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  Jul 2014 Tom Ridley
Xander Duncan
Hey rock-star boy, shaggy hair, loud mouth, striking chords on your guitar
You might as well have been playing my heartstrings
Hey punk-rock t-shirts, smooth voice, bright eyes, I
Caught your glance once or twice
Shy girl, scared voice, straight A’s, no choice, I
Might as well have been taking down music notes in my books
Because no mathematical equations would ever add up the way I
Divided my boundaries just to talk to you I
Swore your song was perfect
Shy girl, corner dwelling, never speaks up, never acts out, never curses, never cries
There’s a reason guys like you aren’t with girls like me but
Tight hugs, this was different, wide smiles, this was different, soft hands, this was different
And I still somehow believe, you were different
Empty promises, fake tears, harsh lies, secret fears, deliberate deceit
Your song was playing on repeat but
The hard rock metal that once pumped blood through our veins was
More like the metal shredding my ribcage I
Felt everything sharper because I
Changed keys for you
Loud girl, sharp tongue, wider smiles, faker love, I
Glued wings to my soul, but let you call me Icarus, I
Fell into the sea
Fast swimmer, quicker to drown, SCUBA diver, sinking down
Oxygen torn from my lungs I
Breathed in different dreams for you I
Reached for different stars for you I
Can never close my eyes around you
Loud girl, center stage, honest tongue, biting rage, always cursing, always cries
Eating my words when you fed me lies
Rock-star boy
College drop-out, smoke in your lungs, breaking rules just for fun
The only “I love you” I’d ever spoken
The only time my heart was broken
Punk rock boy
Please get your song out of my head I
Can’t stand to hear this chorus again
not sure how well this reads in text since it was written for a slam
Tom Ridley Jul 2014
its 11 at night
its not even that late and yet
i'm feeling like i do at those early hours of the morning
when everything is going wrong and everything is my fault
that feeling that i get
when all the ******* kicks in
and even though i know that it's wrong
i feel worthless
and i want to just disappear
because then i wouldnt make any more mistakes
and everyone else could just move happily on their way
because there's no more of the boy trying to fix things and act all big and powerful
and ending up hurting people
there's a small amount of peace in their lives
knowing that im not a problem anymore
and i know that this is false
i know that people like me, i know that i help people
but this isnt a thing that is so easily shaken
unlike my body that's shaking all over
and im just sitting here, trying to get over these feelings and get to sleep
because these feelings have stopped decent sleep for the past 3 nights
and have caused multiple problems during the day
******* its only 11 at night
and i need sleep
**** there's a lot of depressing stuff, im gonna need to write happier stuff soon
and i had no idea how to end it like the last 2 lines were just thrown on there because it needed a better ending than what it had
Tom Ridley Jul 2014
you're covering your ***
you wonder why you get in trouble, none of your favourite characters do, so why are you?
you have to emulate them better, then you won't get in trouble
talk less
talk only when you have something to say
talk only when you're spoken to
talk only if its a life or death situation
dont talk at all
because that's what you were taught
you were taught obedience
you were taught to shut the **** up and listen, dont talk at all
now people ask you
why dont you talk?
why dont you participate in these conversations?
why don't you say something?
why don't you talk?
because that's not what you were taught
you were taught obedience
you were taught to shut up
and its hard to break out of that
its hard to break out of your teachings
but im trying
im trying to talk more
im trying to participate more
im trying to say something
but the words wont always come out
because you cant just break habits that were drilled into your head from childhood at the snap of your fingers
it takes time
and im sorry that i dont talk much
im trying to get better
so please, try to deal with me as i work on this
its harder than you think
  Jul 2014 Tom Ridley
Xander Duncan
(This is a group poetry slam. The bolded lines are said in unison. I was in charge of the "yellow" sections)

A technicolor finish tainting paint on hate drenched signs
Alex: picketing picking away bits of lips, slicing silence into arms and hips
rainbows were not always so black and blue
Brigitte: yanked from the sky by a brood of vipers, dragged through mud and fire, pummeled until we see double.
Nicole: Poison placed on children’s tongues, “******” never tasted as sour as when describing
Audrey: translucent half circles shamed into not showing their true colors
Allie: We hide the private parts of ourselves, but what if our sheer existence clouds some sets of eyes with rage?
Even the speed of light can’t escape lids clenched tight like fists.  

Brigitte: First crush is a hot sweat and perpetual throat lump
Molten shame gurgling beneath the tender flesh of your candy apple cheeks
Stains memory like spilled red wine
She was intoxicating
Red flecked rosacea readily recalls
Her name a cherry aftertaste, berry sweet yet crimson thirsty
red is the color of metamorphosis. of hormones misbehaving. of flushed ******* and a wish dancing on another girl’s lips.
Of bullseyes tattooed on wrists
Red is a warning of children’s taunts and old, wary eyes. It is the hue of thought blind hatred

Allie: The shade of autumn leaves slowly passing on
Grim reminders of slowly approaching school hallways that sneer taunts
Orange the color of names thrown into aching ears
Thrown into breaking hearts
Thrown into minds full of orange flickering bonfires of shame
The color of beautiful things slowly dying

Alex: Like the caution signs on winding roads
Barely illuminated when the sky is too dark
Seen too late before a crash
Twisted metal ringing in our ears like
Twisted thoughts ringing in our ears like
When we recognize a crush that sets us apart
That tells us we're
Not normal, not right
Like fading bruises as we tell ourselves
That we're just yellow bellied cowards
As we tell ourselves
That on straight roads we wouldn't crash
And with straight hearts we wouldn't bleed

