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5.1k · Apr 2012
Of Pineapples and Poetry
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
For years words have dropped
Into my head,

Like rain on the spikes of a bromeliad,
Single splashes forming trails
And trails and trails
Around the bud,
To fling themselves into the dirt
To splash the roots.
Then slowly up the roots they go
Into the bud.

It soaks them in and soaks them in,
It is patient patient patient,
Waiting too long,
Until I think it'll never open -
And then it

4.8k · Jun 2011
Direct Object
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
I'd like to catch a songbird when I visit.
One that only lives near your house,
One I've never heard.
I'd like to catch a songbird,
And have it sing for me
The songs you hear each morning.

I'd like to watch the moon when it rises.
Lifting itself over the earth, reflecting
As it passes my window.
I'd like to watch the moon,
The same white moon
That you might be watching tonight.

I'd like to hold the wind in a mason jar.
The warm little south wind
That chuckles and breezes northward.
I'd like to hold it down,
Whisper my hellos into its gales,
And let it go darting off northwards -
Whistling and running like a fugitive
To you.
3.7k · Apr 2011
Generosity in Death
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
I never gave interviews
There was nothing to say,
No one needs to know
What I had for breakfast
The day I made my mark
On an impressionable city.

They don't need my opinion,
It would just be another color
On their palette, and
I can't have that.
I don't want to see myself
Painted on the homes and faces of strangers.

I have lived to prove my worth,
Not to have it affirmed -
Mirrors are not worth their reflections.
Mirrors can be vacant.
I know my selfishness prevails on them
Only while I live. I don't mind.

Perhaps when I am gone,
They'll look me up.
They'll forgive my stinginess
When they have me pinned up in a glass case.
They will thank Death for transparency,
But use my name to save face.

At least I will be spared the sight;
That's all I have come to expect.
I console myself that it won't quite
Be me those empty minds reflect.
Imagination travels miles with a breath,
For that I thank the generosity in Death.
Written for a prompt. I think The Fountainhead's Howard Roark might have snuck his voice in at the edges.
3.1k · May 2011
Ore in the Veins
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
I haven’t got a heart of gold,
Gold is too soft and beautiful.
The world sinks its teeth into gold
And leaves a bite mark for every hungry mouth
And I haven’t enough surface area to accommodate them all.

I have a heart of silver.
Let the wolves bite into that,
Let it stick in their teeth.
They will not break the skin.
The don’t deserve to see my blood,

My silver dragon’s blood,
Running down my head and chest,
Dripping and pooling in the darkness,
Shining and reflective
Like a thousand little moons
And worlds made of moons.

No, let them trade in gold.
My heart is ugly enough to survive
And beautiful enough to live.
They will not steal my blood to spend,
The will let it pool and lie
As unattainable stars lay in the sky.

If any other silver bleeder comes to claim me,
Let me be his and he mine.
If any blue-veined miner puts away his pick
And loves me without claim,
Let him be mine, I will not hurt him.

But if, God forbid, there is yet a man
Who bleeds gold and loves me for my blood,
I will love him to the reaches of my sky -
I will spend myself on him to the last cent -
For that is a claim that cannot be paid,
It is a love that would destroy me.
2.9k · Sep 2010
Constitution Day
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
It's an army I'm facing:
A hundred marker-wielding,
Bespectacled preacher-teachers
With a set process, a formula
Defined by science
And tried by no child
Without consequence. It's
A national army, banners waving.

I pledge each morning to my
Country. (Thank you, great army,
For my life as a free child!) Then I
Sit in my assigned seat; I finish my
Assigned work. When the lesson
Ends, my friends and I discuss
(Thank you for amendment two!)

Our distrust of double-meanings -
Our distrust of everything - too
Many contradictions in a day.
All this while the snipers aim, (like
Strikebreakers coming to claim
The rabble-rousers) (Thank you for our

Peaceful assembly rights!) they remind us
To work hard for faraway and free days,
College parties with dean( drill sergeant)'s
Iron eyes over our (soon-to-be) soldier
Shoulders. (Thank you for privacy rights!)
We are reminded to
Complete our assignments quietly.
(Thank you for free speech.)
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

Schools should not have Constitution Day. It just makes the rebel kids angry.
2.8k · Apr 2012
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
My percussion teacher, fresh out of surgery:
Going down the line of kids at attention -
Checking the attention - my percussion teacher
In a wheelchair gliding down the line -
Fresh out of surgery - sliding down the line
Of kids at attention with heads bowed.
My percussion teacher with the aching back;

My percussion teacher, fresh out of surgery
(With the pill keeper on her keychain)
Wheeling down the line of insecure children -
Checking the attention - my percussion teacher
Calling "Chin up, chest out, back straight,"
(Fresh out of back surgery) going down the line,
"Don't lock your knees, be proud."

My percussion teacher weeks after surgery
With the back pain and the brave face,
At a Christmas parade
My percussion teacher gliding beside the drums
Chair whirring between beats, my teacher
Whispering, "roll step, back straight, chin up,
Be proud."

