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Kartikeya Jain
Do not wait
for someone
to offer you
their world.
you have your own.
The scariest part is when you love someone
When you realize it
It sorta crashes into your rib cage
Knocking any breath or lingering common sense into oblivion
You’re alone and you’ve resigned to being so
I mean, you’re repulsed by the masses
The shells of people
They never got what it all meant
You thought you were better than all that
Thought you were superior
Stupid, stupid, stupid
And then you see her
She smiles or waves or looks at you
You can’t mistake it
It’s a commentary on your existence
She’s come to teach you how to be human
It’s a goddamn sign
It’s not a conscious decision that you make
You tell others it is
Because no one could possibly conquer you
She laughs and it’s why the sun shines

The scariest part is when you don’t love someone
You can’t
You try
For once, your rib cage is functioning at full capacity
You can’t reach him
Christ, he can’t reach you
He says something like, “I love you.”
You shudder and stare at a scuff on the wall because you wish so hard that someone could conquer you
You’re alone
But you don’t wanna be
You’re crazy, you’re unfeeling, you’re too heavily medicated
Desperately wanting someone, anyone to find you
To make you feel anything
To give you a sign
To teach you how to become human
Day by day
You just can’t figure out why the sun shines
You never will
Jack Cipriano
As a little kid i looked upon broken teens,
Wishing never to become like them,
And it was true i was never like those teens,
Until i met you.

The start was fast like crashing waves,
We did not look as we laughed with joy,
But after time those waves turned to floods,
And you left me behind instead of enduring.

I tried everything to find you,
The real, old you that once loved me,
It seems as if you disappeared,
And i wish my feelings disappeared with you.

Soon they did and everyone backed off,
You’ve grown cold, you’ve grown heartless,
That’s what i’ve been told by you and others,
But if you’re the one who turned me cold,

Wouldn't you be the heartless one?
why am i so heartbroken over you? its like you were my true love but i wasnt yours.
Two different worlds
Two seperate skies
And only one that they can see

Inside my mind
When darkness falls
There is no other soul but me

Alone I pace
In deepest night
And no one takes my hand

To lead me from
My shadowed tomb
Where I am doomed to stand

Alas for me,
Though kindness helps,
For only love can save me now

A lonely girl
Lost long ago
Who does not trust, and knows not how

Too often left
Though many cared
And no one saw the pain inside

That lonely girl
The happy mask
Was made so carefully to hide

But now it cracks,
The paint wears off,
And someone soon is bound to know

And steps will tread
The lonely walks
Where only I’m allowed to go

Perhaps at last
Someone will break
The wall I’ve built around my heart

But no one will,
For all have eyes,
And I have been too long apart

And so, alas,
For here I stand,
A lonely girl in a shadowed land.
Empty spaces
Blank mind traces
Of what I could once do
Wonderful descriptions
Unfinished stories
Of children running
From banal dangers

New depths of mental pain evoke
Change in me
How did that child think?
I can’t find the words
Or remember

The grapple for more adult structure
But simply lack the
Once proud of a sentence
Now every letter is saturated with
Ciel Noir
We are such            clever creatures to divide
Most everything             into its different sides
With chaos versus             order, dark and light
The stark duality of         wrong and right
We even split the very        world in two
With human versus human,       we and you
But still no matter how much      we divide
Each thing has infinitely many      sides
Ahhh, you vampires!
Sucking the lifeblood from us.
Your sins we do not expose, we don’t discuss;
you’re endowed with riches, you don’t wipe the mud from us.

We are your stepping stones, we are your hosts
we are the ones who love you the most.
When you injure us, we do not fight;
your endless evil we don’t bring to light.

We smile for you, you don’t hear the cries within.
Each day we pray for you to put aside your sin.
We do not forsake you, we are your servants and slaves
We’re the ones who’ll cry for you as they cover your graves.

We hold your pain in our souls.
We bear your sins in our hearts.
We ensure you’re never alone
with your hearts of stone.

