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 Oct 2015 Hallee
Tom Leveille
i don't watch home movies
hate them
reason being because
when i was young
i was looking for a movie
my mother
had recorded for me
and accidentally
put one in the vcr
that i'm not sure
i was supposed to see
i know the obvious response
"uh oh, ****"
sorry to disappoint
they were only marked with dates
  1991
on live television
montel williams asks my father
"how can you just throw
your child away like a piece of trash?"

   1994
i spend so much time
in the emergency room
that my parents stop
penciling in growth marks
on the frame
of my bedroom door
i always thought
it was because they believed
i would never grow out
of this sickness
sometimes i believe
the reason that they
never bought me a dream catcher
was because they never thought
i'd live long enough
to see them come true
   1996
i am eliminated
from a spelling bee
because i didn't know
the 'dad' is silent in 'family'
   2013
before i got into poetry
i used to do standup
none of my jokes were funny
one of the other comics
tells me my skits are dry
sometimes sad
he says "why don't you joke
about something like your family?"

so i say
"i never wore any sunblock
because i didn't want anything
to keep me from my father"

i say "what do you call christmas
without lights or heat?"

before he has a chance
to answer
i say "1997. better yet
why don't you
make like a dad and
leave"

   2014
every time we drive
past the hospital
my mother reminds me
how much it cost to save my life
like she'd rather
have her money back
she doesn't have to say
that sometimes she wishes
it was me who had died
instead of my brother
i can hear it in the way
she says "love you"
sometimes i imagine
that if i were to die
that she
would pick out a casket for a child
because she never loved
the person i became
yesterday i told my father
how close i'd been
to suicide lately
and he said
"that's my boy,
livin on the edge.."

and i can't remember
if i laughed
or cried
 Oct 2015 Hallee
g
You get real tired of that boy
that takes and takes and takes.
I am so ******* tired
of drinking and calling
and wishing it was more
than it actually is.

You move out of your home
town to forget them
and you paint the walls
the color of their eyes anyway.

Sometimes my head feels
like it is carving hieroglyphics
into my skull because
I can't seem to read myself
any better than anyone
else can.

There is nothing like
throwing up in the shower
because you couldn't
wash off the feeling of
their fingertips almost three
whole years later.

But the boys that take
and take
and take
will keep you up at night
and never ask why your
walls are blue or why you
cry in the shower and
why you scream your
favorite songs alone.

He won't ask until alcohol
fills his blood just like the
first and last time
he kissed you.
 Oct 2015 Hallee
g
2:20 AM
 Oct 2015 Hallee
g
I can feel my sanity fleeing,
harsh memories sliding
through my fingers like sand.

I find comfort in isolation,
because the fleeting feeling
of acceptance by my peers
becomes so minimal that
it keeps me up at night.

There are millions of stars
outside and I hope one day,
far from now,
when I can find a way to
put in words just how hard it is
that you can't love me back,
we can lay there
and count them together.

I dream of it.

But I also dream of
being someone else and
I have spent the past few years
trying to correct an
emotional abuse that just
won't seem to fix itself.
I won't get better until the
existence of my internal isolation
is so minimal that
I won't have to hide
under covers the second
my sadness kicks in.

I meet people that
are beautiful and
I try to be beautiful,
I try to sit straighter,
I try not to push people away
but I just can't be more than
a wilting flower.

I just can't fix it.
 Jul 2015 Hallee
Katelyn Arnold
14 days before -

they say one day, you will have to face your
fears otherwise they may become triggers.
there will be places you won't want to visit
because you will end up looking the thing
you fear in the eyes. to get over fears don't
happen overnight, yet placing myself in
positivity is something i fear the most.

13 days before -

perhaps the mountains are getting taller, but this
city is turning into nothing more than a prison.
this city is starting to lose it's vivid orange hues,
and it's evaporating into the sky into a dark gray
cloud of fury and resentment. this wanderlust is
not healthy for me, considering i lose interest in
everything. getting scorched by the heat like this
is becoming something like torture.

12 days before -

regret is remembering something with
the aftertaste feeling of loss and sorrow.
jesus christ, trying to get to know you was
like studying for a test of an entirely
different subject than the material i'm
learning now. even being left with the
aftertaste of something sour, it was the
closest to the truth i've ever discovered.

11 days before -

on my 21st birthday, i found out about your true
wolf-like persona, of those piano-like fingers
being sharp claws that always had me in a choke
hold, and i let you sniff out my vulnerability
without questions or concerns. now why did
i not leave for the paper towns in the first place
when my gut was screaming about bad news?

