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Nov 2016 · 1.4k
Fraud, n.
E Townsend Nov 2016
Didn’t I ever think to be authentic
collecting words, snapping photographs
exclaiming I am enamored with language and art

when honestly, I am merely a fraud
to what I love. My hands aren’t stained with ink,
my eyes aren’t trained to learn new techniques
paper is not my friend nor is a roll of film
tossing around in my bag of nonexistent records that
I actually love my hobbies.

I feel that I am not quite
an owner of my interests,
stealing passion from others and wishing
they were my own.
Nov 2016 · 1.0k
Poisoned Syrup
E Townsend Nov 2016
The poison of my expectations
immunized my body systems

creeping in the veins a shot
of disappointments, frustrations

I cannot keep setting myself up this way

Antidotes are not the cure. Nothing can remedy
the syrup of downfalls encroaching my liver

the gates are closed.
You can’t hurt me anymore.
Nov 2016 · 4.0k
An Existential Crisis
E Townsend Nov 2016
I am alive and I am terrified.
Why does the future have to be
this question mark, this puddle of murkiness
wagging its finger to beg you to come
closer,
closer
closer.

Darkness lurches above me in
halos circling brightly, making no sense

I can see you, Future
I can see everything I want to see
but the waters won’t clear, the question mark
won’t turn into an exclamation point,

and you make me travel down the path
farther
farther
farther
into the unknown.
Oct 2016 · 505
Stillborn
E Townsend Oct 2016
I didn't expect this dream to be a stillborn
after so many years of seeing this false image of reality
it never arrived intact.
Oct 2016 · 345
Real
E Townsend Oct 2016
we make plans for the future but we're never guaranteed for it to come through
Aug 2016 · 717
Dissociation
E Townsend Aug 2016
You sold me a false dream. You told me that I could make it home after I graduated. High school. College. I’m still ******* here. I told you that I was a failure, I failed at achieving my dream of finally escaping hell. Everyone else got their form of happiness. My turn will never arrive.
You told me that the future would be a happy time, but when I thought of the future ten years ago, I didn't think I would still feel like this.
You told me that people loved me, but they never showed it. No one put in as much effort into the relationship as I did. It was always me who responded first, initiated the conversation, sent reminders that hey, I guess we’re still friends, even though you don't act like it.
You forgot that I did not work well with the routine of muttering in my head, “I’m fine, just relax and breathe.” You told me that I needed to make the most of where I was, which was like forcing a fish to live on land and expecting them to breathe.
You told me that I moved on, and then I didn't, and then I did. Quit playing games.
You told me that it was okay to tell that guy extremely intimate details, but I ended up disappointed.
You told me to assume that someone I loved would be just as willing to love me fiercely in return. You told me that someone special will come along. Where are they?
You told me that I have to make everyone in my family happy, but everyone has different expectations and I’m struggling to fulfill one person’s wishes without upsetting the other.
You told me I need to go out more, accept invitations to attend some concert in Dallas, or hang out at her house for New Year’s Eve. I hate going out.
You told me to pretend that I was in a cliché high school movie at a party and try to flirt with a guy. He didn't like me. He was more interested in my brother.
You told me that no one cared how badly I presented my speech in my last Spanish class, but I felt everyone’s pity cutting into my mouth.
You told me that my soul is the one thing I can’t compromise, but it’s already shattered into irreparable fragments.
You told me that people would admire the way I loved sunsets, the lights on the streets after dark, the small things. No one has told me that they noticed my habits.

I placed myself back into my body and walked away from the mirror.
Aug 2016 · 850
shouldnt i be happy by now
E Townsend Aug 2016
my future always seem so happy,
but when i thought of the future ten years ago,
i didnt think i would still feel like this.
Jul 2016 · 568
Flight Into Dallas
E Townsend Jul 2016
Even white clouds form into
        demons at night.
How terrifying they appear
beneath the crescent moon,
a parchment of wispy black and expiring halo.
          When the sun is awake,
the clouds are innocent angels,
           relieved of their sins
from blocking the stars.

