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If there was a language for walls,
It would mumble from broken jaws.
The sun would shine through fragmented holes,
The windows would magnify heat,
Until all was engulfed.

With confirmed dead inside.
No one knocks as they read inscribed:

"Family tree,
Do not open."

"Family business,
Buy one,
One comes free,
Fire wood sale."
Self examination
snap the nitrile

blue gloves up in your ventricles
grab a testicle

or two
we're gonna stretch and

pull down the protector
3,2,1 avant garde

no sound, but your life was hard
I noticed

you spoke it
credits were rollin'

down your cheek
so you smoked it

and laughed at
nothing certain but death and taxes

laxative breakfast served
a generation

you miss it you miss it
a life that hurt because you

scavenged for Christmas
the little blessings

a life worth living
by killing optimists

penetrating defense
to pillar high with indifference

to intent
now you can't ascend

you stash it
in Easter baskets

in sillicone lashes
push the ashes together

then burn the mattress
dust to sand

through fingers, a fist
3rd grade principal

pulled from detention
a stretcher pulled you

white to trenches you fought in
when all you needed was

a breath of attention
who said you could end it

win it
prescription of tribulations

from whatever God you'd scavenge for Christmas
he put you through it

all the abuses
the habits

the black and white canvas
silent obscuring angles

of mannequins
30 seconds of a dancer

who prayed for this madness
who pays for the therapist

who even lets you have it
who kept you out of church

and into church basements
who writes the book of curses

that force fed you the sedative
given by laxatives

that say they went to college.
their Suit is stained in coffee

Yet you have the vices
The film is over

the light flickers darkness
we sit in the coffin

smokin' and screamin'
blood is flowing, but there's

no fire
we're just speakin'

what happens after 3PM
witching hour that one scene

when the camera angle was

it spoke to me
said self examination can't be

you gotta get nitrile

they're cut resistant
cover five fingers

not just a lover
a stranger

they protect you from more than danger
so button your blanket

take down the ink curtains
sun was always shining,

closed it
to blurry focus

could take our macguyver theater
wallpaper canvas stretching

hit us in the temple
like a parsha

finished another session
the blessing of human language

the messenger
malakh, without expectation

we fumble to understand
Scalpel in our hand,

ventricle in tact
we're just holdin' a feather pen

talkin' in white and black
we stick our hands in the past

take a look at examination
then take a look at our self.
KJ 1d
I used to think
that we were born empty
and someone else had to make us whole.

I used to believe
that he would complete me
not leave me empty and cold.

The boy stripped me
bare and took everything
from me just to fill himself.

I became nothing
but a shell of the girl that
I used to be, before he emptied me.

I used to think that
he loved me and he was doing
this to me out of care and devotion.

I was wrong to think,
to believe that he caged
me out of love and admiration.

Each hit
and verbal abuse
felt like love to me.

He told me that
he was scared of losing me,
so he lost his mind when I didn't answer.

He loved me
too much to let me
do a n y t h i n g by myself.

If I didn't have him
I would end up alone,
who else could possibly want me?

I believed
each and every
lie that he told me.

-is it really abuse if he says he loves you?
sometimes abuse sneaks up on you and you convince yourself that you're the problem, not him.
(please consider before reading)

our house was a one-floor white clapboard two-family
it was originally our town’s first school

rose miller was on our party line
sometimes I would listen
and rose would scold
and I would laugh

I loved to laugh

our white-washed picket fence
had a swinging gate

I would swing and swing
and laugh

it was my favorite thing

also the elms and oaks of Perry Street
where we lived

rolling in the gold, orange and red
of their piled autumn leaves
losing my Hop-a-long Cassidy hat
I would laugh until I’d cry
until I’d fly

laughing sent my heart in flight
but the tears were not all tears of joy

the nights of the rains frightened me
I did not laugh

a monster under my bed
does not scare me
because it is not there

it is in my bed

the rain brings it
from the room just down the hall

so I hide inside my fantasies
where it can’t find me

I do not like the rain and wind
or the footsteps

those long-night storms
blew my youth away

for forty years
I searched to find it

I looked for it
in the laughter of my schoolmates
as I acted the fool
disrupting the class
angering my teachers

I looked for it in my teachers’ smile

I was a very bright child
so I found hope and validation
in their recognition and praise
which I so desperately needed


I fought to try to find it
black and blue
and bloody battles

I liked the pain
felt I deserved it

I searched in the sweaty back seats
of flesh-stenched cars
rolling in blue-suede passion
with smooth-ass’d
teenaged girls

I searched the ivy’d climbs of academia
looking in the pretty panties
of the trust-fund debs
that roamed those halls

