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jack of spades Nov 2019
see, i've never been good at letting things die.
my heart has been fractured into all the fragments needed
to carry every single person that has ever laid it to waste,
ever made a home there.
if i just keep holding out hope, everyone will come back around,
right? i don't know how to guard my heart.
not when i never ask for the broken pieces back.
i don't know how to take people out of my life,
not without letting them take a piece of me
with them. what if they come home
one day? what if they don't?
owo whats this? a new hellopoetry post??
Mar 2019 · 151
stop motion sour
jack of spades Mar 2019
purse your lips for sour stinging kisses like lemons left too long in the sun,
homemade lemonade without enough sugar,
just the coating of gummy worms burning your tongue with redhot sweetness.
surround yourself not just with gold but yellow,
like the sun
like the lemon peel
like star trek command uniforms (original series, captain kirk loyalty)
like daffodils and sunflowers faces turned up on the prairie
like bright, obnoxious, bumbling, highlighter yellow,
satiate your sweet tooth with speckles of summers past, bright spots in the memory bank.
purse your lips for sour stinging kisses like honeybees in chapstick.
Mar 2019 · 139
spring equinox
jack of spades Mar 2019
i woke up with daisies in my hair,
sunflowers sprouting from my closet,
someone telling me that i do not fit
with the color yellow. i have never
felt lighter, though, like i'm finally turning
back into apollo after a winter in the waves,
icarus out at sea. honeysuckle lipgloss,
cherry nails, coke can. i cannot wait for
summer, but for now, spring is more
than enough. the sun is setting on an
equinox, a changing. i can feel the roots
settling and sprouting and blossoms
unfurling.
Mar 2019 · 125
Sun Tattoo
jack of spades Mar 2019
I am Apollo in the way that I have always been Persephone:
When the sun sets as November gives way, leaves the world dark until the last dredges of February
have swirled down the drain of March,
I crawl into my lover's arms to wait out the chill.
When spring whispers through the incoming blooming trees,
gives kisses that taste like the promise of June,
I don the colors of the sunrise, of noon, of freckles and bare knees, and embrace the warmth of eternal fire.
I am Apollo in the way that I have always been Persephone,
the way the breeze twists my moods with the slightest chill, how love is found in flowers grown in fields sown with blood,
how my darling knows the ways that the seasons change me,
how he waits for the sun to thaw me and bring life back into me,
the way my mother awaits my homecoming, watching the end of winter eagerly for my arrival and spring.
Aug 2018 · 203
HAPPYCRUSHINGLONELY
jack of spades Aug 2018
I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY,
just want the light feeling to stay.
i don't want to feel this heavycrushinglonely,
don't want to be summer sad.
I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY
IN THE WAY THAT THE ADDAMS FAMILY IS,
IN THE WAY THAT THE GRAND CANYON IS,
IN THE WAY THAT IT SEEMS LIKE
everyone else already is.
i just want to be happy.
i just wish that i knew how to feel light.
i wish that i wasn't heavycrushinglonely,
that i had adventures and memories and smiles.
i wish my friends wanted to do more than just
drink and play video games in their apartment
that is suffocating with the smell of chase's vape
and cold and too cozy. i wish my friends did more
of that "aimlessly driving with the windows down,
the music blaring," but more importantly, i wish
that in those instances i could just stay in time.
i spend too much time stuck in my own mind,
and i don't know how to get out anymore.
I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY.
i just don't know how to make that choice,
how to stick with it.
I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE LONELY.
I JUST WANT--
i don't know. i don't really know
what answers i'm looking for.
i just know that i've been
heavycrushinglonely for too long now.
what's the alternative to that, if not happy?
im glad that summer is almost over
it's my favorite season but the memories are miserable
at least when there's snow i have an excuse to be sad
Jul 2018 · 131
misery business
jack of spades Jul 2018
step one she

pulls at your puppet strings

wraps your heart valves around

her fingertips. you fall for it every time.

step two she

breaks your heart like a glass

of milk getting tipped from the counter

top, messy and sharp. she does not cry

over spilled milk.

step three i

do cry over spilled milk, cut my hands

on the shards while trying to pick them up

and piece them together again. things that get

broken like that aren’t easily fixed. i’m not here

to fix you.

