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1.9k · Dec 2013
Water Balloons
Danny C Dec 2013
The air in this room is heavier at night,
it inflates my lungs like water balloons.

I think about what loneliness is,
learning that I'm the only breathing body here.
A twin sized bed is plenty of room for me;
I can't sleep in a crowded blanket
pushing two sets of shoulders together,
like a suitcase slipping overstuffed clothes
through gaping zipper teeth.

I only have one chair in here,
barley enough comfort for one.
But this room needs another life,
two more lungs to share the air.

There won't be enough seating,
or a place for your clothes.
But I won't mind stretching this blanket
to cover four shoulders.
1.8k · Apr 2012
Danny C Apr 2012
I'm gonna sew your lips
And show you what you've done
I'm gonna sew your lips
Cause I'm your surgeon

I'm gonna wait til you break down
Til you crawl inside your cave
I'm gonna fill my chalice
With blood trickling down your arm

I'm gonna set you on fire
And see how your body burns
Gonna watch your cold words melt
to ghosts that haunt these halls

You believe in doll houses
And fancy shiny cars
Anything to give you comfort
Anything to keep you safe

Anything to give you comfort
Anything to keep them away
1.5k · Nov 2014
115 Towers
Danny C Nov 2014
I stood at the bridge on Monroe,
peering into a stale brown river
hoping to be swept away
by a historic flood.

Reflections of these steel towers
bent, cracked and refracted,
becoming ripples where the water lay flat.
And as I turned, a great roar exploded
like a thunderous train
galloping over a brittle iron bridge.

Slabs of forged metals and concrete
crumbled like an autumn leaf under a footprint.
Mighty architecture burst out in a spectacular grey;
a Fourth of July before 1855.
Everything built, believed and once conceived
now fell like deflating balloons:
slowly, calmly without hurry--only certainty.

And I stood amid the wreckage,
where we once built cathedrals
surrounded by heavy lights and one-way flights.
One step wedged another mile between us,
and our dusty promises became harder to see.
1.4k · Jun 2014
We Built Cathedrals
Danny C Jun 2014
We built cathedrals on street corners
under heavy orange lights
cascading down our faces.

I loved your imperfections:
a narrow, twisted spine,
a long, indented nose
and a shrill voice slicing through
the midnight summer wind.

I'd love you forever
in the sagging bench
on your thin front porch,
where I'd spend eternity
tracing outlines of silhouetted trees
covering soft, flaring streetlights.

We burned through hours
recounting the wounds from our past.
Every kiss was a lightning bolt,
and cracked like raging thunder.
We felt a violent forgiveness
exploding like stars in the pits of our chest.
1.3k · Aug 2012
Part 2 - The War
Danny C Aug 2012
The children snatched up their guns
and left to fight their grandfathers' war
There were liars and cheaters
Making a game of their deceit
There were monsters in the woods
One touch to spread their disease
And the villagers gathered through fear
To raise a man by his neck into a tree

On a beach, there are explosions
Relentless war, the very battle
that's been fought for decades
The same words, the same blood
The same friends -- year after year

Eternal slavery to build great towers
Only to crumble like sandcastles
and to end with a fire
Surrounded by old faces with stories
The same wounds, the same blood
The same friends -- year after year
Part two of seven, detailing my trip to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Leave some love if you've been there!
1.3k · Oct 2012
Danny C Oct 2012
This is the first time
I’ve noticed the gray of the stone
And the mountain above it.

This is first time,
Holding up this burden,
I’ve felt eternity.

I’ve watched the same cuts
And gashes from jagged edges
Tear themselves into my hands.

I’ve felt the same blood
And sweat on my skin
Trickle down my arms to the ground.

This is the first time
I’ve let my neck hang below
My weary shoulders.

And for the first time
I’ve truly abandoned hope,
I’ve finally felt defeat.

With nothing left to give
And nowhere else to go
I’m closing my eyes.

I know what this means
And what will become of me
For giving up this life.
But I am tired
Of trying to conquer eternity
And the weight of the stone.
Danny C Nov 2014
I wondered for the first time today
about the man that will capture your heart,
like I never could.

You'll meet him at some Friday night party
in a dim living room among wafts of pale gray smoke
and stale vapors from a shared hookah.

