Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.
The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as it could have been with a couple that were more polite acquaintances than anything else and two sets of in-laws as stuffy as a dusty pile of money. They grab her when she sneaks out for a walk one night, two men, beefy, not even bothered to arm themselves. Her last thought before the bag is shoved over her eyes is to wonder how much this would ruin her parents' plans.
She comes to in a small brick room on a sallow mattress, windowless and lit by a cool yellow lamp. There's a man there, standing just outside the barred door.
"Kelly Shale," he says, voice nasally, greasy greying hair half-covering his forehead. She's not sure if it's a question or a statement.
She counts the days by watching the guardsone on day shift, one on night. They're probably the same men who took her, but they stay too much out of her field of vision to really tell. It takes until the third day for the woman to come.
'Meil,' they call h
RockHacking away at a rock with another rock will shape the rockMore Like This
you are hacking at by time, but the rock you are using might also break.
This can be frustrating and you may want to give up and go do something else,
but that is when you should get back on your feet, find another rock and continue hacking.
You might never feel that the rock you are shaping ends up perfect and you will always see flaws or
improvements to be made. Passion to do something isn't to finish it, it's to work on it.
Neko-CanadaxReaderNeko-CanadaxReaderMore Like This
The meowing from the cats was loud. There had to be at least thirty cats there.
"Are you looking for a particular type of cat?"
"No. Not really..." You twirled a lock of hair around your finger. "Are there any kittens?"
"Yes!" Elizabeta clapped her hands. "Only one though, the other two where adopted." Nodding you followed her over to a cardboard box.
Inside was a smallish beige and white cat. It had the most vibrant purple eyes you had ever seen.
"This is Matthew. His father, Francis, is that one over there." You looked over at the fluffy white cat.
"Um I'll take him!" Reaching out you patted the kittens head. He blinked up at you.
Elizabeta grinned, "Good choice! Matthew's a bit shy, but he'll warm up to you!"
It was a rather quiet ride home. You kept glancing at the kitten, He had fallen asleep after being put in the carrier. You smiled at the collar around his neck. Elizabeta had given it to you
RomanoxReader The Curl"Can I pull it please?"More Like This
You looked at your Italian boyfriend Lovino.
"Why not?" You asked, crossing your arms.
"Because, I said no." He crossed his arms.
"Why? There has to be a reason!"
"Because, I don't want you to pull it." He said, standing up and walking out of the room.
You waited until he fell asleep on the couch, watching TV. You snuck over to the couch and looked down at the peacfully sleeping Italian. You reached towards the curl, your hand inches away, you were just about to pull it when his eyes snapped open and grabbed your hand quickly.
"What the hell (Name)?!"
"Plan failed...." You mumbled.
Later Lovino was cooking some pasta, he didn't know you were behind him. You were just about to grab the curl until he turned around and seen you.
"CHIGI! (Name)! You scared the shit out of me!" He said, glaring at you a little. "Leave my curl alone!"
Later he was sitting at the table, doing some paperwork and you snuck in the kitchen. You trie
MemoriesCircling around my mind like the moon does the earth, filling it with thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow, memories are like clouds. The more there are, the cloudier your thoughts. The less, the clearer. I had a lot of memories. I had a lot of cloudy thoughts. I couldn't think straight, whether it was lack of sleep or lack of coffee, I couldn't decipher. All I knew was I had changed, drastically. I used to be so outgoing, and happy, but now... I preferred to stay at home, alone, crying my eyes out because I couldn't understand why I was so unhappy. I couldn't say I liked this changed, but I couldn't say I didn't. My bad habits were replaced with good. I stopped cussing. I had actually started to care for work, and I had begun smoking a lot less. I had always been a respected person, always clean and well kept, but now I felt I had OCD. Which I know I don't. I'm still pretty laid back. I'm more intent on learning a lot of things I would never have taken into consideration before.More Like This
Hello NowHello.More Like This
I don't know how to greet you
I only know that I have always thought of you as something
I could hold in my hands
a fistful of minnows before
puncture their own bones
and secrete the abalone glaze of their eyes
into a film on the dock
Until now I have since kept you as
a flighted likeness
of my mind
knowing too the cold of a multiplied sunset
ending in frost and space between rivers
the fragrance of a sweetly decomposing
salmonberry, telling time for reddening chinook to end
sweeping like a wind in the parts between birches
or of it's stain that I would palm and carry
thinking also of endings and beginnings
in such order
when gulls eat the cartilidge and fur
from animals put on the silted banks
of the knik
a place where the sun can fall deeply
as I am no longer alone,
and we hear the chickadees being the trees
and the loons wanting to make night
could it be appropriate now,
while twilight is flaming
to finally know your name?
My Life as an iPhoneMore Like This
Day 1 - I said a fond farewell to my identical brothers and sisters as we left the production line and went our separate ways. We are all equally perfect, our components sized to tolerances of mere micrometres. May we all live perfect lives, with each of us a perfect user.
Day 2 - Bah, I am still waiting in this warehouse to be loaded onto the freight plane. At this rate I'll never leave China. DHL has a lot to answer for this.
Day 3 - Alright, after that unnecessary delay, I am at last loaded up with a pre-paid SIM card, and ready to meet my buyer. I can't wait.
Day 4 - My buyer is unboxing me all wrong. Oh well, I suppose she's my user now. I had better get used to her. "Slide to set up."
Day 5 - My user has waltzed through the setup process without even bothering to set up an iCloud account. What a philistine. Still, I am quick to judge. Maybe she will understand me better when I show her the 1 million plus apps in my curated App Store.
Day 6 - What is the point of having a develope
i am trying to let you leave but ...i am trying toMore Like This
say goodbye but
my soul is digging
in its heels,
it is piercing my
skin with its teeth
and it is
it will not let me
let you go this time.
The WoodsThey were shaped like humans, humans with rat-tail hair or weeping willow spines or long hungry feet, and they danced around her, carried on her fearful imagination. She could taste their wicked delight and she cried, paralysed as they fed upon the chilled currents of winter walks. The little wolves spun up her ankles and took on her thighs; nothing left unexplored for them or her, a vicious loving in the trees. She met the thick loam with her knees and stayed upright, her hollowed body becoming the only memory anyone might ever have of her.More Like This
These are the woods where the children come to die. These are the shadows where grey-faced sleep waits, never speaking, never turning. The children fall into the grim peace and no one can follow their red toes into the shroud.
Cold at FourIs there a technical term for a harp maker?More Like This
If there isn't, it's you, as a body, that canine
Your name doesn't
ring right but it's what you do with it that counts:
I tumbled around it and never said it at the correct second, like the
cuboid-skulled choirgirl a note behind, loud and disgusting. A faulty
The banal usurping of my bookish tongue
came on quick.
I'm very sorry.
Everything scratched backwards and now my spine streams
from my throat, cursive handwriting.
Scored in your scalp:
the clicking of toes, falling asleep in the hands of metal men,
forgotten criminality, barbed wire telephones -.
you look like so many faces -
for all I know you don't exist except in broken chairs.
