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10.5k · Jan 2017
Devil at the Pulpit
We'll make this country great again!
I'll build that wall up high.

Climate change? Economy!
It's great! Don't wonder why.

I'll take care of all your needs and get you jobs you'll love.
Raise your right hand for the pledge and pray to God above!

Do your duty as a man and grab her nice and tight!
It's OK if she fights back, they like it rough, alright?

Civil liberties, really, who needs 'em?
Burn the flag? I'll just hang you for treason!

This country is first. To protect it is best!
Whose up for a fun little nuclear arms test?

Capitalism? Yeah, I'm the money master!
Pipelines! Who cares about ecological disaster?

****? Girls? Abortion? WOE!
If they want that, send em' down to Mexico!

I'll rule with blood and honor too!
I'll tame this crazy, jobless zoo!

I'll fight for you and family rights!
(Mostly for rich and mostly for whites!)

Minorities? No, I'm not a racist.
It's an alternate fact: Totally baseless!

America the great. America the free!
Put a bigger pair of **** on old Lady Liberty.

Goodbye all you immigrants!
All you do is steal and loot.
Leave a couple of 'em behind:
Someone's gotta pick our fruit!

Thank you all for choosing me!

This is very great and swell.

Prove that you will follow now:
Let's all go straight to-

Heil!
6.2k · Jan 2017
Adversary
We were boys, once.
Our mother liked to dress us in tailored suits and leather shoes.
Every Sunday morning. Ready bright and early for mass at 11.

We'd sit in the classroom at the back of the old church hall.
After mass. After the chatter of voices hushed down to whispers; virtuous gossip.

Our teacher fed us images of hellfire and brimstone.

*** and sin.

Satan in a red cape and Halloween horns.

He didn't always look like that.
Oh, no. Mother said that he'd come out all dressed in a suit like mine.

He'd be handsome! His voice would be a choir of one billion ****** souls and once you'd hear it, you'd never want it to stop.

In my eight-year-old mind, I wondered what he did and what he felt when his own father cursed his name.

Did he stare at his dad with his thousand-eyes? Did he protest?

Did he laugh as he fell? In a cascade of feathers and blood.

Maybe he was better off without him.
He'd spend the rest of eternity trying to prove his father wrong. That he was worthy of his love:

That he would be the only son to grieve for the mistake of humanity.

The holy adversary.

The one who would shout his love for The Lord until his throat cracked dry and his chest ached. He, who could see the suffering of his father's own creations.

He, who tempted Eve and proved God wrong and we were flawed from the very beginning. Did he watch Eve eat the apple and savor every bite?

He loved his father.

Did he deserve it?

I stopped going to church on my eighteenth birthday.

What kind of parent would **** one son and praise the other?

Who would let one son be nailed to a board and the other to rot in flames?

Even as a child, I knew.

Through every slap, scold and bruise.

I would never bow.
3.5k · Sep 2018
Under the Overdose
Nobody chooses a bottle willingly. A pill or a loaded gun, in the end it's all the same.

We're waiting, still, hiding. In our holiest of places:

The kitchen and the office. A quiet sideways-slide into the last available stall in a casino washroom. The seat is still warm.

Teachers don't tell kids that drugs are bad. They told us that we were the evil ones for deep-******* a bottle of ***** every Friday.

They didn't know what we had to go home to.

Cancer sounded better than living past 20, and that's the thing that they'll never comprehend:

There's always a reason underneath overdose.

The only time a drug is bad is when you can't afford it, and you're sitting alone in a fetal position crying in need for a chemical bliss that you've caressed over and over; a blanket covering memories. Feelings. Emotions.

The only time a drug is bad is when you're too **** poor to grab anything better than a box of Benadryl and a dimebag of shake.

The only time a drug is bad is when you're anything but rich an' white and pretty, because then you're not addicted, you're having fun with the price of 1,000 a week at an all-inclusive rehab resort.

Drugs don't discriminate, but people sure as Hell do.

There's always a reason underneath overdose.

There's always a reason underneath.

There's always a reason.
1.0k · Jan 2017
Love Can't Cure Depression
Have you looked at your lover?

Their skin. Warm and soft underneath your fingertips.

Fine hairs, sleepy glances. The corners of their mouth lifted into a smile.

Sometimes, it's like peering into an infinity mirror. You see yourself reflected ten-thousand times; you are them and they are you.

Their touch is home and ******* it, you're homesick.

What do you do when your lover's kiss no longer welcomes you?

When anxiety has it's claws pushed into your chest and you can't help but wonder:

What if they don't love me as much as I love them?

Am I a burden?

Am I too loud? Too soft? Too hard-edged and manic?

How can I trust them when I've been hurt by others before?

Love can't cure depression.

Romance won't wipe away anxiety.

Through sideways glances in ***** mirrors, microwave dinners and cuddles under warm blankets—

You smile. You cry. You move on.

