Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
AJ Feb 2014
You cut my chest
With a scalpel
And remove my heart.

I let the blood cover
Your sober hands
That never touch
Such impurities.

I let you watch
As I slowly drift
Into a loveless death.

And as I watch
Your uncaring glance
Turn into a frown
Of sorrow
I still believe
There's hope in the world.
AJ Jul 2016
Oh I wish she could see
All the days we'd never be
Falling forward in one place
I could always see her face.

When I was younger and tame
My heart always felt the same
But I grew older and so did she
A simple thought I'd never let be.

When the leaves all bloomed for spring
I caught the wind beneath my wings
The river flowed and the seas turned
The daylight crashed and the moonlight burned.

Cigarettes don't always burn
Even in the flame they're spurned
All these days in greying light
Can't keep the ashes out of my mind.

Abandoned mansions where we lived
Parks and meadows where we'd been.
I can't wake up without a care
At least in dreams she was always there.

But I can't help but wonder
If we're going under
Is this all we have to give?
Sell our souls with hidden sin?
AJ Feb 2016
Stepping through a green-lit desert,
A flowery meadow, that stretches beyond
My sight. I can no longer view the oasis
Behind me, which harbored clear water
And treats for life. The gleaming sunshine
Of this endless day is only lost by the green stalks
And vines that carry on, that fall slowly into the night
Beyond which there is something I know not of.

This meadow holds crimson rosebushes with prickly thorns
Whose roots creep along the soil like nascent trees
In bloom. The washed peonies sway like figures
Entranced by the sweet harmonies of distant sirens.
These songs lie beyond the horizon,  
Over the moon and stars where this meadow
Curls into darkness.

I’ve spent years wandering this moving wasteland,
Using the sparse rains as drink and plants as food.
I sometimes sat to smell the scent of the flowers
And grass, but the meadow’s call always beckoned me forth,
And I always had to listen, for I have known of little else
Than to walk.

I have sometimes cried, wondering why the meadow
Is so cruel, asking why it hasn’t revealed to me
Why I must traverse its soil to a dusk so far ahead.
I have often shouted, screamed when it remained silent
As I begged for an answer or sign which I hoped
Lay in the way the sun rose into the air
And cast its red glow upon the world, or in the way
The stars came out and twirled when the days burned
Out like matches. But the meadow has always
Been this way.

I’ve stepped through my thoughts for longer than memory
Can reel, before the meadow taught me how to crawl.
But sometimes the meadow has let me live in picturesque moments,
In ephemeral timeslots that can only be seen in dreams;
The sun and moon and stars fly high at once and shine
With an iridescent glow that draws out music from
The swaying roses. It’s in these moments that the journey
Has been lost to evanescence and has become married to hope,
To a love of visceral offerings that the meadow has afforded me.

The meadow has showed me in dreams where this journey ends,
Where the flowers and soil fall off and leave behind
Only their transient scents and silky touches, where everything
Becomes impossible to see. The meadow
Has not yet told me what lies beyond that point,
But it has promised me that nobody can know,
Because the dusk, the quiet that lies in front of it
Cannot be heard, and never will.

I’m somewhere stuck in a memory not yet made,
Tumbling along in old age. My skin has started to sag,
My hair has taken on a platinum hue, And my back
Hunches over in an arc, curved and bent like a flimsy twig.
The meadow has tried to comfort me by sprouting
Thicker grasses upon which I can close my eyes
And drift away, but sleep has become only a short respite
From a long life of trudging toward this promised finish.
I know not how many more steps I will take before
I arrive, but in the meantime, the flowers
Will keep me company while the march toward
The night that lies ahead continues on.
AJ Aug 2016
I can feel my heart beat
In my eyes, pacing quick.
My chest, oh how it stings,
And how bitter it seems to me
To stare at the stars above
Knowing I haven’t spoken to them
In far too long a time.

City lights flare in the distance
As I lie in this swaying chair.
Its reflection burns gold
In the windows to my petrified
Spirit, somewhere deep
In the shaking of my hands.

Music sounds too sweet;
Too sweet not to be loved
Like a blood moon floating
In the corner of night’s space.
Only I can hear it,
As I’ve been told time and time again.

If only I could see the sun once more,
Or touch it from afar,
I’d greet it with a frown,
Not one of pain but one filled
With reminiscence of time gone,
Of years that haven’t yet come to pass.

A broken man I lay,
A dying man I become.
The mountains call me away
As does the blowing wind,
Pleading for another moment’s breath.
AJ Jan 2016
I love you,
My eyes scream,
But you only hear
When I am glaring
At the gashes and cracks
Deep in my chest.
AJ May 2016
I dreamt about us the other day
In days of green down at the bay
I saw you
And I missed you

I dreamt of night looking at the stars
While hummingbirds wept away their scars
You smiled at me
And I whisked you

I dreamt about us the other day
In days of red above our heads
And the sky poured with silky rays
While you laughed along
To the silent songs
I whispered

I saw you
And I missed you
You smiled at me
And I whisked you
AJ Feb 2016
I want you
To see my heart
Sing for you
And watch it pound
When I ride
The green seas
Floating in your eyes.
Because every time
I go to sleep
I dream endlessly
Of you and I.
AJ Jul 2017
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
AJ Jul 2016
Some days she looks at me
And bears a smile that shines like light
Other days she looks away
Forgets I loved her at first sight.

I promised her I'd never leave
Unless she told me twice
And now she's told me three times
With that distant look in her eyes.

Beauty hurts and beauty maims
And memories never fade
I look out the window, watch the sky
Fill up and pour with rain
But I can't leave
She's stuck in mind
Some days she stays
And life passes by
And nothing stings worse
Than crawling back.

She told me that she'd never love
Someone as good as me
'Cause good men tore her heart apart
In these cold, dark city streets.

But pain can't last forever
And neither can father time
So take a chance or two or more
And life won't pass us by.

