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Kellin  May 2018
Metal bedframe
Kellin May 2018
So I'll let you bruise your knees on her bedframe
The way I did last Friday night
And after subtle thoughts and unpublished words
Will I still reach for her hand,
But with apathetic eyes and ebony hair,
She grows distant
I recede
I shouldn’t be drinking coffee.
I shouldn’t be reading the news.
It makes me anxious, and it’s not only the chemical interaction.
Somehow, I associate it with “adulthood”—reading the news,
Drinking coffee—I can’t tell you how many days of the last few
Years have been spent entirely in this fashion. The coffee
Growing cold and the news colder still. I don’t even taste the
black, fluid drops. I don’t hear the screams of people I read
about. I just want to hold on to something—so I raise the glass
to my lips. I can’t say

the shocking words when my mouth’s full; I can’t tell

about my experience, my privilege, when I’m drinking it.


The production of the commodity

creates a line from some equatorial region
to central America, and my mouth.
I think about the Autumn I worked in a corn-seed
sorting facility. What a short experience—
and yet,
something that weighs heavy on my imagination.
I was a temp worker.
I chose to work there out of shame and guilt for having
missed the deadline for college enrollment.
I could have done anything else; but there were people
there who wanted nothing more than a job. They needed
to be
there.
And I think of the people involved in producing coffee beans

in much the same way.
Removed
from the thing they’re making, as the raw materials are shipped
to places you pay workers more.
Why shouldn’t I swallow with difficulty when faced with the pro-
spect of a person supporting their entire family with the type
of work
I did
reflexively, as a choice?

Now I sit here, reading about North African riots,
a region, where coffee is produced—
ARABICA COFFEE— and I think about what’s sitting
in my cup, how I have
spent more money than they make in a day
to buy
one container

and sit here
for an afternoon
doing nothing but reading about their families’ misery.

I am a human parasite.

And like the bedbugs that have crawled meticulously
between my mattress and bedframe, hiding in a safe spot
until they can come out, undetected, and **** my potency.

I sit here, in the comfort of an apartment furnished
and paid for by my father who grows corn in a highly-
mechanized, agricultural society. I take more and more,
festering to the size of a blistering, red dot
blinking in the dark, in the form of the record light on
my voice recorder.
I expect so much more from myself, simply because of
this position of luxury.

But I don’t take time to think about my reaction to these
stories or how I am involved in them, in shaping their plots.
I’m even eating more now
as I’ve nearly lost my concern with avoiding certain super-
markets.
I smile at the greeters, make small talk with the cashiers
whom I am openly exploiting. But it’s ok, because
I worked for a month at a cornseed manufacturing
facility
and I read Marxist Ideology,
and I know about the Arab Spring
and I was against American intervention in Libya
and I disdain the air strikes from robotic planes
(unauthorized by congress)
and I disdain congress
and I support gay marriage
(I stopped eating chicken).
I don’t drive to the suburbs of my city.
I walk and ride my bicycle as much as I feel like.
I use public transportation at times.
I try to get to know women.
I practiced safe ***, once.
I write poetry.
I tell my mom I love her.
I bought my nieces birthday presents.
I’m not overly nice to people of different
ethnicities.
I voted for Obama.
I’m trying.
All these things make it seem less bad
to smile at the cashier.
But then I think about my black studies Professor
who used a walker to come to class
because she fell
and spelled the word Amendment “Admendment”
on the board when talking about Reconstruction.
I think about the war in Syria.
I think of people dying from cholera in Haiti, in 2012
A.D.
I think about fracking and oil spills and …
irrevocable damage to Indian reservations.
I think about football coaches molesting children
and people eating fried butter.
I read about people
upset
with a movie
who protest in the streets for days.

It makes me realize I shouldn’t smile at anyone.
I shouldn’t be drinking coffee.
I shouldn’t be reading the news.
Xander Duncan Jun 2014
One: Sleepy
When your spine takes cat-like curves into the recesses of blankets
And crickets and thunder and howling wind all sound like peace
And puzzle pieces fitting splendidly against each other
You’re sleepy when your eyelashes are weakly magnetized
And pull gently towards one another in soft but stuttered motions
When white noise and static fill your ears the way that water can sometimes fill a glass a little bit past the top without spilling
And you look forward to the lure of dreams or of dreamless nights
Because you know you’re sleepy when the only reason to be awake in the moment
Is so that you can appreciate the split second of falling
When you finally lose consciousness

Two: Bored
When you switch from counting ceiling tiles to counting the colors that you can find when you close your eyes with varying degrees of tension
And you’ve become so bored with distracting yourself that sleep seems like the only genuine option
Even if you’ve only just woken up
Even if you’re not feeling comforted by darkness and silence yet
Even if distractions are abundant
Because they just aren’t distracting enough
Sometimes boredom summons misery just to occupy your mind
And you’re bored when you remember you were supposed to be in bed an hour before
And you actually listen to yourself and go