My teacher in her home at New Year's,
Recovered and childish, months after surgery
"Look, I'm taller now? Wanna see my scar?"
Yes I want to see it, yes of course - that scar,
That pride twisting pink across your chest, yes.
Yes, because your chin is up,
And your back is straight.
2.6k · Sep 2010
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
I like my headphones for the
Insulation. Sometimes my ears
Take in too much stray noise,
Dredge up too much disorienting
Mud from the depths of a TV
Screen or an iPod. Then I can
Always snuggle into my headphones
And be silent - and silence is a
Dear dear commodity, to be sure,
When every other scene-
Stealing, pudgy-mouthed buffoon
Has to put his ten cents in. So
Much sound should be a sin;
Background music, ambient noise,
Music for airports, and pubescent
Boys screeching from tinny silver
Speakers near the wall. I don't
Want it, not every bit, not all
The hate and the slippery tongues
That speak and salivate and don't
Say anything human. I want to reprimand,
To excommunicate them from
This Holy rite of sound. (And really,
I would be content to never hear
Music if I could block out the roundabout
Fights and the sultry nightlife descriptions
Gushing from my screen, if I could
Use my headphones to keep
That liquid crystal from pouring in
My too needfully silent ears.)
Maybe I'll follow a painter's path:
All visuals and open dripping wet
Wrath with a noisy race. I can be a
Terrifying girl. Cut off my ears and
Be deaf to the world. Wrap me in
Canvas and chase me back into the
Woods on a starry starry night.
you know the drill

2.1k · Mar 2011
They Hide in Windchimes Too
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
There was a place I knelt
In the light of chicken feathers,
And heard the song of God
Pouring from rain frogs in day lilies.

There was a bark bench in a wood
Underneath an apple-cedar rusted tree
That yielded its slimy children to me
Whenever I needed entertaining.

There was a rabbit that did not run
Immediately, but stilled and watched,
Nose twitching in apprehension, as if
Maybe I was no interloper, no enemy.

These things were -
And some still are -
Though I no longer remember
The path to the fallen pine
Or the hiding place of the rabbit’s burrow,
And the tree has been burned up
For many years.

There are pangs of hunger in me,
Not to hear God in the day lilies
(For I am still shaking from the sound),
But to find in myself the
Absolute wonder that I found
Inside a circle of roses.
1.9k · Sep 2010
Dragon Diva
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Dragon Boy is on stage again,
Roaring and crooning. His
Claws clutch, scratch and scrape
A hoard of glistening emotions.
His slick-sharp canines gleam
Between tight stretched lips;
Choppy, halting motions sway
His guitar-pent hips with the rhythm.
Leather wings beating and straining
Against the heavy wood stage -
He's gonna fly away at this rate.
He wrenches open iron jaws and
Suppressed fire screams from his
Throat, scorching his tongue,
Licking and charring the mic.
He'll take his usual tribute: untried,
Untested ears ringing in needy delight.
Then ache to his ancient diamond bones,
Slither fatly from an unruly stage,
And scuffle, sated, home.
share, don't steal, etc

Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to actually go to one of his concerts.
1.8k · Jun 2011
Blue Shift
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
If the universe is expanding and
All is in flight from the center outwards,
If what is close soon shall be far;

If all is slowing by miniscule degrees
Until the whole **** lot is frozen;
If every thriving life will cool; if I am
Mistaken and you are not the fool
I hoped you were; if you are;

If, in the vast ending of this story,
It is not the plot but the syntax
That chafes against you;

If you are a mad creature,
A dissonance in the hum,
If you can be defined by your name,
And you think there is anything to be gained
In your coming to the front lines,

If you think you can slow the creeping cold
Of mumbled words and sideways glances,
If you will not be cowed or numbed -
Gather your things, say your goodbyes
And come.
1.8k · Feb 2011
Like Birdsong
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
And now the good day has gone around
To somewhere near New Zealand,
(Which is all the better, for I hear they are in
Deep need of good days)
And the “goodnights” have come
And gone to bed with yawning lips,
And the empty loom is stocked with threads
To weave new dreams, good and bad.

Now I nestle in with pillows
And ice for one of my Icarus burns.
It is hard to express why the sun still
Shines in my chest, warms my shirts,
Smiles against my breast like a robin’s
Breast smiles gratefully back to the sun.

Today was a good day,
And tonight is good,
And the stars have not forgotten me,
Nor the moon turned her face away
In one of our play fights,
So I cannot help but fill with warmth,
Though our bright conductor has marched off.

I’m still humming yesterday’s song -
Which is like the call of a mockingbird,
A little bit borrowed, a bit absurd,
But after a long good day, I find
That I cannot say with my words
What is best expressed by birds.
1.7k · Apr 2011
Street Vendors
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
Oh, these women
In their heels and mini-skirts
With their painted youth dripping from their faces;

Oh, these fruits of the city,
These sumptuous, soft, plump, self-destroying
Women that need devouring -

God, can't you help them?
You made them this way,
Hung them in your garden
From Eve's forbidden tree,
Gave them sweet juice and lust to be consumed;
Only to plant the seeds of knowledge
In the dumb beast who eats them.

Oh these damning fruits of the city,
Who bring forth generations of saccharine poison
By nature of their trade,

