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 Apr 2016 lizany
mark john junor
she had a dignified sadness
in her dark eyes
a dignity to her stately walk as she
walked on down to the beggars lot
a vision of class in her step as she was pulled
down onto the worlds darkest places
by the circumstance of betrayal

he drank his coffee from the paper cup
in the motel room
by the main road
the summer night shadows playing out on
the stained walls of the cheap room
someplace not far a TV played far too loud
but you can never determine a word it says
she thought as she lay there
mute with him on top of her
  meant not a thing to her
but his closing the door as he walked away
meant everything
seemed so final
seemed so fitting in this ***** dark place
a single tear escaped down
the perfectly carved features of her perfect face

a quiet dignity like a shawl wrapped round
her thin frail shoulder
clinging wet and hopeless
in this dark place
a inconsolable sorrow in her eye
as she looked on without seeing
down the beggars lot
at the darkest places in the world
how did she fall so swift
so far so fast
from all the dreams of girlhood at hand
to this horrible place where they feed on your very soul

in the morning
its ugly light reveals the beggars lot
littered with the used up and cast aside souls
littered with the worlds price for false freedoms
and false saviors
careful of thouse come sellin you pretty words
of dreams of what will be
she goes to the well and with tender care
washes the night from the delicate lace of her dress
and with a single tear
escaping down the perfect features of her perfect face
she remembers him
not for what he truly was but for what
her girlish heart saw him as

he sipped his coffee
from a paper cup
in the royal palace motel
up in denver's dark heart
watched her undress
took her in every sense
and then abandon her in every sense
closing the door softly
as he went
i would save her if i knew how
i would save her if i knew where she was
 Apr 2016 lizany
I thought of her-- image and all--
inner monologue running thru my
head as my retinas crawled through
-out the desert-- and imagined, realized,
saw I was no longer in love-- what she
had done made her seem like an anybody
passing the trainspot platform with nothing
but a sideways glance. All whilst my eyes
established themselves to the Cinecenta screen,
Lawrence of Arabia bathing in masochism and
blood, the evil of insanity, and admittance: "even
worse, I enjoyed it."

even worse, there are some who enjoy it,
killing their darlings.
 Apr 2016 lizany
there has been enough capped blue pens, half-chewed/.then
parisian grey mists--open windows, & markets, have you come
along in the cufflinks to take my hands? no, it's nothing

some days,i;d like to be kissed lonely, to sit at the preening
jut of your hips and **** songbird sketches into your neck,
thick swells. as rain comes within, just a teaspoon of salt to the water
and i hope it boils over. because i want to be burned, now

i want to be loved,; like silver lipped queens dipping ring
fingers into cyanide;. like the tumbling of lucifer from heaven
where he was the first shooting star--remarkable, god's favorite

there have been so many coffee rings on paper place mats,
and chances to go dancing when instead i cut to see myself bleed--

i dont want to be the lonely wing that tears against the wind,
the pale, wailing woman waiting on the side of the highway
to be taken home and put to bed. just grant me the white lighter,
or else let me step into the warm marshes with the wheatgrass.

let me turn to hay in the wintertime; ill hold you when you come
inside to sleep here. we just keep corking the bottles and putting
them in the fridge;when's the last time you wove flowers inyour
hair?, were you just a boy then who could afford to make those

mistakes? i swear i'd like to know those ways the welts twisted
your gut hotly--because they did for mine too, only in the ways i'd
never been touched at all. they write books on the women who
refuse to be loved. we stand against walls with our champagne

throats curved back, waiting/for a man to get his hands on it
but it won;'t do, it won't do. if you come closer, see, i'll make you
laugh to that pretty throat-bobbing way, while you're looking at
the mouth that leans forward to **** a quiet songbird;then tear

up the flesh of your neck. i want to be blood-soaked like that, a
white boat, a marsh field with the blue herons, their lonely wings.
where is the legend of lilith on the bookshelves of the innocent?,

don't tell me you can't find her. she;s here--in my mouth, look inside
i bite down on the pen cap. the water moans and spills over. they want
to be loved where love is ****** & the crime scene is the first

sunday of forever: this death more beautiful than winter; my surrender
the smallest collapse of the star--in your arms,yes,that's an alright
place--the black hole love a blank space, a long sunday. now that's

what i want, with you: fold the blanket, let's take a drive, let's go
to the field where god kissed lucifer to the ground. i want to be loved
like you know how the story goes: we become who we always were,
and then it kills us both.
 Apr 2016 lizany
the last blue summer i dripped
               sulfur from a bottom lip
               you found an eyelash
                in your cheerios
and we danced
all winter
                into the next blue summer
                  then it was rhubarb and honey
      The First Man came to stab
           his tongue in my mouth
the very silk sheet of femininity
         let him puncture inside with the chewed
            embittered nails
this is a girl in holy conversion
           she convulses at the right times
           for dramatic effect
                     the blood on the bed is as christ
                      a symbol of sacrifice
         back when men played gods
and i let them