We are not like you, we don’t seek riches and fame.
We hurt for our sins and hold unspeakable shame.
Yet the Holy One to us holds fast,
saying many who are last will be first, and who are first will be last.
My first poem here, hello everyone
Ann Marie Peña
What is it like?
To fit in with everyone around you
To not feel so small
To not be too soft spoken

What is it like?
To have countless numbers of friends
To constantly have plans
To never feel alone?

What is it like?
To get close to people
To smile so genuinely
To laugh so full heartedly

What is it like?
To not be me
Aerial Fabish
"It comes in waves"
More like it resurfaces
You know, because depression is always with me,
Just not always where you can see.
It is the angsty teen hiding in his room until the guests leave.
It is the bad poetry he keeps in a notebook under the bed.
It is the pack of cigarettes he buries in his underwear drawer;
Someone must search to find it.
Depression cannot come in waves.
If it could, wouldn't I be able to ride it out -
Or is drowning my punishment for not learning how to surf?
You see, because I have never surfed in my life.
Everything must wash over me.
I bathe in the ocean instead of the bathtub,
I scrub saltwater into my paper cuts until they are more painful than an open wound in an attempt to validate the sadness that stays with me.
Because even though it is nameless, it is as daunting as the dinner guest,
Hidden, yet embarrassing letters on paper forming words resembling a poem,
Intangible, but quickly filling my lungs and spreading into my bloodstream
Imitating pleasure and escape while slowly releasing dangerous chemicals
While exuding toxins that murder my relationships and self-worth.
If depression were waves, I could find beauty in them.
Instead, my perception views dismemberments of values,
Shattered pieces of what "before" looked like:
Before the anxiety.
Before the embarrassment.
Before the shame.
If depression truly comes in waves, give me time between to learn to ride them to shore.
This is my first attempt at slam poetry. I put time into this and let it stew for a bit... I'm hoping I managed to convey what I saw in my head. I'm working on showing, not telling; trying to use more intense imagery to show my point.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy. Please please tell me if there is a way I could improve it. I'm always looking for critiques.
Vanessa Escopin
One day you'll realize that you lost a girl who's feelings for you wasn't told but she let you feel it.
One day you'll be frustrated 'cos you're wrong.
You take her for granted.
You loved her but then you lost her.
You let her go even though she doesn't want to.
You lost a girl who secretly cares for you.
A girl you used to loved and you're still loving. You lost the girl you can be trusted, a girl who have flaws, a girl who is broken but still managed to smile.
A girl who almost tell you what she really feels but time wasn't right yet.
A girl who you let wait for hours.
A girl who's patiently waiting and secretly loving you.
You lost the girl who's now ready to take the risk but you give her up.
She's tired to pretend anymore, she doesn't deserve someone who hurts her more than she was hurt.
You forget her. But she didn't.
Lost in time
I do not want to get too attached
Latched onto this idea that you won't go
It seems my heart you've already patched
We're a perfect match, don't you think so?

You've emptied out the grief in my heart
I found a lost part of my soul
I'm embracing this brand new start
If you leave I'm afraid I won't be whole.

It's your companionship I crave
This relationship is what I need
Your kiss is the only one that can save
My lips from crying out with greed.

I want everything, the good and bad
And the grey area in between
I would try my hardest not to be sad
If for once you'd just say what you mean.

I'm in the process of being repaired
Filtering out what was once broken
I don't want my anxiety bared
Or my messed up past awoken.

Sleeping dogs are better off dreaming
There's no need to open their eyes
Since you've arrived my heads been teeming
With thoughts that buzz like wounded flies.

My only anchor is your voice
Tying me to the universe
With you it seems i have no choice
But to succumb to this wicked curse.

This fear withers my state of mind
Leaves me paralyzed with wonder
Until I'm left with no hope to find
And all my dreams are torn asunder.

I love the way your touch makes me tremble
Excites the atoms under my skin
I'm shattered, but you reassemble
The pieces of me that I'm living in.

