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Gabriel Adam Jul 2012
It has been two years,
two months
and twenty days
since the last time I posted anything here.
Yet I still get an email every few weeks,
from a new fan
or a new favorite
or a new comment.
And I never say thank you.

Thank you.

It's been a hell of a year.
Two years, really.
And I'm sorry I haven't thanked you all
One by one.
I'll try to keep up in the future,
because this is a wonderful community
and you are all wonderful people.
I appreciate all of your support.

Keep writing.

Keep living.
Gabriel Adam Jul 2012
When I rain, I pour.
But this year broke me.
Sank its fingertips
into my shoulder blades
and tore me asunder.
Nailed me to the
floors of this apartment
that weeps like a willow.
While you wrapped yourself in goodnights
I screamed into the floorboards.
I licked at your fingers
like a dog.
No matter how deep I dived
I never reached the ocean,
And I cried.
Sweet Jesus, did I cry.
But men aren’t supposed to,
so I begged instead.
At the age of twenty
I discovered shame.
I felt like calling for help,
but my voice cracked
like a frozen lake.
You’d tell me you were going out
with a few friends, and I’d beg you to stay home,
but my guilt tied my tongue down
with fish hooks.
When I rained, only ashes fell.
And no phoenix clawed its way out.
Only my naked back, flayed by the chains of the prison
I forged for myself,
bleeding out poems that I’ll never see
******* out air from music notes
in order to survive.
This year I discovered guilt.
I could never count how many times I said I’m sorry,
but I tattooed it to my chest
so when I made love to you
I wouldn’t have to say it out loud.
I used to burn.
Burn so loud that
when spoke
smoke climbed from my lips,
I lived my life like a car crash
but sang like a music box.
I plucked smiles from strangers
and drank up the voices
of girls
like wine.
I played loud.
And at the age of nineteen I found myself unworthy.
I inhaled smoke instead of speaking it,
and never let the car
leave the driveway.
I cried ink from my fingertips,
and used you as a telescope to search for God.
With you, I discovered far too much.
I still feel that only shackles embrace me,
but I want to shred open my rib cage
and the let the songbird
out of my chest.
Pull the hooks from my tongue
so I can say
I love you.
When I rain, I want to ******* pour.
So the world knows my heart’s beating.
My wounds are canyons,
that I’ll stitch up with poems.
I want you to know me.
I want you to hold your breath
when you press your hand to my chest.
I want to scream so loud these
walls split open
to let the ocean pour forth from their eyes,
so I can swim to the surface and write my name on its face.
Sing the moon into my hands.
And free that fire from my music box,
so I can find my way
Gabriel Adam Apr 2010
The trees are naked.
They look down on us
like scars.
And I'm ashamed of it.
While children were swallowed up
in angry soil
born in hungry war zones,
I was drawing finger bones.
I was painting your spine like river.
And I'm sorry.
I'm fighting the only way I know how,
because I never learned how to use these fists.
Girls would beat me up on playgrounds,
but now
their wombs have been stripped of their innocence.
Against their heart,
that broke out in tears when they stepped into the clinic.
But at least I'm doing more than just wishing.
At least I'm not sealing our sisters and brothers
in body bags.
I'm trying to leave an impression.
Because I met this girl
who had a voice like hand grenade
and I'm hoping my tongue
is like a shotgun
so I can hold it to the head of the hurricane
and tell it to stop.
I can't hear poems when you're screaming.
But I can feel the hose that you're beating me with.
I can smell the cigarette butts that breathed death into the lungs of brilliant girls.
I can see the scars that were left on the wings of the angels that are now men.
The trees are naked.
They don't like to be cold
so I tried to cover them with blankets of words
but they shrugged them off like snow.
I'm sorry.
I'm doing the best I can.
But I spent too much time scraping the skin
off of clouds with my fingernails.
And I found the place where God left us.
He never told us what to do.
But daddy said to be strong.
Don't cry Johnny.
Be a soldier Johnny.
Fight for what's right.
**** so you won't be killed.
Be a monster.
I knew women who wrapped their
prayers into telescopes
and went stargazing in steeples.
They claimed they could see God.
