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Feb 2018 · 306
graveyard dust
Heather Butler Feb 2018
another sleepless night my red
eyes tired and tried
i let your words fall
over my body like ashes

dust to dust i have buried
the bodies of those i have
loved and carried their dirt
under my fingernails back home

three thousand moths will settle in
the brickwork because the light
was on we hold our hands

against the ceiling as we drive beneath
a train a superstition when you laugh
i see the shape
of your skull behind
your skin
Jul 2014 · 589
phantom
Heather Butler Jul 2014
I am an empty thing
hollowed out by time
devoid of your love

I am pulling you out by the roots
grabbing fistfuls of memories
burning away the dead flesh
cauterizing my broken skin

I will exterminate the spiders
making webs of all that you said

I will not be convinced again
not even by the phantom of you
that stayed when you left
Heather Butler Jun 2014
There is a part of me that hopes
your insides ache with the last words I said to you

Regret is a powerful poison
I can't hope to control

But there is nothing left inside of me
That holds a memory of your touch
I have long since forgotten
Even which of your teeth are crooked

And you cannot bring me back
Not with thousand word pictures
Not even a post it note

I am long gone
And you can have your leash
Oct 2013 · 991
Gas Bonnets
Heather Butler Oct 2013
This will be enough, this time
where the steps summoned storm fronts
like cat-calls
and half-assed apologies into the 3am
abyss.

This will prove the endlessness
of loneliness--
these the toads of your toes
as the tips of your tiny timid feet
kiss.

But I will tell you not to breathe
the heavy shouldered burden burned into your back
because you are more than empty
mason jars and grocery
lists.

And you will not breathe,
you will not breathe--
you will think only of breathing
but you will not breathe in
this.
Heather Butler Sep 2013
"I love you"
should be a little more difficult to say.

There should be advanced language classes
revolving around complex sentence structure,
advanced clauses and arrangement,
complicated syntax,
so that
"I love you"
means more than loving anything else.

Ich liebe dich.

Te amo.

Je t'aime.

I love you.

Saying "I'm sorry" in German
is more difficult
than "I love you."

Why is it that in order to apologize for something,
I first have to learn about reflexive pronouns,
and reflexive verbs,
and that the same word for "the"
can also stand alone as the subject of the sentence?

Das tut mir Leid
is more grammatically complicated
than Ich liebe dich.

And yet one wonders why love
seems to have become so clichéd.
Aug 2013 · 482
8.27.13
Heather Butler Aug 2013
I'm sorry I couldn't be your everything.

I'm sorry I couldn't be everything
you needed.

But I can't be everybody's everything because
there would be nothing left

for me.
Heather Butler Jul 2013
He loves me for who I am, but so do you.
He makes me smile and laugh, but so do you.
He makes me feel safe and warm and chases all the nightmares away,
but so did you,
when you had the chance.

He’s got his problems, and so do you.
And when I left they got worse,
but so would his,
if I left…

And every night I stare at the spots on my ceiling
as I lie awake,
contemplating what the difference really is,

if I’m really happier now,
or if I just like to tell myself so.
Jun 2013 · 691
Forever Infinite, 1
Heather Butler Jun 2013
The pages on my heart
are empty
and the blood staining my soul
mirrors the countless stars—

Let’s make constellations
from my platelets.

As you push your way farther into the sheets
I will chase you down
in spite of my fear of small spaces
and of being enclosed in your eyelids—

I cannot stand to take myself away from you now
but it never existed,

this moment played on an endless loop in your head
repeating repeating
a lapse in consciousness—

You fall
but I can no longer
catch you.
Apr 2013 · 833
Collection, 5
Heather Butler Apr 2013
A Manipulation of Thought

I like to think you will read this in a cluttered room,
with your hand on your chin
and a lamp on the table illuminating the soft white of the page.

I like to think you will smile as you read,
because you will think I am witty
or beautiful.

You will read this
in your personal place
quietly.

I like to think there is a picture frame
containing small pressed flowers
that make you think of yellowed wallpaper
or dreams.

There is a clock ticking somewhere to your left
and that is strange, because
how many clocks have hands anymore?

But you are a magician in your own right
you speak words that conjure death
in a small way.
My poetry remains in the ashes.

The words will dance across your eyelids
as you blink in the sunlight;

you emerge from your hermit shell
a momentary mirage in the heat waves off the pavement
they are words they are these words--

The delicate flowers--
and the sunlight.
Apr 2013 · 1.1k
Collection, 2
Heather Butler Apr 2013
Burning the Dollhouse as a Paper Lantern

You are meek, almost
   humble, little bird.

Tell me, is that who you were designed to be?

Your mother leaves flowers at your door
     like a tombstone
and she cries all the same.

Make them happy make them happy
I know there is a worm whispering in your ear
       infecting the silver apple
there is a fingernail sliver of a moon tonight.

