Daphny Ryan
Daphny Ryan
Dec 5, 2013

Not a moment passes by that I don't miss you
Your warm touch,
The feeling of being safe,
Right where I belong

I long for you,

I miss your face
The way you made me feel like everything would be alright,

The laughs we shared-
The love
I felt would last

Now I'm lost, forever more,
In our memories,
Of us,
Escaping me

I need you here, I need you near

Don't leave my heart without your love.

Paul Hardwick
Paul Hardwick
Aug 10, 2012

t
                                                             ­                                l
                                                             ­                     o
My girlfriend went with a man called      B
jamaica no
                                            she
                                     went
                               there
                          on her
                       own.

Pearson Bolt
Pearson Bolt
Aug 1, 2013

though i’ve never smoked a cigarette
i’ve always loved the smell of tobacco.

it reminds me of shows in seedy concert halls
and the gum my father chewed to get sober

minty-fresh nicorette replacing the scent
of the wine that imbued his every breath.

i recall my grandpa, the way he sat on the porch, surrounded
by nana’s garden, listening to the songs of birds

the stub of his last cigarette, poised between frail fingers.
as it withered, he withered with it.

their walls stained yellow from the nicotine
like some vintage sepia photograph.

through synesthetic memories, i can taste the
way cigarette smoke wafted through the summer air when

my friends and i sat on our back porch, reminiscing,
nostalgia suffocating, tightening its grip like a vise about our windpipes.

i’ve never even smoked a cigarette
but they always remind me of who i used to be

before i lost what was left of my innocence.

Dad drove down
to the liquor store
that morning
the same routine

bought two bottles of
the cheapest red wine
money could buy
to drink from cheap
plastic solo cups

he never drank
from blue cups
just the red ones
not sure if that even
matters

when Dad drinks
he goes to one of
two extremes 


either he’s grinning ear-to-ear over
something utterly 
mundane
or else 
he’s
spewing equal measures of
spittle and venom

but no matter what
his breath always
smells like death

when i was a kid
i didn’t really get it
why a man would drink
and do such stupid shit

of course
that was before
the world taught me
what it meant to suffer

you never really realize what
tragedy looks like
until you get home from school
on a Wednesday afternoon

to find your old man
wasted
crying
begging
you to tell him it’s
gonna be okay
that he’s gonna make
it another day

like watching
god become human

so i promised him

i swore that it’d 
be
okay 

but i had no idea

if it would ever 
be
okay 
again

my Dad lost his Dad 

that was why 
he drank so much

at least 

as far as i can tell 

that was the reason

why

i’ve never really asked
and besides

i doubt he’d ever 
admit it

least of all
to me

but as i get older and 

reflect 

i’m not sure there 
was
ever really a reason 


why

he got sober 

did the 12 step program 

hallelujah

thank you 

Jesus 

something like 
that 

and he hasn’t had 
a single sip 

since he sobbed 
in my arms 

that Wednesday afternoon

at least

as far as i know

Pearson Bolt
Pearson Bolt
Jul 31, 2013      Aug 2, 2013

when i was seven
i asked my mother if all dogs went to heaven
because i wanted to be sure that
i’d see old Buddy up in the clouds
once he’d passed on

she told me that i would
she said in fact
all dogs do go to heaven
but my mother had a
penchant for canines
so i secretly wondered
whether or not that was true

then i asked her if my friend Adam would be there too
since he was Jewish and Jews aren’t allowed
to go to heaven

for this had left me so confused
how could god
let dogs into heaven
but abandon all
my friends

she told me in no uncertain terms that
there was only one way
one truth and
one life
and that one way
one truth
one life came through Christ

which was funny
considering Jesus
was Jewish too

Pearson Bolt
Pearson Bolt
Aug 29, 2013

all my life, i was told 
to be as timid 
as a sheep.
my black wool 
may have offended the 

snowy white facade of my

former friends and family, 

but at least i shared their form.

all this time,
i didn’t realize 

the lion prowling

outside the gates 
had
more honesty 
than the
crooked shepherd 

keeping watch 
over me.

and the false security 

these walls they built around me 

could never hold a light
to the 
life outside
this hideous city 

they dared to say was 

beautiful.

lured by dreams of eternity, 

i bought into the 
story of a god 

who loved me more than 

anyone or anything.

but i saw a fire burning beyond 

these walls of hypocrisy

and chose to 
carry it instead.

i sold my soul for a rational mind, 

recognizing infinity 

was nothing
but 
a pipe dream.

i’ll carry the fire 
of humanity

in my chest,

‘cause i don’t need 

a savior who’ll 
lead my soul to rest.

i reject the greener pastures
of 
an afterlife and
embrace the 
life that i 
was
taught 
to abhor.

and while i still get sad

from time to time, 

at least i can say that
i 
don’t hate who i am 
anymore.

i spent twenty years
yearning for 
a god
who isn’t even there 

to show me the 
slightest bit 

of affection

and didn’t realize that i’m 

better off alone since, 

after all,

that’s where i’ve always been.

so i’ll start 

side-stepping 
the road of
fear and faith 
for
the great unknown 
and
all the pain that it’s 
bound to bring.

i’ll stomach every 

single second of suffering 

without the vagrant hope of a 

second life in the heavens.

it’s funny how life can be so 

fucking beautiful

if we keep in mind
just how 

finite 

it really is, 

how precious every 

moment has the potential to be.