Beauty hurts and beauty maims
And memories never fade
I look out the window, watch the sky
Fill up and pour with rain
But I can't leave
She's stuck in mind
Some days she stays
And life passes by
And nothing stings worse
Than crawling back.
AJ Mar 2016
Bright lights and
Red suns
Sitting still
Cold night outside

Impossible to sleep
Unable to see
Think about nothing
That's something nonetheless
Laugh violently
Cry shamelessly
Miss and see again
Promise to escape this cage

Let me go
The windows say
Let the wind
Screech through the cracks
Fill your soul
Then leave
You alone

Hard to hear sound
When all that reigns
Is silence flowing in voices
That can’t fix
What's left
Of a broken soul.
AJ Jul 2015
Glowing orbs
Of incandescent light
That gleam like star-struck eyes
In the waking, placid night
These cities below me
Sit quiet, asleep
As far as the eye can see.
Their hushed cries
Of encapsulated innocence
Are all but unheard so high above,
And their mature, conflicting bellows
Are all but forgotten
In the midst of the dark,
Undefined horizon.
But look beyond their seeming insignificance,
Their appeared impotence,
And you'll see the light
That seems to never die
Despite the arising fatigue within their
Moonlit streets
And tall, shrouded buildings.
Look beyond their flawed structures,
Graffiti-stained walls, and you'll see
They're made,
Just as we are,
Of undying light,
That seems to shine best
When darkness clouds the sky.
AJ Aug 2015
Friendly faces
Soft, silky voices
Unlike the punk music
That reverberates overhead,
In this tiny, unlikely coffee shop
That doesn't smell like coffee,
But of small, carefully baked pastries
That sit lonely on a windowsill,
Not likely to see the rabid blue sky
Or the tall, elegant façades
Of buildings constructed from the ground up.
And how lonely they must be,
Just like the people behind the counter,
Who long to feel the beating heat
Of the forthcoming sunlight
Or the sense of freedom earned
Just by walking these quiet city streets
Dominated only by a love for adventure
Or a love for all things immaterial.
AJ Jan 2017
Toes are sheets of
the cold
creeps under

Hands have rolled
the dice
the night creeps onward

No dirt along this path
no rising

no skin in red light
over this
frozen hearth

Every way to pick apart
the skin atop
my head

I've bled within the dark
to sleep
on feather beds

come away with me

come closer

come away with me

come closer
AJ Oct 2015
The wind may blow by,
And the years may cry,
And the sands of time
May trickle past us,
Leave us for dead,
But I'll stay here
With you, at the edge
Of the world,
For you to grab onto
When the flood of God
Razes the land, strikes
The swelling waters and
Washes away the
Ruins of our times.

The words may ebb on,
And the tears may flow,
And the grains of our souls
May tumble across
Uncharted seas,
Sink to the ocean floor,
But I'll be waiting
For you, across the
Parted sea of my woes,
With open arms,
Ready to greet the
Void of night that
Flows to the beat of my heart.

The cries may ring out
And the regrets
May roll along,
And the fires in our chests
May turn to smoldering ash,
Turn us to bitter dust,
But I'll be sitting silently
For the day you'll come to me,
For the hour you'll arrive
To pacify the rising tides
Of unfathomable weakness,
Of insatiable lust.

The days may trudge on,
And the sun may go down,
And the transient moments
May limp along like
Wounded stars in the night sky,
But come what may,
And come what will,
I'll be here, by your side,
Holding onto you
Until the end-times arrive.
AJ Jan 2017
The sunshine beats down
******* your
Rough skin
You told yourself
To give up
Blood and sin

Down you said
You'd try to ****
The pain
After all the times you said
You'd find
Your way

Times like these
They never seem
To stick
Wash off all the tears
You tried so hard
To flick

You never thought
You'd ever be
This sick
What'll you say now
When the strings are cut
Too quick

After all there's
Nothing else left
To be said
Let the water rush
Over your sunken
AJ Oct 2016
Her hair reminded me of electric trees
Vibrating in waves of soundless lightning

Her teeth were suns that blinded the moon

Each word she twiddled on her tongue
Reminded me of the day she whispered to the forest

That she would trudge along alone

I find myself a fool for wasting light
Living in the shadow

Of her purple flame

When the dust of her old hums finally fade
And the music she brought spins scratches into stone

I’ll ask to where she twirled her head

To find herself in those smoldering orange eyes
She spun away on a silent gray morning

To lug her fire back home
AJ Sep 2015
Chaotic words, chaotic thoughts,
Bombastic ideas and pensive deliberations
That float, even fly like volcanic ash,
Pounded out of the molten Earth as if
God were hitting the crust with a hammer,
And the masses of ash and dust cloud the sky,
Streaming like red and black chalk
Across the asphalt of uncharted thoughts.

And they rain, rain down
Like a tempestuous conflagration,
Beating upon the earth like mallets on drums,
Vibrating ever-so tenuously in the ears,
But resonating with verve somewhere within,
And then it stops,
Never to be heard or seen again.

And in its place are the bright rays of the sun,
Shooting light like a harpoon toward the ground,
Digging into the supple soil with a medley
Of confusion and anger,
Of apprehension and isolation,
And they burn caustically,
Warm the body as if they were pockets of magma,
Sliding across the flesh
And trickling into the pores, digging down
Into the heart, shaking it, squeezing it, weeping atop it.

And then the night comes on
As the sun retreats below the horizon,
And it brings with it the complacent lights
Of the stars high above,
That glow gently atop our brows and
Reflect dully off our shirts,
Dotting us with the paint-like
Stains of the unbridled release
Of laughter and intimacy,
Of love and vivacity.

And the placid night lights,
They seem to **** up all the heat,
Seem to save it from its vice,
And they dispel it into the great beyond,
Into the great unknown that stares down on the Earth
And renders it quiet and inhospitable.