             --He talks through headphones and broken binary
01001000 01000010... Hell I don't know what it means
they are switches like brain nervous endings
        they fire 01010000 01010100 01010011 01000100
                  at a thousand beats per second


You are a paper doll you do not know how to exist
anymore. Light a candle   you are beautiful in the flickering

send the flames licking the sky

a beacon to the one who loves
and leaves flowers at your shower door--
        you are a fragrance divine

as your house goes up in flames around you
a watery grave your bathtub doesn't drain

but you were paper anyway.
The water was suicide enough.
Apr 2013 · 580
Collection, 6
Heather Butler Apr 2013
Love Songs from the Pillows

     I
You are real like nothing else is;
like the god of bellows never was
beyond the stars and waves of ocean
crying out to sister moon

you are real like no one else is.

    II
We've been waiting for days
and rather I've been crawling tearing holes in my knees
I am crumpled and worn out I am an old pair of shoes
but we mold together

two separate pieces of the same broken glass.
But we are real like no one else is.

   III
I am not the same I am empty--
rather I am a goddess of the cemetery and no one seems to notice--
you plant flowers in the weeping bed of skeletons
and bury your face in my love--

we are an embrace of air and loneliness,
two separate pieces of the same broken glass;
we are real like no one else is.

    IV
Finally we come to rest beneath a peace and heaven
between a soul and the bedsheets we find solace
in a whisper--
you and I are a dream,

and we are the dreamers,
an embrace of air and loneliness--
two separate pieces of the same glass,

real like no one else could be.
Apr 2013 · 1.1k
Collection, 4
Heather Butler Apr 2013
For Fear of Returning Home

I curl my hands up into little *****,
small concentrations of the frustration I'm boiling in.

I fold in on myself like a sheet of paper
I crumple and wrinkle
and I haven't spoken to you in a while, now.

I am a sad excuse
for a great many things.
But he loves me anyway:
saying those things are just things,
just that,

even if I have been through
"more than most people should."

And he still tries to talk to me
He still feels the need to tell me
things I would be better off not knowing.

"I liked cuddling with you,"
he tells me.
I collapse in on myself and forget how to exist.

We are traveling at 70 down I-55
tire treads and wooden crosses forgotten on the shoulder
and I think of the monks in Vietnam who
walk two thousand miles around a lake
falling prostrate at every third step.

And I think of how much easier that would be
than to pray at the side of the interstate
falling prostrate every third step
onto broken glass and all that litters
and glitters in the headlights--
and catches your tires as you slip into the shoulder

late at night when the moon is new and absent
and you are tired.

I think of how much easier it would be
falling prostrate every third step
down the fifty miles to my bed

than to promise myself that I will
wake up tomorrow at all.

I slept all day today, my love
and I know you are disappointed--

but sometimes, most times,
it doesn't really seem worth the effort.
I wonder what motivates a seedling to keep striving
for the surface at the promise of sunlight
after spending so long in the dark.

Is the sun even shining, my love?
Can you promise me that one thing,
that pushing through whatever
hell this is

that there will be sunlight when I break through?

I don't want to tell you--
your love scars the side of my leg worse than
his **** ever did--

but he haunts me worse than
anything before him


and I am afraid of going back home to look at
the God-fearing family that sleeps
ignorant.
Jan 2013 · 885
asleep
Heather Butler Jan 2013
The drops of sand
were blood
falling to the floor
of her hourglass
figure.
Dec 2012 · 614
Is this hell?
Heather Butler Dec 2012
Is this hell?
Staring at the seat of your pants
I can see each thread of the denim.

Your deity lies on the sofa across from us;
this house is empty
except for the bed and your single barrel shotgun.

That wasn't me, I want to say;
you keep poor tempo with drums.
Is this hell?

You hold me close so I can hear you tell me
that you have to keep me away;
I saw your naked body by the knives.

This is hell;
we were going to have chicken tonight;
a one night stand salad of condoms.

I saw your naked body in the knives,
your naked body,
and the knives,

and a wild hog as I chased you down the road
as you drive off with your deity on the front seat,
and this is hell, I say,

this is hell,
and your naked body,
and the knives...
Nov 2012 · 2.5k
He was never your daughter
Heather Butler Nov 2012
He was never your daughter,
not since the day he was born.
He was an identical twin to his sister, sure,
but your daughter? No.

I am dating your daughter, sir.
He has an assortment of ways to please me.
I love him, and he knows it;
he orders his ***** online to please me.

He was never your daughter.
Couldn't you tell from the way he looked
awkward in dresses?
The way he always cut his hair short?

He was never your daughter;
I am dating your daughter, sir;
but he is not, never was, a sister
to the brother who just wanted a hug.

"She feels like she's wearing the wrong decoration;
how would you like it if I put you
in a dress and paraded you around
in front of your friends?"

He was never your daughter, ma'am,
but you knew it.
He is not a lesbian, he's something different.
He is not your daughter, any more.

Certainly we all know
he wears things to hide his *******.
And while I know what's down there in his pants
he won't let me see it.

He was never your daughter,
but I knew that.
I knew when he said, "FtM,"
that he was something different,

something special.

"I want to be a pelican
and have a bag for a face."
"Baby, baby, baby."
"Where's my ****?"

