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Charles Barnett Nov 2015
She's the kind of girl that laughs at her own jokes.
Not in the way where you are left thinking
she is the center of her own universe
but in a way that makes her the center of yours.
  Nov 2015 Charles Barnett
Tom Leveille
and here i am again
at the intersection
of pedestrian language
& old wives tales
swallowing gum
like 7 year memories
opening umbrellas inside
cause i can't seem get away
from all of this rain
i ******* with my left hand
cause i was told
back in highschool that
"it feels like someone else is doing it"
it gets me wondering
about the difference between
losing you and finding out
that some one else found you
or my sleep
or lack thereof
its starting to tear me apart
i keep having this dream
where you are in
an unfamiliar body of water
trying to wash my poetry
off of your hands
or the one where
something happens in my chest
every time you sit
on someone else's bed
i'm tired of feeling like something you've misplaced
but don't have the heart
to look for anymore
tired of you saying my name
like you're trying to bury it
i'm tired of wondering
if you can tell the difference
between the absence
of my voice & silence
the other day
i almost started sobbing
at work when a woman
asked me about
our equipment
i was explaining how
things come apart
and almost mentioned your name
it made me think
of how you used to say
things like "what would you do
if i showed up on your doorstep
one day?" now, i haunt
the windows in my house
i don't leave for weeks at a time
i sit on the porch like the dog
you didn't shoot behind the shed
the one that refuses to die
until you come home again
i told somebody once, that
you didn't even know
what my voicemail sounded like
i wonder if they thought
it was because you
are so important that i never
let it ring that many times
before picking up
or if you dont know
what it sounds like
because you've never called
you can't be the ****** weapon
and the search party
i'm tired of all the seats
to the ferris wheel in my chest
being empty
tired of your voice
being the one i look for
in abandoned places
that one sound i beg
to bounce back
down vacant hallways
i just seem to stand there
in all of that quiet
like someone looking for a mistake
on an eviction notice
so i guess the hardest part
isn't letting go
it's forgetting
you ever had a grip
in the first place
and since you've been gone
i wonder if when
you pushed yourself away from me
you used your left hand
so it felt like someone else did it
  May 2015 Charles Barnett
grace elle
My membrane is a flower and too many people have plucked my petals from the stem.
I ripped out all of the pages that had scripture in them, scripture that told stories of who I was back then, scripture I had written with a broken pen.

I kept your voice in a box that's in the attic, it's safe inside a headache, it still sounds nothing less than tragic.
Remember my hands and how they shook when you took everything away, when the demons weren't at bay,
when I screamed for them to stop but still, continually,
everyone's been taken away,
so when people stay please understand that I have to push them away like waves from the shore and ****, I know that's clichè but I'd rather die than let them live in my heart for only a few days.
They still try to talk and I reverberate about how it's unholy to say my name that way, it's unholy to keep me in the fade.
It's unholy to remember me by my eyes and not by my lies.
I have good alibis and it's nothing but true when I say that
I forgot what love means,
I believe it's an illusion that most people just dream, they told me I'm crazy but **** I think I've had more nightmares than dreams so I would know better than to keep my lonely stem stuck in bad weather.

They're over there seducing themselves now, they're seducing themselves with medication that leads to hours of a permutation of all the items in her chest, he leads her to a mutation of what he thinks is best.

I only weep between sheets.

They're far too confident in their self extraction and I just don't understand how that happens, how self absorption can lead to something so terrifying, placing yourself in a box so you can delegate yourself, you're too delicate, it's not good for your health.

That voice inside that box talks in third person now, it says you're not doing too well.
  Dec 2014 Charles Barnett
grace elle
have you ever drowned in a pool of your own blood and been resuscitated by yourself after entering the 9 circles of hell? you enter one hell for each month, and at the end you are reborn again.

the first month, you are forced to watch a movie of your former lover's future love life, the day their sky wasn't your favorite shade of gray anymore, their wedding day, their children growing up in the arms of another, the ending of all endings. you cannot leave the theater, you cannot cry, you cannot scream, only apologize on a cycle like the mixtape you played on repeat that they gave you the day they first told you they loved you.

the second month, your demons circle you for 31 days straight. they tell you the stories of your past you swore you forgot, the knives you though you pulled out, put back in the drawer, and locked away are in their hands. they sing songs of everything that has gone wrong. they wrap their festering arms around your shoulders, they leave oil stained kisses on your neck on the same places all of your previous lovers did. they hold your hand like your mother did, they take you in their arms like your father did. they tell you they love you, you begin to believe them, and on the 31st day they leave, abandon you, the bitter iron taste that is all too familiar enters your mouth.

the third month, you are on the fourteenth floor of an abandoned mansion. salvador dali has painted a mural of what could have been before you drowned in that ****** sticky murky mess of red upon a wall, and you are forced to stare at this for two weeks. on the 15th day of this month van gogh appears in the corner with a box. you open the box and it is of course, his ear. he can see the monstrosity of fear upon your face, you see him open his mouth, you can see the pain escape his lips, but you cannot hear a thing, you look to the wall next to you and a the glow of the burning mural of what your life could have been lights up a wall of ears. you see yours in the center. you cannot hear the fear, you cannot hear the birds, you cannot hear the songs. your past and future are both now long gone.