Some morning later, when lights stab your eyes,
and every sound tosses your stomach, you'll scramble
for scattered clothes, twisted and turned,
inside-out: your heart, confused and excited.

You'll say it was all unexpected, unplanned—a flight unmanned.
I'll hug you like a friend, and I'll mean it when I say
something vague about being happy for you.

At some white-clothed table, sheltered away
from twisting hips and unkempt ties,
I'll slide my fingers down condensation
of an abandoned, unfinished drink.
I'll look at you, and we'll recount the nights,
circa summer 2008, on my bedroom floor
and hanging from monkey bars,
dreaming of cool ocean nights and Hollywood lights.
And I'll pray he will love you like that.
1.2k · Jul 2013
Angles and Lighting
Danny C Jul 2013
I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life:
all the pictures you see of me weren't goofy moments
with friends and family whose cameras sympathize.

I'm not one for portraits or photographs.
And I don't do well with a candid capture
of the face I see every morning.

Each angle is meticulously planned and preordained.
Every gesture, the charming smirk you see in my smile,
is scrupulously rehearsed like a Broadway show.

Because lord help this man, if I let them see what I am,
there ain't a body who'd love someone like that.
1.2k · Oct 2012
Prayer by a Doubting Thomas
Danny C Oct 2012
I’m afraid of dying.
I’m afraid of what
I’ve been warned about you.
I’m scared of everything
That may just be true

I’m afraid of everyone.
I’m afraid of what
They’ve all told me about you.
I’m terrified of living
Without a single answer

Was Thomas so wrong
Not to believe you
Without slipping his fingers
Through your heart and your wrists?

I’m afraid of being a skeptic.
I’m afraid of doubting
All that I’ve been told about you.
I’m scared of believing
That you’re my only chance

I’m afraid of being wrong.
I’m afraid of what
I’ve been told you might do.
I’m terrified of being right
And falling into nothingness

Would I be so wrong
Not to believe you
Without slipping my own fingers
Through your heart and your wrists?

I’m afraid of eternity.
I’m afraid of where
Either death may lead me.
I’m terrorized by knowing
Only one fear is real.
1.2k · Mar 2013
Window Paintings
Danny C Mar 2013
In 1558 Pieter Brueghel painted
Icarus falling to the blue and green water
in a darkened corner, out of sight

He crashed close to shore
between a fisherman busy reviewing his catch
and a great ship with its sails being pulled
farther and farther into the sea

He sank and drowned quietly
while the whole world carried on
unbothered by death and tragedy
tending to their plows and herds

They’ll come back tomorrow
to plow their fields and steer their herds
with the same thoughts, an endless loop
even when a boy falls from the sky

And like my house falling to pieces
of white rubble and shattered glass
The screams are kept between the walls,
but the windows are paintings
of young boys falling to the floor
silently, unnoticed by the world,_Pieter_de_Oude_-_De_val_van_icarus_-_hi_res.jpg
1.1k · Dec 2012
Jet Plane
Danny C Dec 2012
I met you at the corner under the streetlight
You were staring west, following tail lights
I already knew how this would end
So I said a prayer on my torn and bleeding knees

A plane crashed before I finished speaking
Flames took over the November night
Screams and wails roared from dissipating turbines
I wish they tore up every piece of me

My eyes were steady when the wings broke apart
I stood with the stone on my shoulders
Even when the smoke filled my lungs
I forgave you, I had no choice but to lie

We held each other amid of the wreckage
Engines and fuel went up like the 4th of July
I knew what was going to happen then
So I bought a ticket for the next flight
That secret that you knew, but you don't know how to tell
It ***** with your honor, and it teases your head
-Bon Iver
1.1k · Jun 2014
Danny C Jun 2014
You said my face felt
like sandpaper, as you kissed
me with your hand sliding
from my ear down to my neck.

I told you I shaved
my scruffy beard a day before
because you deserved
to see me looking my best.