             Demons are not villains.
You have to give them a chance to change.
E Townsend Jul 2016
I didn't jubilate the anniversary
this year. The song is still one
of my favorites, but I've forgotten
your voice singing softly,

only for me to hear in a room
of twenty other kids. It was the happiest
I had ever been; that moment you noticed me

as more than the girl who sat
next to you, and pined for you for two years then,
and nine years after. But I realized
it is not exactly an anniversary

       if you don't share it with me.
From Here You Can Almost See the Sea is my favorite song but you're not my favorite person anymore
Jul 2016 · 5.6k
Restricted
E Townsend Jul 2016
Just hearing the prospect of my brother's proposal
plunged me into an ocean
where I am not allowed to surface. I can only
struggle and hope some fisherman,
or a dolphin, or jellyfish
to rescue me,
   n u d g e me,
ssstttingg me back to the currents above.
I have this anchor locked to my tears, and I can't make

a sound. If they notice, I will begin to cry.
I don't want them to know
that I'm bad again. They are not the right
people who should know.
I just want someone to care about me
as much as I care about them.
I deserve love, like everyone deserves air.
Jul 2016 · 1.6k
Untitled
E Townsend Jul 2016
A child, not of speaking age, sat
   across me at tea time. The mother
fed her cake and cucumber
sandwiches, and the young girl
screeched with
                            a sour face

staring at me as if I held the solution
to erasing the taste of sweets and crunchy water.
I feigned a smile.
      It occurred to me that even as old as she was,
she had opinions on things she would forget. No one
remembers not liking cucumbers that young.
Jul 2016 · 1.8k
Table 351, Carnival Freedom
E Townsend Jul 2016
It's so stupid to feel lonely in a room
full of laughing people, enjoying their company with family.
I myself am with family, but I feel so
secluded, put aside, a thought floating
after a quick glance at the girl who's been quiet
for far too long, who usually
sparks the conversation before others.
Tonight, it is too loud.
Dancing waiters and a conga line,
trays of cheap champagne passed around,
Andrew discussing a promising proposal,
kept me so removed from table 351
and the restaurant itself. I cannot control
anything.
The conversation carries on without me.
Had a break down on a cruise ship and I couldn't just fling myself off board
Jun 2016 · 358
2012 Past
E Townsend Jun 2016
we promised we would be there in the future
together
we have to get through the present
separate
May 2016 · 412
Not Near to You
E Townsend May 2016
missing someone who doesn't miss you
is a colossal waste of time
yet you do it anyway,
loving the idea of having someone to
ache from their absence.
May 2016 · 1.2k
Song 6
E Townsend May 2016
i met you in my dreams
somewhere
between my drunk
universes that i believe
you and i are alive and together
we chase each other through
sunrises above shots of tequlia
and raindrops searching for a glass
of promise to hold.
i am only dreaming of you
and i hope you only dream of me.
im drunk, someone please kiss me
May 2016 · 749
So I Learned
E Townsend May 2016
You can't put all of your happiness
into one person. They are
temporary. They do not last
forever.

Things break.

The dependence is a thin line that stitches
your heart to the object,
struggling to not slack,
and one day,
like she broke you,
you will crash backward.
Apr 2016 · 1.0k
1:53 anti-meridian
E Townsend Apr 2016
It doesn't have to be dark for you to disappear.
E Townsend Apr 2016
I will drag my knife along your skin,
sharp blade down into your fragile, shaking canvas,
incising an increasing beat of whimpers and whines.
Please hold still. I promise this will hurt.

I will expose your clattering bones,
rip out your chattering teeth,
erase every impugned utterance
you muttered against me.
I will carve my letters slowly
on your unzipped frame,
sliding the burgundy blood across to
blot
       clot
              dot.    

This is only preparation for what is about to follow.

I will puncture your throbbing organs,
slash your stretched cartilage
with an unwritten script.
Before I press further,
I’ll assure you, you are still alive.

I will twist each phrase,
haunt you to believe it is your fault,
force you to beg the slightest escape.
I will permanently etch my name
deep in the frozen chambers
of your quivering heart.

I will open up the blueprint as a demolition expert,
remove whole fractions of your fractured soul,
leave you a horrid wreck in the abyss
of a mess you just made.

You will not get rid of me,
though no trace of evidence is left behind.