10 days before -

rain, rain, can you please go away because you
are making me worry about the silliest things
like how i called myself rain on a hydrophobic
world. brain, brain, stop thinking right now
about the silliest things, you have no need
to stoop to this level of sheer anxiety.

9 days before -

i will not be a prisoner-of-war, allowing you to
torture me with sweet lullabies of safe comfort
words, anymore. i would rather you pull the
trigger, since you were a step too late to fix
the fact that you became my trigger. i'm my
own harriet tubman, finding paths to get out
of this slave-like existance you call friendship.


8 days before -

i am determined to make something of myself
because being pliable and rubber-like just made
me deformed to you since your hands weren't
exactly careful with me in the first place. i am
determined to wash myself clean of these sins,
rid myself of the detritus, and make the sun shine
right out of the very *** i wished you kissed.

7 days before -

i will continue to grieve of the afternoon that
we poked fun at mormons because i've realized
you stooped me down to their level unconsciously.
i'll be blunt, this distance between us is only growing
wider and wider and i hope whatever was between
us will end up tearing in half when i'm unreachable.

6 days before -

when everyone sees you explode into a flurry
of fireworks, the way i will see you is as the
father of all bombs, where you will evaporate
everything i've ever been familiar with right
from my very eyes. to think i gave myself
third degree burns to give life to dead things.

5 days before -

The words I couldn't vocalize
The thoughts I couldn't accept
The memories are piercing and heavy
They're becoming stiff, and like lead

4 days before -

i heard the water company nestle is using the
reservoirs of california to make bottled water,
leaving california in it's worst drought in years
and i think of how you used me just to get to
him and how i chased you down state lines
and how i ran for the hills once you left me
in the worst drought i've had in years.

3 days before -

to survive, you must become selfishly inclined.
nobody will warn you of the dog eat dog world
as a child, so you have to run on the course
natural selecton provides you. mother nature
is a real ******* in the way she disguised her
colors as fall, when she is always artic winter.

2 days before -

run from the predators. don't let yourself
be swallowed by the building doubt in your
tummy. although you are small, your existance
is wider than you think it is. you can expand
yourself wide enough so you are not the victim
of mother nature's cruel & unusual punishment.

1 day before -

i have loved and lost, but never once forgot the
places i once fell in love with, with the rolling hills
and valleys and the thunderous roar of billowing
dust storms. the planes are at seven and the trains
at eleven, and i nearly forgot about how i used to
live in the quiet fortress of my forgettable town.


0 days before -**

i want to ask the passengers on this plane
what they're leaving for. maybe vacation,
an adventure i'll never know of, or perhaps
they're running from the truth of the matter.
texas seems like it's going to welcome me with
warmer arms than arizona has done in months.
The theater's empty and I can't seem to figure why,
The ground feels like a sticky, but hard lie,
It's plain with drapes to a darkened heaven,
With movie posters that make me nostalgic for when I was 7,
Or was it 11?
The projector starts to warm up,
And the ghosts in the machine show who they wanted to be,
This popcorn reminds me of a love that was wearing her favorite leather jacket,
*******, how did I get popcorn?
The screen shows ads for ****** ****,
But its in Spanish with Czech subtitles ,
And a weird sense of accomplishment,
Seems to give way with the images, now gone,
Apparently I have a soda that I have never noticed nor engaged or enraged,
Blue stills of ****** knees and beaches unbeknownst to any future,
With the credits rolling of names I'll remember, forget and lie remembering
A calming anxiety seems to fill in where the smoke creeping oot the vents does not,
The teleporting popcorn comes with me,
And choose to leave, with the seat,
I seem to forget to ask myself,
meow so clear,
How did I get here?
 Jul 2015 Hallee
g
The Month of July
 Jul 2015 Hallee
g
I think I'll go back to you until
you ******* want me,
but I haven't wanted to
**** myself in about
two weeks and I think
that says something about us.

Or maybe it doesn't.

Maybe this is as foolish
as the time I romanticized
street lights
because a boy told me
he'd be a street light
over a stop sign.

I think about your smile
when I see the sunset,
because nothing will compare
to the night you told me
about where you'd like
to be by next year.

I'm starting to feel like
a stranger every where I go.
I havn't been able to lose
the vacant signs between
my veins, my shoulder blades,
my bones.

People will insist on
making homes inside yourself,
but Goddamit it's
so hard to find light
in the darkest parts of yourself.

Maybe I don't have
to stop breathing to die.
I just have to love you again.
 Jun 2015 Hallee
g
They diagnosed me with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
and Anxiety Disorder,
less than three months before I told you
I wanted to **** myself.
That was four years ago.