i am here to love you

and to cry over spilled milk.
i've been writing poems inspired by songs [shrug emoji] kinda liked the spilled milk metaphor so
Jun 2018 · 135
the smoke from your incense
jack of spades Jun 2018
it’s always odd being the off-color, the too-shaded one.
what exactly are we, anyway? not what we once were,
not what we shall be. there’s something odd about being
the in-between. silence is the only thing that can truly
stretch for an eternity, even if it is just within seconds.
their lifetimes are mere moments, and we continue to keep
our quiet. there are many things that they cannot understand.
there are many things that we only understand because
we were given them. a stream bubbles and runs through
the back of our brain, soothing. the cavern of our skull is
a safe haven of calm from the calamity of the mortal world.
leaves rustle and music plays. this universe will not last
for much longer, anyway. the stars are all falling into shade.
it’s okay. we will remain.
Jun 2018 · 161
vi: souring / sighing
jack of spades Jun 2018
lemonade mouth taste, sugarless lemonade
thought we were past this phase but i guess
i was wrong again this time. my heartbeat is
breaking my rib cage, diaphragm disappearing
leaving me breathless and bleeding. you smiled
again today so i started digging my own grave:
six feet deep, shovel clanging like your laughter,
making me torn between slowing down and
working faster, eager to hear it over and over
but hesitant to let it be over. it’s a bittersweet
symphony, and you’ve reduced me back down
to cliches again. i wish that i knew how to just
be your friend, neptune and jupiter and nothing
more, but your eyes are just so warm. how can
we not be venus and the sun? i’m spinning,
reeling backwards with you at my center,
the planet of the goddess of love-- i’m mercury,
one day with you feels like two years (would
two years with you feel like one day? probably)
and my mood swings so drastically around you
because i’m too close to have any kind of
atmosphere, always running too hot or too cold,
no middle ground-- but who am i to talk, with
you and your solar flares, your cold spots. how
do i get into the goldilocks zone with you? just
right for life, just right for evolving into something.
whaddup im back on my bs w more space metaphors, hope u missed me
Mar 2018 · 199
half hopeful bittersweet
jack of spades Mar 2018
i know i dont live in a movie
this isnt an episode of skins, my name isnt cassie
but i didnt eat for three days just so i could be lovely
and you didnt even notice me
maybe thats why the only musician ive really related to lately is josh ramsay
it's been a decade since its release but im still looping 'fix me'
when you hit the bottom of the marianas trench youve got to pick up a shovel and start digging
but once you get through the mantle and past the core
suddenly you're not going down anymore
random draft from the autumn
jack of spades Feb 2018
i collect snapstreaks like monopoly properties, hoarding them to their fullest, raking in the numbers like they are the thing keeping me floating. a drop in number means a decrease in value, as if my friendships have numerical value. it’s all about putting myself on other people’s VIP lists and keeping them off my own. i never realized how great a desire i have for control until i got a sick sort of happy seeing that emoji telling me, “you’re on their top eight best friends list, and they’re not on yours.” what is this, myspace? i play it like it’s a public social media page but in reality what makes it so sweet is the fact that only i get to see it.
or maybe i just like knowing i’m important, at least to somebody. maybe if they see my contact name at the top of the list every time, then they’ll want to talk to me. maybe it’s less like chess pieces, piling up pawns, and more like sitting on the corner singing old sad love songs with a hat out to catch pennies. these interactions add up to pennies. we’re still playing monopoly, i think, but why is all this property not adding up for me? why am i still losing money when i should be, by all accounts, winning? maybe i just need to start another streak.
Feb 2018 · 153
sidral mundet after school
jack of spades Feb 2018
friendship tastes like
fizzy apple soda,
straight out of a glass
bottle, washed-out green.
it’s sugary sweet,
smoothly carbonated,
but kicks the edges
of my tongue with sour.
it’s syrupy, tingling as it
bubbles up over
onto my skin, sticky.
lick it off, wipe my hands
onto the hem of my
tank top. the feeling
lingers though, buzzing
on my skin like flies.
the bottle is empty now,
and i’m counting quarters,
scrounging up change
to quench my thirst
for green bittersweet.
Feb 2018 · 160
thunder (revision)
jack of spades Feb 2018
lightning strikes when your stormy eyes meet mine like it’s for the first time and suddenly everything is charged, magnetic, pulling my blood from my heart to the tip of my nose, exploding embarrassment and twitching hands, the jolt of feeling like falling just before you finally fall asleep. i’m seeing your mouth move but all i can look at is your lips, the peek your tongue, and pride swells like tsunami high tides as i think about you, my nike, my victory, mentally running racetracks and hopping hurdles even though you never agreed to compete for anything. little eyes full of big stars, stretching the space between us until we’re solar systems apart, our hearts destined for different galaxies. i always knew you weren’t meant for me but that doesn’t change the way it feels when you reach for me: we’re the calm before the storm, the way we always have been but we never should be.
Jan 2018 · 692
january summer
jack of spades Jan 2018
i guess maybe the problem lies in the fact that my
memories are so falibile,
dizzying. i guess maybe the problem is that i’ve
beaten this dead horse a million
times already. i guess maybe the problem of finding an individual memory
stems from the fact that you
have always been sunshine
to me. i can taste grape and feel like i’m choking, six pieces of gum and
nothing but
overwhelming
laughing
laughing
laughing.

i can feel the texture of letter tiles as we
spell out nonsense,
inside jokes inside our own bubble
of comfort. there are stitches in my sides: you have always
been my favorite, you know?
“every day feels like summer with you,” stitches
stitches in my sides, falling apart at the seams
in the best way i’ve ever known. everything good is with you; every sunshine, warmth
upon my skin, cloudless skies, they’re all
you,
laughing
laughing
laughing.

i can hear the buzzing in my skin, the beehive sound of a tattoo gun inking
your laughter into my
collarbone. it’s sunny, red, a desert landscape that feels like
home.
i can taste apple soda out of a glass bottle, and it brings me to the cemetery
across the street from the grocery store, feeling
edgy in our private-school uniforms
sitting on tombstones.
other people, other friends. they’re there too, but right now
all i can see is you:
laughing,
sunny,
haloed.

i can see the pedestal that you
get put upon-- by me by me by me--
and then i open the door
to your black kia soul
and i can hear myself complaining about
all the trash i have to move.
you’re no helios,
you’re not
apollo.
you’re just
the memory
of home,
breathlessly grinning.
mild updates from "january (draft 1)"
Jan 2018 · 388
melanin line
jack of spades Jan 2018
racist man with orange skin as if tanning beds are not just an excuse for us to pretend like we've got more melanin
I'M FEELIN SOME SLAM SO WE'LL SEE WHERE THIS GOES ?!
Jan 2018 · 189
january (draft 1)
jack of spades Jan 2018
i guess maybe the problem lies in the fact that memories are so falibile,
dizzying. i guess maybe the problem is that i’ve beaten this bush a million
times already. i guess maybe the problem stems from the fact that you are always sunny
to me. i can taste grape and feel like i’m choking, six pieces of gum and nothing but overwhelming
laughing laughing laughing.
i can feel the texture of letter tiles as we spell out nonsense inside jokes inside our own bubble
of comfort. i can feel the stitches in my sides: you have always been my favorite, you know?
“every day feels like summer with you,” stitches
stitches in my sides, falling apart at the seams
in the best way i’ve ever known. everything good is with you; every sunshine, warmth upon my skin, cloudless
skies, they’re all you, laughing. laughing. laughing.
i can hear the buzzing in my skin, the beehive sound of a tattoo gun inking your laughter into my
skin. it’s sunny, red, a desert landscape that feels like feels like home.
i can taste apple soda, out of a glass bottle, and it brings me to cemeteries across the street from
price chopper, feeling edgy in our private-school uniforms sitting on tombstones. other people,
other friends. they’re there too, but right now all i can see is you: laughing, sunny, haloed. maybe
i can see sometimes the pedestal you get put up on, and then i open the door to your black kia soul
and i can hear myself complaining about all the trash i have to move. you’re no helios, not apollo.
just
home.
idk how the spacing is gonna work out on here but ya know oh well
Jan 2018 · 328
arizona
jack of spades Jan 2018
--and the grand canyon is
getting smaller behind you
while your heart is getting
bigger, ready to burst,
craving a return to the journey:
when red dust reflected on
your sunglasses instead of
your side mirrors, the rearview,
when the car mileage hadn't hit
halfway. something
about the southwest settles
under your skin like an itch.
it's almost like-- it feels like--
you're finally finding out that
this must be what it is to be
homesick.
rozlyn's christmas poem
Dec 2017 · 160
funhouse
jack of spades Dec 2017
like the ones who know me best
are the ones who don’t know me at all

like i’ve been staring
at this mirror for
so long that i
can’t remember what i’m
looking at anymore

how much better is it,
do you think,
to be who we are now
instead of who we were?
Dec 2017 · 156
closet graveyards
jack of spades Dec 2017
i've been tripping through cemeteries again
searching for all the old skeletons
covered in cobwebs
from the depths of my closet
i wonder what would happen if i lose them