The Second Men
            are numerous skin lesions
             diseases from stepping in the wrong
         they smell always of
            peppercorn or gin&tonic;
                     their ***** sense a tenderness inside
                      like dogs they sniff it out
                to bury it with the one large hand
       that wraps around the throat every
       that same ******* line
                  you like it rough you little **** like it rough
    i am on my back on the bed
           that rocks from him ******* into
           my girlhood
                            i think of what my mother said when she found
                     the box of condoms i keep with me
                     "i would just hope these men care about you."
she doesn't understand
          these delicate men look for women to care
           about them
in the lily morning
          they want to get breakfast
                             text me their problems
                i'm the man on the sidewalk
              curling my lips into each other at their texts
"what are you doing tonight?"
           "hey haven't heard from you for a while"
   "hi :)"

I am on my back in bed
              wondering if I can hail a cab from delancey St
               while he licks and ***** at my **** and I feel nothing
               but I play the parts
I know my lines
                and the Second Men could have done well in the spotlight
                only they wanted a girl and by then I was decidely
       not human

The Men
                     can smell it
                      when you've been taken before
           a goodbye kiss on the cheek i grant
             in a moment of kindness
             and it becomes his tongue in my mouth
i am paralyzed in honesty
in the remaining threads of the docile sweetness
                mom says it is feminine to be kind
              that it is not a weakness
I think of this again when I am on all fours
                        hair pulled back by his hands
                  I think of it when the door closes and the other he
              wouldn't take no for an answer
how many times did I tell myself
I wanted this?
                              every time

The Dream Men
                   take me in my bed
                   in the house with grapevines and white shutters
         they stuff their hands down my throat
          they **** me from all sides
I spend the dream trying to scream
                and when I wake it is always sunny outside so I never feel
                 good about crying

Moms at the foot of my sadness
                              brush my hair braid it
                        we are in flower fields with magnets
             painted lilac and baby pink
                              im stomping around in the garden they hush me
                              we are born into these love traps
                     these delicate sentiments
                     tricked to think we are heiress to sloppy emotion
        but the women ring the rags
     pluck the tomatos off the plants
                        the men see ghosts and weep
                          into their coffee
                  weep on the shoulders of their women
         who lie on their backs in bed
                         wait for it to be over

It hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts
I don't like it I don't like this
Did you come? Yes I came
Yes it's all taken care of
Is that blood? Are you okay?
Sorry I forgot I'm on the last day
You sure? Yeah It was great
I want to go again
Ok Baby

The Women
                 taste different
                   feel safer
                              their histories and mine are reflective
          they know what it means to be taken
         but their hands
                       do not hurt enough
                        don't leave behind blisters
                        i begin to come into someone else
                 never satisfied enough
                  to settle
                  to build a home

          Men and their history of abusing women
          Me and my history of being abused
We'll never understand each other
We'll never love each other either

The Men have taken
                everything from my Women
                my Grandmother barren
                 my Mother so close to death
             I was born into the locked
             The history of Women who stayed
                   tender and delicate

I am tired of being taken
 Mar 2016 lizany
you gave me a list of everyone
you'd kissed, not arbitrarily--
I'd asked. The way you ask
where the bathroom is or
for a glass of water, but
you sent me a full directory
of names, a rolling file of
women I didn't know but
would rake through the
similarities and try to define
your tastes, blonde, blonde...

When I asked you how many
people you had slept with, I was
lying on the floor picking at the red
threads in my carpet while you rolled
your heavy palms into my shoulders.
you stilled for a moment, sliding down
to the base of my hips

I dunno...five? Or ten...
I laughed and you loosened.
Well, I mean...define sleeping with.

to me there are not many definitions for
one thing, there are synonyms for *** but
none of them you really need

Just four, then.

What happened to the other six? Were they only
kind-of-sort-of's? if you didn't really feel them, did they ever exist?
if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around hear it, did you really sleep with her?

Later on you would casually mention that you were worried that's how I really kissed as if a peck could dictate a whole eight years of
kissing--and I was kind of offended. But then there's that list, the list of
all the trees in the forest that fell and the six that went missing and i think about how I can count the number of people i've slept with on
my pointer finger and how perhaps that doesn't even apply, do you pump gas for twenty seconds before the girls at the counter start crying?

suddenly there are experiences that you
have stamped into your belt and none where i've pretended to be
full of lusts and talents and shortcomings
really I'm just a baby, a wisp of cotton
yellow, so yellow
and you're a full bag of burlap and wire
(c) Brooke Otto 2016

this poem is a mess but I don't feel like spending more than ten minutes on it.
 Sep 2015 lizany
Joshua Haines
 Sep 2015 lizany
Joshua Haines
We melt like aborted McDonald's ice,
on top of a blistering, gum-stamped lot,
under the sour heat of the Sun.

I'm boy wonder and you're, 'Boy, how is he alone?'

Olive-skinned cardigan, pearl pores.
Hair like ink and a jaw-line sharp enough to cut an umbilical cord.

