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Melanie Cruz  Jun 2015
grace
Melanie Cruz Jun 2015
There was once a girl who had her peers’ approval: skin like silk and her eyes could be compared to a freshly polished wooden floor, her laugh could light up a whole town - the hearts of the broken. This girl’s heart was said to be golden – the kind of gold used to build the streets of Heaven, the kind the kings yearned for; delicate and sweet too, that heart of gold. The way this angel walked wasn’t **** nor was it seducing; the way this Mona Lisa walked: dumbfounding. The way this Mona Lisa walked: beautiful. The way this Mona Lisa walked: full of grace. Grace. She spoke of this word: grace. Grace to this girl was more than just a word, it was a lifestyle. She spoke of the grace of God and God’s grace descending upon His children. This wonderful girl – who spoke of God’s grace – had her peers’ approval, yet not her family’s. This dumbfounding girl, who did not have her family’s approval, started giving up on the grace of God. This girl whose laugh could bring life to the dead souls couldn’t find life in her own, couldn’t light up her own heart not made of gold, but of cheap metal, and it was rusting faster than God’s grace could find her. This graceless girl got tired of waiting for God’s grace to arrive. This graceless girl was yearning for the same gold the kings did. This graceless girl wanted to turn her heart to gold. This graceless girl wanted to touch the golden streets of Heaven. This graceless girl wanted to be one of “His children”. This graceless girl wanted to find the grace of God on her own terms.
Twenty four hours later.
There was once a girl who had her peers’ handkerchiefs and flowers. Her skin of silk was almost colder than her family’s hearts, not made of gold nor metal, but of ice. They would not go to her wedding (if she had one, they said).
She didn’t.
Instead, this girl who had her peers’ flowers in respect laid there exactly like a carcass: dead.
Abhra Paul Jan 2018
Stuck in just another graceless night,
The darkness has never been so bright,
Falling down from an immeasurable height,
Afraid of the fall or the flight?

There is but a dark road forward,
With not many bright souls to light the journey onward,
Standing there in silences awkward,
Cowering beneath the shadows like cowards,
Afraid of all the demons and the horrors.

Just another graceless night,
Desperate for some foresight,
Stuck in this all consuming fight,
Forgetting we are our own dark, we are own light.
she's young, she said,
but look at me,
I have pretty ankles,
and look at my wrists, I have pretty
wrists
o my god,
I thought it was all working,
and now it's her again,
every time she phones you go crazy,
you told me it was over
you told me it was finished,
listen, I've lived long enough to become a
good woman,
why do you need a bad woman?
you need to be tortured, don't you?
you think life is rotten if somebody treats you
rotten it all fits,
doesn't it?
tell me, is that it? do you want to be treated like a
*******?
and my son, my son was going to meet you.
I told my son
and I dropped all my lovers.
I stood up in a cafe and screamed
I'M IN LOVE,
and now you've made a fool of me. . .
I'm sorry, I said, I'm really sorry.
hold me, she said, will you please hold me?
I've never been in one of these things before, I said,
these triangles. . .
she got up and lit a cigarette, she was trembling all
over.she paced up and down,wild and crazy.she had
a small body.her arms were thin,very thin and when
she screamed and started beating me I held her
wrists and then I got it through the eyes:hatred,
centuries deep and true.I was wrong and graceless and
sick.all the things I had learned had been wasted.
there was no creature living as foul as I
and all my poems were
false.
Cné  Aug 2017
the fall
Cné Aug 2017
when i fall,
i don't just fall in love.
clumsily, i stumble
down and then i land

awkwardly and graceless,
stuttering utterly at the foot
of a handsome man,

blundering an apology
out of breath, ineptly
embarrassed about
my shaky hands,

clambering
to dust myself off,
all the while, i try,
desperately, to stand

wishing i could disappear,
i rise as quickly as i can
waving off any helping hand

so he doesn't see
how incredibly stupid
i must be
Doh
“Graceless Ravens Envy You,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Revel in apostasy.
You are the black dove, hovering
High in an inklike arc.

Blacker, even, than
coal-colored wolves in onyx lines seeking
quarry at starless midnight.

More ebon, even, than
narrow sable blacksnakes staying
cravenly in shade at noon.