I've spent a month with your daughter,
and he cannot wait to tell it to your face
that he's moving out.
Oct 2012 · 793
the day
Heather Butler Oct 2012
The day's works doing have been done;
the midnight caught in the eaves
the eve of morning is lingering in your breath:
Against my ears eyes flutter and there is no undoing,
there is no unbuttoning or unzipping of clothes.

The day is working doing and done;
there is a shaking in the leaves
as leave you move a lingering in your step:
And my heart lungs whisper soft lullabies like yesterdays,
there is no forgetting, or letting, or knotting.

There! fingers break and unravel and
Yet! still sitting on the patio she is having her think
fighting pigeons with stale bread;
stepping on fallen branches you snap like a twig.
To think! to behold! to fall!;
she is your tea leaves, she is your hollow tree;
she is your empty cup and broken knee;

she is your hello to strangers and your goodbye to friends;
she is, she is,...!

She is!
Oct 2012 · 647
eh
Heather Butler Oct 2012
eh
You are more like
a photograph to me,
a still-frame memory like that
picture of my dog when she was younger,

the one that was in an album
that got water damage.

You're like that.

Except your hair's a little sharper,
your tongue a bit wetter,
your lip ring might just be
more kissable these days.
Oct 2012 · 538
Ink
Heather Butler Oct 2012
Ink
Do not take this lightly, my love;
if I say, “I love you, my love,” do not take it lightly.

You know I ****** someone who wasn’t you, my love,
but I want to come home to you.

Do not take this lightly.

I am messed up sometimes, my love,
and you know this to be true, I’m sure you do,

so do not take it lightly, my love
when I tell you tonight that I love you,

when I tell you tonight that I love you,
do not take it lightly.
Sep 2012 · 791
Fear Irrationale
Heather Butler Sep 2012
I do not want to burn that candle you gave me.

I'm afraid of forgetting
how Tuesdays smell,
or how it feels to fail at
all the things that don't matter,
and to let them go.

I'm afraid I might forget your smile,
your eyes in the sun,
the scent! the scent of lemon and leaves.

And memories linger like smoke
in my eyes but there is no one
else, no one else but you.

And I love you.

I am bad at keeping promises,
but I think I'll say this:
I'm afraid of burning that candle
because I'm afraid of burning you.
Heather Butler Sep 2012
You have to understand
where I'm coming from, all right?

You see, I am this
tiny,
little bright blue flower.
I am small but I am green and I am growing
up to the sun, yes, growing, though I am tiny.

And you uprooted me
carefully as all the others
when it had come time for uprooting,

but, then, you stood to a great height
and

dropped me.

I felt the impact. I know you thought
I wouldn't, but I did
and my roots were splayed out on the cement
mingled with dirt and tears.
I can cry, you see, did you know that?

And then, get this,
you stepped all over me.
Over and over and over you stepped on me;
you crushed me beneath your sole
until I withered.

And, you picked me up.
You gathered the pieces of me
into your hands,
your ungloved, ungreen hands,
carefully as all the rest when it came to dying,

and you put me back together.

I still want to ask you why,
because as soon as I had been
put back into the earth
you shut off the sun.

The god ****** sun, you shut it off.
So I withered again.
You never watered me.
I waited. I waited and I waited patiently
and I thirsted.

My roots are thin as are
my cell walls, my leaves, my membranes
and my petals have slowly,
one by one fallen to the soil.

I'm trying to refertilize myself, but
I don't think it's working.
Petals and dried leaves aren't worth much.

Eventually my tears dried up.
Eventually,
my voice became hoarse and thin and weak
like the rest of me.

I used to sing to the stars at night.
I am a nightflower; my leaves drink the sun
but my petals bathe in starlight.

I am a nightflower
but I am in a closet now.
It smells of old sweat and dead things.
It smells like everything you
want to forget about,

all the secrets you don't like to remember,
all the people you prefer not to know,
and me.

I'm still waiting, you know.

*Still patiently waiting.
You can come by any time you want.
Sep 2012 · 967
Scatterbrained, he says
Heather Butler Sep 2012
Before you know it,
or perhaps after you know it, but too soon,
too soon all the same--
growing old--
the men are scarce.

He took my hand in his,
his hand in mine we walked beside the water--
the moon reflects in the choppy waves
but light pollution dims the stars
and fogs his eyes.

Sometimes you still get it from a bullet
imagining fishnets around your
ankles and your dress
on
the floor--

He sings and
it is a beautiful thing when I think about
the past--
everything has led up to this
but this will soon be over, and over again--

--pick up the pieces--
the lamp lies on the floor
and shards, the remains of an ******
still lingers in your pupils
but ******* never liked it that way, anyway.

He tells me I'm scatterbrained.
I tell him I'm planning

Why are you bleeding why are you bleeding why
are you
bleeding?

something to write but there's no

It's over, it's over, and over again.*

tension.
Heather Butler Sep 2012
I don't feel it, You say. And, pray tell her
name, my sir, that i may find she thee and prithee

Bear me off to southern sounds, fallow fields,
an altar ground, a garland rope of singing springtime snows.

this may be more than i can--;;
                        YOU
                        ARE
 ­                       NOT
                        WOR
          ­              THW
                        HILE

and i had such an awful dream last night--

you said, Bronwen, my love;
and i could not sweep her hair from the floorboards
beneath which you hid your ***** mags from mice.

because you tell me about it.