I called out to it
in amplified voice
from strobe-lit stages
strutting and screaming
over the roar of stacked marshalls
and the tie-dyed din
of Aquarius’s chosen children

I probed for it
down the throats
of clutching groupies
gluttonously gaping to gratify
engaged in their own desperate quest

I looked for it in bottles
in the smoke clouds of hash pipes
through the rolled bills
in the pure white snow
of Peruvian flake

I tore life apart
trying to find it

bad marriage by bad marriage
children who too often missed daddy
soured friendship by soured friendship
failed career by failed career

still I rocked
and screamed harder
strutted stronger
and pranced bolder

chasing a higher high
perhaps to spot my lost youth
from such a lofty vantage

when finally I fell
it was a long way down

brutally I careened and crashed
through the barbs of my cruel words
damaging lies

through the carnage
of those who loved
and trusted me

through the charred year’s
of burned bridges

through the shards
of my fractured self respect

to the bitter bottom
the ruin that was me

as I wallowed in my self-pity
my anger
and lost hope
you were there

newly on your path of life
you had reached out to me

in your bright un-jaded eyes
I finally saw a different possibility

I found love and reconciliation

I learned how to forgive
most especially – myself
I found humility
I found honesty
I found a friend

all monsters long subdued
I’ve found my way back
and a reason to come back

back to the sunny side
of the Perry Street of my youth

and swingin'
on that white-washed picket gate

rob kistner © 2009
Recommended for ADULT READERS ONLY!
This is a true and unfortunate story of physical abuse being visited upon a child by the live-in, mentally disturbed elder matriach of the family. This was the darker side of 1950's American suburbia, the "don't talk about it" era, when the mental problems of a surviving grandpa or grandma were too embarrassing to acknowledge openly and dealt with effectively. Instead, the troubled elder was frequently shuttered away in an upstairs room or down the hall, and essentially ignored - while their eccentric, often disruptive behavior, was stoically tolerated.
It offers a view of the struggles that a victimized child endured to ultimately get to a balanced, meaningful adult life. This story thankfully ends upbeat.
Abuse doesn’t have to be a punch in the face or a kick to the throat
it can be words that tie a noose around your neck and bruise your inner being
“You're a liar”
"I wish you looked like that”
It’s so easy to walk away, turn your cheek
But the fire within me is dying and I’m turning to dust
Dani 1d
My momma taught me to be early at the airport
She taught me how to prepare for court
How to dress for an interview
And to pay bills before they’re due
I learned a lot from her
The list goes on for sure
How to throw a punch
And to always pack a lunch
Organize and keep your stuff clean
Carry with you anything you might need
My momma taught me to have passion
Also when to fold and cash in
Good things here and there
Small bits when she was able to care
Most importantly though
I learned emotions not to show
How to care for a grown adult
And how to hide emotional assault
How to duck under an object thrown
I learned to grow up on my own
She taught me much and taught me well
How to let go of heaven and live in hell
To follow all her commands
To believe her words and mental scams
My momma taught me to go numb
God forbid I let my anger come
I had to let words fly by and disappear
Bite my tongue and always stay clear
Of the things thrown or words yelled
I couldn’t be me so my feelings I shelled
Closed up and shut down, I bow
My momma taught me how

I am grateful for what I’ve learned
To let go of everything I yearned
Nothing for me, myself, or I
I crave attention now, I wonder why?
I am searching to be a Queen
Not to rule, I just want to be seen
Look at me and what I can do
See me, hear me and I’ll show you
What I know and how I learned
Understand me for I have yearned
To be supported and guided through
If only back then a way out I knew
If only I had gotten out before
A successful life I could adore
A peaceful mind without scare
I could actually feel and care
Instead I am numb and closed down
I am being held until I drowne
Suffocated by my past
Pain that continues to last
Through adulthood and life
It affects me now a mom and wife
I am broken because of you
Because of everything I learned to do
I had to let words fly by and disappear
Bite my tongue and always stay clear
Of the things thrown or words yelled
I couldn’t be me so my feelings I shelled
Closed up and shut down, I bow
Because my momma taught me how
sitting here empty
staring into space
wanting to scream
wanting to cry
wanting to finally let it all out
yet so emotionless
too tired to feel
is it sad i didn't care enough about you to cry over our break up
i saw you for the first time since our breakup
and you walked pass me like you didn't know me
it's okay my heart forgot you too
Rachel 2d
I mean,
he always said
on me,
he liked the color green.

He said purple and blue
'those colors were made for you.'

He says
he can't decide between yellow and black,
On me,
they made him crazy,
a maniac.

When I was a teen,
I also liked purple and green.
I liked them too!
...black and blue

I just wish, so badly
they weren't put there by you.
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