i don't know who i am when i'm not
falling for you,
falling apart at the seams.
"at least it isn't another ******* poem about icarus" (or is it?)
it's actually the beginning of a song and it has a tune but i can't sing so that's the end of that lol
Nov 2017 · 260
grand canyon
jack of spades Nov 2017
I THINK MY PROBLEM IS FLINGING MYSELF OFF CLIFFS WITHOUT BOTHERING TO SEE HOW DEEP THE RAVINE IS. I CARE TOO MUCH TOO FAST UNTIL I'M *BURNING
alternate title: "shut up about icarus already" / alt. alt. title: "why can't you write about some other myth for once?" / / / from my zine, "i, icarus..."
jack of spades Nov 2017
i guess what i'm learning is that you have to have your tragedies if you're ever going to learn anything and i guess i never realized that you were just a lesson the whole time. i didn't want to let go of hope and trust and i have never been able to burn bridges very well after all. i keep matches in my pockets but i've never really liked the smell of gasoline for long enough to keep it with me. after all, i never needed it. i like to keep all my paths open. it was up to you to destroy us and wow you did it so well that i can barely feel it, the decimation of nerve endings like beating a dead horse that can't feel anymore. i don't need you anymore. i can't feel you anymore. do you know what it's like to lose a limb, feel the phantom pains of old heartache that was never really broken but never quite something other than love? maybe for you it was just something to pass the time and maybe for you it was just another smile in a hallway of a maze of old faces that you just don't recognize anymore. maybe i'll be a face you just don't recognize anymore. after all i don't think that i could recognize you anymore from a line up of old haunts and ghosts and skeletons from my closet and memories and the past. i tend to avoid burning bridges but i do tend to build cement walls right beside them. i don't know if you've set that way ablaze because i can't see it anymore, it's behind the thick brick cement that keeps me safe from everyone that might try to hurt me and hiding is what i do best after all. hiding and falling because i can't stop looking at the stars maybe that's why i call myself icarus maybe that's why i feel like a tragedy. maybe i was your lesson or maybe i was just a story, a piece of poetry to read once and then put back on the shelf in its collection, nothing impressive or important, just another part of ovid's collection. you were helios to me and that was my mistake from the start. how dare you make me ever believe you were a god? as if you could ever be close to heavenly after all
**** i still write poetry about things that happened when i was 16/17 even tho i'm actually over it? weird
Nov 2017 · 314
thunder
jack of spades Nov 2017
there’s electricity spiking the air when your stormy eyes meet mine for the first time and it’s like suddenly everything is charged, magnetic, pulling my blood from my heart to the tip of my nose, an explosion of embarrassment and twitching hands, the jolt of feeling like falling just before you finally fall asleep. i’m seeing your mouth moving but all i can look at is your lips, the dart of your tongue, and pride swells like a tsunami high tide as i think about you, my nike, my victory, mentally running racetracks and hopping hurdles even though you never agreed to compete for anything. little eyes and big stars, stretching the space between us until we’re solar systems apart, our hearts destined for different galaxies. i always knew you weren’t meant for me but that doesn’t change the way it feels when you reach for me: we’re the calm before the storm, the way we always have been but we never should be.
jack of spades Nov 2017
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is that the only person who never saw this coming
was me.
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is because my mother shook and cried as she
strapped wax wings on me and said,
“do not look at the stars”
because she knew childish wonder
would only **** me.
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is that i wish i had been that light, i wish i had
been able to see those stars and really
touch them.
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is because i’m a ******* tragedy but nobody
seems to realize it except me.
no one ever felt the fall quite like
me.
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is because the only person i’ve ever disappointed
is myself, my own ambition, my own dreams.
maybe the reason i always call myself icarus
is because i always feel like i’m
falling.
Nov 2017 · 979
aurelia cotta
jack of spades Nov 2017
are you collecting the old counts of how
they slaughtered your son and his power-hungry heart,
twenty three knives to the torso,
the killing blow delivered by a beloved friend?
or are those the scrolls that you wish
dust would settle over forever, relics and reliefs of
everything you see behind your closed eyelids.
a politician’s mother
must be all the more clever; her son will not
be going into battle to die with honor
but rather with deceit. give her-- you-- a laurel wreath,
the irony of the goddess nike standing
golden over the tomb of your son: emperor,
caesar. mother of summer, of boiling july,
are you not the sun? are you not the constellations
freckling burnt pale skin? are you not
the fiercest and brightest of warriors, quietly,
without warning?
for the mother of julius caesar, the woman who raised him while his father was away; for the grandmother of augustus, who marked the change of roman history.
Oct 2017 · 434
tattoo
jack of spades Oct 2017
see you’ve been the sun for so long that i was finally getting rid of this chill in my bones but now i’m in the arctic and i never learned how to stay warm on my own and i’m scared and alone and i don’t know where i’m going all i know is that i want to get back home to where i can bask under your light on sandy beaches and we can look at the constellations once you set and i can tell you their stories, the myths, tucking these notes between your knuckles like these are the only words that will ever exist. i’m trying to remember that you’re more than a metaphor but it’s hard when i’ve spent so much time sitting in my own mind that i’m not sure if i’m anything but pretty words and old scars. you– you have always been everything that could only be encompassed by something else, like something billions of times bigger than either of us could ever be, that’s why you’re the sun in everything. it just sounds like ‘soulmate’ to me.
i miss having friends
Oct 2017 · 178
strangers
jack of spades Oct 2017
when was the last time you
looked up at office building skyscrapers
and wondered about all the people inside?

when was the last time you
bumped a stranger on the sidewalk and
said sorry without hearing them or
seeing them or ever knowing their face?

when was the last time a
face appeared in your dreams that you
couldn’t quite place because your brain
automatically keeps a registry of everyone
you’ve ever seen?

when was the last time you
thought about how many three billion is?

when was the last time you
saw a movie that used ‘ringing’ to indicate
silence, because the weight of nothing is
just too heavy to deal with?