Darker, even, than
murders of crows, newly legion at Autumn, amassing
among saw-wing martins at dusk.

You’re blacker, even, then the rooks.
Graceless ravens envy you.

Remember your rebirth?
The sun rose,
Your birdsong changed and then
the questions flew from your beak
faster even than the wrens?
Faster than you could fly?
For a moment, they rendered
all the world obsidian.

Remember your feathers burning?
Sunlight striking your wings and then
all the slow alabaster there
singing, quickening into
aerodynamic black?
Remember the flock’s suspicion?

Remember your siblings, the nest?
Remember when
all their pearl heads turned
their backlit crowns in morning sun
ringed so thinly in shining ivory?

Their song was interrupted,
Yours was made a query —
empiricism’s aria.
Flustered, they fluttered
at all the low notes.
There were all immaculate;
you were the color of night.

Now you arc alone —
soar and sin and sing,
unrepentant one.

Somewhere an ordinary dog,
awakening from shadow,
howls at the sun.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2015
Hands  Feb 2010
Athena, Graceless
Hands Feb 2010
I cower in your shadow,
shivering despite any acuity of my own.

(your words are like loaded icicles,
beretta rounds fired through my false logic
and fake religion;
it scares me.)

The truth is I'm not fearless,
I'm pale and lily-livered and only so heathen as the other stars.

(maybe it's good you're in college,
it's closer than you were growing up.
when we were young,
you were short yet rough.
I was the younger,
and, my shepherd, you were faithful;
I only got lost 8 times.)

I don't think I ever really knew you
in any possible perception.

(I know I knew the talk of you,
the hustle and bustle at home and abroad
of your mighty intellect,
your crushing wit,
your driving polities
a war machine and
your gleaming smile
its patron god.)

How could I ever compare, though,
to the goddess of mind and body, brains and war?

(the truth is I am but a defiant priest,
crooked nose and
ashy eyes.
I think the reason,
even today,
for all my insecurities was due to you.)

Appeasement was a method used by the vain and weak
to protect against the humble yet brilliant.

(I feel your ******* take me over,
I feel it acid-wash into my skin,
de-porous my bones
and my imagination structure.
I feel it sink me up to the top,
drowning me in your air,
in your sky and your perfect chemistry.
your burning gold catches me,
smothers me in hands too big
for such a small person.)

How is it you are so tall
when you come up to my chin?
Why is it that I shiver and shake at your light foot falls?
Answer to the shadows
and my cowering will not respond.
de-capitalized the first letters of the lines in the parentheses, de-capitalized outside parentheses as well.

this seems so long ago.
Perhaps you never deserved me;
My forgiveness
Or adoration
Or Trust.
But I will always forgive you
Adore you, trust you;
For love is not
a graceless thing
I loved and love you still
So long as I have grace
Love you, I will.
amrutha  Jul 2015
Graceless
amrutha Jul 2015
Don't you see?
Beyond this working and moving
a star trembles in the dark
You speak to me
and all I seem to see
is the grace with which your voice
mixes with the breeze.
Measurement I do not understand
Dimension I am
Language suffocates me
I am the air that chokes my throat.


Nothing is as graceless as a poet.
Sarah Michelle Oct 2016
Graceless
You are graceless
She is wingless, like you
Only yours were honorary
Yours she gave to you, so generous
Hers you tore from her
Shoulder blades,
Pulled a feather from every pore
A petal every time
You asked whether or not
She had been in love with you

She was
And she wishes
You were missing the same pieces
That were taken from her
But at the same time
She couldn't hurt a fly
Not on purpose
Nor without consideration
Nor without consequence



Because she knows better than to do what you did.

You cut her
Yet your own blood
Doesn't run with guilt.

