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Johnnie Rae Oct 2019
accusations fly like throwing knives
and all the while, this war you wage
originates in your brain...

"if I had no one to scream at,
I'd scream at myself"

the words leave your lips
like smoke pours from windows
in a house, full blaze.

I've spent my whole life fighting,
so all this smoke doesn't scare me away.
it simply leaves me wondering

whether I can conquer this
or end up just another casualty
along the way.
I hope to a god I don't even believe in that I can fight this fire and win.
Jul 2019 · 168
At the Stake
Johnnie Rae Jul 2019
if we believe
we can achieve...

the lowest depths of insanity:
the very height of the losing streak

gambling is a dangerous game
not because of the money,
but the repetition of negativity
that can actually hold the brain captive.
it clanks a mug against the metaphorical
prison bars of the psyche.

so stuck in the chase that you present
the inability to hold out for even mere minutes
because there's "hands to be dealt" and
"stakes to be raised."

the recklessness you allow yourself to continue
until you're at your wits end
wondering why you haven't stopped yet,
or perhaps, why you even started to begin with?

it's not a game of skill or wit,
it's rigged to make the player feel superior

but only until they've got
nothing left.
Johnnie Rae Jul 2019
Heat bears down on
seemingly sponge like pavement
and sings of scorching summer sun.

It is times like these
I am usually in my prime.
Usually so excited to go out
and live my best life.  

But lately, there is only
an overabundance of scared:
of everything and nothing, all at once.

Maybe we haven't gotten
the medications quite right,
or maybe I haven't
perfected my grounding mantra
but I don't quite see an end in sight.

The voices are deafening
it's starting to keep me up at night.

It's funny, because
in my youth, I had an infatuation
with swingsets, but yet
this back and forth of
upward swings and downward spirals
is getting tiresome:

it feels like I'm losing the fight.
Dec 2017 · 435
I Am What You Made Me
Johnnie Rae Dec 2017
A wave breaks on the shore

and it paints a grotesque scene
of every little earth shattering thing
that you did to me without warning.
Rip through me like wrapping paper
on Christmas Day, while momma smiles
because she knows she did right by
that list you wrote for a fake being.

All it is, is words.
Jotted down quick so you wouldn't
forget them like you forgot me.
An 'I love you' splattered across
phone screens only to mean nothing
when you're miles away.
I wasn't, and couldn't ever be
what you need.

You needed the golden state,
all west coast, and gold teeth.
I was an east coast breeze.
A girl who would've given her last breath
if it meant seeing you smile with teeth,
but you ripped them out one by one,
each one another cut heartstring.

A girl who would have jumped
just as high as your love would allow,
but you couldn't give it to me.
Only marionettes and puppets strings,
dance for me, you said, while I lie through
these broken teeth.
This is a wreck
Oct 2017 · 574
Hindsight is 20/20
Johnnie Rae Oct 2017
like being struck
by lighting from behind.

Or a car that decided
to ignore the stop sign.

I went through the windshield.
Wrong place, wrong time.

And now here,
I remain. Broken
before I even knew
what hit me..

I could have seen it coming,
but sometimes, we choose to be blind.
Johnnie Rae Jan 2017
I've been gnawing off my nails
faster than I learned to chew as a child..

I don't bleed as heavily as I used to,
thick callus has replaced the skin
that's been opened time and time again

after each lashing of your tongue
I was stronger than before.

I choke on the word victim
like strong alcohol spit it up in the bathroom sink
and set aflame like a molotov cocktail; it feels like war in my chest.  

I picture her as something unknown to most;
something you run from in nightmares.

In the open, she was nothing to fear,
harmless in front of the eyes of another:
behind closed doors she was a titlewave and

I was always facing the wrong direction..
not a surprise, but I was never expecting.
This isn't finished.. but I can't bear to write it anymore today
Johnnie Rae Jan 2017
I itch, but only metaphorically.
It's not a physical sensation, merely a tick,
like clock hands make but more deafening.
I feel it in my skin, like bugs crawling,
creating passage ways to safe places
that I didn't know existed,
and I've still yet to actually find them

It just isn't easy to explain anxiety to
someone whose never had it.
It's like trying to teach a penguin to fly
with an anvil strapped to its chest.
Originally it was impossible,
but when you have anxiety,
you find ways to make it even more so.
Dec 2016 · 447
mental instability
Johnnie Rae Dec 2016
I feel as if I'm sinking,
but also as if I'm the one
who tied the weight around my ankles


my heart is a ticking time bomb
and the after shock will be worse than the initial blow,
i promise you.

like a handgun just fired,
or fresh blood dripping in clean snow,
it's noticeable, my love for self-destruction.

the scent of sadness lingers around my being
and soap won't strip the depression
out of my hair so i guess im stuck here.
Oct 2016 · 390
9:48 PM
Johnnie Rae Oct 2016
If this is reality i don't wanna be a part anymore;

take me to a place where bones don't rattle
like tin cups against prison cell doors when you're alone
on your sofa questioning when the right time is to end it all.
A place where teeth don't grind like subway car
wheels when coming to a sudden stop.
My anxiety is swallowing me like a storm out at sea,
the saddest part is I'm letting it,
submitting to it's foul tongue like it will feed
instead of eat away at me until I'm rail thin
and no longer have the desire to eat,
because, why beat a dead horse?

Every coping mechanism I've created over the years
fails to keep my breathing even now,
my reflection screams failure and busy streets
look like exit signs. I don't want to live like this.
Getting high just to get by isn't cutting it anymore.
I keep trying to tell myself I'll be okay,
but the silver slivers and dashing headlights
are so enticing I don't know how long I'll last.
Johnnie Rae Oct 2016
I. Your touch is like bones breaking; unforgettable, and breathtaking.
   I know that normally people don't associate love with broken bones
  but even when you cause me pain, I am still so effortlessly in love.

