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 Feb 2012 Brian Downs
Carly A
I flick the lighter on and off nervously.
The scratching echolalia is deafening in the stillness.
Flick. Hiss. Flick. Hiss.
The metal cap feels like the only heat for a great radius in space and time.
The cracks in the gravel under my feet hold salvation.
Moonlight drowns visible heaven and thinly covers the ground.
Wet and silvery, it will freeze my blood.
In the far distance, a soft rushing sounds.
A glow rises behind a hill in the road, and headlights pop over the summit.
My pulse picks up, I tread backwards, thumb extended.
Tires slow, crackling.
"Where to?"
I live a shallow life.
No one is willing to submerge too deep.
I see them all around me…
Dancing on the sand,
Their skin hot from the sun,
& burning with romance.
I let them come and go as they please,
Stepping in my puddle by the sea,
Taking away a little at a time,
Leaving me alone…yet free.
I hear the others coming,
Rolling in so gently,
Each just a passerby
Speaking to me eloquently.
I see in the distance the whole that I should be,
But here I wait, unattached…
Just like a puddle by the sea.
 Jan 2012 Brian Downs
S.R Devaste
at first when you take off
the world just looks small

a dollhouse, a miniature world
an amusing punchline to an old joke
a fantasy tinged with g-force and sprite in clear cups

but as the sky darkens and the plane lifts higher

the world seems to drown in blackness
an inky clarity of night not confused by clouds
and suddenly it is as if you are at the top on an ocean
looking at a far away ocean floor
crawling with foreign creatures with all of their bones lit up
over coral reefs of light and movement
parking lots like stationary jelly fish and highways like currents
of neon veins pumping lights and cars

all of the world's exoskeleton is illuminated
and it is beautiful and movable  
it is nature's patterns played out in electricity

but the farther out you go
the more the sharpness and geometry of the roads and cities
attack the eye

and the coral reefs turn to computer motherboards
all of man's ingenuity and beauty no longer draping the world
but ordering it

into squares and jagged lines
into distant pixel pinpricks
into maps

until you're not traveling through the world
but over it
Go on and act like you
control me.
know me.
define me.

All you do is see your own **** version
of who you think I am.
See, you really do paint a beautiful picture.
You should be an artist, an inventor.
Creating the perfect ideal.
Living the lie of dreams becoming real.

But who is that girl?
The girl who smiles?
The girl who has no scars?
The girl who is free?

It's most certainly not me.
But this time, it's my story to write.
Let me figure out the plot.
I know more than you, give me the pen.
It's my life, even if I can't predict the end.
 Jan 2012 Brian Downs
Jon Tobias
Why does this have to be so difficult
When I just want them to like me?

Why does my mouth not stop when it’s supposed to
When I find myself being disgusting again?

I mean

If I really believed
And you had the chance to die in my name again
Would you?

I’m only human
There are like
Billions of us

And I was never kingly
Or knightly
Chivalry sounds like something you do when you stab someone
I’ve never stabbed anyone

How come you made all these other poets famous and not me?

Do they serve beer in heaven?
I like beer
But beer is bad for me
Am I bad for me?

What part of me does audacity come from?
I survived cancer
But somehow feel defeated
When I can’t get a phone number

I mean

I am only human
But am made from your image
And I know everyone says you’ve got a sense of humor
So I just wanna know what carnival mirror
I fell out of

Careless like a soda stain on an end table
Bitter like my mouth an hour after coffee

Why can’t I sleep at night?

Are ghosts real because I think my house is haunted?

If I was born to do something when will I know?

Or if there really are answers somewhere
Where should I go?

Is my life really just some kind of TV show?

Is it boring?

Is it long?

Is it going to be short?

Hey Hey Hey

Do you hear me?

If I truly believed
Would you tell me?

Because I know for sure I was built funny
My ears aren’t small enough to withstand
The bass drum boom
Of the things my heart keeps sayin?

Speaking with a sound
Like a train
Always heading forward
But never knowing
Where to go
 Jan 2012 Brian Downs
Oscar Wilde
(To L. L.)

Could we dig up this long-buried treasure,
Were it worth the pleasure,
We never could learn love’s song,
We are parted too long.

Could the passionate past that is fled
Call back its dead,
Could we live it all over again,
Were it worth the pain!

I remember we used to meet
By an ivied seat,
And you warbled each pretty word
With the air of a bird;

And your voice had a quaver in it,
Just like a linnet,
And shook, as the blackbird’s throat
With its last big note;

And your eyes, they were green and grey
Like an April day,
But lit into amethyst
When I stooped and kissed;

And your mouth, it would never smile
For a long, long while,
Then it rippled all over with laughter
Five minutes after.

You were always afraid of a shower,
Just like a flower:
I remember you started and ran
When the rain began.

I remember I never could catch you,
For no one could match you,
You had wonderful, luminous, fleet,
Little wings to your feet.

I remember your hair—did I tie it?
For it always ran riot—
Like a tangled sunbeam of gold:
These things are old.

I remember so well the room,
And the lilac bloom
That beat at the dripping pane
In the warm June rain;

And the colour of your gown,
It was amber-brown,
And two yellow satin bows
From your shoulders rose.

And the handkerchief of French lace
Which you held to your face—
Had a small tear left a stain?
Or was it the rain?

On your hand as it waved adieu
There were veins of blue;
In your voice as it said good-bye
Was a petulant cry,

‘You have only wasted your life.’
(Ah, that was the knife!)
When I rushed through the garden gate
It was all too late.

Could we live it over again,
Were it worth the pain,
Could the passionate past that is fled
Call back its dead!

Well, if my heart must break,
Dear love, for your sake,
It will break in music, I know,
Poets’ hearts break so.

But strange that I was not told
That the brain can hold
In a tiny ivory cell
God’s heaven and hell.
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