Oh, these women
In their heels and skirts,
They were born to be condemned.
1.7k · Sep 2010
In Peridot Above
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
He knows what lies below.
This is where it all began: here
Beneath the bubbling sludge and ******* mud.
This is the home brew, the cocooning grounds.
His sturdy boots trudge through,
Hefting questions and glasses askew.
Somewhere to the side a fat swamp prince
Composes bog rhymes in ribbit meter.
Each squelching step sets a buzzing bunch
Of crystal dragons zipping away to
Slick peridot pontoons. A loon swoons
The expeditioner with a sobbing cry. He
Has said goodbye to reservations, to the
Long-dead preservation rights. He slogs through
The buzzing night. Yellow daggers clench
Between scaly steeltrap snappers and stones
With eyes blink in languid surprise, unnoticed.
He is lost, dying, unsure of his quest. He needs a
Cure. He knows it lies here, in the beginning place.
Their faces haunt his deathly guts and crush
His straining heart with need - need for the solution.
Need to survive, to prolong his life - alone!
So alone: the last. If only he could rest.
His nostrils quiver with the homesick stench
Of tails becoming legs and nipping lips sprouting
Sticky tongues. The answer, he is here for the
Only answer. Something below, below, down
In the dredges of history - in the slime of
Centuries, rotless and preserved. He will find it:
Some link, some closer thing he can revive
And test and rest as bedrock for his life.
A foot sticks in the overfriendly tar. No,
He will not pause. He has come too far.
In the birthing grime, some hungry memory wakes.
It knows what lies above, it thirsts to cease it.
It reaches, roils, pulls, rips with smelly squish-fingers -
Thirsting and thirsting to slake. It longs to reveal
To show, to make known to the traveler.
(All he has searched for is found here, it knows,
Organized and close. Held and safe below)
It reaches, grabs - thirsty - presses him into
A false step. A slip. A skritching clipboard
Of statistics curses in rustling indignance
As it flutters to the mud above a splattered head.
Science-frozen lungs fill with dread -
With life-giving peat. (It will show him) He ***** in
And burbles out a scream. (what he wants, show him)
This is where it begins, (this is his dream!) where it ends.
Now he knows what lies below. He lies - curled -
Quenched from growth. The eyes of unnoticed
Stones blink in surprise. Soaring swamp lyrics
Rise, a loon swoons with a sobbing cry.
He curls in peace and drifts alone
Now he knows what lies below.
Share, don't steal, blah blah

I like this one. It's been percolating for a while.
1.5k · Jun 2012
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2012
The kitchen is drowning.
Cereal reefs are jagged and submerged,
Perched on them is a hermit crab in a Campbell’s can.
Little bacon eels swim crackling by.
Toast flounders on the tile,
Half-buried in sandy crumbs.
And the mermaid swims through,
Her little stomach growling
For a peanut-butter-and-jellyfish sandwich.
Just a doodle.
1.4k · Dec 2012
Because You, if He
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2012
There isn't a He.

But if there was a He then
He made Everything perfect,
Which is to say
You, (if the world is You
And it is)
Then "just so and no better"
If there was a He to tell
I'd tell.

(You are so much blooming out of ***** streets
And camellia blossoms,
Everywhere I, there
The blinding You bursting out of
And flooding my blood with
And I am somehow Perfection's possession
Like a cutout pasted onto white
There are We and the faded world behind)

And if
He was then I'd tell him
He'd better give up now because nothing ever -

But You know I don't think
Any He could've thought up
(And the way Your cheeks fold when
Your teeth show and Your lips are
Just so and no better could ever)

Unthinkable thoughts
I've thought and never alone even alone
You were always somewhere thinking -
(Gods are not so clever
Or so kind)

Impossible for Him.
(But Beauty, You press
Words into me and I seize
Oh! fingers never gripped so
But clutching and You press and hold and
You are!

The birds in my chest are singing
The lightning in my muscles screaming
Love wears a face and it looks on me
And You are!

For all my pitching and whining
And still I open my eyes
And there is no Nothing there,
But You are, oh Love
You are.)

He never could,
But if He did I'd thank Him.
1.4k · Oct 2012
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2012
Accidentally locked out
Of my cavern,
With cold for company.
Cold, and thoughts
Kept hot in the thermos in my chest,
Kept sweet:
Borrowed juice of a ripe fruit -
A peach, do let's say a peach -
Uncold company,
And in loneliness
A warmth...

A neatlyfolded
Origami Man is going 'round
Cleverbuzzing and kindsmiling
At little sillyshining things
That sometimes climb Him,
With My name folded up inside
And warm in the thermos
In His paper chest -

The stem of a mouse wineglass
Is not so delicate
Nor is He any less
Solid than the granite
'Pon which I'm resting -
That something fragile should be
So arresting...

The thought pins me warmly
In place,
So what of a wait?
Inside or out, hot or cold,
Somehow somewhere He is
Impossibly folded up
Around Me.

I can wait.
For ***
1.4k · Feb 2011
Facing into Eden
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
Dance me down to the railroad tracks
Where we used to walk at night and
Test God (or at least the trains) to prove
That we were young, strong, beautiful,
Alive and deserved to be so. We’d

Wait until the stars fled from our eyes
And the rickety planks under our feet
Quaked in fear of stronger demons.
Our ears pricked like risky rabbits,
Our feet stamping instinctively, wanting
To run, to burrow under, to be gone
From danger and the smell of smoke.

But we were no lapine cowards, we had
No fear of rattling tracks. Holding hands,
We’d stand our ground until the whistle
Screamed blood and fire and death at us.

We’d roar heart and lightning and life
Right back, blinded by that light on the
Black grill. Shining in our eyes, we’d
Realize that even immortal beasties
Can go blind looking at God’s face.

We pushed each other back beyond
The deadly track on either side. My
Eyes grew wide every time we tumbled
Backward onto safer things. Watching
Your fall was like sunrise, and I swear
When we tasted heaven, you had wings.
for a competition
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
Poetry is like electricity,
But without a switch,
And stronger;
Like lightning.
It strikes you, and suddenly
You're a pianist;
You can speak Swahili;
The color green tastes like
Starfruit (only you've never had it
So all you can think
Is, "Man, this forest is delicious!")

Poetry is a zap from nowhere.
It makes your hair stand on end;
It makes you half afraid and
Half eager. You start flying
Kites with keys and fixing the satellite
In storms because it's awful for
A second, but then
You're never the same.

I know.
I've been struck so many times
And each time, I've traded
Gibberish for English,
Sight for insight,
Words for love,
And love for words again.
I have heard voices bellowing
And crying
And laughing.
I have seen smoke and sunlight
And smelled sulfur and
Tasted honey and salt.

