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matt bates Apr 2015
I used to think lying down was therapeutic.
Well, I still do,
It's just that I recognize how comforting
Standing on my own can be
Looking above the ***** of dust
That litter the ***** tile underneath the bookcase
Allows an entirely new point of view
And ability to notice the picture frames
With pictures that hold so much action
In squares that don't move.
Before, those pictures were only to be seen
When a strong breeze came through the window
And knocked them onto the ground
But now, from this perspective
There's really no way to know
Whether the picture is hard to see because of the cracks after it fell
Or from you fading from my memories so much that even pictures are unfamiliar.
It's almost as if instead of a photo collection,
My newfound view has allowed me to stumble into a library,
One I created myself, but filled with stories of somebody else,
And just like the layer of dust that has made itself at home atop the glass screen of the frames
I have to blow on each separate page as I turn through
This vaguely familiar story
With characters I kind of recognize
And places I feel like I've been
And as I go deeper and deeper into the library
I begin to realize how many short stories are buried deep in the back corners
In comparison to the couple of epic poems that still lie wide open in the front
As if I had just finished reading them
Whether I meant to or not.
And with each row of books I find myself immersed in
I become more and more interested
and even though they're cloudy, the pictures my mind creates from the stories
Become more and more vivid inside my head
Almost jumping off the page
With characters so real I could imagine myself there
Which made a desire start to form rapidly and intensely inside of me
To write another book
Because when I look at the author of each of these books
Even their name sounds like a sound I've heard before
Something I've heard my whole life
And it makes me want to be like them
And create books like these myself
So while my conscious mind gently lets my body wipe the dust off these old photos
And finally put them away for good
My subconscious being lets me close down this library for good
And the two finally meet together at the coffee shop down the street from my house
And at the park across town
And at the local restaurant with friends who look like they might have been the ones in the pictures long ago
Who've already written dozens of trilogies since
And who invite me to become a character in theirs
And finally, I feel like there's a fresh new bookcase, and a empty camera roll that need to be filled
So the next chapter is finally here
And I'm excited to turn these pages for once.
matt bates Aug 2014
i love the idea of footprints
in the sense of people floating into your life
and whether or not
their presence is fleeting
or something much more permanent
whatever sidewalk that they step over
to reach you
will forever be stained
or intricately designed
depending on how you look at it
i love the idea of footprints
because each day
is a new blank sheet,
much like a fresh layer of snow,
it's flakes falling away constantly
like each minute that goes by
slowly but steadily getting closer and closer
to recreating the spotless canvas it once was,
and while these seconds turn to hours
and these snowflakes turn to avalanches,
each indent and blemish
in our personal blizzards
gets covered up by the opportunity
for new footsteps to be taken
and new memories to be hidden and protected
underneath the frozen tundra
of each of our minds
i love the idea of footprints
because they track
each foot that we travel
as we discover new sections
of the map
inside of our own minds
and as our fingers
are busying themselves
drawing out and discovering more areas
our feet are left alone to leave their mark
in the cracks beneath the sidewalk
while our fingers tighten their grip
in the gaps between each others'
i love the idea of footprints
because even if
i don't know where to go anymore
i'll just turn around and follow
my own path back to yours
matt bates Jun 2014
a slight, yet deep hiss
that permeates the intangible
silence of night,
a kindling not roaring, but whispering
stories and memories
exaggerated to seem
bigger than they actually are
in comparison to the world
and the ocean of discovery around them.
it provides a sort of comfort,
a security blanket
within the vast darkness
of not just the sky,
but of the future as well
serving as a sort of buffer
between the excitement of not knowing
and the fear of the same
for at that moment,
that fire, burning with anticipation
is identical to the fire
in the eyes of the young hopes and minds
watching it spark
and reveal in their hearts
things they never thought they'd see
the possibilities that they never imagined
shown to them in a white hot blaze
as clear as if they could read a crystal ball,
delicate and porcelain in their hands
they watch as the night goes on
and while the fire remains steady,
their thoughts do not,
and they begin to worry,
not just for the fire itself
but for the ones it is affecting
and providing warmth to,
for they don't want to imagine
an existence without that fire there
because a life without warmth
is one of very cold hearts
and very cold hands
wishing that they had that fire
to make them feel safe again;
but tired thoughts
filled with chilled air to fuel them
are not thoughts to be taken seriously
for they are merely the world
attempting to put out your happiness
and chill the heart
of all hopes that it has
when in reality
that fire,
that glorious, triumphant fire
will rage on
for the rest of your days
and some time after,
because other people
will have seen and come to this very fire
for what they needed to remain as they are
to see that with the right care,
a fire so perfectly synergized will never burn out
not as long as everyone being warmed by it
shall live, at least
and that's because we put our hearts into this fire, so when we die
we will burn out together, leaving the world as you and i
matt bates Apr 2014
spirits are very well