Yet for some reason,
For some ungodly or unholy reason,
This night brings peace,
Even if dangers lurk somewhere in the dark.
AJ Sep 2015
I am the liquefying touch
Of boundless intrigue,
The thin coating
Over the map of anthropogenic
Wisdom, the thick seas
Dividing lands and soil,
The clear droplets
That slide down windows,
Burst with energy,
Coagulate with brotherhood.

I divide people,
I join masses,
I scorch the Earth
And I flood its plains,
I drink the verve
Of fallen comrades,
Expiate the sorrows
Swollen with God's irate shouts
And I shake the Earth's core,
Pour my brethren upon
Boundless grasslands and plains.

I am ambivalent emotion
Sprung from fountains
Of unobtainable youth,
Spry and fresh like grateful pride,
I am light in darkness,
Confounding isolation,
Unbearable dissociation,
Conceivable admiration,
But most of all,
And this rings true,
I am life itself
And I stick to everything
Around me and you.
AJ Jun 2017
You've forgotten why you lost contact with your closest friend but you haven’t forgotten the days you invited him over to play video games and instead conducted two-man airsoft skirmishes in the forest behind your house

nor have you forgotten the short films you created, in which you portrayed a murderous Bosnian chef who cooked toxic meals, and he played the fourth-wall-breaking cameraman who hurled plastic bananas at your head as you ran through your unscripted spiel.

You still can't forget the weekends you’d bike to his house to point and cackle at comedy television, nor the nighttime drives during which you two would talk about where you wished to be in ten years: he in a log cabin nestled in a Finnish forest, you somewhere in France.

The younger you believed you’d grow alongside him and build those dreams.

Now you hope you’ll one day find him sweeping through the Finnish glades and he’ll ask you to walk with him.
AJ Jul 2016
Granite washed in gray day's light
From fresh yellow hills to shrouded night
The wings of an angel stretch far and high
Atop each, a bird has time to bide.

Greens of white and black and blue
Keep still in the winds which sing so true
Plump summer leaves fall out of air
And tumble onto a fox's silky hair.

A lute strikes hidden melodies
Like hummingbirds sing, mellow and free
In a castle made of washed gray stone
A king yearns for his long-lost home.

Fountains of youth spout looking glasses
Into which priests shout to the masses
Words of love and hypocrisy
That cage sick cherubs who've never once dreamed.

Pillars of stone and lush green patches
And cigarettes lit by inch-long matches
Time bends far and tastes so sweet
For those who plant enough trees to sleep.

A tall green tower climbs over mountains
A prince's curse it gladly renounces
Around it, houses broken and bent
By war-torn rebels who won't repent.

Gardens never seemed so small
When charlatans crowd their purple halls
And somewhere far, an ancient says,
This would never pass unnoticed were I not dead.

Cities of tombs and streets without light
Fall slowly into an unsavory night
Moss grows swiftly on age-old tombs
While sirens sing immortal tunes.
AJ Feb 2017
The house was big,
Too big for a divorced family of four.
It had sickly, pale yellow siding
With cracking paint and a long archway
That led to a round, asphalt-covered

Most days the trees
That rolled out into the little valley
Alongside it were barren and spiny,
And you could see through them, all
The way to the quiet road that cut
Through the growing houses

If you were lucky, you would have seen
A few kids shooting airsoft guns,
Running through the fallen leaves,
Leaping atop all the muddy mounds of dirt
Next to the creek, but they
Have lost contact

If you were to climb up the little green hill
That rose just next to the mouth
Of the house’s driveway,
Cresting along the edge of the cul-de-sac,
You would see a greenhouse,
Brown, with splotches of dirt
On the windows.

If you opened its flimsy door,
Which was usually locked,
You would see all the uncut tomato plants,
All the sage and spices,
And you would probably wonder
Why they were not harvested

But the people who owned it
Usually bought their groceries
Rather than grew them.
AJ Nov 2015
He sits at the end
Of this long hallway
Strumming the strings
On his sun-kissed guitar,
Gliding his fingertips over
The neck and humming
Tunes only heard in
Dreams dreamt by angels.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Absorbing the words
He wails, letting the pangs
Of his impossible love
Fade away with each
Stroke of the chords
That reverberate off
The walls and crash
Like waves onto a shore
Of crimson-red sand.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Eyes shut over his thoughts,
Waiting for her to sit
Across from him and sing
Along, show him how to soar
With the clouds that line
The night sky spilling
In from the transparent walls
That surround his heart.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Cheeks glistening with
Unholy water that
Burns the cuts above his lips
And rappels from his chin
Onto his sliding fingers.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Becoming the vibrations
That lie within the sound,
That sleep within the hymns
He cries so that she
May hear, understand that
Music can't be made without
Something to bleed onto.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Head shaking over his
Guitar, hoping that the sound
Will spin her into his tired arms.

But the songs won't ring
Loud enough to tell him
Why dreams are forgotten
When the music fades away.
AJ Jul 2018
Came and left
gone and dead
give me life
upon this hearth
I cry

Give me chance
give me death
I’m just a poor man
looking for my life
to save

All my days
I’ve tried
to validate
my own existence
so the pain would
steer away
into the ocean
so blue and everclear
don’t tell me I’m saved
save myself in the meantime

Free my head
free my heart
free my hand from this
bloodstream rolling and collating
down my sideburns so
hot hot hot
burn burn


Knocking behind my eyelids
like magma underground
but hell is a place above ground
AJ Oct 2015
The hum of a wistful soul reverberates
Like a voice full of fading
Memories and forbidden times,
Set upon the backdrop of this
Familiar building that’s been
Reclaimed, stolen and scuffed
By the rage of change like a solemn
Plea from God that begs not to be

Leaves of orange atop its roof,
Spindles of spider’s silk scaling
Its dents and cracks that have
Been painted, glossed over to
Hide from the sky what I took
From it, to shield from
The world what it gave
To me, to block from view how
It's aged with me, to
Cast away how it stood by me
And my swollen red eyes, beside
My ****** shins and stinging wet
Tears, next to my little arms
And glistening pupils that now have
Broken the once-kept promise
That I’d stay with it forever.