But even my best wasn't enough
for you to stay in Illinois.
You decided a year ago
to run away to Colorado,
and I would be an anchor
weighing you, dragging
you into a darkened ocean.
1.1k · Dec 2013
Prose #4
Danny C Dec 2013
In winter, sound travels faster. It cuts through the December air like an airplane through a morning cloud. But inside it's still the same: A restaurant of clattering silverware clanking against emptying plates of an overpriced breakfast and dialogues blending together like the roar of industrial dishwashers. I wonder how many conversations it takes to fill an otherwise empty room with white noise. Sometimes a spoiled child will punch through the murmuring with a wild, untamed hiss, or a clash of plates, glasses and silverware stacked like a wavering Jenga tower will crank necks and turn shoulders. And yet, in my booth for two, half filled -- as my coffee is -- there is silence more terrifying than a raging hurricane. As the waiter fills my coffee with a consolation sigh, I sit quietly thumbing through old contacts in a phone built for someone far more important than me. I see no names that should fill the empty seat, and wish so badly to add a new one.
1.0k · Nov 2014
Challenging Horizons
Danny C Nov 2014
I took a drive tonight
to the edge of town—
to our teenage horizon.

I remembered how big that wall used to be,
how scared we were to be confined.
We'd stand at the end of glass-frame houses
like it was the edge of all the world.
So afraid of looking down,
we never lifted our eyes across.

I always thought we were too afraid,
not ready, or something vague.
Maybe we just grew farther
apart. We were meandering rivers
flooding over new plains,
carving out separate trenches.

But I don't think you changed.
I know now I ignored that side of you,
that I was blind to your warning signs
and caution lights.

You were bound to challenge that horizon's cliff,
and I couldn't run from the cities we built
on the front porches of our wild and reckless summers.
1.0k · Nov 2012
4 AM
Danny C Nov 2012
Mom sneaks through the front door
I'm pretending to be asleep on the couch
At 4AM, she reeks of cigarettes
She closes the door softly, dad stays asleep

I pretend I am sleeping on the couch
Mom drags the smell of cigarettes in with her
The door squeaks quietly, dad still sleeps
He left the TV on again, it reports today's tragedy

Mom smells like black lungs again.
The door clicks shut, she creeps past dad's recliner
He left the TV on again, tragedies muffle her footsteps
She's used to sleeping alone by now.

The door's closed, and dad still sleeps
He left the TV on and snores through tragedy
Mom can barely sleep with him around
The tragedies mean nothing to me

Dad leaves the TV on every night
Mom would sleep better if he left
I don't care about the tragedies
I can see my mom ****** in a crumpled burning car

Mom is restless when dad is home
Tragedies don't mean anything to her
She speeds at night and takes drags of embers
I wonder if she really wants to die

Tragedies play through the screen
Mom speeds at night and lights another cigarette
I wonder, does she want to die?
Doesn't she ever think of me?

Mom drives too fast at night and burns up her lungs
I worry that she's always dying
And never thinks to call me saying, I remember you
I picture sirens and lights outside my house

I ask God why she wants to die
I wonder if she knows what she does to me
When I hear the sirens driving by
I shut my eyes and wait for the door to creak again

I scream whispers, why does she do this to me?
I pray the sirens aren't going to find her
I close my eyes and try not to cry
And at 4 AM, she smells like cigarettes
1.0k · Nov 2013
Fluorescent Lights
Danny C Nov 2013
Under these lights I'm honest.
Every flaw, every imperfection
shows true, like raw footage of a plane
crashing into the ground,
showing everything that went wrong.

They show me who I really am,
and what everyone sees:
Chipped, coffee-stained teeth,
frayed, wiry brown hair,
small, deep brown eyes,
every scratch, every scar
every razor-burned pore,
everything I try to ignore
in other rooms of the house.

It explains why I buy lamps
with dimming shades and
warm, dark-yellow bulbs:
The less you can see of me,
the longer it'll be before
you go on rushing out,
jingling keys, clutching a cocktail dress.
967 · Jun 2013
On Friendship
Danny C Jun 2013
I looked at your name in my phone,
the picture and last post
from your Facebook account
sent to and from space
on transmissions and airwaves.

I have a hard time remembering
the last time I saw you - at a bar,
the Blackhawks and the Bruins
making history on some LED screen,
while we sipped on cheap beer
and reminded each other
that our jobs aren't that bad.

A wise man said friendship
needs constant repair,
like your old red Jeep,
always rattling and clanking
for one reason or another.