Maybe I am not "smart,"
Always leaping into danger,
But I can't think of a better way to die
Than  to be struck by poetry.
uploading from school, haha, wrote it rigth after a test
1.3k · Aug 2012
Haley Hive
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2012
Honeybeehive buzzingbuzzing,
With bustling here to there and
Careful placement of this and that
Little detailed speck: this larva to feed,
That one to clean;
All quicklydeftly done - and yellow
Drips of sweet ideas a-thrum in the hard
Wax cells in rows in walls
Of a mind or several thousand -
Several thousand little slipperies slipping
There to here, upstream swimming
Crowded fishy river to mating grounds
For thoughts:
Piling on one another and asphixiating
In the thought-filled water there is not enough breath
Even the strongest swimming "whatifmaybe" drowns
Under a flopping swell of scaleslimy facts.
And there am I planktondrifting
Inside under; through water rushing,
Dashing on rocks and off of rocks,
Nearly into drowning mouths a-gaping
And then in the white rapidfoaming water
1.2k · Dec 2010
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
Somewhere in the star-brightened space -
An impossible depth away from green -
A hungry traveler ghosts between
Appetite and appetite, and place and place.

Out in the unfreezing lowest of degrees,
Some behemoth of infinite impunity
And infinitesimal size - a unity
In one point - eats, and hungers, and agrees

That, once, matter mattered more than a maw
Gaping impossibly small and wide.
(Better nature has collapsed inside,
And galaxies are cleaved as with a saw

In a Carpenter's hand.) However, simplicity
Is a muted charm in a bottomless pit.
When pressure's wake is a woodshop kit,
Survivors owe nothing to serendipity.
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
Let’s not go chasing ants today.
The grass is gone
And dirt won’t burn anyway.
Why not get to work with me
And let your memory go out to the yard to play?

Let’s stay away from the familiar doors
And antique halls
Whose windows open only to walls, anyway.
Let’s ditch the dollhouse unopened,
Still in the box.
You and I have business in the life-sized world.

Bin the old plastic flags,
Still furled in bags, let them go to the ground
In triangles over G.I. Joe caskets.
Stuff your red lunchbox with as many
Kens and Barbies as you can
And let’s bury them in someone else’s playpen.

We should burn that old forest down
Where we used to do magic,
So no one can cut down the trees
And make planks or papers -
Because it would be a ***** to find them,
(Not to mention climb them) but
I suppose you can’t go torching forests.

Chuck that cigarette in the bushes.
Maybe something will catch.
1.2k · Feb 2011
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Comes from Nigeria with a name like drums
Comes from Africa with the sun behind his back.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao,
Mr. Ibiyinka with a smile in his hands,
Mr. Ibiyinka with a girl's shoulders in his hands
Life, he says, she is alive
She dances.

Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Paints like the sun gilds hills and fields
Paints like the moon silvers water and thatched roofs.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Freezes music into colors that dance
Freezes drums in a quilt of art from every place.
Frozen, he says, like water
Like a heartbeat.

Djembe, Conga, Bongo
Coming from Africa with the skins of goats
Coming from the fields and the homes and the dirt roads
Medium, large, and small
Speaking every language.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao -
Djembe, Conga, Bongo.
oh, please look him up if you don't know who he is. He's marvelous.
1.2k · Mar 2011
For Japan
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
Knives are slippery things and
No matter what handle they bear,
They are sure to find themselves
In flesh sometimes, by mistake.

When a human hand is wounded,
And blood flows, and a voice cries
Out in pain from the whole body,
It is still the hand that must heal itself.
The valiant cells who die to bridge
The new rift must drift from their
Places near the cut. The brain can -
At first - do nothing but tell itself
How the hand suffers, but

Then comes the second reaction.
Then comes the instinct so buried
That it is not even a thought.
Blood is needed, so the marrow works
In the hands and the arms and
The chest and even as far as
The legs and feet. Infection will try
To sneak in - the brain knows this
The way canyons remember rivers.

So then come the blood cells,
Red and white, to defend their new
Homeland, (or their new home,
Since they are all of one being,
One great and unbroken body.)
Fever may come, or not; a scar
Might form that never fades, but
The hand never forgets that it is made
From the stitched skeletons of saviors.

And despite knives, the body prospers.
One hand bandages another, one foot
Bears the full weight while the other heals,
The body survives: not unchanged, but
So tempered and hardened in the changing
That it has no need for fear of knives.
1.2k · Sep 2010
Chopping and Dancing
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
We dance in the wetlands:
Hopping tree to tree in galoshes,
In snake boots.
We can hear the rattlers and
Crying crocodiles over the
Buzz buzz buzzing of our chainsaws,
But the bossman says stay down.
So we wait and watch, and when
A snake snaps to bite, we touch it
Just so: on the back of the head
With our buzzing tools. Then
We go right back to dancing
Tree to tree and rock to rock.
Step in the water and scaly babies
Will cry out for mother,
But bossman will say to stay
And shoot the mama if she snaps to bite.
We drive them from their homes,
Scaly devils, with our buzz buzzing saws
And our snake boots. We clear the land.
Where they shall go, we shall follow,
Always there is more to clear
More to cut and haul away
But we must be prepared for
Attack, always awake,
Always ready to shoot and touch
The back of their heads, just so,
With our insistent buzzing saws.
share, don't steal, etc

Poetry is everywhere.
1.1k · Sep 2010
Cooling in the Breeze
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
We were June's children:
Lazing in our cottages
Of restful diversions,
Sleeping through sticky days.
We were the youth of July:
Strong-backed and surly,
Unafraid and eager.
We pined for a challenge.
Stiff-lipped and sunburnt,
Now we are August's boys:
Wet-mouthed and grass dewed,
We dance naked in the wheatfields.
We slide amongst the chaff.
Our strong backs brace
Against heavy furnace skies,
And we look to September
With summer in our eyes.
share, don't steal, etc