II. On the day that you made me yours,
     you rekindled a fire in me that I thought
    had long since died.

III. And in those eyes that resemble speckled emeralds,
      I see a future brighter than I could have made for myself.
     The feeling is treacherous, to love someone more than yourself.

IV. The thought of you lingers in my bone marrow,
      and it doesn't leave, not even in sleep,  
      you live within my bloodstream.

V. You ignite a fire inside me,
     hotter than I knew was possible in relative existence,
    and every day I burn for you, slow and consistent.

VI. Sometimes I wish you would strip me down
      and love me like a limited resource,
      like I'm a priceless medal, or gem of iridescent hue.

VII. You're the type of guy that gets me to put my phone down
        and that's an accomplishment in itself.
        you're more interesting than the internet, and that's romanticism.

VIII. Your kiss is like electricity, but instead of electrocution,
         you send shivers down my spine,
        and put the sparkle in my eyes.

IX. They say that home is where the heart is,
      and before I met you, I'd never been home before,
      you are my home.

X. I've run out of words to tell you how much I love you
    so now my next mission is to transcribe a new language,
    to do just that.
Jul 2016 · 828
Green is an Ugly Color.
Johnnie Rae Jul 2016
It's funny, how we make it our life's work
to knock down trees, but still, all we see is green.
The American dream just isn't what it used to be.
The bible says love thy brother, and I'm not trying to preach
but it seems like all we care about is cashing checks
and making bread; gotta climb higher up that ladder.
Materialistic and sadistic;
it's ridiculous how much money is spent
on things we just don't need.
We've become less about helping others,
less thoughtful in general, more self centered.  

Sad to see homelessness running ramped through our streets,
but we can't spare a cent because we're more interested
in feeding our own unnecessary habits, or just
keeping the cash in our pockets
instead of giving to someone who truly needs.
we've become corrupted by our own dreams.

Get an education, go to college, they say,
but when it comes time to pay
they can't help you, so you sacrifice an arm and a leg
break the bank and your own back
for a piece of paper that won't really help you get a job anyway.
and I'm not saying don't invest in your own future, I'm just sayin
work to help others along the way.
Why not work to change, rearrange, make tomorrow a better day,
if not for ourselves then for the next ones to come around

are you picking up what i'm putting down?
because it doesn't seem all too complex to me,
live simpler, stop worrying about getting
a bigger bang for your buck  and help a brother out.
So caught up in getting rich quick we turn a blind eye
to the guy that doesn't have a dollar to begin with.
They say you gotta spend money to make it,
so pay it forward, instead of hoarding for your own benefit.

We've got politicians lying through perfect teeth,
but how did they get them so white and clean?
You guessed it, your tax money,
and now we're following in their footsteps,
led like sheep, buying things just because
we were told to by an ad on the TV,
and calling it freedom.

We're becoming exactly what we said we'd never be
and I don't think I could make it any easier to see,
can't rhyme my way through all the idiocy.
We strive to be more everyday, its the american way,
but for every step we take in the right direction
we're skewed off course by another unreliable source,
they say the illuminati's just a conspiracy theory,
but look try and look past what they want you to see.
We're puppets, dangling on the strings we chose to sew
through our own skin,
because we'd thought it would take us higher
than hard work and dedication.
21st century, and still living in a world where people
have the color of their skin held against them,
still living in a world where love is believed to be gender-specific,
but we're not prejudiced. We're not biased.
Won't admit we've got our heads in our *****.

I mean, come on. I know it's hard to admit when wrong,
but it's about **** time we wise up, isn't it?
About time to open the eyes that have been
glued shut by our oppressors
and see that we're an abomination in the making,
we should have been raised to do more giving than taking,
but somewhere along the line the script was flipped
and now those with good hearts are made a mockery of
for having a different perspective.

We've gone from land of the free, to a place I don't wanna be,
and so far, we aren't doing too much to change it.
Jul 2016 · 383
Teenage Limitations
Johnnie Rae Jul 2016
Sometimes I drag you down.

Can't handle it when you go out
because your freedom unintentionally mocks
my caged-in state, clanks a mug against the bars
of my prison. I didn't pick this.

Didn't pick an age that came with limitations,
but I guess I'm stuck with it
and **** you're stuck with me,
stuck with my shaky words that come from
shakier hands. Stuck with breathy phone calls
when I'm sad and don't have the heart to tell
you that no one actually has the power to fix it.

Stuck with these eyes that imitate thunderstorms when I'm being just
a tad bit melodramatic.
What do thunderstorms look like
through those kaleidoscope eyes of yours?
I bet they look like depression in a bottle,
ready to be forced down like shots of anything
that'll make me forget.
I'm beginning to understand why people
become alcoholics and that's terrifying.

You're stuck with everything I've ever been
and everything I'll ever be. Truth is I've ruined
every good time you've tried to have since you
got together with me. And I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for being a buzzkill. I'm sorry for worrying. I'm sorry for wishing I could just go with you and I'm sorry I can't.

You swear my age doesn't bother you but I'm
afraid sooner or later it might begin to.
Your age means freedom, mine means
nine o'clock curfew on school nights
and eleven o'clock ******* bedtime.

