,
How deeply they care
And they hate themselves
For not being aware;
It isn’t beautiful.
When they take it away,
And monitor you
And you’re itching all over,
Desperate for it,
For one last hit
For Every GirlFor every girl who was a ‘bitch’ ‘cause she said no to a boyFor Every Girl in Free Verse More Like This
For every girl who was a ‘slut’ ‘cause she said yes
For every girl who was an object ‘cause she had tits
For every girl who couldn’t wear that ‘cause boys can’t control themselves
For every girl who was ‘asking for it’ ‘cause she wore a short skirt
For every girl who was a ‘prude’ ‘cause she wore a long one
For every girl who was a ‘challenge’ ‘cause she liked other girls
For every girl who was ‘easy’ ‘cause she liked both
For every girl who nobody heard ‘cause she didn’t have a dick (or maybe because she did)
For every girl who everyone ignored ‘cause she was ‘on her period’
For every girl who was ‘fat’ ‘cause she had dessert
For every girl who was ‘anorexic’ ‘cause she didn’t
For every girl who was ‘insecure’
I am a MouseI am a mouse.I am a Mouse in Free Verse More Like This
I am quiet, I am nothing.
I am a book that nobody has read.
I am an eclipsed sun and a cloaked moon.
I am irrelevant and unwanted, a broken toy in an attic.
I am the dust in your rear-view mirror that you leave behind.
I am the air that you breathe in and spit out as something different.
I am the palest white. I am the darkest black. I am the dullest, emptiest grey.
I am the old man with forgotten memories and the baby who has yet to make them.
I am a forgotten word, dangling on the tip of your tongue, hanging on the noose of your lips.
I am a dried up stream. I am a felled forest. I am an abandoned cornucopia of resolute nothingness.
And there is Hell burning in my eyes.
Summertime (For the Quiet Kids)People think I’m lonely,Summertime (For the Quiet Kids) in Free Verse More Like This
People think I’m sad.
I’ve been called lowly,
I’ve been called mad.
There are worse things
I could be than quiet,
There are more harmful
Things I could do,
Just because I’m different,
Doesn’t mean I’m not right too.
Books are my buddies,
My four walls are my friends.
Green Day are my preachers,
AC/DC are my teachers,
Dancing out of my speakers.
I talk with my pen
And I sing from the soul,
Sometimes it’s diamond bright,
Others, it’s black as coal.
Summer is here,
I can feel it
Sweating into my pores,
And whilst some might go for beaches,
I go for so-called bores.
So when you see someone,
Nose in a book,
With a faraway look,
Don’t pity them;
For they are in their own kind of sunshine.
JourneyElevenJourney in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I’m part of a local kids’ theatre group
I get all the lead roles;
I am confident.
I’m on registers for being
‘Gifted and Talented’;
My future is bright.
I’m not popular or pretty
But I’m too innocent;
I don’t see why it should matter.
I start high school.
My friend’s mum picks me up.
I get home.
She’s in the hospital.
They lie to me;
She has a
I believe them.
‘Ellie, I have cancer.’
I never trust anyone again.
I quit the theatre club.
Mum isn’t worse,
So I assume she’s
We go to Italy,
Me and her.
We have fun.
Yeah, she’s definitely getting better.
My mum can’t die;
In and out of hospital.
Living off of
Everyone acts like I know.
I don’t know anyth
I Need FeminismI need feminism becauseI Need Feminism in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It’s acceptable to call me a slut.
I need feminism because
It’s okay for a guy to slap my butt.
I need feminism because
It’s my own fault if a man rapes me.
I need feminism because
I should look good for men to see.
I need feminism because
People think it means ‘anti-man’.
I need feminism because
I can’t do things that men can.
I need feminism because
Girls think it’s cool to shame each other.
I need feminism because
The world has higher hopes for my brother.
I need feminism because
My femininity makes me ‘weak’.
I need feminism because
If I act masculine I’m a ‘freak’.
I need feminism because
My boobs are my ‘best quality’.