And I realized tonight how things have changed:
that we're not growing apart, just growing up,
or maybe it's both, and maybe it's okay.
964 · Aug 2012
Part 3 - The Raft
Danny C Aug 2012
Only the might survive
Olympians, they triumph with great battle cries,
challenging all who dare to test their strength
The wounded retreat to safety
They are the lucky ones
Seeking shelter as the storms blow in

Clouds mask the stars above
And wishful minds are bitter to give in
In the field, a girl lies curiously
She is alone, but never sought
an arm or a chest to sleep upon
At least, never from me

But I am tired now, I never learned to swim
For the night I sleep on the raft
And wait until I wake from this dream
when the beauty fades into memory
And I return to the city, to dream
Of sleeping again someday
Third poem of seven I wrote each night in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
952 · Jul 2013
Danny C Jul 2013
When I found out you were dead,
I looked at your photo on the mantle.
It seemed older now, your crooked smile
and that Budweiser hat you always wore.

What is it about dying that gives
our portraits a new power of time?
A drunken nostalgia pushing tears
down over our eyelids onto our cheeks.

When I look at your photo on the mantle
I feel a creeping thought crawl through:
"You seem like the one who'da died."
Not fate, not destiny, definitely not God,
but a part of who you are, the man we knew
had a trait that fit death so sweetly,
like a sad song from 1961, and a line we loved
about old cars and holding on, just a little while.

You seem older now, you'd be 33 this year.
Your crooked smile would be different,
and that Budweiser hat you always wore
wouldn't fit as well as in our photos of you.
946 · Jul 2019
You'll Find Sparrows
Danny C Jul 2019
You'll find sparrows, my mother said
Not in the thick,
nor the deep dark
canopies of the woods

You will find them, in droves,
at the ends of tree lines,
busy, busy—always busy
whether in song or with a twig

You will find them in coves
perched upon the green vines,
busy, busy—always busy
calling out upon a sprig

They are small when alone
like me,
in the long, silent hours of my nights
But in the morning they are a chorus
reminding you of all the work yet begun

So, go, find yourself a tree
You'll find sparrows when you're done
931 · Nov 2012
Self-Portrait (Short)
Danny C Nov 2012
I’m the son of a storm and a burning parade
Saw the carnival lights going up in a blaze
916 · Jun 2014
Orange Hue
Danny C Jun 2014
I will always remember your face
in an orange hue
from streetlights, scattered
all down your hazel eyes,
and a slight overbite
exposing your skinny teeth.

I've loved you better than the rest:
longer and deeper than any great canyon,
and farther, until the edge of doom.

In a humid summer shade,
surrounded by creaking swing sets
and shredded wood chips
you told me, "I'll never stop loving you."

Street lights and park benches our cathedrals,
the hood of a beaten down Honda our tower of stone,
where I came to love you most.
899 · Jul 2013
Tiny Bubbles
Danny C Jul 2013
At night I tear myself to pieces
wondering which organs are failing,
or how many bones are breaking.

I feel for awkward lumps or other signs
of lesions, tumors and rampant disease
that may someday infest my body,
or have already started to **** me.

All the white coats scare me sometimes;
with red test tubes, proof of the life inside me.
But all I see is dark blue and tiny bubbles
watching a little of the life float above me
Danny C Nov 2012
In your face I see the girl I loved
all those years ago. You are a
memory between my thoughts
flickering like dying embers.
From minutes spent with a shaking
voice through the phone, you will
never be the same. I offer everything
I have, knowing the bullet cut
clean through your chest, and
nothing will soak up the blood.
You deserve better than this.
885 · Jun 2013
Danny C Jun 2013
I found your flaws first:
your thin, wispy hair,
the arch in your back,
that slightly crooked nose.

And you found mine:
following a girl who took my heart
and the air right from my lungs.
She'd wring me dry
till my veins were scarred purple,
caked with pale red dust.

While you and I laid on the floor
in the dark, planning
our escape to California
as we had always done,
I realized the mistake I made
by not loving you first.
855 · Apr 2013
Twin Sized Bed (Revised)
Danny C Apr 2013
You laid on the right side of the bed
toward the wall, tightly tucked between
scuffed paint and my bony shoulders.

You drove from St. Louis, a full eight hours
to spend a cheap night's sleep next to me
(if  you can even call that sleeping).

We got drunk and peeled off every stitch
of clothing we were wearing.
It was probably our worst idea so far.

I didn't sleep a minute
in this crowded twin sized bed,
made for a single body.