Vintage Nikes come to a point,
the swoosh as red as the cherry at the end of your cigarette.

I watch you smoke and choke,
before calling phantoms over.
It begins like October:
The leaves fall, like your friends steps,
the bronze sweeps the air,
like the curls of their smiles,
the air is silent,
like your words as they condense and drop into the mouth of a tanned canyon.

What could they ever do to conquer you,
my dear, fantastic frenzy?
Ashland, Wisconsin

Also, special thanks to my girlfriend, for her blessing.
 Aug 2015 lizany
Joshua Haines
Well, we were the History club rejects,
focusing on the effects
of being us
instead of in a book.

Two college drop-outs,
calling in shout-outs
to our friends,
hoping that it affected
how we looked.

Our dads would sleep in,
and our moms were crying
until a quarter past noon --
and we knew
if we didn't start trying,
that would be us, soon.

We were the starving artists,
painting fruit we couldn't afford.
Hoping each brushstroke of an artichoke
would be fruitful to our wallet,
or at least strike a chord.

Two love-loss orphans,
dreaming of morphing
into something or someone else.
But they told us
to remove that fluff
from our head
and put it on the shelves.

We were the film club fanatics,
studying the dynamics
of how to be a pretend person.
We wanted to be
a Wes Anderson flick,
but we were never any thing
other than who we were
and that's what made us sick.

And I swear I miss the desperation:
I'm nostalgic for yesterday's conversations.
Special thanks to Noah Baumbach for the title and the line.
 Aug 2015 lizany
Joshua Haines
The sky looks like cigarette ashes in a puddle of milk,
and I, almost 22, am unsatisfied that I have not won a Pulitzer.

And I, on the borderline of delusion and confidence, am unsatisfied I am not crazy or cocky enough to submit to The New Yorker.

I hear the voices of the pastors,
telling me that God heals all.

They say 'He' is the only absolute.

The people raise their hands towards the water-stained ceiling,
as if He'll push his arms through the copper-colored scabs and save them.

Grabbing their wrists and cooing,
I am the remedy to the anxiety of death.

I am six foot one and French, Irish, Cherokee,
some sort of Anglo-Saxon,
and a lost **** in a drowning garden.

I think about all those who had to ****,
in order to make my cheekbones,
eyebrows, lips, and ****.

I think about how I'm good at *** and bad when it comes to forgiving too easily.

I wonder how I can sweat on another body,
but only feel naked when I have to be myself.

I watch the elderly chant words:
******, ******, ****, and Half-Breed.
I study if their dry lips reflect the hate in their eyes.

Not all are like this,
but I am surrounded by tables of them,
as I pretend to be Christian,
just to get ahead.

I don't speak,
just sit like an unfilled bubble,
waiting to be marked out by graphite.
I feel like a *******,
I wish I had a Pulitzer.

The sky looks like a stretched grape,
covered in kisses of ******.
And I, white American conformist,
am unsatisfied
that I have succumbed to the American Dream.

I wish I had a Pulitzer,
I wish I had my mom and dad.
Ashland, Wisconsin
 Aug 2015 lizany
ode to mike.
 Aug 2015 lizany
we have no mutual friends
but you pop up under suggested
users. I never look you up because
i never want to know and I never
remember your last name because
last names mean aquaintances and
i'm not sure we were even that.

but you're in that little rack, a black
and white photo, you and a pretty face
she must be fantastic, she must go down
on you on the first date, promise to put
it in her mouth
without even knowing
your mother's name, she must have
been swift at giving in, going under
submitting to your wrath hidden
under nice-mormon-boy-with-a-soccer-ball

or maybe those were just your standards then.
I'll admit to checking the social board and pretending I wanted
to be an English tutor, waiting for you to come out of Math 101,
a chance to talk tacked up with the rest of the pamphlets

And, I dunno, you seemed normal.

under the guise of study-buddy, math ****, in the name of grade A +,
we started with kisses and you made a beeline straight for calculus,
and I realized i didn't know how to say No. No. No.


No. No.

Mike pins my hands above my head and tries to unzip my jeans.
it's dawning on me that for the first time in my life I am not as
strong as I thought, but I play my weakness off like a champ.
Have you ever not wanted someone to touch you? You feel it
in your spine, in my spine, in your ribs, in my ribs, the sanctity
of a body barring the doors and cowering in the temple, little
girls scattering for the edges and becoming shadows, engravings
and hieroglyphics.

He never gets there. He kind of gets there. You have things you want to preserve and others you don't mind sacrificing in order to be loved
or maybe just


Prized for a quarter until Mike is absent the last three weeks of Math 101, supposedly sick with Pneumonia. You offer to bring him soup,
heating pads? Bribes, on bribes on company. But you're just a towelette, not even full-blown dish rag, not even sure why i'm trying
not even sure how to say no to

Suggested Users.
(c) Brooke Otto 2015

I've wanted to write about this since 2012.
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