You're my armor, my stability
The guard that keeps my demons at bay
Only you have the ability
To make every problem go away.
Written 2/6/12

I do like how this flows, and how I can still relate to it but for a different person.
She stands where the river blows her hair wild

no youth and no favor for her
no hands to clean the salt licks on her skin
her palms are dreams wrinkled dry
yet craving an offer.

You come from a distant land, she says,
heavens bless you.

I got no small change, I respond,
my mind drifts to ponder,

a small change, I need that too,
always hungered for
and faltered through
like I missed the vessel narrowly
to be on the river's other side.

Maybe when I come back,
I turn toward her.

She was gone.
Harwood Point, Dec 5, 2017
An abortive river trip, a chance encounter
Jordan LC Murphy
I write to right any wrong feeling I have ⚡️
jayant om
You were that devastating thunderstorm
which, was the most beautiful tragedy happened to me
we are not together now, as it was never on the cards.
nothing is fine and I am worst without you
I don't want you anymore (I say)
I need you, in every step (I know)
You were that endless joy
which is now endless pain
I tried to forget all the moments spent with you
and, ended up in, remembering you all the times
those also were tears which never came out from my eyes
the pain was also that which I never told.

I remember all those dreams
which, we wove together
they were lovely.

I remember the soft touch of your lips, that naïve shamelessness  
I remember everything
I remember all that happened
I remember all the things

I remember that rain in which,
we got drenched together
there was a flame inside us
while we were soaked (In the droplets of rain)
what was that carelessness,
In those moments spend together which passed, yet not passed

I remember such evenings (we spent together)  
when you slept by my side
I kept looking at you,
I remember everything
I remember all that happened
I remember all the things
I am that broken glass which never binds
Betsy Garris
He said to me
I'm gonna get outta here
Check out a different sphere
Of reality
Unless I meet
One of those county girls
Who wants to stay in this county world
And raise a family

Well that got me thinkin'
About all of the small town life
Everywhere there just seems to be a fight
To not get stuck.
You know I've been thinkin'
Bout all of these choices
Bout all of these voices asking me
Where I'll end up

The more I stay
The more I find
My piece of peace of mind
Comes and goes like waves
In this
Tidal Town.

A song lyric I began over the summer, that lingered through the fall, and has been buzzin in my brain ever since. A friend yesterday said something that inspired the first few lines and it fit so perfectly.
Here's to small towns.
This one is for St. Mary's County.
Samm Marie Moore
I refuse to be the
Damsel in distress
When I can be the
De-stressed damsel
The problem with Angels
Is that - as they fall
Their wings,
In all towering beauty
Reach out, stretching;
Feathers and bone
To drag and pull
Away at those
Who dare to watch,
Souls ensnared:

“I couldn’t look away if I tried”
On the branches of dead leaves
They're all standing in grief

Facing the almost full moon , seeking its light
To ease the gloom of this murky night

Will morning end this pain ?
We grow like grape vines
on the wrong side of the hill,
Basking in all that we know
- light is temporary,
we are temporary.
You rise up
as morning drips
all the way down,
back to me.

latched and sticky breaths
are shared in the late evenings
encouraged by the rinse
of cabernet down the back
of your throat.

We then, pruned.
“Its not you, it’s me.”
Somehow I am to find growth
in all of this.
If only these roots had not been
intertwined with yours.
If only we had been planted on
the right side -
Us sweet, not this bitter end.
Once I was a ray of unfiltered light,
The star-lit, wild-eyed night,
A sapling taking root in the banks of a river.

Now I am here
And joy is the gentle sprinkling of dew on the spider’s web,
Sadness is the expanse of the ocean, the outgoing tide.
Quiet comes from the petrichor scent of the woods when the storm is over.