Winter always seems to skip Fall out of eagerness.
1.1k · Sep 2010
Elektra Complexity
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
You cried for a Sunday dress:
I confess, I was tempted -
Strongly so - to give in, and let you
Have it, let you go buy it.
But your crying became
Such an argument against
Your frilly cause that I
Found myself dragging you
Away from another store.
I expected this when you
Were young - when you knew nothing
Of manipulation or greed or
An acidic need to punish me
For some old wound or another -
Something you hate but
Have forgotten. No more now,
Girl, let's go home. You can
Date some bad boy tomorrow.
That'll show me.
share, don't steal, blah blah

Something good comes out of everything, I suppose.
1.1k · Dec 2010
High Society
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
On cold-windowed nights after
A shy and unassuming rain
Has stumbled over slick fog
And brought the clouds to town,

The pine trees gossip over
Their new sky-bound neighbors
(And I didn't know that needles
Could rustle like voices)
Like dreary all-knowing mouths
Up on stilts - "Have you seen
That Cumulonimbus?
Who does he think he is?"

They know what clouds carry in:
The soothing dark after downpours,
(The shroud of water molecules that
Shields a sunburned world and
Reflects the cool pale shine of
Street lights over a drowsy town.)

They do not care. They are
Hard hearts in bark girdles.
They crack and creak
Sometimes, irked at their own
Swaying weight, and drip
Sly words to the heedless Earth,
Who needs no words
(Who is only dirt).
I love overcast days. ;D
1.1k · Sep 2010
My Pen is a Keyboard
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
The language of poems is foreign:
Alien and elegant to my ears.
I cannot speak it, (not fluently)
But rather spit out phrases,
Turns, and words accumulated
Through the years. Those simple things
That please a dear friend
And come without calling.
share, don't steal, etc

Oh, I wish poetry was as easy to speak as English is.
1.1k · Oct 2010
Generic Teenage Whinging
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2010
From the first wet gasp of
My first hello, I have spoken
As they do. On similar slipping
Legs I have wandered as they have.
I cringed and leaped, and was afraid
And was not. (A time for both, a time
For all. For every question, an answering call.)
There was no surprise;
Everything was a shock.

They, too, drowned in ennui and
Buzzed with electricity. But the lines
Crossed somewhere between:
As they were I have not been,
As they move I have not moved
The record skips out of the groove.
And they press manicured nails
To feathery hair, irked - annoyed -
Blotting out the noise.

Who are they to float above,
To glide in mascara and gold?
What trails and wakes they leave -
All the time whispering dry and dustily.
It's strange, I've always heard
(From the hidden smiling lips of
Those ahead, and those above)
That dust is dull and bland and plain.
How strange that to me it tastes of
Pepper and echoing gilded names.

From some empty table, I have peered
Into open halls with chandeliers -
Plated in silver, glistening with crystal -
And wondered how they get so high
Without a tinkling, slicing word -
Without a glaring, threatening eye.
I know I have tried, first to be the
Waitress, tray in hand, who has her moment
With the table and her guests. Then
To earn my right, to earn their view,
To be a sparkling rarity, a delight.

No more. Adieu, goodbye, goodnight.
Whether you care for me or not,
I'll never mind. I'll find some room
You've left behind, and sleep
Until I want to rise.
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

What the title says.
1.1k · Sep 2012
On a Kiss
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2012
It is not a taste,
Not precisely,
My tongue running over my lips…
It is not a taste you have left,
For I taste only myself again,
But I taste now also
The absence of your lips.

It is not a sound you have left,
But the silence remembers your laugh,
And the floor recalls your feet,
Marking itself not with footprints
But with an absence of footprints:
The cold of my side remembering
Your warmth against it.
1.0k · Sep 2010
Northwards and Upwards
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Oh, Polaris, do you remember
Those days when we ran
Clothed in dew and the skin
Of great conquered beasts?
Do you remember our triumph
In the hello-waving grass
That night we were tickled by
Chaff - and calves licked our
Blood-filled cheeks? Do you
Remember, Polaris? You still
Have so much of the old heat.
Even today, when the freeze of
New memories strikes me, when
I'm snapped by the cold, I
Remember our old days. Oh
Polaris, warm my hands a moment.
You were always so sturdy;
Against your shoulder was the
Perfect resting place for cold
Skulls like mine. Of course,
Your fires often melt the ice
In my eyes. I never stay: I
Need the cold, need the new
Frigid day. Without the bitter
Wind, how could I love the
Steady warmth you hold, Polaris?
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

Some friends are gods in disguise.
1.0k · Jan 2011
Oh my darling, my prince
Sleepy Sigh Jan 2011
Oh my darling, my prince
Of unworthy ventures,
Do not speak to me of love.

Do not speak to me
Of her claws and her venomous
Kisses. I do not care.
My ears are deaf to you
And your many death rattles.

Only, do not think I am
A glacier inside, that my
Cheerful face hides merciless
Ice. It is not so. Do not speak
To me of where you go
With her. Not because I don't care,
But because I already know.

In the way a wounded man
May plead, "do not speak
Of bullets," I entreat you:
Do not speak of love to me.

A captain who sailed in a
Deadly gale and hears of
Stronger winds may give up
His beloved sea. A boy who
Falls from one snapped branch
Fears even fallen trees. Please.