I need feminism because
I believe in equality.
Such a ContradictionI'm just that fat kidSuch a Contradiction in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Starved of hope.
I'm just that cutter
Reaching for rope.
I'm just that dumb blonde
Reading all night.
I'm just that coward
Bleeding for a fright.
I'm just that child
I'm just that girl
With messy hair.
I'm just that burner
Wanting to be cool.
I'm just that geek
Scared of school.
I'm just that emo
Smiling with glee.
You're just another drone
But you'll never be me.
Still BeautifulA woman with a penisStill Beautiful in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Is still a woman
And she is still beautiful.
A man with a vagina
Is still a man
And he is still beautiful.
Two men or women in love
Are still in love
And that love is still beautiful.
A person who is agender
Is still a person
And that person is still beautiful.
A human who is 'different'
Is still a human
And that human is still beautiful.
AnxietySometimes,Anxiety in Free Verse More Like This
Sick isn't something
You can see.
When I'm standing there -
Fists bracing -
For 'no reason at all',
I hope it makes you
Feel big and tall,
To tell me I'm being stupid.
When I can't talk to someone -
Because my throat is dry,
And I feel sick,
Like I can't
Catch my breath,
Like I'm going to cry
Like I'm hurtling
Towards death -
Don't tell me to
'Get over myself'.
When I'm crying -
And my knees
And I'm too scared
And every heart
Makes me jump -
How can you tell me
I need to 'grow up'?
When I can't get on a bus -
Because so many people,
So many eyes,
And my mind is force-feeding
Me so many lies -
Don't tell me I 'think I'm better
Than everyone else'.
I'm trying my hardest.
Really, I am.
Would you tell someone with a broken leg
To just get up and walk?
Would you tell someone with no tongue
To open their mouth and talk?
Would you tell a wingless angel
So tell me why -
When it is
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.
gossamer loveyou will love a womangossamer love in Free Verse More Like This
who uses the word
too often. she will
diagnose dead artists' descents
into madness and laugh
too loudly at jokes
no one understands.
she will braid crowns of
flowers, she will write poems
in constellations, she will
try to walk like a dancer so
no one can hear her
leave. she will be
an ice sculpture, and when
she cries, you'll convince yourself
she's melting, she loves you, you've
changed her, you've
changed; she will wear you
like a comma, like
an incomplete thought,
in her story, and
she will leave you wondering
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
to the girl with hungry footstepsI'm sending all my words backto the girl with hungry footsteps in Free Verse More Like This
to the people who need them--
people who wear scars like
war trophies, like jewelry, like
an identification for those suffering
from the same acceptance of
self-hate. this is to the people
who sleep with one eye open, who
cry when footsteps enter their room
at night; this is to the girls
who love by cutting their hearts
into snowflakes and watching
them melt. I left you behind and
I can't be sorry for that.
you are the type of beautiful
that kindly asks the world
to fuck off. the days we buried
have decomposed, headstones are
snapshots; sanitized breakdowns,
rusty tongues, sighs laced
with fear, I love you, I love
you. saturdays were the best
because we could sleep through
the nightmare. you painted me a
picture of the world with your words
and they made us wash it away
for being transparent.
we were afraid of nothing
but the monsters in our eyelids.
back then, we counted days
like shooting stars; it took 67
to wish myself away. this
is for you, skygazer;
beauty is a state of mindforgiveness is thebeauty is a state of mind in Free Verse More Like This
scent the violet leaves
on the foot that stomped it;
I am beautiful in remembrance:
I am beautiful
in a body two sizes too
large, in eyes dilated
with questions (eyes
you cannot name; gray
like the ocean, blue
like the heart, green like
the fever dream I cannot
wake from) I am the
hair of a lion, a wild
thing, ignition upon
tempted glance. I am the skin
you cannot name, always fleeting;
you always see
but never truly take in.
and I know a boy
carved of ivory silence,
mutterings from over the cuckoo's nesti.mutterings from over the cuckoo's nest in Free Verse More Like This
it is dark. that
is a judgment. my roommate
is snoring, and somewhere,
a girl is crying because
she doesn't have a heart
so she doesn't have
a home. if we are time bombs,
I think I must have detonated
a little late. it is dark
and I can't see
why all problems are defined
but their need to be solved.
