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I have an old guitar named Gypsy Queen.  Normally this would not be much of a momentous occasion, lots of people name their guitars,but Gypsy is hand made by me.  Many moons ago when my ex wife was pregnant with my only child, a daughter, I took an adult education night class while I was attending college as a day job.  Our instructor had recently taken a trip to Canada to buy wood as he made his living building custom guitars and he had some of the most beautiful birds eye maple I'd ever seen and also some very good spruce for the top of the guitar.  We met at the local high-school's woodshop classroom.  I knew all the power tools there having taken wood shop twice in middle school and again in high-school.  From raw lumber I fashioned her pieces, sides, three piece back, neck, keyboard (made from some exotic ebony my instructor had), and top.  While my wife was patiently waddling about the house I shaped and sanded those pieces on our living room floor.  The interior struts, the binding, and frets for the keyboard had to be created as well.  When I finally got her glued and assembled she was quite a sight, almost perfect in every way, and the quality wood she was made from was so beautiful I had never seen the likes of her before.  Most of the people in the class didn't get that far not having the skills with the tools or the coordination necessary to succeed.  Still she needed to be lacquered and finished.  All told, special tools and accouterments, cost of the wood, glue and sandpaper, plus the frets (nickeled silver), and the grover tuning pegs she cost me about $160.  But almost 500hrs labor went into her creation, whole free weekends spent sanding and shaping.  It was a year or more before I finally got her lacquered and she was so beautiful I could scarce believe I had made her, totally from scratch.  I had even inlaid her mother of pearl keyboard art, god she was a sight.  Both she, and my daughter, are now close to 40 years old, and she still plays like a champ.  Ask any guitarist about guitars they use a lot, see how many survive that long.  She's my prized possession to this day.  Her custom bridge is shaped like a bird (something I've never seen to this day anywhere else) and I'd put her sound up against any expensive Martin made.  Plus she is so much prettier.  She's old and her finish is crackled some but her neck is still true and her action is superb.  Through the years she has brought me so much joy, I'm so glad I took that class.  I hope she survives till I die cause I want to mix her ashes with mine before they get spread around by my friends.  I'll want something to play in the afterlife.
Gypsy Queen my friend who knew I was such a good Luthier.  Beginners Luck!!!!

Dom Bobek
No more order,
I've lost the reins,
losing control,
from all the pains.

External, internal,
it's all the same.
Doesn't matter on whom
you put the blame.

Giving in
to this madness,
'cause it feels
better than sadness.

Anger feels
better than pain.
Even if some
teeth have to rain...

Don't have a reason to live.
But don't have a reason to die.
Plus all these lows
Are making me high.
Sitting alone quietly, and just
wondering where did time go by?
As my heart beats slowly and heavily.
One by one, tearing up inside.

That who I’ve never forgotten
and now who I’ve lost, silently gone.
A pile of my tears, shedding all in one.

In the dark, screaming in pain..
Hearing the sound of pouring rain.
Wiping my eyes, wishing things weren't
this way.

My broken heart willing to be wrapped
in tender care. My heart grieving and
wanting to know.. If you were still there.
i know that i'm worth more than my body
but holy hell
did you see that girl and they way they looked at her
i compared myself to her without giving it a second thought
and suddenly i'm fishing my sweater out of
my bag to cover up my arms and torso
i feel like jupiter compared to mars
i feel like my body parts expanded and i'm gonna be
floating around the room any second now
my father always told me that beauty was all
in the face but now i find myself wondering
if that was just a pretty little lie
Reilly Cole
Some days, I wake up and i just don’t feel pretty. I don’t know what it is, whether its the food the i eat or the drinks that i drink or the things that i do try to enjoy. I get up, and look in the mirror, and i just hate the image staring back at me.

I mean, it isn’t like i think im grotesque, it isn’t like i genuinely believe that i am repulsive, i just cannot get over the fact that, my skin is marred, what once was flawless is now scarred. i cannot see past the blur that i see in my eyes, the haze on my soul.

Some days, i wake up, and i just want to get high, and lie, in the rain instead on lying to myself that everything is how it should be, that destiny and fate have me in just the right position. That i am exactly where i need to be, but i truly do not see where this is going.

I mean, what am i doing? and where am i to go, when i dont see my future laid out like a yellow brick road. I joke about needing sunglasses because my future is that bright, but im blinded by the fact that i truly have no idea, where i am, let alone whats coming next.

Some days, i block out my past, by creating a swirling ball of white nothing, and feed my thoughts, my life, my worst times into the light so i dont have to twitch and cringe as my mistakes flash before my sight. It is difficult to live with such regret, and can i keep going.

I mean, it feels like fire through my brain when some of my best memories are those i have when i am alone. because when i am around others, no matter who they are, i hate what i do, what i have said and what my next move will be.