They said that their sons would return home.
But the only soldiers that come home
remain in caskets.
We're hungry.
And I'm tired.
You look as if you've been weeping like a willow.
I know my fingertips are raw
with words of forgotten anthems.
The trees are naked.
They're tired of mother nature being *****,
she forgot to take the pill
And I forgot what it means to be alive.
So I watched snow falling like ghosts
watched the streetlights turn into halos.
I poemed a river that was shaped like your spine.
I hope this helps.
Don't tell me that prose is useless.
Because that star strangled banner is
just a mark of shame.
We need some rain to clean the blood from our hands.
Need some heartbeats to make our music.
It's hard to read poems that are carved
into the  prison bars
of a birdcage,
full of our sisters and brothers who recite
Bible versus for parole.
We've been reading the lips of Death.
And it's about time we stopped.
Gabriel Adam Feb 2010
I told you to trace my finger prints.
Hug me like you were about to say goodbye.
I'm trying to decide whether or not you were pretty.
Brushing clouds off of the sky.
Go ahead and tell me that there were days
when you loved me.
Tell me my kisses felt like ripples
on a raindrop.
You built me.
Showed me how lightning made things
pretty right before it burned them.
Stripped the crystal from my eyes
and strung them into a chandelier.
I've reset my heartbeat.
And it's been telling me I need to see you again.
Gotta remember what love is.
Take me back to the last time
that we were laughing
and show me that there is more to this life
than what blood gives us.
Hold my brittle bones.
Would you be my friend?
Remember how I built you that tree house?
Thought we would paint each others
futures on the window panes
and skip rocks across our bloodstreams.
Write me a love letter on my granite spine.
I'll trace my pulse onto your ribcage
and tell God that you need someone special.
Let me poem you a swing set
so you can remember why you
were a child.
Give me a reason to hold another girl's hand.
Do you remember what love is?
My slate has been wiped clean
and I've been trying too hard
to lean on these crutches.
Lived in my rubble.
Cut open the belly of the beast
so its anger could plant seeds in my head.
You scraped my poems off of your eyelids.
Didn't I already say I'm sorry?
Buried fireflies in a mason jar and
told you they were my soul.
Painted bluebirds in the sky and
carved tree branches in my neck.
You built me.
Sewed marionette strings to my veins
and showed me the right way to move.
There's no way we can let our past go.
I seem to have lost my way.
Won't you be my friend?
Show me what I've missed.
Show me the right way to hold this broom
so I can sweep up this glass.
Bury this casket
and move through it.
Give me a plane crash.
Tell me there were times
when you couldn't let go.
Back to that place where we
buried our memories in a hope chest
and prayed that time would make it pretty.
You built me.
Made my pupils into runways
and gouged these canyons into my heart.
I ask that you carry my name with you.
Cradle my marble spine.
Spit at the ashes of our love life,
and mold it into a shape that we'll remember.
Everything seems to be prettier when you look back at it.
Do you know why that is?
Do you know why we fell for each other
like children on a playground?
I've been writing down nothing but wishing wells.
Spinning yarn that has too much color
and coughing up words that sound too perfect.
I'm glad we're friends.
Take this loaded gun from my hand
and replace it with a kite string.
Tell me my voice was like a blanket.
I wish I could make this night more colorful.
Paint songbirds on my chest.
And hope we find our way
Gabriel Adam Feb 2010
At the ripe age of three
I would take full sheets of paper
and set them gently in front of me
and think of how beautiful they were.
Because they were waiting for my words.
But it wasn't until I was in the eleventh
grade that I found them
hiding with my heartbeat.
I never really fought with my fists
but I fought with a little too much heart.
Felt a bit too much
but I don't regret it.
Nor will I ever.
Do you know how to make things beautiful?
The cellist sitting on the street corner
bowing those strings that haven't yet
broken and remember,
that you never paid attention to how it looked.
But it was gorgeous.
And you're gorgeous.
We never measure life
with how many
heart beats we've got
we measure it by how many
miles we've walked.