I'm an adult in a child's body. Betrayed by the number of years I've been alive.
May 2016 · 705
What is Speech?
Johnnie Rae May 2016
Have you ever had so much to say, but no way to say it?
Every answer you've sought to find is true and tried but still,
to no avail, you're tongue tied.
Like the words behind your lips are in knots
and they're not as simple to detangle as earbuds,
(ha, what a laugh, even that is like rocket science)
Do you see the point I'm making?
It's like your own thoughts are encrypted
and you're forced to try and crack the code.
Like you've just self medicated with poison, and now,
you're trying to create the antidote
with shaky hands and eyes blinded by confusion.
It's like walking down the street with your shoelaces tied together
or sitting on a not so metaphorical bed of nails
Difficult, to say the least,
hell, even painstaking,
to want to scream every word at the top of your lungs,
but have no words to produce.
betrayed by your vocal chords, you're left mute,
and feeling stupid.
To have such a valid point but no way to make yourself understood,
It's like putting together a puzzle without finding the corners first.
Do you ever have something to say, but no way to say it? because I sure as hell do.
Johnnie Rae Apr 2016
I want to write you a trilogy on the stages
in which our relationship formed.
The first book would be solely based on the day
that I stopped treating your text messages
like active landmines. Stopped tiptoeing.
No longer being afraid of what your affection
would do to me once I submit to it.
It would be based on the first step I took to
stop being so **** afraid. From that very day
you've helped me in ways I'll never be able to fully explain.
Helped me let go of fear and trepidation, and open
my heart to the greatest thing in the world; your love.

The second would revolve around the first time you kissed me.
I don't know if you noticed, but my knees buckled
like seatbelts and I shook like glass window panes in torrential rain.
That day you awoke something inside me that I didn't know existed
but I'm so glad you found it. Like a stray kitten I was lost
and you brought me back home without questioning where I'd been,
and I'll never fully understand why, but I guess it doesn't matter.
You've taught me not to overthink things, to just revel in the moment.

The third would be set in here and now. Every forehead kiss
and stolen glance sums up to another page, every loving gesture
is another chapter. We are creating something people wish they
could create for themselves. A love that belongs in museums
to teach the world what it really means to give yourself to someone,
with no fear, and not a single ounce of regret.  To say that you changed
my life is an understatement. You altered my way of thinking.
Took a broken thing and made it new again. Made me, new again.

And with every word that slips from your lips I am reborn.
Apr 2016 · 341
Five Undeniable Truths
Johnnie Rae Apr 2016
i.  I love you like the sea loves the shoreline; forever coming back for more, and there aren't enough words in the english language to accurately describe what it feels like when you run your hand up my thigh or trace my shoulder blades with the tips of your fingers.  There aren't enough syllables to string together for me to tell you just how much you mean to me. You've become my reason to wake up in the morning.

ii. You are intoxicating. There's no drug out there with a higher potency than your love. I'm afraid I've become a ******, I now need you to survive.

iii. To hear you speak is to feel alive.

iv. I'd give my life to see you smile. Or to save yours.

v. *I can no longer picture an existence without you.
Apr 2016 · 572
Johnnie Rae Apr 2016
I spend so much time staring at blank canvases
hoping beauty will appear before me instantly
that I forget how the right brain works.
I forget how art doesn't come, it simply is;
you either have it or you don't.
These are talents you don't learn, can't learn.
You're born with the instinct to string words into sonnets
and mix paints into masterpieces, and most of the time,
no one else is capable of understanding just how you got them
to be what they are; it's your own personal daydream
that you can choose to get lost in, or lose in the crevices
in the back of your mind. That's why I write until
my hands go numb and my mind is in shambles.
I figure the more I do it, the better it will become.
The brain is more than an *****. It's a muscle that requires
constant manipulation to keep it in tip-top shape
and I don't ever want to fall into the background.
I want to spend my life tip tapping on keyboards and
scratching at paper with fine tipped pens as if my life
depended on it. To write of things unknown to the
not-so-artsy types. Because I've come to find that
a math or science major isn't usually capable of creating
crescendos with wordplay, or letting syllables shimmy
and shake off the tongue like they're doing the merengue.
It's a song and dance that takes more than simple muscle-memory:
it takes heart and soul and usually a little bit of pain along the way.
Starving artists aren't sad because they're hungry,
no, it's usually because they've experienced life in a way
that no one really wishes to. They've felt emotions rip through them
like tidal waves and that's how they came to write so **** beautifully,
or paint with such depth. Now a day's with depression levels
shooting up like rockets, outlets are hard to come by
but if you can source that pain into something beautiful,
you must be doing something right.
It's come to a point in my life where I believe half of my blood
is infused with the ink I've used to label my hurt
and ease my pain.
It's all about what gets you by; it's become a lifeline.
If it keeps me breathing for another
second, another minute, another hour, another day,
then I might as well let it grow like wild fire. Let it blossom into something beautiful.
Johnnie Rae Mar 2016
instead of dancing in the rain we
let it chain us to the bed post
and i don't think i'll ever forget how
your hands felt at two am when
you should have been home but instead
our legs became tangled and you abandoned
the idea of sleep and took the time to devour me.
Mar 2016 · 645
Picket Fences
Johnnie Rae Mar 2016
the truth is i want to live long enough
to find sustenance in the roots of trees
and the green of grass.
live long enough to see a flower sprouting
in the middle of an untended lawn
and find a metaphor for my own life
within it's growing petals.

i don't know exactly what it is i want to live for
but i know that whatever it is will be beautiful
and i will drown in it's relevance.
it may take me years to find
and i may be old and gray by the time that day comes
but as soon as my eyes lay upon that certain thing
everything that has ever tried to knock me down
will be left dead in dust for a grave

humans are like stones in the ocean
tides turn us over until smooth, if we're lucky
if we're unlucky, the tide rejects us,
rough around the edges
and we face being buried under hot sand
that represents our mistakes.
choices made in moments where thought
was not a process, but instead a rejected idea.
like the many balled up pieces of looseleaf
that live in the garbage pail
next to a dissatisfied writers desk.
it overflows like our own regret.