My hands have been clean from the start.
bringing back a favorite
E Townsend Mar 2016
I write letters to people who
do not speak to me as
often as their name screams in
my mind full of words.
E Townsend Mar 2016
thorns lay down in my arachnoid
membrane, splintering my scalp at the mere
memory of anxiety-
splicing and slicing into my brain
drawing blood, swirling pools
killing me slowly
not all at once,
not all too quickly,
but miserably constant
in a stream that never empties
poisonous venom.
ill expand this later
Mar 2016 · 411
All I Want
E Townsend Mar 2016
Now that I'm alone
I try to find people to talk to
go through my contacts
and my eyes fell on your name.
I have not spoken a word to you
in about four years
but on text, it's been sixteen months.
It felt weird to consider talking to you.
My first choice, always, but now
a choice I can't choose.
Feb 2016 · 452
For Now I Am Empty
E Townsend Feb 2016
I have so much love to give but no one wants it.
Feb 2016 · 485
I Was Old News to You Then
E Townsend Feb 2016
All I want, though, is to be a part of a disaccharide, and never dissolve. Someone I can grow old with, share a bench under the Space Needle, take photographs of me when I'm not looking. I don't want to be old news to them. I want to be the newspaper they pick up every day, read my stories, and know tomorrow will still happen, there will still be more stories to read. I would very much like to be in someone's life the way I wish for someone to be in mine.
I don't want to spend my whole life searching, chasing, waiting for you.
Mixed lyrics from Lorelai by Fleet Foxes and Song 6 by George Ezra
Feb 2016 · 699
Townsend's Index
E Townsend Feb 2016
Percentage of selfies on Instagram: 42
Estimated number of days until returning home to Seattle: 479
Portion of dreams that are actually nightmares from working at Mama’s Pizza: 2/3
Total value of Urban Outfitters clothes, accessories, decorations: $786.54
Likelihood of starting anything on Monday: 1/7
Decibels of hearing I've lost at birth: 62
In addition to 2.5 billion beats in a lifetime, when I see a sunset my heart roars: 1,000,000
Total years spent in hell (aka Texass): 16
Probability of rolling my eyes when I read a cliché: 1/1
Swipes of Chapstick per day: 53
Level of urgency to *** after holding it in a car outside of El Paso for two hours: 17/10
Accumulation of hearing aid batteries used in one year: 124
Time I stay awake to if I had coffee the afternoon before: 4 am
Projected cost of 10:23 pm Friday dinners of Peking’s daily special in one month: $40.33
Average number of minutes I spend angrily live tweeting about stupid Disney movies: 67/123
Date of which I made a promise that I'm still keeping, but she broke hers: January 2, 2010
My nonfiction class had an assignment where we had to model the Harper's Index with stats and facts about ourselves, and I really enjoyed this one
Feb 2016 · 282
11 w
E Townsend Feb 2016
To tell the truth, you are quite out of your mind.
Jan 2016 · 17.9k
On Lying
E Townsend Jan 2016
Lying makes a placeholder for the inevitable truth. The lie will become the truth, as a rectangle can be squeezed back into a square.
Jan 2016 · 984
14w
E Townsend Jan 2016
14w
i believe in permanent strings
rather than stitches that come undone in a week.
about relationships
Jan 2016 · 638
I Do Not Live in Canada
E Townsend Jan 2016
I'm the sappiest tree ever grown.
My fear, though, is that one day someone will
cut me down, take all of my treasured
products and leave me with nothing
but the scar from their jagged saw.
Jan 2016 · 339
18 w
E Townsend Jan 2016
I wish I didn't miss someone, because then it'd have meant you weren't missing in the first place.
Jan 2016 · 669
My Symbol for You
E Townsend Jan 2016
Eclipse, n.
A phase when the universe is completely dark, minus the illuminance of millions of stars dancing around the earth and the moon, celebrating the reunion of two objects in an embrace of shadows and light, in which no one can see what happens on the other side of this event, but you and I know exactly what is happening.
If I ever publish a book of poetry, I would have an entire section just for her and title it "Eclipse" and add my definition.
Jan 2016 · 2.7k
This year, I suppose,
E Townsend Jan 2016
perhaps I can finally lose
every thought of your name
every memory of your eyes blinking
slowly, trying to hold back the waterfall
certainly willing to spill
had I not made the promise to stay alive.
Jan 2016 · 318
Then I Remembered
E Townsend Jan 2016
I've kept my promise to her for six years now, and she broke her promise four years ago.
They were made to be broken, but a human heart deserves to still beat on.
Dec 2015 · 1.6k
Tell Her You Love Her
E Townsend Dec 2015
I feel the loneliest at an airport
because my soulmate could be walking around
searching for me
and light up at the glimpse of my face,
stammering to find a conversation point;