You woke up and kissed me –
my neck, my shoulder, my chest
from the inside of the bed where
maybe you felt safe
between a scuffed wall
and a sharp shoulder bone.

Now I look to the inside, toward the wall,
scuffs like scars, the wear and tear,
and remember the indent your body made:

fetal – curled and slightly sinking, wrapped
in a rumpled, thick flannel blanket
I had kicked my way out of hours before.

But it's all over now. You left
weeks ago with no plans to return.
I knew that, and it's my fault
for looking so defeated now,
a single indent in this twin sized bed.
812 · Nov 2013
Prose #3
Danny C Nov 2013
When we met inside a Dunkin Donuts on the corner of two busy streets, I ordered a small coffee. I said I had a lot to get done tonight, so I can't be out too long. If you knew how well I can lie, you wouldn't recognize me on a crowded street. I always ordered a medium before, because it took longer to cool, so we spent more time taking cautious sips through the small opening of a plastic lid protecting a styrofoam cup. But I dreaded seeing you again, because it'd be so long since I remembered the angles of your face, and the deep darkness of your swirling brown eyes, and the straight sharpness of your thick locks of black hair. Because when I'm not lying, I can say I don't miss you anymore. A busy street full of strangers is plenty company for me, and I don't mind my right hand catching a cold November breeze, instead of warming up inside your left. You said you're doing better, that the emptiness of your studio apartment isn't as lonely as it used to be. You said sleeping on your full-sized bed was okay now, that only one side warmed by a breathing body wasn't sad anymore. But you still missed me, my scruffy, uneven beard, the boots I look my best in and your head on my chest. We walked outside so you could smoke a cigarette, and I left quickly. I lied and said we should see each other again. But I hoped you'd lose sight of me on that busy street, becoming ambiguously shaped inside a scrambling river of cold winter bodies, all with cold hands clenched or covered in gloves, not holding any others.
793 · May 2013
Danny C May 2013
I look at the legs of older men
Aged, with their imperfections
showing more visibly every day.
Clustered veins bulging
like roots from a tree
climbing from under the dirt.

I look at the bodies of women
who have lost their youth
from passing years and cigarette butts.
Their faces sagging and folding over
pressing lines into the skin,
a new flaw every year.

And I'm haunted that one day
my body will be decrepit and tattered
like the rags of a skeleton's suit,
and I wonder who will love me
when I have nothing left to show.
790 · Mar 2013
Circa Summer 2008 (Revised)
Danny C Mar 2013
Back then I would wait by phone just in case she'd call.
Shuffling through my old MySpace messages,
I tried to remember the way that I used to think
as I wrote to friends in acronyms and broken words.

Shuffling through my old MySpace messages,
I remembered my sweaty palms clicking “Send”
as I wrote to friends in acronyms and broken words
begging them to understand that I couldn't carry on like this.

I remembered my sweaty palms clicking “Send”
They told me to change, while I spent my nights
begging them to understand that I couldn't carry on like this:
A girl who only came back when a clever boy got the best of her.

They told me to change, while I spent my nights
drunk on cheap stolen beer and plans of escaping
a girl who only came back when a clever boy got the best of her.
But I could never say “Not tonight” to her – or to anyone, really.

Drunk on cheap stolen beer and plans of escaping,
I figured I’d run to California, or somewhere farther,
but I could never say “Not tonight” to her – or to anyone, really.
being a heap of ****** flesh on the floor was better than being alone

I figured I’d run to California, or somewhere farther.
I tried to remember the way that I used to think:
Being a heap of ****** flesh on the floor was better than being alone
back then. I would wait up by the phone just in case she'd call.
I revised this by using the correct form of a pantoum, rather than tweaking it.
789 · Mar 2013
White Tudor (Revised)
Danny C Mar 2013
My house was built in 1926
It was plastered with white stucco
framed within a blue trim, once green
which still shows through chips of paint
flaking off like a scab
from a curious child's playground wounds

This house fended off storms and fires
for nearly one hundred years
and stood tall and strong even when
my family fell to pieces

Dad should have left a long time ago
No one could sleep with him around
as he snored through our tragedy:
A mother and a father who hated
each other, both too stubborn to leave

I had dreams at 4AM, when I could sleep,
of the house collapsing, and these walls caving in
burying us alive in dusty white gravel

Mom wanted to be free like she was
when she would smoke cigarettes in her 20's
with young men lucky enough to have her

Dad didn't want the world to see us destroyed
So he stayed inside our little white tudor
tearing down the walls as we all fell apart
and were buried beneath the wreckage
that tore us all to pieces
784 · May 2013
Like a Science (Revised)
Danny C May 2013
I learned to hate when I was 10
and studied my flaws first:
frayed and wispy hair,
weak and bony shoulders,
and a smile more crooked
than old, crumbling floorboards,
(a calloused thumb to blame).

