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Sam Knaus Jul 2020
i have so many idealized words for you
for your soul
for the way my heart sings louder
than any guitar, and softer
than the whispers
of early summer winds in the trees around you
as your fingers
pluck notes
that tell of times i can't put my finger on
but still sound like home,
and yet this skip in my breath
when i see you, even in my dreams
feels so indescribable,
as old as time and twice as unforgiving.
i can see years of feeling
in the way your body curls
around the guitar,
all of your memories
as plain for me
to see
as the burning soul in your eyes.
the sun bathes you in secrets
and i knew then,
it's always been you.
for an idol
Sam Knaus Jun 2020
I close my eyes and I can feel the notes flow through my blood. My heart beats faster, my breath catches, every nerve in my body simultaneously more alive than ever and decelerating to match a sultry voice that sings of slowing down.  
I close my eyes and I see my grandfather, young. A fire, smoke billowing into the night, smooth tapping toes and closed eyes and a soul that knows more than it ever wanted to, a soul that sings secrets effortlessly to those receptive enough to hear them. Hands that move like water, burned into my eyelids, a voice decadent and rough that soaks into my skin and the sound tears me away into a reality I was never a part of, but always dreamed of. Smooth, soft, full of laughter, full of longing, full of feeling. Full of soul. Tapping toes, tapping hearts, tapping fingers on fret boards for listening ears and listening souls.
Sam Knaus Oct 2017
how i envy the sun on the days it hides away.
clouds dark enough to trick the streetlights into flickering on
layer themselves across the sky
and rain pours down,
giving everything it touches an opportunity
for a fresh breath and a new start.
drench my soul and let me emerge anew,
chill my skin and flood my heart
until it stops beating
and start it again with lightning,
i am your muse
your music
that you dance to in the pouring rain
and the lightning that starts your heart again.
trapped behind your eyelids in a distant memory
cars honking and speeding down a motorway far from here
is where you'll find me;
dancing in the rain.
Sam Knaus Aug 2016
All I know how to write are metaphors.
Metaphors about starry night skies
and infinities and galaxies
and delving deep into myself
to find something nobody's ever known,
**** that.
My metaphors are stupid
and confusing.
Just like me.
My metaphors never make any sense-
just like me.
My metaphors are the bane of my ******* existence
because they're the only way
I know how to express myself
and I can't help but wonder
if that's because I never want anybody
to know how I'm actually feeling,
full of crypticity
my metaphors tell your realities
to go straight to hell,
man, you mean you want people
to understand you?
What's that all about?
Don't you enjoy only being able
to write your poems about
being shrouded in smoke that hides your guilt
and about bathing in moonlight
and being infinite
and inhaling the stardust of my peers,
what the **** does that even mean?
I grew up learning to go after
what I want
and as far as I'm concerned, it's a problem
that I can't come out and say,
"I want tranquility."
Instead I shroud it in some **** about
inhaling twilight and finding peace in my inner galaxies
What a loser.
What a loser to believe that metaphors
are anything but a way of disguising
the truth.
What a loser to think that I am only a metaphor,
even if it's the truth.
What a loser to believe that I am something
so simple but so complex
and hard to understand
especially when I say it
because I never know how to say anything properly
it's all surrounded in mysteries and confusion,
My metaphors say,
"who the hell wants to understand me?"
The curse of poet, I suppose
a curse I'd do well to break free from.
I only know how to express myself in metaphors
the only problem is that nobody knows
what my they mean,
nobody knows what I really am
because I shroud myself in stupid,
enigmatic, asinine metaphors
that when you asked me to say what they mean
sometimes I'd be able to,
but most of the time...
even I don't know what the **** they mean,
but I say them in the hopes that someone will
be able to decipher them- and me-
cause maybe then they would know who I am
without me having to tell them,
maybe then I wouldn't have
to figure it out myself.
Sam Knaus Aug 2016
Or: On How To Let Go

1. The first time your grandmother cries
and says you died along with your grandfather,
You never liked her much anyways,
so being dead to her- while not ideal-
isn't the worst way to go.
2. Remember that time you went shopping
for your first pair of cargo shorts
and the same grandmother was RIGHT QUICK to point out
to the cashier that you are very much a girl
all soft curves and short limbs
and regrets and quiet voices
and you gotta try not to smack her.
3. Remember when a Wal Mart worker said,
"Good morning, Sir"
and again, that same grandmother
was right quick to point out
that I was very much a lady,
that I was petite and passive
and everything she wanted me to be
4. Just... Hide it.
Because while they may say they're okay with it
you still see the sideways glances
and the glares, and the stares,
and the cries of, "How the hell do you expect to be a boy
if you're wearing that skirt!"
5. Try your best to explain it to every person
that you'll ever bring home
to meet this family.
Say... "Sometimes, I kind of feel
a little bit like a boy."
Underplay it.
Don't tell them that some days
you wake up crying and clutching at your chest
wishing it was gone
that some days death sounds more preferable
than living in this body
Don't tell them that it's way deeper
than "sometimes" and "kind of"
that it's a constant nagging fear
6. Sit down at Christmas dinners in a dress.
Be aware that you're only making things
harder on yourself.
6. Sit down at Christmas dinners in a suit and tie.
Be aware that you're only making things
harder on yourself.
7. Their insistence that they can't even try
to call you their nephew,
or their grandson,
cause it would be too ******* them
8. My transition is too ******* them
5. I wake up some mornings
willing to do anything I can to switch bodies
with my best friend: a trans woman
who hates her body as much as I hate mine
that's something we have in common.
