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Riley Whelan Aug 2016
when i'm depressed
there's always the signifier.
the ****** thumbs,
the scabby lips,
the sleeping in late
or never sleeping in the first place.

"depressed" is
a heavy heart and
sick mind
a stinging thumb
and the taste of blood

is being torn in half
"you're fine"
and "you're not"
is empty eyes and
constricted throat
dried up vocal chords
dying to break free
but choking on themselves
when asked to explain
why they
sit alone
waiting,
listening,
to nothing and
everything.

is eyes that wander
to everything they can inhale
but whisper past
the one thing they long for
they're large and blue and
love to hurt

is twisting your
already twisted spine
to sleep on a rickety thing
you know will hurt but you do it anyway
because happiness needs
underlying shades of darkness*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is part of a larger, stream of consciousness thing I wrote, but I liked this section as a stand-alone.
Riley Whelan Apr 2016
When you're happy
you'll take all these precautions
so you won't be sad

You'll have all these
--things--     set up
so you can never "feel sad"
or you can "take care of yourself"

It's all well and good
until you get sad.

Because once you've healed
          (or  -ing)
you'll look around
and say
"golly gee, why didn't I do
ANY  of these things I have set up like stations at a science fair?  That surely would have helped!!1!"
(and yes, your naive mind deserves a middle school punctuation)

Well, when you're all                   
                                       sunshine
you fail to realize that
even though creativity should
help you escape your own prison of a skull,
when you're depressed
you just
don't want to be creative
You'd rather
waste away
than pick up a ******* pen.

You tried.
That's what counts, yeah?
I'm not very happy with my writing lately.
Riley Whelan Apr 2016
writing by moonlight is hard
so I enlisted my old friend
candlelight
hopefully I don't fall asleep
like this
this pencil is largely useless
but struggling is
half the fun

I DECIDED SLEEPING ON MY FUTON TONIGHT
WAS MY BEST IDEA
I SAW THE MOONLIGHT
STRETCHED ACROSS MY FLOOR
and couldn't resist a poetic opportunity

my words don't sound
pretty
nothing is
pretty
anymore--
are happy poems in
my vocabulary?

maybe I need to
stop giving a **** about future
and listen to now --
stop trying to fix myself
and just let myself be
for a while
The weird font formatting of this text is explainable: it's mainly italic because my handwriting is very slanty and usually half-cursive.  The all-caps section was literally where I switched to writing in all-caps in my notebook.  Then gave up.

Side note:  I started keeping a poetry notebook for on-the-go inspo!  That's where this is from; where I write little half-baked ideas, and if I want to continue drafting them, I will.  But I never had a place to write my dumb little poetic thoughts before, and now I do!
It's been real good so far (*^-^*)
Riley Whelan Apr 2016
I'm sick of going to bed at 2 am,
driven not by sleeplessness
but hunger
I listen to the same music
all the time
but I just can't
                     *******
                              stop

I've been living in
my sad skull
for too long
I need a sledgehammer;
please help me see
more than my thoughts again

I speak to you
because I think you're sweet
but after you go
I'm left with even
more  sour thoughts
than before

I'm sick of going to bed at 2 am
when I put myself down
to silence my mind
(one stanza) To Corey.
Riley Whelan Dec 2015
blood has been tasted on my lips
and there's coffee on my breath;
the bitter sweetness of love

                                                           ­       will you hold my sweaty palms?

and makeup on the pillow
beckons us back to bed

but I'd rather stay awake
scrawling the ghosts of my thoughts,
under soft glows of fairy lights--
held to cinder-block walls with clear tape

I may need your arms tonight;
help me sleep

                           but what makes tonight any different from another?

I could get along fine--
so long as you can go without
my peppermint lips
to kiss you awake
Riley Whelan May 2015
On days like these
I like to go outside and
puzzle.

The sky is blue and the breeze smells sweetly of things growing;
does anyone smell that?
Do only I smell the curiosity?

People say:
Heaven is up,
Hell is down.

BUT
if you go up as far as humanly possible,
into the atmosphere and through the hole in the ozone,
where did anyone find the pearly gates?
And if you go and dig for years,
will you ever find the fallen angel?
(Does he have bruises?, I wonder)

If we cannot physically find any of it,
who can say what it is;
looks like?

Why is Heaven up?
why not, to the left?
The right?

Are we talking in relation to Earth, or
The Milky Way?
The universe?
Just ours?
(Are there more?)

I cannot say any of this for sure.
What I can say for sure
is that grass tickles my face.

I can say that Earth is round,
clouds are beautiful,
and foxes are elusive.

On days like these
I always finish the puzzle.
Kind of.
This is not a biographical writing, but in a way, sure, it is.  Not my favorite, but I was asked to write a poem and this is what came out.
Riley Whelan Aug 2014
I saw a man on the
subway today
eating a cup of
vanilla ice cream
but it was no mundane sighting
this man looked worn
like he'd seen some ****
and been through it as well

this man
sitting across from me on the subway
was eating this cup of
vanilla ice cream
in such a way
that it made me think quite a bit
about life

this man
eating a cup of
vanilla ice cream
was eating it as though
it was the first thing he'd ever tasted;
he was eating it as though
it was the best ice cream he's ever had;
he was eating it as though
it was the last meal he'd ever eat;
all at once

this man
was eating this cup of
vanilla ice cream
in such a captivating way
I couldn't take my eyes off of him
he was careful about it
eating slow and steady
with each bite
he would close his eyes
and it almost looked like he smiled
as he tasted it
each and every time

a man
sitting across from me on the subway
eating a cup of
vanilla ice cream
when i get to his age I want to look
that peaceful
and that content
despite whatever **** I'll know

this man
eating a cup of
vanilla ice cream
made me think about life
and i believe it's so beautiful
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