I dream in color, but I live
in black and white. I drown
in gray faces that don't
sound familiar; it is dark
and I can't remember
the last time it was bright.
I am afraid
of caring. we are a strange
people, we, who love by
hating ourselves, by bleeding
am afraid that
one day, I might start crying,
and I won't be able to stop and
it will be the second Great Flood,
all the world will drown in
my mistakes. You
draw that out of me,
like a marionette on
a string, you pull these
anchors out from
my stomach until I
can hardly breathe. you
live on the other half of the mirror,
I am afraid
that distance is too
in the end,
it's all the same. every
honesty isn't a weaknessI have a headache and not enough timehonesty isn't a weakness in Free Verse More Like This
to explain the irony of how I want to be
every pretentious poet making art out of
themselves, cutting open their side and writing
in blood and pixie dust; or how difficult
it is to make a good allegory out of carsickness
and household complacency. this
is every secret I ever hid. when I was 9
someone dissected the world in front of me,
showed me it was a living, wanting thing
and that I was just a lonely cell, functioning
through my dysfunction; when I was 11
the boy I liked told me he’d be interested
if I were prettier and I learned starvation
was more a state of mind than a presence
of being. when I was 13 I researched the lethality
of cleaning products, because god, I felt so dirty,
and nothing can clean you more than a couple cupfuls
of bleach. when I was 15 I was old and decrepit
and mostly dead, returning from war with flowers
for graves that weren’t filled and a heart of
tragedy, vulnerable and draped in every shade
of mourning f
reasons why we should be in loveif I couldreasons why we should be in love in Free Verse More Like This
I’d love you like
those couples who grow
into each other and make
poetry out of body language
and wear one another’s
weaknesses when they get
too heavy and talk about
the weather without ever really
meaning the weather at all;
and you’d keep me from
falling asleep in the ocean
and I’d lie about little
things, always confusing
Sunday for Tuesday and
you for somebody with
the same face who
was always afraid of
me. you’d chuckle and
hold me and I’d cave in to
you like the hungry tide
and you’d say I looked
beautiful when I cried
and I wouldn’t believe you
but I’d cry more anyways.
if people were alive,
you’d be the brightest
one. I don’t have much
to offer but I could write you
a million dedications
in the sand, and give you
pocket change when you
needed a wish; I could
take you to New Zealand
to paint water lilies or England
to go skydiving or Italy
to fall in love and mean it
and I would promise you
the moon an
Confessionsthere’s a lot I never told youConfessions in Free Verse More Like This
1. I have a habit of lying, about
the simple things (like, yes I
forgot to remember and I swear by
soul mates and I’m in love
with your susurrus voice
and no, I’m really doing fine).
It was not an act of infidelity because
I believed it, too.
2. I’m infatuated with the concept
that I am more or less fictional, the
delusive beauty a million men will
dedicate novels to: I am fragile,
a dust angel sent to save the world
from commonalities and
3. Since I’m not allowed
to remember your name
I will commemorate you
in acts of escapism,
killing off the pieces
of the person you left behind.
4. I believe in a past life
I was a bird with a tendency
towards tall buildings; the sorry kind
of bird with heavy bones and crumpled wings
who never quite learned
to fly away.
5. I miss you. I used to think
you were a person, but now I know
you’re the happiness I will never
6. I'm sorry.
what we're not supposed to talk aboutI could make a story out ofwhat we're not supposed to talk about in Free Verse More Like This
this. The blackout epiphanies
blinding me like a total eclipse
of any sense of rationality I ever
stole out from my parents' blind spots
when they turned the other way. The
boy I fell half in love with and
my therapist's unassuming questions
about why he was different, the way I
was never beautiful to him but he
still looked me in my bokeh eyes,
betraying and quiet, so that was enough.