You don't have to love yourself to be loved in return.
You are worthy. Recovery takes time.
729 · Oct 2016
The Girls Are Alright
I was eight years old when I understood.

She was water. Pastel lace, tanned skin and freckles.

We played at recess. Skipping between sun-baked plastic slides and monkey bars that burned hot enough to knit blisters into our fingertips. I liked to play with her.

I told my mother. It made her happy.

I was thirteen years old when I understood.

He was fire. Olympian speed across the soccer field. Attitude with a raven's grin.

We pitched in little league and traded cards; dreaming of fast cars and fame. I dreamed of him.

I told my mother. It was a mistake.

I was sixteen years old when I understood.

She was air and grace; ballet beauty dipped in gold. He was earth and sin. Leather comfort gilded with chrome.

We stayed together between classes. Her straw-blonde hair. His charcoal curls. Her neck, her lips. His chest, his hips, his everything.

I didn't tell my mother. She would never know.

I was eighteen years old when I didn't understand.

She was still air. He was still earth. I held her hand in front of others.

We'd always laugh.

I didn't tell my mother.

I didn't tell her about the way his hair felt like silk in my hands. I didn't her about his eyes; the color of hazel and just as bewitching. I didn't tell her about his kisses. His voice. His peace.

I told my mother that girls are alright.

I never told her that boys are alright, too.
728 · Oct 2016
Brother
They called us names on the playground.

We were small. Cherubim-faced terrors with bruised knees and perpetually greasy hair.

We dreamed of our lives after college. After our first cars. Our first houses. Our first jobs. Imaginary model wives and spoiled children. The All-American Daydream.

We didn't know what college was. We could barely see over the dashboard on Auntie's old Cadillac.

We grew up.

You became a man. Good-looking, strong, covered in tattoos. Scars on your chest and scars in your head because they called us names on the playground and those curses stuck with you.

Through every needle, every pill and every doctor's visit.

It was worth the pain, you said.

You'd do it all again, you said.

Live through the taunts. Live through the nights spent screaming up at the sky and asking God why He made you that way. Why He didn't make you a he and gave you ******* and hips instead.

They called you names on the playground. They called you something that you never were and never wanted to be.

Now we've outgrown the passing fancies of shiny trucks and four-bedroom houses in quiet suburbia.

Given up a life of apple pie to live between paychecks in a ****** Brooklyn apartment.

You're happy, now.

Happier than you ever were when they called you girl as if that were an insult.

As if they didn't understand the contempt they parroted; spat, hate.

They called you a name.

Then you changed it.

Became it.

Then your name set you free.
629 · Sep 2016
Hugs Aren't Drugs
****** isn’t a love song.

It isn’t the warmth of your lover’s lips,
or their hands skimming across your naked skin.

People are not ******.

Drugs are not a metaphor for your personal Adonis.

It isn’t beautiful.

It isn’t romantic.

It sure as hell ain’t heaven (but it really ******* feels like it).

Sometimes you imagine them.

Their body pressed against yours. Heated kisses and veins like cracks through marble—

Soft enough to carve with your aching fingertips.

People. Are not. ******.

You want someone whose presence can be melted down and injected.

People falter, break, lie, abuse, cheat, steal
and
leave.

Oh, God knows you have (every God you never even knew you prayed to).

You feel too much and then too little.

Not everything is as simple as fixing a rig but everything is as complicated as searching through your skin, trying again and again and AGAIN to find a perfect place to let that melted bliss baptize you for the

first;
fiftieth
hundredth
time.

Love is not a drug.

Addiction is not a religion.

Someone’s absence is not withdrawal.

Death is not poetry.

****** isn’t a ******* love song.
510 · Sep 2017
Sin and Sympathy
I don't ask for sympathy.

I won't ask for love.

I'll wait until my judgement day to make peace with God above.

I don't take what isn't mine.

I won't kneel down to pray.

I've worked too hard for too **** long for far too ****** pay.

I don't know where this is going.

But I know, now, how it'll end.

I'll live, I'll work, I'll die and then-

*I'll do it all again.
428 · Sep 2017
Choke
I can't think of you.

******* it. I'm doing it again.

Hair tinted gold when the sun would shine just right.

I see your face when Valerie plays over dull speakers in my Mother's old Toyota.

Eyes rimmed black.

Hazel and warm like pumpkin spice.

Body spray and French manicures.

Walking through rough alleyways in the dark. Back to college, back on campus. I'll never forget that night.

You've forgotten that night. It wasn't special for you.

Half a decade ago.

Unrequited girl crush.

I know, I know we were friends.

For one semester. Six months.

You were my first, Valerie.

The first person to make me question.

To make me wonder.

To make me fear.

To make me choke.
We lost contact after college graduation. I couldn't be happier.
410 · Nov 2017
Crush[ED]
We're anything and everything but atypical.