You're Graceless
Selfish

Yet not as Graceless
As the young woman
Whom you laid on a metal slab,
Dissected,
And sewed back together
With romantic detachment

You claimed her,
You cut her,
You maimed her,

Don't trivialize her anger
She deserves to feel something again
Let her fly,
Let her fly
*******,

She doesn't  want her family to watch her die
Stick with me, friend.
I’d like to make a distinction:
I revere writers but do not deify them.
My heroes and role models must be grounded,
Must have so-called feet of clay.
And there’s always something more in my craw,
Whenever I see scribblers carved in marble,
Glorified to the point of divinity and magic.
Because in my heart of hearts,
Reverence for writers,
Is an odyssey of disillusionment and

I fancy myself a man of letters,
Although “Humanoid of Keystrokes,”
Might be more apt; an appellation,
Digitally au courant.
I am a man on verbal fire,
Perhaps, I am of a Lost Generation myself.
And don’t you dare tell me to sit down, to calm down.
You stand up when you tell a story.
Even Hemingway--even when he was sitting down--knew that.
Let us go then you and I.
Moving our moveable feast to Paris,
To France, European Union, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
(Stick with me, Babaloo!)
Why not join Papa at a tiny table at Les Deux Magots,
Savoring the portugaises,
Working off the buzz of a good Pouilly-Fuisse
At 10:30 in the morning.
The writing: going fast and well.

Why not join that pompous windbag ******* artist?
As he tries to convince Ava Gardner,
That writers tienen cajones grandes, tambien—
Have big ***** too—just like Bullfighters,
Living their lives all the way up.
That writing requires a torero’s finesse and fearlessness.
That to be a writer is to be a real man.
A GOD MAN!
Papa is self-important at being Ernest,
(**** me: some lines cannot be resisted.)
Ava’s **** is on fire.
She can just make him out,
Can just picture him through her libidinous haze,
Leaping the corrida wall,
Setting her up for photos ops with Luis Miguel Dominguín,
And Antonio Ordóñez, his brother-in-law rival,
During that most dangerous summer of 1959.
Or, her chance to set up a *******,
With Manolete and El Cordobés,
While a really *******,
Completely defeated & destroyed 2,000-pound bull,
Bleeds out on the arena sand.

Although I revere writers,
I refuse to deify them.
A famous writer must be brought down to earth--
Forcibly if necessary--
Chained to a rock in the Caucasus,
Their liver noshed on by an eagle.
In short: the abject humiliation of mortality.
Punished, ridiculed and laughed at.
Laughing himself silly,
******* on one’s self-indulgent, egocentric universe.
If not, what hope do any of us have?

Writing for Ernie may have been a divine gift,
His daily spiritual communion and routine,
A mere sacramental taking of dictation from God,
But for most of us writing is just ******* self-torture.
The Hemingway Hero:
Whatever happened to him on the Italian-Austrian front in 1918
May have been painful but was hardly heroic.
The ******* was an ambulance driver for Christ’s sake.
Distributing chocolate and cigarettes to Italian soldiers,
In the trenches behind the front lines,
A far cry from actual combat.
Besides, he was only on the job for two weeks,
Before he ****** up somehow,
Driving his meat-wagon over a live artillery shell.
That BB-sized shrapnel in his legs,
Turned out to be his million-dollar wound,
A gift that kept on giving,
Putting him in line for a fortunate series of biographic details, to wit:
Time at an Italian convalescent hospital in Milano,
Staffed by ***** English nurses,
Who liked to give the teenage soldiers slurpy BJs,
Delirious ******* in the middle of the night,
Sent to Paris as a Toronto Star reporter,
******* up to that big **** Gertrude Stein,
Sweet-talking Sylvia Beach,
At Shakespeare & Company bookstore,
Hitting her up for small loans,
Manipulating and conning Scott Fitzgerald—
The Hark the Herald Jazz Age Angel—
Exploiting F. Scott’s contacts at Scribners,
To get The Sun Also Rises published.
Fitzgerald acted as his literary agent and advocate,
Even performing some crucial editing on the manuscript.
Hemingway got payback for this friendship years later,
By telling the world in A Moveable Feast,
That Zelda convinced Scott he had a small ****--
Yeah, all of it stems from those bumps & bruises,
Scrapes & scratches he got near Schio,
Along the Piave River on July 8, 1918.
Slap on an Italian Silver Medal of Valor—
An ostentatious decoration of dubious Napoleonic lineage—
40,000 of which were liberally dispensed during WWI—
And Ernie was on his way.