My vain addiction to anything
permanently damaging and
more or less glamorous. The dreams
I can’t swallow no matter what shade
of delusion they come in, about
the imminent death of stars named
after deader lovers, and places
where the air is intoxicated with
the promise of Ecstasy, or whatever
name heaven goes by after you begin to doubt
the reality of putting one foot in front
of the other will get you anywhere at all.
I could write novels about my path
to self-martyrification and the moments
I cried for no reason except that
I had no reason tor cry. I could write
To My Biology TextbookOn page 159 of my biology textbook, it reads,To My Biology Textbook in Free Verse More Like This
“...cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells”
as though that could explain everything,
and I thought it did for a time.
But my textbook never warned me
that his skin would pale
to a point where I could see
the blue freight trains
carrying eighteen pills
throughout his frail body.
My textbook never warned me
that his watery irises would freeze over,
that he would hurl insults like knives,
and that he would clench his jaw
as tightly as his fist clenched his wine glass
because the only person to blame is himself,
and he can’t swallow that as easily
as he can the olives in his martinis.
And my textbook never warned me
that it would be this difficult to breathe
because of my acute awareness
that his breaths are limited,
and that there would be nothing I could do
but soldier on searching for that silver lining
clinging to these foreboding thunderheads.
InfatuatedI am infatuated with a boyInfatuated in Free Verse More Like This
because his smile is too big for his face
and it feels like the only thing that’s real,
because his eye color is cerulean
and that’s been my favorite crayon
ever since my grandmother
bought me that set of sixty four,
because he’s so damn beautiful
even though boys aren’t meant to be,
because his hands are big enough
to hold the whole world
and he doesn’t even know
what he wants in them yet.
I wish I could find the courage to crack
my rib cage open for him
and point out all of the ways
that he managed to sneak into my heart
so nothing is misunderstood
or misinterpreted anymore,
but I can’t even speak to him
because my tongue ties itself
into pretty ribbon bows
because he is a gorgeous jigsaw
and I don’t understand him at all,
even after a million glances.
So I’m dissecting every word he says,
every glance in my direction,
and every casual brush of skin
to try and find subliminal messages
even if there aren’
For ScienceBrought toaster to bathtub.For Science in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
honey-filled heartshe asked her if she loved himhoney-filled hearts in Free Verse More Like This
and she looked at that golden boy
with a bumblebee smile and sad veins
like good champagne leaking onto the stars
only a million words were left unsaid.
aubreyYou are a three-day lightning stormaubrey in Free Verse More Like This
that leaves only plastic bags and stray dogs
flitting through the river runway streets.
You are dark purple and blue cacophonies,
searing-white and shredded muscle tendrils,
and seams bursting from blistering electricity—
I am not afraid of you.
My father has whirling weatherveins too,
but my mother coaxed it to his irises and fingernails;
typhoon boy, you too will find your stormchaser.
She will have a flagpole straight spine and sunshine
clenched in her fists like crumpled dollar bills, and
more importantly, she will make you feel okay.
You deserve okay.
CandaceI have named the lumpCandace in Free Verse More Like This
in my throat Candace;
and she is what her name means-
penitent and contrite,
remorseful for every word that slips
past her because they all have
come out misshapen and wrong.
UnfathomableI have been told that my eyesUnfathomable in Free Verse More Like This
are like someone bottled you up
and poured your color into my irises.
Sure, it’s a lovely compliment,
but I am not you.
You are a child playing dress-up
with your sister’s coats and frocks
because you want to be something bigger;
and she’s sweltering with jealousy
that you can wear those grays and blues
better than she ever could.
You are an angst-ridden teen
who dyed and spiked her hair
to hear her mother scream,
and no matter how many times
she tells you that your boyfriend
is a washed up good-for-nothing,
you keep coming back to kiss the shoreline
because you think that his love feels right.