i can only pray that i do not end up settling
for anything less than the smooth perfection
that i've worked so hard for years to accomplish
i did not pick the hand i was dealt
only made do with the cards in my hand
i am tired of settling
too compulsive to deal with anything less than
what i am capable of changing
i am not saying that i am mansion bound
or set on owning a private jet
but a white picket fence would be nice
maybe a black lab guarding a red front door.
there will be daisies in the flower beds
and red wine in the fridge
i'll make dinners made for kings and our pillowcases
will always match, no matter what.
Mar 2016 · 727
Johnnie Rae Mar 2016
his hands trailed down my body like november rain
slow and steady, with purpose, with passion
and before my body knew how to react, we were one.

my heart swells in my chest.
i'd craved this for so long.
i rarely pray

but in this situation i mutter of deities,
breathless, i praise a god i don't believe in
and treat pleasure like religion.
Mar 2016 · 331
Johnnie Rae Mar 2016
It isn't easy spending every day of your life filled with questions. Questions that you're no where near finding the answers to. I feel obligated to turn my life into structured metaphors; unneeded structure is better than none at all, you see. My head is full of question marks, and the sound they make is all together indescribable, and excruciating. Deafening, even. To say that it sounds like impending death is pretty accurate. I can't explain this to people and make sense at the same time, just as it isn't possible to put the feeling of car crashes into words. it's like one minute you're doing as okay as you possibly can and the next, you're falling. Impact can be a deadly thing. Remind me of this when I threaten to jump off a bridge. Maybe you'll scare me straight and I'll stop seeing danger like it's supposed to be a fun thing. Maybe I'll stop spending so much time trying to bite the bullet, and spend more time trying to get out of the firing range. Life is full of maybes and that's the very thing that's killing me at the moment. One can never be certain
Mar 2016 · 444
clocks that chime midnight
Johnnie Rae Mar 2016
it's like there's a stranger living within me
one that wishes to take up less space
and speak not so loudly.

hushed tones sound deafening in empty hallways
no matter how few people are around to listen
I have become scared of the sounds I emit, no matter how necessary.

wish I could sit pretty on the head of a pin
and not have these thighs that rub together
like sticks used to start a campfire to roast me over

I am edible in the eyes of the insane
but there are more of them than there are of me
so I might as well submit to purgatory

treat it as I did for close to 12 years,
something I had to face at least twice a day
once in the morning and again before bed

you'd spit fire in my direction
and I'd send a thank you card
and tell you to expect flowers in the morning

i was  in still water and you were a tornado
you disheveled me every chance you got
and I never once thought to seek dry land

never once thought to rid myself of poison
because to me it was normal,
and I hate you for that.

hate you for making me think it was okay
okay to grow up in a home where abuse was normal
and accepted.

I pass the street of my childhood home and cringe
every slamming door, broken hinge, and shattered dish
replay like violent storms in my memory

things I wish I could forget, but know I never will.
you are the reason I jump as I turn corners
and itch at the thought of razor blades.

i lay restless turning the thoughts over in my mind
staring at a clock with numbers that only climb
screaming and slamming doors never did make for a good lullaby.
Johnnie Rae Feb 2016
My body is a temple; equipped with
hollow spots in-between each brittle rib.
Say hello to the gaps that were left when you did,
I've dedicated them to your very existence,
growing daisies in the spring time
within them to try and distract myself from
the absence of your fingertips on my skin.
With lips that sometimes take on a shade of periwinkle
when trying to remember what air tastes like,
trying to remember how to breathe evenly
trying to remember how to breathe
I mouth my regret at ever letting you in.
You are the stray hiding under the porch that
I don't have the money to feed, but can't seem to get rid of;
a leech that's come to like the taste of my blood.

I didn't know hurt on a first name basis
until you made me shake his clammy hand,
with eyes like black saucers and a tea kettle to match,
we indulged in scones and questioned anything that
didn't fit into our understanding of fire and brimstone.
Self trained nihilists, life was a game and we didn't
quite understand the point of playing
so we sit with our hands in our laps,
thumbs circling each other like it was some sort of race
and our lips parted ever so slightly,
waiting for the magic to happen.

The thing is, I wasn't trained as a magician.
there is no deck of cards, no magic curtain,
only a girl with lips, hips, fingertips,
all taught to sway in your presence. I don't know if it's magic
but if your breath stops short in your chest I must
be doing something right, right?
A song and dance I know all too well,
the smile, nod, giggle,
twirl your hair between ******* and stand in a way
that accents the attractiveness bred into your hips
by ancestors taught to do the very same.

The most haunting thing in all this,
is that I water the daisies in my chest daily
not because I can't forget, no,
but because I want to remember
want to live the rest of my life setting examples
of everything women shouldn't have to be
shouldn't want to be
shouldn't be bred to please
shouldn't sing crescendos in response to cat calls
and black and blue expectations. If you want perfection buy a barbie,
we are flesh and blood and sweat and tears
not your ******* play thing.

You cannot set fire to our hearts and then expect us
to bat our eyelashes daintily,  
whisper sweet nothings into the neck that creaks with contradiction.
Our love is not a force to be reckoned with
remember, sweet child, from whence you came
a woman herself carried you for nine back breaking months
to bring you into this world
a woman can just as easily take you out of it, maybe even easier.
Not many would open their mouths to relay this message
I suppose maybe I am a blip in the fabric of ancestry.
Somewhere in the makeup of my DNA, I gained a voice
and I fully intend to use it against idiocy.
Today I am throwing out my gardening tools,
these daisies in my rib cage no longer need tending
I have finally learned to know my worth without attaching
someone else's name to it.
Maybe it's time for you to do the same.
Feb 2016 · 803
Why I Cut My Hair
Johnnie Rae Feb 2016
If this hasn't occurred to you yet,
I am not your average cookie cutter, barbie doll type.
I do not swear to wear pink on Tuesdays
or any day for that matter because pink reminds me of innards
and that isn't exactly something that compliments my complexion,
it only accomplishes making me seem more dead than I already do,
and who wants that?

