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  Jan 2019 Atlas Lee Hines
Coop Lee
.                     this is an ode to moody summers; to beautiful girls who paint our lives and cruise the streets thumping sound from their cars; colors transfigured upon pattern-diffused lifescapes and brushed off; to fabricated memories of retro teen hackers and their stylish computer labs buried deep within the garages of time; to television boardroom execs gnarling their teeth like new world warlords or shepherds of glamorous violence; & plastic; to new life; new life experienced most vividly through microsoft encyclo- tropics, and tasty lazers. hefty love we heave.

for love,
configure this:
                           you sweet my urge /
                           you float my pulse unending /
                           you you you
                                                  inspire /
                                                                ­   so simply.
                           you are as they say /
                                                                ­   the substance of life.

in the hopelessness of our moments is an energy like none-other.
           could say it rules me…                          …like the moon rules deep.
                                                           ­                      like the way we move/speak/****/

our molecular this,

                                   & found
                                      beyond far away waters,
                                      beyond folded trees
& elephant burial grounds.
earth hewn is the extract of earth grown. skin husked
or the liquid mint of mind.
                                            [alleged consciousness]

         life proceeds into a stunning mandala of moments.
acts of love      &
acts of death.
smoldering bodies
                        &              cradled belly.

              [beautiful is just one word.]
              [one word.]

for life,
configure this:
      savor this,
                this beautiful thing that is, this elusive thing that is,
us gusting.

owls know.
owls somewhere in the backyard.
         they tell us of our kaleidoscope colors.
         show us, of our sons & fathers & mothers.
         inform us of our mysteries.
our plots beyond white fencies/subdivisions.
sundays & sunrays & somedays we’ll glisten.

by beer.
by shelter.
by daughter most precious. long walk.
                         a father watches his baby crawl into a patch of pumpkins.
                         pink little baby hands
                         and the orange gourde field of fruit.

                                           a young man dreams this.
                                           thinks this.

journey far you way-far-man.
importune to that force from within and pursue humanity’s best shapes of goodness.
me & you & everyone we know.
forever persistent in the etchings we make.

we are illusion movements.
librettos far flung from what love might want to be.
                      [the universe heaves in the corner.]
                      [it throttles on the edge and beyond.]
                      [begging for starry dynamos to impact.]
                      [and blossom.]

by mere pinging, ponging, bonging.
vibrations and hurled bits.
girl beside me.
girl who speaks in verse and words and thoughts nothing short of realization.
she harpoons the meat of inner-me.
& from then on in
& into the tones of our children,
i brunt nothing but to want her poetry.
  Mar 2018 Atlas Lee Hines
the transparency of
running water
over stone
is too much
for me to bear

i dropped my identity
into the water
and let it become
a stone

and as the mud
and ash and dirt
washed away

i saw far too clearly
what i had neglected
and the cracks
in sincerity

and i bound
my heart
and ribs
and tongue
in a tight pair of pantyhose

but it stopped my breath
and made me ache
in a way
i never knew
was possible

when i
got my breath back
i cried
with the realization
i should have never
started again
if i wanted
to be perfect

so i stepped
on the wildflowers
of renewal,
buttoned up my collar,
and slept in the rain
~i'm ready for the rain
  Mar 2018 Atlas Lee Hines
I needed safe schools because my parents did not have the education to teach me what my feelings about myself were.
I needed safe schools because I did not have the education to know about myself.
I needed safe schools because I was educated that liking people of the same *** was a sin.
I needed safe schools because I was taught that I was wrong to feel the way I felt about myself.
I needed safe schools because my peers do not know how to talk respectfully to a trans person.
I needed safe schools because I had no refuge from the judgement of others.
I needed safe schools because I didn't know that transitioning was a possibility.
I needed safe schools because I felt I had to suffer in silence, believing I was the only person who felt like I did.
I needed safe schools because education is key to a functioning society.
I needed safe schools because it is a chance to better the future.
  Mar 2018 Atlas Lee Hines
Steven Muir
You bleed in places boys are never meant to bleed;
You want to make yourself bleed in more places because of it.

There will be places on your body that are no longer for touching.
They mean nothing to you, but the nerve-endings interaction with another hand will let you know they’re real.
They cannot be real.

You will hear love songs, and you will want to rip your own lungs out in your fist.
They give you enough trouble anyways.

You never do rip your lungs out.
You cannot fit your fingers down your throat, and your ribs are too strong for your too small hands to break.
You cough when it’s cold out and laughing has hurt for months.

You tell people that you reach out to them when you need to.
You reach out to them on good days.
You do not tell them that the days on which you cannot even form the words to ask for their help are they days you need it, and you do not expect them to know this.

You talk about escaping like it’s going to fix things.
You think about escaping as though it means ripping open your skin and walking away from it.

You think about what is wrong with you and you conclude you are unlovable.
The statement is not untrue.
You will hold up your own broken bones as proof.

You sit in the bath for three hours and you look at yourself and you look at the ceiling.
You do not punch the walls anymore; it was loud and someone asked about the slamming.

You put your own hands around your neck for hours but you never tighten them.
You do not want to be disappointed in their lack of strength.

There will be fingernail marks across your chest for a few days.
You will not see them, no one will see them.
No one wants to see that, and you cannot bear to look.
  Mar 2018 Atlas Lee Hines
Zach Hanlon
Dysphoria is like having to *****.
You're sitting there, weak and trembling;
every movement becomes twisted into a bout of nausea.
You're pale and helpless; held captive by your sickness

Every fiber of your body aches to oust the illness
A vile purgation, stinging and hot against your throat
Waves and waves of sickness pouring out of your body
Until finally, feeble and wavering, you stand.

And the color begins to come back to your face.
A relief of all the gross and disgusting feelings
Allowing you to lay down again and rest
Without your head swimming with blight.

But that is not dysphoria.
There is no purge
There is no relief.
You are hit again and again with this nausea

No hope for an end
With every breath, your stomach churns
With every movement, your body shakes
Your eyes are closed and you bite your lip;
Any action can only serve to entice the disease.

No medication could ever relieve such a force
Of this malady, this fever, this ailment.
Nothing can calm the tides of dysphoria.
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