the fourth month, you enter a white room. a projector projects every memory of your mother from the time you were in the womb to the time she saw your blood surface and your name headline the obituary. every projection of the memories of your father have a slit through the middle, and you swear to god for a split second you see yourself flash across the screen trapped in the barrel of a syringe with each of these memories. you are held captive in this room, this jail cell, with every broken memory that has led you to drown. you cannot cry. you cannot scream. you cannot even hear your own happiness, you cannot hear your mother's voice or the last time your father said i love you. the words goodbye pour as ***** out of your mouth.

the fifth month, you awaken confused as to when you left consciousness. you are in a wooded area, there is a phone stuck to the tree, and you can see the phone vibrating. you answer, though you cannot hear, the leaves on the trees begin to fall off and make out the words of those on the other end. it is the last words of all your friends, the words they screamed after they realized they would never see you again. you try to expel the words that you wished to tell from your chest, from your lungs, but the blood is still oozing within your throat. you are hopeless. you drop the phone and climb the tree hoping to see some type of sea that could help you be free.

the sixth month, you are drug out of the tree by the demons that you began to believe loved you. they drag you out to a sea, they throw you in it, the salt burns the holes where your ears once were. while under water, you see every fetus you will never have, every broken bottle that touched the lips of those you love, every bit of ash from the cigarettes that killed the good cover the sea floor. you have forgotten how to swim and the light is beginning to fade, someone, something, pulls you out. deja vu of exiting your mothers womb washes over you.

the seventh month, a book of every word you ever spoke is placed upon the dirt of the sea bank. you sit in silence and reminisce with your own history book. you can hear the waves, you realize the salty sea fertilized your eardrums, your ears are back in tact. you find some unsettling peace in this place. this month seems so short. so distant. so incessant.

the eighth month, you are drug into a room by those ******* demons again. in the room is every god you've ever known of. they convince you that you were never evil, that your omens were not the demons you have met, they tell you that there is future, there is light. they tell you that you can return. they spend the first three weeks dwelling on the positive things you placed into the world. during the last week, they explain their personalities, each of them, their multiple personalities. they expound on their traits, and god do these traits sound so **** familiar. jesus hangs from the ceiling, and jesus tells you that there was no light, no truth, only the trees. the ******* trees. jesus tells you that he died for himself, not for you, not for them, not for his father. he died for himself, to remove his own weight of pain. god sheds a tear, buddha holds his hand, mother nature hands you a bouquet of wildflowers. they vanish shortly thereafter.

the ninth month, you are still locked in the same room. you realize the room is actually just one solid mirror, the floor, the ceiling, the walls. you realize you were seeing reflections of yourself the entire time, you realize you were speaking to yourself. you realize you actually could speak, that you weren't choking on your own blood. you stare into your own eyes, you ask god for forgiveness. the room goes black.

you awaken in a hospital bed with a bouquet of wildflowers in your hand and a notebook the size of a bible on your chest. you open the notebook and page after page is every ending note you had ever wrote.

you flip to the back cover of the notebook.
it reads: you are forgiven.
Charles Barnett Sep 2014
My friend Murphy knows all kinds of things about everything.
Like the chemical composition of LSD and how to dance ballet.

He told me once that there are an infinite number of universes,
where each possible variation in life has happened and I think
it's kinda funny and I think it's kinda sad

that I'm stuck in this one
Charles Barnett Sep 2014
I am a warped vinyl left in the sun
by your careless hand.

My voice has become so warbled
it's no wonder you can't hear
all of the times I screamed "I miss you"
into that tin can microphone
so many songs ago.

The surface noise has grown louder
than the instruments
and now I know why
you never dust me off
the shelf and play me anymore.
Charles Barnett Jul 2014
I'm sorry if this seems long-winded but everything I write is short
because I'm not used to speaking without you cutting me off mid-sentence and I must get these weights off my chest before they crush my lungs
like the pressure that surrounds me as if I'm a deep sea diver
and you are the ocean. I used to liken you to things like that.
The ocean, the color blue, famous women that have courted my heart
from their places in the history books:
Jeanne d'Arc, Bonnie Parker, Amelia Earhart.
But the wars you wages in my name were lost and my name could never rally the troops like God's.
And the banks we robbed never satiated your expensive taste when everything I could offer you was more brass than gold
and for that I am sorry.
I never wanted you to get lost in the ocean. Your plane crashing somewhere in the vicinity of Howland Island where you sent out your last cry for help
and it choked for life in the static of my busted ******* stereo.
I know that this is coming out in pieces and my stream of consciousness
lacks the stillness that Nature tries to instill like a watchful mother
but I can't help the way all of these words and sentences keep bringing
you back to life and I know now that I will never stop
because what can Nature tell me about the way your lips moved
when you whispered my name.
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