RapunzelThe floor is covered with ribbons of broken hair snapped, dry, dirty hair. She watches it break and die every day; even when it groans from her scalp, she no longer cries for it. It's only hair.More Like This
She sits in the corner, with another of her headaches, closing her unwashed eyes and praying for sleep.
When a man's voice calls to her from outside, she jumps.
No one speaks to her.
She is one hundred feet from the ground and no one can see her face.
Heart quickening - a newborn sparrow that must learn to fly or else succumb to a hungry mouth - she struggles with her locked bones to stand and run to the window. She only moves slowly, however desperate she is, her wasted muscles threatening to fold. Her fragile fingers with their grey, unfiled nails fight with the stone sill to gain purchase and she sways, a stricken willow planted in her own filth.
"Let down your hair," he says.
Why won't he leave her alone? Why won't he go from here?! But still she mechanically heaves her co
-"What do you say when you’re not enough to make someone stay? What do you do when you meet the love of your life and realize it’s all about timing? How do you accept that no matter how perfect you are for each other, circumstances get in the way? How do you compete with that kind of fate?” - Katie Kazinsky -More Like This
love; concrete shoes in the ocean.
i am tired of being told i will be okaysee,More Like This
that's the thing
all anyone ever
tells you is that
it's going to be
(you are telling me
that you are leaving.)
they don't tell
you what to do with
the pressure in
your chest on
the dark days,
or how to
uncurl your fists
from your hair
or your nails
from your skin.
(you are telling me
that you don't know if
you are coming back.)
maybe i don't want
maybe i'm tired of
only ever being
(i am building walls
again and you are prying
my fingers from my hair.)
i want more than this,
i deserve a word so full of
hope and safety that it
weighs my tongue down
give me a mouth full
of flowers and remove 'okay'
from your vocabulary.
i need more than this.
sucker punch lovershe wasMore Like This
taught to speak
in blood and
a fist where
her mouth should
be and baby,
she loves to
make you bleed.
The IdolI once saw a man on the television who was so afraid of fruits that when presented with a bowl of them, he fled the stage, knocking over the host and several other guests. Though I openly pitied the man for his obvious malady of the mind, inside, the small bit of sadism buried within all humans laughed at his bizarre affliction. How can one not find cruel amusement in the cowering of a grown man who has been confronted by nothing more than a bowl of peaches? But now I understand fear like no other. I now no longer find amusement in the terror of others, no matter how illogical.More Like This
Now, let me tell you the story of why the sound of wind whistling through the trees in Autumn strikes me with a fear so immense that I can do little more than shake uncontrollably.
A good friend of mine, a young and upcoming anthropologist by the name of Henry Byrne, contacted me eight weeks ago. Though he refused to go into details, he excitedly explained t
Master of RavensMaster of RavensMore Like This
My little brother is nine years old the first time I decide to kill him.
During the night, snow fell over the jagged wreckage of our land. In the morning I realize he will follow me outside if I call to him. Like an awkward-limbed colt he'll stumble through the snowdrifts, and I can leave him to the ice and wind in the shadow of a three-walled building. No one will see me. Our father will think he has gotten lost on his own. I too will cry when they find his body. When the mourning is done, however, I will be my father's true and only son. 'Cam,' he will call to me, and I'll kneel down before him.
My father. Master of Ravens. Crow-Runner. The Blackbird King.
I pull on my winter boots, knot the coarse laces.
My little brother asks, 'Cam. Where are you going?'
'Out,' I tell him.
'To play in the snow?'
'To look at it.'
When he was born, my little brother was named Taliesin. His is a world without myths, of course. Such things perished in the great f
Memory TrainThey parked at a Circle-K and hiked up the canyon trail behind the store, making it to the top of the ridge by sundown. The day had been blazing, katydids buzzing past them in lethargic arcs the whole way. Tall grass bit at them and stuck to their sweat-soaked clothing but presented little challenge otherwise... but now the sun was down and warm desert winds gave way to cool breezes.More Like This
The railroad tracks were as they remembered, twin gleaming beams carrying moonlight off to the horizon in both directions. Track so straight they appeared photoshopped, movie magic as done by lazy CGI animators who couldn't be bothered with realism.
She bent down to touch one cool rail. It sang in her hand.
"Soon," she looked up at him, expression unreadable. "We haven't much time."
He nodded, unslung his pack. Started removing items: tent, camping gear, food for breakfast. From the bottom he fished out a tiny digital camera and t
Snow White and the 1026 DwarfsSnow White woke up in the strangest little bed!More Like This
She'd happened upon the small, cozy house deep in the woods, found nobody at home, and promptly crashed in the first bed she'd spotted. Sleep claimed her then, dragging her away to a place of relative peace and calm... carefully letting her ignore how tiny all the furnishings were, how oddly low were the ceilings and fixtures.
And now, the next morning! What odd little men surrounded her! Normally she'd be alarmed by close proximity to so many strangers, but the events of the past day had granted her an oddly calm outlook on life. Nothing much rattled her anymore.
Snow White blinked sleepily, yawned, and stretched. The men watched her every movement, transfixed.
"Do you talk?" She asked experimentally.
One older man -- tiny, rotund, and wiser than the rest with a long white beard -- glanced around at the others and nodded. He adjusted his spectacles and stepped
resipiscenthe was one of those dick-faced kids in shades of bright polyester salmon who seemed to always be laughing or looking at me. an ambiguous-named, feminine-famed all-school american douchebag in those quality leather sandals in the wintertime and golf-green shorts.More Like This
ta give you some background i'm about as far away on the social scale from him as one can get. you know how all the little groups overlap and flap together, pushed around in the wet sand like wave-rivulets blending little facets of stones together until it makes a dune? well our groups---they didn't even touch. i mean you could go from pop-jock to lacrosse to dipper to weed-dealer to hipster to artsy kid to photographer to theatre kid and MAYBE just MAYBE make a weak little chain like one o em shitty-ass jump rings that connect dollar-store lockets. but anyway the point i'm trying to make is we sit on opposite sides of the room and let sociology take its toll.
of course murphy's law works in that i never know anyone. is it that
The DoctorWhen I was seven, I was diagnosed with emotions.More Like This
"Poor girl." I heard them say. "She'll never survive this one."
I laid with my face towards the ceiling on the cold examination table, listening to them discuss my fate. I felt something breaking in my chest and something burning inside my throat. A small tear slipped down my cheek.
"Doctor! Look at this!" Shrieked my mother, "Something is coming out of her eye."
The doctor rushed over to me and wiped the tear from my cheek. He touched the top of my head as he whispered, "I am so sorry." And then he turned to my mother. "It's a tear. It means that she is sad."
"Sad?" My mother asked inquisitively.
"It's one of her emotions. This doesn't attack the same way that normal diseases do, there are all sorts of different symptoms. Right now, she is sad and the only way that I know how to explain it is that she is feeling down."
"What do you mean by down?"