I remember the sunny spring days,
Lying upon the bright green grass
Littered with transparent droplets
Of rain, the pitch-black nights lined with
Glistening stars above the roof littered
With mahogany-brown shingles, the
Peace-laden ecstasy of nothing
Happening, the sky weeping, the
Sweet scent of flowers and fresh
Leaves fluttering across the clear
Blue sky reflected in the white-washed
Windows, and the crimson rose buds
That, for some reason, wanted
To keep wilting.

The sun now reflects brightly off
The blood-red doorframe and illuminates
The lively yellow walls painted corpse
Gray, brightens the unwashed greenhouse
Filled with brown, forgotten plants I used
To water, makes incandescent the
Rusty bicycles that sit within the
Musty white garage that was once
Where I stored my water guns
And leather baseball mitts
And aspirations I swore I wouldn’t

Now the booming of metal hammers
Echoes toward the thick forest behind its
Ivy-green fence, and the bark soaks up
The sound like a love-deprived
Black hole yearning for purpose,
Begging to be filled by something
Other than the ever-present stains of
Pollen and neglect adorning the face
Of the ink-stained shutters.

I often wonder if time can be turned
Back, if grandfather clocks can swing
Their gleaming silver pendulums
Toward what’s gone, wonder if I can
See once again my mitten-clad hands
Gliding across the snow-kissed
Backyard, beside the pockmarked trees
That have since collapsed and
Crawled toward the ground and broken
Into the soil, and I often wonder if,
Just once more, I can see my tiny
Footprints atop the sun-drenched patio,
And that I’ll be able to say,

This home was, is, will be my resting place,
Shielded by the trees so high above . . .
AJ Oct 2015
I drink the fire, let its
Freezing burn slide down
My throat, feel it sting
My open wounds and
Cloud the pathways to
My heart, feel its ineffable
Rage sizzle against the
Backdrop of unsaid woes and
Unwarranted apologies.

I drink the fire
To sacrifice my maddening
Remembrances, to
Focus on the pain in
My throat instead of the
Smoldering in my chest,
To sterilize the *****
Palms of God that can't
Pacify the raging tides
Above my cheeks, to
Cauterize the raw
Wounds that bleed tears
Onto the blackened
Soil of uncertainty.

I drink the fire
To feel sensation, to
Feel something other
Than the colossal
Void, to feel something
Other than the dull
Pangs of your broken
Words, to feel something
That washes away the
Fragile memories I keep, to
Feel the flames ***** at
My skin and blow black
Smoke out of my eyes,
To feel something other
Than the reluctance of
Dragging weeping Pegasi
Across the ground like
Caged birds begging
To be freed.

I drink the fire,
Hoping that you'll
Remember me while
I forget you, hoping
That you'll touch my
Scalded face and
Bleeding lips,
Hoping that you'll
Twist your hands in a
Knot to restrain your
Uneasy urges,
Hoping that you'll
Remember my countenance
As I turn to dusty ash
That twirls like a
Tornado barreling into
The darkened past.

I drink the fire
To forget why I
Fell so hard, sip it
To forget why I
Tumbled like a fool
Over your shattered
Promises, gulp it
To forget that you're
Forever stuck in my
Heaving breath,
Down it to forget
The unbearable fact
That I still love you,
And that I adore
The pain even more.
AJ May 2015
I fear that when I die, I’ll forget who I am.

I fear that all of my memories will wash away

And never return; that they’ll be left to die

In the midst of space, that they’ll drift to another world.

I fear that I’ll forget that I loved people

As much as I loved the world

That I loved watching sunsets

More than I loved sleeping

That I loved to think with words

More than I loved to think with images.

I fear that I’ll forget my loving parents

Who loved me for my what I’d become

I fear that I’ll forget my siblings

Who loved me for what I’d done

I fear that I’ll forget my friends

Who loved me for what I’d loved

And I fear that I’ll forget how to breathe,

For it reminded me I'm only human.

I fear that I’ll forget my life

And that time will swallow me whole

That it’ll bare its glass-edged teeth

And bite down on my soul

I fear I’ll bleed profusely,

But that my blood will be black

I fear I’ll reach out longingly

As my mind will shed its light.

That I’ll become a paragon of nothing,

That I won’t be able to stay.

But everyone must die, that’s true,

It’s the one thing we all see.

Though people can’t come to terms with it,

It’s an inevitable end for all.

But don’t focus on death, no,

For you’ll surely lose your way.

Instead, focus on making more memories

Because they’ll save you from the gray.
AJ Jul 2016
I know why God is there
When nights blow cool wind
Onto the stringy hair of paupers
And on streetlights along purple roads.

When eyes are dimly lit
By the moonlight’s grace
Under a sky full of magnetic tears,
There is God, and he’s there
To deal out soap bars
And washcloths
To ***** cheeks
So that, for once, dust can go
Back to dust
Without leaving behind bodies
For wolves to feed on.

I know why God is there
When the hungry lie down to die,
When the restless beg for sleep,
When murderers beg for forgiveness,
When beggars dip their hands
Into pools of holy water
On sidewalks of sleepless cities.

I know why God is there,
And the reason is at the end of a long rope
Hidden somewhere deep underground,
Dangling above the fountains of prayers.
AJ Oct 2015
I often dream of you
In the mist of the
Dark-lit night,
When the trees rustle
Gently in the wind,
And the leaves flutter
Across the sky or
Float like balloons
Into the realm of
The moon that sparkles,
Glistens like my heart
Under the luminescence
Of your radiant care.