Do not speak of love to me.
1.0k · Sep 2010
The Porcelain Keepsake
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
He travels down pathways of velvet,
Treading mahogany and maroon
And ruby, all the varying shades
Of a wine glass caress his slick
Shoes. His face is freed from
Marble prisons, loosed onto
Stretched canvases in myriad
Bursts and strokes of sapphire,
Emerald, amethyst, opal,
Quartz, ivory, jade; his face,
Embroidered on jackets, on
Coatsleeves, is a symbol of
Charm and grace - a symbol of
Power. When he speaks, the words
Clink and sparkle together
Like gold and silver, like diamonds
And roses. The elements so mix
In him, etcetera. With a pace meted
In waltz-steps, he crosses galleries,
Admires his pet works, his pet workers.
He is a sought man, a buyer of
Flatteries. He drinks fine scotch.
This man, so vivid and clear
In place and time - so placed
In the center of beautiful scenes -
He drowses by my fire in his fine
Suit; he lids his eyes next to my cheek.

Perhaps I am slowing, or aging,
Or growing tedious. Stop me if I
Bore you; I hate long-winded bores,
Unstoppable ranters, and one-sided
Opinion staters. But returning to my
Friend, the gentleman who lounges
On my couch, who tickles my
Ear with soft cologne whispers,
Who catches my eye with poised
Puffs of flagging breath. He is so
Soft and kept in life. Death will find
A pitiful creature when it comes for
This delicate boy. He is my special
Treat, my prized butterfly in the
Most elaborate case. Watch him
So feebly flap his wings - don't worry
I've pinned him well. Look at how
His pale eyelids flutter (I could
Watch forever!) like the little
Bush-finches that come to bathe
In ditchwater and fly again to
Woven homes. But he will not fly!
Never will he slide out of my
Loving sight as he was wont to,
Never will he have to drink fine
Scotch alone. I will sip with him, I
Will warm his feet when he cannot
Lift his (now) leaden legs to the fire.

Don't touch him! Did your mother never
Teach you to look with your eyes?
He is mine! I will show him to you,
You will admire. I know you can, you
Were admiring him when I came
Upon you. (I should have known you
Would reach to leave your prints
And smudges on him, you bad-
Mannered girl.) Don't make that face,
You were trying to pin him, I
Just crunched my harpoon in first.
Now look at him, all lost and
Stopped. All but his eyes. Tell me,
Isn't he beautiful? A masterpiece.
My centerpiece, that's what he'll
Be. And you, you were the roots
And the thorns of an elegant flower:
The regrettably worthless stray
Leaves to be pruned away. I'm sorry
My poor dear, but you were born
To be wasted. Don't be sad, you
Had your day, you hung on his sleeve
For your little night. But he has
Such a habit of losing things he
Keeps there: cufflinks, his heart,

Girls who are not me. I'm sorry
My darling. It is a shame I must
Send you home, I do so love it
When people share my tastes.
Now drink this scotch my poor
Thing. Drink up. There now, do
You feel warmer? Are you tired?
Let me pull that cover up, why
Don't you have a good (long) rest?
Go to sleep, there's a good girl.
I'll put you to bed.
Share, don't steal, blah blah blah

I see many edits and revisions in this poem's future.
1.0k · Apr 2012
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Your mind is a heart-trembling sight,
And often as you flaunt it I know
I should never tell you it destrings me,
(Sets me wrong and then puts me in tune.)
I mustn't ever never
Say I wish to do the same to you.

(I would caress the insides of your bones,
Kiss your esophagus, clean your arteries;
I would eagerly sew myself inside you.)
I mustn't ever never
Anglerfish my way into saying
"I would be a limb on your body."
And yet "I love you" cannot possibly -

I would live in your synapses quietly
Never intruding, you wouldn't notice me,
Perhaps even forget me by and by;
But I would electric-think my way through
Your toomuchmind sofastly:

I would repair the gaps with
Scraps of myself torn off, I would
Maintain you invisibly with
My unvisible tools unsensed
And silentdense as an atom's center
Whose disvisible weight is universelifting.

I would lift worlds onto you
As though nothing ever sang sadness
And every(right)thing strongly whispering
Through your veins would know
"I want to pulse your blood and beat your heart."

So much more "love" cannot possibly
Desire, I desire (to make you) the
Overloved lover my domain over:
The king and the grass and the sky.
992 · May 2012
Blue by Blue
Sleepy Sigh May 2012
And now the light of the little globed sun
Guides my waking fingers over stiff keys,
(Stiff fingers over waking keys)
Now I begin the hellos and the wonderings
Each day brings - the bottom of my head
Reminding me "Ask him about his aunt,
His toothache, her boyfriend, her
Overdue college application."

Infinitesimal checklist of maintenance.
Though I don't know what the hell I'm maintaining,
I tiredlove it and work at it and maybe
I can get my 10000 hours from a screen -
Maybe I can be perfect from a screen,
And one day I'll open the door
For a stranger and see a keyboard...

Ridiculous. Room's a mess.
Room's dark except for the sunglobe,
My sun, my determiner of days
And with a click the ordainer of nights.
Ah, it's a tiny world, I can fit it all
In the bottom of my mind when  I sleep,
But I'd never tiredleave it,

I waking/sleepinglove it,
And if you'll just shut the door again
I can be tinyperfect.
991 · Sep 2010
Tap Tap Tap
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Baggy pants hang from skinny hips
And jingling chains mince words
With chattering feet.

His sweat quests down, down,
To be nearer to those ankles,
Those toes, and those soles that
Stomp and slide and scrape
The soon-to-be-polished stage.

With heavy-swinging momentum, his breath
Flings itself towards the crowd:
An offering of more than
Sound; more than dancing feet.

They accept the gift and rise with shouts.
Weighted with praise, they return his breath
From fourteen hundred mouths.
He can only bend,
Perch his hands on quivering knees,
And drink in the euphoria of his first
Standing ovation.
Share, don't steal, etc.

There's nothing better than a performer on a stage.
985 · Apr 2012
Again, I Write of Roadkill
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
A cat, opened, on the roadside.
Poor machine,
Stuttering and shuddering to a halt,
Cogs and gears all spewed out behind it
Onto the fog-wet pavement.