When my only few took to rushing out,
like blood from an open vein,
I wasn't surprised: Everybody leaves,
and why wouldn't you?

Soon my house would have
one less body, leaving alone
to sleep in another empty bed.

When I was 16 I tore myself apart
on the bathroom floor at 4AM.
I knew it was my fault
that she didn't love me.
I saw every reason in the mirror.
I chewed my lips to blood and scars
and tore my brittle hair from its roots.

I studied my flaws like a science,
measuring the chips and stains
on my teeth, still crooked
like an uprooted house.
782 · May 2013
Waiting Room (Draft)
Danny C May 2013
I opened up a Men's Health
as awkwardly as I was sitting
in that cold, dry room
filled with cheap leather chairs.

"7 Steps to Being Confident,"
Only seven, he says.
The first read, "Love Yourself."
Not a moment, I whispered Nope,
frightened by my instinct.

I'd like to see you try
I threatened, tossed back
into a memory of a failing roof.

Divorce is a landmine
that twists and tears off your leg.
You'll stand after a year,
but you'll never walk again.

It’s an endless photo album
that you can't keep closed up,
locked away in a dusty attic.

All my wars raged in a single year.
One-legged and trying to run away,
I couldn't dare love someone like that.
"They ******* up, your mum and dad."
-Philip Larkin
779 · Apr 2013
Mattress on the Floor
Danny C Apr 2013
My futon mattress is still on the floor, folded
once over with a crumpled blanket on top.
I’d laid it out for us to fall into and fumble
over each other, drunk and half-naked.

We laughed and breathed deeply,
you on top of me, me on top of you.
We bumped our heads and joked
that only we could make *** a comedy.

Led Zeppelin came through the speakers
as we tumbled into each other the next morning.
Your eyes met mine as I watched you move,
we joked we've probably seen too many ******.

I haven’t planned to put away the mattress
or even fold the plush, brown blanket.
I'd like it to seem as if you’re still here
and that we didn't just **** for nothing.
I don't usually write with curse words, but I felt like it works here to express emotional detachment. What do you think?
779 · Apr 2013
Vacant House
Danny C Apr 2013
In March of 2005, Dad packed his things
and left the house that he raised me in.
I didn’t notice anything missing, except for
a black and white photo album off the mantle
and the lounge chair he slept on for two years.

His new home, a renovated split-level,
was empty like an abandoned barn:
beautiful in its own tragic way, with
barely enough strength to keep it from
toppling over into a pile of rotted wood.

It was vacant, despite all the possessions
and bodies that lay lifeless inside the walls.

Years of silent dinners amplified by echoes
of awkward tiptoeing and closing doors
to hide the things nobody knew how to say.
774 · Nov 2012
Danny C Nov 2012
I throw my first through the silver pane
for showing me all the reasons
I hate myself.

I tore the hair from my scalp
and chewed my lips
to blood and scars.

While I measured the chips
and stains on my teeth,
the perfect men screamed
into microphones
and the whole world danced.

These mirrors are the reasons
I never speak.