Nicole: I feel sick
“A little green around the gills”
as I swim away is that why I’m drowning
in these murky waters of
“What if”s and “i don’t know”s
I have always been certain of the leafy canopies and garden inside of me
but this vine of uncertainty sprouted
and is choking me
I should not feel afraid for what I am because
this life is green and sprouting but there are
forest fires of hate spreading
We see the smoke signals all around us
our magnificent green fading to ashes

Blue and Purple
Audrey: Blue curtains block out the world that lurks just outside
Waiting to hurt me.
8 pm.
Purple dusk is gathering outside my walls
The same way the bruises on my heart threaten to eclipse the sun.
I'm scared.
I don't look at the veins  beneath my skin because they
Remind me too much of the purple-red blood
That spills too often from my arms,
Reminds me of my father's face
Purple with rage
When I told him
9 pm. Navy skies I will not see again
Purple pen writing apologies
Heart pumping blood too fast,
No time,
Can't breathe, face purple,
Can't breathe, face blue
Can't breathe.

They took away our rainbow. Let’s take it back.

Purple and Blue
Audrey: I love the way the sky turns lavender before the sun rises
I love the way your long hair and pale curves look
Against the blue sheets
I love not hiding who we are.
We should get Purple Hearts for all the times
The missiles of queer and butch have landed in
The midst of our embrace,
Launched by an unknown enemy before we were able
To twine our hands and hearts on small-town sidewalks
Laying under the lilac bushes,
Watching the day slip into purple dusk with firefly stars.
I love not hiding who we are.

Nicole: once a cowering seed deep underground
Sprouting up through a crack in the slab of
concrete hate concrete rejection
because fresh life will destroy hate
even if it is slowly, one seed at a time
we are not weeds in your garden
a safe place the sun shining
fresh sprouting buds anticipating something beautiful
the prelude to a symphony of colors
sprouting from the earth
we do not need to prove that we are not unnatural
but grown from the same soil

Alex: Somewhere in the middle of the rainbow like I'm
Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum
Associated with the sun and the stars but
Not with day and night
Because things are never quite as black and white as we make them out to be
Yellow, in the middle of pink and blue on the pansexual flag
Acknowledging that there are people out there
Who could love people like me
And yellow like dandelions
Changing daily into pieces drifting away
To end up regrown in dirt
Just like anything else

Allie: The shade of sunrise
A beautiful dawn of hope and opportunity
Peeking over the horizon
The passage of time and hopefully some ******* laws
Orange the warmth of a new day pouring some happiness into what once was a seemingly endless night
Orange the color of change

Brigitte: sunshine ray burn cozy in your proud heart
blood rush, fire burst, lovesick intensity smoldering in your eyes
Red is a love fusion ignited inward and radiating out like a star
illuminating the night regardless of how dark the nothing is around it
Red is grown up, a rubicund shamelessness sewn with time into the marrow of your bones
Roll out the red carpet, paint roses on the town
Blood is not only death, it’s also life

Audrey: Acceptance!
Nicole: Life!
Alex: Hope!
Allie: Change!
Brigitte: Love!

**Pride comes in ALL colors
Tom Ridley Jul 2014
its 2 am
im crying
youre sleeping
isnt that how this always is?
youre sleeping
im crying
its 2 am
Tom Ridley Jul 2014
it always seems to elude you
your mind, always trying to catch it as it saunters on by
but it never can, no matter what it tries
so eventually it gives up
it sits down, and doesnt even notice when sleep mosies by
and soon enough
sleep notices
and it comes by to say hello
chat with the mind
and if it feels like it, itll stay
and your mind will fall into its arms
allowing you to finally
Tom Ridley Jul 2014
they're the worst, and i mean that literally
imagine this, imagine that
everything that terrifies you, from any age that you've been
from the things that barely ***** you to the things that you are deathly afraid of
under one tent, an old worn down halloween coloured carny tent, filled with broken down rides and fallen apart structures and lit only by the moon
all with one intent, all of them working together to reach one goal
to get you, and have their way with you
and you can't fight back, every time you try to, they just get stronger
so you do the one thing you can do at this point
you run
you run faster then you ever have before, and none of this weird *** dream running where you move slowly when you're trying to run
i mean full out sprinting
you run and try to escape
but there's no way out, the holed purple and orange walls of the tent flap in the wind but when you go to touch them, they fill and turn solid
solid concrete below three inches of dirt, and you can't see anything to climb
you run and try to hide
the lesser terrors might try to help you.
trying to convince you that this place is safe, or to let them lead the others off of your trail
but they never tell the truth, they only do one thing
they help the greater terrors find you
so you refuse their help, shooing them away, and you survive for a bit longer
but its always the same, in the end, no matter what you try, every time it ends the same way
they find you, hiding on top of one of the structures, in a little cave, somewhere in one of the rides
and you're tortured
you're tortured worse than you ever thought that a being would do
sometimes your tongue is split into thirds from side to side, and is then cut from front to back
sometimes your limbs and body are twisted and contorted into strange shapes, making you into human art
you foolishly believed that these things might have a heart and not make it as slow and painful as they could
well you're right for the first bit, they do have a heart of sorts
after they're done playing with you
after they're done toying with your body
they don't just let you be, leave you where you are to stay there in agony
no, they **** you
nothing extra, nothing complex
just a stab through the heart, a ripping off of the head, and you're gone
unless they're being crueler
at which point, you have the option of fighting back
or letting them **** you in a gruesome way, hanging you from a rope over an open tank of water with lots of hungry creatures eagerly awaiting your fall

at least, that's what you think they do, you're never asleep long enough to find out
and that's why youre glad that they've only now begun to come and get you while you're awake
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