when was the last time you
thought about other people having the
same name as you?
Oct 2017 · 234
firefly wings
jack of spades Oct 2017
fireflies blink patterns of constellations
like glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to your
bedroom ceiling. sometimes,
home is not where we expect it to be.
sometimes you know that you just have
to leave. light a candle at your own vigil,
your own funeral, then take to the sky
on trembling wings. it’s okay: you can
still visit if need be. but the future is not
certain (you never liked tellers of fortune
anyway.) so stick to your runes and
what your dusty old books tell you, words
in dead languages speaking easier
than the tongues around you. maybe
you’re just too stuck in the past-- after all,
most stars are already gone by the time
the light reaches your skies. there’s
nothing wrong with never burning bridges,
but keep the matches in your pocket
just in case.
Oct 2017 · 246
andromeda
jack of spades Oct 2017
who needs sleep when there are galaxies to be seen
teeming with suns spinning with planets with other lives to be living?
there’s a chill setting in the marrow of your bones
where dead flowers continue to grow, under your ribs
like longing, like homesickness, like fighting a feeling of needing to be
anywhere but this
place, this planet, this universe.
no one will ever know the heartache that lives in the lump in your throat
that grows when you look up and know that there is somewhere else
that you’d rather be. you just don’t have a name for it yet.
it just hasn’t told you its name yet.
maybe in the dusty bindings of old books, you’ll find
the secret to a future set in stars
that always seem just a little too out of reach.
maybe a different sun will be better at warming the cold winter
that long ago set itself up in your body.
maybe a different sun will show you what summer feels like,
the way freedom can feel when you’re free of longing.
Oct 2017 · 465
[100]
jack of spades Oct 2017
it was you and me until it wasn’t anymore--
i’m realizing that state borders are bigger than i thought they were,
that four seven ten hours is a longer drive than it used to be.
it was you and me until it started getting darker earlier.
i’m realizing how dark the sky is when light pollution blots out the stars,
when all i can see is the moon blindingly bright.
it’s the kind of condition that daedalus would’ve wished for,
because if icarus couldn’t see the stars then he wouldn’t have fallen.
i’m realizing how dark dorm rooms are
when there’s no one else there except the solid weight
of loneliness.
i either forget to fall asleep or nod off too early;
it’s not like i have anyone keeping track for me anymore.
i’m realizing how free i used to be, a car and a highway and time,
and i’m realizing how stranded i am now: i’m feeling the freefall
of finding that i’ve lost my feathered wax wings.
it was you and me until i stopped listening, and then it was
just you.
i’m still waiting to hit the water, with bated breath to feel the shatter.
it was you and me--
until it wasn’t anymore.
until there wasn’t any more.
whaddup this is my 100th poem on this site ayyye
Sep 2017 · 667
revisiting Barbie Girl
jack of spades Sep 2017
I’m a Barbie girl
in a Barbie world.
Life’s fantastic! I
feel like plastic,
aiming for an 18-inch waist
because I can afford to throw my internal organs away.
I feel like plastic,
a neck so slender I have to choose
between eating and breathing;
there’s not enough space for two tubes.
I feel like plastic,
a 38-inch bust and
3-times the average amount of forehead.
I feel like plastic,
a size nine shoe squeezed to a three,
spending three to nine avoiding meal time
because my weight-loss book says,
“Don’t eat.”

I’m a Barbie girl,
in a Barbie world.
Life’s fantastic, but I’m
not plastic.
Bile tastes all too organic,
its taste chasing after me
if I exceed my daily nutritional limit of
2,000 calories.
I’m skinny enough that people think I’m healthy.
I’m not skinny enough for people to think I’m unhealthy.
Anorexia is as familiar as the back of my hand,
poised like a gun to the back of my throat,
waiting and ready to blow.
I’m a sixteen-year-old suicide case,
product of the war of production,
wearing battle wounds in the form of uniform lines
across the tops of my thighs.
I’ve been rewriting this poem since its conception.
I feel like the rough draft: concision is key.
(Be smaller.)
I’m trying rewriting,
trying to leave out things that aren’t
important enough, like:
four of my ribs
and my esophagus
and my stomach
and my small intestine.
I’m testing the limits of realism.
But here’s the thing:
I’m a real girl
in a real world.
Life’s not always fantastic,
but I am not plastic.

I am not plastic.

I refuse to be plastic,
aiming for generic weight range
based on content, not scale number.
I refuse to be plastic,
eating and breathing
like both are vital aspects to living.
I refuse to be plastic,
an actual hip-to-bust ratio
for not a thirty-year-old but a teenager.
I refuse to be plastic,
shoe size nine in size nine shoes,
trying to start enjoying mealtimes
because my “weight-loss book”
has been chucked down the chute.
I’m a living girl
in a terrifying world,
trying to remind myself that “Life in Plastic!”
is not fantastic.
the first time i ever wrote Barbie Girl was back like 3-4 years ago, and it's been stuck in my head ever since. the original can be found on HP here: https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1077573/barbie-girl/

I always had mixed feelings about the original interlude, and I feel like this revision is much more true to the place I was in back in my sophomore year of high school. Plus, this is just one of the poems where I want to be able to freestyle the interlude whenever I feel the need to change it. It's a living thing, and honestly a poem I'm most proud of.
jack of spades Sep 2017
Find sanctuaries under other people’s rib cages.
Count all their heartbeats, each exhale,
Wipe down dusty lungs and old notebook pages.
Bite down on bones and fingernails.
Whisper to yourself, “I will prevail.”
Peek out from behind the diaphragm and skin.
The world is foggy through this veil;
This is how familiarity begins.

Old highways only lead you to stages,
ravine edges and steep drops with no rail,
where wanderers have pilgrimed for ages.
You hesitate to fly; you fear you will fail,
unable to follow wanderlust’s trail.
You’re weighed down by all your past sins
and the mountains you turn to scale.
This is how familiarity begins.

In someone else’s heart, a hurricane rages,
sleet and thunder and head-sized hail.
Memory lane’s speed limit has no gauges.
The mountain drops angry avalanches of shale,
So close your eyes and determine to prevail.
There’s no way to count your wins;
The sun is rising and the sky turns pale.
This is how familiarity begins.

Curious, how feelings are so frail
under mountains and ribs, the outs and ins.
Veins and dirt roads trace the trail:
You’ll start to see how familiarity begins.
written for a summer class
Aug 2017 · 604
all the sun sees
jack of spades Aug 2017
down
   the
steps
  to the
underworld,

across
   the
river styx,

even hades
cannot hide
from

HELIOS;

when persephone
brings spring,
the SUN
touches even

pluto

(small,
at the
edge
of our solar system).
Aug 2017 · 254
"you" always means "me"
jack of spades Aug 2017
it’s easier writing poetry in second person because then you don’t have to face your own experiences and emotions, but this forest has been getting so thick lately that i can’t see the sky between the trees. (i can’t see the forest for the trees.) i’ve been having trouble trying to sleep because the wind keeps whispering through the leaves, the pine trees keep dropping needles, and the redwoods are suffocating, and the oak trees are dripping with sticky syrup trying to trap me, trying to encase me, trying to enrapture me. spring is so suffocating - everything won’t stop growing - but at the same time winter is so scary - i’m scared of everything dying - i don’t want everything to die - i don’t like looking at the leaves as they’re falling - i don’t want to see them change but i’m horrified of them staying the same - why are the trees moving closer to me? why is there nothing but trees surrounding me i don’t like facing the fact that all these trees are growing in my own soil in my own brain and taking up all of the space I WAS TRYING TO MAKE SPACE FOR STARS AND PLANETS BUT I CAN’T SEE THE SKY ANYMORE

i can’t see the moon anymore.

