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Apr 2015 · 553
Reality and Color
Lexical Gap Apr 2015
I like to think that the real world doesn't contain color;
That it is only by mechanisms of human interpretation
That we attribute green to new budding life on spring branches,
And pink to the under bellies of clouds in winter sunsets.

That it has been developed by our species like language
In our race to improve human experience
Created as we were pushed forward by human nature.

I like to think of human nature as the only constant,
Human nature as the driving force behind nature itself.
Nature, which we have always taken as greater than ourselves,
But what can be greater than we
When we are the determiners
Of what we see around us?

Who can draw a line between perception and reality
When we can only perceive our own separate realities in truth?
A line we've never crossed to draw our own conclusions
Is to allude to the possibility that what we see isn't reality,
That reality is really only our means of defining
The parameters of our lives,
Colorless or otherwise.
Apr 2015 · 1.7k
invisible undertow
Lexical Gap Apr 2015
it's strange
to see a river spring into being
violently churning
but without sound
to see sticks and even trees swept away down its length
but not feel its current's tugging pull

you wonder whether the river is real
or nothing but an imagined torrent

but the waves lapping at your feet cannot lie
Apr 2015 · 800
A Winter Walk
Lexical Gap Apr 2015
I'm looking down a forested path
Winter white
clings to the rich brown branches
And misty fog
hangs like heavy hope in the air

sun shines
seemingly brighter
than its typical summer rays
As it is reflected
in crystalline daggers

The atmosphere
is set for a jovial run to the end
But I only wish
that I was at that foggy gray expanse
between the trees
seemingly too tight together
farther on

I want to be there
Yet the trip is unimaginable
The snowy ground
sparkling in the sun impassible
Clinging snow
sure to weigh on my feet
Causing me to break
one more perfect surface of white
as my last act
Lexical Gap Apr 2015
The greatest of distances separated us,
but being abrasive at best,
our two rougher edges always sparked.
Even when friendly,
a side conversing of judgement
and not-quite-resentment
kept the parameters of conversation
shallow and narrow minded.

Deeper inference
caused interference
like static in my mind,
and short circuits were common
even in the most civil of discussions
common to other circles.

Round and round,
wishes to connect and
a secret bid for volatile collision
kept us chasing,
while a wary voice forced us to stay separated
like magnets pushing and pulling.

Never did two people
hate so many common things
and yet repulse each other so completely.
Apr 2015 · 432
You're Asleep
Lexical Gap Apr 2015
You're asleep
As I pace floors
Not needing the cliche to think
Because I know what I should say to you

You're asleep
Because you need your rest
And on a recovery bed from emotional scars left by yours truly,
Maybe that's justified.

I'm awake,
Because this mind doesn't rest
My skin doesn't scar
And my recovery bed is the pacing, as I recover from emotional scars left by yours truly.

I've been thinking
About what you told me
I've been thinking about
how We have to talk about the thing
That happened when we were new and didnt know consequence

When recovery beds were not needed and even scorned

And you have to realize I'm trying to comply with your tell-all policy
And I hate to nag you
And you know I'm not this person who drags  back up
A warning flare burning for  yesterday
So I'm sorry; you're welcome.

I've been thinking about how my accidental mistake brought iron fist repercussions and threats
And now when you have a cold-thought fault I have presented you not with rebuke but apologies and
"Just make sure you're okay"