In reality I am manic pixie dream ******* crack,
one day with dreams of  hair down to my navel,
the next I can hear the hair clippers calling my name.

I cut my hair not because I was looking for attention
but because I do not wish to seek approval,
do not wish to meet stereotypical versions of what girls are
"supposed to look like."
If you tell me I look like a lesbian, I will promptly thank you
for the compliment and send you on your way,
because lesbians are people too, whether or not I am one is irrelevant.
I do not wish for other people to view me as attractive
only for people to view me as I am
whether that is flower child or train wreck
because it changes weekly and sometimes it's both.
my identity is not a fixed point, it is a spectrum
and if the idea of that scares you, just imagine
how much it terrifies me. Some days I am sunshine
and other days I'm a cyclone looking to rip through
anything that's in or even surrounding my path.
The truth is I am the epitome of confusing.

I cut my hair because I am at a pivotal moment in my life,
a point in time where I choose who I wish to become.
I know hair doesn't seem like that big of a factor,
but this is the first of many crucial decisions that I will be forced
to make on my own, and I figure if I can figure out how to
wear my hair, then balancing a checkbook will figure itself out.

The truth is I am horrible with decision making,
and many times crack under pressure
don't know what essay topic to tackle
go back and forth on the topic of college majors,
and while one of those is short term
the other is monumental and keeps me from sleeping sometimes.
I'm usually the neutral one,
the one who agrees to what everyone else wants.
But I need to break that habit before it becomes unhealthy
and i'm pretty sure it already has.
I'm a few steps late in the process,
but the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem
so I'm headed in the right direction.

And so I cut my hair.
watched it as it fell from my head like sad little tendrils of despair,
and formed into a pile that resembled a cat by the time I walked out.
In doing so, I found a new part of myself,
a part that was always there but never really announced itself
When I cut my hair I officially labelled myself as a risk taker,
because the truth is I don't think I've ever been more scared
than I was when those clippers hit the back of my neck
and the weight of my hair fell off my shoulders.
Taking such a huge risk made me feel alive,
and that, is something I'm okay with.
Jan 2016 · 956
Eat me
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
Stick a fork in me and tell me I'm done.
Tell me my only purpose now is to be
carved open and served on fine china,
Tell me now is my time.
They plan to eat me alive.
I can already feel them
gnawing on my bones like toothpicks
after the first course,
and washing down their disgust
with my blood, still warm,
like sun tea sitting in the window
on a hot August day,
except maybe a little thicker
in consistency and a little more
bitter in taste.
Old soul, flesh and blood
doesn't stay fresh long, eat me.
Smile and nod at dinner table conversation
as you choke down every headache,
every bad decision I've ever made.
Things like that call for a little extra meat tenderizer, don't they?
Spending hours making me more appealing to the pallet
only to make me look like roadkill.
Sunken in, glazed over highway eyes,
always staring straight ahead,
never to change.
Served on a sliver platter with a puddle of blood under me,
make sure to serve bread to sop up all the mistakes, imperfections, monotony.
Jan 2016 · 293
opportunity i missed
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
If I could've taken you on that
futon upstairs without knowing there was a chance
of someone walking upstairs to catch us,
you would've been mine. Remember that.
There will always be a next time.
Jan 2016 · 786
Island of Misfit Toys
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
Welcome to the place you’ll find me sitting
helplessly trying to find a way out.
The place you’ll never want to visit again,
you’ll run, at full speed wishing you’d never
said it would be okay for me to
open up and let you see the insides of my
horribly damaged head,
and instead, never brought up the subject
but only find yourself back where you started in this maze
of desperate uncertainty,  
because in this place lies carcasses of dreams
abandoned but never forgotten,
my knobby knees and shaking fingers
just haven’t yet found the strength
to put them back together again.
I've arranged them in patterns that resemble broken things
like china dolls with cracked smiles
and butterfly amputees, this is no picnic.
I am sorry for the horror you will see
in the depths of my cerebral cortex,
I never imagined you’d actually step inside,
and now here you are clawing your eyes out
right beside me screaming at the top
of hoarse lungs and pleading with sad eyes
now just barely bleeding, for a way out,
with a tone just below sad whisper I tell you
I’ve yet to find a ship off of the island of misfit toys,
and for now, you’re just as hopeless as you
found me to be in the beginning.
Just remember you provided the gun and ammunition,
I only loaded it, and gave you a taste for
the possibility of an ending.
I never tempted you with the idea of destruction,
only provided you with its breeding ground
and that's not something I can help or even change.
you've now seen the depths of hell
and men have said it leaves one blind
even if it does come in the shape and size of panic attacks
pain killers, ***, and a heart rate that laughs at the word fast,
races beyond it, bearing sharp teeth and a smile,
swallows me up like the ever raging sea.
My body was not built for this type of misery,
my skin cracking and my kneecaps knocking
like a sort of secret police to tell me
that it's getting out of hand again.
Marionettes sewn straight into skin,
dancing just like all the other puppets
we live a life of lavish lamentation and hold up
bronze metals just for showing up and sticking around.
How much does life mean now?
Do not tell me I am not suffering because now
you have seen it and it will never leave your memory.
I bestow this upon you because you chose not to take me seriously.
This is a message from the island of misfit toys,
I may seem like I'm keeping it together just fine,
but beyond every door lies a secret,
beyond every shining light, a shadow
and beyond every smile, someone is broken.
Jan 2016 · 563
Words That I Shan't Speak
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
It’s scary as hell how last week you held me
right before I said goodbye,
and in my head I was screaming ‘I love you’
hoping so badly that you didn’t see it in my eyes.
Because I know it’s too soon for such weighty exclamations,
and the last thing I want to do is scare you away,
but you make my mind race and my heart ache
and the soles of my shoes always seem
to point in your direction
the way a plant grows toward the sun.
You are my most significant source of light.

