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3.9k · Mar 2012
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.
2.5k · Nov 2012
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.
Heather Butler Jan 2011
The mountains crest in trees gold,
Haze and dew settle to night appease
As the sun rises to words untold.

It's as it's been since days of old;
Changing colors and changing leaves;
The mountains crest in trees gold.

I watch, let the day unfold
As spiders mingle in the eaves;
As the sun rises to words untold.

The cabin sits near a stream cold
Which rushes 'neath the sunrise breeze--
The mountains crest in trees gold.

Calling forth the flight of birds,
the march of ants, the drone of bees--
As the sun rises to words untold.

A glory fairest to behold,
None is greater than of these:
The mountains crest in trees gold
As the sun rises to words untold.
Heather Butler; 2010
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.
2.1k · Dec 2011
I was a moth
Heather Butler Dec 2011
I was a moth
drawn to your flame
once.

I was a moth
when I saw your candle
extinguish
from afar.

I was a moth
being burned by your embers
touching
the scales on my wings.

I was a moth
on your doorstep;
I fluttered about the light on your front porch
while
you kissed her goodnight.

I was a moth;

I was a moth;

I am a moth,
and I am dying.

I am a moth,
and there is little time left for me.

For, in a month,
the magnetism will cease,
and the flame
will burn out.

Then what is left?
1.9k · Jul 2011
nevermind.
Heather Butler Jul 2011
The cactus ate the moon;
a cosmic starflower;
a cyanide razorblade.

You ate your way through the mouse droppings
in the cereal bowl
and look at me through lens-less everythings.

The sun took the moon
to his midnight hideaway
and she was absent that night.

Beneath the artificial breeze
blowing noisily, raucous;
birds in a tree eating acorns like squirrels do.

I never gave you hope;
I never gave you nothing;
I never gave you what you deserved.

Senseless, mindless, wandering wanderlust
wonderlust
you're keeping yourself company tonight.

Ha! playing with yourself again, I see.
Picking your nose and rubbing your toes
in the sandy sandy dandy boy beaches.

Friendly, never ceasing.

Repeating repeating repeating lines
repeating repeating repeating signs
repeating repeating relocating lies

Nice to just let go
no reality
no gravity.

But I'm not defying, no
nor scrying, oh
but lying, go.

She gave me her hand
and expected me to restitch the fibres
as if I were ever so good a tailor.

Surgeon.

Nevermind.
Nice to just forget that anything is supposed to make sense.
Heather Butler; 2011
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.
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
1.6k · Aug 2012
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.
1.5k · Aug 2010
streetlight princess
Heather Butler Aug 2010
Under the streetlights shining silver stars into puddles
and throwing shadows at roaches
I wait patiently for my not-quite-charming prince to drive up
in his silver-armoured vehicle
and take me away.
Heather Butler; 2010
1.5k · Jun 2010
slavery
Heather Butler Jun 2010
I am going to show you just exactly what I mean when I say
Get away from me,
and just exactly what I mean when I say
Never show your face again.

You don't even have to ask, because I am going to tell you
You're a worthless pig,
and there won't be any questions left.
Your head is empty inside.