It hurts not to hurt
Skin that doesn't scar itches
And I choke on blood from internal bleeding where I've managed to lay my scars every time I open my mouth to say "I'm okay with it"
I'm not. Obviously.
#sleep #okay #pacing
Jan 2015 · 1.4k
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
The iron in my blood has grown too heavy
The only sensation
I have
is anxiety:
the about-to-jump uneasiness of limb
without the adrenaline.
The lump in your throat
almost heartburn like heart ache
but aches have faded to numbness.
I'm dumb.
And founded on this quiet existence
of waiting for the next hill to climb.
Wryly smiling
at the slightest hint of a plateau
and shattering its mirage.
A barrage is barring the beatings of a heart
that I've often questioned existentially
in nights as dark as my thoughts
and equally as empty.
Every relief
stands in cold contrast
to all my other anxieties-
building up their mounds
to amounts unspeakable
in the crowded, concentrated ball
which has made it's way to my throat.
It's heavy.
Jan 2015 · 438
Painted Stars
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I want to look up at the stars in wonder again,
To gaze up at those markers of other worlds
And for once not notice the Earth spinning beneath me.
To compose songs based on their rhythmic twinklings.
I want to imagine constellations,
Write great ballads to their heroes
and odes to their determination to shine surrounded by inky velvet.
I want to paint their brightness and endless possibility for stories
On the canvas of my chest
And carry them with me even in the day.
I will always have a clear sky in my heart
so that I will never be plagued
by grey clouds
and starless nights that sink into me with their lack of light.
I want to look into myself and see those points of brilliance.
I want to draw lines between what lights me up inside
and form constellations to memorize and explore.
I want this blackness of the night that resides in my mind to be broken,
Pierced by shafts of light travelling from fires in my core.
And on my cloudy nights,
I’ll use that light to paint my own stars into the sky.
Jan 2015 · 399
Broken Breathing
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
When was the last time that you took a full breath?
And don't tell me "on the weekend" or when you got home today.
I mean without that feeling like your throat might close in halfway through.
A breath    
           without a stress headache pulsating in the background.
I mean without your sleeplessness telling you to slow your breathing
to lay down a while,
take another breath
and another
and close your eyes.
I mean a breath before the long nights, the headache-blurred vision and this brutal self evaluation.
a breath  
            not taken underwater.
Not taken with your own hands threateningly clasped around your throat, only letting go long enough to make strokes to drive yourself under further.
You've swum so deep hoping the pressure will hold you together by sheer force, but by the time your bubbles of alarm reach the surface now they'll be too small to notice.
You think
that if you pile enough things on yourself
you wont be able to fly away.
Your dream of release is to crack into hundreds of pieces
from the pressure you're applying from inside
and float to the surface.
You imagine it constantly.
You hear smashing mirrors
You hear windows on the brink of breaking,
squeaking in protest.
You hear glass hitting floor in crashes
but also like chimes.
You see visions of spectrums
refracted in your shards
when you hear that range of sound in your midnight imaginings
that taste like guilt.
The art of those colors,
the music of that sound,
is so alluring.
So you do- you shatter.
Crystal walls to scattered fragments that litter the floors.
You start to collect yourself
in the sinister triangles and unidentifiable shapes
that lay like splinters of a tree hit by lightning on the ground.
You'll put them together again.
You'll make art out of what was broken for so long.
You see that now,
your stark fractions have long crashed,
snapping as you walk
rattling in shining scraps
sharp on the edges
like shards of broken conscience.
You're tired of leaving a fine dust
everywhere you walk
because of the grinding every move produces.
Tired of leaving glass slivers in all that you touch.
You're frantically trying to reassemble yourself.
You'll be better this time.
But are you sure you have enough glue?

You're tainting the pieces as they cut you.
Your hands were worn before
but now they're bleeding
and scarred forever.
You hated the glass shifting inside you
but now it's embedded in your hands
and never changes.
You're like a frozen reflection
of off-kilter fragments hastily thrown back together
in the smooth mirror that you so envy.
Your cracks are now immortalized
like paintings
in the stories that the pains in your palms tell
as a new sliver resurfaces everyday.
So what do you do?
Can you melt yourself down,
knowing that being melted
you'll lose that last shred of self?
Somehow you know you'll be recast in an image not your own.

At least in pieces you were still yourself.

