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Ian May 2017
I can still remember.

That burning feeling of inspiration, bubbling up through my body.
It dominated me, defined me, led me to believe that I was my own hero.
A protagonist on a quest, a road to travel on, certainty in my bones.
Driven by love through the narration of my world, my story.
Words overflowed from my heart.
Staining the tracks, pages, and lilies of my life with my fire.
Every heartbeat resounded like the clanging of a tower's bells.
Each ring dictating time, order, purpose, place.

I can still remember.

The lingering taste of coffee on my tongue, my face sore from smiling.
Hours spent talking and listening.
The content of my life summarized like chapters of a book.
The way my heart vaulted when your eyes met mine.
It was like the moon pulling at the tides.
Giving the waves motion and momentum.
So I spilled my ink and blood, writing you into the story.

I can still remember.

What it was like when it was over.
I hadn't realized I had been living in a cell.
Scrawling my visions of the world onto every inch of those four walls.
Diagrams and diatribes, the things I considered to be myself.
Going mad in the most wonderful fashion.
As I left I saw them for what they were.
Mosaics and memorials.
Poison and poetry.
The passionate magic of first and finals, the ****** taste of loss.
But ****, it was beautiful all the same.

I can still remember.

What it felt like to move on.
The taste of freedom and fresh air, an urge to defy what was.
And become something more again.
But suddenly, the bleeding in my heart slowed.
The resounding clangs of my inner bells softly faded.
It took years,  
But one day I reached inside myself
Expecting to feel the fire burning inside me.

I can still remember.

The dread that came with the lack of heat.
The soul of myself, the definition of me as the hero.
Was only embers now.
The easy numbness that washed over me.
The determination and inspiration that was me had left.
I was broken, as I always was.
But I no longer knew myself as beautiful.
I was not a protagonist.
I had written myself out of my own story, slowly but surely.
There was no quest, no journey, no one to save or be saved by.
Just whatever I have become.

I hope one day to remember.

My clumsy and earnest return to form.
When my heart again bled ink and crackled with flame.
Ian Jun 2014
He wanted to drown
Not in liquid, but in sound
Raucous rapture bellowing beneath
Hands too heavy to hold his own
These lions labeled ladies
Making ****** hearts sing.
The candid caucus of cartographers
With eyes too cold to cry
Mapping and marring,
Partitioning paradox with every stroke
Witless wizardry without
Love and longing.
In a circus tent he found
That circuitous catharsis
Amid tremulous trapeze swinging
Watched by the sloughed skin of sinners
Vice and virtue muddied by malice.
Exploratory tongues
Giving preface to loneliness
Too tranquil to be twisted
Too torpid to be tangible
Romance recondite,
Sold to us by our world
Leaving us with nothing but
Fantasy and
Broken bones
Ian Dec 2013
It's funny, looking at my hands after all this time.
They do so much for me, they are the tools that allow me to do much of what defines me.
So here they are, splayed out in front of my face.
And I am trying to convince myself of something.
That maybe if my hands were just a little bigger, a little wider, a little stronger I could stop it.
I could catch all your tears as they fell.
I could hold you up when you fall.
I could point you in the direction where things wouldn't be so **** awful.
I could grip the fears and terrors of  our day to day and
I could beat back the sadness.
But I have only got my hands.
And they seem a little inadequate for the job I need to do.
Because my hands only have so much surface area
And just like sand in an open hand
Sadness slips through my fingers
I want to carry the weight of the world on my hands, and give your shoulders a much needed rest.
God knows,
I have tried.
But ****, I am sorry.
Because the results seem to be a little lackluster.
I know that I can't stop the sad days, even more than I can create the happy days.
Just know that for you, I will spread my hands like the wings I was never meant to have
And share your burden.
You are not Atlas, Job, or Cain,
And I love you because of that.
To a friend who worries me every once in a while.
Ian Oct 2013
I feel it beginning again
Like some sort of torch being lit for the first time
In a long time
Like that song you used to love, rediscovered
I found blue eyes again,
And with them I found that sort of hope
That invades your mind
I keep finding you in the corners,
That sort of beauty that too often takes
A lifetime of breaths to explain
You are taking root in my heart,
And I am scared again.
Because I am asking you to be the light
That hits my clear prism
To create something more incredible than
Either of us could have achieved on our own
Ian Oct 2013
Why do I even bother listening to the music.
Why do I even bother finding the words.
Why should I ever try, given that everything I do ends in failure.
I will never be him. I will never be like him.
And I cannot be him for you.
I know that I am not passionate,
I am not exciting,
I am in fact very plain.
And it doesn't matter that being plain would mean stability.
It doesn't matter that all he leaves in his wake are ashes.
Why does it ever matter, if all the flowers I have ever planted are fated to die.
Tell me, give me a reason why I should care.
I am mired in my mediocrity, stuck with myself.
I used to think I was lost somehow,
That no,
No there is a place for me out there.
I take that back, I thought there must be a place for me.
Well I guess that I was wrong.
Everyone keeps telling me what I deserve,
But I can't help but think that they are lying.
So I am left to my aches and my longings.
Left to watch my garden never grow.
Ian Jul 2013
I know that I just got out of the shower
But my eyes aren't wet from the water
And I would just like to tell you the difference between
"Bye!" and saying goodbye
The former would be used at the end of a long day
When the sight of you at another point in my life
Is not just a possibility, but something that is assured
I know when I go to sleep that I don't have to worry about
Telling you everything that I needed you to hear
Because I know there will be more time
But saying goodbye are the words I use
When I am unsure of the next time I will see you
And goodbye are the words I will use when
I want you to know that even though our time is up
I will never forget you, and every day I will wake
With your image in my brain and my memories of you
Still fresh from dreaming
Goodbye means that in the moments that you are gone
I will ache and cry for you
I will remember you
I will be thinking of you when I am lying in bed
And wishing that I could remember the last words
That I spoke to you
And when I say goodbye I know you won't hear me
Even though my only wish would be
The chance
To say goodbye
Ian Jul 2013
You know, if I had a penny for every poem I have read with the theme of
"You don't know what you have until it's gone"
I would be a rich man
It's a shame that it took me seventeen years and a handful of special people
To realize that sometimes clichés are correct

I am not sure if you are aware
But each time you inhale
It is called an inspiration
And each time you exhale
It is called an expiration
So here I sit
Echoing a process that has been perfected throughout the millennia
Except I guess perfected would be a strong word
Because we don't have it right just yet

You were someone who inspired me
To become someone who I could be proud of
Someone whose own stories set my blood on fire
And filled me with hope that I could take the raw elements
Of myself and forge them into something great
Because that is exactly what you did

Just a milkman's son
Who ended up becoming the smartest man I know
Who taught thousands of students
Both privileged and poor
And couldn't tell the difference between the two
Who inspired two generations of people
To learn
To love
To laugh
Whose little gestures meant the world
To everyone who had the fortune to inhabit yours

Your five sons went on to become
Doctors and lawyers
Businessmen and police officers
Even if one wanted to be a clown
You married a beautiful woman
Who walked with love in her heart
And kindness kneaded into her hands
Your grandchildren, while there are a lot of us
Each owe you for the knowledge and kindness you instilled in us
All this from a milkman's son

This poem isn't goodbye
Because each time I draw inspiration from the atmosphere around me
I am thinking of you and I hold that **** breath for as long as I can
Just waiting for inspiration to hit me
I squeeze my eyes closed and hope against hope that everything is going to be okay
Because I am too  scared to let that inspiration go, I am not ready to expire

So grandpa,
For me
Take that breath.
Rest in Peace.
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