Some days, i feel like falling into the sun, and burn to a crisp. To see my pale bones char and flash into ashes because i hate who i have become. i want to escape the world, if just for a time, to stop existing but not to die. its a break of sorts from having to think, for all else i see, hear, smell, taste is to much and pushes me to the brink.

Some days, i have to whisper my own sweet nothings, to myself, knowing of course that no one else will. its not that everyone hates me, but i dont know its true, that for want of a companion my lonliness grew. It seems no ones approaches for reasons i do not know, i do my absolute best to make others smile and that seems to channel a raging torrent of, you’re not worth my time.

I mean, i truly despise the opinions of others and loathe that i care what they think. It doesnt make sense that they have so much weight, so much say, in how i view myself. i know its not right, and i know that its wrong, but i cannot stop myself no matter what.

Some days, i am my own person i tell myself, but i know its a lie, im itty bitty pieces of every other guy, and girl. traits and mannerism i admire, ive tried to replicate, a chameleon uncomfortable in their own skin, itching and scratching and doing their “best”.

I mean, its not my best, that i know for truth. what is my best? do i or will i ever know? probably not, for since the beginning of memory ive imitated and copied and imprinted personality parts, i havent been my own person for a very long time.

Some days. I wish it were not so frequent. Some days. I wish for silence. From my Thoughts. From my Feelings. From the boisterous noise that is life. I need to stop and i need to sleep. I just need to know i havent fallen in too deep. There may come a day where i do see the light, when my futures ember bursts into bright white.

But for now i know that tomorrow when i wake, ill look in the mirror and stare and say ‘you know what...today is okay’.
with a soft red top

he stood, face glistening in the spotlight

his character was funny, however

i couldn't bring myself to laugh.

i was in awe.

i, a lowly peasant to his acclaimed king,

was in awe of his greatness.

he leaves the stage, exiting left.

must he go?

he walks past me.

"shit, don't look."

he goes past, turns in my direction

i turn redder than his hair, i move slightly to the left

and in that moment,

every bone in my body said



i miss the rainy days
and the smells of the earth
where i could drive forever
and not feel afraid.

but i am afraid.
that those days are gone
just as the light in my life
and my desire to read.

the sound of strings
and the rain in my ear
will never mean the same;
never to me.

oh, what i wouldn't give
to return to those days
with your smiling face
and the smells of the rain.
you're my little fucky-eyed
Kartikeya Jain
Do not wait
for someone
to offer you
their world.
you have your own.
J Klein
Some poems just don't work for most people. There are lines that exist and people get pissed. Apparently, making light of animal plight crosses those lines.  Still for me, they remain undefined. In truth, lines don't exist. They require contrast of texture, tone, light... or personal taste?  A waste of potential if you ask me. Seriously, though, I enjoyed "Flat Cat."  So that's that.
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
These lips
Walk me in and out of offices
But I can't put into words these feelings
That press up against my belly and chest
Lurch up my throat
They mock me
These bits which refuse to be translated
Spit at my face and kick me into a corner
Until I have no fight left in me
My face encrusted in dry salt
I curl up and close my eyes until they retreat

Where they go I do not know
But when they do, I wipe my face and rise to my feet
I am a warrior
And I will not accept defeat
I am in love with a boy,
That doesn’t mind that I am also a boy.
I am in love with a boy,
That doesn’t mind when I wear dresses,
Or when I have a full face of makeup.
He kisses my tears away.
And when I’m dysphoric
He tells me a million reasons why he loves me.
I am in love with a boy
That is in love with a girl.
He doesn’t mind when I dress masculine,
And ditch my makeup.
He tells me how perfect I am,
And he kisses my worries away.
He uses the right pronouns,
And defends me from ignorant people.
I am in love with a boy
Who loves me for me.
Whether I am a boy or a girl,
Whether I am feminine or masculine,
He loves me for me.
To talk of gentle love and me,
Seems something of an oddity.
Yet to speak of angels as muses sing,
Used to come so naturally.

A somber sonnet of the soul,
Would ease the pain of heartache's toll.
And bring with it some great delight,
Yet now that gift has taken flight.

I cannot find the words once more,
All left behind on battered shores,
Of love and loss and life now gone,
I've lost the strength to carry on.

No words shall leave this shaking hand,
Of light and hope and love once grand.
And soon shall I then fade from view,
As my words have after you.

A broken angel on borrowed wings,
To teach of love and what it brings,
To show there beauty at its best,
And lay a wild heart to rest.

To teach of pain then born of passion,
And mark the soul in subtle fashion,
To linger there in memory,
Forever bathed in agony.

