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 1418° 
Nat Lipstadt
~for Lori Jones McCaffery~

Lori Jones McCaffery commenting on
“a new time (poetry in the time of pandemic)”^
“Tender and brutal at the same time. Like the times.”*

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your observation, a commission, opens an incision,
bleeding out a Noah flood vision:

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when we begin, to compare and contrast the movable tender and the unstoppable brutal, the poetry must rise to equalize the pressure of unbalanced times, the tender, and the brutal in an uneasy peaceful coexistence, at the same time, same place
                                                           ­     
                              
                              
                            
The Brutal                                              The Tender
—————                                             —————
life in the epicenter, the greatest,       in the darkened bedroom,
noisiest city, now landscape               she awakens, her hand quick
painting quiet,                                      comes to rest on my chest,
one lives/writes/eyesights thru       the quality of motion+volume
pink mask + a minimum six              of heartbeats, is it loud enough,
feet of separation,                                steady on, no need to dial 911!
a citified tableau of macro wave       she unaware that I can hear
forces in crashing collision, upon     her loud, tender exhalation
your skin’s cells                                   celebrating surviving day#?

newspaper images of Death’s            many volunteer, food delivery,
ministers applauding the newly        though I am asymptomatic
arrived mobile morgues, for 100        my request tenderly, firmly
died yesterday,                                      denied, for I meet too many
their brutal death rattles                      of the vulnerable criteria,
overwhelmed  the super-surround.   instead, offering food to me,
sound silences of                                   to deliver to me, to deliver me,
brutal emptiness of millions of           tenderly I say, no thanks,
sacrificial                                             ­    my tour of duty, almost done
                              
                                all of us isolate lambs, in day jailed,
                                for we still breathing the maybe tainted,                
                                oxygen molecules of no safe surety      

a consummate perfection,                    the same, taming words I tell  
the holy quietus of                                 my son, young father,
those no longer breathing,                   tender me necessary tasks that
they now rest up above,                        require outside journeys, say I
hid in a white cumulus                         send me into the red hot areas
cloud cover, a noise suppressing         insert me into the front line,
sky coverlet, moving across a               militarized zones, he replies,
bright blue pure background,              ”you’re too old, part and
a train of funeral caissons,                     parcel of the most vulnerable,
brutal noisy hooves clacking             better-write-you tender-poems”

daily, hourly, the statistical alerts,         why so hard, to write tender
brief résumés delivered,                         so easy of the brutal, their
drumbeating, look now!                         curses so readily supplied,
are you up to date?                                  is tenderness short supplied?

catalog the debris, organized with brutal necessary efficacy, quantify, qualify the costs, include even the tender ineffable, countdown and graph the brutal calculus of the curve infection, and you, numbed, past the point of eyes capable of what once was tender droplet tearing

highlight the unknown faraway, the tender hope of a distant apex inflection, while plotting the second derivative, the rate of change of the rate of a brutal yet trending upward *****, the ascending all-inclusive stat, infected, the rate of change of decedents, downed, descending, giving in...gowned in hospital blue, for the funeral pyre

a city of lines, crosswalks, velvet ropes, unused, unemployed, social separators, no one about to need to separate, anymore, only the living and the dead, both staying indoors, so neither in attendance, at the empty funeral services, everybody is on the out list...

the now newly indistinguishable, the irresistible collision of two one-sides polarizing poles of no longer opposites, the tender and the brutal in a single embrace, but no, not kissing, embargoed, as we are stationed from above, far, high up on the watchtower observatory, observing the contrast dye that flies so fast on people denuded grand boulevards, down narrow hospital hallways, body-lined decorated, tales of millions of lives isolatized, and don’t forget the brutalizing discovery of scores of elderly, dying alone, withering in the dark, counted, lumped in to the category of statistically irrelevant, if dead, who cares, matters not now, in the afterworld no one asks how,
                        in a fashion both tenderly and brutal,
                        what was the actual cause?
 598° 
Ruby Nemo
i'll quit you someday,
like the light of a last cigarette
like the stop of the high before it hits
i will give up what i've given to you
you're no longer special to me,
not special like a drink today
i'll lose you if love hits too hard
to me you can matter no more
so like an old record,
that I need no more,
i'll offer you up
i'll walk out the door
because you're just another thing
I'm going to have to give up
april 2020
 286° 
lisa
To love you now means to love you from distance
My eyes swelling,
Heart desolate and longing
For the sound of your voice,
Warmth of your embrace

In the midst of despairing days,
Dreary nights
And sorrowful worries
Here, I love you from afar

In loving you there is no tomorrow;
Only today
If the world crushes on a beam of light in this moment,
Will I ever see you again?
 196° 
Satsih Verma
Come inside
me and explore god of
fire burning the world.