and in the shadows bigfoot has been creeping through my trees like they’re his own like maybe i’m the cryptid despite the fact that this is my brain this is my forest THESE ARE MY TREES but i’m the thing that nobody sees i’m the blurry photographs and disappearing acts and the curiosity, the mystery. how do you know that you exist how do you know that other people exist how do you know that the universe really exists how do i know that these trees are trying to **** me WHY ARE THE TREES ALWAYS TRYING TO **** ME i’d like to climb them without falling and skinning my knees i’d like to run through them but i get tripped up by the poison ivy tumbling into the soft dirt until it’s trying to swallow me (nothing exists in the ground past six feet) and there’s no way out no way out NO WAY OUT but i can hear the creek rushing and tumbling over rocks and through roots and i know if i can find the creek then i can get away from the trees and the clouds overhead threaten rain but the drops can’t touch me until i leave the trees and the trees keep moving and changing until i can’t see the forest anymore, just the pieces and leaves and i want to leave i want to leave i want to leave because everything is green and i love the color green so why is this so nauseating why am i hyperventilating why can’t i get out of my own head please let me out of my own head i don’t want to live in the forest anymore i don’t want to be trapped in the forest anymore i don’t want a treehouse anymore i don’t want to write poetry in first person anymore i’d like to leave please I’D LIKE TO LEAVE
Aug 2017 · 266
15
jack of spades Aug 2017
15
so as of next week i will be starting my first year of college in a town too far away to come home for an evening and people keep telling me about the “freshman fifteen,” its inevitability, like i dont know how to live alone and the response to that is somehow gluttony. i dont think people realize how good i am at not eating. my digestive system still hasnt forgiven me for when i was sixteen and liked the taste of anorexia. no one ever talks about the fact that apparently part of recovery is running to the bathroom twenty minutes after every meal and having to stay there for twenty minutes after every meal because once you stop eating, your stomach stops holding anything. your intestines start making up for lost time. and it’s gross to say it but it’s something i live with and in reality the symptoms make me want to just stop eating again. there’s a reason i didn’t get the biggest meal plan. maybe i’ll start working out again, because that always helps make me forget that im missing dinner again, because thats what i did last time. i dont like the way people talk about the “freshman fifteen” because they dont know what i was like when i was sixteen. they dont know how good i am at not eating.
Jul 2017 · 232
automatic writing #3
jack of spades Jul 2017
falling is feeling alive again on open roads and dusty lungs filled with old bones my closet feels so full of skeletons I got an adrenaline rush from killing a spider today royal flush full house of cobwebs and dead flies and wishing you and I were whole again
the smell of nail polish is ingrained in everything in my bedsheets bottles bleed black and red and gold and glitter
glitter always sticks to hardwood floors and skin I’m sick of things sticking to my skin I am not a spider web stop sticking to my skin
dusty decay painting my nails the color of old scrapbooks I take photos because I need memories to exist outside of me I can’t remember anything except how it feels to dry-swallow pain pills I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth for the 3rd day in a row old habits die when
count fireflies caught in your claws and claw the mouths from any man who catcalls or calls harassment a compliment fight fire with freefalls oxygen masks and steamboats I want to die on the peak of Mount Everest maybe then I can finally rest my hand hurts from my grip on the pen I stopped paying attention again
my hands won’t stop bleeding my cuticles are ripped again I want it to stop again I want my hands clean again I want to take care of myself again I want to be whole again I want to cover myself in nail polish and then fly
fall down the Grand Canyon
10 minutes
Jul 2017 · 186
automatic writing #2
jack of spades Jul 2017
the sun doesn’t wake me up anymore i’m so tired all the time from the ache in my bones and the pull of muscle dry clay cracking and flaking like sunburn peeling feeling red and raw underneath it all i want to be clean it takes 7 years to have brand new skin taste and take and on trial again for old crimes i forgot to commit but commitment is hard these days finding bodies in the empty space like the gaps between your fingertips and the narrow swell of your knuckles
my bedroom is dark usually and it’s hard to let any light in and my skin itches and itches as it flakes off into something new again
Jul 2017 · 167
automatic writing #1
jack of spades Jul 2017
first and foremost find your friends find the sanctuaries in other people’s ribs count heartbeats and breaths and breathe don’t speak hand to your diaphragm easy now easy gently please with those delicate wings tiny butterfly feathers caught in dewdrops on tulips and forget-me-nots swallow them down feel the weight on your tongue let them crack your teeth and eat shards of bone washed down with blood wine
stop beating yourself up
stop hiding inside other people’s palaces prisons pieces hearts
beat your own heart not somebody else’s
jack of spades Jul 2017
Icarus washes up on Miami Beach over the spring break of 2k16 and finds a world where the gods roam the streets,
where his wax wings burned themselves into trenches of scars down his back,
where we warn our children of the dangers of flying too high,
but forget the part about the riptides waiting if you fly too low.

He asks Siri how far away the sun is,
finds Apollo in the red rocks of New Mexico
off I-40 just outside of Albuquerque,
alone and basking in the heat.
The ice caps are melting.

The sun still hurts to touch,
burning Icarus's hands and leaving fingerprints in the feathers of his melted wings,
but Apollo is much kinder now,
soothing the skin cancer with freckles and soft touches.
It no longer feels like a damning.

This is what happens to the children of tragedies:
they flinch too much,
they fall too hard,
they're fragile as glass but immune to everything the world can throw at them.
Icarus flinches at the sound of the oceans.
He knows the wrath of Poseidon.

Icarus rises from the dead with his irises washed white
and his rips etched with Hades's name:
he should have been a child of Persephone,
spring in his hands and flowers in his hair.
He should have spent his days sprawled in the sun's caress.
He should have been infinite.

Icarus flinches too much.
That's what everyone keeps telling him.
He flinches too much at every lifted voice and crashing wave and
he flinches too much when he feels sunshine on his face.
Icarus is sorry for flinching too much.
Icarus is trying not to flinch too much.
Icarus is sorry that it's taking so long to just get over his trauma and stop flinching so much--
sorry.

He doesn't know what to do now that he's touched the sun
and this time it didn't burn.
He wanted it to burn.
He wants to burn.
He wants to feel his bones breaking all over again because
that's the only time he doesn't feel like he needs to be in control.
Why is he chasing things that hurt?
Why does he feel
like he deserves to hurt?
He deserves to crash.