My dear, it's all so simple and painfully plain, you see
I want you to touch me;
I'm a slave to my hormones
*and I'm sorry I hurt you so.
Heather Butler; 2010
1.4k · Aug 2012
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.
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.
1.1k · Apr 2012
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…
1.1k · May 2010
Circles
Heather Butler May 2010
The walls here are white.
White?
Quite.
The walls here are quite white.
And so soft, inviting --
little whispers
laughing -- ha ha --
could I but once
see them and not desire to
      fly through them --
  ha -- but my hands --
bound to these hips --
a waist.
Waste.
Mine?
     Do let's try to be careful.
Careful,
   careful.
Circles --
  aah -- circles.
White?
Quite.
  Nice clean labcoats --
let's try another example --
  Maybe this time we can --
Quite?
-- understand.
The walls
           white
    are here
Quite
      to understand...
-- Ha ha ha --
Circles.
    If you are not
already,
       I am quite --
Quite --
          white --
     sure --
                I can bring you
D
  O
    W
       N
    and you can run
  circles
Drown
          ha ha ha
     around this
                  quite
                          white
    ­       table --
                    bed --
go insane.
      Do let's try to be careful
                              with this one.
And see?
          Yo soy
                     feliz
        estoy muy contenta
                        aquí.
       No quiero estar --
                  estar --
           ser en cualquier
                             otro lugar.
              ¿Miras?
                      ¿Sí?
         ­   Ay, circles, circles,
                y el oscuridad --
                         closes in
                 around
                                   me
                                me
¿Blanca?
         Quite.
Estoy aquí
                        with you.
                                Los ojos --
                           sí, y el alma --
                       ay --
                                 me duele.
Señor -- good, good sir --
         put me down --
                  ayúdame a dormir
        porque these circles --
White?
                    Quite.
              -- so tiresome.
     walls surround
              me?
                      me?
      What could you want
                              with me?
                           Me?
               Escaping --
      turmoil.
                  You must leave --
          this chair --
                     mine.
               Not thine own.
       This booke is mine to
                               be writ.
                Ha ha --
                    ha--
         This mind travles
                   c    i    r    c    l    e    s
As if I were ever so good
                              a writer --
                    speaker --
           repeat me
                      repeat me
                               repítame
                          Me me me
                                      duele.
Ay, señor --
             mátame,
                    por favor.
       Yo no quiero vivir en este lugar.
                                Quiero --

                             dormir.

                  Forevermore.

White?
Quite.
Heather Butler; 2010
1.1k · Apr 2013
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.
1.1k · Apr 2013
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.
1.0k · Jun 2010
Sunshine
Heather Butler Jun 2010
This darkness is absolute--
but never empty.
You cannot see, but
your hands are still here.
I am still here.

I cannot shine
candlelight
upon quiet birds in the nighttime.
I cannot bring
starlight
upon dew-covered leaves of grass.

But I can hold you
steady.

And when you open your eyes
to the beauty of
dead men's clouds,

then your sunshine will show you--
the darkness isn't real

and it never was.
Heather Butler; 2010
991 · Oct 2013
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.
981 · Jun 2011
sleep deprivation
Heather Butler Jun 2011
sleep deprivation:
I wrap a blanket of the stuff
around me
and drink another round of
coffee.

no, that's a lie. I'm not drinking
coffee. I'm drinking--
get this--
sorrow and you know what?
black.

sleep deprivation:
is it too much to say that I'm
waiting for you to call and
answer that heavy question
I'd asked two days ago.

why do you love me?

no, that's not a lie. I really did
ask him that.
don't believe me?

well, he's _5 and I'm not
seventeen years enough to get
anything out of the way he
feels for me.

sleep deprivation:
enough to hallucinate circles
and twiddley-lumps on strangers.

suffice to say I'm waiting on the
insignificance of the moment,
the unimportance of the lifetime.

like the lifetime of a star on the other
side of the universe:
she burned herself out and is now just

a ten cent ****** with a smoker's cough.

sleep deprivation:



                                         ha, circles.
Heather Butler; 2011
967 · Sep 2012
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.
932 · Aug 2010
Fog
Heather Butler Aug 2010
Fog
I was being lazy again, but I wasn’t thinking of you until
the movie ended and I was left with the sound of
someone else’s happiness and someone else’s name.
I couldn’t help but notice how the colors blended to form
the memory of a café with eyes hanging from the ceiling by strings
and your eyes sparkling in the light.
I fell in love with you when you sang something I had hoped was for me
but whether or not it was I never asked.
The lyrics you sang were foreign to me and the thoughts you provoked
were lost upon my ears.
Too busy to listen I was mesmerized by your smile
never fading under the glare of fluorescents or in
the presence of my unabashed stare.
You left me happily confused in the front seat of my car
as you blew a kiss and waved goodbye.