Was there ever a more arrogant, world-class scumbag;
A more graceless-under-pressure,
Sorry excuse of a machismo show-horse?
Look: I think Hemingway was a great writer,
But he was a gigantic gasbag,
A self-indulgent *****,
And a mean-spirited bully—
That bogus facade he put on as this writer/slash/bullfighter,
Kilimanjaro, great white hunter,
Big game Bwana,
Sport fishing, hard drinking,
Swinging-****, womanizing,
*** I-******-Ava-Gardner bragging rights—all of it—
Just made him a bigger, poorer excuse for a human being,
When the chips were finally down,
When the truth finally caught up with him,
In the early morning hours,
Of July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.
I can’t think of a more pathetic writer’s life than
Hemingway’s last few years.
Sixty electric shock treatments,
And the ******* still killed himself.

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So why am I still mesmerized by,
The whole Hemingway hero thing?
That stoicism, the grace under pressure,
That real men don’t eat quiche,
A la Norman Mailer crap?
I guess I can relate to both Hemingway the Matador,
And Hemingway the Pompous *******,
Not to mention Mailer who stabbed his second of six wives,
And threw his fourth out of a third-floor window.
One thing’s for sure: I’m living life all the way up,
Thanks to a steady supply of medical cannabis,
And some freaky chocolate chip cookies
From the Area 51--Our Products are Out of this World—Bakery
(“In compliance with CA prop 215 SE 420, Section 11362.5,
And 11362.7 of CA H.S.C. Do not drive,
Or operate heavy equipment,
While under the influence.
Keep out of reach of children,
And comedian Aziz Ansari.”)

So getting back to Hemingway,
I return to Cuba to work on my book.
During the day--usually in the early morning hours--
When “the characters drive me up there,”
I climb to my tower room,
Stand up at my typewriter in the upstairs alcove.
I stand up to tell my story because last night,
Everyone got drunk and threw all the ******* furniture in the pool.
By the way, I’m putting together my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
I can’t decide between:
“I may be defeated but I’ll never be destroyed,” or
“You can destroy me but you’ll never defeat me.”
The kind of artistic doublespeak they love in Sweden.
Maybe: “Night falls and day breaks, but no one gets hurt.”
God help me.
I need to come up with a bunch of real pithy crap soon.
Maybe I’ll just smoke a joint before the speech and,
Start riffing off the cuff about literary good taste:

“In my novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, for example, I had Maria tell Pilar that the earth moved, but left out the parts about Robert Jordan’s ******* and the tube of Astroglide.”

Stockholm’s only a month away,
So I’m under a lot of pressure.
Where’s Princess Grace under Pressure when I need her?
I used to work for the Kansas City Star,
Working with newspaper people who advocated:
Short sentences.
Short paragraphs.
Active verbs.
Authenticity.
Compression.
Clarity.
Immediacy.
Those were the only rules I ever learned,
For the business of writing,
But my prose tended to be a bit clipped, to wit:
A simple series,
Of simple declarative sentences,
For simpletons.
I’m told my stuff is real popular with Special-Ed kids,
And those ******* that run
The International Imitation Hemingway Competition,
AKA: The Bad Hemingway Contest.
The truth is: I always wanted to get a bit more flowery,
Especially after I found out I got paid by the word.
That’s when the *** and **** proved mighty useful.
        
I live at La Finca Vigia:
My house in San Francisco de Paula,
A Havana suburb.
My other place is in town,
Room #511 at the Hotel Ambos Mundos,
Where on a regular basis I _
(Insert simple declarative Anglo-Saxon expletive)
My guantanmera on a regular basis.
But La Finca’s the real party pad.
Fidel and Che and the rest of the Granma (aka “The Minnow”) crew
Come down from the mountains,
To use my shower and refresh themselves,
On an irregular basis.
At night we drink mojitos, daiquiris or,
The *** & coke some people call Cuba Libre.
We drink the *** and plan strategy,
Make plans for taking out Fulgencio Batista,
And his Mafia cronies,
Using the small arms and hand grenades,
We got from Allen Dulles.

Of course, after the Bay of Pigs debacle,
You had to go, Ernesto.
Kennedy had the CIA stage your suicide,
And that was all she wrote.
And all you wrote.
Never having had a chance,
To tell the 1960s Baby Boomers about class warfare in America.
Poor pathetic Papa Hemingway.
Lenin and Stalin may have ruined Marxism,
But Marx was no dummy.
Not in your book.
Or mine.
Joe Roberts Aug 2012
When I tell you that you are no longer my problem,
I really mean that you are no longer my saving grace.