                                                            ­              WHOAM?
you speak of gOd like dOgs & i am worthless coinage
in the sewers. the sewers find my dress still hanging from your bones.
your bones your bones your piano finger bones
kiss me again

until my lips swell my throat bleeds i do not want you to know how much i crawl spiderlike through the trails of hair in the drain as the autumn leaves the summer leaves the spring buds freeze over hell i am not i am not listening pan-drum please let me say this one last thing:;

he is your accordion player the ***** player man who speaks fluent french and inflected english he is your accordion player on the pipes-----

and you say i do not feel and i reply,

this is too bad too late, chuckle replay as your fantasy walks through the door my team my team she is porcelain lovely see the perfume in your synesthesia colorblind goat footed grandiose Cesar with epilepsy she is your dream she is she is she is!

&meanwhile; the trumpet in soul still plays solfeggio---

1 2 le 3 4 1 2 le 3---1 2 le 3 4 1 3--le 1 le 3 le 1
she is the discord of the seventh in the tenor line
she is membranes she is rain she is towels

                      LEIGH **** IT

if only if only you weren't so lonely i might call you mine and bring you back homely.
IF ONLY-----Charles weren't so busy while you

stare at silver spoons and cherub smiles

and cupid calls you home again.
Sep 2012 · 742
4.
Heather Butler Sep 2012
4.
watch me.

follow my fingertips as i trace thin trails
of desire down your freckled chest

i don't even know you.
watch me;

watch this as i draw thick lines of ink
in the palm of my hand

until there are only puddles of
black.

i don't even know you.

sometimes the leaves outside my window
shudder against the shutters like my fingertips

on your chest.
&i; don't even--

do i know you?
your eyes whisper lingering

on the liquid dripping down my
finger
tips

into soft puddles on the carpet--

(rain stains the ceiling tiles brown and bulging
              and meanwhile the saxophone

plays the low end)&this; is only the beg
in
ning.

this is only the&i; don't even know you.

*i don't even know you.
Sep 2012 · 752
well, she said
Heather Butler Sep 2012
well,* she said,
and there she took a
pause and a breath and shuddered

a little.
well, I don't really know, I don't
really want to know, I

don't think.

and I knew it wasn't a matter of wanting
but a matter of needing and

she needed to know.
she needed and I said,
I'm sorry;

I didn't mean to--

and she cut me off;
I found myself daydreaming

of you in class and I noticed
she was saying, I didn't know, I
didn't want to know, but it

happened, anyway.

and I wept for her
that night.

I didn't tell her.
Sep 2012 · 518
her asking
Heather Butler Sep 2012
wild, and free,
and I know your wiles and
want to free your

hair from its restraint,
binding it at the nape of your
neck and let the wind into

your mind and show you,
show you there is nothing to
hide, nothing to hide except maybe

the unread text messages from
her asking,
"where are you?"
Aug 2012 · 1.4k
It is Thursday, now
Heather Butler Aug 2012
for Patrick,
                    if he can still hear me

Rise, every neighbor!
Hear the cacophony of dragon fire
BANG, BANG
and the pitter patter rain fall of disease
T T T T
pouring over your households this evening.

Catch that butterfly, there, boy!
And know that in your future you will be begging
to look as hideous as a moth
banging your skull against the roof of my trunk
as I drive away with your body.

You beg me
give me reason!
and I try, but it's so difficult
I don't want to live!
and what am I supposed to do to help
when you don't want the help I give?

And we plead to gaze at stars over the Causeway
going seventy in the sunroof as off in Norco
the refineries let go a blaze jealous of the sun.

The moon doesn't shine as brightly as I remember.
Maybe I was too young to understand light pollution
or maybe it's the gnawing away of the ozone
as my skin tightens and ages over my teeth.

Do you understand how permanent
death
is?

Let me show you, this:
the vision you are trying to make me live through;
I will not let you force me into folding
your hands over your chest
while the embalming fluid grows stiff
beneath your cold hands.

I *will not
cry for you, if you bleed out your sorrows on a tile floor
or over a dark carpet
or crushed against the wall in your blue Mustang.

I will not cry for you,
but for the life you left behind,
the life you took, the life you stole
from me.

ME.

I have faced death with weakening knees;
I have knelt before the toilet whispering
please someone anyone
when it was too early in the morning for anyone to hear.

I have emptied the medicine cabinet of its promising contents
to find that nothing but
nothing
waited for me on the other side of ignorance.

Pain;
and it rains lightly on Tuesday evenings.

Somewhere behind the doorjamb is a flute
being played by a breeze
through the window you left open.