He finally touched the sun.
Icarus feels empty, and
he's still flinching.
projecting myself onto icarus because who else am i supposed to be? not myself !
Jun 2017 · 544
cave in
jack of spades Jun 2017
why do i always feel
like my chest is caving in
i stopped breathing a long time ago
every exhale leaves me empty
every inhale collects dust
the base of my spine cracks
like the spines of old books
and like old books i too am heavy
i too am quite a burden upon your bones
but please please i swear
my chapter titles are written
in gold calligraphy
hi it's been a while !
May 2017 · 450
Water Witch
jack of spades May 2017
My hands cut through the sand of your manicured beaches like shards of broken glass,
each heaving breath rattling the rune stones in my lungs and the
manacles made of debris around my ankles and wrists.
Foaming waves sprint up the shore to surround me, the undertow hooking
its arm around my waist in a way that is more comforting than your touch ever was.

“I’m done with you,” you’d said, and in the same breath told me that I bore you,
that I am a two-trick dog too old to learn anything new, and that you’re
off to bigger and better things than me.
The salt on my tongue is sweeter than your words
as the ocean churns through me, asking to drag me from the shore.

I contemplate.
A battering from the sea is better than every second I spent
wrapped around your finger, pinkies raised to a toast before your bellowed “Bottom’s up!”
crashed around me, a collision of waves that none of my magics could ever keep at bay.
Go away, go away, go away-- but kings don’t take orders from petty thieves,
so you locked me in the dungeons of my own heart until I took up too much space,
until I was nothing more than another scrap to pollute your ***** ocean.
You shackled me with the plastic that chokes gulf birds and dead rose thorns
and I don’t think either one of us had ever
expected me to survive, but here I am, tides washing me of every haunting touch.

“Water witch,” your chorus had mocked me, but now I call upon the ocean to save me.
Anticipation rises with the waves on the horizon, a wall of a tsunami heading towards me,
towards you, towards every photograph you ever kept of me and the ashes I made of my copies.
Earth will channel her forces and I will direct them towards you,
a biblical flood that will wipe your smug smiles and crooked lies away until they vaporize
and form clouds for your court to paint pictures out of.

Didn’t you realize? I’m a hurricane that just hasn’t been named yet,
and you’re no longer the apple of my peaceful eye.

I’m a water witch, the one who calmed currents to keep you afloat
and misted the air with your favorite summer rains,
the one who made your gardens and your fields grow.

You only ever saw me as a puddle, a murky mirror that hid your own blemishes but
this reflection is at its end.  You only ever saw me as a puddle, but I am
the goddess of the seven seas.
I am the rain and I am the atmosphere.
I am in your lungs and your words and you have forced my hand:
I am the humidity that saps the strength from your bones,
I am the sweat that beads on your forehead from your fruitless labor,
I am the summer storms that precede tornados,
and I am the hurricane on the horizon, the waves that will crash and tumble around your home.

My hands cut through your bruised and littered beaches like the
shards of glass you left in my skin,
digging twisting shapes that will summon the spirits of the water
that only I and my ancestors can master.

On the horizon, waves begin to rise.
from 2015
May 2017 · 280
fears
jack of spades May 2017
i'm scared of a lot of things like clowns and spiders which sounds kind of normal but my room used to be infested i felt them crawl across my face with all eight legs while i laid awake in the summer heat i'm scared that my closet will be covered in cobwebs and skeletons;

i'm scared of airplane bathrooms.
my reflection doesn't look quite right in them
after eleven hours in the air
the bruises get so deep under my eyes
like i'm already zombified--
listless and tired and craving for something that
doesn't have a name;
i'm scared of not having a name
because then i won't be a person and it's
already hard pretending to be a person
so what happens if i lose that part of me
and stop being a person
without a name and without a face like how
airplane bathrooms always blur out my face
like how
airplane bathrooms always whisper my name
from the corners of my sleep-deprived brain
i can't keep my eyes focused straight
without a name without a name without a
faceless spiders crawling and
clowns and skeletons looking out from my closet--
i'm scared of a lot of things, normal things, like
clowns and spiders and not having an identity.
"here's some grammar" this ***** empty! YEET!
Apr 2017 · 823
flinch
jack of spades Apr 2017
we got dressed up for dinner but didn’t go to the dance
it was prom night and we were wasting time in my friend’s basement
when the question was asked:
how many men in your life are you comfortable around?
‘well,’ we said, ‘what do we mean by comfortable?'
we defined it like this:
how many men in your life could hug you
without making you flinch?
none of us had more than a handful, ticking names with our fingertips.
my total was two-point-five:
because i’d trust my dad with my life in the way that
you have to question authority to know that it’s right,
so i don’t ever **** away in fear from his familial touch.
(i’m the only one of us whose father makes the cut.)
the second name on my list is a kid from AP physics.
his name is trent and i’ve had a platonic crush on him for like a year.
we’ve bonded this year over math socks and clorox and death jokes.
(a few hours after this basement conversation,
we’re going to an afterparty and he yells my name
from across the parking lot;
we meet each other, running, and he collides into me with joy.
i don’t flinch away— i meet him half-way.)
the point five is
tricky
see, half the time, my brother grabs me and it terrifies me,
begging for him to just let go because he’s hurting me,
i don’t like tickling because it leads to panic attacks—
i don’t like unsolicited men touching me let go of me let go of me.
when my brother reaches for me, i flinch—
half the time.
but when he wants to actually hug me,
he just lifts one arm from his side and lets me tuck myself
under his shoulder, loose and gentle and loving, like good siblings.
half the time, my brother is reaching, and that is terrifying.
half the time, my brother is offering, and that is comforting.