This little failed venture into life
Lay and mewed its last
While I walked back to my car
And hoped to drive its guts off of my tires.
981 · Dec 2010
Heavy Editing
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
When I want to write
And the words are churlish and
Sluggishly slow in coming -
And even when they come
They linger at the door-frame
And rub their soft cheeks
Against the painted grain -

I read in a special voice.
Sometimes it's the voice
Of my English teacher from
Junior class. We didn't get along,
But not a word passed her
Lips that wasn't as gilded and
Mellifluous as edible gold-leaf
On a chocolate-chili sundae.

Or the voice belongs to
Rives, who plucks meaning
Out of words like candy
Out of an Easter egg.
He savors every syllable
Like it's an annual treat
And lines them up neatly
In his throat like some kind
Of spoken-word songbird,

But the things I write are
Least likely to be read aloud
By Rives and my English teacher.
(And reading in their voices
Seems too proud.) So I pen
The last of the stragglers down
And clear the alien voices out
Of my own (often sore) throat.

I enjoy my words, wallow in
Phrases, and praise lines of
Alliteration about as often as
A soldier runs past shelter
Helter-skelter and takes his
Chances with unfriendly crosshairs.
My voice quavers, quivers, shakes,
And shivers when I read my work.

I find every letter and line
And nuance absurd, but
I keep myself in check. Editing is
A controlled demolition of
Punctuation and capitalization;
Sometimes the "submit"
Button is hard to hit after
Splaying one more page of
Myself into crisp computer print.

But I breathe and repeat
The words that are lodged
Under my ribcage like a
Stray bullet: "You are not
Superlative; you are not
Fantastic; you will not be
Famous; you will not be
Any better for a long time
And even then you may be
Terrible, unbearable, and

But everyone is."

Brrr, my fingers are FREEZING
965 · Apr 2012
The Triolet Triplet
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my dim valleys hemmed with rivers.
The grand presence of your beauty overpowering,
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my valleys richly flowering,
And the sunbeams from your shoulders give me shivers.
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my dim valleys hemmed with rivers.

Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me
If not for your outstretched arms?
In this role that nature cast me,
Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me!
Mourning rivers would outlast me
With no haven for my fragile charms.
Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me,
If not for your outstretched arms.

Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
Why I look up as though you are a peak
So unreachable and distant from tiny me,
Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
(Though I think you still may not agree)
Without you bracing me, I am so weak.
Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
Why I look up as though you are a peak.
954 · Apr 2011
Junior Year
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
Do you remember that time
We played our homecoming show
On the field, muddy with marching,
With a rainbow arching over us?

Do you remember the kids there?
We invited them to play along,
And everybody got a little confused
About when to leave, and left early.

Do you remember hearing them cuss,
And suddenly we knew we were old,
That sometime in our sleep
We'd crossed sides and grown up?

You don't remember?
I guess you didn't see the rainbow,
Or feel the mud on your shoes.
I guess for you it was second nature.

You got tricked into working,
Tricked into missing the colors in the sky.
Childhood is behind you, and you didn't see it go.
You think you've still got innocence to spare.

You're old and gone now, though you're still here.
939 · Oct 2012
A Walk at Night
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2012
All these people:
Paired off,
Complete -
Or streaking by
Brightly on bicycles,
Busily flying and still they
Manage a quick wave
And a smile...

All these people:
Paired off,
I weave among them;
I smile among them.

It's so much easier
To cry when you're alone;
It spoils you.
So then there's always that
One ******* tear,

And the getaway,
Not to disturb these people
Paired purposefully.
These people smiling,

And I
937 · Sep 2010
Save My Home, Garden Pest!
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
In the home fields, the children run
Shouting and leaping from a pile
Of fiery, spicy, single-file specks.
They wave chubby arms in
Gleeful fear and childish friendship
As worried mothers shuffle them away.

In faraway deserts, the children run
Towards familiar mounds, chanting
"Jaglavak, jaglavak, come and help!
The termite is eating our homes!
Little red brother, ride our thin shoulders,
Our fathers have sent us to fetch you."
share, don't steal, etc.

Africa is an alien and beautiful place.
932 · Oct 2010
Don't Be Disappointed
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2010
It would not be too hard to say
That all I lack, and feel, and hate
Should not be pressed onto my plate
At the end of a busy day.

It would be easy to insist
That I should never have to cry,
When crying is what gets me by.
It would be simple to resist.

But Auntie Ruth could smile and smile
With arms scraped up to blood by bark.
She stacked the odds and ends to spark
And burned nostalgia in a pile.

When the dark invades with its cold,
I think of Aunt Ruth's blazing yard:
Cooking all she could discard -
Her sadness that only the bonfires told.

So here I'll sit - and I might cry -
(Crying is what will get me by.)
And tear up tiny bits of leaf,
And clench my teeth to hold my grief.
With a warming bonfire smile,
I'll add my troubles to the pile.
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

Whew, I'm tired.
929 · Sep 2010
Zero Messages
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Tonight is not a writing night.
I know this because I am not
Straining, stressing, or
Leaping for words. No,
I am sleeping in words,
So many, I could kick through them
Like leaves.
This is not a writing night.
The words are there but my soul
Cannot be restrained, filtered or
Constrained by meter or rhythm
Or rhyme.
My heart refuses to pour itself
Onto the page, refuses to tell me
Something I already know, and
Something I dearly want to know again.
No, no.
I can only whine and
Stamp my foot. I am a child,
A twisted Oliver Twist.
While I hold my empty cup,
I beg myself for one more sweet
Drop, one sip, one swallow,
Or perhaps
A selfish ocean to drown in.
share, don't steal, etc blah blah

People need so much attention.
903 · Nov 2010
War is Lonely, War is Cold
Sleepy Sigh Nov 2010
War is too large, too big.
War is life, it is full of
Infinitesimal wiggling things
And inestimably giant
Ogres. War is not just for
Soldiers. War is for the air,
For the trees; war breathes
In the muck of the world
And purifies nothing. Why
Are we surprised? It is
Man-made, of course
We must expect some
Inefficiencies. And anyway,
War goes on despite the
Horrors of global warming
And the poor polar bears.
War thinks it cares, really,
It paves the road to Hell.