The note you will never write is tickled by the wind
and a thousand sunsets later--
I do not forget you.
Never give up.
Aug 2012 · 635
well i don't know either
Heather Butler Aug 2012
anger;

and all the dewbud roses fall silent in the sway grass breeze;
grasshopper and cricket fight over landing ... but what is that?

bleeding
the pen leaves puddles of unhappy gravity on your pages

and you are nothing without her love

anger;
and her skin sweats blood in the fading sunlight of after-hours.
Heather Butler Aug 2012
I'm tired of beginning these things,
these word games, these chess pieces
dying to fall into the wrong pair of hands

pair of scissors skittering sideways along
the perforated paper trail
unnecessarily.

I'm tired of being too hot in an empty space
while your empty eye sockets face about me
my brain tingles at the electricity out of place.

three birds chirping eating breadcrumbs
hopping to fro and paranoid
unnecessarily.

I
am not going to grab your fingers, little bird,
and I don't want that ****** frog back

smashed against the pavement his eyelids flicker
as heart beats lungs breathe
unnecessarily.

****

I am sick of your words curling smoke over my ears
leaving trails of ruin in my hair
as your scent clings to my body like dew drops;

I am coffin-made and ready
hands crossed still and over my heart
and in the cold I collect your wishing well echoes

unnecessarily.
Well, I'm sorry.
Aug 2012 · 1.6k
PSI #1
Heather Butler Aug 2012
for Daniel,
                   and anyone else who cares*

I'm relatively new at this,
if you consider that I've
never done this before.

And this is the only time I'll read this;
this is the cherry
exploding in your mouth,
between your hungry teeth
digging into the skin.

You are a window pane,
but you are not stained glass.
You are less clear than that.

You make less sense than
the spider veins of a kiss imprinted
on a bus window.

You make less sense than kissing a bus window,
arching and aching for that semi-perfect,
seventy percent reflection of yourself
as you float above and before
birds picking at beetles in the grass.

You make more sense than a thousand
kisses on a bus window
the driver has to keep cleaning off because
who really wants to kiss a bus window, anyway?

And still they're there, the oils and grease
immortalized for a few months,
the impression of imagined romance
pressed against the scratched glass on which someone tried to write,
"*******," backwards with a safety pin.

This is my first time reading this,
and the last time I will say it,
though it sounds much better when
the man inside my head so charismatically reads it aloud
to his audience
kind of like a dry comedian would tell a joke.

This is my first time standing before you,
and let me say that sometimes
I might offend you,
preachers, and speakers, and pew sitters;
evangelists and full blooded, God-fearing sinners alike.
And maybe you can forgive me
if I occasionally step on your closed-minded toes
in your sensible shoes.

Or perhaps they aren't so sensible.

And I got a haircut recently--
and here I'm expected to say something profound.
Something that perhaps sounds like,
"I got a haircut recently
while you stood in the bathroom with an electric razor
and shaved ten months of memories from your scalp."

Scalp.
The word makes me think of natives,
and it makes me wonder how long it takes
to collect the bleeding wigs from
the hairless children you left in the street.

Street.
That word makes me think of--
and here again I must choose my words carefully,
because the next thing I say will expose myself
poetically and psychologically--
spinal injuries.

All the careless children walking down sidewalks
not thinking of their mothers as they step
on every single crack in the pavement.

But what if everything we were superstitious about
were real?

Would we repave the world every week
so that there would be no chance of breaking
an innocent woman's back through carelessness?
There will be no cracks for thoughtless children
in their sneakers
they are too young to tie on their own.

Or perhaps the world would be covered in grass,
and every day mother would wrap the scarf
tightly about her son's ears and whisper,
"Don't step on any rocks today, my love.
I'm still recovering from last week."

But that's ridiculous.

I suppose it's surprising to me how many words
the man in my head can say while staring at a
Manhattan Morning in black and white
hung on your wall by three thumb tacks.
The lower right corner hangs idly where I took
the fourth one out to make this poem sound better.

There is a solar system in your ceiling,
did you know that, my love?
It is not in the asymmetrically placed
glow in the dark stars you placed at random,
nor is it in that one dolphin that seems to
swim amongst the Saturns and galaxies
that make no sense in context.
It isn't the seahorse, either.

Would you say that the Milky Way is made of wishes?
When I lie next to you in the darkness
uttering soft lullabies, I make wishes to your ceiling
that my voice doesn't crack
and you don't wake up again.
And also that perhaps one of us is wrong about God
and maybe he is out there after all
and mass-delusion doesn't exist.

I still think I'm right, though.

You make less sense than a kiss that means nothing.

But you, my love, you are more than a thousand kisses.
You are more than the thousand words
a picture may be worth.
And if I were better at saying things
maybe I could preserve you in a poem.

But I don't think anyone can.
No one can shape words and pages to your figure,
the fullness of your lips and
the strength of your nose;
the holes in your ears and
the life between your legs.