Today you told me you were scared.
Because you like me so much,

All I could say was "i know that feeling"
because even though I've given up on impending forevers
I'm doomed to believe that forever would
best be spent with you.
You won't read these words for a long time
because it won't be the right time, for a long time
I'm just fast forwarding because
my heart doesn't know patience,
my heart knows bed sheets and now, now, now.
Rushed beginnings and painful endings.
You are neither. You are kind and respectful,
and won't pass boundaries, even though realistically
I never set them. You are a new kind of amazing
and it is exhilarating.
Jan 2016 · 527
Final Acts
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
Hangs noose.
Loads gun.
Turns on car,
shuts garage door.
Sticks head in oven
Sylvia Plath style.
Leaps off of unforgiving bridge
and meets water with a smack.
Tangos with oncoming traffic
transfixed by headlights
like once frolicking dear.
Sticks tongue into outlet
to see what electricity tastes like.
Attempts to cuddle with hungry
bear after it emerges from hibernation.
Gets thrown to wolves,
and fails to return leading the pack.

Suicide by irony.
Gun backfires in robbery and attacker gets a brain bleed
in the form of a gaping hole.
Jan 2016 · 360
New Years Resolution
Johnnie Rae Jan 2016
I woke up with stale wine on my breath, 
remnants of New Years spent at my cousins and making a friend. 

He opened the bottle and it wasn’t long 
before I started sneaking small doses 
into my Red Solo cup,
hoping the other 
adults wouldn’t notice, and if they did,
 that they wouldn’t care. It was twenty 
to midnight and I had moved 
on to a wine glass. All the other adults 
already had so much to drink that 

they forgot to care. 
It was fifteen minutes to midnight, and 
what was a full bottle was now empty
my head swimming, though my footing 
still sure and steady.
Between the two of
 us, two hours was plenty of time to 
**** a bottle of wine, even if it was only
 by ourselves. 

It was midnight and we were toasting to the life ahead of us, if not out loud 
then surely in our minds.
 I don’t think being happy is too much
 to ask for, when the clock strikes 12.
Dec 2015 · 601
I Just Started Scribbling
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
when organizing my makeup collection
became the most complicated game of tetris
I'd ever played, I knew I was in trouble.
Organizing letters on a Wednesday afternoon
is the highlight of my week now,
and it's scary because I used to roam streets
like the wheels on a decade old Cadillac
begging for new rims and a paint job,
like a poor man begs for money on
city street corners. I am the cup he holds out
for the sympathetic woman to drop her
spare change into. I am only a fragment of
something greater that has not yet been reached.
I am sitting on porch steps waiting for the rain to fall,
because at least then I'll feel something, even if it is cold and damp and unforgiving. It will be better than
the emptiness of my head that has become clouded
over with Italian food, and even more Italian wine
I am a ******* statistic, a number.
I am mommy's one mistake that she didn't erase
from the page that is her life
she didn't plan for me,
so she didn't plan the escape route.
She loves me, but not because she wanted to.
Dec 2015 · 920
Brain Aneurisms
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
I never knew how to
write poetry correctly.
It's not like it comes with an
instruction manual
that reads in italicized letters

"dig so deep into your head that if a brain aneurism were to spontaneously combust, you'd be the first to know about it"

No one told me that my emotions
would corkscrew like falling
meteorites every time I picked
up a pen.

No one told me that the thoughts
would sometimes dry up
and leave me searching like
a dog who buried a bone and
then developed a rare type
of amnesia.

No one told me that sometimes
it would be hard to get the words
onto the page without tears
falling like a liquid avalanche.

There was no instruction manual
or italicized letters. There was only me,
and a lot of lessons to learn.
Dec 2015 · 799
Christmas Thoughts
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
Even if just for a moment,
I want to touch the most intimate
parts of your soul with my tongue
and taste what its like for you
to be with me.
Dec 2015 · 458
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
You make it hard to sleep.
I'm tucked under comforters at 3 am
with the image of your face in the absence of moonlight stuck in my head and I have never been more comfortable than I am
when you hold me up in the air as if
you're trying to show the
whole world my apparent beauty.
And then, you kiss me.
And smiling mouths kiss better
than ones that frown so I pray
that I can keep that grin plastered
on your face just long enough
to connect lips like constellations
yet again.
God I am a mess but I wouldn't have it any other way because
you are comparable to the
shining light that leads me
out of the gallows,
and brightens all the corridors
in my gloom filled head.
I wish I could whisper all of this
into the curve of your neck while you hold me but I can never find words
and form them into correct sentences,
rather than incoherent gibberish
while under the trance that is
the feel of your fingertips
I'm tucked under comforters at
3 am thinking about how lucky I am
and that's why I was late for school this morning.
I overslept dreaming of all we could become.
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
I guess I could have put all this into a text message, but I wanted you to have something written by these weathered hands.
I swear if you make me smile one more time, my face will crack. My cheeks will split like chapped lips in winter air, and it will prove that feelings like this can hurt too, no matter how amazing they are.
You make me feel alive. It's almost as if you walked into my head, and told all the bad things they had to find another place to live. That my subconscious was no longer their place to crash. I hope that makes sense to you. If it doesn't, I apologize, as a writer I have an analogy for everything and sometimes I'm too cryptic for my own good.
The truth is you make me so nervous because every good thing I've ever experienced has ended in agony, and this is so good that I'm afraid in the end it might **** me. There's a gnawing in the pit of my stomach, telling me to run because it's never as good as it seems. But I ignore it, and stay, because I trust you.
I trust you so much it is scary.
The feels, man.
Dec 2015 · 377
Four Years Later
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
So this is what it's like to feel alive
it's nice to finally meet this feeling again,
after months wrapped in a cocoon of self-loathing.
When he touches me, my skin shutters like a tsunami just
rolled onto the coast of Jersey,
shaking the whole **** state.
Heart pumping electricity into my veins,
leaving the ends of my hair sizzling,
and a smile on my face.
Awestruck by the way he says my name.
It sounds like poetry.
He is poetry.
Hands caressing hands and
lips touching gently,
I couldn't dream up a better piece of art
if I tried for years.