I'd give anything to have her body,
she'd give anything to have mine
9. Recognise that your family
isn't gonna understand.
10. Deal with it the only way you know how:
every self-destructive tendency
you've clung to all these years
quickly becoming your other best friends
6. Realise that feeling this way
is making things harder on you.
11. Realise that it's okay
to break up with your regrets
and though they'll cling to your shirt
and drop to their knees
and beg beg beg beg for you back
Do not take them back.
12. Realise that you are so much more.
That you... Are valid,
despite everyone who calls you
the name of a person
you don't even recognise anymore
realise that you are valid
despite everyone who says you're not
cause when you think you're not,
when you're pressing yourself into mattresses
and obsessively working out
and holding back tears looking at all the clothes
you wish you could look good in,
that's.... well, that's when you need it most.
0. Let go of the fact that your family
calls you the name of a person you don't recognise anymore
because one day, you're gonna show up for Christmas dinner
and they're not gonna recognise you.
And that's one of the most comforting feelings
in the world.
Sam Knaus Aug 2016
An Open Letter To The New Boyfriend....

A few things you should know before dating me.
1. The first time I realised I was infinite,
I was staring down the mouth
of an alcohol bottle,
my head swimming, laughter bubbling
from my lips,
it was also the first time I realised
I am guilty of living for fleeting moments.
Something inside me is screaming
that we are a fleeting moment.
2. My life is a whirlwind of
passing daydreams, photographs,
ex boyfriends, and re-used poetry lines,
that's something you're gonna have to get used to
because sometimes, I just don't know
when to shut up
and it'll annoy the crap out of you.
3. I'll tell you about things
you don't want to hear about,
ties between my exes and my illnesses
and everything in between
and it'll depress the crap out of you.
4. Trust that I'll love you
more than my own self destruction,
which, let me tell you,
never ******* stops,
trust that I'll love you more
than the razors across my skin
spilling out my regrets
and the nights I spend heaving
over toilet bowls
the burn of whiskey down my throat
that numbs my thoughts,
trust that I'll love you
more than I hate myself,
trust that I'll love you more than I romanticise
my own death.
5. My memory is crap.
Please don't get angry
when I don't remember your favourite pasttimes
or the songs we dance to
when the dates you take me on fade
into the back of my brain,
peeling off the walls of my brain
like paper
and falling to the floor of my mind
memories that you'll never forget,
I like long walks on the beach,
romantic candlelit dinners,
dancing under the stars....
Now, wait for me to break down into tears
because "Dancing Under The Stars" was the name
of a song the man I **** near sent to jail
wrote for me.
6. I live in metaphors.
My realities consist of my own broken promises
and I pen my feelings in suicide notes
but I still insist that happiness
is just a trip to the stars away
I insist on inhaling the stardust
and exhaling the twilight
and tranquility
of my peers,
I still see their faces etched
into the corners of my night skies...
When I said I lived in metaphors,
I wasn't kidding.
3. I'll tell you about things
you don't want to hear about
and the idea of that terrifies me so much
that I hide away in my room
because if I don't say anything,
I can't say the wrong thing.
7. I bet you expected this poem to be happy,
or funny.
8. This poem is not happy, or funny,
this poem is my truth
and my truth is that I don't know how to live
without some semblance of destruction
inside of me
and it's ruined every relationship I've ever had.
8. This poem is not happy or funny,
this poem is me,
and while I am not happy or funny...
I do find happiness and laughter
in those fleeting moments.
Fleeting to me, of course,
because I never ******* remember them.
9. I never remember anything
10. but I'll always remember how I feel about you.
Even if we don't work out,
because I first met you 3 and a half years ago
we stopped talking for two and a half of those years
and I didn't even recognise you when I saw you
but as soon as I heard your name
I broke down in tears
because you were somebody that I never truly forgot.
10. I'll always remember you.
0. I remember everybody
and that's something I'll never shut up about
10. I'll always remember you
and the way you make me smile
and the way you make all of the things I've talked about
fade into the background.
Sam Knaus Jul 2016
It's been almost six years.
Six years,
and I can't get your face
etched out of the corners
of my night sky
It's been six years
and all I dream about is you
Six years
but all we are is nuclear,
all this is... is nuclear,
but maybe that's not such
a bad thing
because we always seem
to find eachother
in the aftermath,
because while your body is a roadmap
and my lips explore your highways
and my fingertips trace over your vacant lots
I still wonder if I can still fill them
with the most beautiful skyscrapers
you've ever seen.
I wouldn't be surprised
if the answer is no
because every time
they seem to come crashing down around us
all rubble and flames and radiation,
everything you'd expect
from a nuclear disaster,
but I'm willing to try again.
Six years,
and we've dated more times than Ross and Rachel
or maybe J.D. and Elliot is more accurate
maybe that's why my life feels like a TV show,
maybe the only difference
is that most TV shows
have a happy ending...
Forgive me for quoting Heathers,
but we're damaged, badly damaged,
but your love's too good to lose,
hold me tighter, even closer,
I'll stay if I'm what you choose...
I want you to choose me
I want you to want to hold me
everyone's told me love hurts,
but I never expected it to hurt like this,
beating hearts to the sound of drums
that aren't on the same rhythm anymore,
but I'm willing to try again.
I'll stay if I'm what you choose... because
You're the one I choose.
And I'm willing to try again.
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