I often dream of
You and I,
Hands clutched at
Our sides, not because we
Are together, but
Because we understand
The touch, understand
The promises that jump
From the fountains
Of unsaid feeling,
Of timid concessions,
Of uncaged breaths
And pounding chests.

I often dream of
You and I,
Staring into each
Other's eyes, soaking up
The hues like whirlpools
Struck by amorous
Gravity, grounded by
Golden bands, softened
Like ineffable desire.

I often dream
That you rest your
Head on my shoulder,
Close your eyes and
Think, and that I rest
My cheek upon your hair,
Glide my fingers atop
Your skin, hope to
God that time won't
Split the world in two
Like a lumberjack's axe
Upon a thousand-year-old
Tree, whose bark is
Fashioned from
Sweet-tasting serenades
And undying wisdom.

I often dream that
You let me into your
Thoughts, bathe my
Wounds with your
Love-bound remedies,
Your sprightly giggle,
The look in your pupils
That runs chills down
My back and
Into my lungs.

I often dream of you,
Dream that you'll
Remember my figure
In coming years past,
That you'll remember
What my skin felt
Like upon yours,
That you'll remember
Why my heart fell
Upon you, and not
The lustful, dishonest gazes,
That you'll remember
Why I smiled for you,
Not for what I
Wanted you to be.

But then again,
I often dream.
AJ Sep 2014
I rest my consciousness
On the proliferating meadows
That stretch toward the sun,
That sway in placid solitude
In the tacit winds
That flow across my body.

I rest my consciousness
In the stars of the night
That caress my jaded visage
And assure me that my wishes
Will manifest themselves
Within my beating heart.

I rest my consciousness
Atop mountains and peaks
That envision a world of harmony
By harboring the aspirations
Of those who stand atop them,
Awe-struck by the omnipresent calm.

I rest my consciousness
In the landscape of my thoughts
That, like the meadows,
Will stretch onward
Until I draw my last breath
And exhale dispassionately.

I rest my consciousness
In the world of make-believe,
In the world that accepts me
Not because I am normal,
But because I can only be content
When I channel my inner wordsmith.

I rest my consciousness
In a night filled with silence
And, as I close my eyes
And let the dark fall over me,
I grin, cognizant
That my dreams are boundless.
AJ Feb 2017
How can people
Love who I've become
When I don't yet know
AJ Jun 2016
I wish you well
My dear old friend
My green-backed flame
Set along the clouds.

You lie beyond the night
When the people have all
Fallen asleep in their cots
Doomed to awaken
To a gilded sky that brews
With unseen grace
Not invisible because eyes
Cannot track it
But invisible because gazes
Are melded with the grass.
AJ May 2016
Keep on sulking, stalling, flying, driving,
waiting for time to roll.
Keep on bickering, crying, screaming, searching,
waiting for words to grow.
Turn your lips around, my dear,
there's no more sense in trying
to keep yourself away from tears
and the jealousy you're hiding.

Fill the broken pieces
with bottles of reclaimed wine.
Kiss the man who preaches
about those who've gone and died.
Will you find your way home
in the streetlights up ahead?
Or will you carry on all alone
until you're gone and left for dead?
AJ Sep 2015
Tu es comme le printemps,
Comme le vent qui souffle
Par terre, qui me frappe
À cœur, qui me soulève
Et me jete au ciel,
Où les nuages me caressent le visage
Et me disent des mots
D'amour et gentillesse,
De force et de jeunesse.

Tu es comme le printemps,
Comme les arbres qui grossissent
Pour que je puisse les admirer,
Pour que je puisse les toucher,
Et sentir la soie de ses
P'**** cheveux qui restent
Dans l'air timide mais éclatant,
En attendant le couche de soleil
Qui s'avance à l'horizon.

Tu es comme le printemps,
Comme les fleurs bleues et rouges
Qui balancent comme des
Spectateurs qui écoutent au musique,
Qui descendent d'espace et embrasse
La terre, et tu es comme le soleil
Qui brille sur les champs,
Qui réchauffe ma poitrine
Et me caresse les lèvres.

Tu es comme le printemps,
Comme l'air frais en descendant
Le soleil, comme l'orange du ciel
Qui se couvre le monde,
Comme l'odeur souple des pommes
Qui accrochent des branches,
Comme le tranquillité de ne rien se passer.

Tu es comme le printemps,
Comme la nuit qui s'approche
Les villes et les campagnes,
Comme les étoiles qui
Me font penser, espérer
Que je peux t'aimer,
Ou te comprendre,
Même si le printemps devient l'hiver.


You're like the spring,
Like the wind that blows
Across the earth,
That knocks on my heart,
That lifts me up
And shoots me to heaven,
Where the clouds caress my face
And tell me words
Of love and kindness,
Of strength and youth.

You are like the spring,
Like the trees that grow
So that I can admire them,
So that I can touch them,
And feel the silk of their
Little hairs that sit
In the timid yet lively air,
Waiting for the sunset
That advances on the horizon.

You are like the spring,
Like the blue and red flowers
That sway like audience members
Listening to music,
Who descend from space and kiss the soil,
And you are like the sun
That shines on the fields,
That heats my chest and kisses my lips.

You are like the spring,
Like the cool air that comes
When the sun goes down,
Like the orange of the sky that covers the world,
Like the supple scent of apples
That hang from branches,
Like the peace of nothing happening.

You are like the spring,
Like the night that approaches
The cities and country-sides,
Like the stars that make me think,
Even hope that I can love you,
Or understand you,
Even if the spring becomes winter.
AJ Jan 2014
Quand je vois
Les étoiles
Dans le ciel
À nuit
Je pense
De tes yeux
J'atteins mes bras
Au ciel
Et je pleure.

When I see
The stars
In the sky
At night
I think
About your eyes
I reach out my arms
To the sky
And I cry.
AJ May 2016
Reality on plump
Green summer leaves
Sits still while time
Rolls on
And the old blue sky
Breathes sudden trills
When enchantment
Is all but gone.