I wonder if you still call me beautiful.

It’s midnight now and I want to punch walls
because I have to make everything complicated.
I’m more confused than ever and more angry than confused
and more than anything I’m still in love with who you are and what we were.
I wish I could talk to you but there’s too much you could find;
I’m not the same girl you fell in love with eight months ago.
There’s less of me here now and more reasons to hate me
and upon my shoulders more of the ever-present unhappiness
I’ve become more masochistic about carrying.

I wonder if you found someone better.

I hated myself then and because of that
I hated you for loving me.
The closer we grew the more I couldn’t accept your seventeen years
and the way you seemed to know that everything would be okay.
I hated your optimism and the way you made me happy
and I hated myself for hating you.
I didn’t make sense and I don’t make sense
because I miss you despite how I felt then.
My restless mind couldn’t stop looking for reasons to condescend;
everything I dislike about you is a lie.
I wanted nothing more than to tell you I still loved you,
but I couldn’t, and I shouldn’t.
In that hour I wanted to make you love me again and
I wanted to be in your arms.

I wonder if you ever think of me.

Someday I’ll find that movie you lent me and I’ll watch it again.
It’ll be like loving you, and I’ll feel your presence next to me
even though you’d be ignorant completely of my thinking of you.
In the night I’ll talk to the stars and it’ll be like whispering to you
and only the window will know how pathetic I am.
The world is crumbling like stale dessert
falling in pieces at my feet, but only in my head.
I keep over-thinking everything and my brain can’t take it anymore
and I just want to curl up in your embrace to your philosophy that
everything is going to be okay.
I wouldn’t believe you and I’d probably end up ruining things on my own,
but it’s moments of perfection like that one I strive to encounter.

I wonder if you’re still awake.

It’s getting late now and I’m still naked between
the sheets and consciousness.
I’ll wake up later today and maybe I’ll remember this.
My dreams might consist of you making me feel happy again
or maybe you’ll finally reject me.
In any case I hope you haven’t written a song about how much
I’ve messed up yet.
I’m sure you will someday but give me some time to get used to
the side of you that’s moved on.
Until then I’ll dream about cake and music and everything else we loved
when we loved each other then.
Heather Butler; 2010
919 · Mar 2010
Addicted
Heather Butler Mar 2010
I don't know what I am doing here.
At least I feel safe, for the moment.

This seat is warm from my heat.
They are talking but I do not know them.

I am lost in my own exhausted world.
I never knew how well the word malaise fit me.

This private access to your face stays upon my lap.
It is feeding from the outlet in the wall.

I am only exacerbating my addiction.
I am addicted to your face.

Your beautiful, careless face.
It makes me sick, but I can't resist.

What am I doing here?
I'm uncomfortable within my own skin.

I'm itching for a way out from the inside.
Spiders are stepping gracefully upon my veins.

I'm swimming in nausea.
My eyes are shifting to and fro.

My head is the worst of it all.
These thoughts of you are eating me alive.

Because I'm not supposed to be
thinking of you.
I should be thinking
of him;
but when had we decided we
were in love?
He assumed, I'm sure.
I don't remember ever discussing it.

And you.
Look at you assuming things
just like he has.

But I don't care to tell you
you're wrong
because
you're right.

You remind me of that boy;
the one who smelled

sweet

in the summer time.
Immature and
out of sync --
I pretended to love
all that he was.

I hate to say it to myself,
but you remind me of him
sometimes.
The way you laugh and the way
you act
throws me into terrible
recollections
of days best forgotten.

And yet,

Here I am searching for
your blue eyes and
your left handed scribble
and
that mess of brown hair--
characteristics of every man
I've really loved--
and that scruff you call a beard,
black shirts and forced smiles.

I'm aching for your voice
mumbling incoherently into my hair;
aching for your arms,
warm and strong
and soporific; aching for
your lips
warm and sweet
pressed against mine,

as they were that one night
upon the dance floor:
quick and only once
but enough to make me cry.