Three: Drowsy
When you wish you had longer limbs just so you could properly drape them from the edges of your mattress and stretch at better angles
Suspecting that maybe the odd crooks in your bedframe are the crooks that have been thieving in bits of the night and stealing the ends of dreams and the beginnings of alarms
You’re drowsy when you can feel the burn of smoke sloping against the walls of your lungs
Even when you’ve been breathing clean air all day
And the dizzy spin of the room is more of a waltz that’s moving just a little bit slower than expected
Until you turn the music off

Four: Fed Up
When stress is snapping at your synapses and igniting fizzling fireworks at the back of your throat
But the forward corners of your eyes pull together to shut out the world
Because ignoring is a temporary retreat into forgetting
And permanence isn’t something you’re in the mood to believe in any way
You’re fed up with the world, and with existing
Or maybe just being awake
When you know there are better things that you could and should be doing
But shutting down is all you can manage right now

Five:  Faint
When the world appears not only blurry, but verging on translucent
And there’s a steady hum lacing the edges of reality
With sporadic jolts of memory forcing twitching sensations down your back
You’re feeling faint when you’re hopelessly holding onto consciousness
Because you’re a little bit afraid of falling
But you would never admit it
Because there are too many blank spaces in your vision to allow for any vagueness in your thoughts
But sometimes the body can’t keep up with the mind
And you collapse all the same

Six: Weary
When time seems to thicken and stick to your skin
Weighing down your movements like steel beads of sweat
And pressing palms to your eyes almost seems to drown out sound as well
You’re weary when the grass feels a few inches too long and the ground seems a few inches too close
And the ends of your limbs feel as though they have been reaching for something a little bit too far away
And you have only just given up
So you grab handfuls of the clothes you have on and pull them tighter against yourself
Forming an artificial blanket
And imitation slumber

Seven: Exhausted
When you can feel static buzzing through your veins
Stretching capillaries into threads to keep yourself sewn together
Knowing that consciousness could spill from the cracks in your skin all too easily if given the chance
And your eyelids hold together like the grand doors of a cathedral
Opening only with a struggle that everyone tries to make seem effortless
You’re exhausted when you’ve been writing this poem for days trying to find the words
To properly describe different degrees of fatigue
And you’re sure that you’ve probably recycled a metaphor or two but you don’t bother to double check
So you keep trudging along
Until nothing makes sense anymore
And the seams that encase your consciousness begin to strain
And snap

Eight: Hyperactive
When despite all reason dictating that you should be experiencing the drag of being awake for too long
You see clearly and think in double time
With energy flickering behind your irises
Foreshadowing the dread of sunrise
You’re hyperactive when you’re knitting your voice with your friends’ voices in a collage of laughs
Each indistinguishable from the last
And you start counting the stars with flashlights until
Like sugar and smiles
And fast cars on icy roads
You inevitably
Crash

Nine: Emotionally Drained
When you’re worn to the point that mental distress manifests itself physically
And you can feel the chains of your own thoughts around your wrists
Almost wishing they were tighter so there would at least be proof of their damage
You’re emotionally drained when you can scream without making any sound
And you've perfected the syncopated rhythm of a nervous twitch
You realize that you've been grinding your teeth for the last two hours
So you switch to biting your tongue
And you don’t rest
You don’t rest until there are tears mimicking a Jackson ******* on your pillowcase
You don’t rest until the clock is judging you for testing it
You don’t rest until you feel empty
You cannot rest when you feel empty
No matter how desperately you wish you could just fade
And drift away
You do not
Rest

Ten: Tired
Just…tired
This is about twice as long as it can be for a poetry slam, so I need to cut out almost half, but at least I can post the full version here
Vidya  Sep 2012
mizzenmast
Vidya Sep 2012
when I see us its at the white-sand beaches
the scent of turmeric in our hair and
wild quicksilver kisses—
why does salt turn up in your
sweat when inches away from you it laps at your feet miles
away crashes against the
cliffs of dover

does the sea rush through your
veins through your eyes is that why our
seagull cries scatter to the
muriatic air the buoy of the
bedframe bobbing against the wall my hips anchored to
yours should I learn how to
sail
Sam Hawkins  May 2015
Simple
Sam Hawkins May 2015
I awoke this morning with all my
nanoseconds whizzing by—

spiraling, they broke for their exits,
they disarrayed my sky.

Each now and now and now
seemed a face, flash color,

many worlds. I could not sense
their place of start or stopping.

Morning sun peeped blue curtains.
I tried my usual breath, felt
heartbeat, wiggled foot.

My dog, he stretched
and bumped my bedframe
with his chest.

Against my fear I placed and pushed
messages of gratitude.