Soon I will be faster than the speed of light,
The newest star in the age old night,
Reflected in the eyes of Sirona by the river.
Mariyah Fales
I've been broken
I've been hurt
I feel like I won't repair
But I know I will
But I doubt it will be anytime soon
But if it is
It'll be a miracle
Because I am a mess
I am depressed
and shaking
and clearly not myself
I don't know when I'll be myself either
I have been broken
For a long time
Don't think I'll heal quickly
Because I don't think I will.
I did not hear your cries as I wrenched a thousand words from my breast, nor your protestations as my eyes recalled yet another deep magenta sky.
I did not see your tears of frustration as I marvelled at the world, singing at snow angels and harbouring the winter chill.
I did not feel your heartbeat leave mine as the russets fell
nor did I  hear you call my name over my frustrated sighs, and tempered ego.
I did not notice your silence
Until I saw you drowning as I described the water.
I can get a little distracted.
the moment a poet
falls in love with you

is the moment
you live

f o r e v e r
Steve Page
How many anarchists does it take to change a light bulb?
You don't change it! You smash it!

How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but it must want to change.

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
One to hold the ladder.
And one to tearfully consider the transitive nature of existence compounded by the tragedy of the assumption of replacement without true celebration of the individuality found at the heart of the mass produced and the beauty that can be found in a frail light fighting against the darkness inherent in an unfair world.
[To be read aloud in a tearful voice.]
You and I
we have always knew
this is not gonna end well
if i speak my mind this dies
if i stay silent i die
6 months
and we died

I’m begging right know
Tell me what to do?

should I walk away
or try harder ?
Will you ever be able to love me?
Will I be able to tell you I love you?

The clock won’t stop for us
Not even you stop for us
Tik tok
you will never be forgotten.
your name twisted into metaphors and colors and distractions will forever
be painted across pages and pages of her favorite brand of notebook,
no matter how many she burns
there will always be one she forgot,
and she will only find it once she had almost forgotten you.
she will find the one Papyrus notebook
and all of your metaphors and colors and disractions will come flooding back,
just like how the ocean in your eyes
flooded her heart all those years ago.
hey mom, lately I haven't been okay
don't you see as you look me in the eye everyday?
the circles under my eyes are a little too deep
although nowadays all that I do is sleep

mom, last month, someone at school tried suicide
downing a bottle of paracetamol as he cried
I wanted to tell you about him, 'cause now he's dead,
but I remembered some of the things that you said

when the other day you were at the drug store
you heard someone overdosed on paracetamol
you laughed then you said, "why hold back at all?
why not drink poison? that'll work for sure!"

mom, I looked it up, it only takes fifteen tablets
fifteen of paracetamol and it'll send me straight to a casket
mom, what if I were that overdosing teen?
if I take only fourteen, would you tell me the same thing?

mom, I've been starving myself - I hardly eat
I don't know how I'm still managing on my feet
that's fine anyway, you told me I should go on a diet
so go on and tell me that I'm fat, I'll just keep quiet

hey mom, my arms are lined up with slits
but you're worried about if my clothes still fit
so I'll keep my mouth shut, I won't make things bigger
maybe if I tell my friends I'll feel a little better

mom, everyone keeps telling me I'm depressed
that I've got all these emotions inside me supressed
I only listen to you, mom, and I ignore the rest
after all, doesn't the saying go "mother knows best"?

mom, if I wanted to die, what would you do?
'cause if I tell you, I feel like you'd just say, "me, too!"
don't worry, mom, if I'm suddenly gone one day
I've learned to hate myself because of you anyway

mom, everyday is becoming a little too tough
I'm just holding on 'til I can cut deep enough
maybe it would be a nice surprise for me and you
if killing myself is something I finally do.
I despise myself for not being someone you could love.
Vale Luna
(read forward, then backward, line by line)

I ran.
Not knowing what else to do
There was so much blood on my hands
It was mine
The kitchen knife
Caught in my chest
Consumed by
I was heightened by
But running on
Wasn’t enough
While trying to stay calm,
Losing control
It was me that would end up
Dead. Because
He was
In front of me
The whole time
It was too late
I found myself
Locked in chains
My fate was
Forward: from the victims perspective.
Backward: from the murderers perspective.