You are a middle-aged mother
glancing over her shoulder
to check for those nosy neighbors
while putting up your new windowpanes
of sapphire stained glass to cloak
those blistering waves that occupy
your pristine, picket fence house.
You are the woman that sailors
have sworn to for centuries
and the woman that will keep
scientists surprised for year
mechanicI want to kiss every aching wound you have,mechanic in Free Verse More Like This
bandage your heart every time it bleeds,
and patch up your mind over and over
because not a single tear deserves to fall
from your brandy-drenched eyes;
This dripping heart of mine can only feel,
and the healing honey words it flames get caught
in the back of my throat and on the roof of my mouth,
so I only have these passionate guttural cries
to tell you that I care all too much.
In order to fix you up again,
I would need to tear myself to tatters
and trade all of my working parts
for your leftover, fading pieces
but I just haven’t figured out how.
Parentheses(I wonder if parenthesesParentheses in Free Verse More Like This
ever see all the letters
caught in between them
and feel that distance
as though it is tangible;
if they ever crave
to be close enough together
so they could intertwine
until their inkscratches
collide to incoherence;
if you’ve ever noticed
how your right hand ellipses
and curves just like a parenthesis,
and how my left hand is its opposite.)
Black Felt TrickBeneath broken pens, convenience storeBlack Felt Trick in Free Verse More Like This
receipts, and a fine layer of neglect,
a black voodoo doll--legs bent beneath him--
studies the needle sticking out of his sternum,
the stitched scars on his skin, and wonders
what it is about love that turns humans violent.
A treacle haired boy grasps the doll
and draws it up from the inside of his mother's
cardboard box. With a grin the size of Alaska,
he pulls the needle out and presses it in again.
In come the shadows, out goes his innocence;
in come the shadows, out goes his innocence.
A teenage near-man wakes, leg suspended
In a near florescent white room
Studying the bandages enveloping his sternum
Hiding the crimson flood underneath.
And he contemplates how love turns violent.
painyou're disgusting.pain in Free Verse More Like This
i hope you know that every time you show your face,
i cringe, collapse into rage.
you flay my body with cutting board scissors
and laugh at the sight of my blood.
it's everywhere, staining everything.
my clothes are ruined,
splotched with your dirty curse.
i can't ignore you
when you're so persistent,
grinding me like coffee beans
to grit beneath your boots.
i'm a shipwreck. you're the bottom of the ocean,
i collapse into bathroom stalls
like a rag doll,
falling on my knees and begging for mercy.
you're the reason i have medication.
i swallow pill after pill,
but they don't let me forget you.
i feel you within me,
twisting, pulling at my guts.
there's some idea out there
that women are like snow-capped strawberries,
but you are the part of me
that releases the bitter, razor-edged leaves.
my mom tells me i'm being melodramatic.
it's just a period, after all.
hometown bluesthey say home is where the heart is,hometown blues in Free Verse More Like This
but they never claimed it had to be beating.
if this town is all there is to living,
then I'm dead,
and these dusty dirt roads
are my sad little gravestones.
there's a harsh winter wind.
but it's the same air I've inhaled
since I first opened my
surgical steel eye to the world.
remember the pale pink dress
I wore to our senior prom?
you held me
under the fuzzy yellow confetti light.
I loved you because you were so gentle,
and when I fell apart,
you were the only person who knew
I could fix myself on my own.
you twirled me like I mattered,
because you knew that one day I would die.
you forgot that you would, too.
you are wrought iron starlight,
my crooked grey dove.
you live in the sidewalk cracks,
moaning my name as I
cautiously step over the gorges.
my mother calls, from time to time.
I've learned to let the phone ring
because her voice is not the one I want to hear.
she's too tepid, unsure.
she's the link strangling me,
pinning me t
not fade awayTwisted up in a trap of I.V.s,not fade away in Free Verse More Like This
she withered and withered away.
Disease stole her lively light
from the sickbed where she lay.