Take this then, my parting gift,
A simple thing which I will miss.
My pen and heart belong to you,
Goodbye my love and gentle muse.
Secret Garden
I've lost the words to convey what I feel.
I've gained the wisdom to see what is real.
I've lost the courage to believe I will heal.
I sing a song to calm my soul.
To forget for a moment all the pain I know.
And I feel myself slowly becoming cold.
So I sing that song to find some peace,
but this throb in my chest will not cease.
Until I am numb, and I'm almost there,
for this pain I endure,
I cannot bear.
im starting to lose the will to fight battles i always lose against evil that always wins
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
Have you ever seen a lion in the jungle?
Or a macaw in Amazonia
Have you seen a crocodile in the swamp?
Or a squirrel in the woods
Maybe you saw a whale in the ocean
Or a grizzly bear in the forest.
Did you notice their emotions, because they feel happy.
They are at home.
Where they feel content,
And that is how I feel when you're around me.
Filled with vigor and joy, never expecting anything to go wrong.
But am I right to feel at home with you?
Are you the one for me?
Perhaps I'm wrong to be happy with you.
But I don't want to be without you 'cause I may never be at home.
In the morning when our last sun comes
I know the death of all is to follow
Because the light it's sheds upon my path
Is one full of my own pathetic sorrow

And the path will be grown over and treacherous
For it has never been traveled by one before
And walking it will take me away from you
A revelation that could shake any lover's core

I will wander far to a life lived in dreams
I'll see a better world beyond my years
But still will I harbor an ache so deep
It will bring me to the brink of vengeful tears

However no farewell will escape these lips
My heart could not take such a goodbye
Because in the morning I'll be escaping old pains
To only meet the pain of not having you at my side
I wrote this when I moved away from then boyfriend. Now fiancé.
Thanks for reading.
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
the moment a poet
falls in love with you

is the moment
you live

f o r e v e r
MG Darwish
They say that upon someone's last wish,
Darkness caresses and prolongs,
Where once was Light, has now gone to waste,
My heart bleeds and for justice longs,

Monsters are shattered by swords,
Look towards the coming dawn,
They say a beast flanks his tail,
As he has your heart gnawed,

None may rise to the challenge,
Few remain of those heroes of old,
Now death stalks the lands,
Yet within darkness it is gone,

So wail and rest your head on my shoulders,
As I now venture into the night,
For without darkness, light cannot be reborn.
I wrote this on a whim, I've been reading lots of vampire myths and legends and came up with this poem.
Julian Revà
Last nigtht I slept with my loneliness
It was better than sleeping all alone
It was better than nothing at all

She didn't leave in the morning
She made a great company
We shared the whole night
              with all her stories

We talk for hours until dawn's coming

Perhaps today I decide to invite her again
to have a coffee with her, go for a walk
Maybe I'm starting to fall in love of her
I can barely know what's on my head
so I can't tell what's on my heart

Maybe I'm start loving my own loneliness
and I find that kinda pretty sad
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.
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
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.
flipping pennies
into wishing wells
i still hope
for you

I didn’t expect the first kiss
ambush set full on the lips
with a tongue that filled the void
the sum result was heaven above

fireworks flash high in the sky
only seen by those involved
pyrotechnics invite much more
opening volley in lust’s salvo

a simple touch was enough
caress of flesh so very soft
brush of lips has provoked
the unexpected now welcome

this modest act rocked my world
shifted ground once set firm
tremors felt deep in my soul
this convulsion before the storm.

© 2018. Sean Green. All Rights Reserved. 20180224.
A dream about an expected kiss inspired me to write the poem “Before the Storm”.   I can count on one hand how many kisses I’ve had like this.  Their power cannot be underestimated.
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.

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.
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
you shot in the heart
with four simple words,

"i don't love you"

you tried fix it with a "sorry"

but that was like putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.
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?
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.
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.
Ken Rafiñan
Ceramic crashes clash with the quiet night air.

A thunk and a thump—
cold doors opened,
then closed once more.

You could hear the frost his as it creeps along—
seeking another warm convert for its cool cult.

Spoons, forks, and knives tinkle:
creating stainless music that draws light form the darkest corners of the room.

Plastic wraps crinkle their already wrinkled faces
and cough up pairs of slices.

Bread offers itself demurely to layers of spreads
and dashes of sauces.

Breathing becomes a meditative mantra,
and before long once-idle fingers birth a sandwich.

Its crust is cut and contemplated with wistful whisper,
and then composted.

Some mouthfuls of pinot are decanted
onto sculpted crystal castles whose rivers run red.

These artefacts of plate and goblet,
of cup and chalice,
and of hand and utensil are offered
to entropy in stories of sensation,
in texture,
and between feeling.
I hate this moment
I am dead inside

God I never known
You are brutal enough

To hurt the purest innocent hearts
What sin I did ??
How can you hurt me this much ??
Hi De
I keep wondering,
When will you hear my voice?
If the heart could whisper...
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.
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