Eric the Red
The truth about poets
They’re not all alike
Some are derelicts
Some say they’re writers
Instead of Poet
For they know what that puts
Into the minds of others
Some will never write novels
Poems are their Ulysses
Their ‘Love in the Time Of Cholera
Some are sad
Choose to live there
While some poets
Use their words
To claw their way out
Some have fallen out of love
Want someone
to listen
While some have fallen in
the deepest ocean
Want to tell the world
What this man
This woman
Means to them

Most write their verses
Some at midnight
Some at sunrise
Some with coffee
Most with bottles

Most will never see the reaction
Of many
Will never hear
‘I like that...’

And most don’t want to be famous
Or sometimes heard
Just want to be
Coraline Hatter
when I die

turn my body into ashes


spread it over the ocean

so I can go home

after a lifetime of feeling

Inspired by Amanda Lovelace's book "the princess saves herself in this one"
- a mermaid escapist
sitting underneath the stairs, i realized suddenly:
i could die here.

i could die here,
and would anyone know?
i could die here, under the dirty staircase,
and nothing would change.

a friend of mine came for me eventually;

someone i don't know too well,
but well enough.

and she squeezed my hand and told me,
"you're not alone."

as my breathing grew ragged and my chest constricted and my eyes ached, i belatedly realized that was the most terrifying prospect of all.
only thing worse than feeling alone is knowing that so many others feel alone... hope everyone out there is feeling loved
The Willow
(There are two characters in this particular story:
Him and You.)

He never thought of me as a poet, though I have written more poetry about Him than anyone else before.
I wrote a poem about him, spent hours on it, hummed it on a stage,
I got so close to the mic for comfort
I felt I was supporting myself on His secondhand drunken breath.
I once read it out loud to him, and it got lost in His head,
and I am unsure if He was ever aware of poetry He dismissed.

But You. You considered me a poet almost from the start,
I could see it in the way Your eyes were trying to tell Your mouth the words it needed to adore me, but Your mouth fell blank,
and so chose into kissing instead.
At least, that's how it went in my head.
You were upset with me at how little poetry I had written about You,
and even to this day, though we are apart for three years,
You still read my words.

Why do you still read?
Is it to make up for the words You skipped over in my eyes when You were close enough to read my irises?
You transformed my darkness
Into light

You taught me
The meaning of life

You accepted me
When I could not

You listened
When I forgot
I keep throwing gasoline on my already burning problems.

I'm addicted to the pain.
Lines break

white   space   is   r a c i s t

repetition emotes imagery

crypt  ic  ally / intention ally

dull erudition . . .
pompous verbosity

              rhymeless atrocity
                      lines / break
Weirdly-spaced lines
Of cryptic observations
Doth not a poem make . . .
aubrey sochacki
i wonder if you remember
what we said to each other;
if you still think about
what we could have been

i wonder if you remember
my last name; if one
day you'll google me and
read this and wonder if
it's about you.

it's about you, if you called me cute, if you were
silly, if you liked my pickup
lines, if you never met me,
if you ignored me, if you rudely texted me,
if you viewed all my stories,
then deleted me.

this is about you. i don't know
what to say. i want to text you,
but i hid your number from
myself. i guess i'll just say i'm sorry
we ended before we even began. they
say the good die young, and i
guess that's why whatever we had
died so early. i'm sorry for
all i said and for all you
didn't say.
oejay isthay oneyay isyay orfay ouyay
Elora Rose
i can only take
so much.

oh, how it makes me ache,
your touch.
this is the shortest poem i have probably ever written, and one that can be interpreted in so many different ways. i'll leave this here, so perceive it as you will.
If a girl is hopelessly crying in a forest and no one is around to hear her, did she actually cry?

All that you’ve heard about Rapunzel is pure lies.
She had jet black hair, that was darker than the midnight sky.
Entirely broken inside, waiting to end her life.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you what really happened tonight
Grab a delicious treat and something sweet to drink.
Before I wish you a goodnight’s sleep.