Sometimes, when there's
a moment of silence in my head,
quite like the pause in words when
you've realized you said too much,
I think I should of followed through when you had asked me to.
I think there would be a lot less
heartache for every body I touched
but couldn't love.
I fear that you'll be hidden below their skin,
waiting for me to fall in love again.

Speaking of skin, it's been almost three years
since you last touched mine.
Every July I still scrub a little harder in the shower,
somehow believing that I will forget you again.
You haven't touched me since
the 13th of December back in 2012,
but it feels like your fingertips are still crawling up my skin.

You've fallen in love again, and I can't
hold a steady relationship for more than a few months.
Maybe that's because
I still kiss boys that remind me of you.
Maybe that's because
I still hear you saying
"I never even loved you,"
long after I've forgotten the sound of your voice.

I sometimes catch the gym teacher
looking at me the same way
one would look at their siblings like
"I won't tell if you won't."
I don't mean this to sound questionable, in fact,
he gives me that look when I become distressed, like a mutual
"we don't have to talk about it, just know I know."
He gave me that same look in 2012,
when I threatened to leave you,
when you grabbed my arms and
told me not to walk away from you.
Your grip made me flinch,
and I think back then it was as unnerving
for him as it is for me to realize
I haven't gotten better in the past four years.
 Jun 2015 Hallee
smallblank
birds are chirping. this is familiar. you can do familiar. "it's a mess" I say. quickly you reply "it's not a mess, it's pieces of your life." my life's pieces; not mine. It's taken shape as hundreds of tiny copies from the same **** story. you're fragile. you're the yellow copy of a receipt. stupid little paper girl.

this is going to be terrible and that's going to have to be okay because death is open to interpretation now.

there is something to be said about lying under every window sill in the house just to follow the sunlight and pretend it hasn't been dark since you left.

you look back in five years and realize that "you" in every poem has become yourself. everybody grew up and moved out of the sadness except for you.

dress up as yourself when you loved someone and stare in the mirror until it cracks. you never thought you'd be leaving the lights on waiting for yourself to come home. you'll never understand and that's the whole point.

always leaving never really arriving. you can stay only long enough for them to know who you are. nothing can remain the same because that's not real, is it? they say nothing lasts forever. let's be nothing. stop existing. we'll be timeless.
 Jun 2015 Hallee
g
On Happiness
 Jun 2015 Hallee
g
A boy asked me today if I was happy,
And I couldn't answer.

And when I told him "I don't know,"
He told me I did.

Today a boy asked me
What makes me happy,
and I couldn't answer.
In most cases, I'd tell him it was him.
But it was too simple,
too in-the-moment.

Do you ever meet someone
and wonder how they could love you,
and more importantly how someone
couldn't be crazy about them?

I want to learn the crooks and crannies
of your ******* skin,
and I want to learn the wheels
in your brain that turn
when you wait for me to answer -

What makes you happy?

And I wish I knew,
I wish I could tell you it is you.
 Jun 2015 Hallee
berry
leftovers
 Jun 2015 Hallee
berry
right now there are eleven empty containers of alcohol in my bedroom,
but it's fine, i'm fine.
i've been telling myself for more than a year
that i wasn't going to write anymore sad ****** poems about you,
but here we are.
most days i'm sure i don't miss you,
but then i listen to the wrong song,
and before i know it -
i'm screaming along to band of horses in the dark,
stalking your twitter favorites,
and somehow,
i've managed to get snot on my forehead.
yeah, nostalgia is an *******
but not all the memories sting.
there was that one time we went to the movies
and i slipped on some ice and fell flat on my ***.
i just sat there while you took a picture.
but i'm glad we could laugh about it.
i'm glad we were comfortable.
in my head, we still are.
in my head, we're oversized-goodwill-sweater comfortable.
we aren't as comfortable in real life
but i'm glad we still laugh.
this is the part where i don't bring up the time you told me
my laughter could cure your sadness,
because i'm pretty sure i already put that in another poem,
and it makes me really ******* sad.
did i ever tell you i used to play guitar and piano?
i loved them, but i never tried very hard.
i wanted to be good without having to practice.
i wanted to be good without having to practice.
i wanna meet the girl you write about
so i can ask her how she manages not to love you back.
because i've tried everything & i am so tired.
i forgot this wasn't supposed to be a sad poem.
i'm not good at happy anyway,
i never have been.
but in your absence i've learned a lot about softness.
so if i ever find myself back in your passenger seat,
i won't correct you when you sing the wrong lyrics,
i won't ask why when you take the long way home.
i won't ask you why you don't have your seatbelt on,
i'll just say a silent prayer
and watch for signs that you might be about to swerve.
right now there are eleven empty containers of alcohol in my bedroom,
and i didn't find you at the bottom of a single one.

- m.f.
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