I feel like I'm thirteen again,
staring into that same pair of
amazing eyes.
He makes me feel euphoric.
His smile is a sunrise that I
want to see every single morning.
The feeling in the pit of my stomach
hasn't changed.
He is still my kryptonite,
even four years later.
Dec 2015 · 386
Johnnie Rae Dec 2015
I want poetry to come easy
slide off my tongue like text messages
come off of my finger tips at lightning speed,
like something I was trained to do
since the my very first flip phone.
But sometimes it's too hard not to weep
on the keys of my laptop,
and the last thing I need now is a short circuit.
Johnnie Rae Nov 2015
Can we talk about busy city streets?

how they look most enticing at rush hour when the sun is dipping below the treeline in late November and it would take just one second too long for any passerby to notice you staring deep into their eyes as they hurtle towards you at a speed just high enough to rid the world of you permanently. How when they stop in time, something inside of you shatters, disappointed, and you sob violently as they rush to come to your aid, saying things like "what were you doing in the middle of the street?" or "honey are you okay, is there someone I can call for you?"  They mask their confusion with sincerity, and you tell them they can move on with their day.

Lets talk about the voices in the back of your head.

the ones that others swear don't exist. they tell you it does not get better. they tell you that your parents lied when they said they would never leave you, because everyone ends up in a box someday.

Lets talk about the depression that grips you ferociously, swearing its normal to stay in bed all day, to sleep for 23 hours, and eat nothing but chocolate icecream, or even nothing at all.

Lets talk about the anxiety that helps you question stepping out of your house in that outfit, or calling a friend, or trying to make friends, because you're probably just not good enough, right?

Lets talk about the invisible diseases, the ones that parents swear are a phase, the ones that helped me create this multitude of "obviously hypothetical situations".

Mom, Dad, Aunt, friend, they're ******* real. i know because they devour me as i lie in bed awake at night google searching for things that could cure me. make me less awkward at family parties. make it so i can start up a conversation at the dinner table without tripping over every single syllable, hoping i chose the right ones to use. make it so that i can stand up for myself, without the immense fear of being wrong for doing so. make it so i feel good enough. make it so i don't ******* hate myself. they're real and i'm tired of you putting them on the back burner, if you care about me, they matter.

they are not disposable, i cannot get rid of them. they are not something that you can fix by buying me a new makeup palette, or explaining that a lot of other people have it worse. do not tell me to just "make friends" or find a new hobby, if it were that simple, I'd have my doctorate in human psychology by now. So next time you tell me that my problems are silly, or irrelevant, i swear there will be slurs screamed so loud that they'll be heard in Hong Kong, because you cannot take these away from me, because they are chained to my ankle, and i am stuck in the middle of a busy city street, enchanted by the way headlights shine on my skin.
this is meant to be a spoken word
Nov 2015 · 1.3k
London Bridge has Fallen
Johnnie Rae Nov 2015
You were my first, and last love.
I took you for granted
forgot that building blocks only last
as long as their makers do
and we were doomed.
Fragile enough to shatter
under the weight of a single atom,
foolish of me to think you wouldn't
be crushed under the sheer mass
of impending forevers.

Sometimes, we just aren't happy
with what we've got.
Now as I burn,
so do our bridges,
and what we are left with,
merely ashes.
Oct 2015 · 357
Johnnie Rae Oct 2015
When the leaves first start to change,
I know I have been warned.
Winter is on it's way and soon
I'll be forced to take refuge
from my thoughts, and the cold
that will try to slip into my bones
and rattle me to the core.

Though I've never been diagnosed,
I'm almost certain its true,
seasonal affective disorder lies
dormant in my veins
waiting for the first autumn breeze,
the first winter flurry,
the first ******* signal to send me
into yet another yearly downward spiral,
only difference now
is I'm becoming more aware of the signs.

Sometimes I can't sleep at night
and some mornings I struggle to open my eyes.
Mid lesson, my mind will wander,
taking me down dark pathways
cobblestone streets too often strolled down
by those who've yet to find a way around
the mind gripping struggle that is
Pumpkin Spice Latte commercials,
and fuzzy ******* sweaters.

These things that are supposed to bring comfort only bring me down.
Winter is coming.. for those of you who struggle with this as well, stay strong.
Oct 2015 · 510
Lemme know if i'm rambling
Johnnie Rae Oct 2015
I stare at glass ornaments all night long
because the light that reflects off of them
is much more exciting than the blackness
given off by the backs of my eyelids.

You take pride in Christmas lights hung
all over this one bedroom apartment,
cramped with two bodies,
four cats,
and enough clothes to stock a salvation army
for years, and make millions.

This is plan B and
we are adjusting.
Awake at 5 AM to be out at
6:10 to make the 20 minute journey
across town to the school
I refused to leave.

I am an honors student,
but not destined for Ivy League.
Cramming is my best quality,
though I guess it could be worse.  
You could find me down by the tracks
with ***** on my breathe and
glazed over eyes. Luckily I decided
I just don't have the time.