how many men in your life could hug you without making you flinch?
take
a minute to think about it, it takes a lot of reflection.
a man without boundaries,
who takes what he wants and touches you when he wants to,
a man who doesn’t care that i’m flinching—
rapists and assailants don’t have boundaries,
they don’t listen when you say stop let go of me let go—
how terrifying it is for someone you know to just
grab you whenever he wants to.
i don’t want your hyper-masculine hands touching me without asking.
not unless you’re part of my two-point-five person list.
otherwise, you're just going to make me flinch.
speed write: 10 minutes
jack of spades Apr 2017
You’re a Monday child, born on the first day of the week--
the weakest link--
You’re like the moon.
You’ve got nothing to give--
the sharp darkness of your crescent is someone else’s shadow,
and your light is nothing but the reflection of something bigger
and brighter than you.
You’re a disappointment child,
potential building like the Tower of Babel,
everyone telling you that if you had just tried hard enough,
then you could have touched God.
But you’re just a Monday child,
an extrovert who runs up the electricity bill by leaving on
all the lights when you’re home alone,
how even with your earbuds in you leave the TV on.
Pretending to be near people who are alive makes you feel a little less like you
already died a long time ago.
Darkness doesn’t take days off and
neither do your thoughts, so
wrap yourself in stars.
You want to find light in the constellations but
it’s hard to trace lines between dots behind fog.
Mondays are longer on Mars.
You were born with stress in your veins, heaping projects with no real due date,
in a constant state of waiting for Friday,
but weekends are for the weary,
and the taut line of your spine implies that you
don’t deserve a break.
The thing about Mondays is that they’re crushing,
filled with longing,
the way that you only feel homesick when you look up at the moon and her fraud light.
You wrap yourself in nebulae and galaxies to try to
keep the homesickness at bay while you sleep.
Nothing will ever be good enough.
You will never be good enough.
You are a Monday child, a bitter aftertaste of someone else’s loss,
like you’ve smiled too brightly at a stranger leaving a funeral home.
You dug your own grave a long time ago.
Your eyes are clouded with looking too far forward, stretching yourself backwards,
hanging onto the aftertaste of the weekend while living for the next.
You hang like laundry,
brittle in cold wind,
the step between that no one likes to linger on.
You were born on a Monday.
But your eighteenth birthday fell on a Wednesday,
your sixteenth on a Sunday,
and you are more than a desperate reach for empty space.
The Tower of Babel did not touch God.
You are not here for someone else to tell you to touch God.
You are not here for someone else.
You may be a disappointment child,
with your Monday fog eyes and shaking hands,
but sometimes you have to choose your own joy over someone else’s expectations--
because I was born on a Monday,
and poetry comes easier than physics but nothing
calms me down quite like solving differential equations.
I was born on a Monday,
and I’m used to looking at other people’s faces and seeing disappointment
because I don’t think I'm quite what any of us wanted me to be.
I cling to the past the way that Monday clings to Sunday,
but daydream about the future like it’s Saturday.
The problem is Tuesday through Friday, because
nothing quite makes me want to die like the concept of
planning out the rest of my life.
I think I’ll be alright, though,
because on Monday nights I look at the stars and think that
I might be figuring out how to feel alive,
like maybe home is in the constellations that I still don’t quite know.
Maybe home is in the Mondays,
or maybe it’s in the weary camaraderie of humanity’s ability to cling to weekdays.
Most days, I have to remind myself that this is just the beginning,
simultaneously relieving and daunting,
because I’m scared of the future and I’m scared of being disappointing.
I’m a Monday child, born under a full moon that feels like home
whether I’m looking at it from Jamaica or Germany or Kansas City.
Chaos comes with the start of the week,
and losing myself has always felt comforting:
that’s the only time when I have no one else to be.
Apr 2017 · 301
rolling
jack of spades Apr 2017
fidgeting with fickle strings, twisting
pulling and breaking like eye contact
snapping, the sound of teeth cracking
out of the game, out of the ballpark
never hit a home run never had to run home
homeward bound is such a strange term
rooftops sheltering storm clouds
while it downpours outside the windowpanes
pained expressions painted with water
watering down words to find a format
MLA citations of a speeding ticket
slow down there, rockette,
you won’t get anywhere that fast
i’m going nowhere fast now
everything in slow motion now
space cadet, always spaced out
coloring pages with disregard for lines
patterns and patterns and patterns and
ripped out notebook pages covered
pages of equations of how to go
shooting out of this town like a star
burned out down to the core
aging exponentially to fight the decay
termites digging tunnels in the wood now
collapsing haunted houses
housing skeletons and coffins in the closets
closest person turn out the lights
lighting candles like a vigil
candied hearts with a sour aftertaste
tasting pieces of words as they form
syllables, stumbling and tumbling
rolling down grassy hills
bug bites, goosebumps, a chill
just play it cool in the depth of humidity
humility is a lesson to learn in the heat
heating up old left-overs for dinner
left-over bumblebees bumbling bumbling
where is that buzzing coming from now?
Mar 2017 · 765
memory loss
jack of spades Mar 2017
i found out the meaning of home somewhere along the broken highways of new mexico, red sands chock full of iron and cars carrying tumbleweeds on the underside of their exhaust pipes. i found life out in the desert, spinning off road and out of control until the crash, totalled, broken bones and putting the pieces together again. sometimes it’s hard to love someone when you’re always with them, like how looking at the same side of the moon never gets old because it hides in the daylight, like how eleven-hour car rides can turn into tense late hotel nights.

i found out the meaning of home in a kaleidoscope, neon street signs in a language i’ve never been able to speak, looking for eyes looking for me. there’s something unnerving about the dead of night in kansas city, like a piece of me that no one else has ever been supposed to see, old marks and places where bones were forced to regrow, old sunburns that just live under the skin instead of on display again. i keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but i’m not sure when the first one fell in the first place, like i’ve been waiting to figure out if i’ve ever belonged in a single solitary place, like how every single star that i’ve ever seen sounds like it could hold a home in its heart for me.

i found out the meaning of home in the decay, the falling apart at the seams, plucked out by a compulsive need, snapping loose strings from the sleeves of hoodies until there’s nothing left of me except for the unravelling. the southwest is scattered with the rubble of long-abandoned twice-owned properties, old lots where children never played because the tar has always been melting, liquidating, capitalizing on the collapse of what used to be.

i found the meaning of home but i lost the memory. every word i’ve ever spoken is rotten poetry because i can’t remember what i’ve said or who i’ve claimed to be. i feel most at home when i’m lost, when i’m wandering, and now i’ve been far enough to know that the twisting highways of the midwest will never be confusing again for me. i need to go further, farther away from the mess of puzzle pieces that i’ve been handing out to anyone who wants a part of me. i’ve always been disjointed, like since july i’ve been popping my jaw into place every time i have something to say because it doesn’t want to stay the way that it should be, like i don’t want to stay the way that i am but i have to because it’s expected of me.

i lose myself every time someone asks me who i want to be: lost until i know everything, then pushing and going and moving and never ever staying, making a home in the bones of the sun before she ejects me, evicting me from the ghost town of what her heart used to be. why has everything become arizona to me? like the edge of the grand canyon promising something better than a downfall, a mile down of feeling like flying, like standing on the edge gets my heart racing. maybe the only reason i ever wanted to be dead was because everyone stopped listening, and i’ve always been a performer before anything.