Remember the nights
As if the moon were a friend
Yet age forces
Its craters to part
Remember the skies
With a tear falling dry
Off the hanging cheeks
That were sterling
Works of art.

Hours are but seconds
And days are but moments
And years are all but slots
Of smiles in sunshine
And rain in a long line
Of lives that time forgot.
AJ Aug 2013
That’s all that I’ve become
Someone who worries about the future of life
Plagued by fear and guided by misanthropes
That only care about the name and the value.

Without much choice I am led to believe
That my only purpose is to work and to stand
Atop a legacy that collapses on itself
Falling to the ground like a gauntlet of dripping black.

I’ve become branded by an iron rod
Entrenched deep inside the reaches of my mind
That stings like a gunshot but mends like a stitch
I’m guided by what everyone else wants.

Sometimes I just sit in my room and ponder tomorrow
What my life could be if I broke free of this madness
As if I’ve been reduced to some kind of foreign philosophy
That is commanded by shouting and not by words.

Is what I’ll continue to be
If money and power can’t restrain me
Falling off the deep end of a far off land
Hanging from a rope that cracks as I fall
I gamble with my life every second, every minute
What will I become?

The lacerations are too deep to be mended
They bleed profusely like tiny waterfalls dyed in scarlet
As each droplet falls is more pain for me
Yet I can’t hold it back because it is what I’ve done.

My body gives in to the haughty blackness
That drinks my joys like a cannibal does blood
My lifeless body is a puppet for everyone
Yet they are unhappy with the result.

What will I ever be?
Rich, maybe, but is worthiness defined
By the amount of trees one carries around in a wallet?
Apparently so; worthy people plague the streets.

It is hard to continue living
When all around me, people have said
That vocation is my purpose
I used to think it was not so, yet now
It’s all that I have come to know.

Work, work, work is all on our minds
We must make money to free our intentions
Yet important things are stomped on
Like gathering fires on fallen clothes
They are discouraged because they are dangerous.

Will I die with this thought?
My sole question, one that people fear is death.
But is it to fear? What’s the use in fearing something
That brings us all back to our beginnings?

The sun
So bright in the sky
So vivid in sight
Keeps me wishing, hoping, that one day
This madness will all just
AJ Sep 2015
Voice like supple silk
that rises and falls
like the mellifluous sounds
of sand-fused waves,
stripped of judgment,
bare and candid,
as though it were made
of pearlescent clouds,
gleaming in the air
and absorbing my breath,
leaving me only a shell
with a conflicted smile,
pained by the pangs
of unreturned debts,
of unpaid dues,
of long glances
and untouched skin.

Gaze like a palliative stroke
that brushes against my face
and washes over my pores,
chills my bones to their core,
morphs my heart into a butterfly,
glides across my flesh
and heats it slowly,
shifts my attention not toward the stare,
but toward myself,
or, for that matter,
my bleeding lips.

Smile like unsullied sweetness
that glimmers like diamonds,
rubies, emeralds,
a purity like no other,
unexperienced by most;
it shines like pearls,
gleams like a tentative embrace
and it melts me like ice,
shakes me like time,
grasps me like simple moments
that fade with life's frown,
that crawl back to their nests,
hoping to wake soon.

These things, these little
qualities, are not destined for
a scheduled end, or a common finish;
they are not made or fashioned
by selfish desire or avarice.
They are made, no, crafted
by you and your
beautiful persona,
your gracious intent,
your soft-spoken words
that make the world
tremble in awe,
make humanity kneel
in admiration, in placid veneration,
make you sing like
an uncaged bird freshly freed,
laugh like a newborn just kissed,
cry like an adult just moved.

These facets are just words, yes,
but they're simply what make you
so magnificent and true.
AJ Mar 2014
Dans l’avenir,
Est-ce que tu m’aimeras
quand je pleure,
puisque tu ne seras pas ici?
quand tu me regardes du ciel?
seras-tu avec moi,
quand je suis ici,
et tu es là?
M’aimeras-tu quand je pleure,
pendant la nuit,
quand tu n’es pas avec moi?
Quand tu n’es pas au monde?
Quand tu es morte?
M’aimeras-tu quand ton cœur
Ne se bat plus?
Dis-moi, grand-mère,
Si le cancer ne s’en va pas,
M’aimeras-tu pour toujours?
In the future,
Will you love me?
Will you love me
When i cry
Since you won't be here?
Will you love me
When you look at me from heaven?
Will you be with me
When i am here,
And you are there?
Will you love me when i cry
At night
When you're not with me?
When you're not in the world?
When you're dead?
Will you love me when your heart
Doesn't beat anymore?
Tell me, grandmother,
If the cancer doesn't go away,
Will you love me forever?
My grandmother was diagnosed with stage III Ovarian cancer. This is about her.
AJ Oct 2015
Sliding atop ink-laden lights
That stretch like sound waves
Across the tides of my
Swollen thoughts, my bending eyes,
This matter breathes life
Into my chest, glides its
Silky hands across my face,
And turns my cheeks to solid gold;
But it weighs me down, ***** me
To the ground like
A vortex of infinite desire,
And it plays me like a pawn
To the madness of a game of dreams,
Governed by unwise wishes
Of pensive demands
And bountiful desolation.

Drifting like tumbleweed across
My thoughts, this matter speaks
Words of comfort at the expense
Of my good friend named insecurity,
And it slams his soul to the ground,
Stomps it with a verve ostracized by
Earthquakes and pulsating fissures,
Breaks it in two like a wishbone
Waiting for a plea,
And it dots me in green,
Locks me in a room filled with
The tyranny of silence,
Filled with the irony of a thousand
Evil, unpublished thoughts that
Sit dormant, terrified to peek
Into the light of eager desire.

