what will you have left
when there is nothing
but darkness shrouded
in conceit of faded light?
when there is no money,
no power, no science, no art
no alcohol or drugs to take
your mind away from thought
when there is nothing but
nothing itself in shameless
night where death, being the
only option for life, derives
madness out of your vexation,
your surety of what is and is not,
and that hope was all you needed,
you find it harder to believe than deny
I tend to go through life
friends want to hang out with me
but I always find an excuse
I started blocking out the world
when society banished me
because what I am is not
what they expect of me
I never know what's going on
because at least then I'm not missing out
on everything I could have in the world
as long as I go without
I refuse to change the way I feel
for a standard set by society
you'll never understand my struggle
so please just let me be
In seventh grade
I fell and I broke my leg
To my surprise it didn't hurt at all
I only felt awkward and a bit dazed
Because you slapped me to top it all
That was your way to show concern
You called me stupid and clumsy
Your words struck me with dismay
They left a painful scar on my heart
Years later I feel the same pain today
My leg healed fast
Few weeks in a cast and it was good as new
But the lack of motherly love still brings pain
And I think I walk very carefully around you
Cautious not to fall again
He sat in his room every night
Waiting for his parents to stop
Until the day his father left
Before coming downstairs
And everything was gone
Except for his mother
Sitting on the kitchen tiles
Red marks on her arms
On her face
On her legs
As far as he could
About everything he had
Everything he had lost
He stepped up to the ledge
He looked down
He would be free
He took a step forward
there is poetry in dirt
in greens, in beets,
especially in rutabagas.
you are a symphony of compost
with which an old man’s teeth are smitten;
Rosemary sprig, beneath all your flavor
you are the staff-lines of a madrigal written
in loving anticipation of the mason jars, weighed down with water
where you will grow and swell and bud and spread out strong purple flowers which say
that you are part of a song which sings
a little louder.
This coming September, I will miss you dearly.
I will be days of travel away from your roots, your mist,
your six-in-the-morning-before-classes tonic of rain
which saturates my skin so good I’m surprised when I shake the dirt from the leeks
all over my bare feet & you don’t crop up green & white from between my toes,
that my arms don’t grow heavy with peppers
after they cake with jalapeno & bell seeds from all the half-rotten
to whom I have given baptism to in shallow plastic tubs of water
floating like elations of fire
in the grayness of the morning.
Know how to tell if a pepper’s rotten? Wash it & shake it
& if you can hear the water swishing inside,
if you can make a maraca of its innards,
then give it back to the dirt.
This is the wisdom of peppers:
when you grow soft
when you have been chosen
& thoroughly loved
when you have called out like fire
beside your brothers in a basin,
lay down in the compost
the kindly compost,
& listen, just listen,
(there will be nothing left to do
to the poetry of dirt.
I thought to those hands that draw my strings
why do ghosts only haunt the living?
Fear slithers down from the stains on my ceiling
coiling thickly around my throat
dripping feted sweat
from the tips of its' fangs
“To Spur You To Run”
so down the darkened hallways and
out to the dirty
downtown streets I flew
skittering fitfully between the alleys
for risk of being seen
before slipping into that same empty bar
me oh my, what dim corners you have
ducking onto that same crooked confessional
oh great bartend, what clouded eyes you have
where I am promptly handed
my glass of Sorrow
deliver me from evil
atop a napkin wrote with print
“All The Better To Drown You With.”
it seems I have forgotten
if this sip or the last
was bitter or sweet
but it burns my eyes
twists my ribs, thickens the wind
and in the moment I see that face
out beyond the foamy waves
that shore upon the dregs
oh hallowed face of Judgement,
it seems blackened ivy has taken root
around your eyes
"I Tip Your Service With A Nod"
every block that I stumble by
orange streetlight onto the sidewalk
which whetted feet find liquor slick
thus put nose to grindstone, idiom or no
I hear the whispered Fury
when I fall down far enough
when my ear is planted to the earth
addressing me curtly
burning up through the asphalt
and stretching uncomfortably underneath my fingers
she lifts me screaming from the molten gutter
"To Hell With Forgiveness"
I find none other than Passion
standing under a spotlight
always dreamed of becoming a star
on the next street corner
you burned out far below the heavens of the hollywood highrise
she beckons me over with knowing gestures
but you still wound up center stage
“I Am Cheap and Love is Dead
Buried With All The Other Fairy Tales”
to which I respond
“We Must Make Due.”