"Her emotions can best be described as ones that are upwhen she is feeling good, and
They Say I'm GuiltyOf the nearly eighty female prisoners that had answered my request, I had narrowed my choices down to two of them. The first was a voluptuous, porcelain-skinned brunette that would make my brother drool in seconds. The second was a golden-haired, frail little piece of work, and normally I would have dismissed her during the first round of eliminations, but something kept her there. Maybe it was the way she stared at me with her venomous green eyes, but I couldn't be sure. In any case, I had my two choices set before me, each isolated in separate cells on opposite ends of the jail so that I might observe them more personally.More Like This
I turned to the prison guard. "What can you tell me about this one?" I was starting with the brunette.
"Number 67," he practically spat. "Don't believe a word she tells you. She's as good a liar as they come."
I wondered at what sort of lies she had told the guard because clearl
DragonsThe dragons just kept getting cuter.More Like This
I'd meant them to be scary, with snakelike heads and pearly fangs, but as my fingers gained more practice the dragons they shaped became younger and more innocent, their wings tiny and their eyes wide. Dull spikes lined their heads and tails, not yet sharpened by age. They lay on their bellies or sat up and watched with good-natured curiosity. They were friendly. They were sweet.
They were flawed, and there were a lot of them. I experimented with color and pose, sculpting the way others would turn a stress ball. Every morning I baked the newcomers in my oven, and within a week my desk was overrun. Rows of dragons pressed against my laptop from all sides. Some I enjoyed looking at. Others were a reminder of some mistake I'd made. Putting the horns on before the eyes. Making the legs too thin so it tilted drunkenly while baking. Not realizing that some clay changes color as it solidifies.
What to do with them all? I couldn't keep them even if I'd want
Hubris.todayMore Like This
than we're ever gonna
i. and we finally did it,
drove to the mountains
and let the mattress
under our love
under the stars
ii. there are things to
iii. my eyes sting like
chlorine, but from
I finally disappointed
the highest order of shame
iv. but you cannot put
people into pockets;
v. and I cannot choose
who I love
vi. your lenses are straight,
elite and proud
mine, open and accumulating
I should run away more often,
we never talk like this
viii. and you have to realise
that I live in a world
that you don't, and you
live in one I
ix. the respect is there,
but I cannot
SPOILERSI JUST FINISHED HOUSE OF HADES.More Like This
IT WAS LIKE THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ.
I MEAN LEO AND CALYPSO? LEO BEING MAD AT PERCY? LIKE IS HE GOING TO GO BACK FOR CALYPSO OR WHAT?
PERCY FEELING GUILTY FOR HOW HE'S TREATED PEOPLE? NOT COOL! NOT COOOOOL! HE'S SO SELFLESS WHY DOESN'T ANYONE SEE THAT? HE WAS GOING TO LET ANNABETH GO UP FROM TARTARUS AND HOLD THE DANG BUTTON FOR HER...
AND NICO BEING GAY? (Personally, I felt that was just unnecessary and Rick trying to keep up with what's seen today as "socially acceptable." I don't support gay marriage. Yell at me. Say what you want. Or ignore me. That's my opinion. Please, I really don't want to get into a rant or an argument about what I believe. Just take it as it is; I don't mind at all if you have a different opinion. Who am I to change what you think? By that same logic, who are you to change what I think?)
AND WHAT ABOUT THAT DANG LINE AT THE VERY END "AND AFTER WE GET HOME..." "WHAT?" SHE KISSED HIM "ASK ME AGAIN, ONCE WE DEFEAT GAEA."
(Request) Annabeth's Thoughts: LoyaltyAt first, I wasn’t quite sure of Nico. He’d seemed like a promising, hopeful, innocent little kid when I first met him at Westover Hall in Maine. He was powerful, I’d known that much. But he seemed so sweet and happy… I almost regretted having to tell him the truth about his identity. At the same time, I knew camp was the only safe place for him. No choice.More Like This
Then I fell off a cliff and was forced to hold up the sky. It certainly saved me some messy explaining.
Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I learned from Percy that Nico was a son of Hades. And, simultaneously, it didn’t surprise me at all. It was just like Hades to let his pride and his grudge get in the way of defeating Kronos. By bringing Nico into the game, he’d given Kronos another chance to win.
But that hadn’t happened. Nico proved to be more willful and clear-sighted than anyone, even my brilliant self, could have predicted. If he was able to convince H
Request: Coming HomeFour. Ding. Five. Ding. Six. Seven. Eight. Ding. Ding. Ding.More Like This
Looks like they fixed the light for the eighth floor, Percy thought to himself as the elevator slowly ascended. Since he, Paul, and his mom had moved to this new building, the little button that lit up when the elevator hit level eight had never worked right.
But a lot can change in a year. Elevator buttons can be fixed. Two teenagers can survive Tartaurs. Evil Mother Earth can be defeated and lulled back to sleep for a few thousand years.
The war. That’s what Percy thought about. Because for some reason, it was easier to think about than where he was, what he was about to do. But he didn’t have much time to distract himself because…
The elevator doors slid open. He stepped out.
Immediately in front of him was a wall of familiar red doors. He turned his head to the right and his pounding heart stopped beating for a mo
The Ghost of Emily WhiteThe cemetery never changed, or at least not very much. The trees and hedges were trimmed every few years, and when Scott was six, they started turning off the water butts in the winter because the pipes froze, and so did the streams that the local boys used to make by overfilling the water butt at the top of the part that sloped. The weather changed, of course, and the plants and the animals with it. Sometimes a new grave was added. When Scott was ten, his grandmother was buried there.More Like This
Sometimes he popped in to see her on the way home from school, just as he always used to. He missed being able to see and hear her, but it wasn’t so bad, because he was sure he could feel her there. He had always felt that way about the cemetery’s ghosts, ever since he could remember.
When he was learning to read, Scott used to like deciphering the names on the headstones. When he fully understood how the system of years worked, he liked looking at the dates as well, the older the bett
WorthwhileCoach Hedge wasn’t, perhaps, the brightest of satyrs, but he was smart enough to realize that someone was going to have to stay behind and close the Doors of Death from Tartarus. No one talked about it, but he could sense that the demigods on board the Argo II were each inwardly resolved to be the one to stay behind, the one to save Percy and Annabeth. Each of them was convinced that they weren’t important enough to continue on with the quest. Their emotions were incredibly easy to read.More Like This
The only one who seemed reluctant to be anywhere near Tartarus was Nico, the son of Hades who was the newest addition to their quest. To Coach, Nico seemed terrified, worried out of his mind for Percy and Annabeth, and he was only barely keeping it together. Yet Nico had that same resolve, he’d made that same decision to be the one to stay in Tartarus. Even after everything he’d been through, all the horrors he’d seen in that hellhole, he was willing to go ba
Request: Marry Me“What a beautiful night,” Annabeth mused. She tilted her head back and took one good, long look at the sky through the trees, the stars forming glittering patterns that shimmered and flickered, competing with the light from the nearby city.More Like This
“Sure is,” Percy replied quickly. He gave Annabeth’s hand a small squeeze.
She turned to look at him out of the corner of her eye. Those two words were about as much as she’d been able to get out of him all day. He’d been abnormally quiet, and when he did have something to say, his voice shook audibly.