Anorexia. Bulimia. OSFED, binge or orthorexia.

Hell, there's even hybrids now: diabulimia.

There's a name for every demon I've eaten. For the thing that lives inside of me; feeding off of starvation.

There's power in it. You know, the kind of sick courage that comes from skipping meals and counting calories.

Lower numbers, lower anxieties.

When you're thin it's an eating disorder, they say.

When you're fat it's called a diet, they say.

We're surviving on pills and Coke Zero. This isn't the 80's, honey, SlimFast doesn't work as well as ******* do.

I was taught that pain is beauty, but laxatives on an empty stomach are far from pretty.

I don't want to be beautiful, I want to be nothing. Not a thing in this world. What do I want?

To be like an Angel: perfection on the inside and out.

To be both powerful and protected. In control and out of it.

Is this Schrodinger's eating disorder?

It goes deeper than food. Farther than the veins; blue and translucent underneath my skin.

I'm cold and gone, honey. This thing has got a hold on me.

I'm water, tea, early mornings and late nights. Scales, chewing gum and breath mints.

I'm crushed by the weight hanging off of my bones, and I don't know how to get better.
NEDIC Helpline Canada: 1-866-633-4220

NEDA Helpline USA: 800-931-2237
339 · Mar 2017
Do I make me crazy?
I write along the walls of my mind.

I'm going insane? I don't know. Why?

Depression grips tight in a strangling hold.

I'd rather die young than see me get old.

Working my bones eight hours a day;
far too much stress for too little pay.

Real life doesn't rhyme or ebb or flow.

Work never stops and the clock goes tick-tock.

I'll look in the mirror, what do I see?

Old eyes. Sun-scarred misery.

I've got nothing to show for myself. Sure, there are some diplomas up on a shelf—

And far too many stories I have yet to think about:

Get them out of my brain and onto the page; I'll fall into a rage sooner or later.

These thoughts of violence and nonsensical anxieties race around and around in my head. A wheel that never stops. Oh, pure OCD.

Pure. A shot of water that I swallow down and pretend that it's *****.

No, mother, I'm not alright and it's about time that you stop telling me to try harder.

I can't pull my bootstraps up any higher or else I may strangle myself with them!

This is my last breath before drowning.

Oh, dear friend, if I don't find my salvation soon, I'll hit the bottom of the swimming pool.

I make me crazy, and I was never taught how to swim.
297 · Jan 2017
Sick Enough
Hospitals:

The smell of stale ***** under antiseptic. Bland steamed food and pills the same color as candy.

Latex gloves and discharge papers.

Medications. Cheerful pats on the back by friends and neighbors; as if one simple smile and it gets better could cure a decade of empty. Anxiety. Manic highs and suicidal lows.

Go to school, go to work. Get a job. Have a wife, have some kids and a house in the suburbs with a white fence and a dog.

"Get over it. I've had it harder than you. You've got nothing to worry about."

Were they right? I had a roof overhead and food on the table. Maybe they were right and I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I could get over it!

What was I missing all along?

Just. Be. Happy.

But not too happy.

"Don't do that. They'll think you ain't right."

Was I ever right, mother? Did I come out of your womb silent and somber? Or did I claw my way out with your blood on my gums?

A textbook case of this and that. Far too skinny, an inch too fat.

Bipolar. Anxiety.

Three years of ****** sobriety.

"Your life is easy compared to mine. You haven't been what I've been through."

Suffering ain't a **** competition.

Am I not sick enough?

Will I ever be sick enough for you?
296 · Sep 2017
Management Anger
Eight hours everyday five days of the week.

Come home, eat dinner go to sleep and have a weekend break.

Wasting time or time gone wasted? Pay the mortgage if I had one to pay. Pay the bills and send the kids all off to college.

That's what management says. "You millennials, always ruining something!"

You can't feed a family on avocado toast seasoned with debt.

Is it worth it? This life I have? These four-walls are a cell and I'm paid to be locked in a for-profit prison. Eight hours everyday five days out of the week.

Food and sleep are a punctuation. Sunlight through a dusty office window and stale break room coffee.

Blink and you're forty. Blink again and you realize that you can't get back the hours you spent on overtime. Glazed-eyes and a faded smile.

"If you don't like it, quit." I would if I could, but I like to have a roof over my head and hot food in the wintertime.

I'll retire when I die.

At least I know that my kids won't have to pay for my coffin.
285 · Sep 2017
After
Sometimes I think back to the time we spent at school.

Hard plastic chairs, short desks and shorter attention spans.

We were children:

Indoctrinated with dreams of quiet homes and large offices. Of fieldwork, pride and gold-gilt fame.

We said that we would be doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts.

Never-mind the adult's delighted laughs! We reveled in mirth and wonder.

