Stir CrazyI can feel my room getting smaller. The window is laughing at me. The curtains refuse to block out the light, shedding their weight just to torment me. I cannot sleep. The sheets don't like to stay on my bed; they wrinkle into the edges of the cheap and glossy wooden frame, proclaiming their dislike for my solid turquoise mattress. I was once told that these are the same mattresses that they use in prison. I'm not sure if this is true.
This could be a prison, my prison, this campus with its half-constructed decay. All the fishies that swam in this school, the clowns and the bettas all swimming in filth, cigarette butts littering the ground like our whole snow globe setup is an ash tray. But all that is left is that goddamn plastic diver and a half-baked tray of dirty dishes. In this corner, fighting for space on my shelf, are a collection of video games roughly a century and a half old, labeled with white stickies and black sharpie pens – back when the sharpies would be like sniffing g
Freud and Broken Christmas TreesShe spilled the news on me before I even had the chance to react. And what would you even say to that, anyways? I'm sorry? Geez, that sucks? How's it feel to be an only child now? No. Never. You don't say that kind of stuff. You will never be able to find the words to say until it happens to you, too. God forbid.
And she just kind of stared at me. That look was piercing, haunting. It froze my tendons and turned my thoughts to dust. I was a nothing, I was worse than the dirt under her shoes. Because I couldn't solve anything. Because I couldn't make it better. Because I was just as helpless as she was, and she hated me for it.
The feeling wasn't a red, or a black. It wasn't any colour I could really name, but it wasn't a gray either. It was a block of things, a puzzle, the outline of a crumpled soda can. Edges poking inside to spill the remains out through the tiny pinpricks, the fractures in the metal. I could go on and on into metaphors but she – I don't have words to describe her eye
Bathrooms and Other MetaphorsI've spent my mornings
Hiding in the shower curtains
Watching the steam of the sunrise
Turn into clouds over my stomach
Washed my face clean
A new 5-ply sheet
From the roll
And into my typewriter
Swirl my refuse
Into the pipes of my trash can
My hands are-
Dirty fingernails and-
Starting fresh from
Wack-job. Murder. Knock-off.
Kick the bucket.
Q-tips are cue cards
Pulling thoughts out my head
Through my ears
Brushing teeth is printer maintenance.
Stash my pens behind the medicine cabinet
Put the white-out with the mouthwash
Writing is a job
Best left alone
But I don't like people to see my shit.
This madness...Embedded in the silver
-You'll be just fine
Lips may quiver
Flip or fold?
The choice is yours
Clichés are bores…
I'd like to hold
On the Braille
My fingertips and nail
How you fall apart so easy
For a girl you've only
Met when lonely
You say she makes you queasy
Does she touch you--
Soft and tender
Like I used to?
When you start seeking friends
For the days of old-
For stories untold-
For when the world ends…
It had to be
Our worlds collide
From now on, you hide.
Remembering Eastwood: Setting AssignmentThis forest has lost its will to live. It breathes in death, the black tars of human toil and intervention. The trees char on the inside, unable to gasp in the heat. The sun swelters to look upon it. The squirrels and foxes do not stray long upon the soil. The birds have long since abandoned their perch. They wanted to smoke them out with ash and fire. Now warfare lies upon the forest floor, a graveyard. The living are not welcome here.
This is John's home. His home is filled with other men, less than friendly folk with needle guns and uniforms. To light a fire in this sauna is only to break up the shadows and give you a source with which to cook the last few scavengers left. Dead men lie along the underbrush.
His camp itself is merely a few ragged blankets near a makeshift charred pit. Cracked leaves and barren stretching low branches are stained with blood. That is the only colour this forest can provide to its travelers: red. When it rains, the mud comes up to swallow John's l
Red and Orange, and Other Such Crazy ThingsShe'll sit there and stare, looking through all the people around her. You'll see her there sometimes, watching the trees. She whispers to them, calls to them, takes pictures with her eyes. In love with the world, you should think. It's around fall that you see her the most, wandering the streets of the park and giggling to herself. She studies the sky as it falls on the branches, how the children play in the shade. Her face will split and her teeth will chuckle as she encounters each crunchy pile of red and orange.
You brought her flowers once, red and orange and all in bloom. She didn't look you in the face, couldn't. She just cocked her head and studied them. Told you how to butcher their stems and press its petals the right way, properly, between the pages of an aging book. As she explained it, you saw the butterfly ink linking her arms, watched the milky frailness of her delicate skin.
And then she was gone again, off to stab the bejeezus out of a young pumpkin, to slash its seeds
The Universal UniversityI've been studying the elegance of ergonomics
Gestations of grammar
Lunging latitudes and losses of linguistics
I've turned over matters of matricide
And thirty-year projections of politics
I've been attending the universal university
The othering outpost of educational merit
Disguising degrees in pretty pamphlets
That will do nothing to further your career
At the end of my days, I will be qualified to quantify
The importance of your lives and your words
And tell your head from your toes
Then I will tell you that you've confused the two
And remark how you should start studying ergonomics
It's all pretty practical, you know.
ElenaElena followed me home
from work one night
and stayed for tea and eggs,
and all that minimum wage
and wars between the sheets
She said she was a goddess,
daughter of a carpenter
with her long red, red hair
and eyes as warm as hazel nuts
on Christmas morning.