A miracle was
not the answer. The pathless
trek ends in water.

To live or not
to live like light
in eyes of moon.
 184° 
The Foody One
What am I?
I do not know;
This thing inside
is beating, though.
 170° 
michaela
I cannot compose brilliant poems, sonnets, or verses,

and I cannot speak to you in Latin or Greek;

I cannot move you with any language made up by man.

Love is the only only language I could touch you with

If you only knew how much I could love you.

If you knew I love you;

If I were brave enough to tell you at all.
 158° 
Timothy
The buildings are square
Lost is the taste
Profits are calling
Often built in haste
What an insult to the past
In this beautiful space
Opportunity to inspire
But more than likely a waste
City thoughts
 104° 
Marissa
A poem a day
Might convince my happiness to stay
I know it’s right within my grasp
If only I could secure the clasp

A song a day
Might teach me where I belong
I know the melodies aren’t far away
Because my happiness is here to stay
You have the power to allow yourself to experience happiness.
 100° 
Tapiwa Mesah
A flower blossoms
In the midst of muddy swamps
It stands around the algae,
The petals smile even at the bees.

The grin of the little seeds
That the wind blows effortlessly,
Is sprayed to places and places
And preaches love and nothing else.
Break my bones;
cut my throat.
Pull me open,
learn the ropes.

Breath me in;
taste the fear.
Shank my skin;
stand and cheer.

Kick my head;
let me bleed.
Unbolt my veins;
enjoy the read.

Gouge my eyes;
punch my face.
Wrap me up
in your embrace.
Get to know me like I do you; inside and out.
 93° 
Ammar Younas
Night sits on my chest
Squeezes poems out of me
And grinds my poor soul
 91° 
Heather
Rush towards me, arms open
I will catch only you
If you catch me too
 90° 
Aryan Sam
Hi
Years ago
We stayed up till
3 am talking,
And today
I don’t even know
How to say hi,
 89° 
Samantha
Noting changes.
Nothing grows.

Empty highs.
Empty lows.

I can't feel the warm,
And I can't feel the cold.

You try to make me happy,
And I try just for you.
But other than our trying,
Nothing else is new.

I worry I'll upset you,
If I can't make a change.
It's not fair of me,
To make you stay the same.
Don't let me drag you down with me.
 79° 
julianna
Monsters don’t exist
Still, we are very afraid
Because we made them
Monsters. A concept so often used to represent anything dislikable to society, which we are afraid of. Yet literal monsters don’t exist.
 78° 
Tess
I never thought I'd matter
To anyone

Until you
Came along

And changed my perspective
Of the universe

You made me feel
Like I matter

And I'm grateful
For you.
 77° 
Regan Wylde
I’m so tired, exhausted in fact.
Tired of waiting.
Tired of feeling.
Tired of believing.

I wish I could sleep through it all.
Dream through the hurt.
Dream through the time.
Dream through the numbness.

But I can’t sleep.
Even if I could, I’d still be tired of living.
Just a quick message, I’m unsure to who is disliking all the comments of this poem but I can assure you I like every comment, thank you all for such kind words and constructive criticism. #ignorethehate ❤️
 75° 
Mrs Anybody
is it just me
or does
everything at night
seem more intensive?

the music
hits your feelings
way harder

the thoughts
scream louder
in your head

the world
is almost
completely silent


the world
seems just so
much purer
also check out my other poems!  :)
 72° 
Woody
You know
I don’t know
if I’m just tired
of it all
or getting old
or both
my ribs feel
like a prison
for these feelings
I’m feeling
and sleep
is a hangman
who ties
a black cloth
over my eyes
so quiet and soft
like around about
midnight.
 71° 
David Lessard
I used to read your poems
but lately you don't write
you're silent and aloof
you know that isn't right.
You can't close a door once opened
you can't abolish all your dreams
you're a poet of the heart
mustn't fall apart at the seams.
Say what you can in words
they speak the message true
spoken from the heart
the poems will see you through.
A hermit's not your style
a recluse, you are not
never give up writing
of things that you've been taught.
I used to read your poems
I'd read them once again
if you would send them out
(this one's from a poet friend)
 71° 
ethan gaskill
i keep waking up
with you on my lips
but it's only your name
and not your kiss
screaming your name at night in my sleep
 67° 
misha
your name is
forbidden in
my mouth
or in my heart
because when
i think about
you;

i'll cry a little more,
hurt a little stronger
love a little softer
because you no longer
make me feel sober

i'm drunk on the
memory of you
if only i could chase you with pizza but shots don't work like that
 63° 
Maja
Save me if you must.
Love me if you dare.
Turn me into dust.
Leave me if you care.
A short poem about something.
What is still not certain. But then again, is anything?
I am aware my love
that in today's situation
we must distance ourselves
away from the world
But never from ours