You've forgotten about exhaling in your efficiency.
It serves no purpose other than to allow you to fill your lungs again
so you endlessly breathe in,
your breaths becoming more
and more
and more shallow,
and if you only took the time to breathe properly
then you wouldn't have to learn to live
with how those bits of yourself sound as they shift,
because exhaling
would let them fall
into place.
Jan 2015 · 455
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
Is anyone there?
We're in a lonely vessel
on seas of a size beyond the parameters
of what we can imagine.
We're a lost ship
riding tides,
tearing through blue mountains-
Always against the wind,
always in search of home shores
that we've lost track of on our maps.
Our charts tell us
which direction to head
but we never see the horizon change.
We can't remember anything but this,
This constant sail toward..
we don't know.
We have no goal,
no memory of home,
but something tells us this is a journey,
and aren't those supposed to have a destination?
We see bleeps on our radar,
The same size and shape as our metal shell,
but our trajectories never meet.
Your heart beat
beats out a morse code SOS
but no one hears the message.
There's too much interference,
too many seagulls stop our signal,
squealing and wheeling
in those empty clouded skies.
The waves are too high,
The spray too loud.
There's a storm coming, always.
The clouds advance.
Too much
Too many
Too high
Too loud
A storm.
Has anyone seen the shore?
Have you seen the birds land?
Where is this home?
This mother that is supposed to provide for us?
The waves are bearing in
like walls of barren grey doom.
The sky shrinks
The ground shifts
You slide.
You send your final dot and dash cry out,
out to the greyness whipping you around.
Too much.
Too many.
Too high.
Too loud.
The sea,
too wide.
A storm.

messages lost in the sea's static
Jan 2015 · 499
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
Priests and mothers alike laughed
when it was proposed that he is the center of everything I know.
That forces, still not understood,
push and pull me around in a spinning dance
like the ones I dreamt of before those forces took hold
and polarized my ideals.
Firmly in control,
but with his soul's solar flares reflecting my tilted axis,
fires burn in passionate eyes,
and I can see only by the light
that he casts on my life.
Finger tips brush across skin
like sunlight on morning cheeks,
each photon preserved in poetic eternity,
as it traveled through emptiness from my solar system's heart.
It's worth the dizziness of my travel
to arrive in summer close by his side
to soak in those rays,
and sneak raised glances up at skies that are his eyes,
blue as though in tribute to my oceans below.
With gazes that could move heavens
and ideas that shine as numerous
as the stars in his velvety backdrop,
heliocentricity has become a sure truth in my life.
Jan 2015 · 1.6k
morbid love
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I don't need clever analogies to love you,
and if you say you love me to the moon and back
I may just go there,
because the idea of loving someone
is already painfully cliched.
have you ever considered
how beautiful everything is if you take poetic license?
I amp up the significance,
romanticize every move and symbol I find.
how you gave me a locket
and the clock inside stopped on the day
I realized that I wanted to stay with you forever,
because no amount of time could be enough
so why bother keeping track?
how we had the same friends but didn't truly meet
until I was whole enough to let you care for me.
And I think
about there being something wondrous
in the way you know the sun rises for you each day
as you look at it in awe
and I want to write you a sunset
and be your sunrise
because I hope that my eyes shine as brightly as yours
just once.
when we were on the beach climbing rocks
that no one else recognized as special
and the sunlight
in our eyes, our hair and our hearts
kept us warm in the sea spray?
I think of thunderstorms with you,
looking into your eyes
and seeing rich dark skies
pierced by electric wonder.
And how when we sit in darkness
white, fervent light shines in those eyes
and the contrasting darkness
makes it implausibly more immaculate,
and I see your innocence.
that first night on the rooftop
where the moon emptied into our souls
and my body shivered
because I knew what was coming.

But then,
there's this other side,
this poet's curse
where I can't help but brood and metaphor our lives.
See the flowers,
a symbol of your affection,
wilting and withering as they die,
leaving an empty vase and crumbling petals.
And they are new love growing old
and I ask
am I brittle,
worn from dried affection?
And should I, do I,
feel like those bouquets?