I got a haircut the other day
and cut twenty months of memories from my scalp.
It feels nice to not remember,
anymore.
Thoughts on maybe doing a poetry slam one day.
Aug 2012 · 569
Near and Far (freewrite)
Heather Butler Aug 2012
I could tell you, Near and Far, the same old thing;
Near, however, cannot stray
and Far is always too much away;
     but God in fury doth sleep the day,
       and to his mouth he holds the pray

               ;
His Far-to-Near-ness never says a thing;
Near, however, cannot stay
and Far is ever convinced away;
      but God in fury doth sweep the sway
       and to his mouth he keeps to play


So, carry on, ye Cherubim!
And let the Lyres of Heaven sing!
While Seraphim doth give to sway
those Pearly Gates of yesterday!
       and God in fury will find the way
        to hold your count of ne'er away


Forever! he sings, Forever and Now!
While Near and Far burn deep below;
the surface with its great bellows
with furnace in St. Helen's grace;

And God, in fury, will keep you here,
and have your counts from Far and Near
and hold the evils giv'n to sway
the gracely thoughts of how-today


**while never was a grace beheld
than that of Far and Near...
IDEK
Aug 2012 · 703
the ellipsis
Heather Butler Aug 2012
what is it, exactly,,,?
that makes your head

s
  p
     i
  n
n
n
n

the way it does---

so expertly done

and i hunger for something deeper than
appreciation from you..&
i hunger for something

simpler than,,"I want to know you..."

but
  whatever...

i want the ellipsis from you


....
Jul 2012 · 593
it's a freewrite
Heather Butler Jul 2012
for Daniel, again

It's like an image you stare at for hours,
minutes, maybe
--as you are so aware of time--
of the galaxies from Hubble

painted in blue hues or yellow subtones
as if to say, *This is your heaven,
and it's so far away.


Except it isn't.

I mean, it isn't like that at all,
because I could stare at the stars forever
and feel utterly alone,
except for the cicadas telling me

Hello, hello, we are here, remember?

It's like an image you could stare at
for hours,
a picture in a gallery
someone decided was art.

Except it is, isn't it?

I...?

&

You are off in another room
but your eyes linger here;
your laughter gathers in pools
of twine around my feet.

I can hear you echoing like
a Doppler effect in my
ears.

love...?

&

It's been a day but it's been years,
you know--years and so many
years
and for all the smiles there's still that

overwhelming fear that maybe
someday you'll be gone

and I'll be old,
or maybe a little less young,

or something...

Maybe tomorrow you won't call.

Maybe you'll never say it.

you...?

&

I don't think there's enough time
for me to---your eyes like waves--...?

And the music in my head
reaches a crescendo

when I fall asleep beside--,,

!;
Jul 2012 · 677
Something like cologne
Heather Butler Jul 2012
for Daniel*

I smell you on my clothes.

It is a warm memory,
a hint of laughter or
perhaps a smile.

I want to destroy in you
the things that destroy you,
that fear and those sounds,
and her name...

I want to take that heart you buried away,
the thing that still beats however faintly
in its box underground, under flesh,
and whisper things and things
and so many things.

I want to embroider my name on your soul,
I want to smooth the wrinkles in your mind
and tell you everything you are is mine.

Mine to fix, mine to hold,
mine to poke little holes
into and let all the nightmares bleed
like gas
into dream catchers.

Into inch worms and spider webs.

Into my arms and my hair.

And don't forget to fall asleep
while breathing me in;
and don't forget to
fall asleep.
Jul 2012 · 651
You may not understand
Heather Butler Jul 2012
You may not understand
me, but that's quite all right,
you know.

You may not know me very
well; well, I may surprise you in
some way,

but that's quite all right you know.

This isn't meant for interpretation,
cryptography,
nothingness.

It is only meant to eat its
wormy way through the wrinkles
in your brain,

the gray matter the white matter
the brain

and linger there like a nerve ending
firing constantly,

giving you a headache.
Jul 2012 · 503
freewriting again
Heather Butler Jul 2012
Let her go, I said;
don't remember her perfume or the way
her lips kissed yours
or anything of the sort

that might bring you back to loving her.

Let her go;
don't expect her to follow you home
as much as you look over your shoulder,
that sixth sense telling you

she's there and waiting for your love.

Don't forget me,
or time or anything,
don't forget your medication
while I sit here spitting typos

into a keyboard ignorant and dim.

Sound the trumpet;
send the walls of Jericho tumbling down
a day late.
The heathens did see it coming

and left three days ago, you fools,
you arrogant fools.

He never loved you, no;
well, perhaps at the beginning,
until He saw that we are nothing
but insignificant little things

incapable of love, true love.

You say I don't know It,
that book, that wretched book;
I know enough.
I know enough of preacher games

and so much of
we-are-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket.

Every one of us.
Well, it means nothing except what you want it to mean.
Jun 2012 · 786
Supposition
Heather Butler Jun 2012
Suppose we were a dream;

suppose the subtle incarnations of pseudo-reality
were just that, horses grazing on an incarnate field of
blue colored clouds like crayon boxes left empty
in a sandbox

when it was raining.

And, suppose::

that this is just what we were looking for, as if
wedding bands were eternal
and heaven is real; there is no need to stop and count
snowflakes in Idyllwild because

it never snows in New Orleans anyway.

Right.

Just for a moment, imagine that
we are together forever
and forever has already come and gone
and we are ashes in the ethereal moonbeams

of just-a-dream-I-had-last-night.