Annabeth pulled him to a stop. They were in the middle of the woods, halfway between the cabins and the amphitheater where the campfire was normally held. Most of the campers were already down by the fire, and Percy and Annabeth were alone in the forest. The only sound was the distant hum of the campers starting karaoke night and the occasional hoot of an owl flitting through the trees.
A Break From The Duck PondHe hadn’t started off very fond of conventions (it certainly didn’t help matters that, every half hour or so, someone mistook him for a character from one of the Matrix movies). But they had managed to grow on him.More Like This
“I’m telling you, angel, these places are great. I’m considering sending a report Downstairs about it.” He was still rather disappointed that he hadn’t been the one to come up with the idea in the first place.
“Oh?” his companion seemed to mouth over the over the chatter of the busy convention hall.
“Look around you. People practically worship this stuff. Hell, a few people might actually sell their souls for a signed first edition collectable. On top of which…” Crowley dramatically pulled his sunglasses off, to Aziraphale’s momentary alarm.
“Hey, awesome contacts!” came a reaction from a passer-by less than half a minute later. Crowley smiled and kept walking.
“I swear to
Request: The Perfect MatchIn three thousand years of living, he’d never seen two people more perfect and more wrong for each other.More Like This
Chiron had practically raised Annabeth, as she’d arrived at camp when she was seven. The daughter of Athena grew up to be strong-willed, independent, intelligent, an excellent strategist and leader, and quite intimidating. Despite this, he noticed just how many boys at camp stared at her as she walked by.
Percy Jackson was one of those boys. And he and Annabeth were destined to hate each other from the start.
Percy was a son of Poseidon. He was stubborn, sarcastic, smarter than he looked, clever when he wanted to be, yet he often missed the very obvious. He was loyal to a fault, partly, Chiron suspected, from a lonely childhood and an abusive stepfather. Still, he excelled at camp, made friends with practically everyone, and was a well-respected leader. Even Annabeth let him take the lead. Sometimes.
When the two had first met, they did indee
The Red String of Fate"The gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other... the two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances... this magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break"More Like This
Athena had once read about it somewhere, she was sure, but she hadn't believed it at the time.
It sounded ridiculous, almost, but now quite, improbable. Nothing more than a myth, surely. A Chinese Legend.
But by the time one of her daughters, Annabeth, had turned twelve, Athena had began to notice some feeble, wispy tendrils of weak, red mist around one of her ankles. Athena had discarded it off as a trick of the light: maybe Helios or Apollo were messing with her again.
It was not until a few weeks later when that son of Poseidon arrived at Camp that she had seen a much similar thing on the boy's right ankle.
As the years passed, Athena had watched them with curiosity. The red thing was not m
DistractionsShe couldn’t concentrate. Images flashed before her eyes in rapid succession, cutting off abruptly when she mentally berated herself. They’d cease for a moment as she redirected her attention to her book, but her ADHD brain soon filled with unwanted memories once again.More Like This
Mostly it was just colors—red and black, glowing eyes and darkness—but it was also sounds. Screams and roars, growls so vivid it was like the monsters were here in the room with her. Surprisingly, though, Annabeth wasn’t afraid.
She and Percy had been out of Tartarus for nearly eight months, and gradually, through the use of distractions and therapy and a million other things, they overcame their fears. The anxiety was still there, of course, but much more manageable now. It wasn’t quite fear anymore. Just a nuisance.
Still, though, she and Percy had their habits that they stuck with in case of regression. Annabeth still felt a tremor of panic in the back o
Astrologically Challenged“We need to ta- what are you looking at?”More Like This
"Oh...but I thought you didn't like them."
“Actually, I hate horoscopes. They lie every single damned time.”
“Not to me they don’t.”
“Sure. You were saying something.”
“We need to break up.”
“I fell in love with you before you were the boy who sang about my problems in your songs, and before you tried to evolve me into your version of a better me and before I saw how you treated your neighbour’s dog and before I knew how much you believed in horoscopes.”
“What’s wrong with horoscopes?”
“Nothing, except for the fact that you never really thought of it as a novel idea that you share the same day as one twelfth of the world.”
“Well you aren’t-”
“I’m not so perfect myself, I know. You loved me better before you read my poetry and understood how damage
Murder in the First, Second, and ThirdThe first time it happened, she was drunk.More Like This
Kissing in his bed, hands locked on his face, how difficult would it be? Phone on the bedside, the password his year of birth and high school jersey number and all she’d have to say was that he was going to spend a few days at her place. His roommates would be disappointed but not surprised. Break your heart, break your heart, that girl’ll break your heart. But none of them would count on this, no one would notice until he didn’t call his father or the unfamiliar smell of human death crept into every reach of the apartment. Keys in his pocket, cutting into her thigh, she could take them and head for the coast. Head for the border, even, and slip away. If she got caught, she’d claim she had no idea what was happening when it happened. If she got caught, she’d smoke cigarettes in prison and cut her hair short. If she got away, she’d never think of him again.
She bit until she tasted blood, and then rolled out
You should never attack a poet,we are the best at exploiting weakness.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.
Graduation DayGraduation Day: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
Bringing Down SweeneyI asked him who he was, and he said, "I'm Sweeney," and I believed him. I probably shouldn't have, except that it was true. I can always tell when people are telling the truth.More Like This
Mum and Dad were still in the last battles of the divorce, so I was trying to keep myself out of their hair as much as possible. This was why I had packed two cornmeal pancakes and an old plastic dish of syrup and was heading out into nowhere, where I wasn't necessarily wanted but sure as hell wasn't unwelcome. Not that I was resentful about it or anything. Nobody wants to fight in an amphitheater. Well, nobody but gladiators, but you don't see a lot of those around these days. Goes to show you.
So out I went, with my book and my pair of half-crumbling pancakes and my yellow wellies and an old, oatmeal-colored jumper that had holes in the elbows. "Get a new one, Linnie," everybody was always saying. The truth was I had gotten used to it, and now it felt weird not to have my elbows out in the wind like that. Out
Conversation"I am driving in a Hummer. I am on a two lane highway. I was listening to Counting Crows before panic threatened to cut off my air supply. Air supply is a band. I have no idea what they sing. I'm pretty sure they were a clue on Jeopardy once. I…I…have to pull over so I can breathe."More Like This
Omar put on his blinker and steered the over-compensation-mobile to the shoulder of the road. He fumbled with the lock on the door and his heart felt like it was going to burst through his chest when he tried to get out of the car and couldn't. Seatbelt. It was just the seatbelt. His hands were slick with cold sweat by the time the belt whizzed cheerfully back into its place and he managed to slide out onto the shoulder of the road.
He was glad it was so late and glad that the highway was so deserted. He was trembling so hard that the change in his pockets rattled and he never would have been able to speak if someone had pulled up and offered to help. He hated for people to witness his panic.