You see,
I feel something morbid about love,
and something wildly romantic about ******,
and in death is a beauty so complete
that I think on how
my toes are half turned up
when they curl at your kiss
and how
you're running me in circles
as we circle the drain
and no matter what I'll hold my breath for you,
even as I imagine my beleaguered last.
But which one of us will die first?
These paradoxes spin spirits round
like twinkling tops wobbling to a halt
as I question what I'm sure of
because of imagined signs
and morbid thoughts.
I can't see a thing of beauty
without wondering what its faults are.
The facets of 'us' shine out at me as a plethora of stars
and it's killing me to dissect them
and find each supernovaing core.
But it's better to be killed by a lover.
To finally combine the morbidity of love
and the romance of ******.
The beauty of death can take me
after this metaphor ends
and I have a use for time.
Jan 2015 · 478
chalk outline
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
my love drew me today
by the side of the road
in casual gesture
and quiet contemplation.
he knelt so gently,
like when he waits for me to get up first.
his hands didn't shake
the way mine do when I do something passionate
or when I create and destroy.
on the tips of his fingers
his tool of choice smudged clouds
like we always saw driving
and smoke like warnings from fires.
my love drew me,
drew me in with his demeanor
but drew me out onto that curb.
I looked down
and an outline faced me
bleeding out in the rain-
an outline
like mortal fears solidified.
flat out on the cracked pavement of my future dreams
the contours of a shrinking heart sat,
the rain beating its pulse
but slowly wearing it away.
I felt the dampness through my jacket
and unfurled the yellow ribbon
I'd thought I'd never need again.
Jan 2015 · 348
captain's log: last entry
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I'm done with firsts;
I'm done being Eve
and wickedly foraging my way forward.
Pioneering is dangerous,
pawns that went first
had to be slashed down by still others
or their betters,
and those who returned to their familiar land
were cast like Raleigh into prisons of mental standstill
The rewards of adventure are great,
But I'm done looking at the world with naive wonder.
I will no longer
be naming new findings after people I barely knew,
like myself,
as explorers before me have done.
I don't want another journey-
to set out in the hopes of finding another place
that resembles home in the smallest way.
I don't want another conquest-
burning the homes of others
so that I might find
an ounce of worth among their possessions,
hoping to define myself
by what I leave left of them behind me.
I'm far too comfortable,
have far too much at stake
to set out again,
uncertain of my return.
I've decided to settle in this wild land-
this New World full of wonders
that I hope will one day become mundane,
but I know they won't.
This land has such heights-
mountains shining in the setting sun
orange and red halos burning on their edges like forest fire passions
and they are reflected
on the water's surface
as it lazily rolls tiny hills to lap at the mountains' feet.
That landscape was such a welcome sight
after so long spent on black seas,
nothing but empty grey skies
and my lonely vessel.
Storms beat their drums in ominous rhythms,  
the reverberations of their peals on the surface
wreaking havoc,
ripping wildly at sails and heart.
I had feared mutiny
only to be betrayed
by gods in much larger battles.
But I entered the cove, calm,
and its glass comforted me
as the arms of its coast encircled my battered life boat.
Soon the strange sounds of the forests,
that rustling at night at the forest's breath,
animal calls
and the sound of footsteps behind me
were normal.
I would not soon trade
the stability and comfort of this solid bedrock
For the tumult of that sea
I've built my home
out of the strong trees here
that have sheltered me from wind in my journey.
I've harnessed my uncertainty
when faced with this new environment
and now sit in front of a warm hearth,
warm of heart,
and say goodbye to the sea.
Jan 2015 · 384
the monument falls
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
Why is everything disintegrating beneath our feet?
This paradise we built up in our minds
stands like a destitute skyline of skyscrapers
and all of the windows are cracked.
No more perfect reflections in unmarred glass
enter in my reflections,
and they're replaced
with spiderwebbed shards that entangle me.

We wanted this metal and rock declaration of our stability.
The infrastructure was mapped out in advance,
and its precision is admired even now,
with all the disappointment and shame.
This monument to us
Mocks me by not being completely torn down
And I see no poetry in its ragged existence,
but the stark reality of failure.
I cannot picture our wondrous city
without the smog
and it's a fog,
and a burden on my mind now.
Straight as city streets
my thoughts follow each other
but I can only seem to find the alleys and slums.
It was going to be so beautiful!
You and I upon the tallest rooftop
of a utopian place greater than ourselves
and yet our plaything,
crying out with the joy of being.