I'm only making things
worse for myself.
I'm barely getting along in this house--
I've run out of things to do
and things to say
and things to think
to myself,
yet I sit still here
imitating your presence before
me, telling myself

it's only so long
until Saturday.
Heather Butler; 2010
916 · Dec 2010
Pretending
Heather Butler Dec 2010
You were so cute
when you loved me
and now you're an arrogant *******.

You were so loving
when you loved me
and now it's almost as if you hate me.

You were so beautiful
when you loved me
and now I can't stand to see you.

You were so perfect
when you loved me
but now you've fallen from grace.

And I wonder if
now that you love her
you're everything you were to me.

Cute, loving, beautiful, perfect;
are you all these things?

Or are you pretending for her
like you did for me?
Heather Butler; 2010
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.
885 · Jan 2013
asleep
Heather Butler Jan 2013
The drops of sand
were blood
falling to the floor
of her hourglass
figure.
850 · Sep 2010
lingering
Heather Butler Sep 2010
lingering
like a memory
but fresher--
the scent of your cologne
absorbed by my skin.

one a.m. headlights
and two strangers pass--
the rumble of your idle car
beneath the gray clouds
and beside our embracing forms.

just three minutes longer,
that's all i ask,
as i pull you closer and
hold you tighter.

i'll miss you,
we whisper.

only the breeze
hears.
Heather Butler; 2010
833 · Apr 2013
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.
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.
793 · Oct 2012
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!
792 · Sep 2010
the first part
Heather Butler Sep 2010
Your name is beautiful.
Your name is so ******* beautiful,
and I want to cry.
Something about the z,
or perhaps the sch
that makes me think of
hurricanes and daisies.

It's all dreams now;
tornado pastures amidst
raindrops
s(h)ifting like a fog
where the light is thin.

But you don't live here anymore.
Your bed is empty and
the sheets lie neatly.
And when your air conditioner kicks on
the air it breathes
no longer smells of you.
I think I'll sneak in through your window
to sleep in your bed
beside the soft pillowed impression
of the memory of you.

The sand lies thin on
the carpeted floor;
acrylic-painted seashells
for housing hermit *****
rest beside the television
empty.
Within the walls
hallucinations of your voice
and on the keys of the piano
the indentations of your fingers.

The hammers are broken.
Still your melody plays.

But you don't live here anymore.
At 2 a.m. I wipe the condensation
from your window pane
and shine the flashlight into your eyes--
just my reflection in the glass.
My fingerprints are fresher than yours
and where my feet fall
the dust from your shoes will be late to meet.
I think I'll lie naked between your sheets
so maybe the mattress will remember
that you felt different than I do.

Your name is beautiful.
Something about the phr,
or the nia...
Heather Butler; 2010
791 · Sep 2012
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.
786 · Jun 2012
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.
756 · Mar 2010
If I Were the Center
Heather Butler Mar 2010
i.
Outside of this room
is a house
with four other human inhabitants,
two dogs, two fish,
and countless microscopic things.
They are all alive,
they are all living.
And if I listen over the vent I
can hear them speaking
(the humans, I mean).
I think they are cooking, and
maybe they're smiling.
Just a small house around
this small room around
me.

Outside of this house
is a city
and if I knew the population
I'd quote it.
They are all alive,
they are all dying.
Even the unborn
already has started its
undetermined journey to
ashes.
And perhaps they are crying
(the born ones, I mean).
Perhaps they are
staring up at clouds or
ignoring the clouds or
taking the clouds for granted.
Wherever they are, whoever they are,
they are all a part of this.
Just a small city around
a small house around
this small room around
me.

Outside of this city
is a country
and the numbers of the population
I don't care to know.
I guess they're alive;
I know we're all trying.
Whether it's trying to live
or
trying to die I'll
never know.
I have to wonder if
one of them is thinking of me
in the same abstract way
I'm thinking of them.
Somewhere, someone is saying goodbye.
Someone is saying hello to the
cold cement below.
Someone is polishing a ******
and someone is giving life.
Someone is replacing and
someone is replaced.
Just a small country around
a small city around
a small house around
this small room around
me.