or they are getting on a flight
after hearing my laugh
remembering the sound across the nation.
E Townsend Dec 2015
my stomach churns at the thought
of the 20th Christmas i'll spend
without someone who loves me.
everyone in my family has someone else
and i wait for someone to fill
the empty spot beside me
holding my hand.
Dec 2015 · 1.7k
Sonder
E Townsend Dec 2015
Do you ever have a moment
that suddenly it     SLAMS             into you
                                                             ­     you          are    alive.
And seven billion people     write the same story. You wonder,
  alone in the crowded Seattle-Tacoma airport, if someone
   will ever hold your empty heart       like the man in a gray business suit
   and the woman wearing a striped neckerchief. Will someone ever be upset your flight didn’t depart at the expected time, and give            the bouquet of rhododendrons to a stranger. Will someone               ever burst into a full sprint
upon first glance at you, deliriously happy that you are
      home.
Will someone ever    acknowledge that
  you are alive,   breathing for a change, wishing    for a slow dance,
loss of insanity. Will someone ever, in the passengers
   of the world,
                   notice you.
I keep repeating lines, not sorry. Had to write a poem for my final within two hours and this is the best I could do without a computer. The spaces look better on Word, I don't know why it's messed up here
Dec 2015 · 1.1k
Sad Admission
E Townsend Dec 2015
Gimpse in the mirror, hair cascading down
emerald eyes piercing the reflection that isn't entirely yours.
Suddenly you see yourself age 78
overlooking the sea on the balcony, wrinkles traced in hands.
The Bainbridge ferry streams along like always,
dropping off passengers on King Street.
Girls and boys strolling down the avenue
happiness and dreams circling their trails.

You are only twenty. You should be experiencing this too.

Holidays at the pond
reminded you that you were always going to be alone
and look at where you are now.
No one will see the lights with you. No one wants to see
a smile at the bokeh, the incandescent halos
wrapped around the bridges.

You only wanted to be happy.
Dec 2015 · 588
9/10/13
E Townsend Dec 2015
I want the edge of Christmas, where the nights look like it's about to snow, and only the brake lights of cars are seen. The chilly air whips your cheeks as you leave the building. And because you know Christmas is coming, the nights don't seem so lonely anymore.
found this in a stack of old letters
Dec 2015 · 343
transatlanticism
E Townsend Dec 2015
the song you listen to on blast
as you wander around campus
8:53 pm
and the holidays are approaching,
you know you are still alone.
even with your family, you are alone.
no one loves you,
the whole of you.
not yet.
but you wonder
if ever
will there be such a person
to walk along transatlanticism with you
in such a moment like this?
Dec 2015 · 701
The Effects of Holocene
E Townsend Dec 2015
Some nights music has to be turned up
at the highest volume
so that my thoughts
do not **** me in my sleep
Dec 2015 · 1.9k
Re- (Again)
E Townsend Dec 2015
Reglossing, rewashing, removing, returning,
she kept using the same cloth to wipe up this mess.
All of the same mistakes constantly repeating,
spools of half-hearted "I'm sorry's" unwinding,
foolproof promise to cover for her missed absence.

I persist reloading, rewinding, replaying
watching the film of our lives together, pausing
at moments where temporarily, I confess,
unpredictable happiness ceased repeating.
This trainwreck of a show carries on, blistering
slides that I want to swipe clean, but her name suppress
stained slates developing, deflecting, destroying.

I throw away the footage, romanticizing  
sheer ideas of finally making progress
forgetting her. But relapse results repeating
bad habits. There is not a remedy. I cling
to the seasons of the past, wanting to digress
reminding, rewinding, removing, regretting.
'Til the cloth clears again, chaos keeps repeating.
Nov 2015 · 411
The First Year
E Townsend Nov 2015
You made it clear that you moved on
without texting me "happy birthday"
five months ago.
That's what we always did, even
when we fell out.
Now it's your turn to turn twenty
and I don't know how to deal with this situation.
I want to let you know
that I think of you all the way home
rooted in thoughts that wonder
what our lives would be like if we still talked.
I want to let you know
because you ignored me
I do not want to ignore you,
but I feel that given with your apathetic, unexisted reply,
I have no choice.
Happy birthday, M. Wish I could call you like the old days.
Nov 2015 · 530
10w
E Townsend Nov 2015
10w
i could feel your heart beat through the bed sheets.
lol this is about my dog
Nov 2015 · 809
12:49 a.m.
E Townsend Nov 2015
we are so restless in our life
that when we finally sleep
im afraid our skeleton will
still be shaking, rattling.
Nov 2015 · 1.8k
Ad: Tree Cutter Wanted
E Townsend Nov 2015
How do I get a carving out of a tree?
The smug shape of your G+E
outlines with a stupid, misshaped heart
etched into the evergreen.
You ruined my favorite tree
with five words.
A sentence I knew you would inevitably say
at some point of our lives together.
I really wanted to doubt myself for once,
and be proved wrong in the right way.
But you just had to keep me incorrect.