Dress me up like a Broadway star.
Make me flawless.
763 · Oct 2013
Prose #2
Danny C Oct 2013
I saw her sitting on the curb with somebody, smoking an extra cigarette so she could stay an extra four minutes. That's how long it takes her to smoke each time. He lit one next to her and they talked about whatever reasons they had to complain that day. What's worse than knowing exactly what's going to happen next? This train's whistle is wailing and begging me to get off the tracks, but the ropes are tied just tightly enough so I can wriggle and squirm and scream but it's not enough to roll over the rail. I'll see him lying next to her admiring long black hair and a colorful elephant tattoo. The scent of stale smoke radiates from their lips as he leaves for the night — with their teeth stained a little darker now from reheated coffee. Soon they'll empty every bottle in the place and slip out of their clothes between dark red sheets stained from her teeth sinking into my neck. I'll be buried in the churchyard, my last rites read by a thief.
744 · Jun 2014
Prose #5
Danny C Jun 2014
We made plans to spend the night together a week after I kissed you the hundredth time. I lean back in a rigid blue desk chair and count perforations in aging foam ceiling tiles and dead tubes inside industrial fluorescent lights. My stomach twists and turns like thick, black death of a tornado tearing through a Midwestern town. I scroll through your last texts, how listless they felt. I read "Goodnight" from days ago, with nothing alive filling a light blue bubble. I wonder if you'll love me enough until the weekend, when I take the final exit off a three-hour highway and course through city blocks like blood in woven arteries to find you. When we tiptoe into your quiet bedroom, I pray you'll feel concussing tremors in your heart, spraying blood like scalding orange lava through your veins, with every word I confess on the ashen wooden floor.
736 · Feb 2013
Not Death, But After
Danny C Feb 2013
In the back seat of Dad’s red Grand Prix
I thought about death for the first time
and if God forgave kids who didn’t believe in him

Eternity was suddenly terrifying,
even in Heaven, an endless celebration
And in the dark, I would be alone, a streak of light
racing through empty space
with nowhere to go but further away

Mom was the first to see me falling to pieces
as I tried to explain the promise of Heaven was scary
like endless flames, and an eternity of nothing was just the same

As a child I ran from fear and hid in a well lit room
But here, as a crumpled heap on the ground, I couldn’t escape
Mom begged me not to be afraid
with a kiss and a therapist’s receipt
She promised peace and beauty in death
as I tore myself apart on the side of the road
735 · Jan 2013
Little Pink Flowers
Danny C Jan 2013
I remember too much
Teach me how to forget
Mix the blood and dripping medicine
to a lighter shade of red
so the sheets stain less violently
so the spatters look like
a bouquet of pink lilacs
735 · Feb 2016
Chicago in July
Danny C Feb 2016
Biddle-ding deedling,
Hear the sound wind chimes make
Summertime rolling in
East from the west

Lemon wedge swirling round
Whiskey kept icy cold,
Tangy now, bittersweet
Soft words confessed
734 · Jun 2014
Jagged Angles
Danny C Jun 2014
My bruises are fading
from that old, ragged bench
that we sat in for hours
as we fell further than we ever did before
into each other's arms.

That tattered metal frame
carved out a starving skeleton
through a dull blue cushion.
The bars dug into my back, shoulders and neck
like sinking teeth, spurting blood under my skin.

Now, the vessels are healing,
soaking up what's left of me
and tunneling it back to my heart.
Blue and purple reminders
of a quiet, muggy Saturday night
are becoming fluid—like my memory will:
Rather than the truth, I will remember
what suits me best, from a faulty camera in my mind.

I pray these wounds never fade,
so I can know the jagged angles forever:
both of the frame in my back,
and your sharp thin bones
cradled in my skinny arms,
maybe for the last time.

I press down on the waning bruises,
a sign that time has escaped me,
to feel no pain; no proof
that at last, you loved me best.
715 · Nov 2013
Heaven and Hell
Danny C Nov 2013
In school I was taught to love
Jesus because he died for me,
so I could be forgiven and
see him in Heaven.

But I never learned what Heaven was,
or Hell, and what the difference
was between the two of them:

Hell, with its flames and sorrow mixing
like red and blue paint, blood under the skin.
The wounds we witness but can't do anything about.

Heaven, white without temptation,
clouds that never rain or clash with lower pressure,
and offer no decision to do good.