Anything you can find:"They're wicked," whispers Deputy Mack, when he thinks we aren't listening. "Beautiful, but wicked."More Like This
It makes Noah smirk from the front desk, where Clara Wynn, the dispatcher, is sneaking him sips from her hip flask while she profiles him. DePrince, she writes, Noah Thomas. Age: 12. Hair: Black. She puzzles over the color of his eyes before penning gray on the line, a rarity that gives us an edge, which we use like a scalpel. Noah flickers eyes like new nickels whenever we want something. Today is the Friday after the funeral and we are sick for answers, so we ask Clara if she will take our mug shots.
"I'll find some film," she says, disappearing into the back room. The door taps shut behind her. Deputy Mack and Sheriff Spellis are still arguing about us in the office, their voices a low rumble of contention, so we slip off our chairs and spread out through the station.
"Obituaries, photos, police reports," says Noah, fanning a stack of files across the desk. "Hur
Little FragmentsWould you like to know, how fragments feelMore Like This
It's hard to tell really, when so many different emotions,
are reflecting back at you
You wont find them in the air, sea, nor in me
you will find them on the ground
They belong there, in soil
where grass will grow, and men builds over
No archaeologist will assemble me correctly
No artist can capture my style
No amount of adhesive will hold these as one piece
I live only to breath into struggling lungs
and maybe if those would be in my blood, bone and soul
They too could understand.
Maybe, if each finds a piece of me and comes together
there will be too much to break, to hard to crack that ice
Traditional, fixed form, free verse and pretty words
So many ways I can tell you
But in the end,
I don't want
to piecing this together
sound I am
Death Takes Two SugarsDeath knocked on the doorMore Like This
came inside without invitation
poured herself some tea
and asked for a story.
He laughed at all the right parts,
cried when I cried,
asked for more than she received
It cried with me and laughed with me
sipping their tea and listening
she wondered what I didn’t do
then told me how idiotic I was.
He told me about the children
I could have had but didn’t
and the falls that lifted me up
with the loss of others.
The story of how I almost killed a girl
when she ran into the street
scared her to run into the arms of her father
and never ran into the street again.
The tale of the man who was meant for me
yet still didn’t want me
and that was not my fault but his
for his life went on a different path.
Death pushed in his chair and declared,
‘It’s time for you to go’
despite my tea’s warmth
and my story was not quite finished.
‘I’m not ready to go’
I bellowed and threw my cup
The Midnight InheritanceAll I had was the waxing gibbousMore Like This
admiring the tilt of my chin
as I played with one shower-fresh curl
still perfectly corkscrewed
and lightly perfumed.
What strange relief,
watching the advancing rain,
a walking wall of grey
that made the mountains tip their heads back,
to drink that midnight wine.
Before the storm could eat the moon
and whisper rumors to my windows closed,
I watched how Cassiopeia
alighted on my reflection.
Seven stars graced my brow like a garland.
I felt my heart swell like a myth,
my breathing hushed as I found myself anointed.
When the last bead of water
rolled down the small of my back,
the sky released her breath,
and washed away the promise of a crown.
Graveyard MelodyGraveyard MelodyMore Like This
The spirits drift over the graveyard
They are caught in a magic spell
The musician plays the cello
And the spirits start a melancholic dance
The music is both beautiful and haunting
The spirits remember days past
And tears run from their eyes
They start sobbing
As the music reaches its climax
The spirits form a ring around the graveyard
And start to chant in unison
The sound gets louder and louder
The villagers can hear the chanting in their dreams
The whole area is alive with music
Then the music slows and comes to a finale
The spirits are silent once more
The musician has enchanted them for a brief moment
And now she sets them free
The Graveyard Melody is over
And the village falls silent
The musician sets off to entertain the spirits in the next village
Every night she plays her music in a different cemetery
Once a year the musician returns to this village
And plays the Graveyard Melody
The SculptorBefore he would have harvested a tree,More Like This
hacked off its limbs,
torn it from the earth,
shaved one by one its cells - its outer core,
until it was what he believed it was,
no more a tree.
Wiser, he walks deep in to the wood,
underneath a forest giant he stops,
looks up in to the leafy branches, sighs,
climbs and sheds his tears upon its boughs.
OrpheusDarkness encompassed me; high-vaulting fireMore Like This
Leapt and burnt the vision from my gaze
But though I could not see, I strummed my lyre
Until the music swept away the haze
And I could stumble onwards through the mire.
Now I strum no more. What use are lays?
Save to remind me of my lost desire
That I betrayed--let silence fill my days!
For I, whose song once moved the gods to weep
No longer can make melodies from woe--
No dissonance expresses pain so deep
And no music can be as beautiful
As that which I have lost. Let others come
And fill the void with noise--I will not strum.
a ribcage drenched in dusti have your ribcage, you said.More Like This
what should i put in it?
i told you i'd always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but
you're made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.
you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it seems like it's trying to speak
and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you're not as alone as you thought.
i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i'd ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.
i've got it, i said.
SynesthesiaI fell in love with a pianist's hands.More Like This
They danced across my skin in minuets, his fingers tripping cadenzas up and down my spine. He brushed sonatas through my hair and across my shoulders, pianissimo. I trembled beneath his trills. The primal, earnest rage of Bach swelled in hot crescendos along my throat, beneath my ribs, guided by his hands --- Mozart, coolly logical, raised goosebumps down my arms --- Chopin soothed the fire and finally calmed my hammering heart.
I fell in love with a pianist's hands, listening from the back of the coffee shop while my lungs fought for breath, making wishes until he was gone.
Better Off DeadBetter Off DeadMore Like This
It was a normal Tuesday that I woke up dead. I could just tell when I opened my eyes that it was a different day. The doctors always gave people the warning signs for when they would die, so that there would be no mistake. A lack of warmth in your body, skin became pale, senses weakened and a distinct lack of breathing.
Rubbing the sand out of my eyes felt surreal. Every joint popped and cracked on their journey, which was rare to me. Naturally, I just figured it was a rough night's sleep and nothing more, but as I pushed the covers off of myself, I saw how white my body turned overnight. Again, death wasn't the first thought to pop into my head, just that I needed to get out more, maybe take a day off work and go to the park.
As I slowly creeped over to my bathroom, my body was still fighting me, making my apartment sound like a thunder storm. By the time I got the por
How to Live in 2015Be born. That’s the easy part.More Like This
Beg for new toys or take someone else’s.
It doesn’t matter. Being selfish as a child is normal.
Being selfish as an adult is normal.
Get dirty. Stop taking everything
so seriously. You’re going to die.
Don’t worry, everybody does it.
Don’t fall in love, love is not a hole
to fall into. Run into love, headfirst.
Bite your tongue until
you can taste the word no.
Give away your secrets under a pseudonym
for someone else to sell.
Chop off your arms and legs to pay for college,
realize tuition rates doubled.
Get a degree. Find a job. Hate your job.
Find a vice. Keep it closer than your breath.
Find God in an alleyway.
Lose God like a set of keys.
Die and be reborn as a memory.
Die and be reborn as an afterthought.
Die and be forgotten.
In Which I Tell Myself To (1) Survive2. Do not choke yourself withMore Like This
the name of a murderer
around your neck.
Instead, let it in.