Trudging like a broken soul,
This matter ages with rings
Like trees in an undying forest,
Becomes harder with the
Advancement of insatiable greed,
Flicks a switch and beckons me over
To sit on its lap, listen to its words,
Let its frozen breath tickle my ears
As it begs to eat me alive.

But am I alive?
My heart beats, but it doesn't sing,
My eyes can see, but they don't shine,
My mouth can speak, but I can't scream,
And a crown sits atop my head,
But it's made of flimsy plastic.

Yes, all the titles in the world
Are pinned to my tattered red skin,
But they won't matter once I
Strip for a good night's rest.
AJ Jan 2017
I always felt guilty when my grandfather told me
That he believed in God
Because I never did.
I always believed miracles so improbable
Were never written in the dictionary of the plausible
Or the thesaurus of the believable.
In my case, I find that miracles lie in the rolling of dice or spinning of tops.

I still feel guilty when he tells me that the Lord is watching him,
Unseen but always here, because if he didn’t believe,
He’d be like me, Godless, trapped in a cage
For the unworthy, of his own design,
Molded by thick bars of doubt and facts.

Sometimes I envy the miracles he holds dear
Because he never seems to let them slip through
The cracks in his fingers
Like heavy grains of sand.
Every day is a miracle, he declares, even the day you die,
Because nature is a miracle, too, and so is the soul.
In response, I think of the nothingness
I will experience when I have my final breath,
And the lack of anything that could be considered a miracle.
But he expects one anyway.
And even if that miracle is not there, he can count
The ones he has had for himself,
And that would be a miracle in itself.

My grandmother’s recovery from cancer was a miracle, he said,
And those tears wrote him a book of memories that recounted more miracles
Than he had seen in all the years he had witnessed the days turn,
The sun rise and set, the leaves fall and swell.  
But I saw her recovery as effective chemotherapy for corrupted tissue
And the skill of surgeons unable to tell a miracle from a prognosis.
But those people were miracles, too, he said,
Because they let him keep the miracle he could not love without.

He says his age is a miracle, that he should have already died,
But he has seen me grow, and that has been the only miracle
He could have ever asked for.
Maybe he will see a miracle in a decade, he says, when my college degree
Hangs from an office wall, or kids scamper through the hallways of my house,
When I fashion miracles of my very own.
Maybe with advances in medicine it will happen, I tell him.
Maybe all of that will happen by chance.
He says it would be a miracle if it did.

I find miracles to be sparse like the wind,
But to him, they’re as bountiful as trees in a forest.
Every moment alive is a miracle,
And everything he has done is a miracle,
From air force service to raising his children,
To bringing up his grandchildren, to eating hardboiled eggs he could not afford as a kid.

I wonder if it is purely by chance
That he fashions miracles with his calloused, liver-spotted hands.
He even finds these miracles buried beneath his feet,
Often in piles of discarded dreams, and he repaints them
And hands them back to whom they belong, and tells them
That these miracles are still alive, and always will be,
Because miracles cannot die like people can.

Whenever he leaves, whenever that may be,
I imagine he will compliment
The bouquets of flowers on his bed of leaves,
And say it is a miracle that they bloomed just for him.
And maybe, by then, I will be able to say it was a miracle
That he was here for long enough to tell me these things,
Even if it were by the chance that the sun rose and set
A certain way, on a single day, however many years ago,
Beyond the clouds, far away from all of this.
AJ Jan 2017
In my eyes
You see brilliant
But I feel
Like pale
Most days
AJ May 2015
Distant cries of a foreign city,
Melodic fluctuations
Of tumult and reverberation
Weeping aloud at the gates of heaven,
Painfully singing a dream of bliss,
Joyously chanting an echoing hymn,
Spreading ethereal wings
High above the ground
Made of fertile silver ash.
And what complex simplicity,
What gracious harmony!
Wishes more than granted,
Heart more than stolen,
Vibrations more than sensation,
Memory more than a fleeting instant.
Life may go on,
But I'll stay here
Right at this very moment.
AJ Jun 2016
Couple them together
Like a star and its space
Take them away
But there's no tuneful grace
In this race
My love

It stings not for its shine
But strikes nerves for its truth
For the time cannot turn
Back toward what could have been
Moved together
My love

The time has passed long
Much too far for any taste
Toward sweetness and purity
Unbound by hidden chaste
That you could have shown
To me
My love

The blood flows now
Too thick to pass like water
Which flows over ocean seas
But it is now a bother
To me
And to you
My love

I am unable to believe
Although I see it
High above the shore
But the days will only sit
For me
My love

Rest a bit
My love
Rest a bit
For me.
AJ Jul 2018
We were indefinite

We were habits
built and snapped
promises made and snuffed

We were village idiots
nocturnal cretins running
stop signs and red lights
and bounding a hundred miles an hour
down empty highways
at three o’clock in the morning

chattering and chortling
and secretly feeling
at each other’s hearts

trying to hoodwink the universe
into believing
even for a moment

that we were more
than just a flock of sleepless kids
searching for unattainable
AJ Feb 2014
I often wonder
How odd it is
To love someone
With all of your heart.

If you love someone
With such passion as that
Will there be room
For other love?

A family
A child
A late relative
Can you still love them?

Because if you give your
Away so quickly,
There can only be room
For excruciating pain.
AJ Oct 2015
Le ciel me parle des mots doux
qui brillent comme des feux rouges
et brûlent dans la poitrine,
piquent sur les champs créés des espères
et des possibilités oubliés.

Peut-être que je suis perdu,
sorti de la maison des conséquences,
rendu malheureux par des phrases simples
et lavé par les eaux de ton étreinte ;
peut-être que je suis oublié,
pas connu par les gens qui se crient
pour l’amour ou la douleur
ou contaminé par le sang bleu
du jour qui reste dans l’air timide.