I call the local lumberjack and ask him,
"Cut down the tree as soon as possible."
I think that's how you get a carving out of a tree.
"I don't love you anymore."
Nov 2015 · 509
Only a Spare
E Townsend Nov 2015
I do not get paid to be an extra
in someone's story. The director
does not offer me notes or cues
on when to interact with the other characters.
I am only there, standing alone
eyes darting around for a subject to speak with.
Even the antagonist drops their sight. The other extras
barely glances at me. Their role is just the same as mine,
but they're hoping they'll outshine me. They brush shoulders,
fingers, as they bump against the crowd.
I remain invisible, lingering in the background,
waiting for my scene to arrive. Ready for a line
in the script. Anxious to be a first choice for once.
No matter how loud I scream that I have yet to tell my story, they will not notice me.
And I know the other dying extras are told the same thing-
write your own script. Make your own production.
Pitch ideas until one sparks, and that becomes your entity.
But it is hard to see that the girl in red
is pushed all the way in the back of the white sea unwillingly.
Nov 2015 · 5.0k
Skagit Valley
E Townsend Nov 2015
I am last season's remains
a cracked, dry petal
fallen off a prinses irene tulip.
I beg for attention,
for human affection
much like a plant demands
water to live. Please tell me the lonely
winter is over.
Nov 2015 · 497
Nemesis
E Townsend Nov 2015
Reglossing, rewashing, removing, returning,
she kept using the same cloth to wipe up the mess.
All of the same mistakes constantly repeating,
spools of half-hearted "I'm sorry's" unwinding,
foolproof promise to cover for her missed absence.

I keep on reloading, rewinding, replaying
watching the film of our lives together, pausing
at moments where temporarily, I confess,
unpredictable happiness ceased repeating.
This trainwreck of a show carries on, blistering
slides that I want to swipe clean, but her name suppress
stained slates developing, deflecting, destroying.

I throw away the footage, romanticizing  
sheer ideas of finally making progress
forgetting her. But relapses result repeating
bad habits. There is not a remedy. I cling
to the seasons of the past, wanting to digress
reminding, rewinding, removing, regretting,
until the cloth is clean, her faults keep repeating.
Im still tired of writing about her
Nov 2015 · 1.0k
I Want a New Writing Topic
E Townsend Nov 2015
Reminding, rewinding, removing, regretting
Tears blind eyes in corneas, splintering spliced sight
There is no world where I can't stop forgetting.
I have a picture of you, watching the sunrise
stratus clouds stretched along the gold blanket of sky
the waves before you striking the dock gently.
I can't find myself behind the camera,
Remembering my thoughts as I snapped
the shutter. I forget.
I go through my own ocean
where I am tossed between wanting to be shipwrecked for good
or rescued by you. I want to either let you go entirely,
or keep hanging on. But I am gripping a rope on its last thread.
I know you have already let go. I haven't. I don't think I will.
Nov 2015 · 1000
New York City
E Townsend Nov 2015
Underneath the rushing world
our situation at a glance
has yet to quietly unfurl.
I am only a lonely girl
who's never had a slow-song dance
above the big rushing world.
And you, you look like you could twirl
me, and trap my heart in a trance,
which has yet to slowly unfurl.

On these tracks, there is a pearl
among the others in a stance,
underneath the rushing world.
Suddenly the train stops and hurls
you toward me. This is my chance.
I should take it. But it unfurls,

I need to say before this whirl
    I have not met you. In advance
underneath the rushing world
our love will not ever unfurl.
Nov 2015 · 2.4k
I Can Get Ugly with My Words
E Townsend Nov 2015
I will drag my knife along your skin,
sharp blade down into your fragile, shaking canvas,
incising an increasing beat of whimpers and whines.
Please hold still. I promise this will hurt.

I will expose your clattering bones,
rip out your chattering teeth,
erase every impugned utterance
you muttered against me.
I will carve my letters slowly
on your unzipped frame,
sliding the burgundy blood across to
blot
       clot
              dot.    

This is only preparation for what is about to follow.

I will puncture your throbbing organs,
slash your stretched cartilage
with an unwritten script.
Before I press further,
I’ll assure you, you are still alive.

I will twist each phrase,
haunt you to believe it is your fault,
force you to beg the slightest escape.
I will permanently etch my name
deep in the frozen chambers
of your quivering heart.

I will open up the blueprint as a demolition expert,
remove whole fractions of your fractured soul,
leave you a horrid wreck in the abyss
of a mess you just made.

You will not get rid of me,
though no trace of evidence is left behind.

My hands have been clean from the start.
So I had this workshopped and I got so many good reviews, I'm still glowing
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