i wish i could find answers from highway signs, in the songs my friends sing in my car as we speed, five ten fifteen eighty, integrity. i wish i had more words after eighteen years of spewing things that don’t have meanings. i wish things were easy, like the rocky mountain breeze coming down from the north and infecting the humidity in a way that makes the sky feel more free. i wish that i could find something that made me feel that free, something besides the seconds before the fall, the anticipation of the drop, the sensation of weightlessness that only comes with being bound or released from gravity. maybe someday i’ll grow wings, fly faster than this toyota ever drove me. maybe home is in the shapes of the clouds, a castle in the sky blinded by the sunrise. maybe home is in the memories, and maybe that’s why i always feel like i’m chasing things.
Mar 2017 · 278
carnival boys
jack of spades Mar 2017
how many times have your eyes haunted mine?
--a fading dream as daylight finds its way through your window frame,
like wooden fences with invitations to climb, to rise and rise
til you're mountain high,
to the top of the Tower of Babble and touching God.
cotton candy is the texture of heaven on the tongue,
the bite of hell when it sticks to the sweat on your fingertips.
everything is hazy at the state fair,
and no one knows how long they've been here--
your smiles make days blur and slide, like you've painted your nails
with the fabric of space-time.
phantom touches from lingering gazes are all i know now,
extinction of the way that i used to be,
because your eyes won't stop haunting me.
Mar 2017 · 716
worth
jack of spades Mar 2017
you are more than the second child
you are more than your mother's eyes
you are more than your self-prophesied
self-inflicted demise
you are more than your downfalls and your doubts
wind in your wings under the sun's collapse
can you feel the scorch on your back?
the burns don't scar but leave phantom marks
from where the wax has melted.
apollo always smiled too bright,
so warm that it burned out your retinas
and washed the color from your irises.
the ocean will sooth the memories,
aloe vera for old haunts and past loves,
broken families and falling, falling,
falling
Feb 2017 · 268
lightning ghosts
jack of spades Feb 2017
let’s haunt houses together, never letting anyone forget who we are when we’re together.
let’s become urban legends together, cryptids whose blurry photos are taken slipping through urban streets with the stars overhead. no one has seen us anywhere but in their own hometown. everyone believes in us without being superstitious.
let’s be the hearts of hurricanes and thunderheads, crackling with potential and mounting the danger.
your worst mistake was befriending a poet, because we hold tightly to everything. your smile will be memorialized in ink that is five tones darker than your summer-sky eyes, june before humidity hits.
let’s get lost together, a tangle of highways that have lost their exits, never-ending in a way that makes people confused about whose voice is whose.
let’s make history together, a documented case of a perfect pair of platonic soulmates, stretched across solar systems and flung to the farthest corners of infinity:
let’s find each other in the empty.
let’s never be truly alone, never knowing lonely.
let’s find home together.
for rozlyn
Feb 2017 · 598
Feeling Small [REVISED]
jack of spades Feb 2017
I don’t want to be an astronaut.
The thought makes me feel small.
I want to be an alien,
something to marvel at;
I want to be new and exciting and out of this galaxy.
The problem with believing in Vulcan
is the fact that we can’t even get humans to Mars.
How will we find somewhere else
when we’re confined to our own solar system?
We barely know anything about the depths of our own ocean.
The universe is still expanding but Andromeda is crashing
into the Milky Way at the most excruciating rate.
Why do we let ourselves think so small?
Where do you see yourself
in fifteen years?
Fifteen years away from here.
How do you major in dreaming?
How do you achieve
financial stability
with daydreamer words?
The problem with believing in Mars
is the fact that it has been thirty-seven
years since we touched the moon,
thirty-seven years since we let ourselves believe in touching the stars.
I don’t want to go to the International Space Station.
I don’t want to go to Mars.
I don’t want to stay in this solar system.
I want to take the distance of thirty-seven rotations
of Earth around the Sun,
and stretch the miles, square them,
multiply the kilometers by tens until
the astronomical units start adding up.
Only then will I know that I have gone far.
But how do you get SpaceX or the government,
to fund a mission
to explore new worlds,
to seek out new life and civilizations--
How do you boldly go
where no one has gone before,
when every penny is going
towards building a wall?
The problem with believing in democracy
is that we haven’t seen its true form since Ancient Greece.
How can we strive for unity
when we
amplify the voices of genocide
and silence any movement forward?
The problem with believing in progress
is that history repeats itself,
and we can’t see it until it is too late.
The problem with destroying our own planet
is that we don’t want to push out into space.
The problem with being human
is that I can’t seem to ever learn my place.
The problem with being a dreamer,
the problem with being a poet,
the problem with being an artist,
the problem with being a writer,
the problem with breathing:
eventually,
we are going to have to pay for air,
because oxygen and nitrogen
will be precious commodities with an overflow of carbon;
because argon and helium will be all gone without medium;
because while green energy watches from the sidelines,
we use fossil fuels to cloud our atmosphere
like we are trying to choke ourselves out.
Somewhere deep inside of each of us,
we don’t want to be here.
We dream of intelligent life because we are lonely,
reaching into space with one hand
and crushing each other with the other.
We would like to believe that we would be accepting
of alien life and cultures,
but we cannot seem to accept the life and cultures
of our own fellow Earthlings.
The problem with believing in Vulcan,
is that we are under the impression that
they would want to go anywhere near us,
that they would accept our offered hand,
with all of its scars and nuclear bomb marks.
We cross our fingers that there is other intelligent life,
but if they are anything like us
then why would either party want to get involved?
Why, when we sit at the brink of destroying
our own home,
would someone else open their doors to us?
The problem with believing in Earth
is that every single time we get so far,
we trip and fall and have to start all over.
How many more scraped knees can
humanity put Band-Aids on and heal over
until the scrapes start to scar?
I don’t want to be an astronaut.
The thought makes me feel small.
But I don’t want to be an alien,
a refugee of somewhere war-torn,
where the strangers of better places
lock their doors
and turn their backs on us,
because it’s our problem, not theirs.
I don’t want to be everything that we already are.
revised from 757 words to 697
Jan 2017 · 622
honey
jack of spades Jan 2017
Down on your knees for Donald, honey.
Locker room talk for a warm-up, honey.
Are you using the right email to talk about your war crimes, honey?
Hey, baby boy, don’t forget
that you have the right to pressure any girl that you’ve ever met into non consensual ***.
Hey, baby girl, don’t you forget
that no amount of experience or intellect
will get you farther than nineteen percent of a combined House and Senate.
Then again, over fifty percent of white women voted in the Red.
I wonder if any of them have voters’ regret.
Looking down the line of faces that have held office since 1776,
I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just the first one we’ve called out as a ******.
Serial killers put on the nicest faces.
The nicer the “nice guy,” then the scarier he is.
Fold your hands and press together the tips of your fingers:
this is the church and here is the steeple.
Look inside: here are the people,
hiding from a teenage white boy terrorist
that the media claims has a mental illness.
How many more lone wolves can there be
until we realize that they are part of a hunting party?
So cross your fingers and cross your heart
and cross your eyes to blur the start.
Cross your fingers and cross your heart
and pray that these bullets miss the mark.
Load your words into your hands and steady the point of your finger gun to my head.
Freedom of speech is being attacked now, honey.
The “alt-right” doesn’t like it when you say Neo-****, honey.
Are you taking notes for your next rerun, honey?
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