Peut-être que j’ai peur,
peur de ta regarde, peur d’être  
frappé par tes yeux sympathiques
et éclatants, peur d’être jugé par
le bon dieu de la tristesse,
embrassé par le cœur qui me fait pleurer.

Peut-être que je vis avec
l’incertitude de tes pensés éphémères,
avec l’obligation de ne rien se faire,
avec l’impression de doute sur ta bouche,
avec la sourire malhonnête
qui ne me respecte en plus.

Peut-être que je dois vivre sans toi,
car tu me rends fâché avec ton voix couché,
car tu me montres ton cœur mais
ne me laisse pas de le tenir,
car tu me dis que tu es sincère  
sans avoir assez de témoins,
car tu me fais faim
mais ne me laisse pas manger.

Peut-être que tu n'es pas pour moi ;
Peut-être que tu es vraiment pour toi.  


The sky speaks to me sweet words
that shine like red fires
and burn in the chest,
sting on the fields created by hopes
and forgotten possibilities.

Maybe I’m lost,
parted with the house of consequences,
made unhappy by simple phrases
and bathed by the waters of your embrace;
maybe I’m forgotten,
unknown by people who cry
for love or pain
or contaminated by the blue blood
of the day that sits in the timid air.

Maybe I’m afraid,
afraid of your gaze, afraid
of being struck by your lovely
and gleaming eyes, afraid to be judged
by the good God of sadness,
afraid to be kissed by the
heart that makes me weep.

Maybe I’m living with
the uncertainty of your fleeting thoughts,
with the obligation to do nothing,
with the impression of doubt on your mouth,
with the dishonest smile
that doesn’t respect me anymore.

Maybe I have to live without you,
because you enrage me with your cloaked voice,
because you show me your heart but
don’t let me hold it,
because you tell me that you’re sincere
without brandishing enough witnesses,
because you make me hungry
but don’t let me eat.

Maybe you're not for me;
Maybe you’re truly for you.
AJ Oct 2013
Praise be the victor,
Praise be the name,
Praise be the feeling,
His slaughtering attains.

Praise be his face,
That he does not feign,
Praise be his ******,
Whose name is in vain.

Praise be the victor,
Who so humbly remains,
Leaves his opponent,
In the flash of a grenade.

Praise be his creed,
Praise his beliefs,
Shun the other’s ideals,
Don’t allow defeat.

Praise be his country,
Praise be his people,
Who so angrily shout,
Something oh-so evil.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
****! ****! ****! ****!

The television screen,
So brightly entrancing,
Cheer for your side,
The enemy’s advancing.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
****! ****! ****! ****!

They hide in little shelters,
Covered by the shields,
Of valiant terror,
That explode in the fields.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
****! ****! ****! ****!

The blood of the valiant,
Is no longer red
It is black and it is blue,
Of overwhelming regret.
AJ Jul 2017
Take your ship out to sea
and bring laurels blessed with holly
on this journey to unearth treasure troves 
hidden in the gossamer waves

Let your flag sail high in wind
and crane your neck high
among floods that rage
in endless sickness and fledgling health

Chests of gems and gilded bands
await at the edge
miles numbering thousands
unfettered to all but time

Rally your spirits and hang them by the sails 
so passing shipmen may see
the bones upon this watery hull
and chant for boundless Someday

Storms await and creep like snakes
through flumes of silver clouds
the tears they wring rocks the fleet
and dyes dry skin vermilion

Famine prays to fish for food 
while brine coats the shattered deck
parched crewmen beg to die in sandy oases 
surrounded by undrinkable water 

Promises and tears the only drinks
now pain tattooed to flesh
gold glows neither in caves
nor does it shimmer in light

However many years pass as eternities
brighter dreams mark crystal soils
and platinum trees plump with diamond fruit
float atop the promised land

Though the ship has weathered shattered frame
and dried blood lines your chest
the anchor dives through watery shore 
and cries through salt land ** 

Sands crunch loud underfoot
like God's soft muse skies hum 
no treasure lies here but an ashen tree
and the whispering wind begins to cry

my fortunate babe, you've arrived
I'd like to think this poem is about the struggles of aspirations. The floundering steps toward unreachable goals gilded by our flawed expectations. We are like shipmen, floating perpetually toward a distance that may never come, losing much along the way in pursuit of an ideal future. But often, reality is something else entirely. It is up to you to decide what this reality means, and whether or not it is worth the price.
AJ Jun 2016
She kissed the star
Off my shore
And hid tidal waves
Under her arm, laid
Promises in store.

She grasped
The lips of the sun
And suckled the night
Until sleep crept over
The horizon, along the coast
Bathed in red day’s light.

She searched
Deep in my eyes,
Reaching for a star to mold
Only to find a waning light,
A candle-spun flame
Glowing fluorescent gold.

She saw
Her face in the flame,
Shrouded in purple midnight.
It spoke of love and wishes
Of dreams and hopes
That have long since faded out of sight.
AJ Jul 2016
Sake bowls and forks and knives,
And tables strewn with overgrown hives
Of mahogany stools and empty plates
And rosy cheeks that scream wealth is fate.

From the window a rag man peeks his head,
His only child starved cold and dead.
He glares at broken bread inside of bowls
Then at his ragged pants, pocked with holes.

An earthquake deep within a cage
Rocks his hands with carnal rage
He begs the stars for mercy and prays for light
But his shouts echo dully into the night.

Tears sting hot on a kettle bell
And on asphalt grass far down in hell
The winds whip through and tear to shreds
His eternal cushion on concrete bed.

He kneels like a pauper to his King
And cups his hands and starts to sing
A melody that floats like air
To free himself from glowing despair.

His voice trails off as time grows dim
And golden watches tick on a whim
Before he lies on the ground to die
He asks God why, oh why, oh why?

Morning light shines down today
And lights the rag man's figure away
No eulogies given for splitting holes
In clothes, in hearts, or even in bones.
Next page