I thanked all things changing
and all of changing time.

Rather than elsewhere, I was here.

Instead of dead--
alive.
Jon Tobias Apr 2012
She said
When you're done slaying dragons
and fighting for thrones
will you come back and stay for a while?

But there are not enough puddles
Not enough dirt

He is the king of the living room
when the carpet is lava

Don't come out of the kitchen
The carpet is lava mommy

She says okay
and watches as he jumps from couch cushion to chair to tile
to save her

There will never be a man in her life who can save her like he can
No man who knows the exact distance from doorframe to bedframe
so the hands underneath will not get them
if they jump right

No one's ever thought to save her
From the things she cannot see

I wish I were old enough to use a saw

He is stomping a tin trashcan lid flat
Cuts kite string with his teeth

Discovery says its duck season
If I have armored wings
and get hit by a shotgun
I'll still be able to fly home

I wish I were a shark
I wish I were the wind
I wish I was a lost boy but didn't have to be lost
Can I be a boy forever
and still get homesick?

If peter pan came and offered to whisk him away to neverland
The hardest thing would be for her to let him go

Maybe he can be a boy like ten more years
she thinks

With fistfulls of crayons
and constant pleads for one more of everything

Just one more night as a boy
Just one more day as a dragon
Just one more day as a bird with steel wings
One more day as the wind

But she knows he'll be a man
And he'll visit
and call
talk about
The damsel in distress he met in college
When he saved her at a party
How she spent the whole night laying on his chest
While sleeping on the grass
And for some reason
The cold biting air smelled like home

She knows mothers raise the best men
Because they know what they want in a man

It's not always okay to be your father's son

She says,
When you're done with dragons
and steel winged flights
and being emperor of the living room

Be honest
Women love men who are honest
Smile about everything
Smiling is attractive
and sometimes it's all you need to make yourself feel good

Call me now and then
Or I'll call you every five minutes

Now go
*The wind is calling you home
First line donated by Allie Gregg
Amanda Kay Burke May 2018
Spanking and biting
Tying me to the bedframe
You make pain pleasure
Sorry if this makes anyone uncomfortable haha
Joseph Valle Aug 2012
With frosty breath and empty-shell shoes,
I await the steady driver who returns for me,
to hurdle our car down cliff into sea
with cracked headlights and bowtie come undone,
what more could Night or Water honestly have won?

Moon painted gleam masterfully upon my eye
from falling trees and ivy-shined leaves,
whispered in their ears from knoll-bound knaves,
"The sun gone over, never to return for you."
They watch for pleasure, sent-to-ground from dew.

I ramble on and on along rocky coast line
over iron guard rails with trusty companion,
head-tilt weighed a stone above water,
gone plunging in toward black surface below,
face-first and tongue-tied with heart so hollow.

Up, up, awake. All but a dream.
Soaked tie above bedframe,
slept in mustard blood sheets.
Hana-Grace Wiebe Jul 2012
Leave, left, leaving
I never felt the grass weaving
I never felt my skin peeling
off my shoulders and into my hands

Bent, break, breaking
I never left my hands shaking
I never held my throat, aching
down my spine and into the bedframe

Held, hold, healing
I never kept my knees kneeling
I never felt my mouth bleeding
off my chin and onto my chest

Heal, hell, heaving
I never slipped my hands, thieving
I never caught my feet leaving
off the grass and into the street
wraiths Aug 2015
i'm lonely & vulnerable to you
& im just praying you're true.

call me beautiful & kiss my neck
& i'll be yours till the very end,
but the second you go back on your word,
i'll ask you to kindly choke me to death.

your breath tickles my collarbones
& i wonder if you notch your victims' names into your bedpost
before slipping under the sheets with them.
all i can think about is how that'd explain the switchblade on your bedside table,
but if it means i'll be yours for a night
then so be it.

your name will forever be etched in my brain
and mine'll be in your wooden bedframe.
at least i'll leave a shadow.

tell me i'm a blessing & graze my hipbones.
i'll give you a scar of your own
between your ribcage & heart,
full of bleeding ink & sincerity
have the doctor stitch you right up
so my words won't stop haunting the both of us
please let me know which version you like more x
envydean Sep 2015
He’s screaming your name
In the middle of the night
You run down the hall
Ready for a fight

Your gun is drawn
And you crash through the door
Your bare feet are cold
On the old hard oak floor

He’s tumbling and turning
And can’t keep still
The nightmares plaguing him
Of those he’s had to ****

He’s tangling himself within the sheets
So you step forward, put your gun away
Your expression drops, just like your guard
Just for a moment you watch and stay

After a while
The nightmare seems to settle
You return to your room
Legs resting against the bedframe’s cold metal
Based on a scene in Supernatural Season 10, written in Sam's perspective :)

— The End —