Now we say that we would be seeing doctors.
Needing lawyers.
Blood-shot eyes scanning tabloids that preached SCIENCE as if it were medieval magic. No, brother, correlation ain't causation.

How wonderful would it be to someday see humanity dance among the cosmos? Weaving between invisible holes cut into the pitch vastness of space.

Now we accept our jobs with a grimace and a sigh.
Uncomfortable as they may be, we've got bills to pay and loans to ignore.

We're all waiting for something to come after.

After puberty. After degrees of debt. After—

After we aged. Fragile from years of effort.
Snapping our backs to the rhythm of our daily commute.

I don't know what comes after, brother.

But I sure as hell didn't sign up for this.
269 · Nov 2017
Work a Miracle
It's going to take a miracle for me to feel again.

I don't get these people. These funny, funny beings.

Oh, I'm seeing things again.

Psychosis. Crazy. Eyes staring down from treetops.

Alien hands reaching out for you, for me, through the stark darkness of my childhood room.

Lights blind me: florescent and scorching hot-white.

He's always in my dreams. Watching me, somewhere. I search for him but he doesn't exist.

I know that.

I know that the trees don't have eyes and nothing wants to touch me.

Nobody ever wants to touch me.

Maybe it's better this way.

It's better to not be touched, or looked at.

Only imagined glances, passes, fancies.

He's right there, in my dreams again. I'm searching for him again. Imaginary love is as good as it gets.

It'll take a miracle for me to get used to the fact that I'm here to work, eat, sleep and die. Sacrifice.

At 25 I've grown old and fixed on an idea of perfection.

A perception that I can't feel breathing beneath my fingertips.

He isn't real.

This world is real.

I sure as hell wish I wasn't real, too.
245 · Sep 2017
Armor
The Bachelor has his suit; pressed and clean. Heart as heavy as the briefcase he carries. Dreaming of a life far removed from the train, from the city and the state he's debt-bound to.

The Nurse has his scrubs; spit-stained and wrinkled. Hands chapped and nimble. Caring for his child-patients who wouldn't live to see next Christmas...or next week.

The Student has her laptop; stickers and plastic. A stomach full of off-brand rice and noodles. Bound to the daily grind, text-book burdened and a future blanketed in grey walls and alcohol.

The Soldier has his uniform.

The Anarchist has her mask.

The Writer has her pen.

The Faithful have a God.

The Children have their dreams.

We each have our own armor, and it is never as comfortable as it looks.
What is your armor?
227 · Jan 24
Skinny Like Her
Skinny like a Starbucks drink with zero sugar, zero guilt and full of almond-milk joy.

Skinny like a microwaved meal, perfectly portioned and easy to count.

Skinny like  two diet cokes and a cigarette for lunch.

Skinny like Adderall, a high dose for higher grades.

Skinny like late nights and random *** with strangers.

Skinny like virginity.

Skinny like binge-purge-repeat.

Skinny like perfection, like mints and sadness and tight little swimsuits.

Skinny like a disorder.

Skinny like control out of control.

Skinny like a diagnosis.

Skinny like suffering.

Skinny like her.
174 · Jan 9
Old Boys in Waiting
Age comes with a price.

At first there's student loans to pay, and medical bills soon come your way:

There's marriages and births...

Save some money for the worst of times, spend a nickel or throw a dime.

Insurance and loans to buy a home, between car payments and rental fees;

Donate to your church while praying on your knees.

Our wallets grow thinner with each passing day, working grim and *****, tryin' to find another way:

Just make it through and retire, watch the grand kids grow.

Maybe spend a couple of months down in Mexico.

Soon enough you'll have to leave your line, and realize that real wealth...comes in the form of time.
170 · Mar 2018
Old Boys
There's some joy in getting old.

Broken bones and snapping hips.

Wrinkled skin and falling hair.

Wasted days that aren't spent wasted;

Coughing lungs and swollen hands.

I've seen the seas of sorrow high.

I've loved and been loved by.

I saw a war and guilt and pain.

I've bled and cried and mourned again and again.

Now I have more years behind me than ahead.

I'll continue on living, but I'll still end-up dead.

There is little joy in getting old:

But it's still there,

and I'm still here.
121 · Oct 2018
Recipe
Simplicity is the best dish:

Easy to prepare and mimic, over and over again. You could make it ten-thousand times and it'll still feed you.

It'll keep you full on those nights when the only thing keeping you warm are thoughts of success; of drowning in cash flows. New clothes and a home right in the middle of a city.

You're too old for that.

Oh, no, you see your friends choking on fine cigars and driving cars that they can barely afford, with kids pushing at their knees.

There's soil under your fingernails, and you can't cook with filthy hands.

So you think. You pray.

Ruminate for years until you decide that it's alright.

Live quick and harsh and ***** because food tastes good and she does, too.

— The End —