Eternity is a prison, whether a rigid valley of burning faces,
or an endless celebration of our sacrifices and charity.
705 · Dec 2012
Watch Me Catch Fire
Danny C Dec 2012
I'm trying the best I can
To let go of the things I'm not
and put down the stone
But the tumor swells at night
I try to drown it with poison
Watch me catch fire

I don't want to eat myself alive
Tear at the flesh, red stains on my shirt
I'm trying to hold my guts together
Without spilling them on the floor
Pull back the skin and see what's chewing them up

This is ******* the pain
Put down the needle and the spoon
Tell the mirror it's time to stop
Tearing apart all night will **** you
I can bleed out the sickness
Dry it on a towel
And set it on fire
Burn away all the doubts

I can bleed out the sickness
I can set fire to the poison
So I packed up my things and faced up my doubts,
You know, I think I will grow my hair back out
-The Gaslight Anthem
692 · Aug 2012
Part 5 - The Conversation
Danny C Aug 2012
I found you in a ditch
You were ripped up and tangled
I couldn't even tell if you were breathing
And you confided in me, who'd left you here

The girl you loved had you by the strings
She was tearing out your stitches
And wringing out your blood
While I tried to sew you back together,

She took a plane out of Chicago
And landed in another boy's arms.
You told me it was your fault
That she wanted more than this

I never trusted you’d survive with her
You tried for years and years
To untangle the thread, and I found
you wound up and choking.

You've always been a patient man,
So full of sympathy, an endless apology.
But you said you're leaving in a month
I hope you meant it.
667 · Mar 2012
Saints and Sinners
Danny C Mar 2012
I pedaled slowly; a rusty chain circled its track
Quiet winds kissed my cheeks and my fingertips
Before me, a church is home to singing angels
It neighbors a house of cracking Rulers and warnings of damnation
Inside the house are black boards caked in white dust
The dust resides slyly, a subtle reminder of who I was
And from my lips a remedy falls in the form of a sigh
Knowing that the Demons inside are nothing but forgotten ghosts
660 · Aug 2012
Part 6 - The Weary Kind
Danny C Aug 2012
We are the weary kind
Young hearts with bitter lips
Like old men cursing the government
We try and fail to reconcile ourselves
With the world and sins surrounding us

We are the weary kind
Tarnished souls and foul language
We joke to fix the world
Or at least fend it off a little longer
Before it closes us inside

We are the weary kind
We stay up late with talks of how to save the world
And how to get out of it alive
I've been told that everybody dies
But what if we stayed?
Do the weary learn to survive?
Part six of seven poems I wrote in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Leave some love if you've ever had the pleasure of visiting.
634 · Jun 2014
Scars like Ribbons
Danny C Jun 2014
My head is a car wreck:
oil and gasoline spilling out
like bloodied bodies
between shattered windows
and jammed in steel doors.

A pile of iron bars slips
and shoots out a spark to ***** liquid
crawling slowly toward a curbside drain,
and I’m on fire.

The words I worry you'll say,
will char my bones to powdered black.
I see us sitting on your bedroom floor
facing each other, while you calculate
whether loving me like you did
on your front porch is a liability.

I’ll admit to the risk
and show you the scars
like tattered ribbons across my chest.
Yours are like Christmas,
all wrapped up in bow.
I've never seen a wound
decorated so beautifully.
Danny C Mar 2012
Summer strips you,
nearly bare
Like an old cartoon,
Foghorns blare from my eyes.
I can barely believe
the bronze of your shoulders

I **** myself by God
For seeing much more
Than I can possibly bare.
619 · Apr 2013
Glass Cases
Danny C Apr 2013
In the halls of my first school
I passed bulletin boards
trapped in locked glass cases.
They reflected my bony shoulders
and awkward overbite.

I passed those mirrors every day
to judge the way I walked
and carried my books
about Heaven and Hell.

I wondered how to make myself perfect:
Maybe if I changed, they would have stayed.
I don't really like this one too much, so feel free to critique it all you want. I'd like to work with it more so I can come to appreciate it myself.
609 · Oct 2013
Prose #1
Danny C Oct 2013
It's amazing what can happen in a month. And how when you meet someone, you see them how you want them to be, and they go along with it for a while. But as time goes on it totally changes. Like, things get all tangled and twisted out of shape so very easily. You never see it coming, but once it's painfully obvious you've lost control, you start to see all the warning signs you either missed or chose to ignore. And then, that conversation you dreaded for days is that much harder. It's like watching the ceiling start to give in and break apart, and you're just sitting there watching the plaster and dust crumble down just before the drywall and beams cave in. And when she leaves you tell her you understand, because you have no choice. But that's not enough when you're lying awake at night waiting for your phone to vibrate and spray a burst of blue light across the darkened walls and falling ceiling. But she's really gone, and she really is moving to Chicago and will probably find someone else who'll keep her warm when the winter comes through.
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