Deep and provocative,

think of her hollows and holocausts
and the conflagration of her soul
as if, as if she were ever just
outer space

and perhaps a slice

of buttered toast on Sunday afternoons.
May 2012 · 463
P.S. #1
Heather Butler May 2012
I can't take the input from your insanity--
It clings to me like
                                     your arms
&&when; I closerly look, it harms
the insatiable glance between
                                                     insistency
and whatever comes next in persistency
but your legs
                         tower like warm/s
     sandcastles taking indefinite forms
it's all just your insanity breathtakingly
wanting nothing more than my love
as perhaps it always was with you

but I try:not to remember such things
such things as
                          :::&etc; and above
you look down and try to make it true

as ready for insistence and silver rings.
May 2012 · 708
2.
Heather Butler May 2012
2.
between Patrick Thompson and this one*

The birds in my pocket are molting.

         it's because they started smoking.
                                                                 How revolting.
                                                                           I'm convulsing.
                                                                                -------
                                           over and out it is---------(
A cactus moon over the endless fever dream).

              What's to lose? You've got new shoes
                         RhythmRhYtHMit'sthere

                                      I JUST WROTE IN MY HAIR!
**** MY LIFE AAA
                   (*******.)
May 2012 · 447
1.
Heather Butler May 2012
1.
between Patrick Thompson and this one*

It's huge.
       Floating, bobbing on the current--
I try:not to remember such
                                 thin  g           s,
      Sinewy and grasping as they are,
                            wraiths, demons, and shades alike.
      It all just
                      (makes sense &)
                                     tells of truths
                                                              ?
                                                               .
                                                               .
                                                               .
"Truths." As true as truthiness can be
                    through a glass onion.
              -------------------------------------- - Run.
May 2012 · 752
on disappearing
Heather Butler May 2012
after Patrick Thompson*

Suppose::I must apologize be,cause--
well, it's allmyfault anyway,

sleepingly dreamingliest the movements
come as per rote per wrote

and (I'm sorry) doesn't quite cover it anymore,

             well, I can see it clearingly you still desire closeness
             I cannot give, it's not enough…

But,,love…however long and far away,
a paper kite the tail is trailing far below

catch me, catch me i'm falling,,,&(I'm sorry)

doesn't quite cover it any,mor,e...
Apr 2012 · 566
Niemand
Heather Butler Apr 2012
I really have no choice
It's all for nothing
But I will try to make you happy

Let you down, kept you drowning
The rain on your windowpanes--
Home, where the candle burns for no one
Let you down, kept you drowning
But I never left you alone

It's all for nothing

Let you down, left you weeping
Der Regen auf deine Fensterscheibe
Die Kerze brennt für niemand
But I let you down and kept you drowning

It's all for nothing
But I will try to make you happy
Apr 2012 · 1.1k
Ich weine
Heather Butler Apr 2012
It was
the staircase in the hospital garage.
It was
feeling sick on top of the suburb.
It was the pull of the estuary
the lake that isn’t a lake
washing up syringes
onto the asphalt where we stood,
barefoot.

It is that fence they erected on the levee,
landscaping,
dead grass in a wasteland.
It is the swan in your backyard.

It is the metronome of the blinker;
smell of your deodorant.
You rub your hands together by the steering wheel
and cross into the suicide lane.

It is your feet in the sand.
It was the moon in your hand.
It was the spool of thread
you could never get the knots out of.
It was the German your mother spoke
Heil, Heil, Heil…


It is the gas, the gas,
das Gas.
"Leave me alone," she says.
"Ich möchte allein sein."

*Es ist der Regen auf deiner Fenstersheibe: weinen, weinen.

Ich weine…
Mar 2012 · 464
pane
Heather Butler Mar 2012
It hit the window like a bird;
it hit the
nothingness like a wind.

You knew you were supposed to feel it,
feel it but all you could
feel was the rough brush of his stubble

on your chest. And he smelled of
colored bubbles and wax.
And you knew how much he wished you were

someone/anyone else, someone
else than who you were at that moment,
feeling his stubble and his breath

on your chest while you thought about
your thousand voices
in the eyes of
God.
Mar 2012 · 580
beatbeat;
Heather Butler Mar 2012
The heart is beating;
but that’s all it ever does,
ever does,
just keeps beating beatbeat;
and the heart is beating.

The wound is—-
gaping, gaping wide
The maw within the
maw surrounded by
the teeth, the little arteries
just keep beating.
And the teeth are beating.

——All the while the autumn breathes
her final sigh, sigh,
And who am I?

But is that it?
The heart keeps beating
and the teeth are beating
the autumn breathing
and the spider is weaving.

Drown the sheep in wine
and soap.
Mar 2012 · 3.9k
Crochet
Heather Butler Mar 2012
The crochet needles are stuck
in my teeth.
The hooks settle in my throat,
dripping with
saliva and *****.

The calendar winds its way
through the winter months,
and it is still winter,
but it has been hot like spring(s).
The crochet lingers.
The white thread
consumes.

I love you, but that is all I ever say
anymore.
I miss you.
The blood drips down the alley
and God smokes a Cuban.