A month before she perished,
I think she might have said,
"I know that I am dying, sure,
but dying's not the same as dead."
never become a writeri.never become a writer.never become a writer in Free Verse More Like This
you will become a perfectionist,
picking life apart
with a magpie's eye,
hunting for the beautiful bits
until you can make yourself
a sparkling throne
in the center of a junkyard.
ii.you will write when you're sad.
you will write when you're happy.
whenever you feel something,
you will vomit the emotion out
into some sort of literature.
when you're finished,
you'll be empty
and surrounded by
pages and pages of
everything you once were.
iii.you will try to make
pain sound delicious,
painting over the ragged wounds
with pink paint
and candy-coat lies.
you will learn
how to decorate graveyards.
everyone will play in them,
but you alone will see the headstones.
iv.if you fall in love,
you will turn your love into a poem,
and you will always like your own words
more than you like the real person.
you'll become so selfish
you'll disgust yourself,
but you will not be ab
you've been dead for a year, my deari met you on december 21st,you've been dead for a year, my dear in Free Verse More Like This
the longest night of the year.
you had solstice eyes: cold, dark, alluring.
i knew you were not meant to last,
powerful as a gale but fragile as
the tulip stems you snapped,
a sickening cycle of you,
an overwhelming tidal wave.
they say two wrongs will never make a right,
but i made so many bad choices that
i wound up back where I began.
it was too easy to love you,
but getting you to love me back was impossible.
i clawed at your chest until I struck blood,
until my nails split into shards.
you were born a phantom,
and i, your corpse.
holding onto you felt like drowning in quicksand;
i fought but always sank into your arms.
i breathed in dirt, breathed in dust, and
found my organs choked with you,
smothered by your existence.
you sucked out my breath
every time i kissed you.
i died every day with your hand
knotted in my hair.
You left on june 21st,
the longest day of the year.
i bit down sorrow and deconstructed
the labyrinth within me,
the one you hadn't th
I know you, I love youWe fall in love with the microscopic, rough-edged details of people. We crave the knowledge of our lovers, crave to know them the way nobody else can. In a way, these idiosyncrasies become our own personal gift, a sliver of our favorite person preserved within ourselves.I know you, I love you in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You love the way he licks his lips twice before saying something important, exactly twice, like he’s counting out two seconds to reclaim his composure.
You love how her fingertips smell like turpentine and lavender when she finishes a painting because she doesn’t stop until her brushes are clean, and then she spends too much time trying to scrub her hands fresh.
You love how he sometimes mouths the lyrics to songs under his breath, just loud enough to be audible over the radio, and you love the way he smiles and blushes and stutters when you notice him doing so.
You love her expression when she reads, shifting and flowing like a hundred butterflies in response to the words on the page; you love the frantic
float onnow I'm thinkingfloat on in Free Verse More Like This
that the moon's smarter than me:
she's in love with the earth
but keeps her distance,
I lose my orbit
when you're not around,
and I find myself without gravity,
waiting for you all night
when I know you'd rather be
lost my voice.I wrote "I love you"lost my voice. in Free Verse More Like This
in the sand at the beach.
The tide swallowed the words
and drowned them
before I could speak.
disorder"mirror, mirror, on the walldisorder in Free Verse More Like This
who's the fairest of them all?"
i whispered to my doleful reflection,
but this was no fairy tale:
this was a small town on a cold, foggy night.
my skeleton was so beautiful
i wanted to showcase it,
give onlookers a glimpse of my impending
death through my very flesh.
i could picture myself, edges carved away
like a cored apple.
i just wanted to feel real.
everyone around me chewed and swallowed so easily
but i just gnawed on my lip until i
tasted blood, and let
a piece of myself die.
the flavor made my mouth water
as my stomach ground out hoarse
requests for expansion, for meaning.
i held nothing within but pathetic yearning,
hollow with self-hatred.
i could only feel affection with pain.
perfection became my obsession,
consuming me alive the way i would have
loved to consume anything at all.
some part of me believe i could be a super model,
and living my life on ambition and emptiness
was the way to do it.
every day i watched the little numbers