known for being
but not the type of spirits
that have alcohol,
the type of spirits
that haunt the minds
of so many,
keeping them awake at night,
searching through the darkness
of their pitch black bedroom,
while simultaneously
searching through the darkness
of their pitch black mind;
they try to convince themselves
that the voices
are all in their head
that they're nothing more
than the darkness parts
of the imagination
but eventually,
even the most hushed voices
are heard by some
and these ghosts are released
quick, effortlessly flowing
into the land of the living
through a ball-point pen
or through anxious fingers
typing away at a screen,
creating a colorless
type of canvas;
however, having it in black and white,
and plainly stating facts
gets dull and listless
even for a life as repetitive
as the spirits
who are enjoying their escape
into the world of the free spirits,
the unshackled thoughts
let out to roam wild with one another
intermingling with others
as they gradually coagulate themselves
to form beautiful words
and stunning phrases,
washing over their individual mediums
with an ocean-like grace,
slowly but steadily
moving down the page
like the most synchronized tide,
gradually creating something bigger
and more spectacular
than any of them could do alone;
and once their prison guard
releases every last drop
of ink onto the page,
and every last keystroke into the document
on the dimly lit screen,
they can finally rest easily,
with the ghosts doing the same,
both holding a lot more love
in their hearts
and in their spirits
for, that constant tide
created a body with more depth
than any sea of blue
we have created the beauty
that's only described by you
matt bates Dec 2013
feel the
warm, drowsy
lackadaisically running trails
down your every corner
as their eyes
attempt to catch up
to the tired,
deceivingly excited hands
exploring every inch of you
trying to discover
what's hidden inside you,
the magic of the being
you pack away behind
predictable masks
and colorful spectacles
in an attempt
to distract
or take away from
what you worry
may not be enough,
may not be what
they wanted;
so you shove
forced color schemes
to safeguard yourself
from anyone considering,
let alone caring
to unravel
the contents
of the windowless box
you call a body;
so you sit still,
as the people around you
allow themselves
to be found,
though none of them felt lost,
and as you resign yourself,
resting in
the bittersweet feeling
of knowing that
nobody had the opportunity
to run their fingers
down your outside,
and slowly,
realize what hides
under all of those
eye-catching aesthetics,
yet secretly wishing
that somebody would pick you up,
out from behind the crowd,
to try and see
what lies within you;
and dear,
something that may
bring upon
a smile,
is that I do
want to have you
open up
just for me;
because, even if
I have nothing else
under the tree
just know
that your presence
is the only gift
that I need
matt bates Dec 2013

your fingers;
so delicate
and fragile;
cool to the touch
as i allow
my fingertips
to trail down
the surface
of your smooth skin;
almost like porcelain
to the touch,
you calmed me,
just being in the same vicinity as you
made me suddenly feel
overcome with a sense
of serenity,
of peace
and because of this,
i couldn't get enough of you;
i had never in my life
seen anything i regarded
as remotely close to
as beautiful as you were,
causing me to place you
on the highest of pedestals,
an insurmountable target
with which i used
to compare
every other person;
and none of them did;
the way
you complemented a room
made me have to compliment you
for i have not once
come across something
so pure,
an untainted piece of art
that i fear
will leave my life
sooner than i'd like,
by a stroke
of awful luck,
you'd been dropped
many a time
by undeserving people
that didn't recognize
the priceless masterpiece
they once had
to call their own,
leaving you
to pick up the shattered pieces of yourself
and put them all back together
and while there are scars,
permanent indents and grooves
endlessly reminiscing previous pain,
i am not deterred in my quest
to show the whole world
what a magnificent specimen you are.
and because of this,
i vow to cradle you,
to protect you,
and to love you;
and i'll hope, every week,
that you like the flowers
i got for you to hold
(they glimmer well
with the hint of your eyes)
when the light
from the early morning sun
illuminates every corner
of those daisies,
and more importantly,
the beautiful vaselike angel
caressing them
as if she's the only thing
keeping them from
the rest of the world;
the parts of reality
that don't notice,
that don't realize
the significance
and the simple beauty
inside of both of them;
which is why, darling
i understand
with your broken past
you fear falling apart
but i promise
to keep you safe
after all,
you're my work of heart.
matt bates Nov 2013
What an interesting path;
Miles have been traveled,
Endless, perpetual miles
That start to blend together
As I run out of fingers
To count them on
And a mixture
Of fatigue and apathy sets in;
But mostly the latter,
Causing me to drift
Along society,
All the while,
Just barely keeping my head
Above the surface
Floating right above the current events
Waves of ideas
And storms of thought
As they race by,
Just rolling off my back
Like a duck
All because I'm much too self-absorbed
With what I contain
Which is, in my opinion, at least
Ideas much transcendent
Of the flighty, darting fish below me
That never stick around long enough
To see the light of day
Yet somehow,
Those infinitesimal entities
Have so much more
Than I do.
Even though they may not
Rise to the surface
They certainly
Have more depth,
And in this ocean
Of our minds,
Their fish get to explore,
To discover
The great expanse of imagination
That we ourselves
Hold inside us
While I float along the top
Just barely skimming the surface
Of what there actually
Is to find
So if you ever feel like you're drowning
When your mind stays deep under the sea
Know that it's better than keeping your message bottled
For nobody to see
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