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Rapunzel
Since the age of ten she had been locked away in a monstrous tower.
Kept in chains by her demons all day.
They liked to play games with her mental state.

One of the games included, Simon Says.
Simon Says, cut a blade through your wrist.
Simon Says, bang your head against the brick wall,
Until you begin bleeding and start to fall.
She hated Simon Says,
But she always obeyed what they said.

Mother Gothel was an antagonist; a myth.
Rapunzel made her up in her mind to have someone to blame,
For all the wretched pain which she endured everyday.

Loneliness became her closest friend
As she sat alone in a cobwebbed den.
Listening to the clock ‘tick tock’ in her head
Over again like a broken record.
Making her want to rip her hair out to shreds.

The voices screaming in her head made her psychotic.
No one cared about this depressive girl,
More than they did about summer rain.
They all couldn’t see her suffering, so it didn’t matter.
Instead they threw her in a tower, an architect built.
So her mind could rot in tiny pieces, lying still.

One day a boy named Flynn came into the mix.
He loved her with all his heart; they could never be apart.
When he was around, her eyes light up.
Forgetting the misery that came after dark

Tomorrow came along.

Rapunzel was found sobbing in her fragile pale hands.
“Leave me alone!”, she screamed in terror with her eyes closed shut.
Shaking uncontrollably, while the rain and tears flowed as one.
Just like the river she wanted to drown herself in.

Flynn gently helped her to her feet in panic.
The electricity still flowing through her entire body.
“I love you.” he softly whispered into her ear.
“I love you!” he says with passion and honesty.
Her breathing slowly came to a halt, after hearing him speak.
He made her believe that life had some meaning.

Her soul now feels at peace
She looks at him with pure sincerity  
He whips her tears away, “I’ll never leave you”.
A promise he can never keep.
“I love you too”, she says with ease.
Their eyes meet together, as they laugh in unison.
Lips softly meet as one; the night has just began.
This is the happiest Rapunzel has ever been in years,
Too bad it will all suddenly disappear.

It was all an illusion.
Rapunzel suffered from Schizophrenia.
Flynn was a figment of her imagination.
An escape from her cruel reality she faced.
The townspeople didn’t want to deal with her mental illness.
So they washed her away, to be left astray.

People hate what they don’t understand,
So everyday for eight years she sat freezing in sorrow.
While her demons devoured her spirit.
Incapable of love and affection.
With a hollow chest where her heart should be.

In order to cope with the ‘life’ she was living,
Her mind made up Flynn.
Though they were madly in love; he was a fairytale.
As years went by depression ate her whole.
She died alone, in a pitch black room.
No light seeping in, with nobody to love and hold her.
To tell her everything will be okay,
And keep her heart beating in place.

If a girl dies alone in a tower, where everyone hates her, and no one is around to witness her death: did she actually exist?
The End.
I dedicate this poem to my childhood self. You deserved and deserve better. For all the sunny days people shattered with grey clouds.

I hope this poem means as much to you as it does to me. Don't stop until your reach "The End". I promise you won't regret it. I swear.
Corine Rose
There's a hole under a tree,
The tree is alive and thriving,
I must get in the hole to be like the tree.

I look down,
There's a rabbit underneath.  
Ears down,
Shaking & shivering.

She warns me to stay out,
The tree is a trick.
In a forest of beauty,
We're told to follow suit.

With blazers and button downs,
Copies of experience in hand.
This tree we see is tall and strong,
But we are all tangled at the roots.
Wish I could post a picture with this one.  Drew it while sitting at a desk that I didn't want to sit in no more.
We have families.
People that care for us
They love you and support you through tough times
Some people don’t have these kinds of families.
They’re…different. Dysfunctional, even.
They can hurt you and abuse you in so many different ways…
If you have one of these families.
There are ways to break free.
Even though it may not look like it.
You will find a way to get out.
And people are willing to help you.
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