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Clem Mar 2017
I buy the cheapest cigarettes
that I can find
sometimes subsisting solely
on my own fears

too busy counting
and alphabetizing
all of my past traumas
to get to work on time

I’m too young to
feel this old
I’m tired of being
so tired

I’m still waiting
for my life to start—
I’m dreaming of a day
that I can feel young—

as young as these
bones that creak under me
and this flesh that bulges and

as young as these eyes
that do nothing but stretch
and dilate
I’m always so afraid

but I don’t see ghosts anymore
it’s trite to say that what I fear is myself
but I know, I know how evil I can be
and I’m afraid of everything

how do I keep going under
the weight of myself?
why do I try when all I do
is waste so rapidly away?
Clem Mar 2017
I am not here
very often anymore
I am far too busy
staying under the covers
listening to the monsters
growling from under my bed
and by my bed, I mean my mind
how cliché is that?

I am usually in
my car, my broke ***
big red SUV that needs
its AC recharged and
a shift solenoid replaced
and it’s good that I can’t
lock the doors because
I don’t have the key

And I think that’s pretty
corny but accurate way
of describing who I am
I have the means to get
it all going but I lack
the self-control, the
the tools to keep it all in
and to keep myself safe
one day it’ll all come spilling out and
it’ll be all my fault

I make friends with rocks easier
than with people,
and I’d rather hang out with my
dog than with my friend
who I love and haven’t seen in months
because it’s easier
I’d give anything to be able
to take my pets with me to the grocery store

I don’t know how to love
human beings
--I only know how
to fear them, or
to pine after them from far
instead of interacting

I don’t have any little nuggets of wisdom
for you—I’m a borderline, a recovering nihilist,
I have spirits for friends and I worship
old gods shrouded in mystery
I wish I had a gender to cling to
and I wish that I could feel loved
by other humans

my boyfriend and I always fight
because I’m so insecure
because I’m borderline
because I have PTSD
I’ve spent 20 years trying to
cope with untreated mental illness
and a million past traumas

although I’m scared of losing him,
although the things he does
bother me because I’m scared
of how different we are,
I love him more than anything
But I’m afraid he loves me more than I
love him

because when it comes down to it,
I think that I still feel
more connected to
my little black mouse, Coffee Beans,
my temperamental python, Macchiato,
my dog, Joy,
than I ever can feel to him
to humanity

I never learned how to be a person
I was too busy trying to figure
out what I did to make my parents hate me
or how to stay safe from their rage
or how to make friends,
or keep them

too busy pretending that
the terror I lived in was normal
that my parents never hit me
so their screaming insults and
gaslighting shouldn’t touch me
pretending that she’s right—

I’m just a drama queen
and mothers are allowed to
call their daughters names
and punish them for crying
mothers are allowed to
make their daughters feel
so worthless as to be subhuman

I never got to become a person
I was only a mirror image of their abuse
waiting for my life to start
so that I could have friends, so that
I could have a name
and likes
and a style
and, maybe,
someone to love me

and now
I have a car, and although
I can’t afford the gas
I’m comforted by the thought
that I gave something akin
to freedom now
that I can go to the store and
buy food that isn’t filthy and rotted
that I could jump in and drive away
and never come back
if I needed to do that  
and one day I will
Clem Feb 2017
By 3 months a fetus has developed its own
unique set of fingertips and by 10 it's supposed
to have developed a sense that s is loved--

so why am I 12 years old and feeling
like no one could ever love a body
as scarred as mine? I am a flower and I

am my own sun but I'm 12 and I haven't found that
yet. You're the fat clouds that drop
hot rain on my forehead and I do not

realize that too much water bogs roots down,
severs the nodules that keep it down. Rips
it from the ground so that I have no earth.

I am 12 and I have my first F and I'm
sick deep down because I know that it's
all I'm worth. My mother has

taught me how to love--with poisoned fire,
with words that speak of anything but.
And I scramble to avoid blaming you

for the 4-foot child that thinks
death is the ultimate prize, I refuse to
face your cruelty and call it abuse.

You'll never be out of the rain, they would
say--you'll find a dry patch, friends,
love but you'll never be out of the

downpour, hand-me-down hate cascading
in rivulets so much like blood.
"Family" is a bad word that turns my veins cold

but I will tell you that I love you, and I'll
get the words back, sandwitched between
bouts of rage and nights of crying myself awake.

I may never leave the shadow of your claws but
I will cling to this semblance of me that I've dusted
off of filthy bookshelves, piles of clutter, and sunlight,

do anything to keep it from crumbling
under the force of our years. I
am my own mother. I am my own sun.
meant to be read aloud
this one is also old, and not good
Clem Feb 2017
A long road, flat, hard,
dirt-strewn, and I
am already out of water.

My canteen's filled with dusty
stones from the bend by
the red brick schoolhouse

I passed a few years back.
The night is brief and I am
as white as the water-thin

moonbeams, a crumpled
piece of copy paper never scribbled on,
that bounces off the toenails peeking

out of my shoes. The cool watery
light offers no relief here in
my sun-baked pilgrimage.

Behind me are the dozens of city
lights that kept me sane for miles--
ahead is only the deep yellow sun,

and the threat of smoke.
No travelers join me here.
No lonely cur falls in step with me.

The crows even reject my
bones--I am not done yet.
At my feet, my empty canteen falls.
idk dude i wrote this 2 years ago and i forgot it existed
Clem Jan 2017
Things have started
to get nasty, people
have stopped pretending
that they are not evil

the fabric of fake nicety
has been scorched down
and we fight in the face of
a wrinkled green gremlin

whose name is many
whose language is disgust
whose heart is sealed shut
whose pride is gleaming ****

How did we get here? we
huddled, tired, hungry & poor
standing at her pale jade door
being told we’re a liability

pushed out of homes we own
and families we’ve raised
to the streets, making noise
fighting though we’re so tired

It’s how they want us—
tired from years of fighting,
too tired to keep on.
But we’ll never stop.

Though their name is many,
ours is more. The teeming
multitudes arise to take

his place. We protest. We resist.

The gloves are off,
and we persist.
Clem Dec 2016
i heard
the storm

rivers of rain, like streams of sweat,
dribbled down the drywall of my room
through the holes in the insulation
and the faulty, redneck-rigged flue

it felt
a bit
like May.

can't blame myself for being
discomfitted by rain in december
but the snow that falls in march
bothers me much more.

i saw

in the tepid pools leaking on my floor
winking back uncomfortably
as mold grows in our walls
  Dec 2016 Clem
Keith Wilson
Suddenly  gone  very  quiet  here.
Main  tourists  now  long  gone.

Birds  and  animals  quiet  too.
No  morning  chorus.

Weather  stagnant, mainly  cloudy, no  wind.
And  surprisingly  no  sign  of  rain.

Trees  are  beautiful  though.
Leaves  of  rich  reds,  browns,  and  golds.

Keith  Wilson.  Windermere.  UK.  2016.

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