You may not be the first one I see
every morning
but I always remember
Your fingers through my coffee mug handle
and your lips
Hi boo
 59° 
Felicity Paris
I wave to my reflection and
She waves back;
I cry and my shadow
Consoles me
Tonight we fell
asleep
with our legs
wrapped
around each other;
we
didn't toss and
turn
in bed all
night.
 56° 
Jason James
You were a good friend
To my *****
But you were cruel to my heart.

He misses you
But I don't.
 54° 
parker
mom
stop it
just stop
please stop talking
i'm tired of talking about this
i'm tired of your excuses
listen to me
listen to me
stop talking
stop talking please
i'm trying so hard
please
stop
talking
why won't you ever listen to me
you push me this far
you push me so far
you push me
you put me here
and you can't take it back
 52° 
Ara
I spilled some blood on the bathroom floor, mama,
But I swear it was an accident.
See, my hand slipped across porcelain, mama;
My skin tore like satin.

The paint flowed like a river then, mama,
And colored me a crimson sunset.
Oh, but it made such a mess, mama,
And I know messes make you upset.

So close your eyes, mama,
'Cause you're weeping red and the tears might stain.
Red for your lost love and red for scarlet fire,
and red for the young rose cut from the briar.

Maybe now I could be poetry, mama
The type you wrote about in your younger days.
Golden sun swallowed in carmine, mama
With its last rays dying in a blaze.
Trigger warning: self harm/suicide implied.
Copyright © 2019 Aranza V. Soto Torres. All rights reserved.
 49° 
Samantha Cunha
stars dizzy my
melting mind as
the ground fails
to tether me
to the earth

Half in the earth
half in the ethers
never quite
here nor there
nor anywhere
 49° 
Heather
Schrodinger and I are good friends
We have tea
Quite frequently
 48° 
Sunstrike
When butterflies fall in love, do they feel humans in their stomach?
 48° 
Classy J
You can put on your best face,
You can put on your best smile,
You can laugh really hard,
You can tell jokes all day long,
But yet still be broken inside.
But yet still feel lonely.
But yet still be feeling depression.

You can put on all the make up you want.
But unable to fully cover up all the scars or bruises.
You can climb the highest mountains,
Yet your soul can still be trapped in the valley.

The say fake it till you make it.
But you can fake it all your life and never make it.
You can look like your blessed,
Yet feel miserable and cursed.

Never judge books by their covers.
 45° 
Zhanara
I am an artist
I draw my life.
I am a teacher
I teach my steps.
I am a doctor
I treat my destiny.
I am a lawyer
I judge my actions.
I am a builder
I build my success.
I am a translator
I translate my opinion.
I am a  photographer
I take  my memories.
I am a writer
I write my future.
I am a chef
I cook my mood.
I am a businesswoman
I manage myself.
18/11/2018
 45° 
Micah G
Why
Can I give a girl anything  
Except what she wants
 43° 
Z
i'll always remember
your last goodbye.

and i'll always love you,
after all this time.
 43° 
Marsha
to me,
you are
an art

                              to you,
                              I was
                              a tragedy
you still remain, and will always be
a fine piece of art
to me.
// edit: thank you for having this in the daily. ♡
 41° 
Aasiyah
breathing alive
seeing through different windows

all of them
i could die
looking at the reflection
and the height
of the fall
makes me feel
like im not tall

in a world
im so small
im nothing at all

taking my breaths
feels like my life is death
oh no
oh no
irony has filled my head

im not dead
im not dead
i still do all these things
but now i am desperate
i want my wings
 40° 
Shiny
So what?
If you don't like me
I like myself just alright,
Just alright to go on.

So what?
If you turn me down
I will go on living,
Writing more stories.

I just wanna be more.
I wanna live a little more.
I wanna explore a bit more.
I'll love myself a little more
To make it all fine for me.
 39° 
Felicity Paris
I will say
I do not love you
until my mouth forgets your taste

I will write
I do not love you
until my fingers forget
how your hands feel, wrapped in mine
and my poems no longer
reek of sadness and desperation

I will believe
I do not love you
until it becomes impossible
or until I begin
to love someone new
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