Outside of this country
is a world
and most of it I will never see.
Beneath the waters are
secret creatures
swimming and breathing --
different from us.
But we believe we're all
connected in some way,
twisted and spinning
and tangled strings
invisibly tie us together.
And I admit I sound repetitive
and cliché when I say
that this is
Just a small world around
a small country around
a small city around
a small house around
this small room around
me.

                      ii.
Inside of this room
is me
and perhaps a million or more
of my closest friends.
To the left is a tub which
hasn't been cleaned in ages
and to the right is
a toilet with the lid down.
I turn on the vent to wrap
silence and warmth around me
like a familiar, worn out blanket
(and on occasion to rid this room
of the smell).
I think clearest on
the bathroom floor.

Somewhere, out there,
you're thinking of me.
You, and him, and he is, too.
(And I suppose I can't forget
you, dear reader.)
But me, I'm thinking of
dark red carpets and blue tile
and off-white walls.
The ***** laundry is all mine.
I'm sure most of the hair in the carpets
is mine, too.
I'm leaving my mark
and living and breathing and feeling
right here,

all alone in a little room
around my little frame
around my little thoughts.

Somewhere a snail
consumes a salad
in the middle of a field.
Heather Butler; 2010
755 · Sep 2010
small
Heather Butler Sep 2010
Nothing on the floor--
greens and blues and lighter shades of pale
stretched out in stripes from the sun
shining through the curtains.

Solace in a puddle on the floor--
drip, drip, from the bloated ceiling tiles
browning from the rain.

Somewhere, down the garden path,
past the Easter lilies and scattered ferns,
a butterfly drinks the nectar
of a honeydew blossom.
Heather Butler; 2010
752 · May 2012
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...
752 · Sep 2012
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.
742 · Sep 2012
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.
740 · Jan 2011
a pantoum
Heather Butler Jan 2011
Where is your heart steadfast?
Has it gone to follow some weary dream
And left you here to wallow in the past?
Pray, tell me its awful scheme.

Has it gone to follow some weary dream:
Your heart of gold, my lover last?
Pray tell me its awful scheme
That I may rescue you fast.

Your heart of gold, my lover last--
Gone, I fear, to drown in the stream.
That I may rescue you fast
Never lose your eyes agleam.

Gone, I fear, to drown in the stream,
And left you here to wallow in the past
Never lose your eyes agleam;
Where is your heart steadfast?
Heather Butler; 2010
735 · Jun 2010
wrath and orange peels
Heather Butler Jun 2010
in the twilight of dawn
I can already hear the shower.
quietly I wonder where the
time went.
I turn over and face the
peeling paint on the wall,
trying to grasp those
vestiges of a dream which
faded to air motes and half-light.

okay, I'll make breakfast today,
and I hope you like oranges.
no, I never bothered to memorize
which fruits you like
in the morning. I know
it's been years, but
I'm not superman and
you knew that when you said
I do.

don't tell me not to
grumble quietly to myself;
I need this bubble of
relative sanity
if I am to survive
5 am showers for
nobody.
you are fresh and clean,
an angel,
and your blowdried hair
frizzes out like a halo.
not a hint of gray.
must be a new color
you're using.

all right, fine,
I won't light a cigarette,
but I also won't
change my shirt.
I like the sweat stains.
they make my profession seem
like work and not
like poetry.