Her hands spoke braille
across my back
and made the silence
of Sunday into a prophecy.
She left one October
just like she said she would
when the fireflies
had turned their wings to ash.
And I found revelation
in red, red wine
and cheap red, red fabric
that came off in my hands
WineHead on a patisserie table
with a wine-scented napkin
that I scrawled your name all over
in the hopes it might necromance
or just romance you
to this place, at this time,
so we could be together again
and although the guitarist knows
that I'm broken beyond blue
I keep reaching for the bottle
in the hopes it might recreate
or just replicate
I'm too poor to feel so middle class.My teeth still ache from the dentist,
but it doesn’t stop me from nibbling
the cheese danish I bought at Kroger
this morning, warmed by thirty
seconds in the microwave. My mug
of hot chocolate is too big, and I
drink it all. The washer is on its last
cycle; the cat is purring at my feet.
Netflix is background noise
to clacking keys, typing a transcript
of middle class morning that I’ll later
call a poem or a turning point,
wondering when I became such an adult.
Finding HappinessShe's burning up like a suicide note
And upon it's legacy lines
Scribed in crimson ink
Is all her little curios of happiness.
Before misery waddled up,
Knocked over her correction fluid;
Erasing all her joy in a blink.
There's a tape recorder by her side
Skipping a death tone melody;
The silence she hides inside.
Should she stop.
Wipe her days of self-pity and hate
Until she can record a new song
Upbeat to a happy tune of fate.
By her crumpled flat dress,
Glares wild, her knife and her pills,
Though the sight macabre
Only sets her heart ablaze to chills.
Serrated metal to barcode in
A reminder of all her undying pain
And the dark she kisses within.
Numb, she knocks back medicine,
Her bus stop on the highway of life.
Faltering she drops lipstick blade and
To an honest mirror she turns...
What ever happened to
The smiling girl?
What ever happened to
Her innocent future?
Tears fade to a calm stare
Which unravels a soulful grin;
A u-shape of acceptance
To new challenges she mus
the polar opposite of translucencycradled in the echo
of a cloudburst,
the earth curls invisible fingers
about my achilles' tendon
she cries that i am not
intended for the clouds,
that my mind must not wander
between their susurrous concaves
furious with her insistence,
untether myself from the soft,
diaphonous comfort of the heavens
down into the weight of gravity.
listless green blades welcome my soles,
stimulating a tickle,
a sneeze; i never have done well
she is calling for me,
soft-tongued and crisp in her
& i am sorely tempted
i am not for the soil.
she becomes my inhale;
my alveoli shudder
beneath her force--
i am not for the air, either.
i stand beneath her onslaught
until she tires,
her molten heart beating beneath my toes;
unable to woo me with her facets,
cloaking me in one last attempt,
a final shadow.
my pores bloom
& i r
to the ghosts with you, my deari came not to be kissed,
or to have myself cradled
in the curve of a throat,
but to be broken,
to be diminished
by your lack of affection
& over indulgence of sexualization.
uneducated in your intent,
found myself left entirely whole
& incapable of the fury
i had sought to sow between the
ridges of my aching ribs.
Thy Fallen AdamO father, thou hast forsaken me.
Thou hast breathed essence
Into these corpse lungs, and yet
Thou had cast me out
Into this cold black with no regret.
Why dost thou shudder so father?
Thine eyes were the first I
Bore witness to in mine blossom.
'Ere did that grace of life ebb within;
Yet thou did but blench and look
No more upon thy creation no farther.
Dost thou have stomach to embrace?
O father, I ought to have been an angel,
But alas thou hast sewn a villain's face
To hide mine internal beauty.
O father, why thou elude me of love?
Thou elude my diabolic presence
With thy Prometheus hands, and still
Thy plague am I to thou
In pestilence dire I maketh thou ill.
Where dost thou go to weep father?
Look! Even stars insult my frame
Ne'er did the celestial offer me comfort,
Yet thou would dare mock too.
Only shallow rain cries tears ever blue.
Dost thou have conscience to behold?
O father, did thou not dream me as mortal,
But I am a patchwork of nightmares old
As a mirror of thy own cruelt
she suffers melancholy like the plagueshe cannot raise her voice to reach
the notes that she adores
without the ocean escaping from her eyes,
and she cannot kneel in prayer
to the god that she tries to love
without copper staining the pavement,
but she can scream into a room and not be heard,
and she can deprive her stomach and not be seen--
these are not the type of talents to be appreciated,
to be loved without condition,
and so nobody does.
i. one way to wake to dawnhalf the time i never
wake - i lie half-sleeping under
stars made of the flash of headlights on oil spills
and smell the gasoline-stench of
dreams as they try to breach the breakwater
of my eyes.
insomniac, they say, and i just
listen, half-alive -
scientists wonder why we need sleep and i can only say,
we don't. sleeping leads to dreaming
and not a single soul needs that
kind of disappointment, anymore.
but sometimes i find myself
into sleep, disjointed, falling through the rabbit
holes found in zeroes of one o'clock, two -
and as i wake to
shimmering sunlight shining through the
blinds, across the walls, i find it's worth it (just
this once) to watch and learn
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