War is thirsty, but not for
Blood. It wants ambrosia;
War is a threadbare coat
In the governor's closet.
It is ugly and familiar, and
Always a little hungry. War
Only wants what it deserves:
Some cakes, some tea - a
Rest, maybe, (since it has
Labored longer years than
Any innocent human could.)
Yes, War is tired, so tired.
It yearns to ****** the yoke
Onto another's back. Like
Atlas begging someone to
Pick up the slack just to
Scratch his itching nose.
War is lonely and cold.

It does not understand
Why men make it work
And work and work, and
Still blame it for their hurt.
War would be harmless
If Death and Pain allowed,
But they are never blamed.
War is befuddled by man -
Always will be, always has
Been. It will scratch its
Aching head and wonder
Why so many ******-handed
Men will call on it with rage
And thundering voices.
It wishes for choices, but comes
To earth in the winter like
Apologetic frost. War is
Helpless, and War is lost.
Just a little doodle for a prompt from one of m writing groups...
886 · Jul 2011
The Fisherman's Love Song
Sleepy Sigh Jul 2011
I do not know if it was the guarding beam
Of a lighthouse, roving 'cross my prow,
Or the glimmer of a mermaid's eye,
Or just the glancing of moonlight.

I do not know what flashed in the night
As I tended my nets blindly,
Only that for a moment I saw
Something all enmeshed and shining,
And it broke free.

I do not think I could've caught it
Or kept it even if I did
(It was too precious to sell or eat).

Still I will stay and tend my nets
Where silver fish are known to leap
And vanish. If it was a lighthouse beam
I shall know soon when it comes around -
A mermaid I should know by the sound
Of song (which I do not percieve),

And if it was the uncatchable moonlight
Winking at my swaying ship
Then I will sit and watch it dance for me -
Always reaching and just out of reach  -
Until necessity nags me back onto the beach.

I will return each night to fish and gaze,
Envious of the water so kissed with light
And the insensate sands that glimmer
White, stupidly unaware of sight.

Yet it is not my place to say what sand should think,
Nor water, nor fish, nor the imploring moon.
I cannot touch the improbably distant stars,
But I will stand with my hands stretched up
As far as they can go, even if it is futile.

Perhaps one will reach down.
873 · Nov 2010
Reaching Up
Sleepy Sigh Nov 2010
Are you any closer to God?
How far have you gotten?
Last I saw, you were throwing
Ink on paper to see what stuck.
Well? Had any luck? Oh, I see.
"Not as such." But I suppose
You still want your grants, yes?

Go on sticking needles into mice,
Just be sure to try the untried
Methods. A whiff of repetition
Oozes around this situation, and
I worry for your mind. Sometimes
I think you must be close to God:
Only good friends play hide-and-seek.

Now, you've tried looking up trees,
And behind and over and under things -
Inside bridges and beneath streams.
You've forgotten Him like a perfect dream,
Hazy and clouding your bright eyes.
His silhouette strikes as sharp and
Stinging as morphine's needle.

Mice do not know Daedalus, nor
Do they fear Minotaurs. They've no
Thread to follow home, so put
Them in your Labyrinth and see
How far they get. Know this:
I will pay from pity and cry when
You leave. I see Icarus in your eyes.
Researching animal testing sparked this in my mind...
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
The phone throbs in her hand like a wound.
A voice over the wires tells her,
“Your son is hurt, not dead
Like the others, thank God, but
He cannot be moved.”
There is a dial tone.

He will be coming home soon,
And she will set out the best china -
And she must start sewing shut the right legs of his trousers;
She must tell the little ones to be quiet in their play,
But it does not matter.

No more will the phone wound her,
No more will she wake at night with an uncertain cry.
He will be coming home soon
And she will make the little house shine
With her many waking wonders.
866 · Feb 2011
Real Genius
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
There’s no fear in the place
I’m going to be in a few years,
In the time it takes to tune a piano,
In the decades of a dog’s wagging tail.
There’s nothing scary there.

When I’m as many years older
As there are seconds in a lightyear,
Or sound waves in wallpaper,
I’ll still be ****-a-doodle-doing perfectly
Dandy in a yellow-spotted bouncy way.

When I’ve said and written as many
Words as there are to say on an afternoon,
And when my heart’s as old and big
As orange and gold, as great as
A slide whistle going up, up, up, then,

I’ll see what I saw when I was
The size of a bright laugh:
That all the world, in its infantile grace,
(Even the places nearly shaded from sight)
Is bursting with unexplainable light.
Title comes from a cool Val Kilmer movie
848 · Sep 2012
Fluorescent Sickness
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2012
My bed is full of crumbs:
It's odd how very very dire that is.

I'm surrounded by empty plastic

Containing the memories of food:
Traces, some crusty cheese, a last sip.
And my bed is full of sugary crumbs.
My hair clumps stickily to my neck.
The fluorescence of the room flickers -
(The fleeting worry of unfixable darkness)
How terrible it is to be sick in my bed
And sick of my bed.
Sick of nothing, nothing,
Nothing at all

And surrounded by
Hollowed, consumed, abandoned, desiccated,
Used-up, plastic
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