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  Apr 2015 Dennis Kontoulis
I always liked putting my music on shuffle

The thrill of the (un)known, what would play next

You see I would carefully construct a playlist prior to shuffling

I didn't really like not knowing things
Just being slightly surprised , it was all lies

Because I was waiting constantly for change and when it occurred I was outraged because I thought that I knew what you were going to do

And then you threw it in my face
And now I'm lost and out of place because when I put my life on shuffle

I didn't anticipate that you would download new music.
Dennis Kontoulis Mar 2015
On March 17th my doctor tells me that maybe I should spend Saint Patties Day with someone
than you
and I guess he doesn’t realize that you are always here
The next day the luck of the Irish isn’t on my side in spite of me being
half Irish
You come over and we do get lucky in our own respect
but thats as far as that goes with a satisfied smile and friendly nudge
because the mattress felt like wires and the sheets like sandpaper
with my pillow becoming a slate of stone inscribed with all the things you whispered to me under thinner, softer sheets,
I slept on our memories.
On the 31st my doctor tells me that every time I think of hurting myself
I write something with a marker on the spot of skin I want to open
So every time I think of you
my skin is covered in stanzas
and when I shower its similar to being flayed alive
but the snake which cannot cast its skin has to die
so I cast my skin every night
On the 14th of April my doctor says to turn my pain into beauty
so hes telling me to write poetry
I vowed eight weeks prior to this day that you’d stop showing up in my stanzas
but this poem has no structure
so technically there’s no rules to be broken
On the 28th of April I told him about Law Class
how we learned about mens rea and actus reius
I told the doctor how everything has cause and effect
like how an insult can lead to a fight which can lead to ******
and comparatively how one wrong word lead to confusion which lead to heartache
so you were guilty for ****** in your own right
rooms never echo until they’ve emptied
and I never echoed until you left me
my doctor remarked as much
a surly voice saying “see, son, she’s stolen your soul”
it would justify all those sleepless nights where prayers didn’t keep me earthbound
and I’m just nodding my head because maybe he’s right
maybe heaven is locked in chains
but maybe hell is a lifetime with you
but the only difference between the two are the locks and i keep
losing my ******* keys
i am the epitome of dead art
which is why my doctor cancelled our next session; he ran out of brushes.
so i was left standing in my bedroom like someone looking for a mistake on an eviction notice
confused and staring at all the things that lead up to that same moment
i had been torn from my foundations
and then you came to mind
whom did the tearing
but stayed innocent all the same
you made me wonder
how can you be both the lumberjack and the tree?
its *******
and she doesn’t get it
but i dont expect her to
even though when its cloudy it just means
god is lonely without her too
as neither of us could stand to watch another sunset with her absent
believe me when i say it is more than possible to love someone so much
it hurts them
and that while love is this void somewhere in the same plain as space and time
it is not one that you want to fall into
because dragging yourself out of it becomes a chore.
i use a lot of analogies
and i think thats how poetry works
something to mediate and make home to the things that
i guess bother you
but she doesn’t bother me
i bother me
so thats why theres so many of these poems
and this might be my longest
but i just dont know where else to put my thoughts of her
my chest can only contain so many stanzas before bursting
my heart can only beat so fast
it can only feel like a padlock for so long
and i can only write stanzas on my skin for so long before i decide
they look prettier in red
Dennis Kontoulis Mar 2015
falling in love with her is like taking the square block and trying to put it in the circle slot
i got the premise set in stone but the execution was poor
like twisting and turning a rubiks cube to find that four colors of each side are missing
but im trying to solve it in spite of forgetting what the colors were
so i ****** up
really bad
and i guess romance is dead and there’s no extra lives
and now im playing hide and seek with my smile
looking in places that she smiled
where sunsets lie that even van gogh couldnt paint
but im not drinking yellow paint to make way for some fabrication of euphoria
because my euphoria sleeps with her
they’re really quite the bedfellows
but everything inside me is just the way she left it
Dennis Kontoulis Mar 2015
i remember
in an autumn thunderstorm,
you clung desperately to me underneath our umbrella
you told me you were scared of storms, but that you loved them, and i find now that that was the best way to describe my love for you.  
a storm that brewed.  
but a storm that i grew attached to.
i fell in love with you in thunderous explosions of orange and blue
the fall was our favorite season but i had no idea just what the **** i was falling into
i thought that when i looked into your eyes i’d realized what i really truly wanted in my life
and that was to be healed by those ******* eyes
thunder shook you but lightning bounced straight from your throat and into my chest
you stopped my heart
you left me with a nasty scar that clung to me like doctor’s stitchings.
so i tore at them,
ripping charred flesh from my muscles almost as swiftly as my pen strokes against paper
it became muscle memory
and those memories of us beneath that clouding sky weigh me down
shackling and chaining me to your promises
grounded on the cracking asphalt of your street titled clover but that street was anything but lucky for us
because it had more potholes than your ******* promises
i have waited a month and a half to write this poem
and the only thing that has kept me awake until three in the morning
was the fact that you had the nerve to cling to the sweater in the bottom drawer of my nightstand
stained with your promises, your memory, your fears and your bravery
every glance, touch, kiss, smile, punch, tear, tear of fabric,
and every booming sob that left my body for the first time in five years
i can’t even cry when i read my writing about you
that was another aspect of me you clinged to
and something i couldn’t cling to
do you know how much damage you’ve dealt me?
mirrors i gaze into feel cracked
shards of glass better describing who i am now than who i once was
and you broke me human
but still used me
as your umbrella
like i was worth something
worth more than all the things you’d made me
in an autumn thunderstorm
from a rough patch

— The End —