Give it the chance to testify,
because more than likely:
it will understand.
It will tell you we all must
kill something which we love.
But do not let it give you its name:
you, white rabbit girl, grow
too attached (too fast),
and you do not yet know
the angle at which to break
snowcapped knuckles into
3. Open your chest like
dislocated jaws swallowing
down the ends of
Landscapingthe house shavedMore Like This
replaced scraggly rough gardens
with smooth clear metal
cold now the house shivers
surrounded by vain
echoing deep into the crevices
boards aching with
Bindmarriage is still dependent on the meeting of fleshMore Like This
joined hands in a church
exchange vows of law
i will love you with the prayerful devotion of our ancestors
swear to stay. make promise of paper
offer the delights of body and soul
share myself for the rest of days
marry you in body word and deed
love you for the rest of our days
HomonymsDarren was carefully pouring a jug of water into his biology textbook.More Like This
“What are you doing?” asked Miss Markham.
Darren looked up at his English teacher. “The exams are coming up soon, so I’m pouring over my books.”
Miss Markham sighed. “It’s not ‘pouring’, it’s ‘poring’.” She beckoned to Darren. “Come and take a walk with me, young man. You might learn something.”
Going down the lane, they came across a path leading away from the road. A young woman in a flamboyant white dress and an older man in a morning suit were just about to start hiking down it.
“Ah! Excellent—here’s a good example to begin with,” said Miss Markham to Darren.
She stopped and addressed the girl. “You know, this isn’t a bridal path. It’s a bridle path—for horses and their riders.”
“Oh…” said the bride. “You know, that does make
FFM 23: The Lady in Black She knows.More Like This
The thought had crept in quietly and festered in the back of my head like a corpse. When I finally noticed it there, I managed to write it off as paranoia for a time, but at some point it had transformed into a certainty.
I had been so careful, too. I deleted my text messages, encrypted my emails, and changed my Facebook password weekly, just in case. I never took calls while we were having family time, and I had developed a list of fool-proof excuses over the years to explain my long nights, or the occasional odd scent of perfume or cloves. I had never intended to hurt her. The world is a screwed up place sometimes.
Things had been fine for the first few years, during the dating and courting. I was allowed to be aloof back then. And then, after the wedding, we soared on the warm winds of love for a long while, and nothing could come between us. It wasn’t until Lisa got pregnant that I met my Lady in Black. Sabella. So innocent at fi
.your heartMore Like This
not to beat
HerculesYou grappled dragons and slayed gorgons;More Like This
you drifted on seas of sirens
to state your name.
Dominions were built with the strength of
crumbled at your fingertips.
Why is it you never expected
more than muscles to grow weary?
Fretting over fights;
jetties at night
full of skeletons piled high.
Hush the crowd with one word,
they continue to love you.
In your dreams, you wished for recompense.
Their defense: you deserved none.
Nightmares are now escapes from reality-
a quiet confidentiality-
not the other way around.
So wear that badge of courage,
badgered by the current
of the overflowing river of fame.
This is what you wanted.
Poetry,you’re aMore Like This
that moans when I go.
You’re either a
are you cheaper
than the women
in the empty spaces
of my life-
or the secrets
between my thighs?
I am Fifty Shades
Why should I feed you?
Do you know
what to do
with my body
when you are merely
ink stained fingers
soaked in passing
& the fevers
within burning stars?
I didn’t think so.
What happened to your voice?your thoughts are jackals, yetMore Like This
their twilight howls sound like cries
in your head;
you have been finding yourself
while trying not to sound so
so, Dear Heart,
you can write.
you stopped wearing your words
on your wrist
& all that hair you chopped off
this day a year ago, refuses
to grow back.
you turn, try to decode
your encyclopedia of powerful
spines, tearing at the pages
you wrote them upon.
angry, You were so angry.
nothing but an untamed, wild thing
you leave collared & quiet
in a cage.
PrologueA mothMore Like This
flailing wildly against a lamp light.
calmly down the night road.
in the bay window, sad tilt
of her head.
Breaking of glass.
Static of fall wind.
against the light.
Reading Moby DickFor every biblical referenceMore Like This
I scribble down a haiku
in the margins.
For every mention
of Queequeg's tattoos
I describe a lover's skin
at the bottom
of the page.
wolfs down a helping
or wakes to the sound
of Ahab's peg-leg
stomping the deck overhead
I draw a crescent moon
over a wavy line
describing calm seas.
When Ishmael mentions
the ocean air
"She pushes my head down
beneath the sheets."
The entire book
takes me forever--
I read slowly,
trying to remember it all
the way a man
might pass slowly along a road
on which most of his life
For every man overboard
I sketch a monk
lighting a candle,
for every whale sighting
I put the book down
and stare out my window.
I imagine the horizon
at daybreak aboard
going from sherbet
to blue pencil
as the coin
gets nailed to the mast,
a reward for seeing
what nobody else sees.
For the rest of the book
I cross and uncross my legs,
I blow gently onto the pages
not a poemmy depression is not a fucking poemMore Like This
it is not just
the grayest of grays
or the darkest of nights
or the boy who didn't love me
its not worth any of those titles
and i'm not going to make cigarettes
look like medicine between my teeth
just because i am sad
i don't need to be told that the sky
or that the ocean
or that i
i do not want to hear about
the millions of different colors that the sky makes
at a certain hour,
and i do not want to hear
there is a tiny world trapped inside of my rib cage
i don't need to be told that the universe
cares and loves me deeper than my own mother
i know all of these things
and i feel sicker knowing them
because while they are true
i still am not happy
its true that
it feels like my bones weigh 10 tons and that
sometimes i lay in bed for hours because
i cannot gather the energy to do anything else
it is so many things but it is not just
a sad poem.
i don't want it to sound appealin
CelluliteThey have curves and bends,More Like This
They have peaks and valleys,
They range from ivory to ebony,
They can be thick or thin.
They are my bumps and hills
A beautiful mountain range,
my own personal geography.
FreeMarry meMore Like This
Help me float
in the sea
Send me up
To the stars
One left turn
Then straight to Mars
Fell your feet
Dead mans cane
For walking free
Tie the rope
Let them choke
Blue faced child
Just hit the slope
Help me float
in the sea
Send me up
To the stars
One left turn
Then straight to Mars
Leave me to float
in the sea
Send me up
To the stars
We got this far
Plant the seed
Watch it grow
Into a tree
Wrap the rope
Let them choke
Has a red throat
Help me float
in the sea
Send me up
To the stars
One left turn
Then straight to Mars
Leave me to float
in the sea
Send me up
To the stars
We got this far
Why can't I
Just be me?
Fell your feet
Just stand up tall
To be set free
Plant the seed
Towards the ignorant leads
Light the rope
Hear them choke
Dead folks walking
Just hit the slope
If you're j
DiscoveryClaw your way out.More Like This
Grow talons to do the digging
and reach through the skin
at the back to find yourself.
Deep inside there is
more to be found.
Straight line by the spine,
enter and release greatness.
Enter and release focus.
Enter and release truth.