at least i can say
i 
did my best to cherish 
the
Time that i’m alive,

rather than living with
the 
expectation of an afterlife, 

biding my time 
‘till i die.

when they put what’s left of me

into the ground, 

don’t look for me in the clouds—

i’ll be decomposing 

beneath your feet.


and, honestly, 

the thought of becoming

absolutely nothing 

is far more comforting
than the 
notion of worshipping that

murderer 

they preach about in church.

i have no god, i have no king.
i don't believe in fate or even destiny.

i’ve given up on 

certainty in things i cannot see

in lieu of questioning 

everyone and 

everything.

i’m secure in only one thing: 

and that’s me.

i’ve spent far too much time 

hiding from the things that i
was taught were 
evil.

i was told to trust
an 
ambiguity

for every single thing

and, thus far,
it’s been pretty

goddamn ineffective.

they told me that
believing in myself 

was an insult to my 

invisible creator.

so here’s a middle finger to 

my mythological maker: 

i don’t need you. 

i don’t need anyone. 

i’ve got two feet 

planted firmly 

beneath me.

and though my family might be ashamed of me, 

i can say i’ve never been this happy.

the day that i turned my back on 

Christianity,

i realized i didn’t need 
anyone’s approval
to be 
myself.

i don’t live in fear anymore.

i don’t hate myself ‘cause i quit
searching for a love 

that was never even there 
to begin with.

i won’t follow the instructions
written in a book 
millennia ago
by 
misogynistic homophobes 
and

war criminals.

i’m better off standing up 
for what i believe

than i ever was 
in
some sanctuary

begging on my knees.

Pearson Bolt
Pearson Bolt
Aug 20, 2013

it’s 3:00am
again

i think
to myself
that seeing
my clock read

3:00am
as often as
i see it read
3:00pm

might suggest
that i really
ought to get
more sleep

it’s hard
though

when protesters
are shot in Egypt
when journalists
are detained with false pretense
when activists
seek shelter in embassies
when hackers
rot in prison cells
when whistleblowers
are put on trial

with all this
chaos and
injustice
i don’t understand
how anyone
in their right mind
could sleep in
peace

Pearson Bolt
Pearson Bolt
Aug 2, 2013

the light above
the snowy keys
shines bright, almost
harsh

i can feel the
pain
in her voice
it’s as tangible as

the way her fingers
slightly
almost imperceptibly
tremble
once so confident
now painfully unsure

melodies used to be so
simple, beauty singing through
the strings of a
1940’s piano built of

wood
iron
and ivory

but now caustically
discordant harmonies
of harmonies
are catalyzed by
our recent brush with
ugly memory

i say, “Grandma” when
i see the tear drop to
the surface of
those pristine
yet grievous
keys

it balances there, precipitously, beside
her wedding ring
as she tells me, “i think
that’ll be all for today, my sweet.”

i found them
while i was
digging
through old boxes
covered in dust
hidden
in the shadows
beneath my bed

i'd been searching for LPs
Lost in the Sound of
Separation on vinyl
record
its sentimental value
binding memories of
my favorite band
countless shows
a myriad of friends

it was there that i
found exactly what
it was i wasn't
looking for

who knows
maybe i hid them
because they
reminded me of things
best left forgotten

the blue sticky note
read in purple ink
"my favorite prints
for my favorite person.
thanks for believing
in my work."

in every photograph was a
little bit of you
dead friends
broken homes
dark rooms with
hardly any light
a child looking for love
the beach palms
skateboards and surfboards

in every photograph was a
little bit of you
shot in black
and white
refined in their
aesthetic but
only one photo actually
had you in it

three windows
light filtering through
closed blinds
an air vent in the bottom
right-hand corner

you stand in the center
and it is evident that
you are shirtless as you
look over your shoulder
at the camera suspended
in the room

what thoughts crossed your
mind when the shutter
shuddered shut

in every photograph was a
little bit of you
and if we’re being honest
there was a little of
me too

strange
isn’t it

how
memories
pique our moods like
mountains

bursting
through the
stratosphere
only to be sent
plummeting to the
depths of an

abyss
darker
and
deeper
than Marianas Trench
at the flip of a

switch

subtle triggers
found in the way
someone laughs
or when a co-worker
grins
out of the corner of
his or her
mouth

i see you
in the characters of the
literature and
films we used to critique
over coffee
hiding in the vestiges
of Daenerys Targaryen
or
Mélanie Laurent

you are France
an entire country
unto yourself

the smell of the sea
clings to your skin cells
in ways i
only wish
i could

you are in every
solitary
letter of Helvetica
whispering
softly
of things that
were
of things that
are
and of some things that
have not yet come to pass

you float
in the carcinogenic smoke
of cigarettes
a silhouette
corporeal particles
i exorcise
with equal parts
relief
and
regret

every night that i
paint the town
in neon colors
of vibrant life
i write your name
when i
vandalize
and fantasize
that you are
somehow with me
maybe floating happily
in the molecules
of aerosol
spreading across the
concrete

you’re in every song
by Brand New
like the residue of
dew drying on
the leaves
in the
mid-morning
light
lingering
even as
the sun calls you

home
the way i lingered
on your doorstep
to make sure that
you made it safely
back inside your
home

i’ve come to find that
i am equal parts
melancholy
and
blithe
and
i think that i
can finally say
i’m getting better

but
to borrow
a page
from Vonnegut
i’d be lying if
i said i didn’t still
catch
myself feeling
sorry
about the things that
no longer
matter

 
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