But the tallest building has crumbled,
and concrete proven a fickle friend.
Walls designed for beauty
turned out cold and inhospitable,
and the best of our plans never reached fruition.
Perhaps we should have built an orchard instead.
Jan 2015 · 374
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
Have you ever been transfixed by the quiet beauty of the night?
She's mysterious in the worst way
You know she hides no unseen light at her core,
and yet you like to imagine so.
Have you seen
how she swallows everything in her path
with those tendrils of darkness?
She blinds you
and leads you
into what your sure will be destruction
beyond the black walls of her embrace,
But you go into that velvety unknown willingly,
unable to resist that dark temptation.
I have seen this.
I see her in the vulnerability of everything around me.
The quiet allure of voices on the point of breaking.
In sunsets and sunrises
because they are beginning and end
with no hope of as wondrous a middle.
In twangy guitar riffs
and solo violins,
Almost violent in their fragility.
I hear her beauty in ice breaking
Those arcs and swirls of frost
Patterns on its thin canvas
Cracking beneath boot
and snow
and even breath.
There's something so tragic in its brief life
And it resounds within me
like pity
and a recognition of how precious it really is
in a mixture
that I have come to define
as love of the most volatile sort.
I love Spanish guitars
And swing sets in the rain.
I love eyes above shots of bourbon
with their kicked innocence
and I love smokers' voices.
Smeared lipstick
and yesterday's makeup
tell tales of instability,
but all of my heroes are tragic.
I want to see their cracks,
like chinks in armor,
because this world is a hard one,
and the best things recognize that.
I like my music to be in mourning.
Soft, slow piano and whispers.
I like whispered promises not brave enough to be uttered aloud
My flowers dead and falling apart
My coffee cold
And my tea oversteeped.
I don't overstep to say it helps me remember how valuable things are if there's some imperfection.
I see things that I want to love
in the broken and downtrodden items
littering the sides of the road I walk
Some not imperfect
but insalvagable.
Beautiful in the same sad way
as smashed piano keys in pure white slivers on the floor.
The remaining keys
like a pitiful smile that says
"I'm sorry,
but I'll never create music again"

I can hear the ghosts of their creations.
I'm swept away
by that lost potential
and blown by the fact that it is gone forever.
I know that I cannot save the pieces,
but still seek to fill the gaps in those teeth
with bits of my own smile
so that we might at least make two halves
and have our songs heard again.
But in the end
they always sound like warnings,
ominously ringing out their weakness to the night.
Jan 2015 · 489
winter migrations
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I've always flown south in the wintertime- fragile, small bird that I am.
I am able to support myself
on wind currents
and glide seemingly effortlessly through the skies,
but I always knew I was outclassed by the cold.
I retreat into the warmest climates I can:
sanctuary in songs,
warmth in silence,
and safety in my slow glide through those months.
Winters get longer and longer like their days;
the darkness overtakes them
faster and faster
until you're living in the dark.
They try to divert the attention away
from that unsettling victory of night's blackness over day in winter
with their neon lights and smiles,
but even the purity of snow cannot combat the coldness those long shadows bring.
I leave for months at a time.
My vacant nest fills with snow in my absence.
It isn't the most productive defense,
but I cannot survive winter's harshness another way.
When I return
my nest is still damp
from the frozen tears of defeated summer.
Jan 2015 · 517
i bought you this sweater
Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I bought you this sweater for your birthday,
but you left before I could give it to you...
I guess you left before I could give you a lot of my gifts.
I planned your day,
wanted everything to be perfect;
I had notes and everything.
I wanted you to feel special and warm so I bought you this sweater
and wrote you something
I hoped would warm your insides
like wool can't.
As a fail safe
I even got you that tea
you always made with a smile on your face.
I planned our future too.
Well, mostly yours actually.
I had bookmarks and tabs
constantly open on my screens
to help you find where you wanted to go,
and I was going to follow you wherever that was.
I planned for rainy days
and sitting on the couch playing your favorite games
and sunny days at the park
and I had hoped you'd be wearing this sweater.
But I guess,
I guess I'm wearing it now.
I couldn't quite bring myself to return it,
and I never did keep receipts with you so I guess I couldn't have.
I knew you would have loved it.
It fits me pretty well,
and helps keep me warm and safe from how you left me out in the cold.
It doesn't itch at all,
and it goes with all of my clothes,
and I can't help but think
maybe I was supposed to have it.
I changed the tabs on my computer deleted the bookmarks,
and remembered
I didn't need to search
for what I wanted,
I only had to second guess for you.
I'm wearing this sweater,
and wondering
if it could have kept you as warm
as it keeps me after all.

— The End —