I've adopted the habit of running daily.
Just around the complex until my lungs
scream so loudly for air that my vision
threatens to leave me.
I find something comforting in
not being able to see straight.
Dizzy with oxygen deprivation,
it's a kind of Euphoria.

This is life: new, and exhausting.
Oct 2015 · 271
Johnnie Rae Oct 2015
it's getting cold again.
not only outside, but in my head.
in my chest.
north-east October sits heavy
on my shoulders.
i've lost the warmth
of the sun and
that of his arms span.
Oct 2015 · 380
Johnnie Rae Oct 2015
I am tired; sleep comes not easy
to the weary ones.
I wish for simplistic things,
sweetness dripping off lips like honey,
and maybe a numbing agent for my
over active senses.

Yet I am senseless
tripping back and forth between
composed and extreme.
Brainwaves falter when trying
to wrap themselves around your
beautiful mediocrity.
I wish for a way to explain how much
I love you still. Even though
I never should have in the first place.
Sep 2015 · 792
Nobody's Girl
Johnnie Rae Sep 2015
It seemed your hands could mold me
into whatever you deemed appropriate that week,
while I let you do whatever you pleased.
We collided at rapid speeds,
and neither of us would ever
accept blame for the damage done.
Now, after the destruction has ceased
to amuse you, you've moved on.
You've no bow, and no arrow,
but always a target, nonetheless.
Each one always harder than the last.

In the end, we'll still be friends
bound by mutual and situational obligations.
We'll run from the awkwardness
and try not to drown in the depths
of denial, for a little while.
After that, things will most likely be normal,
because astronomically, grudges aren't my forte,
and you're just oblivious to the pain
you've caused me. In the mean time,
I'm nobody's girl, and if you were to ever
come crawling back, it'd be something like
handing me your weapon so I could practice my own shot.
Johnnie Rae Sep 2015
I am not so much afraid of falling
as I am afraid of the sound my bones
would make against unforgiving pavement,
if you were to neglect to open your arms.
I apologize if I don't immediately
trust your charming smile, but in past
experience, behind a charming smile
lies an appreciation for liquor bottles
and the art of a good disappearing act.

If I seem wary of your good intentions
know it is only because I have experienced
abuse and neglect, and it isn't quite as easy
to get over as the self-help books say it is.
Because of this, sometimes I am distant.
Sometimes I create a spiny shell around
myself to keep from experiencing more of
what i have previously had to run away from.
or even suffer the loss of.

Sometimes I put more thought into my writing
than I do into my relationships because
after a countless streak of falters,
you begin to think that is all there is to expect.
I am sorry that I am damaged, and I
am also sorry that I would never expect
anyone to have the power to fix it.
As time has passed and I have been wrecked,
I lost the expectancy to be put back together again.

Though I hate to be alone, I will probably
push you away, trade you for the solitude of my
tiny bedroom. After being left time and time again,
I have been forced to leave, myself because
I would rather experience loneliness than heartbreak.
Funny thing is, I'm learning they are close to the same.
Aug 2015 · 377
i can't forget, i'm sorry
Johnnie Rae Aug 2015
Today I realized,
that sleep started avoiding me
as soon as you did,
and that thought has turned
my right brain into a fidgety mess,
and my left brain into mush.
You've killed my creativity,
and my sensibility,
all at once.
Aug 2015 · 394
Six Word Memoir
Johnnie Rae Aug 2015
Sleep deprived,
In disguise,

Still alive.
Something my 10th grade English teacher made us do that has been stuck in my head ever since.
Aug 2015 · 461
White Flags are Overrated
Johnnie Rae Aug 2015
The problem with writing
is sometimes the thoughts
rush through the pen so quickly
it leaves them indecipherable
the next morning.
My hands move too quickly,
and it makes the letters
loop violently like drunken slurs
under lamp posts at two in the morning.

Writing about the reasons I can
no longer trust
the time I surrendered myself
completely only to be left
dead in my tracks.
The first time I waived my
white flag and the
knife still entered my back.
Intoxicated lettering could
never completely explain.
Aug 2015 · 398
The Art of Leaving
Johnnie Rae Aug 2015
The past: the only thing
that cannot be rewritten
etched into timeline like
tattoos on skin.
Speaking of yesterday in clipped tones
hazed-over pupils
indulging in depressants
to stop the head rush.
We are habitual creatures,
though more than not the habit fades
walks away on legs that
creak with boredom
the sounds, we ignore them
knowing, they too will go away.
Jul 2015 · 397
End of Me
Johnnie Rae Jul 2015
My head is a ward
of things unknown to the normal one.
Insults trace my skin preparing
for entrance.
Words like a knife to skin,
You poison the mind.
With the scalpel in hand,
You enter the black box in my head,
And hit record, preparing for
the end of me.
Jul 2015 · 497
And She Fell.
Johnnie Rae Jul 2015
She threw me for a loop.

She jumped off the wagon at full speed
and fell, like she wouldn't feel a thing
like cold, hard ground wasn't the enemy.

I couldn't rationalize her thinking.
Not if I tried for the same months
She spent struggling in that facility.

Not if I tried for the same lifetime,
She was supposed to spend fighting
and asking for the inner peace she needed to stay alive.

She threw me for a loop.

I'm spending my time looking for escape routes
trying not to end up at the bottom,
where she seemed to put herself willingly.

Forgetting all she fought for,
all the time she spent,
looking for a new beginning.

She threw me for a loop.

Now I'll spend my late nights
looking for the stability
she abandoned for yesterday's highs.

Solid ground must have meant nothing
compared to the excitement she found
in running from her worries.

My head throbs with the idea,
that she finds more comfort in toxicity
than she did in the sobriety that brought her back to me.

She threw me for a loop, and I'm still spinning.
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