Death laughs. Death reds. Death dog.

Death to the death-heart, the dead-heart;
and I will ensnare your---
I will ensoul and be ensouled
because I am God.
I am God smoking a Cuban.

The wedding bells get caught
in the cilia,
and they are frozen.
I am deaf. I am death I am God without a Cuban cigar.

I'm sorry as I pick the dirt
from my fingernailed coffin tomb.
The abort-fetus clings to your ******.
You love your ******.
I never really liked mine.

The crochet grids lie in
woven embroidery dreams,
hot as fever,
cold as the call of the void.
Jump. Jump.
It is not autumn here.

But here, see, *I'm sorry.
Mar 2012 · 615
little heart beat strong
Heather Butler Mar 2012
In your little heart beat strong the cricket chirps night-long,
And hear me say what I think I say tonight,
That if you ever set it good, set it good, set it right,
I'll see you out to where your beating brain belong.

In your little heart beat fast the day today the day the last,
And hear me think what I say I think today,
That if you ever find it out, find it out, find the way,
I'll take you out to nowhere land in past.

In your small tree stump hands behold the beauty of the lands,
All the treasure you can take, I think you'll find tonight.
It's up to you to set it straight, set it straight, set it aright,
So the planes can sit and stare at the sands.
Heather Butler Mar 2012
Well, what now, hey?
     I threw the dog overboard yesterday.
     The day before, the day?
Where will you go, hey?

I heard the orchestra-man play
The same way,
     Sanctum, requiem, asylum
All Latin in his French dog-eared play.

     Hear the monkey, playing accordion play
To the whirling whirly-whirly-ghig
     Tre dramatique, no? Today
I understand you're just as "tramatig."

I want to hear your Frenchmen play
Play ***** pipes play play
      In his dog-eared French *****-man
Play

But I cannot, cannot say
     Tears of joy, in hydrant spray
The Hyades triumphant rainbow stay
     Cough your little fears away;

Hear the Star Spangled Francis Key play
Frenchmen play, play,
Little piggies counted play
Black white keys with little piggle-plumps play

Atone-al, A-tonal---atonal tonal sounds as if to say
"Getting married here to stay"
       All alone and all today
      Settle down if for a day
And who will hear the trumpet play
When *****-man Frenchman say
"Where? Home of the free" and stay

Keep your hands away
Never want to        let you say
               "Hear me, hear ye, all you weary, weary dreamers
         But never left your confidence like Russell-rustle leaf-blown willow-white

You fill them up with seventy two pay
      Make a kite, to(k)night, allRight
      Thank god for the fleas in the right
Hairless creatures for to sway

I threw the dog overboard yesterday
The day before, the day
And if you'd wanted it to stay
You should've say, you should've say

But never let my hand betray
The vein, the line, the artery
Of arterial shells bombastically
Loquacious to a fault, this day

They say "You want another day"
They say "You never wanted say"
They say "You wasted every day"
They say "They say, they say, they say"

                   But e'er forget, ne'er forget
                   I'll despise you abandon heaven for earth to get
       And leave your money, your millions behind
       For mansions with my Lord to find

But in the ceiling never was a god to pray
Feb 2012 · 492
Sunset, over your warm
Heather Butler Feb 2012
Sunset, over your warm
body still lying beside me.
The grass sways gently

growing slowly to the rhythm
"bm....bm....bm...."
the heartbeat of the earth only

you can hear now, in your
little sleep, little sleep,
body still lying beside me.
Feb 2012 · 623
no se.
Heather Butler Feb 2012
Turning sixty today
don't feel **** older

speaking of,
the hell's that dog off to

now, hmm?

******* ****-taker,
I tell you,

and those meds, mm-mm
ain't working no more, I say, I say, you hear me?

What I say?

~

Turning seventy today,
you rude *****

you know your sister
better than you, yeah, you hear me, I say?

She got it down, you just a *****,
always hated you, never cared, no, *******.
Feb 2012 · 723
ennui
Heather Butler Feb 2012
Hah, yeah, I get on those kicks all the time, I say.

Yeah, it's like, you know, yeah?

Yeah. I nod. The party isn't over yet.

You're not getting, like, you know, huh?

No. No, not at all, I say.

Sure, yeah, you wanna, hmm?

Yeah, I guess so, whisper.

Takes my hand in my head puts acid mouth tongue.

So, you, yeah, and me?

Nod. Whatever.

!

"Mother, won't be home tonight. Tell Pa it's okay to worry,
don't know where I'll be
when I'll be home
Love you."

!

Takes me bedroom hold the fort

Nice ***, hmm, you, yeah?

You're ****** as we.

Can you tell I'm the goat-footed balloonman?

Cry far and wee for me.

!

"Mother, taking crack-baby home today;
tell Pa it's okay to worry
don't know where I'll be
when I'll be home
Love,"

!

And that was whatever far ago in party temple-house
of Solomon and concubines.

Yeah, it's like, brainwave, chemical fire, no?

No, I.

whisper.

No, not at all. (Ofcoursenot.) -----!
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