You were, by far, the best part of being me,
but I wasn't being me when I was with you.

I was letting you save me,
be my saving grace.
And that just wasn't right.

I need to be my own grace.
Otherwise
I'm not worth the grace that it would take
to save my graceless ***.
Some people change you, some people too much. Sometimes you need to let those people out of your life in order to rediscover yourself and become who you were before they "saved" you.
LDuler  Mar 2013
The Hammer
LDuler Mar 2013
The leeching color from my eyes
My parched mouth puckered
My joints are stiff, stubborn and brittle
Creaking like exhausted floorboards
Wringing my fists, white ands shriveled
Twisting my hands, skinned and raw
I'm ill with desperate thriving
Too weak to carry on, don't have the choice
Veins laden with liqueur, thinning hopes and regret
Pulsing pulsing pulsing
Bones fluttering with birds of bad omen
Scalp rid of hair to make place for the thorny crown of vanquishment
Blood diluted with bitter disappointment,
Sloshing, smearing through my mucked-up system
Aching from the deadly drone of existence
From small victories, large defeats
I'm the mortar, they're the pestle
Clobbering into my hollowed life.

The hammer of that thing
Routine so dull and tedious
Pounding and pounding and pounding
When you can't even scream or weep
Thud thud thud
My temples scream with dank submission
My brain is reeling, hurling from the vertigo of it all.

Morning, noon & night
The dead avenues, the empty buzzing
Beats hammers in my brain
Throb throb throb
I'm quivering with numbness.

I'm mature now, I'm ripe
So ripened and rotten
Adult things, adult preoccupations pulsing around me
It seems like person really only has two choices
Get in on the aimless hustle or be forsaken
I've taken it all up
Rent, coffee, wine, cigarettes and newspaper
Forgotten pills
Unpaid bills
Thump thump thump
Anguish, pain, woe and misery
Turbulence and stress, the banging hammer.

I'm a drunkard, a wanderer
With a beaten, battered suitcase
Days like these, weeks like these, when all the weapons are pointed at me
I'm a ***, an outcast
A pigeon in the pummeling rain
Dribble dribble splash
The ache is a relentless thing.

My job, my rent, my house
My walls limp with memories stuck with rotting glue
Wallpaper torn, curling at the edges
The cold hard floor radiates and screams
The couch, cold & hollow
Incrusted with bits of filthy grime
The dead radiator hisses like an angry snake
The shades down, no sunlight
No life seeping through the venetian blinds
And my clothing sits in the chairs
Like the dead emptied out
The blankets are thin, frayed and tattered
As hope is
The moths, on the other hand, are alive and well
They weave webs of moribund rot
Interlacing me into their strands of decay.

Surrounded by the coldhearted, they snarl
And their laughs abash, dishearten the pure
Bruising me relentlessly
They are so tired, mutilated
either by love or no love
All their bleak and sunken eyes
All their weak and drunken souls
All their meek and shrunken hearts
Vultures with neckties
Weasels in frocks
Collared beasts, that's all they are.

The mournful poet with the shrapnel wound
Was so wrong
I guess he wanted to be lyrical, but his words led astray
Time is not water
It does not flow easy, smooth and transparent
It drags you into dark alleys and batters the hell out of you
Punches you in the ribs, rips your skin,
Jerks you by your hair, stabs you, disfigures you
Leaves you crippled and broken, gasping for air.

Sweating in a rocker
Lanky skeleton hands clasped, praying- for what?
I'm not living, or dying
I'm simply crawling backward
Or no, I'm not crawling, I'm being dragged,
Through nights of lonely perfidy, breathing the beaten dusty air
The dark wind wailing, ebbing through the frail curtains
Laying in bed, too wretched to move
When memories, of heaven and hell,
Droop like broken shades
Across the window of my mind
And ****, I can feel my soul slowly dropping down through the mattress
My stomach is heaving, my teeth clenched and gritted
But not with fear, no, it's too late for dread
And it *****, because we realize we were all so caught up in a life in which we can find no meaning...we end up wrong and graceless and sick
We're born shriveled and alone, we die shriveled and alone
No matter what.
The Hammer by Geneviève Pardoe Macchiarella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

— The End —