I retreat to
the backroom
where my typewriter sits
upon its unholy altar.
the radio beside it
stands presently silent
amidst the ashes
and crumpled pages.
I would sigh as
I sat down on my sagging chair,
but I am not
a sighing man.

instead, I groan slightly
as my joints protest
in their groggy morning voices
and rest my ***
upon the threadbare cusion
of my favorite
wooden chair.
I find a station on the radio;
something Haydn composed is
floating through,
and I talk to
my secretary.

her voice clicks and clacks
and rings when she breathes.
she's speaking in stanzas
and only I
can silence her.

but this ***** ain't done
confessing just yet.
Heather Butler; 2010
726 · Apr 2010
Ode to an Unknown Star
Heather Butler Apr 2010
Small, twinkling star,
out before your siblings,
shining bright before the
dusk has fully set.
I don't know what you are,
bright star,
but you are mine.
At least for tonight you are mine.

Sitting above the trees
in a darkening blue abyss
I can see through my window
between the slits in the blinds
how you move
slowly ever downward in the sky.
Let down your silvery hair
and leave a trail of stardust
to my windowsill.
I don't know what you are called,
but tonight I call you mine.

And as the darkness
filters through my window and
crawls along my bed
I will watch you descend the heavens.
Bright celestial body,
outshining the waning moon tonight,
I will sleep beneath your caresses
and dream of your embrace.
Heather Butler; 2010
723 · Feb 2012
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.) -----!
719 · Mar 2010
A flock of white feathers
Heather Butler Mar 2010
Disturbing the birds
Reminiscent of pale leaves
In Autumn breezes

As the doves scatter
A dozen falling pages
Catch the sun's white light

Behind them, they leave
A memoir of their presence:
A small white flyleaf.
Heather Butler; 2010
708 · May 2012
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
                   (*******.)
707 · Jul 2011
work in progress
Heather Butler Jul 2011
And then the frog like blueberry jam
whispers to the fly, “It knows who I am.”
And the whale with a shark tooth, and a laugh in his ear
smiles to the front, and frowns to the rear.
While the man says to me, “Look inside, can’t you see?
At the bottom of the bag is the deep blue sea.”
Hullo? Is anyone there?
Please let the spiders out of my hair.
I'm going to make this a weird children's book with watercolor illustrations.
Heather Butler; 2011
703 · Aug 2012
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


....
Heather Butler Jul 2010
She looked up at me then.

"What do you mean,
you're leaving?"

I sighed.
Sighing seemed like the
normal thing to do.

This was becoming redundant.

"Look, you understand
basic English, right?
What else could I mean when I say,
'I'm leaving?'"

Her mouth puckered;
she was frustrated.
I'd seen this face numerous times
in the last sixteen months.
I suppose I was born to frustrate.

"Don't insult me,"
she spat, her tears betraying
how hurt she was.
"This is just...
a shock to me, is all."

I shrugged.

"Can't help that, babe,"
I said.
"And you knew this would happen
someday, so quit your crying.
Your paint will run."

A sniff. Then--

"It's paintings like you
that make me happy I'm not
really smiling."
Heather Butler; 2010
691 · Jun 2013
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.
682 · Nov 2010
11 07 10
Heather Butler Nov 2010
Let's go out to the ocean.

We can build our home where
anenomes grow
and the starfish lose their limbs among stones.
We can dance with the tide
and call the moon our mother
as she pulls us up from our watery home.

We can forget how to breathe--
grow gills and drink air--
forget how to swim and be fish--
be together in our house beneath the waves.

Let's dance in the schools
frolicking among the seaweed
growing too tall for the depths to the sun.
We can find shallow pools and take in the warmth
of the star we don't see anymore.

"I miss it," you say.

"I'll follow," I say.

Together we leave paradise for our forgotten tennis shoes.
Heather Butler; 2010
681 · Jun 2010
Omniscience
Heather Butler Jun 2010
You are alone.

I can see you now,
in my ever-omniscient
mind's eye.

You are alone, and
you are unhappy about it.
You are sitting upon the floor
wringing your hands,
wishing that days did not exist
and nights were not
so dark.
You are thinking
of how cold the air is
and how silent the house is.

Yes, you are
exactly as I want you.
I laugh, triumphantly,
bitterly,
miles away with
my eyes closed
to the nighttime and to
reality.
Heather Butler; 2010
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