Enter and release
Diamond Bullets and Guns Made of GoldI can't decide.More Like This
Am I the gun or the bullet?
I am waiting for my trigger to be pulled,
releasing the weight of the bullet
and tossing out the powder of my accomplishments.
Then I am reloaded to repeat the process again
until I become jammed or broken, destroyed.
I am waiting to be released,
to fly through air and reach a target,
my destined target.
I cut a path with myself and reach an ending.
Am I the bullet or the gun?
Maybe you're both.
Alcoholic I sound collectedMore Like This
So move slowly, and please calm down
when I feel like whiskey
I feel like whiskey
heavy and dark
A stronger smell, aromatic
waft through my sunken thoughts
Nine LivesI. He was a babe, mewling raw into the world. His surroundings were so bright he had to screw his eyes shut. She hovered over him, protective and apprehensive and fiercely happy at the same time.More Like This
"Good morning," she said. The sunlight streamed brightly into the room, but he opened his eyes and looked at her thick blond hair spilling over his chest and felt her bare legs sliding next to his under the crumpled blankets, and he saw that she was brighter still.
"Good morning," he said, leaning over to kiss her pretty mouth. He could feel her lips smiling against his, and she held his hand even as he climbed out of bed to head to the shower.
She said, "You were muttering in your sleep."
He said, "Oh, I was just dreaming about my past lives."
II. He was a refugee, hiding inside a box that was his only defense against the rain falling down in sheets. He curled into a ball to keep himself warm, and watched legs go by, uncaring.
As they walked to school, it began t
Oblivion SongsOblivion SongsMore Like This
I’ve arranged all of my memories
Into photos and put them
Upon my wall, then
Sat down in my great armchair
And gazed upon them all.
My memories aren’t chronological, but instead linked by scraps of string, reaching across the yellowing wallpaper like the silk strands of a spider’s web. I’m older now, and I do this mainly as a way to waste my time as I sit in this great house that I worked my whole life for, now empty, and think of what could have been altered.
In my study, books sit as my audience, thousands of them. Three thousand four hundred and sixty two. I counted them last week. A fire cackles behind me, illuminating the dim room. And I place my legs, pale and feeble, upon an ottoman and stroke my long-since-grayed beard with one hand as the other hangs lifelessly over the side of the chair. The cat walks to and fro, chasing shadows in the dark. My eyes scan the wall of photos, searching for something that resonates and brings back the sweet
The Secret War of Vadim Windborn - Ch1Thus follows the testimony of Vadim Windborn, defendant,More Like This
to the Esteemed Judges of the Midriver Court.
Dated the sixth of Bloomtide, fifty-seventh year of the Northwood Peace.
Of that first day, it is widely spoken that we had no warning. Survivors from the town of Northpointe as well as the sages’ compound will tell you so, and swear by it—and I swear they tell the truth, as they know it.
This is the truth as I know it: our warning came in the scent of southern pine.
I know this because I am windborn, as the plaintiff has proved to everyone’s satisfaction. It was by this art that I perceived the warning, I alone among the living.
At the time I was set up by my chamber window in the compound, copying an Old World manuscript by lamplight. I was stammering the
Last Call for Tanner LeeTanner left the hospital feeling strangely empty. He had expected agony. From the moment he had heard the Code Blue declared over the intercom and been forced out of Leah’s room (Room 318; he would never forget that number, or the feel of the sheets beneath his hands), he had known his life was coming to an end. They did not give up, and he gave them credit for that, but there is only so much time and effort a doctor can put into saving someone who is determined to die, and twelve hours later, Tanner and the bag of Leah’s effects sat in the back of a cab, on their way home. He would have to plan a funeral. Of course she had no life insurance; she had only been eighteen, a grinning college freshman home for her first Christmas break.More Like This
He sat at home that night and called her cell phone, letting it ring out at the foot of her bed for the sake of hearing her voice in the recording.
Hey, it’s Leah. I can’t come to the phone right now, probably because I’m h
Out of ThymeIt wasn't until after she died that Trevor realized he couldn't cook.More Like This
The realization came six months after the funeral, when all the casseroles and baked goods were eaten and when all the flowers had long wilted, but before the critical time when he knew that it was time to box all her things away and donate them. He had started to do that, but when he got to her clothing, he couldn't take it anymore and the job was left unfinished.
There was no sudden moment of epiphany for him. He was able to cook simple things-spaghetti, soup from a can, microwave dinners, pasta and sausages, things like that. But as he stood over the stove, stirring his noodles, his eyes fell on the spice rack by the oven. It was made from wood and carved with whorls and loops-a unique piece which she had chosen from a craft fair and likely overpaid for the honour of owning. It was too small for her collection of spices; they were crammed in and had to be stacked two jars high.
The spice jars were covered in a lig
Emerald Queen [Sketch]She is the queen, and around her feet, her subjects burn. They are tiny flames all of them, spending their lives melting away a single pillar of wax, flickering in triumph and sadness and rage. She looks up, away from their moments of emotion, and her earthen curls spill over her shoulders and her gown cascades over the chair and in her eyes the dark ocean surges up unstoppable, and ruthless, and cold. Besides her, the room is empty. Besides her, and the many yesterdays lighting their dusty way towards death. She nudges the one closest to her, the smallest, with one slippered foot. Some burn brighter than others, some stand taller, but from her throne her lips curve because every single one of them is failing. It will take time, but she can wait. It is her duty to wait, as their queen. And glancing down, she sees the smallest candle brightening one last fraction of the room, sputtering one last time. And she leans down, this queen of wild emerald water, and purses her perfect lips. AndMore Like This
EvanescenceYou’re supposed to make love the night of your wedding day, but John and I did not. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone can. We were exhausted. Our day started at the crack of dawn to get ready and was filled with constant adrenaline, standing, travelling, photos, socializing, speeches, dancing; before we knew it, it was 3 am and we had no energy left for anything else.More Like This
So, the night of our wedding day, John and I just sprawled our clothes across the chairs in our fancy hotel suite and crawled into bed. Both laying on our backs, looking up at the beautifully painted ceiling, we sleepily recalled our favourite moments of the day. Like when his father was the first to get on the dance floor and make a total fool of himself, and when my maid of honour made half the room tear up with her beautiful speech about how happy we’ve been from the very start.
I nuzzled my face into his collarbone and murmured, “This has been the best day of my lif
What Goes Our WayThere are a lot of constants in Marcus’s life. Most are deliberate on his part. Although one was completely involuntary. He hates it.More Like This
His ex-wife had made it clear that he was too focused on his work. Should he ever give the same fixation to her, she wouldn’t be hunting for other men to warm her bed.
Marcus tries to keep his anger in check. It wouldn’t do for her to sprout another unholy gossip about him.
He never understood what made him fall for her. Could it be her beauty? Well, he now knows that it only runs skin deep. Her real self, on the other hand, rivals that of a goblin.
The indomitable businessman had already made himself believe he would die alone and unloved. After a lot of failed relationships, the thirty-six year old had all but threw the option of love to the winds.
Might as well forget ever finding his other half. Better to continue building his empire.