She came and left swiftly
departing with the last of the warmth
in this empty room
douses candles in gasoline
burning half as long but twice as bright
after which I rose and went to my window
ans listened to the chirps of Melancholy
singing of sin.
Copyright ©2010-2013 Sean Winslow All Rights Reserved
I am getting tired of the sea
every morning, whispering, “duermete”
like we are lovers
who kept each other awake all night.
To wish her goodbye…
say, I am leaving Miami, him, not you.
Reminded it is not just love that can sweep
someone off their feet –
also thinking I left some of my food
in his refrigerator, two gallons of milk gift.
I believe I will return,
not for liquid, not for anything tangible
just a redo of our last embrace
without an ocean of salt lulling every
and I believe I exist in there somewhere –
sea-wide, seaside, we rest just us.
Please justify your actions.
Give me some reason, and make it a good one, for what you did.
Did you just feign happiness?
Did you feed me lies that you knew would go straight from my ears to my heart,
Skipping over my head entirely?
What purpose did you have?
And why, now that it's all over, do you insist upon making me feel like the villain?
You refuse to look at me, like I'm Medusa ready to turn you to stone.
But the only look you'll see on my face is a hurt confusion.
The anger went away quickly, and now there's this utterly perplexing hole left behind,
Because I still don't know why.
I know you were happy.
I know you genuinely cared about me, and us.
So what happened?
What broke in your mind, making you run away without so much as a backwards glance ?
Nothing changed until you decided it should.
So give me just one reason, and make it a good one.
My feet are long
Long enough to be considered big
Both my big toenails are ingrown
and none of my shoes fit right
On my right leg I have 38 scars
Some of them are so faint
They are almost gone
38 and even though I put every single of them there
not a single one
is my fault
On my left leg I have no scars at all
A blank slate
Marred only by a small
it wasn’t meant to be a literary device
My belly is a minefield of pimples and hair and scars and scars and scars
the beautiful thing sticks out farther than my face
it’s large enough to be considered fat
and none of my shirts fit right
Sometimes I feel bad for my breasts
Always squished under the same two bras
if i flip them around that means they’re not dirty anymore
My fingers are bony and thin
People recoil when they see them
They don’t bend the right way
And it hurts to hold a pencil
Maybe they’re ingrown too
My arms are
only one scar worth mentioning
and only worth mentioning
because it was the first one i put on myself
My neck is sensitive
and always sore
it sends a shooting pain down my spine
and i cradle it and ask
My face is bright
even if my eyes are dull
big and dull and blue with long lashes
too fucking feminine
i try not to make a 39th
its not my fault
i am beautiful
but beauty belongs to women
I only miss you at night.
That's where the absence of your arm around me is painful.
Even the warmth of your body next to mine is gone.
That gentle glow of heat that pulsated off your body onto mine has left,
Leaving me cold with only blankets to wrap around me.
The simple pressure of your fingers locked with mine is gone as well,
Leaving behind empty spaces.
You left holes in my life.
You ripped down the wall I had worked on for 20 years.
The comfort of that boundary around my heart crumbled when I met you,
And though it felt right when you were around,
Now that you're gone my heart is raw from exposure.
The hurt you've caused creates holes,
And I can't build up my wall fast enough to prevent them.
I miss you more than almost anything.
It's such a different sort of longing than what happens when you actually lose a loved one.
I didn't lose you, you pushed me away.
Even though you're alive, you've killed your presence in my life.
This yearning to have you back is pointless,
And yet night after night I find myself hungering to hold you.
But it's only at night.
That's when I miss you most.