And although we're not perfect,
neither is God.
We are strong.
We are beautiful.
And I wonder which is more dangerous;
a bottle of whiskey
or a loaded gun.
But it doesn't matter
because somewhere out there
there's someone promising
that they will paint their lover's
portrait in the sky with fire.
And all my life I've hated being a man,
so I decided that these poems
they're my children.
And after you hear them,
I hope that you'll carry them with you.
So don't walk through your life
with your ears covered.
This is for the women who make our heartbeats.
Who give birth to lives.
And this,
this is for the men.
Who sacrifice everything they have
just so they can keep telling
someone that they love them.
I can count ten thousand reasons
to be alive.
But only one reason to be right here.
Beauty kiss my lips.
Mercy show us tears.
We have to fill the gaps with something alive.
So I spend my spare time remembering
your eyes by heart.
Let's split this night open.
We'll cleave it with our words.
We'll sew together our gaping wounds
with the strings of kites,
so that when the wind blows
birds will pluck at them and make
music from our strife.
Remember this.
We couldn't have asked for a more
exciting time to be alive.
So let's make something beautiful.
Lay me down under a blanket of stars
so that when I wake up I can
find my way home.
This world can be cold but
I've learned that heartbeats are louder than gunshots.
And you don't need to tell me there's more out there
Instead I'll go stargazing in your
eyes and strip these
ribbons from my arms.
Build me.
Give me something worthwhile.
And let's learn
how to make things pretty.
Gabriel Adam Feb 2010
When they stripped me of the life in my bones
I looked to the stars,
and plucked the moon from its perch
with my lips.
And the rage in their fists
tried to pry it from my skull.
But they cannot win.
They may look down on us with their
hollow eyes that can do nothing but weep,
and their hungry mouths that spit ash.
But I know what hope is.
And They don't.
No matter how many times I am beaten
I swear that the birds that sing in my chest
will always be louder than them.
Tell me what holy is,
and I will tell you of the love in my veins.
Tell me why you hate so much,
and I will tear it apart with my shame.
I will split the night open with my words.
I will sweep up the ashes with my rage.
They cannot win.
Not when your eyes look through me like that.
And while you sew together my wings,
tell me of the love letters that God left
on your windowsill.
Tell me of the fists that left those scars.
When they finally bring me to the gallows,
make sure that the noose is made
from the strings of guitars.
Carve my spine into the heart of a tree.
Spread my ashes over the lips of the sea.
Tell me what holy is.
And I will take you to that river full of sin.
I will write my poetry in the snow with my bones.
Tell me where Gabriel is.
And I will clean the blood from his crippled wings.
I will be an immovable sky.
The mouth of the river that never ceases to sing.
They'll separate us with razor wire,
but a few cuts won't hold me back.
They'll scream at us with their empty taboos.
But the paintings I've got tattooed on my ribs
aren't black and white like their words.
I'm done hiding my heartbeat.
I want to taste the words that come off my tongue,
to paint with the dirt beneath my nails.
Say my obituary was written like a poem.
So that when God greets me at his gates,
he will tell me that I was alive.
That I wasn't empty like Them.
But I'm tired.
And I've walked one too many miles in my
own shoes.
But it's impossible to stop,
when you've got wings flapping in your chest,
and a heart that burns like a lantern.
Remember me like this.
Spouting words from the darkest corners
of my soul.
Words that stick to you like a lover's kiss.
It's a song.
A manifesto.
An epitaph that will stay burned in your eyes
until you blink away the tears.
I'll keep walking if you just carry me
on your back for a few short steps.
A couple of shallow breaths.
Just let me rest.
So that the next words that come out of
my mouth will be “I love you”.
And you'll see that the bruises on my back
are the notes of music.
Tell me what holy is.
So I can tell you why I keep moving.
So I can spread these wings you've built for me,
with the skin I've shed
and my broken bones.
And I'll teach you how to fly too.
Because life has no rhythm
unless you give it a beat.
Tell me what holy is.
And remember
that we
are not.

— The End —