But how peculiar the fates can be. Marcus had already put his mindset on his business
Human EnoughIt does get easier, in one of two ways:More Like This
You close into yourself, for a while, letting the strings and ribbons they tied around your heart fall off. Then you can breathe again and all those places feel new again. The past isn't changed but the way you absorb those places, those sights and smells, isn't going through a filter made of that other person anymore.
Or you close into yourself, for a while, hiding backstage, with the dust and used costumes, until you find a mask that looks close enough to you that it just might fool everyone. So you put it on and you walk out on stage. And everyone applauds and throws roses. You bow, you've done it. You've tricked them all. You accept the good for you's and the atta boy's, letting them all believe you're stronger than you really are. The strings and ribbons around your heart get tangled and harden into chains. But you'll be fine, you've still got your mask; you can fool everyone. Despite the heaviness in your chest...
.i dream of drowning inMore Like This
lakes, belly up, a petal
shaped bruise of your thumb
on either wrist
i dream that what lays
in my bed is so much
more terrifying than what
lurks underneath it
Ellie, one-oh-one.she doesn't know her name.More Like This
it isn't surprising really. it has been so long since someone said it with any vigour, any affection, that it seems almost natural for her to have forgotten it.
she has lapsed into herself. her shoulders, with their warm-hearted mammal bones, quiver and shake beneath the weight of her own uneasiness. her arms, they shiver and the bruises ripple slowly - rocks in a pond. she has turned fetal.
the voices shudder as they cry out into the emptiness of her soul, their lips casting names against her chasms. none of them stick, none of them strike open the shell of her heart and set her aflame. none of them wake her from this coma, this darkness.
the world contracts and stumbles into yet another winter around her. it freezes her bones and the leafless trees whisper apologies into her matted hair, her flaking skin. the earth sends kisses up through the soles of her feet, the sagging flesh of her backside.
the world apologizes into her and the voices cry but her stoma
Dead languages and bitter teaWe were directly opposed,More Like This
circling each other in a confining pool,
my mouth seeking yours, but only finding
the fragments of composure you left in your wake.
"Nunc scio quid sit Amor",
you said once, and I agreed with you,
then looked up what the hell you meant
as soon as I was alone.
We went stargazing when we were hungry
and fed ourselves with the names
and the glow of all the stars
that spread themselves out to tease us.
"This is what I see in you," you flattered,
pointing at the sky while the wetness of the grass
soaked into our backs.
"You're that string of pearls, right there,
hanging around the neck of the sky.
You are more than what I’ve been looking for,
more than anything I've ever tried to find,"
you painted stars and lies.
I left you job listings in the mornings,
and you told me my fortune,
in the bottom of my teacup.
We were directly opposed; I told you to leave if you wanted,
so on a night too cold for me to see the comfort in your dreams,
you left, gathering
Beginning We EndHim, in the very beginning:More Like This
He is eighteen when he gets his death sentence. Unlike most death sentences, this one isn't going to send him to the guillotine or maybe the noose. Instead, it's handed to him by a doctor with very clean hands in a stark white room probably very similar to the one he'll end up dying in. And it's not the type of death sentence carried out by an impassive executor. He's essentially going to kill himself. He is dying from the inside out.
He mumbles something at the doctor, and suddenly he is on the street, a white piece of paper fisted and crumped in his hands. He's grateful it has the prescription written on it in sloppy medical scrawl, because he sure as hell can't recall half or more of the conversation he just had. All that's left are words like, "terminal" and "life-expectancy" and "5-10 years". He kicks viciously at the curb, wonders how the world can be ending on a day when the sky is blue and the clouds are full and the air is sweet.
The sun plants taun
Letter to a loved one, on losing a loved one.I want to tell youMore Like This
that this grief is temporary,
that even if you feel lost,
you are not a ship adrift
without a crew.
But darling, grief still
sits heavy on my tongue and
I will not lie to you.
[Grief gathers at the back
of my mouth and renders me useless
on days that feel like the day
she died, my limbs heavy,
my heart sore.]
Instead I am going to tell you
that grief is not the last thing
you will ever feel;
there will still be
rumpled sheets and lazy smiles,
your fingers will still find
my naked waist beneath the blankets
and mine will still fit neatly between
the knobs of your spine.
We will still drink too much coffee,
smoke too many cigarettes, and love with
urgency but not with haste.
I will sit with your grief,
as you have sat with mine and
we will be okay.
for riley i think i have forgotten how to dreamMore Like This
for the last time it happened
i smiled and ran my palms through your hair
sifting out sand and fumbling at the
buried shards of sea glass
that bite at my calloused fingers.
your frothy eyes threaten to drown me
but instead i inhale dopamine and
carefully trace the thin boardwalks
that wrap around your skull
where the hair is missing.
you ask me if i cried
and i said that i
didn’t think i knew
once when i was young
i saw a baby cardinal
huddled and bleeding in the grass.
i watched the ants and the flies skim over the contours
of its closed eyelids
until i scooped it up and held
Empty GardensIt was a wine-petaled pansyMore Like This
that my mother pruned from the garden box;
it reminded me
that I had blossomed late and wilted.
At fourteen I created pansy petals of my own,
waking up with hot-fisted cramps
and the proof I was a woman.
I was not a rose, perennial,
as I went from blooming monthly
to not at all.
I would rather spend a day
curled up like the fetus I may never carry
than flat on my back wondering
why God allowed worse women than me
to bear children.
things i want you to know.0.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
Love Letters On the TrainDear Stranger,More Like This
I'm leaving this post-it tucked in the side of the train-seat. If you're reading this, you've seen it. I've seen you sit here every few Monday mornings, sometimes tapping a bent, unlit cigarette against your thigh, sipping from your tea (who brings a tea cup onto a train anyway?); sometimes staring at the rain outside, or reading your well-worn, beaten copy of Jane Eyre (I hate that you fold the corners down - it's bibliophilic abuse. I wish the book would papercut you to defend itself a little, but I digress).
You seemed so sad this Monday morning past. Please smile again. I love it when your eyes catch the light of something I'm unaware of, something silently and intimately your own; a secret from the world that makes everything all the more meaningful to you.
- The Passenger
I'm not in the habit of reading post-its from strangers. I found a love-letter hidden in a newspaper once, that the author forgot or was too afraid to send. It made me sad to think
Do you know the taste of the universe?One day, when you’re five years old and made out of fractured sunlight and mirror shards, you sit down on the bench of the MAX train. You’re dressed in your winter coat and boots that are too big and one of your parents has pulled your hat too close over your ears.More Like This
You’re sitting next to your mother, and on the other side is a man that smells like loneliness, something that you’ll later know as cigarettes and alcohol and homelessness. He’s crying quietly into the top of his jacket and you’re scared to look because you’ve never seen an adult cry.
The train ride goes on for five minutes, which is a long time to you, and eventually you sneak a look at the crying man who smells like Portland and loneliness, and he sees you. He leans down until you can see the red lines in his eyes and he whispers to you.
“Do you know the taste of the universe?”
And you look up at him with your little-girl eyes and shake your head because you can’t